Doomstead Diner Menu => Energy => Topic started by: alan2102 on July 20, 2012, 02:59:30 PM

Title: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 20, 2012, 02:59:30 PM
Alan,
I remember having this same conversation with you on the old TAE site, and my position remains the same...

Ash, you asked: "Do you think it is likely the predatory capitalist system will disappear over the
next decade, and make room for sensible investments?"

I replied with that sensible investments -- massive ones -- are indeed being made,
(and it is indisputable that they are being made), without the disappearance of the
predatory capitalist system.

I welcome any reply you may have to our exchange, to that point.

Quote
In fact, since that time, it has become even more clear that Eastern countries such as
China and India will not only suffer from financial, energy and environmental collapse,
but it will probably hit their populations just as hard as it hits Western populations, if
not harder.

I don't see much evidence for the "energy" part of that; to the contrary, there's
plenty of energy resources. Environment: serious problems, yes, but also remediable
ones, and there's some effort (and will be much more, soon) to remedy them.  I cited
one such effort in my earlier reply: the biggest environmental remediation project of
all time.  Quite impressive.  Financial: BIG problems, here, to be sure. But finances are
just finances; they do not economy make.  They will hit financial skids along with the West,
to be sure, but they will rebound from them. The financial collapse will not, for them, result
in economic near-ruin the way it will for us, and to the extent that their economies are hit,
they will rebound much quicker.  Just wait 10-15 years; you'll see what I mean.

Quote
And I dare say that the DD Admins, and especially RE, are even more extreme in
their Doom on these issues than we are at TAE.

True enough. And they're wrong.   :)

Quote
Agelbert may be right about EROEI methodology and current developments in renewable
energy, but I doubt even he believes that it will ultimately scale up and be a feasible
alternative for global society. We don't have anywhere close to 50 years for this stuff to
get going in earnest, let alone an entire century.

We certainly DO have a century. We're not going anywhere. The earth isn't going
anywhere.  It will take as long as it takes, and there is no alternative.  There will be
big troubles, to be sure. The transition will be rocky, difficult.  Yes, there will be a dieoff.
Hell, there already IS a dieoff going on, and I'm sure it will get worse.  But none of that
4-horsemen/armageddon crap, with 6 billion deaths inside of a decade. Nope. Not nearly
that bad. 

The transition will be made.  It MUST be made, and it will, warts and all.  You'll live
long enough to see quite a bit of it.  It won't be pretty, but it will happen.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 20, 2012, 03:23:12 PM
Scalability is NOT a desired outcome but Ashvin feels it is. I've gone to great lengths to explain why it's a bad deal. Tao Jonesing, in his posting on economics also pointed out that scalable manufacturing and "economies of scale" are not necessarily a valid model for improving the overall welfare of the populace. Alan agrees also that decentralization will be important in renewables.

I'm of mixed mind on this. I think there is plenty of room for a variety of initiatives
at multiple levels. Some things should be done in decentralized fashion; other
things require rather large-scale, capital-intensive effort.  Computer chips, for
example, cannot be made in our garages (though if they COULD be, I would
welcome that).

The Catholics have a very useful concept that they refer to as "subsidiarity".
By that they mean the devolution of power and function to the lowest level
possible -- the lowest level consistent with wise overall judgement of a situation.
Instead of unilateral "decentralization", the principle of subsidiarity calls for
distribution or passing-down to whatever level is most appropriate, all things
considered.  It might be quite far-down, or it might not be, depending.  I like that.

......................................

Speaking of making things in our garages, and decentralism: Kevin Carson
has written a  GREAT book on this subject, really a scholarly (while also readable)
manifesto,  titled the Homebrew Industrial Revolution. The book is available for FREE:
http://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com (http://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com)

I highly recommend it.

To give you a flavor, here's a portion of the table of contents:

Part Two–Zion: The Renaissance of Decentralized Production

Chapter Four.  Back to the Future (pdf)
A.  Home Manufacture
B.  Relocalized Manufacturing
C.  New Possibilities for Flexible Manufacturing
Sidebar on Marxist Objections to Non-Capitalist Markets:  The Relevance of
the Decentralized Industrial Model

Chapter Five.  The Small Workshop, Desktop Manufacturing, and Household Microenterprise (pdf)
A.  Neighborhood and Backyard Industry
B.  The Desktop Revolution and Peer Production in the Immaterial Sphere
C.  The Expansion of the Desktop Revolution and Peer Production into the Physical Realm
C1.  Open-Source Design:  Removal of Proprietary Rents from the Design Stage, and Modular Design.
C2.  Reduced Transaction Costs of Aggregating Capital.
C3.  Reduced Capital Outlays for Physical Production.
D.  The Microenterprise
Appendix.  Case Studies in the Coordination of Networked Fabrication and Open Design
#1.  Open Source Ecology/Factor e Farm.
#2.  100k Garages
#3.  Assessment

Chapter Six.  Resilient Communities and Local Economies (pdf)
A.  Local Economes of Bases of Independence and Buffers Against Economic Turbulence
B.  Historical Models of the Resilient Community
C.  Resilience, Primary Social Units, and Libertarian Values
D.  LETS Systems, Barter Networks, and Community Currencies
E.  Community Bootstrapping
F.  Contemporary Ideas and Projects
*Jeff Vail’s Hamlet Economy
*Global Ecovillage Networking
*The Transition Town Movement
*Global Villages
*Venture Communism
*Decentralized Economic and Social Organization (DESO)
*The Triple Alliance

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 20, 2012, 03:30:21 PM
I believe TPTB will oppose any measures that try to transform global society into a more decentralized, anarchic-socialist model, and ultimately I can't deny the fact that they have the means to make sure it doesn't happen right now. First, I believe it is likely we go in the opposite direction for some years to come, i.e. crises forcing unorganized decentralization coupled with simultaneous attempts to use those crises for further centralization of wealth/power, and then honestly I don't know WTF will happen. We may have to endure a dystopian NWO paradigm for some more years, but ultimately I don't think TPTB will be able to retain global control, once again for both practical and spiritual reasons.

You're almost right. But in some respects their grip is loosening, visibly, by the year. One could
even interpret some of their more outrageous recent moves as acts of desperation by
those who can SEE that things are spinning out of their control, and that they're likely not
going to be able to keep a cork on it all. See the work by Carson, cited immediately above,
for a detailed depiction (and a most encouraging one!) of one very important aspect of this
whole picture.

................................................

"Thing are getting better and better, and worse and worse, faster and faster".  -- Tom Atlee
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 20, 2012, 04:20:58 PM
Hey Alan, why don't you Bite the Bullett already and Register as a Diner?  You've already posted more comments than most Diners as a Guest.

Besides the Bennie that once you Register you won't have to wait for a Mod Squadder to Approve them, you ALSO get to read other Boards not visible to Guests.

If you are REALLY cool, eventually you get Promoted to the Mod Squad and get access to the BACK ROOM of the Diner, where only the Cool Rock Star Diners and their Groupies get to hang out.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 20, 2012, 05:23:01 PM
Quote
Proverbs 17:1
It is better to eat a dry crust of bread in peace than to have a feast where there is quarreling.
I was recently asked here what my vision for the process by which renewables can replace poisonous energy sources practically in the light of the massive resistance from TPTB. Well, my purpose in the two recent articles and many of my comments is to define the problem and outline proposed solutions to it. It is a complex problem and the proposed solutions necessarily require a lot of boring detail, especially in the light of my firm belief that the energy grid will be mainly decentralized in order to harmonize with the biosphere and provide stable jobs for many. Furthermore, it doesn't matter whether I or anybody else thinks switching to renewables is a great idea and we just need to convince the reptiles pushing fossil and nuclear poisons onto the planet to do it or else we off them. As I have pointed out, the switch is inevitable; the more the delay, the more the pain for all life forms, including the 1% that believe they can wait out the environmental collapse in their bunkers. I certainly am trying to convince those in the catbird seat that they need to wake up and realize that cooperation must replace competition in their world view but I have no plans to recruit a mutant ninja turtles hit team to put horse heads on their pillows if they remain in denial. :icon_mrgreen:  These people are truly blinded by their greed. Their reasoning faculties have atrophied. Granted, a group of them are incorrigible due to the fact that they are psychopaths but that is a subset of TPTB that is running the show and if enough of the others can take their greed blinders off they will proceed to isolate the psychopaths in a display of truly enlightened self interest (not the cockamamie Wall Street predatory capitalist distortion of Adam Smith's' writings**) which encompasses a concern for the community to a greater degree than petty greed does. I have no control of when or how this may or may not take place. I'm just laying it out there because I haven't seen anybody try to put this thing together in a big picture format covering the last 150 years or so. I am a human being concerned with God's garden and the creatures that live in it. My analytical skills have not impaired my awareness that, being a retired air traffic controller living in a less than 1,000 sq. ft. home on rented land with no "Bill McKibben" type environmental credentials or list of degrees, I am not going to get a lot of respect in our "you are how much $$$ you have" society. That's the fake "real world" that status quo ante people cling to. I am, as many here at the Doomstead Diner and numerous blogs out there are, a voice crying in the wilderness.


But suppose I received a visit from Representatives of all the top zip codes in the USA (for starters - the other heavily industrialized country elite would need to be on board) and they said to me they just figured out that the NBC (nuclear biological chemical) filters on their 40 year food supply bunkers are only good for 20 years and their scientists have estimated no environmental rebound from collapse for at least 30 years. IOW, the bunkers will turn into coffins. Due to this newfound knowledge, the elite have suddenly decided it is in their best interests to embrace (teeth fully gritted  ;D ) egalitarian socialism and put game theory in the circular file. So now, inflated with pride from all this reptilian elite attention and entranced in illusions of grandeur  :icon_mrgreen:, I proceed to outline the steps for the big switch in my Boris Karloff voice:

My vision:

1) Immediately implement the Energy infrastructure detailed in Table 1* of the "Renewables, why they work and fossil and nuclear fuels never did" article.

2) Convert all nuclear power plants into geothermal power plants. Use the steam turbines from fossil fuel power plants in new geothermal installations through a crash program similar to the U.S. WWII industry switch from making cars to tanks, ships and planes.

3) Divert all fossil and nuclear industry subsidy money to micro-renewable energy systems at the town, factory, and residential home level making absolutely any ordinance requiring permits or imposing restrictions on the freedom to install renewable energy systems to be null and void as well as lawn requirement ordinance elimination. When both "1)" and "3)" are globally implemented, a proper mix of renewable energy extraction sources will be in place.

4) Eliminate all ordinances limiting cottage industries in residential homes.

5) Create progressive property taxes so what people pay is directly proportional to their carbon footprint.

6) Funnel 90% of all military and gestapo wannabe security as well as intelligence (a truly Orwellian term) agency budgets worldwide to renewable technology R&D.

7) Teach steady state economics in all universities and stop the "growth is good" lies.

8)  Clean up the mess starting with everything that is radioactive (nuclear scientist hangings unnecessary - we need them to man the duckweed ponds in prison yards  :icon_mrgreen:). Find a high, dry location where the aquifer is a mile or more below the surface, dig a 2,000 to 3,000 ft cylindrical hole with a football field size diameter, line it with laminated (to avoid cracking from expansion and contraction) reinforced concrete about 30 feet thick (when all the layers are in place) and store ALL the nuclear poison, reactors and all the nuke bombs there and seal it with tons and tons of concrete.
 
