Are all Climate crisis deniers conspiracy theorists?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Quantum Quack, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    You could have a monetary system that doesn't hinge on investment and surplus.
    But that wouldn't be capital-ism anymore. It wouldn't even be socialism as we know it. It would be a sane planned economy, wherein the logic of sustainabilty would dictate the policies regarding both commerce and social organization. It would have to be a symbiotic arrangement, whereas capitalism (in the real world, not the free market fantasy) is naturally predatory.
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

    All that capitalism means is that private entities control the economy, and they act to maximize their profit. Nothing about being predatory or symbiotic in there. You could be a capitalist who gives away all their services for free, because you have an expectation that doing so will return you profit in the form of others who will then labor for your benefit.
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  5. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    How does one maximize profit without making a profit? Making a profit means taking in more than you put out. Maximizing profit means putting out the least possible and taking in the most possible. Least to their workers and suppliers, most from their customers. Control of the economy in terms of maximizing profit = reducing taxes, labour rights and business regulations.
    No, that would make you a communist.
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    By minimizing loss. In a steady-state economy there are an equal number of winners and losers over time.
    Yes. And in a steady state economy, all try and half succeed.
    Nope. For capitalist workers, more labor rights are better. For tax-based industries (i.e. defense contractors, road construction companies) more taxes is better.
    A push economy is not communist.

    Communism is defined as "everyone owns everything." Capitalism requires individual ownership of things.
  8. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    If they don't charge interest openly, they charge it differently, with moral obligations to help others in other situations. The result is usually a society where those who make some profit have to share this profit with the whole community, with an effect similar to 90% taxation for high income - nobody produces high income, or if he does, he hides it.
    Nonsense. In a normal situation in a normal economy, one borrows money for some particular investment, with the aim to repay it once the investment gives profit. So you borrow seeds with the aim to gain much more crop so that you can pay back the seeds together with the interest. If you have done this, there is interest on interest to pay. There are, of course, investments where the expected time to pay back the whole credit with all interests is more than one year, so that in this case there is also some interest on interest involved, but this does not change the point that ad infinitum is nonsense.
    There are, of course, also failures. In this case, it depends on who is harmed most. The guy who does not pay back is bankrupt. The guy who has given him money does not get his money back. Anyway, this is the end, no "ad infinitum" here too.
    For the entrepreneur, this is the payment for his own work of organizing all this. Without profit, there would be no point in organizing this production.
    No. Some profit is the reason to work at all - that what is produced is worth more than the raw materials. All this is inside the system: What decides about the price of the raw materials, the wage, and the resulting price of the product is the market, which is part of the system.
    If it makes no profit, the question is if there is a better use of the things owned by the company. So one can expect some reorganization.
    To a nation with GDP growth rate 0 nothing particular happens. Details depend on the situation. If, say, the population is decreasing at the same time, people become even richer.
    The reasons for GDP change may be very different. If, say, prostitution becomes illegal, the prostitutes gain the same money but are, now, officially jobless without income, the GDP falls.
    Note that the two questions have no connection to each other. There may be a stable economy with everybody making profit and living from that profit, with 0 GDP growth.
    I have seen particular free markets. They are fine. Whole economies I have seen only either socialist or corporatist. The big corporations are not interested in free markets, they want to restrict the freedom of possible competitors as much as possible.
  9. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    You can use that definition if you want to distort the idea. Commune does mean that the land and means of production are equally shared, as is the work to keep it going and the fruits of that labour. It doesn't mean that you can't have your own house and tools, or even your allotment of land and independent workshop - just that you can't take out more than you put in.
    Over time... How long? What's the comparative size of these losses and gains? What is there to "win" and "lose"?
    The math doesn't work.
    But as they control all capitalist economies, where does that leave people like you who do want a free market?
  10. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    Education, a car, a house, a coat, heating fuel, and most catastrophically, a serious illness.
    That's the aim. But there is no guarantee that the expensive education will yield a profit in the form of earnings high enough to cover the borrower's living expenses, plus continually rising payments on the loan. In a shrinking or 'stagnant' economy, it's pretty well guaranteed not to happen.
    The car will only depreciate in value, while its cost increases with the addition of interest payments. If you're using it to make a living, you have to earn that much extra (more, surplus, above) your living needs.
    The house may appreciate in value, even beyond what you have to pay in capital and interest. But only in a growing economy. Consumer goods can only depreciate and fuel is a 100% lost.
    Medical bills, of course, are what most often wipe out the assets of normal people in normal economies.
    I understand that: to each according to his social worth. The guy who digs the coal of the ground for ten hours a day gets to live 45 years (if he's very lucky) in a row-house and send his kids to public school. The foreman who organizes the digging gets to live 70 years in a detached bungalow, put a decent amount into a savings bank and send his kids away to college. The mine owner who signs paychecks gets to live in a mansion for 85 years and leave sizeable trust-funds to his grandchildren. The banker who lends the foreman's money to the mine-owner doesn't need to show up for work, can stay at any of his houses for as long as state-of-the-art medical science can keep him breathing and has a secretary to remember which exclusive academy in Switzerland he packed his brats off to.
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    It's what the word means. Communal ownership.
    Correct. YOU don't own anything. EVERYONE owns everything.
    Same as today. Some are huge wins, some huge losses. Most are small.
    Capital, possessions, same as today.
    So you figure that a zero sum economy doesn't work, but an exponential economy that relies on ever-mounting levels of debt (and resource use) does? Odd.
    Not sure what you are saying here. Are you saying that few people will want this? You are absolutely right there. Everyone wants to get exponentially richer - even if the reality is different than the promise.
  12. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    No, I think this doesn't exist.
    I believe this does exist - we're in in - but doesn't work. It just looks like it's working until it breaks down, which it does in approximately 20-year cycles, punctuated by wars.
    The quote was inadvertently misplaced. But you did seem to advocate a sustainable economy that doesn't rely on constant expansion. You also advocate a political system controlled by capitalists - the people who are intent on maximizing profit. The two concepts, profit and steady state are incompatible.
    without growth...
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  13. billvon Valued Senior Member

