Doomstead Diner Menu => Energy => Topic started by: JRM - James R. Martin on January 02, 2014, 12:07:16 PM

Title: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: JRM - James R. Martin on January 02, 2014, 12:07:16 PM
In David Holmgren's excellent 2013 essay, Crash On Demand, the author makes a crucial observational statement and asks a fundamentally vital question.

The statement is:

“A contraction in the systems that supply wants are likely to see simultaneous problems in the provision of basic needs.”

The urgent related question is:

“Is the commitment to perpetual growth in wealth for the richest the only way that everyone else can hope to get their needs met?”

Keeping in mind that pretty much all of Earth's ecosystems are in decline, and that James Hansen as well as other top climate scientists are calling for a dramatic revision of the whole notion of a "climate budget" (IPCC) and a shift from a 2-degree C upper limit target on global warming to a 1-degree upper limit, Holmgren's statement and question are just about as salient and urgent as any statement and question could be.

Any economic growth which depends upon Business As Usual (BAU) with regards to the energy economy (fossil energy) can only be destructive of wealth, however understood (as well-being, as a cumulation of "goods" and "services") -- which must be put in scare quotes because it's not so clear that they are ether prior to a true cost accounting and an internalization of the "externalized".

Economics, of course, isn't really a science.  But if it were to qualify as a science it would have some serious explaining to do -- in light of the demonstrable factuality of what I have just said, above.  George Orwell said "We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men."  I have merely stated the obvious above, not re-stated it. But the point is that were economics a science its paradigm is now utterly obsolete.

The word "wealth" is derived from an Old English word which means "well-being". Economics became a (pseudo-)science by redefining "wealth" as that which can be measured and quantified in the most reductive and abstract of ways.  This "solved" what may be called the "problem of commensurability" in economics -- a problem never explained or addressed by economics insiders. The "problem" is that true wealth can only be understood in terms of the well-being of both individuals and communities, with the ultimate scale of community being the biosphere and all of its living inhabitants (present or future).  By adopting economistic reductionism, the pseudo-science of economics was born. It's "solution" to the problem of commensurability was to sweep it under the rug. It would leave human health to the doctors (medical science), psychological health to the psychologists and psychiatrists, spiritual health to the clergy, ecological health to the ecologists, social health to.... And it would speak no more of well-being in the broad sense. Its problem became "How can we increase the pile of money?" And it pretended to itself that doing so would provide the "resources" whereby others (externals) could then address these other problems.

What do the kids call it these days? EPIC FAIL!

What I'm announcing here is a fact. Economics as we have known it is utterly, entirely, paradigmantically obsolete. Economists can salvage the situation only by taking the problem of commensurability back out from under the rug and out into the bright daylight of the living world.

It can begin to do so by answering to David Holmgren's above question -- and in the context he provides.

Call this the death and rebirth of economics.  It involves addressing the real situation we find ourselves in. A world calling for a pathway beyond growth and into health.







Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 02, 2014, 01:54:10 PM
Nice 1st post JRM, welcome to DD.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Eddie on January 02, 2014, 02:02:22 PM
Yes, James. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. Looking forward to more when you can.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: JRM on January 02, 2014, 02:55:51 PM
Thanks guys.

I was just a kid, really, when I first read Schumacher's Small Is Beautiful - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful) .  It was a strange thing for a 12 yr old to do -- voluntarily read a book about economics by an economist! But the book was beautiful, and did much to help me make sense of the mad world I was born into.

This book helped me to grasp that the economist's and politicians insistence on Growth as the Most Important Thing Ever was just madness and nonsense.  And in my naivete I thought the argument was so overwhelming and obvious that everyone would just Get It and we'd start to steer the world toward some sort of sanity. But it never happened. Shocking!

And it still hasn't happened. And this seems proof enough that -- collectively -- we are out of our freaking minds! Astonishingly delusional.

What's weirder still is that the same message has been said hundreds, thousands of times by writers and thinkers as good or better than Schumacher.  So it seems to be that it's not a message that can carry in the media / education environment in which we live.  However obvious it is that infinite exponential growth cannot be sustained on (in) a finite system / planet, politicians and "educators" ... and the subservient "news media" ... cannot get it. Nor say it.

But we must nevertheless speak and live the truth.

And we MUST create pathways toward meeting our real needs without burning up every hunk of coal and barrel of oil....

There are those who say it cannot be done. But I know that we have the technical know-how to do it.

The greater challenge is What are we do do about the money/currency/credit conundrum? The one where the machinery of finance and money demands growth because it will collapse upon meeting with the limits of its growth.  Because the money is debt-based and demands to make interest / profit.... Or it collapses.

