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Friday, January 11, 2013


Donald Pay

Nice try, but you have a string of assumptions in here and some statements that aren't reality. The problem is you are arguing from a conclusion based on a bias you hold and lining up a lot of things that you think bolster your conclusion. It's really pretty nuts.

The fact that any party is "at odds with itself" on any issue is really a pretty trite observation. It's pretty much the definition of a big tent political party, unless you mean to have a political party that is so small that no one is in it, For example, what about the obverse situation: the Republican's position on energy and cutting federal entitlements. Isn't there a bit of a contradiction there? Or pro-life stances vs. environmental standards that protect fetal life? Welcome to real life, KB.

Besides, life isn't lived in tightly linked dichotomies that you have tried to set up. You really like false dilemmas, but they are "false." You can have increased energy production and decreased carbon production and a vital social safety net, if you have the right energy and environmental policy.

Ken Blanchard

I notice, Donald, that you offer nothing at all that tells against my argument. I am sorry, but life is shot through with dichotomies. If you save five dollars here and lose twenty-five there, then you are twenty bucks in the hole. If you try to reduce carbon emissions by a one set of policies that work to discourage consumption and then maintain increased consumption by another set of policies, you are acting at odds with yourself.

I try to see things the way they are. You studiously avoid the same.

Donald Pay

You try to avoid a rational energy and environmental policy by setting up false dilemmas. It's a nannna nanna boo boo way of thinking, but it's lazy.

As you probably already know, cap and trade is a market-based, Republican pushed idea. Markets have a way of working through such dilemmas. So, if you reduce carbon by one set of policies, what makes you think that won't have some implications for how the other set of policies work. For example, if consumption incentives work to reduce energy use or to improve efficiency, then you can consume more with reduced energy use. It's pretty simple, really, and businesses have been looking for efficiencies even without cap and trade. Put cap and trade into play and you bring much more of the power of the market to bear on these issues. But, if you don't like cap and trade, you can use other mechanisms.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: yes, I believe in a lot of false dilemmas. I believe that if you want to lose weight, you can't do it without diet and exercise and probably both. I believe that if you want to get out of debt or at least reduce the rate you are going broke, you have to either reduce spending or increase revenues enough to matter. I also believe that you can't reduce carbon emissions by any mechanisms, however effective, if you encourage much larger emissions by other policies.

What is driving increased carbon emissions about the globe is increase consumption by very ordinary people. In the US, consumption is heavily subsidized by government spending. That is most of what we are borrowing trillions each year to finance.

Energy efficiency doesn't in fact reduce energy consumption. Modern kitchens are more efficient than earlier ones. They are also larger and contain more devices. This is textbook.

If you believe in the value of cap and trade, you believe that we need to squeeze consumption in order to encourage innovation. That means that the current levels of consumption are a problem. Entitlement spending encourages consumption. That is the whole point of it: to keep living standards high as possible for as many people as possible.

You could change social policies so as to force reduced consumption. That would be called "cutting social security and medicare". The Democrats are steadfastly committed to preventing that. Economics may (I think that it necessarily will) put a break on this. My point was that if you think we need to significantly cut consumption right now, then you ought to be in favor of cutting entitlements. All the environmental policies in the world, even assuming they work, are overwhelmed by a system that is designed to maintain high consumption levels for millions.

All this is common sense. It is no wonder that it escapes you.

Donald Pay

Nice try, KB, but WRONG, again, as usual. Dieting isn't reducing amount of food intake, but reducing certain types of foods and increasing others, and being more scientific about when, how and whether to eat certain foods. Weight Watchers, for instance, encourages eating more of certain types of foods, less of others. It's being smart about what you eat, not setting up false dilemmas. In fact, it's the false dilemmas that sabotage dieting.

Anyway, it's you, not me, who pooh-poohs anything related to carbon reduction. If your goal is reducing carbon, you do that by substituting various energy sources. You can also make efficiency changes, which involves switching out inefficient technologies and practices in favor of more efficient technologies and practices.

If we want to get at government spending affect on carbon, then let's put in some requirements and incentives about switching to more efficient technologies. We certainly don't need to use the tax code to spend on high carbon sources. You can use the tax code to favor the low carbon sources.

All of this is very easy and elementary, KB, and it could be done right now if idiot Republicans would get out of the way.

larry kurtz

It takes a fantastic amount of water to produce energy in the US: that determinant alone will show the path to a future that Democrats limp towards while Republicans fumble for the flashlights they dropped in the coal mines of the past.


Visit Sweden. Low CO2 emissions and an active safety net work hand in hand. Finland. Denmark. Germany.


Never argue with a fool. People might not be able to tell the difference. KB, if you are not careful, people might mistake you for a fool.


Ken, What on GOD's green earth are you smoking??? This post is the perfect example of why one should never-ever write a post after doing shrooms... You have a lot to learn from your "elitist liberal" peers my friend...

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