    It has existed for most of the history of the planet - no increase (or very small increase) in resource use per generations. Think agrarian societies. This exponential growth has only been recent.
    By that logic, laws against monopolies are impossible to pass, because the two concepts are incompatible.
  14. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    So has capitalism.
    In a political system controlled by capitalists, it is. Those laws were passed in a moment of capitalist retreat (after they fucked up big time and lost their stranglehold) and gradually lost teeth as the capitalists regained their control.
    Nobody gets rich or richer without somebody or something getting poor or poorer.
  15. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Yet we, as a capitalist society, passed them.
    OK so there's your answer. There will be "moments of capitalist retreat" that will allow such laws to be put in place.
    Not true today.
  16. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    In the opposition, of course.
    Everywhere where the situation is normal. Some natural disaster or a serious illness not covered by an insurance is the exceptional situation. And the exceptional economy is the one which allows some members of the elite to get large credits for essentially no interest to pay, which may seriously distort their behavior.
    Education and a house are reasonable investments. A car possibly too - there are jobs which require to have a car. If you take credits for consumption, you are a stupid victim of advertising. Reasonable people don't take credits for consumption. Credits for exceptional circumstances are, instead, a reasonable thing, and behind it is usually also the hope that one can pay it back completely after the exceptional circumstances are over.
    In this case, it becomes stupid to take credits for education. BTW, it is wrong that education gives nothing in a shrinking or 'stagnant' economy - it is a competitive advantage on the labor market. You will get higher wages given that you can do things other people cannot do. If the overall wages decline, this does not change the advantage.
    Indeed. This is what distinguishes buying a car as a reasonable investment (you get a job which gives you more extra wage than you have to pay interest) from stupid consumption credits. (There may be other good reasons to buy a car on credit, say, it allows you to live in a region where you really need one to live but where it is cheap to live).
    No. Houses are a useful investment in shrinking economies too. You can live there without having to pay rent, you can rent it. During war times many have survived renting some rooms in their own apartment or house.
    Don't forget that the US is in this relation far from normal. Almost everywhere in the world people facepalm if they hear how much one has to pay there for medical bills.
    I understand you don't like this. Unfortunately, a society which would fit your ideals would be predictably a very poor society. Moreover, its actual realization would, instead of realizing your ideals of justice, simply have other forms of injustice.

    So, first of all, a free society would be unjust in many things. Those who are, without any own fault, ugly, stupid, weak, ill or otherwise handicapped would be socially disadvantaged, protected only by moral restrictions. Free market capitalism gives advantage to those who can give the society more output, without taking into account the amount of work done. Then, free market capitalism allows the owner of a property to do what he likes with this property - which includes giving it to heirs, lovers, and other people who may not deserve it given the ideals of justice.