Alternative and local currencies may help here. And there's an interesting argument using an ecological analogy here.: Industrial agriculture's monocropping as analogous to national fiat currencies. Both are functionally irresilient for similar reasons. Any ol' blight can come along, as the Irish discovered with their potato crops -- and wipe it out. So you don't want to depend overly much on any single crop, much less ten thousand acres planted in it. Without diversity.

So if we're going to have functionally useful currency maybe we should have many of them rather than just one?! If one or two turn to mush, well, everybody can just go on living.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: monsta666 on January 02, 2014, 04:47:34 PM
The issue I find with currency systems is, on a general basis, they operate in a condition of surplus. The reason being money is used as a facilitator for trade and since trade is only really conducted if there is a profit to be had it follows that money will largely cease to exist without profit or surplus in the overall system. So to me it seems quite difficult to imagine a monetary system that can function in a economic state where there is absolute scarcity. For the most part this environment has not occurred for mankind and it has certainly not extended over large geographical regions. The scenarios we face are certainly unprecedented and any future currency must operate under conditions that have not existed in the past. I personally think they will not be fit for purpose but if they do succeed they must find a workaround this fundamental problem that stems from resource scarcity.

At the end of the day it is important to remember that money is really only a claim on the underlying wealth of the planet and if that wealth is diminished then the value of money must decline also. It is perhaps difficult to envision but a society that is less dependent on money is the way forward. This should not be taken as an argument for a money-free society; I simply state that most economic transaction should take place in the absence of money and a greater chuck of the economy must be gift-based. In other words things like childcare, education and other activities must increasingly come from the extended family and not professionals. At the end of the day I feel a society that can function on a much lower income is going to prove more resilient than a society that can only remain functional when peoples' incomes are high. As I stated earlier since money is a rough proxy to wealth and more important energy and resources then a high income society is closely connected to high energy/resource consumptive lifestyle. Since we must avoid consumptive lifestyles we must lower incomes. It is really quite simple but simple does not mean easy and it is certainly easier said than done!
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: RE on January 02, 2014, 04:57:01 PM
I hate the term "Degrowth".  It's too Orwellian Newspeak for me.

Can't we just call it "Contraction" or "Shrinkage"?

RE
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Snowleopard on January 02, 2014, 05:31:30 PM
Greetings JRM

Small IS beautiful and economics is not a science.  I'd posit that the basic function of an economist is to distract the 99% while the .01% pick their pockets, with a secondary function being to direct the government in execution of similiar rackets.

Growth is not delusional on the part of politicians and economists.  It is a function of their employment by the .01%, who in order to continue sucking the lifeblood of the economy need to be paid interest on the debt.  Since the "money" that exists IS that debt, new debt money must be created to pay them interest.  Creating that debt money without collapsing the economy requires growth.  Thus they serve their masters until the racket fails and the people refuse its replacement, or replacement is not possible.

I agree with your other points except one and i like how you connect them.

Where we disagree:

When it comes to "global warming" i would suggest that this interglacial is long in the tooth.  The climate controling Northern Hemisphere insolation has been below the median for ~3000 years and we are about due for an ice age.  Some NH glaciers may be retreating but most of them did not exist 4000 years ago.  These climate cycles (ice age + interglacial) have been getting longer so it's hard to tell if current high CO2 is delaying this abit, but imo there is no way it can stop the cycle, (absent help from an unknown factor) no matter how many government control freaks say so.  So i'm not worried about runaway warming. 

That said, i see no point in "Drill baby drill." or any of the other means of depleting the earth to prolong the rule of the vampires a bit longer. 

Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: JRM on January 02, 2014, 05:37:28 PM
monsta666,

I tend to agree with you regards the importance of a gift economy in the future -- and in the world we are making as we walk.


Quote
“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road-- Only wakes upon the sea.

Caminante, son tus huellas el camino, y nada más; caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace camino, y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante, no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar.”

Antonio Machado

Have you read "Sacred Economics" by Charles Eisenstein? This book has much to say about the gift. And the gift economy.


...


RE:

"I hate the term "Degrowth".  It's too Orwellian Newspeak for me.

Can't we just call it "Contraction" or "Shrinkage"?


Sure. And we can call it "steady state economics," and many other things besides.

No one will like all of the names we provide for it.  "Degrowth" is an English translation for a term some French people thunk up for it. It's become popular. Even though it may be an ugly word.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: JRM on January 02, 2014, 05:50:15 PM
Hello Snowleopard -

Quote
When it comes to "global warming" i would suggest that this interglacial is long in the tooth.  The climate controling Northern Hemisphere insolation has been below the median for ~3000 years and we are about due for an ice age.  Some NH glaciers may be retreating but most of them did not exist 4000 years ago.  These climate cycles (ice age + interglacial) have been getting longer so it's hard to tell if current high CO2 is delaying this abit, but imo there is no way it can stop the cycle, (absent help from an unknown factor) no matter how many government control freaks say so.  So i'm not worried about runaway warming. 