When they begin to stutter and sputter at all this, I'll add that all the above are positive motivations. I haven't gotten into the punitive measures yet. :evil4: :exp-evil:  8):icon_mrgreen:
When they insist on some compromise or a more  "practical", "real world" incrementalist implementation of the whole renewable energy enchilada, I will calmly explain that the future of this planet is, at present, fixed. There are no alternate doors they can walk though where the massive environmental collapse followed by multispecies extinction "TIGER"  isn't waiting to eat them alive. I will further add that THEY are the ones who built this car we are all in hurtling towards the environmental collapse cliff. THEY built the car so that people, like myself, who aren't part of the movers and shakers, have no access to the steering wheel or the brakes. THEY are the only ones that can put the brakes on while they turn the car away from the cliff and towards a renewable, sustainable future. The ball is in THEIR court. The rest of us are screaming our heads off trying to get THEIR attention; so far to no avail. The planet earth is talking to THEM in many ways. The EARTH, in Dirty Harry fashion, is telling them, "GO AHEAD MAKE MY DAY!".
The planet will survive human greed but humans won't. This is the core message. Humans, get over your egocentric ways or die. That's the way the cookie crumbles in the REAL WORLD.

So what can people of conscience but without decision making authority do? Well, along with practicing all the skills learned in blogs like the Doomstead Diner to reduce our carbon footprint and live sustainably, we must educate, communicate and warn. We must expose Hill & Knowlton type propaganda lies and distortions that claim wind generators "cause increased ground temperatures" or "contribute to global warming" and other spurious half truths like geothermal installations "increase radon caused cancer risk" (radon is easily vented). Every time the Wall Street Journal or Fox News comes out with some slick "scientific study", find out who the spokesperson is and who they really work for and WRITE ABOUT IT in your blog. For those who say, "Hey, there are a lot of environmental blogs out there and our beat is economics and monetary systems and we swim in this peer group", I say, stop with the Pontius Pilate imitation. Go review Maslow's hierarchy and you will find that peer group acceptance is quite a bit lower in priority than eating and breathing. Finally, don't for one second believe that the elite don't read this stuff. If anyone has high tech data mining access to anything that challenges their paradigm, it's the 1%. We peons need to keep planting well fertilized (with reasoning and logic) seeds in the rocky soil of elite greed with the view of getting those among them who are not totally blinded by greed to understand that that homo sapiens is a sap to willfully commit suicide through environmental degradation as well as wake the brainwashed among the 99%. Anyone who understands the gravity of this situation should stop the procrastination and get to WORK! To give up in the face of overwhelming odds is cowardice as well as hypocrisy from those who claim to let Truth be their guide, wherever the chips may fall. Those that don't WALK the TALK are empty suits. For the rest of us, we must recognize the high probability of failure due to entrenched elite stupidity and evil. SO WHAT!!? We have to give it the old college try because it's the right thing to do! And if it doesn't work out, I bring you the words of RE, "SEE YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE!".
Quote
Romans 2:3
Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?

1 John 2:9
Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness.

James 2:14-17   
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Quote


*This is a table of the proposed Energy infrastructure:
Quote
Table 1
Energy production mix proposed
TypePower fraction (%)  Capacity factor    Rated power (MW)       Units
  Wind turbines         47.5–51        0.31        4.66–5        3,837,000 
  Stirling plants/air cooled CSP         28        0.25        300        50,460
  Parabolic stations, 12 h storage         12         0.4–0.75        300        9800 
  Hydroelectricity        9        0.88        1300         900
  Attenuators        0–3.5         0.4         0.75         0–1,123,000 


*
Quote
"Adam Smith didn’t say that pursuit of maximum profits and growth by large, corporate organizations would result in the greatest benefit to society as a whole. The economy of Smith’s day was quite different from today. In the late 1700s, most economic enterprises were small, family operations. For such operations, land, labor, capital, and management often resided in essentially the same entity, and farming was still the dominant occupation.
http://web.missouri.edu/ikerdj/papers/Rethinking.html (http://web.missouri.edu/ikerdj/papers/Rethinking.html)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 20, 2012, 05:35:26 PM
I replied with that sensible investments -- massive ones -- are indeed being made,
(and it is indisputable that they are being made), without the disappearance of the
predatory capitalist system.

I welcome any reply you may have to our exchange, to that point.

Do these sensible investors rely on functioning credit markets and stable currencies to make their investments and realize returns on their investments? What happens to these investors and their invested capital if suppressing domestic insurrections and/or launching an international war effort becomes much more important to the Chinese government? How many of these investments are simply on paper and have not been followed through yet to any significant degree? What level of foreign capital and imported inputs do these renewable energy investments rely on?

I find that when anyone makes arguments such as yours, they are relying on a million and one assumptions about the global economic, financial and [geo]political situation that are not true or are not likely to remain true over the next few decades. The predatory capitalist framework will never lead to sensible investments on a large scale, because it is... predatory and capitalist. And if you think the GLOBAL nature of these economic and sociopolitical crises are being exaggerated, then perhaps you can take a look at the following articles and point out how the research is wrong. They all specifically address China:

http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/christchurch-china-and-peak-oil.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/christchurch-china-and-peak-oil.html)

http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/the-global-liquidity-peak.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/the-global-liquidity-peak.html)

http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/china-is-missing-its-own-targets.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/china-is-missing-its-own-targets.html)

http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/hubris-before-the-storm.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/hubris-before-the-storm.html)

http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/meet-chinas-new-leader-pon-zi.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/meet-chinas-new-leader-pon-zi.html)

http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/goodness-gracious-great-walls-on-fire.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/goodness-gracious-great-walls-on-fire.html)

http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/china-or-how-to-live-in-interesting-times.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/china-or-how-to-live-in-interesting-times.html)


Quote
We certainly DO have a century. We're not going anywhere. The earth isn't going
anywhere.  It will take as long as it takes, and there is no alternative.  There will be
big troubles, to be sure. The transition will be rocky, difficult.  Yes, there will be a dieoff.
Hell, there already IS a dieoff going on, and I'm sure it will get worse.  But none of that
4-horsemen/armageddon crap, with 6 billion deaths inside of a decade. Nope. Not nearly
that bad. 

The transition will be made.  It MUST be made, and it will, warts and all.  You'll live
long enough to see quite a bit of it.  It won't be pretty, but it will happen.

No one I know claims we will have 6 billion deaths inside of a decade, or anything close to that...

But arguing this extreme won't happen doesn't mean YOUR extreme will happen. And what you are arguing, in light of present conditions and trends, is almost as extreme as extinction within 50 years. You said that China will wean itself off of coal after a century. Do you really think that a country with the population and energy needs of China will have access that amount of coal for another 50-100 years? Do you think peak oil is a myth, or do you believe Yergin's myth that its effects won't be felt for a long time? How do you reconcile the MASSIVE consequences of global warming that may have already reached a tipping point with your vision for the future that you apparently believe is 100% certain? Like I said, a million and one assumptions, and just a few of them being wrong could throw a huge spanner into the works for your predictions.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 20, 2012, 05:44:25 PM
Hey Alan, why don't you Bite the Bullett already and Register as a Diner?  You've already posted more comments than most Diners as a Guest.
Besides the Bennie that once you Register you won't have to wait for a Mod Squadder to Approve them, you ALSO get to read other Boards not visible to Guests.
If you are REALLY cool, eventually you get Promoted to the Mod Squad and get access to the BACK ROOM of the Diner, where only the Cool Rock Star Diners and their Groupies get to hang out.

I'm too nerdy to hang with stars and groupies.  But I WOULD like to be able to
edit posts.  There is invariably an annoying typo or other error, which remains
invisible until after hitting the "post" button.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 20, 2012, 05:46:35 PM
Alan,
Quote
The Catholics have a very useful concept that they refer to as "subsidiarity".
By that they mean the devolution of power and function to the lowest level
possible -- the lowest level consistent with wise overall judgement of a situation.
Instead of unilateral "decentralization", the principle of subsidiarity calls for
distribution or passing-down to whatever level is most appropriate, all things
considered.  It might be quite far-down, or it might not be, depending.  I like that.

......................................

Speaking of making things in our garages, and decentralism: Kevin Carson
has written a  GREAT book on this subject, really a scholarly (while also readable)
manifesto,  titled the Homebrew Industrial Revolution. The book is available for FREE:
http://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com (http://homebrewindustrialrevolution.wordpress.com)

I highly recommend it.

Subsidiarity sounds great and the Kevin Carson book too! Thanks for the info. :icon_sunny:
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 20, 2012, 06:00:29 PM

No one I know claims we will have 6 billion deaths inside of a decade, or anything close to that...

Well, Guy McPherson comes pretty close predicting an Extinction Level Event by around 2050.

Currently I doubt 6B go to the Great Beyond in the next Decade, but with the droughts and all the rest of the shit going down I could see 3B in the poorest countries getting their First Class Ticket to the Great Beyond.

Quote
But arguing this extreme won't happen doesn't mean YOUR extreme will happen. And what you are arguing, in light of present conditions and trends, is almost as extreme as extinction within 50 years. You said that China will wean itself off of coal after a century. Do you really think that a country with the population and energy needs of China will have access that amount of coal for another 50-100 years? Do you think peak oil is a myth, or do you believe Yergin's myth that its effects won't be felt for a long time? How do you reconcile the MASSIVE consequences of global warming that may have already reached a tipping point with your vision for the future that you apparently believe is 100% certain? Like I said, a million and one assumptions, and just a few of them being wrong could throw a huge spanner into the works for your predictions.

Alan is clearly a Cornucopian. The Techno Cavalry will ride in over the Hill to Save China in the NICK of time here with Cold Fusion and Zero Point Energy.

Right after that, Unicorns will Shit Skittles and Pigs will Fly.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2232/2139604121_b99c9db883.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 20, 2012, 08:47:12 PM
I replied with that sensible investments -- massive ones -- are indeed being made,
(and it is indisputable that they are being made), without the disappearance of the
predatory capitalist system.

I welcome any reply you may have to our exchange, to that point.

Do these sensible investors rely on functioning credit markets and stable currencies to
make their investments and realize returns on their investments?

You look at things with Western eyes, just as most of us (here) tend to do. In the West,
the world of finance has become the tail wagging the economic, social and political dog.
This is much less true in the East.  There, national organization and collective purpose
play a much larger and indeed primary role in things, superceding finance.  Finance is
employed to serve national and collective ends, rather than the nation, and all of
society, being employed to serve finance capital's ends (as is the case here). In short:
It is a totally different ballgame.

Quote
What happens to  these investors and their invested capital if suppressing domestic
insurrections and/or launching an international war effort becomes much more
important to the Chinese government?
Domestic insurrection? Possible. Not real likely, but possible. If it happens, it
will have a beginning and an end. China will not collapse into chaos and ruin,
or into a state of permanent civil war, because of it.  China might emerge stronger
for it.

Launching an international war effort?  Very unlikely. China does not have nearly
sufficient military for that, and will not for a couple more decades, at least.

Quote
How many of these investments are simply on paper and have not been followed
through yet to any significant degree? What level of foreign capital and imported
inputs do these renewable energy investments rely on?
Perhaps you have not noticed, Ash, but China is an enormous global CREDITOR,
not debtor!  Just because we here in the U.S. are accustomed to living on massive
borrowing does not mean everyone else is.  (You knew that, didn't you?)

As for "how many of these investments are simply on paper":  here again, I sense
that you look at things through Western eyes, and in this case your eyes have
become accustomed to seeing fraud and lies instead of substance. You see grand
claims and you immediately think --  justifiably -- "oh boy, here comes more
blustery propaganda!"   Your reactions are justifiable because that IS indeed how
things have been coming down here for decades.  Our whole system is riven with
fraud, corruption, criminality, psychopathy, pathological lying,  etc., etc. But  that
does not mean that it is the same way everywhere. The reality with respect to
development of renewable energy, infrastructure investment, etc., in China, is
approximately as stated, as you will learn if you investigate.  They are not "simply
on paper",  but are very much in progress and in (completed) actuality.