    On the other hand, the actual situation is much more unjust than such a free market society. Because it is a corporatist society, where the established big firms have a large advantage in comparison with everybody else. In particular those bankers now on the top of society profit from this extraordinarily. So, a transformation away from corporatism toward a free market would reduce the injustice of the actual world, in particular on the very top.

    They are compatible. All you need is that the profit is used by the profit owners for consumption.

    BTW, anti-monopolistic laws are also in the interest of some of the big firms. Namely those who favor political means to fight competitors which don't use political means (don't pay for lobbies) but care about creating better products. Firms attacked using such laws usually learn their lesson and start to pay for a lobby too.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Good article on climate change denial overall - its causes and how to overcome it. Some notes:

    "Denial happens when climate science rubs us up the wrong way. Instead of making us want to arrest the climate crisis, it makes us resist the very thought of it, because the facts of anthropogenic global heating clash with our personal projects. It could be that the idea of climate change is a threat to our worldview. Or it could be that we fear society's response to climate change, the disruption created by the transition to a low-emissions economy. Either way, climate change becomes such an "inconvenient truth" that, instead of living with and acting upon our worries, we suppress the truth instead."

    "Contemporary social psychologists tend to talk about this in terms of "motivated reasoning". Because the facts of climate science are in conflict with people's existing beliefs and values, they reason around the facts. . . . they're reasoning in the manner of a defense lawyer who clutches for post hoc rationalizations to defend an initial gut instinct. This is why brow-beating deniers with further climate science is unlikely to succeed: their faculty of reason is motivated to defend itself from revising its beliefs."

    " . . Climate communications may do well to appeal to more diverse values, particularly those values held by the deniers themselves. Experiments have shown that, if the risks and realities of climate change are reframed as opportunities for community relationship building and societal development, then deniers can shift their views. Similarly, in the US context, appealing to conservative values like patriotism, obeying authority and defending the purity of nature can encourage conservatives to support pro-environmental actions."
  18. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    So does fiat currency, which until Reagan had been working better in the US than the former gold standard in the US.
    The US system between FDR and Reagan could be restored tomorrow if the Republican Party would cooperate.
    Lots of systems work, if governed well. No system works if governed badly.
    The gold standard fails as often, and as destructively, as any other. There's nothing magic about it - it won't, can't, save the US economy.

    Current US climate change denial happened when a well-funded propaganda operation inculcated it among a target voting population of US citizens.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
  19. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    All that is true of the current US setup.
    Free market capitalism does not allow inheritance, of course - which is not a gift by the former owner, but rather a subsidy by the government.
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Also agreed.
    Correct! Indeed, financial systems vs governments are fairly orthogonal.
    Of course it won't. It could merely serve as the basis of a non-debt-based economy. You'd have to make many other changes as well.
  21. Schmelzer Valued Senior Member

    Nonsense. Free market capitalism is not not even capitalism if does not have ownership, and ownership includes the right to right to decide who owns the property after the own death.

    But this is, of course, a standard technique of statists - to present natural rights as rights given by the government.
  22. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    as/re inheritance
    When studying architecture, I read of a house in france that had been in the same family for over 500 years.
  23. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Gibberish. You appear to be confusing accumulations of capital with human beings.
    Free market capitalism is one of the rarest kinds - it requires extraordinarily sophisticated and intrusive government, for starters.
    And of course it requires market exchange of capital to establish ownership - something legal inheritance directly prevents, via government intrusion and enforcement.
    No, it does not.
    Inheritance is a government service, it has no necessary connection with "ownership", and it does not involve natural rights.
    Also: Impossibilities are not rights. No one can make decisions after they die.
    Or even more obviously: in most capitalist systems (by definition: systems in which capital exchange determines ownership) most ownership entities (piles of capital) are potentially immortal, and if they do collapse or fail somehow they do not have government provided rights that succeed their dissolution.
    - - - -
    There are lots more stable equilibria in generically capitalist systems than that. I doubt that one is even stable - it's hard to imagine a steady state economy persisting through half the participants failing, and even harder to imagine a strictly capitalist one maintaining a given state after a few rounds of half the sequentially participating piles of capital "succeeding". How were the effects of accumulation leveled?

    Poker games do not maintain steady states, for instance.
    No more than any other basis of currency, and less than some - there's nothing magic about commodity based currency. It doesn't prevent bad government.

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