Interestingly, I had thought the same thing about the "long in the tooth" nature of the present interglacial -- and our probable near-future glacial phase. And I would not dismiss the thought. Trouble is, the next glacial period might not initiate at the moment you and I would most hope it would: about now. It might not happen for a hundred, five hundred... years or more. In which case Hansen's call for a 1-degree C upper limit target on global warming takes on quite another significance. The risk of ecosystemic / biospheric collapse is my worry. Not so much sea level rise. Or civilization. I just want us to have a diverse living planet in the future instead of a dead zone.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Snowleopard on January 02, 2014, 07:07:59 PM
Hello Snowleopard -

Quote
When it comes to "global warming" i would suggest that this interglacial is long in the tooth.  The climate controling Northern Hemisphere insolation has been below the median for ~3000 years and we are about due for an ice age.  Some NH glaciers may be retreating but most of them did not exist 4000 years ago.  These climate cycles (ice age + interglacial) have been getting longer so it's hard to tell if current high CO2 is delaying this abit, but imo there is no way it can stop the cycle, (absent help from an unknown factor) no matter how many government control freaks say so.  So i'm not worried about runaway warming. 

Interestingly, I had thought the same thing about the "long in the tooth" nature of the present interglacial -- and our probable near-future glacial phase. And I would not dismiss the thought. Trouble is, the next glacial period might not initiate at the moment you and I would most hope it would: about now. It might not happen for a hundred, five hundred... years or more. In which case Hansen's call for a 1-degree C upper limit target on global warming takes on quite another significance. The risk of ecosystemic / biospheric collapse is my worry. Not so much sea level rise. Or civilization. I just want us to have a diverse living planet in the future instead of a dead zone.

I think you misunderstand my concern.  I'm not hoping for a new glacial phase.  Glacial phases are quite deadly;  for a sample one can check out the plagues, famines and wars associated with the "little ice age".  A new glacial phase would be much worse.

As for the precise timing of a glaciation, it is indeed not known;  but, considering the past and changes in motion, we can be almost certian it will happen.  OTOH a runaway warming has never happened yet.  So IMO, Hansen & Co. is saying we should array what forces we have against a theoretical enemy whilst turning our backs to the known one.  Not only that, but the working folks get to pay for it.

"Ecosystemic / biosphere collapse" seems to be in progress already.  Ocean poisoning, deforestation, species dieoff, topsoil depletion, pesticide use, GMO weeds, and increased radiation are just some indicators we can agree on.

BTW, on a personal note:  As i write this it is -7 deg F here, and my "winter" started over six weeks early.  My firewood use to date is at a new record.  Tomorrow's low is forecast @ -16F and, if it is off the same way and amount as today's forecast, i'll see -25F tomorrow.   These are temps not seen here in January in at least fifteen years.  What is already happening may prompt me to move south.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: steve from virginia on January 02, 2014, 07:38:59 PM

Growth is necessary so that more tycoons can become richer.

Without growth it is the deterministic, zero-sum struggle of tycoon vs. tycoon. We can't have that at all; no indeed!

In reality, growth is a fake, it is only the increase in notational unsecured debt. When economists like Roubini, Krugman, Soros, Bernanke, etc. cry for growth they are simply asking for more inflation. It makes me laugh. There hasn't been any real growth for a long time.

In the real world, where the expansionist dynamic is reversed; our capital is extinguished an inch at a time, we experience shrinkth instead of growth.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: RE on January 02, 2014, 09:08:27 PM
"Degrowth" is an English translation for a term some French people thunk up for it. It's become popular. Even though it may be an ugly word.

It's from French?  No wonder it sucks.  LOL.

RE
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Surly1 on January 02, 2014, 11:08:56 PM
"Degrowth" is an English translation for a term some French people thunk up for it. It's become popular. Even though it may be an ugly word.

It's from French?  No wonder it sucks.  LOL.

RE

Really, RE?

What next, "Freedom fries?"

Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Surly1 on January 02, 2014, 11:19:13 PM

Growth is necessary so that more tycoons can become richer.

Without growth it is the deterministic, zero-sum struggle of tycoon vs. tycoon. We can't have that at all; no indeed!

In reality, growth is a fake, it is only the increase in notational unsecured debt. When economists like Roubini, Krugman, Soros, Bernanke, etc. cry for growth they are simply asking for more inflation. It makes me laugh. There hasn't been any real growth for a long time.