Naturally, some things ARE more plan than actuality at this moment. How else could
it be? Do you expect such massive undertakings to be completed overnight?  The
Eurasian land bridge that I mentioned is still largely a plan, not an actuality.  (Though
the portions of it in China proper are well underway, or completed.)  The Great
Green Wall is a CENTURY-LONG project, of which only about 15 years have
elapsed, so it is still very much a work in progress. China's advances on other
fronts is of course a mix of "on paper" and on-the-ground actuality.

There are other ways in which your use of the phrase "simply on paper" is
interesting, and revealing. First of all, the very putting of things "on paper",
which is to say the research and development of detailed, definite plans --
especially plans of  such huge national and continental significance --  is an
act of great import,  not to be disparaged. A great deal of thought and
planning goes in to drafting such "papers", and you should note very
carefully that such thought and planning is NOT occurring on our side of the
pond.  Century-long environmental restoration projects? We're lucky to get
environmental programs funded for 6 months!

Secondly, to dismiss their progress as "simply on paper" discloses your
ignorance. No one who has spent even a moderate amount of time investigating
these things would make such a remark.

Quote
I find that when anyone makes arguments such as yours, they are relying on
a million and one assumptions about the global economic, financial and
[geo]political situation that are not true or are not likely to remain true over
the next few decades.
Well, perhaps you could name one or two key ones, rather than alluding
to "a million and one".

Quote
The predatory capitalist framework will never lead to sensible investments on
a large scale, because it is... predatory and capitalist.
I guess that means that China is not part of the predatory capitalist
framework, because numerous very sensible and indeed wise and visionary
investments on a VERY large scale are being made there all the time. Either
that, or China IS a part of the predatory capitalist system, and their claims
for progress in the areas in question are a pack of lies.  But then, that would
be like us trying to fake the existence of the interstate highway system, or
like us trying to make it LOOK like the city of New York exists, when it really
doesn't.

Quote
And if you think the GLOBAL nature of these economic and sociopolitical crises
are being exaggerated, then perhaps you can take a look at the following
articles and point out how the research is wrong. They all specifically address China:
I've read some of TAE's stuff about China, and it is unimpressive. It is mostly
re-warmed/re-hashed China-bear bullshit -- stuff that we've been hearing for the last
15 years. Funny thing, though: China repeatedly, consistently, PROVES THE CHINA
BEARS WRONG.

Yes, I think that the "GLOBAL nature" of these economic and sociopolitical crises
is being exaggerated.  Some problems are, of course, global, but they have a way
of being spun-out to form a picture in which ALL of our big problems are global.
That is the picture that rootless capital spins, and wants you to believe. That is
the picture that deracinated people living in incoherent "nations", in the thrall of
capital and unchecked greed, want to believe and DO believe.  But it is false.

Quote
No one I know claims we will have 6 billion deaths inside of a decade, or anything
close to that...
Well, OK, two decades then. Or three. You know what I'm talking about. Mass
dieoff, a la dieoff.com

Quote
what you are arguing, in light of present conditions and trends, is almost as extreme
as extinction within 50 years.
If you really believe that, then you need to get out more. You've been steeped for
too long in a very lopsided view of things.  I can relate! I used to be there, too.

You know, Ash, I find that when anyone makes sweeping assertions such as yours, they
are relying on  a million and one assumptions about  global and national economic,
financial and political situations that are not true or are not likely to remain true over
the next few decades.

Quote
You said that China will wean itself off of coal after a century. Do you really think that
a country with the population and energy needs of China will have access that amount
of coal for another 50-100 years?
Ash, have you spent even 10 minutes investigating this issue?  China has vast coal
reserves, among the largest in the world, and until recent years was a large coal
exporter.  China's reserves will power things handily for at least 50 years, possibly
100, at current rates of consumption; that's not to mention the increasing role of
coal imports from Australia and Vietnam.

But the important thing is not coal reserves or imports; the important thing is that
the Chinese are smart enough to be making moves away from coal, and toward
natural gas (of which there are fabulous quantities on the Eurasian land mass)
and renewables.  They will be powering themselves with renewables probably
decades before the coal is exhausted.  Unlike us, they think ahead, and
they are capable of setting national priorities and acting on them, persistently,
with the requisite commitment of resources.

BTW, to forestall misundertanding:  in no way should my words be taken to mean that I
think China to be some kind of paradise, or faultless, or a model in every respect.  No, not
at all. The Chinese have their own problems with corruption, very serious ones, plus a
very nasty class system, terrible human rights problems, and so on.  In some respects
it is an ugly place. But at the same time, they are making fabulous progress on many
fronts. So it is a big mixed bag.

Quote
Do you think peak oil is a myth, or do you believe Yergin's myth that its effects
won't be felt for a long time?
Peak oil is not quite a "myth", but... have you kept up with literature on this subject?
Are you aware of the sea change that is taking place, over the last 5 years, in
oil and gas reserves estimates?  Are you aware of the way in which higher oil prices
are stimulating discoveries?  Are you aware of the way in which horizontal drilling and
fracking are changing the picture, dramatically?  Yes, I know, fracking sucks for other
reasons, and I know that having more oil than we might have thought is bad from
other standpoints (global warming); but you were asking about the ENERGY picture.

Quote
How do you reconcile the MASSIVE consequences of global warming that may
have already reached a tipping point with your vision for the future that you
apparently believe is 100% certain?
Ash, I don't believe that ANYTHING is 100% certain. Never have.

As for the MASSIVE consequences of global warming:  Yes. True. There are
massive consequences. We'll have to live with them. It won't be easy. Many,
many people will die before their time.  There will be much suffering, hunger,
disease, want, and strife.  There will be wars and rumors of wars.  But let
not your heart be troubled. 
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 20, 2012, 08:58:52 PM
Alan is clearly a Cornucopian.
Ah yes! I LOVE that one!

Quote
The Techno Cavalry will ride in over the Hill to Save China in the NICK of
time here with Cold Fusion and Zero Point Energy.
Right after that, Unicorns will Shit Skittles and Pigs will Fly.

LAY IT ON THICK, BABY!

You might also accuse me of believing in the tooth fairy.

Hey, why not? Epithets are great,  when you have no substantive reply,
or don't want to take time to compose one.  I really mean that. They
ARE great.  I like to hurl them.  I love to just yell "you're an idiot!", and
leave it at that.  I'm often unwilling to bother composing detailed
missives; epithets are a lot easier, and more fun.

But, for the record: No, RE, no "cornucopian", but rather one who has
awoken from the strange and tortured sleep of vulgar malthusian
doomerism.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 20, 2012, 11:28:47 PM
Quote
6 Ways We’re Already Geoengineering Earth


Quote
   From diverting a third of Earth’s available fresh water to planting and grazing two-fifths of its land surface, humankind has fiddled with the knobs of the Holocene, that 10,000-year period of climate stability that birthed civilization.
The consequences of our interventions into Earth’s geophysical processes are yet to be determined, but scientists say they’re so fundamental that the Holocene no longer exists. We now live in the Anthropocene, a geological age of mankind’s making.
“Homo sapiens has emerged as a force of nature rivaling climatic and geologic forces,” wrote Earth scientists Erle Ellis and Navin Ramankutty in a 2008 Frontiers in Ecology paper, which featured their redrawn map of the human-influenced world. “Human forces may now outweigh these across most of Earth’s land surface today.”

Quote
   Of all the fresh water accessible in lakes, rivers and aquifers — what scientists call “blue water” — humankind uses about one-third every year. A fourth of Earth’s river basins run dry before they reach the sea.

Quote
   ... , fertilizers used in farming have injected vast amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus into regional environments. About 120 million tons of nitrogen are removed from the atmosphere each year and converted into fertilizer-friendly “reactive” forms, while 20 million tons of phosphorus are mined from the ground. In both cases, that’s far more than would enter the biosphere naturally, and most of it is carried by streams and rivers to the sea, where it fuels rapidly growing marine dead zones

Quote
   There have been five planetary extinction events in the last half-billion years. The sixth is happening now.

Quote
   Human industry has led to the invention of chemicals that were unknown in Earth’s history, and can remain active in the environment for thousands of years. These include compounds used in pesticides, and especially in plastic, some 60 billion tons of which are produced every year.
At high doses, these chemicals can disrupt animal endocrine systems, cause cancer and alter reproduction. At low doses, their effects aren’t known, but may involve subtle and widespread stresses that ultimately change the composition of ecosystems.

Quote
  With atmospheric levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide higher than at any time in the last 15 million years, global weather patterns are changing and average temperatures rising. Some of this carbon dioxide is absorbed by ocean water, altering the proportion of hydrogen and carbonate ions, and making the water more acidic. Corals, plankton and shellfish may literally dissolve.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/03/geoengineering-gallery/?rm (http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/03/geoengineering-gallery/?rm)

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 21, 2012, 07:54:00 AM
There are other ways in which your use of the phrase "simply on paper" is
interesting, and revealing. First of all, the very putting of things "on paper",
which is to say the research and development of detailed, definite plans --
especially plans of  such huge national and continental significance --  is an
act of great import,  not to be disparaged. A great deal of thought and
planning goes in to drafting such "papers", and you should note very
carefully that such thought and planning is NOT occurring on our side of the
pond.

One more thing, that I neglected:  this disparaging use of the phrase
"just on paper" reflects an embarrassing, dunderheaded anti-intellectualism
that has always prevailed in America.  "Just on paper" is spat out as an
insult; it goes with "too much theory, not enough ACTION!"  While, paradoxically,
one of the worst problems for America is the precise opposite: too much
action, not enough theory!  Americans are big for ACTION, and sometimes, it
seems, the more impulsive, brainless, violent and stupid, the better.  But it is
not like that everywhere. Some cultures value thought, quiet contemplation,
intellection, planning -- and the elaboration of detailed grand plans "on paper".
And they are succeeding, rather brilliantly.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: WHD on July 21, 2012, 08:53:11 AM
Quote
one who has
awoken from the strange and tortured sleep of vulgar malthusian
doomerism.

Alan said this. There's all this talk about renewables, etc. I don't know wit about Malthus, but would someone here please explain to me, if there is a global liquidity freeze, and supply chains break down, how we are going to keep those 400 nuclear facilities running, or those tens of thousands of off-shore oil wells?
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 21, 2012, 09:27:54 AM
I don't know wit about Malthus,
Then t'would be a good idea to brief yourself, to at least some extent. Malthus
is the spiritual father of much of what is said here, and on TAE, and elsewhere in
this general area.

Quote
but would someone here please explain to me, if there is a global liquidity freeze,
and supply chains break down, how we are going to keep those 400 nuclear facilities
running, or those tens of thousands of off-shore oil wells?

Do you think, if there is a global liquidity freeze and breakdown of supply chains,
that these situations will persist indefinitely,  forever?  If so, then we are all doomed
to a catastrophic end, soon, just as RE and others posit. But just one thing you might
ask yourself: WHY would these things persist forever?  Will everyone simply give up,
refuse to participate any further, and calmly accept a miserable end?
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Tao Jonesing on July 21, 2012, 10:27:54 AM
Here's a link to Malthus' most famous work, An Essay on the Principle of Population, on Google Books

http://books.google.com/books?id=TD8uAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=malthus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MOQKUNXmKJPo2gWRvqEZ&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=malthus&f=false (http://books.google.com/books?id=TD8uAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=malthus&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MOQKUNXmKJPo2gWRvqEZ&ved=0CDMQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=malthus&f=false)

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 21, 2012, 10:46:06 AM
That was a well constructed response, Alan, but I'm not sure you actually answered anything. I'm more than happy to look at data/information you have on the scale and progress of Chinese renewable energy projects, if you would provide them.