In the real world, where the expansionist dynamic is reversed; our capital is extinguished an inch at a time, we experience shrinkth instead of growth.

"Shrinkth." Brilliant.

Certainly in my end of the business world, entire sales strategies are built on the assumption that "growth" will come from share of market, meaning poaching the other guy's business. No "real growth" (whatever that is) seems possible where the government reports inflation under two per cent, which would be fine except for those pesky prices (http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts (http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts))

Every shuttered storefront, every failed mom-n-pop, every diner closing illustrates the "extinguishing of capital an inch at a time."
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: RE on January 02, 2014, 11:26:32 PM
"Degrowth" is an English translation for a term some French people thunk up for it. It's become popular. Even though it may be an ugly word.

It's from French?  No wonder it sucks.  LOL.

RE

Really, RE?

What next, "Freedom fries?"

In the French Tradition, "Freedom is Surrender"  :icon_mrgreen:

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SekrVjD5lRA/TewO4S2PfWI/AAAAAAAAA1g/85mOGfSyuVE/s640/cartoon.gif)

RE
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Surly1 on January 02, 2014, 11:28:46 PM
"Degrowth" is an English translation for a term some French people thunk up for it. It's become popular. Even though it may be an ugly word.

It's from French?  No wonder it sucks.  LOL.

RE

Really, RE?

What next, "Freedom fries?"

In the French Tradition, "Freedom is Surrender"  :icon_mrgreen:

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SekrVjD5lRA/TewO4S2PfWI/AAAAAAAAA1g/85mOGfSyuVE/s640/cartoon.gif)

RE

This from a guy whose neighbors have given a nation Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: RE on January 02, 2014, 11:49:34 PM
This from a guy whose neighbors have given a nation Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods.

Yea, like VA Pols are such Bright Bulbs?  At least Sara can shoot.  :icon_sunny:

(http://deniseduvernay.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/palin.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 03, 2014, 03:38:25 AM
This from a guy whose neighbors have given a nation Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods.

Yea, like VA Pols are such Bright Bulbs?  At least Sara can shoot.  :icon_sunny:

(http://deniseduvernay.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/palin.jpg)

RE

Maybe she cant find france on a map but is still good at french.  ;D
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Surly1 on January 03, 2014, 04:20:21 AM
This from a guy whose neighbors have given a nation Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods.

Yea, like VA Pols are such Bright Bulbs?  At least Sara can shoot.  :icon_sunny:

(http://deniseduvernay.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/palin.jpg)

RE

Maybe she cant find france on a map but is still good at french.  ;D

We're talking about a woman who, during her brief 15 minutes of fame, could NOT name ONE newspaper that she read regularly. NOT ONE.

Apparently the ability to pose with a firearm is sufficient for Alaskans to elevate her to their highest office, a post she sought until Rupert Murdoch made a better offer.

Politicians are a craven bunch on the whole; but this creature is the poster child for shamelessness and rank opportunism, IMO.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: JRM on January 03, 2014, 10:49:24 AM

I think you misunderstand my concern.  I'm not hoping for a new glacial phase.  Glacial phases are quite deadly;  for a sample one can check out the plagues, famines and wars associated with the "little ice age".  A new glacial phase would be much worse.

Hmm. I thought you were hoping that the beginning of the natural (glacial) cooling phase -- which in climate history has been a very slow process -- would coincide with the rapid warming now occurring as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing.  The idea being that the natural cooling would collide with the GHG caused warming, to the general benefit of all.

As for all of the other ecosystemic crises you mentioned, yes. We're in trouble even without adding climate catastrophe to the pile of troubles. Still, a couple of degrees C warming (since industrialism began) is probably enough to set in multiple self-reinforcing feedback loops leading to near total extinction of the biosphere (as we know it).

In any case, Snowleopard, I'm no longer clear why you mentioned the "long in the tooth" interglacial notion.  But the climate science seems to suggest that anthropogenic forcing might effectively cook the planet before the current interglacial gives way. I'm not sure how you shrug that one off.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: DoomerSupport on January 03, 2014, 03:05:31 PM
This from a guy whose neighbors have given a nation Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods.

Yea, like VA Pols are such Bright Bulbs?  At least Sara can shoot.  :icon_sunny:

(http://deniseduvernay.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/palin.jpg)

RE

She can;t shoot as good as Cheney, though...

Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: RE on January 03, 2014, 04:27:31 PM
We're talking about a woman who, during her brief 15 minutes of fame, could NOT name ONE newspaper that she read regularly. NOT ONE.

What's so weird about that?  I can't name any newspapers I read regularly either. :icon_scratch:

RE
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: DoomerSupport on January 03, 2014, 05:49:47 PM
We're talking about a woman who, during her brief 15 minutes of fame, could NOT name ONE newspaper that she read regularly. NOT ONE.

What's so weird about that?  I can't name any newspapers I read regularly either. :icon_scratch:

RE

The fact that people expected her to be able to read AFTER she opened her mouth?

Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Surly1 on January 03, 2014, 06:15:30 PM
We're talking about a woman who, during her brief 15 minutes of fame, could NOT name ONE newspaper that she read regularly. NOT ONE.

What's so weird about that?  I can't name any newspapers I read regularly either. :icon_scratch:

RE

And what office are you running for?
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Surly1 on January 03, 2014, 06:18:57 PM
This from a guy whose neighbors have given a nation Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods.

Yea, like VA Pols are such Bright Bulbs?  At least Sara can shoot.  :icon_sunny:

(http://deniseduvernay.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/palin.jpg)

RE

She can;t shoot as good as Cheney, though...

How good a shot do you have to be to shoot a friend in the face with a shotgun?
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: DoomerSupport on January 03, 2014, 07:02:57 PM
This from a guy whose neighbors have given a nation Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods.

Yea, like VA Pols are such Bright Bulbs?  At least Sara can shoot.  :icon_sunny:

(http://deniseduvernay.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/palin.jpg)

RE

She can't shoot as good as Cheney, though...

How good a shot do you have to be to shoot a friend in the face with a shotgun?

I rest my case.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Eddie on January 04, 2014, 09:41:54 AM
(Eddie Smiles)

Haniel, real Southern rural people have a culture not that different than the one you described to me yesterday. It's just that they are scared of outsiders, as much as you are of them. LOL.

The Cheneys and Palins of the worlds do not represent ordinary people. They are sociopaths and opportunists.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Snowleopard on January 04, 2014, 06:38:43 PM

I think you misunderstand my concern.  I'm not hoping for a new glacial phase.  Glacial phases are quite deadly;  for a sample one can check out the plagues, famines and wars associated with the "little ice age".  A new glacial phase would be much worse.

Hmm. I thought you were hoping that the beginning of the natural (glacial) cooling phase -- which in climate history has been a very slow process -- would coincide with the rapid warming now occurring as a result of anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing.  The idea being that the natural cooling would collide with the GHG caused warming, to the general benefit of all.

I think the slow onset of the glacial phase is well underway.  It might have indeed moderated the recent warming some.  And, if i'm correct, it will aggravate the coming cooling trend.  The part that is unknown is: When does it start having a more noticible (deadly) impact?   Sometimes that impact can happen rapidly, as various frozen mammoths suggest.

As for all of the other ecosystemic crises you mentioned, yes. We're in trouble even without adding climate catastrophe to the pile of troubles. Still, a couple of degrees C warming (since industrialism began) is probably enough to set in multiple self-reinforcing feedback loops leading to near total extinction of the biosphere (as we know it).

I do not think anthropogenic GHGs caused enough of the recent warming to make a significant difference.  Certianly they have an effect, but i don't buy the theoretical positive feedbacks in climate models that can't be demonstrated to occur IRL.  All of those models predicted more warming in the last decade than occurred. 

More significant contributors to the recent warming were:  Natural cyclical rebound from the "little ice age", which ended just as industrialism got going strong,  the PDO / AMO warm phases, and a grand solar max.  Likewise the recent heating stopped when the sun "crashed" toward minimum (not there yet) and the PDO moved to cool phase.  The AMO has a longer cycle and has yet to switch.  The next warm phase will not have these cycles together as long or a solar max to support it.

In any case, Snowleopard, I'm no longer clear why you mentioned the "long in the tooth" interglacial notion.  But the climate science seems to suggest that anthropogenic forcing might effectively cook the planet before the current interglacial gives way. I'm not sure how you shrug that one off.

Most climate science positions today owe their existence to the so called "climate emergency".  Thirty years ago there were barely more than a hundred such positions worldwide, today there are thousands.  I would hardly expect them to suggest otherwise, as those who do so tend to have serious career challenges (unless they either have tenure or are retired).  When their suggested outcomes diverged greatly from reality, i started to study the matter myself.  I got aways to go yet.  But if CO2 continues to increase while temperature stalls or decreases, even j6pk will figure out it is not in the driver seat.



Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 04, 2014, 11:38:29 PM
SL
You seem very well informed on how many climate scientists there were before and are now and what their temp predictions have been . Im wondering why CSIRO, NASA etc would want to fudge data when the govts that fund them are so reluctant to take any action?

Im also wondering why every time I hear anything on the radio they talk about a range of temp increase for air and ocean and they always say that the warming is in the range expected. Are they lying? Last year was the hottest on record here, and new years day this year was expected 50C /122F, Even hotter, I didnt watch the news in the evening to see if it got there or not.