You look at things with Western eyes, just as most of us (here) tend to do. In the West, the world of finance has become the tail wagging the economic, social and political dog. This is much less true in the East.  There, national organization and collective purpose play a much larger and indeed primary role in things, superceding finance.  Finance is employed to serve national and collective ends, rather than the nation, and all of society, being employed to serve finance capital's ends (as is the case here). In short: It is a totally different ballgame.

This is laughable to anyone who has followed the level of financial mal-investment in RE and infrastructure, as well as industrial and environmental policies, perpetrated by the Chinese elites. These policies have been absolutely horrible for the "greater good" of Chinese citizens. Ultimately, they are just as beholden to concentrated interests as any Western government.

Quote
Domestic insurrection? Possible. Not real likely, but possible. If it happens, it will have a beginning and an end. China will not collapse into chaos and ruin, or into a state of permanent civil war, because of it.  China might emerge stronger for it.

Launching an international war effort?  Very unlikely. China does not have nearly sufficient military for that, and will not for a couple more decades, at least.

Right, because the Chinese people have a history of taking severe government repression lying down...

The key to international wars is that they are rarely entered into voluntarily by both sides... one side can't say, "hey can we hold off for a few decades, until our military capabilities are sufficient?"

Quote
Perhaps you have not noticed, Ash, but China is an enormous global CREDITOR, not debtor!  Just because we here in the U.S. are accustomed to living on massive borrowing does not mean everyone else is.  (You knew that, didn't you?)

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but a bunch of those Chinese exports that help make them a global trade creditor are made by foreign companies operating in China, employing Chinese workers for dirt-poor wages, and are capitalized by foreign investors.

Quote
As for "how many of these investments are simply on paper":  here again, I sense that you look at things through Western eyes, and in this case your eyes have become accustomed to seeing fraud and lies instead of substance. You see grand claims and you immediately think --  justifiably -- "oh boy, here comes more blustery propaganda!"   Your reactions are justifiable because that IS indeed how things have been coming down here for decades.  Our whole system is riven with fraud, corruption, criminality, psychopathy, pathological lying,  etc., etc. But  that does not mean that it is the same way everywhere. The reality with respect to development of renewable energy, infrastructure investment, etc., in China, is approximately as stated, as you will learn if you investigate.  They are not "simply on paper",  but are very much in progress and in (completed) actuality.

No, I see fraud, corruption, criminality, psychopathy, pathological lying,  etc. wherever it exists, and that's just about everywhere in the world.

Again, can you give me the data on how many completed projects are contributing to Chinese energy production/consumption currently? I'd like to take a look at it.

Quote
Naturally, some things ARE more plan than actuality at this moment. How else could it be? Do you expect such massive undertakings to be completed overnight?  The Eurasian land bridge that I mentioned is still largely a plan, not an actuality.  (Though the portions of it in China proper are well underway, or completed.)  The Great Green Wall is a CENTURY-LONG project, of which only about 15 years have elapsed, so it is still very much a work in progress. China's advances on other fronts is of course a mix of "on paper" and on-the-ground actuality.

There are other ways in which your use of the phrase "simply on paper" is interesting, and revealing. First of all, the very putting of things "on paper",
which is to say the research and development of detailed, definite plans -- especially plans of  such huge national and continental significance --  is an
act of great import,  not to be disparaged. A great deal of thought and planning goes in to drafting such "papers", and you should note very
carefully that such thought and planning is NOT occurring on our side of the pond.  Century-long environmental restoration projects? We're lucky to get
environmental programs funded for 6 months!

The "simply on paper" phrase recognizes the fact that modern governments and large corporations have a habit of going through a bunch of negotiations with a bunch of officials and lawyers involved and a bunch of contracts drafted up, and then... failing to follow through on their obligations. Sometimes taxpayers will shovel a bunch of money into a project, and then it will be terminated halfway through. That's just what ends up happening to a lot of large-scale projects, especially in periods of economic slowdown or contraction, and I don't think some inherent Chinese collectivism will change that (even if it did exist), since we are probably talking about a lot of Western corporations involved.

Also, your references to the Great Wall of China and centuries-long restoration projects is anything but reassuring...

Quote
Secondly, to dismiss their progress as "simply on paper" discloses your ignorance. No one who has spent even a moderate amount of time investigating these things would make such a remark.

Links, please?

Quote
I guess that means that China is not part of the predatory capitalist framework, because numerous very sensible and indeed wise and visionary
investments on a VERY large scale are being made there all the time. Either that, or China IS a part of the predatory capitalist system, and their claims
for progress in the areas in question are a pack of lies.  But then, that would be like us trying to fake the existence of the interstate highway system, or
like us trying to make it LOOK like the city of New York exists, when it really doesn't.

Links, please?

Quote
I've read some of TAE's stuff about China, and it is unimpressive. It is mostly re-warmed/re-hashed China-bear bullshit -- stuff that we've been hearing for the last 15 years. Funny thing, though: China repeatedly, consistently, PROVES THE CHINA BEARS WRONG.

Right, that is why the projected economic data out of China keeps getting worse, the PBoC keeps becoming more and more ineffectual, and so many people have finally started talking about a "hard landing" for its economy. Are we all just misinterpreting the data, or is China giving us false data that portrays their situation even worse than it really is?

Quote
Yes, I think that the "GLOBAL nature" of these economic and sociopolitical crises is being exaggerated.  Some problems are, of course, global, but they have a way of being spun-out to form a picture in which ALL of our big problems are global. That is the picture that rootless capital spins, and wants you to believe. That is the picture that deracinated people living in incoherent "nations", in the thrall of capital and unchecked greed, want to believe and DO believe.  But it is false.

The "Fall of the West, Rise of the East" spin has been the one that has dominated the mainstream for at least the last decade...

No, the nature of the U.S. problems are not exactly the same as those of the EZ or ME or India/China, and vice versa, but they are most definitely inter-related and inter-dependent.

Quote
Well, OK, two decades then. Or three. You know what I'm talking about. Mass dieoff, a la dieoff.com

No, I don't know what you are talking about. You are the one who is admitting that a die off will occur, and that it is ALREADY occurring, but you refuse to say about how many people this will effect, where, to what extent and over what time period. You don't want to deny that a significant number of deaths will occur due to all of these various crises, but you don't want to describe it as a "mass" die off. So maybe you can explain what you mean?

Quote
Ash, have you spent even 10 minutes investigating this issue?  China has vast coal reserves, among the largest in the world, and until recent years was a large coal exporter.  China's reserves will power things handily for at least 50 years, possibly 100, at current rates of consumption; that's not to mention the increasing role of coal imports from Australia and Vietnam.

I may not have the information that you are looking at (links, please?), but I do know for a fact that it's not as simple as how much extractable coal is projected to exist in China. Anyone who has looked into peak oil or peak coal theories would understand that. So, again, where are the links supporting this assertion "China's reserves will power things handily for at least 50 years, possibly 100, at current rates of consumption".

Ah, so now we have introduced Australia and Vietnam into the equation of China's energy needs. Do you not see how that could complicate the picture significantly, depending on WTF happens with those two countries over the next 50-100 years?

Quote
They will be powering themselves with renewables probably decades before the coal is exhausted.  Unlike us, they think ahead, and
they are capable of setting national priorities and acting on them, persistently, with the requisite commitment of resources.

And you know this because of the last decade or so of Chinese history? Or because of the fact that the Great Wall of China exists?

Quote
Peak oil is not quite a "myth", but... have you kept up with literature on this subject? Are you aware of the sea change that is taking place, over the last 5 years, in oil and gas reserves estimates?  Are you aware of the way in which higher oil prices are stimulating discoveries?  Are you aware of the way in which horizontal drilling and fracking are changing the picture, dramatically?  Yes, I know, fracking sucks for other reasons, and I know that having more oil than we might have thought is bad from other standpoints (global warming); but you were asking about the ENERGY picture.

Well, perhaps you can provide me with some links, please? And in the meantime, I will provide you with some recent articles by Nicole on this issue:

http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/jeff-rubin-and-oil-prices-revisited.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/jeff-rubin-and-oil-prices-revisited.html)

http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/peak-oil-a-dialogue-with-george-monbiot.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/peak-oil-a-dialogue-with-george-monbiot.html)

http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/unconventional-oil-is-not-a-game-changer.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/unconventional-oil-is-not-a-game-changer.html)

And some older ones:

http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/fracking-our-future.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/fracking-our-future.html)

http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/get-ready-for-the-north-american-gas-shock.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/get-ready-for-the-north-american-gas-shock.html)

And, trying to separate energy issues from financial and environmental issues is arbitrary and dangerous, and will lead you to all kinds of inaccurate predictions.

Quote
As for the MASSIVE consequences of global warming:  Yes. True. There are massive consequences. We'll have to live with them. It won't be easy. Many, many people will die before their time.  There will be much suffering, hunger, disease, want, and strife.  There will be wars and rumors of wars.  But let not your heart be troubled.

See agelbert's links for just how "easy" it won't be.

Interesting choice of reference there, since Jesus was referring to what will happen right before the END TIMES. Meaning, NOT the time in which China or anyone else keeps economically growing and evolving for another few centuries.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 21, 2012, 11:51:02 AM
And the (dead) BEAT GOES ON:

Quote
There’s No Such Thing as Sustainable & Profitable Logging

You can have one of the two, but not both: Either you can commercially cut down trees in a tropical rainforest that has minimal impact on the ecology of the forest, or you can cut down trees in a way that is profitable, at the expense of the forest. That’s the word from a new study in Bioscience.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/theres-no-such-thing-as-sustainable-profitable-logging-in-rainforests.html#ixzz21HXQV8OV (http://www.care2.com/causes/theres-no-such-thing-as-sustainable-profitable-logging-in-rainforests.html#ixzz21HXQV8OV)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 21, 2012, 11:52:49 AM
More "WATER IS WET" type news from fossil fuel energy extraction corporation behavior
Quote
Shell Backs Out Of Agreed-Upon Arctic Emissions Limits

After years of whining, the Shell oil company was able to bully EPA into granting permits for offshore drilling in the Arctic. The permits were granted despite the fact that there have been no tests of spill response equipment in US Arctic waters since 2000 and those equipment tests were “a failure.”

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/shell-backs-out-of-agreed-upon-arctic-emissions-limits.html#ixzz21HYmgXKP (http://www.care2.com/causes/shell-backs-out-of-agreed-upon-arctic-emissions-limits.html#ixzz21HYmgXKP)

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 21, 2012, 11:54:27 AM

Links, please?

Links, please?

Links, please?


I think I'll start with that.

Though, you might ask yourself, Ash: for someone who is so certain that he knows
what's happening in China, and how screwed they are, isn't it odd not to have
spent a few hours in actual investigation and reading on the subject, sufficient to
come up with this stuff on your own?  Why do you have to rely on me?  You're the
big expert, with the pronounciamentos about how fucked the Chinese  are.  All it
takes is a little bit of effort to expose yourself to the full story. But for some reason,
you've chosen not to. Why is that?

Anyway... to follow are a few items, (a FEW items; there's much more), sometimes
with a comment of mine.

Often they are short snippets from longer (or much longer) documents, which you
can access at the links given. Sometimes my snippets give a pretty good flavor
of the whole of the document; sometimes the snippets cannot begin to do justice
to a lengthy document covering vast ground.

I should emphasize  that the writings that I have from the Chinese, and from China
analysts, are very candid about the situation there.  It is a big mixed bag, as I said
before, with plenty of good and plenty of bad; great progress in some areas,
with poor or no progress in others; and there is little attempt (that I can discern) to
conceal the bad.  For example, China's terrible water problems are well-known, and
no one denies them.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 21, 2012, 11:55:36 AM
More "WATER IS WET"  emetic news from the nuclear fuel mining corporation Uranium extraction process.