We are adding the heat released by the hiroshima and nagasaki bombs every second that passes acording to some counts.

Maybe its not that hot in your nabe because the earth is like a burst zit off of the sun that cooled down enough for the outside layer to solidify and theres no new molten magma being added to the earths core so its got nothing to do except keep cooling down. Maybe its the extreme weather the climate science conspiracy is lying about. If theyre collectively wrong I want to know how and why.

Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: RE on January 05, 2014, 12:50:49 AM
I think because we are getting a rapidly shifting climate, Volatility has increased and so in some areas there are Lower Lows, while in others there are Higher Highs.

This is why it is difficult to get an "Average" or aggregate assessment over whether you have "Global Warming" or "Global Cooling" on the Atmospheric Level.

On the OCEAN level though, the evidence is Incontrovertible that we have Global Warming occurring:

(http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/breakthroughs/warming_ocean/ocean_heat_graph650.jpg)

Far as the entire SYSTEM is concerned, the Heat Content of the Oceans overwhelms the Heat Content of the Atmosphere, because the Specific Heat of Water is so much higher than that of the Gases which compose the Atmosphere.  The Ocean is the Heat Sink here, not the Atmosphere.

It remains entirely unclear how this plays itself out once the CO2 content in the atmosphere reaches the level of the PETM.  This is still a good ways down the line here even with rapid burning of hydrocarbons.  If melting clathrates significantly impact that will speed things up of course.

In any event, I don't see the system being unsurvivable for quite some time, although vast ocean die off will reduce food supply by a lot, and land based plants will have a tough time also.

However, Domes, Hydroponics, Aquaculture and other techniques can allow life to continue onward for Homo Sapiens for a good while to come, whether we end up with Cooking or Cooling at the atmospheric level.

Riding out the Storm will not be EZ.

WHEN THE CLIMATE GETS TOUGH, THE HELIOPATHS GET GOING.  :icon_sunny:

In the words of Freddie Mercury

I See this as a Challenge before the whole Human Race
And I ain't gonna LOSE!

http://www.youtube.com/v/04854XqcfCY?feature=player_detailpage

RE
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 05, 2014, 06:30:25 AM
Thats the believers perspective/explanation, Im interested in the denialists perspective.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: DoomerSupport on January 05, 2014, 11:34:03 AM
Thats the believers perspective/explanation, Im interested in the denialists perspective.

Remember, less than 5% of studies dispute AGW, and almost all of those are funded by those corporations who would lose out if people changed their way of living.

When sustainability becomes the most profitable option, then it will become the mass market dejure.  Not until then, though. 


Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: JRM on January 06, 2014, 01:07:41 PM
[....] Certianly they have an effect, but i don't buy the theoretical positive feedbacks in climate models that can't be demonstrated to occur IRL. 

So, for example, you don't believe in the ice-albedo feedback?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-albedo_feedback (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-albedo_feedback)

Doesn't it just make common sense to you that dark blue water will absorb more heat from the sun than reflective, white ice sheets?

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/689573main1_MinSeaIce_20120916-670.jpg (http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/689573main1_MinSeaIce_20120916-670.jpg)
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Snowleopard on January 06, 2014, 05:03:12 PM
SL
You seem very well informed on how many climate scientists there were before and are now and what their temp predictions have been . Im wondering why CSIRO, NASA etc would want to fudge data when the govts that fund them are so reluctant to take any action?

Im also wondering why every time I hear anything on the radio they talk about a range of temp increase for air and ocean and they always say that the warming is in the range expected. Are they lying? Last year was the hottest on record here, and new years day this year was expected 50C /122F, Even hotter, I didnt watch the news in the evening to see if it got there or not.

We are adding the heat released by the hiroshima and nagasaki bombs every second that passes acording to some counts.

Maybe its not that hot in your nabe because the earth is like a burst zit off of the sun that cooled down enough for the outside layer to solidify and theres no new molten magma being added to the earths core so its got nothing to do except keep cooling down. Maybe its the extreme weather the climate science conspiracy is lying about. If theyre collectively wrong I want to know how and why.

I have some acquaintances in climate science, they might have become closer friends, but they have moved south.

Unfortunately i've no inside contacts at Never A Straight Answer (NASA) and know even less about your CSIRO.  Surprisingly enough, NASA's atmospheric temperature satellite data is not seriously questioned.

I've seen some claims that the climate emergency is a conspiracy.  NWO control, carbon tax trading ripoffs or otherwise.  Ignoring claimants promoting BAU, some are still interesting.  The burden of proof is on the proponents though, and however plausible their claims, that proof has been inadequate so far.  I need hard evidence to go there.  Submissions of such evidence are welcome!

Several books have been written documenting various frauds in climate data.  I've put off ordering them.  In working toward a scientific understanding first, i've so far tried to sidestep the alarmist vs denier mudslinging contest.   I got some perspective by studying climate and paleo climate history from before the current enthusiasm.

If there is a conspiracy, as some claim; or if climate scientists are lying and/or fudging data to justify funding as others claim with more evidence, then we have a problem.  Since no one i know can afford to independently replicate or verify current data, how do we proceed to understand what is actually happening with climate?  The state of the climate is more interesting to me than the state of an alleged conspiracy.

Sure, it's real easy for me to know it's getting colder here, where i live; and MSM in USA is now doing "Frozen Nation" news specials with cold records being set daily.  But how do i determine what's currently happening with worldwide land, ocean, and atmospheric temps if i can't trust the outfits collecting the data?   
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Snowleopard on January 06, 2014, 07:11:54 PM
Thats the believers perspective/explanation, Im interested in the denialists perspective.

Remember, less than 5% of studies dispute AGW, and almost all of those are funded by those corporations who would lose out if people changed their way of living.

When sustainability becomes the most profitable option, then it will become the mass market dejure.  Not until then, though.

So, if i can get more studies approved than you, or more papers published, does that make me right?  When did we decide that truth resided in the camp controlling research funds and the peer review process?  Who else is going to fund a study that disputes AGW?   Certianly not the current "scientific" establishment.  Will the IPCC fund a study emphasizing natural cycles over AGW in recent climate change?  Not likely with Greenpeace types deciding what is accepted.

A few do overcome these hurdles, and their studies/papers are simply ignored. 

There is lots of oil money (mostly BP & Shell but also others) funding climate science, including entire university climate colleges, and also funding enviornmental orgs.  Can't have the opposition running the opposition now, can we?

The shepard and the border collie work together to herd the sheep for the owner.  Likewise the .gov/.edu scientists and the oil co's appear to work together for their owners while pretending dispute.  What isn't clear is just where the slaughterhouse is.

Perhaps, as cold gets more extreme, a few more will question the groupthink.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: DoomerSupport on January 06, 2014, 07:31:40 PM
I believe the data supports the idea that the climate in general in warming.  I'm not convinced is is entirely humanity's fault.  I'm willing to consider an explanation of the underlying cause that ranges from, 'humanity is having a negligible impact' though to 'we would have been in an ice age by now, instead we're going the other way'.

I don't care who is to blame.  I care about:

1. What will the effects be?

2. What mitigating actions can we take?


Far more interesting questions, and it avoids the political aspect. My point was that AGW as a fact is only disputed by a corporately-funded few.  Denialism is pointless, as is finger-pointing. We need to concentrate on what to expect and what to do.
 

Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Snowleopard on January 06, 2014, 07:36:17 PM
[....] Certianly they have an effect, but i don't buy the theoretical positive feedbacks in climate models that can't be demonstrated to occur IRL. 

So, for example, you don't believe in the ice-albedo feedback?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-albedo_feedback (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice-albedo_feedback)

Doesn't it just make common sense to you that dark blue water will absorb more heat from the sun than reflective, white ice sheets?

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/689573main1_MinSeaIce_20120916-670.jpg (http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/689573main1_MinSeaIce_20120916-670.jpg)

There is no need for belief in those feedbacks.  They are easily demonstrated and they never led to a runaway greenhouse effect, even when CO2 was at multiples of present.

Exactly how, in your view, does a hypothetical runaway greenhouse effect overcome the almost exponential increase in W/m2 of heat lost to space as the atmosphere warms?
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Snowleopard on January 06, 2014, 08:57:53 PM
I believe the data supports the idea that the climate in general in warming.  I'm not convinced is is entirely humanity's fault.  I'm willing to consider an explanation of the underlying cause that ranges from, 'humanity is having a negligible impact' though to 'we would have been in an ice age by now, instead we're going the other way'.

I don't care who is to blame.  I care about:

1. What will the effects be?

2. What mitigating actions can we take?


Far more interesting questions, and it avoids the political aspect. My point was that AGW as a fact is only disputed by a corporately-funded few.  Denialism is pointless, as is finger-pointing. We need to concentrate on what to expect and what to do.


If the climate is warming or not depends on your time frame and perspective. 

For example, it is certianly warmer now in USA than in colonial times.  It is also warmer now than in the 1970s, but one could dispute if it is warmer now than in the 1930s dust bowl years.  (Get your 1930s temps from era published paper documents to be safe.)

OTOH if one looks at the Minoan warming, the Roman Warming and the Medieval Warm Period, it seems each warmed less than the previous and all were warmer than now.  ie. a series of declining tops.