The "ISL" Uranium mining method is "profitable" if you don't give a fuck about the aquifers or the Navajo communities nearby. It's all about  EROI (Energy Return On Energy Invested) for this mining operation TOTALLY NOT INCLUDED in nuclear fuel EROI. The name of the corporation ruining aquifers for Uranium mining profits is Hydro Resources, Inc. You just can't make this stuff up! Orwellian speak is part and parcel of corporate euphemistic labelling and PR.
Quote
Halt uranium mine that will poison Navajo water
Quote
Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining (ENDAUM) are urging the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revoke an ill-advised permit they gave to uranium mining company, Hydro Resources, Inc. 23 years ago.
Quote
The type of mining is called in situ leach mining, or ISL, which involves injecting a chemical solution through ore zones to dissolve uranium so it moves freely in water. Then the uranium-filled water is pumped to the surface where the uranium is chemically stripped, and the water is returned to the aquifer. No ISL operation in U.S. history has been able to restore groundwater in a mined aquifer to pre-mining quality.
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/05/halt-uranium-mine-that-will-poison.html (http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/05/halt-uranium-mine-that-will-poison.html)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 21, 2012, 12:16:03 PM
Ash: You could begin, profitably, just by reading Wikipedia's
writeup on the PRC's Five-Year Plans (FYPs). It is written
unevenly and with some faults, especially on the more recent
FYPs, but it is OK as a general overview. The FYPs illustrate
what I was talking about regarding "national organization and
collective purpose" superceding finance. The significance of
the FYPs with respect to environmental issues will become
evident in forthcoming posts, regarding the 12th FYP. But for
general background and knowledge of what China has been doing
for the last 40 years (which you seem to lack), you need to
brief yourself on the whole succession of FYPs.

Here are a couple paragraphs from the 8th FYP, to give you an
idea of the intensity of China's work:

Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-Year_Plans_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five-Year_Plans_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China)
Eighth Plan (1991-1995)
 845 large and medium-sized infrastructure projects were
completed and put into production, as were 374 technical
innovation projects. In terms of transportation
infrastructure, 5,800 kilometers of trunk railway, 3,400
kilometers of double-track lines, and 2,600 kilometers of
electrified railway were built. Road lengths were increased by
105,000 kilometers, including 1,600 kilometers of highway.
 The throughput of ports increased by 138 million tons and 12
new airports were built. 100,000 kilometers of long-distance
trunk cable were finished, and the number of telephone
switchboards increased to 58.95 million sets. Total installed
generation capacity was increased to 75 million kilowatts, and
annual electricity supply grew by 9%.

Phenomenal.  Especially given their level of (non-) development
AS OF 1990.  And the descriptions of the FYPs go on and on like
that, piling great achievement on top of great achievement.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 21, 2012, 12:52:53 PM
Then t'would be a good idea to brief yourself, to at least some extent. Malthus
is the spiritual father of much of what is said here, and on TAE, and elsewhere in
this general area.

I have always leaned heavily towards Marx's focus on socioeconomic organization and away from Malthus' focus on inherent population overshoot. Therefore, Malthus is by no means my "spiritual father". At the same time, I believe the Marx/Malthus distinction is becoming more and more irrelevant as time progresses. The fact is that, regardless of who was right, we now find ourselves in a position of ecological overshoot that will require great top-down and relatively fast-acting cooperation, coordination, planning, and implementation of policies across the world.

Frankly, I believe this is literally impossible for humanity to achieve without the saving grace of my real spiritual Father - God, and most people who are anywhere close to being influential in policy circles are so far removed from God it's difficult to see how they could ever work their way back. It requires a level of selflessness that these people simply cannot even imagine. But even from a strictly atheist materialist perspective, the prospects for billions of human beings looks grim over the next 50 years.

Quote
Do you think, if there is a global liquidity freeze and breakdown of supply chains,
that these situations will persist indefinitely,  forever?  If so, then we are all doomed
to a catastrophic end, soon, just as RE and others posit. But just one thing you might
ask yourself: WHY would these things persist forever?  Will everyone simply give up,
refuse to participate any further, and calmly accept a miserable end?

That's the thing - you don't need everyone to "give up", only a few people who have been placed in key positions of power within corporations and governments to feel like they are in control or be overwhelmed by selfish impulses for a few moments too long. The way our global society has been set up, that's all it takes to create mass disaster that is nearly impossible to reverse. Fukushima is a great example of that.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 21, 2012, 01:26:24 PM
Alan,
Thank you for the thoughtful, logical and well reasoned answer to Ashvin's verbal minuet. I am sure that, by now, you have picked up on the fact that he is married to the status quo ante and will argue until the cows come home using every sophistic debating trick in the book including, but not limited to, personalizing an issue to derail nuts and bolts discussions on implementing renewable technologies, ad hominem attacks, sanctimonious rebukes, claims of superior knowledge, accusing the other party of ignorance, using the Hill & Knowlton (Tobacco and gas fracking PR whores) "reasonable doubt" method to take the wind out of the sails of a scientific truth and one of his FAVORITES, which is, appear solemnly interested and partly convinced by your arguments but always managing to ask for "just a little more information and sources that would back your apparently unrealistic and financially unsophisticated assertions". This guy is all head and no heart. As you said, he looks at things as if the tail has the power, rather than the dog but it's hell to get him to admit it. He is stuck in a bankrupt paradigm. I was, many years ago, a Reagan Republican drinking the supply side kool-aid so I know all about it (watch Elmer fudd cherry pick this quote out of this comment and explain with much verbal diarrhea how he ain't that way). To paraphrase what  I told RE in a private message some time ago, when a person exposes, by his verbal dancing, no real interest in reasoned debate but persists in thread hogging bullshit, I realize am talking to a fucking wall that is not content with simply ignoring me. This fucking wall wants to fall on me and stop my message. This smacks of agenda but attempting get the one with the agenda to cry uncle only derails the discussion of renewables further. My response is humor and nonsequiturs. You did say it was fun to call a person an idiot. I agree that, in certain situations, it is appropriate if couched in humor. I don't think your view that we will limp through the environmental degradation/collapse bottleneck somehow and come out better on the other side merits the charge your are engaging in "pie in the sky" thinking even though I share RE's view that we are pretty well fucked if massive global pro-renewable crash programs don't get going post haste. You and I are on the same page as to the fact that some serious shit is coming down the pike and governments need to get their ass in gear and do something about it including shit-canning the Western mindset. Returning to Elmer Fudd and his endless procrastinating and prevarication, remember his weakness is his lack of humor. Stuffed shirts HATE humorous ridicule. You don't need to just call him an idiot. There no fun in that! Here's a better idea. Tell him you are a wascally wabbit and you are going to eat every fucking carrot in his garden no matter what sort of bullshit he comes up with. 

Alan gives Ashvin a haircut.
(http://razorland55.free.fr/Razorama_09/Bugs_Bunny_Elmer_Fudd.jpg)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 21, 2012, 02:13:07 PM
Alan,
Thank you for the thoughtful, logical and well reasoned answer to Ashvin's verbal minuet.
I am sure that, by now, you have picked up on the fact that he is married to the status
quo ante and will argue until the cows come home using every sophistic debating trick
in the book including, but not limited to, personalizing an issue to derail nuts and
bolts discussions on implementing renewable technologies, ad hominem attacks,
sanctimonious rebukes, claims of superior knowledge, accusing the other party of ignorance
Hey, that's OK with me!  I LOVE to accuse the other party of ignorance -- when it is true.
And it is certainly true in Ashvin's case.  Ad hominem attacks are also sometimes
justified, and can certainly be fun.  I'm quite serious about "sometimes  justified". 
The Stanford Dictionary of Philosophy (no less) states that ad hominem can be a
legitimate form of argument. It is only illegitimate when the attack on character
is "irrelevant or unsubstantiated".

Quote
he looks at things as if the tail has the power, rather than the dog
This is an EXTREMELY important point, and a failing of many intelligent analysts.
It is a very easy mistake to make, and I've fallen into it many times myself. It
very often looks -- for all the world -- like it IS the tail that has the power. You
have to keep reminding yourself otherwise.

Quote
He is stuck in a bankrupt paradigm. I was, many years ago, a Reagan Republican
drinking the supply side kool-aid so I know all about it
I was not stuck in THAT particular bankrupt paradigm, thank heaven, but I've
spent more than my share of time in other bankrupt paradigms.

Agelbert: you might want to pay good attention to some of the stuff I'm about
to post about China and its Five-Year Plans. In important respects, China is acting
as a model of what a modern nation-state should be doing to respond to the
multiple crises/challenges facing us. They are highly imperfect, to be sure, but
they are doing some critical things very admirably -- much better than we, here.
Your ambitious outline of what needs to be done (e.g. converting the nuke plants
into geothermal, etc.) is just the kind of thing that China could do and, after a
fashion, IS doing. I don't mean literally; i.e. they are not literally converting nukes
to geothermal. Rather, I mean they are planning and acting with great vision and
boldness, to do what needs  to be done, to the best of their understanding. And
I, like you, have some choice criticism to offer them regarding specifics.
Unfortunately, Prime Minister Jiabao told me on our last private telephone
conversation that he would not be able to take ALL of my advice.  Hahaha.   ;D

Quote
Tell him you are a wascally wabbit and you are going to eat every fucking carrot
in his garden no matter what sort of bullshit he comes up with. 

Be vewwwy vewwwy quiet, everybody! I'm hunting wabbits!
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 21, 2012, 02:30:47 PM
we now find ourselves in a position of ecological overshoot that will require
great top-down and relatively fast-acting cooperation, coordination, planning,
and implementation of policies across the world.
I almost agree, and I look at China as a partial but important exemplar of
just such (or NEARLY such) coordination, planning and implementation. The
material I will post shortly on the Five Year Plans, and etc., will provide more
detail -- though I'm quite surprised that you are not already familiar with it.
Your view (apparently) of China's leaders as nothing but a bunch of
rapacious bastards is an absurd cartoon.

"Top-down"? Yes,  to a degree that I dislike, but I must admit is necessary
for the best (least-disastrous) outcomes.  Subsidiarity, again. Top-down only
to the extent that is truly necessary, and devolve the rest.

Quote
you don't need everyone to "give up", only a few people who have been placed
in key positions of power within corporations and governments to feel like they
are in control or be overwhelmed by selfish impulses for a few moments too long.
The way our global society has been set up, that's all it takes to create mass
disaster that is nearly impossible to reverse.
That's the tail wagging the dog problem, again. I agree that a big disaster
could be created in such a way, but strongly disagree that it would be "impossible
to reverse".  To say that is to assert our ultimate powerlessness, and the
impossibility of resisting evil. To say that is to assert the absolute power of evil.
I don't buy it.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 21, 2012, 02:45:58 PM
Sorry, agelbert, but the lies and hypocrisy in your latest comment speak for themselves.

I have not once used an ad hominem attack in this entire discussion, and especially not with Alan. I have not once used a sanctimonious rebuke, in contrast to you condemning me to Hell earlier (like any true Christian would, right?). I have not once claimed I have superior knowledge to either you or Alan, but simply a different perspective (apparently, neither of you think economics, finance or geopolitics is important to renewable energy realities). I have provided plenty of links to support my arguments with Alan, and I have simply asked for him to do the same, which he did in his last comment. Wonderful how clear, calm and logical questions produce results, huh?

You see, this is how reasonable people carry on reasonable discussions without resorting to personal attacks and paranoid accusations. AFAIK, you used to be that kind of person, at least on the surface, but now your true stripes are showing. There is a reason why I cannot carry on productive discussions with you or RE, and it is entirely because of... you and RE. You are the one who has not responded reasonably to any of my questions posed to you. You are so blinded by your animosity towards TAE and me, that you cannot even see that you just made MY argument for me in your own comment:

Quote from: agelbert
I don't think your view that we will limp through the environmental degradation/collapse bottleneck somehow and come out better on the other side merits the charge your are engaging in "pie in the sky" thinking even though I share RE's view that we are pretty well fucked if massive global pro-renewable crash programs don't get going post haste. You and I are on the same page as to the fact that some serious shit is coming down the pike and governments need to get their ass in gear and do something about it including shit-canning the Western mindset.

The reason why you didn't realize you were making my argument is that you probably didn't read anything I wrote before launching into your ad hominem attacks. I, on the other hand, have read what you wrote, and have forced you to confront the REALITY that your global, decentralized, utopian vision for renewables stands a snowball's chance in Hell of coming to fruition. Even you admit this in your own annoying and reluctant manner. That's why the only substantive response you directed to me on this thread is the one with this HUGE caveat:

Quote from: agelbert
But suppose I received a visit from Representatives of all the top zip codes in the USA (for starters - the other heavily industrialized country elite would need to be on board) and they said to me they just figured out that the NBC (nuclear biological chemical) filters on their 40 year food supply bunkers are only good for 20 years and their scientists have estimated no environmental rebound from collapse for at least 30 years. IOW, the bunkers will turn into coffins. Due to this newfound knowledge, the elite have suddenly decided it is in their best interests to embrace (teeth fully gritted  ;D ) egalitarian socialism and put game theory in the circular file. So now, inflated with pride from all this reptilian elite attention and entranced in illusions of grandeur  :icon_mrgreen:, I proceed to outline the steps for the big switch in my Boris Karloff voice:

So now you have deluded yourself into thinking you are doing the world some great justice by constructing radical hypotheticals based on even more radical assumptions, and then telling people that global society will be JUST FINE if everyone would read your behemoth, horribly constructed articles. Unfortunately for you, rational/logical people like me exist to expose your assumptions. Perhaps you are so hatefully, ignorantly and stubbornly defensive here because you realize that, if my big picture perspective is correct, then all of your meticulous and painstaking efforts at number crunching with renewable energies will be rendered mostly irrelevant. The person telling you this doesn't have an agenda, just an interest in presenting the TRUTH to the masses in the face of well-meaning, but, nevertheless, false prophets such as yourself.

Quote from: Matthew7
  15“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

You are entirely correct about this, though:

Quote
Returning to Elmer Fudd and his endless procrastinating and prevarication, remember his weakness is his lack of humor. Stuffed shirts HATE humorous ridicule.

I stopped searching online for those types of laughs, i.e. the ones that I got when I was a 10-year old kid watching "What Would You Do" on Nickelodeon, when I hit puberty... and I find that full-grown adults who think that shit is still funny, to the point where they infuse it into all of their comments and insults, are harboring some deep-seated issues of immaturity, insecurity and hatred towards others. I have seen VERY insightful movies, shows, blog posts, etc. that are also witty and funny... but what you and RE do is not at all insightful OR funny. The fact that you guys are both over the age of 50 doesn't make it any better... I actually feel kind of embarrassed for you...
 
So, if you also have devolved into unending bitterness, envy and juvenile behavior, like your puppet master and role model, then I am done responding to you as well. Best of luck to you.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 21, 2012, 03:26:33 PM
Ashvin,
How's the cow? She walks, she talks, she's full of chalk. that lacteal fluid extracted from the female of the bovine species is highly prolific to the nth degree.

The above quote is from the cadet information book called Bugle Notes (otherwise known as the plebe bible at West Point). Note to all fourth classmen: The above quote, when requested by an Upperclassman with the interrogative "Mister, How's the cow!?", will be preceded with the honorific, "Sir!" and result in a 4C - fourth class demerit slip (otherwise referred to as "Quill will!"  by upperclassmen) if the exact number of milk cartons on the mess hall company table the plebe is at is not enumerated in the "degree" part of the "cow" quote. And don't forget to carry your carboard pie chart pattern in your dress cap to use as a guide in cutting pie pieces in military precision.

Above all, always show respect for upperclassmen. :icon_mrgreen:


(http://wildnorthdc.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/bugs_kissing_elmer_fudd.jpg?w=323&h=240)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 21, 2012, 03:27:49 PM
Quote
This Drought is an Opportunity to Think About Replacing Lawns with Gardens
Quote
Your typical suburban lawn consumes 10,000 gallons of water above annual rainfall.

Quote
How much water can you conserve by replacing your lawn with a garden?
A couple of years after starting my outdoor garden the water connection to the outside broke and I never fixed it. It turned out to be a blessing because up until then I did not realize how much water I wasted.
It wasn’t until I was watering grass with a watering can that the severity of the situation dawned on me. Little by little, I replaced the drying turf with plants until there were only a few square feet of it left.
Surviving on Rainfall
Today, everything that grows in the ground in my garden has to survive on rainfall. That includes the annuals, perennials, spring blooming bulbs and the summer blooming bulbs-and even a healthy dose of weeds. I didn’t set out to be a water conservationist — it just happened.
America’s obsession with lawns has unfortunately made victims of some who have purposefully set out to conserve water.

When Removing Your Lawn is a Crime
In 2010, Quan and Angelina Ha were charged with a misdemeanor violation and ordered to appear in court. Their crime? They removed their lawn in Orange, California and replaced it with woodchips and drought-tolerant plants like lavender, rosemary, horsetail and pittosporum. According to the Los Angeles Times article, they reduced their water usage from 299,221 gallons in 2007 to 58,348 gallons in 2009.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/this-drought-is-an-opportunity-to-think-about-replacing-lawns-with-gardens.html#ixzz21IFaWWSC (http://www.care2.com/causes/this-drought-is-an-opportunity-to-think-about-replacing-lawns-with-gardens.html#ixzz21IFaWWSC)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 21, 2012, 03:36:46 PM
Sorry, agelbert, but the lies and hypocrisy in your latest comment speak for
themselves.  I have not once used an ad hominem attack in this entire discussion,
and especially not with Alan.
Well then it's time to GET CRACKING. Bring on the ad  hominems! I love 'em!

Quote
I have provided plenty of links to support my arguments with Alan, and I have
simply asked for him to do the same, which he did in his last comment.
Wonderful how clear, calm and logical questions produce results, huh?
Clear, calm and logical is BORING, BORING, BORING.  Let's dial up the
emotional heat!  This plodding rational stuff is a big bore.

Actually, Ash, I haven't given you any substantial links/sources yet,
though I will. I'm waiting for a couple of posts to clear the mods -- posts
from several hours ago, before I registered.

Quote
You see, this is how reasonable people carry on reasonable discussions
without resorting to personal attacks and paranoid accusations.
Paranoid accusations -- some real spice in the conversation -- would be
most welcome, here.    Actually, RE has nearly obliged, already,
accusing me of being a "cornucopian".  That was good, but I'm sure it
can be bested.

Quote
Perhaps you are so hatefully, ignorantly and stubbornly defensive here
because you realize that, if my big picture perspective is correct, then all
of your meticulous and painstaking efforts at number crunching with
renewable energies will be rendered mostly irrelevant. The person telling
you this doesn't have an agenda, just an interest in presenting the TRUTH
to the masses in the face of well-meaning, but, nevertheless, false
prophets
such as yourself.
Far be it from any of us schlubs to question the man carrying Tablets
From Mount Sinai
... er,  the man delivering the indisputable TRUTH to
the BENIGHTED MASSES in the face of obfuscatory shenanigans on the part
of SATAN'S FALSE PROPHETS. Amen. Praise the Lord.

Quote
if you also have devolved into unending bitterness, envy and juvenile behavior,
like your puppet master and role model, then I am done responding to you as well.
I for one am planning on devolving into unending bitterness, envy and juvenile
behavior, as soon as I get the chance. But too many other projects on my plate
at the moment.  I'll get back to it.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 21, 2012, 03:48:34 PM
Alan,
I'm doing some research on steam turbines and the ones that are installed at nuclear power plants vs the ones at fossil fuel and geothermal plants. The best info on output and steam temperature ranges I've been able to get so far is from China. What have I gotten here? An article from Scientific American from 1969! GE has some steam turbine ads that gave me some nice pictures to look at but not much else. So yeah, I'll be taking a harder look at how the Chinese are taking this energy bull by the horns. Back to my research, nuke power conversion to geothermal looks promising because the steam turbines for nukes are built at more exacting specifications. There is a lot to learn and I'm pacing myself on it. I'm also perusing that free book you pointed at recently.  :emthup:
Keep eating Elmer Fudd's carrots! We wabbits have to stick together. :icon_mrgreen:
(http://www.animationconnection.com/inc/image.php?file=/images/graphics/1263431700-2008.jpg&w=400)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 21, 2012, 03:51:19 PM
Actually, Ash, I haven't given you any substantial links/sources yet,
though I will. I'm waiting for a couple of posts to clear the mods -- posts
from several hours ago, before I registered.
Ach!  They DID get posted -- #19 & 21, page 2 -- but I missed them.
OK, good. On track.  I will carry on.  The wiki thingie was just a warmup.

Sudden thought: should this be a separate thread? i.e. a bunch of stuff
about china?  I mean, a BUNCH of stuff. I'll keep it under control, but it
could easily run to a dozen posts, and that's without any discussion back
and forth.   Quite a bit of thread drift.  I don't want to ruin this thread.
(Or is it already ruined?)   Agelbert?  R.E.?

PS: if I start a separate thread, I hereby INSIST that it be laced liberally
with paranoid accusations, acrimony, vicious personal attacks, hypocrisy,
posturing and sanctimony.  Otherwise, what's the point?

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 21, 2012, 04:41:09 PM
Alan,
Heavens to Murgatroyd! By Jove, this Alan fellow has joined the ranks of the doomed false prophets! This fellow is obviously familiar with effective methods of  livening up a thread to increase readership. GO FOR IT, ALAN! :icon_mrgreen:  :emthup:

As to splitting off the thread in to a "China Shows Em' How It's Done" thread, that's up to RE but I'm fine with your fastidiously methodical approach to solving the Energy quagmire mankind is faced with. It certainly is relevant to this thread.

Oh, just one more thing. A little foul language now and then spices things up while assuring your place in the sanctimonious scripture quoters'  hall of disdain  ;D; exclamation points, irony and ridicule simply  are not juvenile enough for us old farts sometimes.  :icon_mrgreen:

Since we have been doomed to the fires of hell because we are "minions of Satan", perhaps we can get some kind soul to pray for our "boss". :evil4:

(http://imgace.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/mark-twain-quote-satan.png)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 21, 2012, 05:53:32 PM
I Split this Thread off from the Waste Based Economy thread.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 21, 2012, 06:27:34 PM
Ash: You could begin, profitably, just by reading Wikipedia's
writeup on the PRC's Five-Year Plans (FYPs). It is written
unevenly and with some faults, especially on the more recent
FYPs, but it is OK as a general overview.

You base your arguments on the PRC's 5 Year Plans?  This is like basing projections on our Economy based on statistics coming out of the BLS.

I will give you three statistics which REALLY COUNT here.