The intervening cold periods also appear longer and colder moving forward, though that data is harder to acquire.  One of the best indicators being where wine could be produced from grapes.

If one looks at northern hemisphere glaciers, almost all (excepting Greenland) did not exist 4000 years ago.  We have, on average, been cooling since then.


Quote
We need to concentrate on what to expect and what to do.

I agree with that.

Long term it is going to get colder, absent unknown factors. 

Short term (a human lifetime) both directions are possible.  So unfortunately, we need to prepare for both.

Personally, i expect the ~thirty year cycles to resume, with cooling up next. 

But i think there is a significant chance we are about to see the unexpected early return of a longer cold cycle imposed over the above.  I'm almost alone in that and certianly could be wrong, but major shifts to cold are almost always preceeded by increased volitility and that's here.

You are correct that it doesn't matter who's to blame.  Perhaps i react because i believed the warmist propaganda, even if i didn't buy the cause; and expecting warming, built a house in New Hampshire, and now may likely need to move south.

I'm asking myself do i really want to cut, split and stack this much firewood (or more) each year?  Similar question about snow removal effort.  Heating livestock water.  Shorter growing seasons, etc.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Petty Tyrant on January 06, 2014, 09:19:54 PM
SL

So summit after summit decade after decade non target after non target is all a charade geared at introducing a carbon tax, though you dont have one, and the industry that has to pay the carbon tax is working hand in glove with the govt to get taxed some day.

They are pretending for decades that they dont want to take action kyoto, copenhagen etc etc, Nothing. Yet they are telling all the scientists to lie and fudge data to produce results saying they need to act.

As if they dont have a thousand other ways to maximally tax you. And big biz who controls govt is putting on a charade for decaes because they want to be taxed, they want coal and gas and oil to give way to renewables. Thats the conspiracy.

Smoking does not kill anyone, 95% of research saying it does cannot be trusted and 5% of research by tobacco saying its not settled are a co-conspiracy of fake results, because the govt is not doing anything except tax tobacco.

Since we cannot trust any scientific data why not disregard those seizmic charts, since I have never in my life felt a tremor. Scientists explanations of why my nabe is different to san francisco or japan re earthquake are fake too, if scientists explanations of why your nabe is different to the Savannah Leopards desertification re warming dont mean jack.

Exactly how do you experimentally model an earths atmosphere to test the greenhouse effect as you say? How do you get a globe with gravity and heat and cold and water not falling off it but sticking to it in a weightlessness chamber devoid of oxygen like space, with a heat source like the sun? Ice at the caps and all that to do your experiment on heat loss from earth to space to your satisfaction.

Sounds to me like trying to getting a dummy and put cigarrettes in its mouth and if it doesnt get any deader say smoking doesnt kill people and no experiment has proven it.

Anyway the more room for hope the better, extreme weather makes sweet spots for survival a matter of luck it looks like. I imagine winter vegetables will be very expensive there this year.






Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: g on January 06, 2014, 09:20:01 PM
Quote
I'm asking myself do i really want to cut, split and stack this much firewood (or more) each year?  Similar question about snow removal effort.  Heating livestock water.  Shorter growing seasons, etc.

Hi Snow, Just wanted to comment on how fascinating your recent weather posts have been; boy, the stuff going on with planet earth, and the silent force and unimaginable power of it all is just amazing.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: DoomerSupport on January 07, 2014, 07:09:08 AM

I'm asking myself do i really want to cut, split and stack this much firewood (or more) each year?  Similar question about snow removal effort.  Heating livestock water.  Shorter growing seasons, etc.

Top of our thoughts when considering Maine as a destination.  Climate instability is a bitch to plan for.



Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: Eddie on January 07, 2014, 07:16:13 AM
The points made here in this thread show how much better the term "climate change" is than "global warming".

Humans don't experience climate, we experience weather. And it is what it is, where you happen to be. SL's interesting truth is that it's getting colder where he lives, as it is in some other places.

The kind of thing in the video offered by haniel shows how things like that can happen in a net warming situation. It's complicated.

And if naturally occurring ice age hits man-made or volcanic heat wave, who knows how that might work out?

It's the instability that I think we can all see.
Title: Re: Degrowth? (post growth, end of growth... economics)
Post by: g on January 07, 2014, 07:29:44 AM

I'm asking myself do i really want to cut, split and stack this much firewood (or more) each year?  Similar question about snow removal effort.  Heating livestock water.  Shorter growing seasons, etc.

Top of our thoughts when considering Maine as a destination.  Climate instability is a bitch to plan for.

Hi Haniel, I am intimately familiar with Southern Maine.  Let me assure you factually without any doubt that Maine is NOT a place to go if you wish to avoid cold.