China Population: 1.3B
China Square Miles: 3,600,947
China Population Density: 361 Useless Eaters/Square Mile

This not counting the fact the Chinese Goobermint and Corporate Industry has turned a decent part of their best land into an Industrial Sewer

(http://gabrielsmessage.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/chinese_industrial_pollution.jpg)

(http://cdn.coastalcare.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/greenpeace-china3.jpg)

(http://www.bloomberg.com/image/iqAeThBIRqwc.jpg)

(http://www.chinahush.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/20091020luguang221.jpg)

The Chinese are
(http://s2.hubimg.com/u/731105_f520.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 21, 2012, 08:27:35 PM
Alan let us assume, as you've presented, that the Chinese are creditors that engage in long term planning.  While those may appear to be key differences, more important is the fact that every industrial growth economy, regardless of geographical or cultural alignment, is based on continuous availablility of non-renewable natural resources to facilitate their conversion into both products of consumption and waste.  The economy is not outside nature but wholly dependent on it.  In this sense the Chinese are no different and will eventually reach growth limits through either exhaustion of resources, filling of waste sinks, or both.  Any assumptions predicated upon a growth economy will, therefore, carry a 'use by date' due to the finite nature of the resources it requires.  If the Chinese have overcome this issue through planning, I'd love to see it.  Any such plan should have the decrease of resource consumption as the target result.

Dipping into stores of surplus resources is a non-repeatable event and there have been no attempts by any culture to husband these resources.  In fact, everyone is committed to using them as quickly as possible, because it's in our human nature to do so.  We are instinctively driven to use whatever resources or tools at our disposal for our immediate benefit without consideration for conservation of those resources.  Simply speaking, short term benefit is preferred over long term.  Furthermore, as per the reaction principle, we will generally only respond to threats that are immediate.  These instincts have their root in our evolution as a species and have served us well to date, but are and will be increasingly detrimental to our survival, unless we find a way to intellectually overcome these instincts.

Craig Dilworth, in Too Smart for our Own Good, has this to say about "The pursuit of economic growth."

Quote
What constitutes economic growth?

Economic growth is growth in the GNP of a country or the GWP of the world, each of which, as mentioned in Chapter 4, is taken to be a measure of welfare. But Boulding, beginning already in 1949, repeatedly suggested that gross national product is essentially the same thing as gross national cost, a question taken up in Chapter 2. And in this vein Kapp, in 1950, said that, “in their present form, national income indices not only fail to subtract … social costs, but include money spent to repair the damages caused by productive activities of the past and present.” And Daly, while he admits that part of the GWP may be an economic gain, sees part of it as definitely a cost – one due to its own production. This view, which has as yet to be refuted, may be easily understood on the VCP in terms of renewable and non-renewable resources. As Boulding suggests, it should be possible to distinguish that part of the GNP which is derived from exhaustible and that which is derived from reproducible resources, as well as that part of consumption which represents effluvia and that which represents reintroduction into the productive system, and from there be able to create a better measure of welfare.

The preconditions of economic growth

Another distinction to be made in considering economic growth is that between resources and what is produced using the resources, the existence of the latter presupposing that of the former. As pointed out by Schumacher, an expansion of our ability to produce goods and services is useless unless preceded by an expansion of our ability to obtain resources, for humans are not really producers (due to the conservation principles of physics and chemistry) but converters, and for every instance of conversion we need resources (low entropy) to convert. And without a surplus of resources there can be no growth. In particular, our ability to convert depends on the accessibility of energy, which immediately points to the need to distinguish between renewable and non-renewable sources of energy. The market knows nothing of these distinctions however. It provides a price tag in terms of money for all goods and services indiscriminately, and thereby enables us to pretend that their exchange value is their true value. Take various alternative fuels, such as coal, oil, wood and waterpower: the only difference between them recognised by modern economics is relative cost per unit power produced. The cheapest is automatically the one to be chosen, as to choose otherwise would be irrational and ‘uneconomic.’ As Schumacher also says, the economic growth of the industrial era could just as well be seen as a measure of the rate at which we are consuming geological capital, while counting it as income. The continuing existence of economic growth implies a number of processes, some of which are physical/biological and some of which are social.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 399-400). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

As for the physical and social effects of economic growth, Dilworth says:

Quote
The physical effects of economic growth

Regarding the physical implications, as succinctly expressed by Daly, after we deplete one resource, we redesign our machines and set about depleting another. The assumption is that in the aggregate resources are infinite, that when one flow dries up there will always be another, and that technology will always find cheap ways to exploit the next resource. When the whales are gone, we will hunt dolphins, and so on until we are farming plankton. And, we might add, when that’s no longer possible we’ll find a way of getting nutrients from bottom sludge. Economic growth, so long as it is based on a non-renewable surplus, erodes that surplus at a faster rate than would occur otherwise, shortening the time to its eventual disappearance – as would be expected given Georgescu-Roegen’s considerations regarding entropy. It also produces increasing quantities of non-biodegradable waste that increasingly pollute the environment. And if the surplus is of renewables, economic growth will tend to convert them into non-renewables: their being drawn into the economic system to a constantly increasing degree will mean their being used at a successively higher rate until that rate exceeds their ability to reproduce themselves. As Schumacher says, it is clear that the rich are in the process of stripping the world of its once-and-for-all endowment of relatively cheap and simple fuels, their continuing pursuit of economic growth producing ever more exorbitant demands. Thus, as Schumacher noted already in 1970 with regard to economic growth and sources and sinks, we find that the idea of unlimited economic growth – more and more until everybody is saturated with wealth – needs to be seriously questioned on at least two counts: the availability of basic resources and, alternatively or additionally, the capacity of the environment to cope with the degree of interference implied. In this latter regard, as expressed by Commoner, all this ‘progress’ has greatly increased humans’ impact on the environment. The postwar technological transformation of the United States economy produced not only the much-heralded 126 per cent rise in GNP (from ca. 1946 to 1970), but also, at a rate about ten times faster than the growth of the GNP, rising levels of pollution. “The very system of enhancing profit in this industry is precisely the cause of its intense, detrimental impact on the environment.” According to Milbrath and in keeping with The Limits to Growth view, the economy will sooner or later begin an irreversible period of contraction that will probably be seen at first as another recession. Maintaining the expansive economy means eventually starving from a dearth of resources or choking on a superabundance of garbage. As Goldsmith says,
Quote
If development means the continued substitution of machinery and other inputs for human labour, so as to increase per capita production and hence consumption and thereby foster economic growth – then surely the answer is that there is no possibility of development for very much further without ecodisasters. I think we have reached a stage where it is extremely difficult for serious people to continue to assume that somehow, with the aid of science and technology, we can go on indefinitely enjoying economic growth without changing the climate in a disastrous way, without large-scale famines, annihilation of wildlife, etc. In fact we are heading towards a whole series of crises which can only be exacerbated by further economic growth.


In keeping with Wilkinson, and more particularly with Schumacher, we could also see economic growth, through its mirroring physical ‘production,’ as a measure of the failure of humans to live in ecological equilibrium with their environment. A rising GNP may just as well be taken as evidence of the increasing needs and problems which make higher consumption necessary. As put by Mishan, continued technological and economic growth will act to worsen the human condition. Were it not for the pursuit of economic growth, we would not have population growth nor technological development nor pollution; nor need our society be highly stratified. And population pressure would be less, which could decrease the likelihood and/or severity of wars.

The social effects of economic growth

As pointed out by Kapp, a system of investment for profit cannot be expected to proceed in any way other than by trying to reduce its costs whenever possible and by ignoring those losses that can be shifted to third persons or to society at large. Capitalists’ costs do not include the social (or ecological) costs of production and, therefore, are no adequate measure of total costs. The competitive cost-price calculus is not merely meaningless, but nothing more than an institutionalised cover under which it is possible for private enterprise to shift part of its costs to the shoulders of others, and to practise a form of large-scale spoliation.

As Kapp further suggests, the disruption of the environment and the resultant social costs have a tendency to increase both absolutely and relatively as production and consumption and hence factor input and residual wastes increase, and as these wastes are emitted or dumped into the environment without adequate prior treatment and prior assessment of the consequences. In both capitalist and socialist countries, pressure groups use their political influence to perpetuate existing methods of doing business, which is to the detriment of society as a whole. “[C]apitalism must be regarded as an economy of unpaid costs, ‘unpaid’ in so far as a substantial proportion of the actual costs of production remain unaccounted for in entrepreneurial outlays; instead they are shifted to, and ultimately borne by, third persons, or by the community as a whole.”

While the intended social effect of economic growth is ostensibly to improve welfare, as Commoner points out, the growth of the American economy between 1946 and the early 1970s had a surprisingly small effect on the degree to which individual needs for basic economic goods (vital resources) were met. In each case of 20th-century technological development there was a drastic change in the technology of production. A detergent is no better an economic good than soap – but it is, far more than soap, an ecological ‘bad’. But its use is pushed by advertising, as detergents increase capitalists’ profits more than does soap. As Goldsmith and his associates see it, economic growth constitutes the principal defect in the industrial way of life. 

One social effect of constant economic growth is increasing psychological stress, the result of being caught up in the rat race, and constantly having to run faster and faster. Lorenz traces this stress back to its biological preconditions, suggesting that: “The rushed existence into which industrialized man has precipitated himself is actually a good example of an inexpedient development caused entirely by competition between members of the same species.” Economic growth and the rat race are the result of intraspecific male competition over territory in a context where technology allows more and more to be taken from the environment.

Here we might consider excerpts from Forrester’s analysis of economic growth. As he sees it, such growth is bringing pressure on every facet of human existence. The American federal policy in the mid-1970s (and the policy of all nations today) was to attempt to relieve the pressure that results from growth while at the same time trying to accelerate that growth. But continuing growth, far from solving problems, is the primary generator of our growing social distress. The ultimate pressures resulting from growth are of a social nature – crime, civil disorder, declining mental health, war, drug addiction, and the collapse of goals and values. For each technical goal that is met, some social or economic goal must be forgone. Though population growth and migration have been controlled at all times, that control has often been guided by short-term considerations, with unexpected and undesirable long-term results. (Cf. Mishan: “Rapid economic development over the last century has been responsible not only for an unprecedented expansion of populations the world over but also, and especially in the richer countries, for the growing mobility of their populations.”) The issue is not one of control or no control. The issue is the kind of control and towards what end. No group can be expected to exert the self-discipline now necessary to limit population size and the environmental demands of industrialisation unless there is a way to keep the future advantages of such self-discipline from being swallowed up by inward migration.

The view that at least a good part of GNP represents a cost may be seen as being society’s point of view, or, ultimately, the point of view of the species. But it is not the point of view of individual capitalists. As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, it amounted to $468 per barrel, or 18 times the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself. In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in one year at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, they could have eliminated the need to import oil from the Middle East. So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists.

But there are large economic discrepancies even within wealthy nations. As Schumacher asks regarding the United States, how could there be public squalor in the richest country in the world, and in fact much more of it than in many other countries whose per capita GNP is markedly smaller? Schumacher wrote at the beginning of the 1970s, but the subsequent 35 years of continuous growth haven’t helped the situation. As Reiman remarks, the richest nation in the world continues to produce massive poverty, 37 million people in the US – over 12 per cent of the population – today being classed as poor. The life expectancy of the average African-American is lower than that of the average Chinese, and the infant mortality rate in cities such as Washington, Baltimore and St. Louis is higher than in cities such as Bangkok and Cairo. As Schumacher says, if economic growth to the present American level has been unable to get rid of public squalor – or has even been accompanied by its increase – how could one reasonably expect that further such growth would mitigate or remove it? It is strange indeed that the conventional wisdom of present-day economics can do nothing to help the poor. Invariably it proves that only such policies are viable as have in fact the result of making those already rich and powerful, richer and more powerful. The conventional wisdom of what is now taught as economics bypasses the poor, the very people for whom development is really needed. The economics of giantism and automation is totally incapable of solving any of the real problems of today.

As regards free trade, Douthwaite points out that international free trade inescapably leads to a levelling down. It means that salaries and wages will tend to converge at Third World levels, and social security provisions in industrial countries will continue to be cut, since these are an overhead that economies cannot bear if they are to compete successfully with countries without them. Only the owners of the surviving transnational companies and of natural resources will escape the general impoverishment. Already the islands of prosperity are growing steadily smaller in an otherwise sick, dilapidated and hungry world.

As expressed by Schumacher, one does not have to be a believer in total equality, whatever that may mean, to be able to see that the existence of inordinately rich people in any society today is a very great evil. As is implied by what has been said earlier, excessive wealth, like power (and as a form of it), tends to corrupt. Even if the rich are not ‘idle rich,’ even if they work harder than anyone else, they corrupt themselves by practising greed, and they corrupt the rest of society by provoking envy.

Quote
In the excitement over the unfolding of his scientific and technical powers, modern man has built a system of production that ravishes nature and a type of society that mutilates man. If only there were more and more wealth, everything else, it is thought, would fall into place. Money is considered to be all-powerful; if it could not actually buy non-material values, such as justice, harmony, beauty or even health, it could circumvent the need for them or compensate for their loss. The development of production and the acquisition of wealth have thus become the highest goals of the modern world in relation to which all other goals, no matter how much lip-service may still be paid to them, have come to take second place. The highest goals require no justification; all secondary goals have finally to justify themselves in terms of the service their attainment renders to the attainment of the highest. This is the philosophy of [ social ] materialism, and it is this philosophy – or metaphysic – which is now being challenged by events.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 400 - 405). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 21, 2012, 10:57:53 PM
Though, you might ask yourself, Ash: for someone who is so certain that he knows
what's happening in China, and how screwed they are, isn't it odd not to have
spent a few hours in actual investigation and reading on the subject, sufficient to
come up with this stuff on your own?  Why do you have to rely on me?  You're the
big expert, with the pronounciamentos about how fucked the Chinese  are.  All it
takes is a little bit of effort to expose yourself to the full story. But for some reason,
you've chosen not to. Why is that?

Anyway... to follow are a few items, (a FEW items; there's much more), sometimes
with a comment of mine.

I've spent plenty of time reading about the financial, social, geopolitical, environmental and energy situation in China, and thinking about the inter-relation between all of those things... and that's why I believe they are screwed to quite screwed over the next few decades. I'm giving YOU a chance to convince me otherwise with whatever analyses you can muster. So go ahead and post your links and snippets, and I'll take a look, but I'm done with the back and forth discussion. I can't tell if you are being sarcastic with your comments about ad hominems and what not, but they seem just a little bit... unstable to me, and I've had enough of that nonsense.

If I wanted to have a lot of personal pleasure and entertainment in my life, I would be in a completely different line of work and not spending any of my weekends discussing these very important issues with the likes of anyone in the online Doomer community... no offense. I'm not on TAE to make friends or to hang out and shoot the shit, and that's most definitely not why I take the time to participate on DD. I've spent too much of my life living for my own personal pleasures, especially 4 years of continuous debauchery in college, and I'm done with all of that.

The fact is that I could easily become the lowest common denominator here, and tear people like Karpatok or agelbert to shreds with insults and ridicule. I'm a 27 year old with plenty of pop culture references and nasty jokes up my sleeve. Half the people I grew up with are exactly like that, and I used to go back and forth with them all the time. I suspect most of the people here know that I could do that if I wanted to. Say what you will about RE, but there's no denying he's a very intelligent guy, and he's very good at baiting people into those types of flame wars. He knows he can bring it out of me if I relent.

Indeed, he's already gotten me to go against my principles and become a mean-spirited asshole on these threads. But, believe it or not, I DON'T WANT TO ANYMORE. It's irrelevant, distracting, counter-productive and, most importantly, it's wrong. Degrading other people and stirring up a bunch of drama to get some sort of prideful satisfaction, while derailing threads, pissing people off and generating nothing but the worst emotions in people, is just WRONG. Therefore, you will never see me write another ad hominem attack against anyone. In fact, I will never respond to anyone who is clearly trying to bait me.

The fact is, none of the people here, who haven't already met each other in person, know a damn thing about the lives, personalities or circumstances of anyone else. A lot of us like to pretend we can "read" each other through our online postings and generate a back-story of who they are or what they are about or where they came from, but most of the time we end up being completely wrong. The only reason I've called people here bitter or hateful or childish is because I feel like they have gone out of their way to prove that to me in their repeated comments towards or about me, but even then I shouldn't presume to know what these people are really like.

For Christ's sake (quite literally), people, let's recognize the fact that we are on an online forum talking about the most serious issues human beings could ever talk about, in perhaps one of the most important times in human history, and let's just choose to forgive each other for our perceived transgressions and be civilized. Obviously, Alan, I haven't been talking to just you this whole time, but everyone who reads this. I don't want to see DD devolve anymore than I want to see TAE devolve, because these types of forums are just too damn important for scores of other people who are looking for the Truth. We need to literally remember that every time we think about writing some kind of personal attack against someone else. 
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 21, 2012, 11:33:01 PM

For Christ's sake (quite literally), people, let's recognize the fact that we are on an online forum talking about the most serious issues human beings could ever talk about, in perhaps one of the most important times in human history, and let's just choose to forgive each other for our perceived transgressions and be civilized. Obviously, Alan, I haven't been talking to just you this whole time, but everyone who reads this. I don't want to see DD devolve anymore than I want to see TAE devolve, because these types of forums are just too damn important for scores of other people who are looking for the Truth. We need to literally remember that every time we think about writing some kind of personal attack against someone else.

I AGREE with this Sentiment 100%!

Unfortunately, this IS the Internet, and in Open Forums  the participants tend to pull in the Kitchen Sink, including of course ATTACKING each other all the time.

My experience tells me this will CALM DOWN over time, long as it is always made clear that you can't get anywhere with Napalm.  My job as I see it is to Out Napalm anybody else who tries to use this tactic.  I realize that by doing so I often damage my own credibility and arguments that I amke in my Articles, but I see it as a necessary thing to do to keep the Forum open to all viewpoints.

However, I side with Watson on this one.  Let us make the ATTEMPT here to STOP NAPALMING each other and make good and substantive arguments to TOPIC.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 21, 2012, 11:43:21 PM
Ashvin,

We're all "only human" animals.  All the vitriol that's transpired here doesn't lend much hope, in my opinion, that humankind is going to transcend its less desirable traits, which I view as a requirement to prevent eventual extinction.  DD and TAE are geared toward discussing collapse/extinction and yet the very traits which are bringing us to that point continue to play out like a Greek tragedy within these forums. We are trying to understand WTF is going on, meanwhile, all the explanation required is demonstrated by our very behaviour and interactions with each other.. 

While I don't subscribe to your belief that God WILL save us, I do agree it's probably our best chance. 

In short, we are, as RE puts it, TOAST!
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 21, 2012, 11:59:09 PM

We're all "only human" animals.

We are what we are.  The violence we are capable of is not much different than that which goes on in the rest of the Animal Kingdom, the main difference is one of Scale and the fact we pretty much squashed all the predators on our own species, INCLUDING the microscopic ones for a while.

While I am QUITE CERTAIN Homo Industrialis is "Toast", I still hold the HOPE that Homo Sapiens is not TOAST.  I don't believe HS will find a balance in Nature without a good deal of violence, certainly not before the Overshoot Population gets Knocked Down anyhow.

Her on the Diner, we hash out these things verbally, and the Best and Worst in the Individuals comes out.  We LEARN things as a result, even from the Napalm Contests actually.

It all can be quite TERRIFYING, and PAINFUL also.  But then again, it is the TRUTH, so it should be told SOMEWHERE.  I put up up the Diner with my Friends from Reverse Engineering as a PLACE the TRUTH can be spoken, in all the Terror and the Pain that entails.  I doubt it will ever be PLEASANT here on the Diner.  How can the COLLAPSE of your Civilization EVER really be a pleasant thing to hash out?

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 04:27:57 AM
I Split this Thread off from the Waste Based Economy thread.

RE

Cool!  You I'm sure did it in about 1/20th the time it would have taken me.

I was thinking of a thread title more along the lines of: "China: Economy, Environment, Large-Scale management", or something like that.  The particulars of what China is doing are fascinating, but
even more important are the generalities: the way in which they are acting as a partial model of
competent and visionary central planning -- which is probably indispensable, given the nature and
scope of our predicament.  Note: "PARTIAL".

For years, I did not want to see this, because I am a dyed-in-the-cloth decentralist and (small-l)
libertarian-socialist (anarchist) type who can't stand authoritarianism.  But as time has passed,
I've been forced to admit that maybe there is no direct path to my ideal, and that may be
even more true elsewhere (China) than here. 

Anyway... I will now post a number of items, as planned. Consider these a continuation from
post #s 19 and 21, previous (page 2).

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 04:31:59 AM
Below is an infographic thingie which points up a few of China's
environmental achievements over the last several FYPs.

For example, the 11th FYP (2006-2011) targets included:
  -- a 30% drop in water intensivity; this was achieved
  -- a 10% drop in sulfur emissions; this was more than achieved (14%)
  -- a 5GW increase in new wind power; the increase was 40GW (!)
  -- a 20% drop in energy intensivity; a 19.1% drop was achieved
     [this is HUGE; big reductions in energy intensivity are
     critical for sustainability]

-- --------------------

Quote

http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2011/world/infographic-successes-and-failures-of-chinas-five-year-plans-1996-2010/ (http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2011/world/infographic-successes-and-failures-of-chinas-five-year-plans-1996-2010/)

Infographic: Successes and Failures of China's Five-Year Plans
(1996 -2010)

Tuesday, 15 March 2011 14:00

A breakdown of previous plans gives context to the newly
released 12th Five-Year Plan.

The 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) calls for reducing annual
economic growth to seven percent a year (down from about 10
percent in each of the last four years), restraining the
growth in coal production to three percent a year (down from
more than 15 percent annually since 2000), and limiting water
consumption.

Economists note, however, that China routinely ratifies
five-year plans that call for growth rates well below those
that the nation actually attains. The 10th Five-Year Plan
(2001-2005), set a growth target of seven percent, but
averaged 9.5 percent, and the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010)
set a 7.5 percent average annual growth rate, but the actual
rate was 11.2 percent.

Click through the interactive infographic below to see other
successes and failures of China's 9th, 10th, and 11th
Five-Year Plans.

----------------------

A couple more points:

1. "The 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) calls for reducing
annual economic growth to seven percent a year
(down from
about 10 percent in each of the last four years)" -- an
extremely important point, to which I will return in a
subsequent post.

2. "China routinely ratifies five-year plans that call for
growth rates well below those that the nation actually
attains"; i.e. the Chinese* are not given to making wild
promises that they cannot keep -- also an extremely important
point. Sometimes they fail to achieve a stated goal, but more
often they exceed their stated goals.


* "The Chinese", i.e. official Chinese sources; I am not
referring to an ethnicity, or an innate characteristic.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 04:53:05 AM

I was thinking of a thread title more along the lines of: "China: Economy, Environment, Large-Scale management", or something like that.

Well, one of the Perks of being Admin is you get to Title Split Threads as it pleases you to do so.  :icon_mrgreen:

If you want your own Thread Title, then wise idea here would be to begin an entirely NEW thread with the Title you like for it.  I'll move your posts from here to that thread if you request it.  Elsewise, you are stuck with my Titleing.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 05:05:05 AM

Quote


http://www.unep.org/ourplanet/2011/dec/en/article4.asp (http://www.unep.org/ourplanet/2011/dec/en/article4.asp)

Getting off the roller-coaster

Qi Ye

Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of Climate
Policy Initiative at Tsinghua University, Beijing

China's 11th Five Year Plan (11th FYP), spanning 2006 to 2010,
was historic for its action on climate change, effectively
reversing a rapidly increasing trend of energy intensity, as
measured by energy use per unit of GDP. Within five years,
this energy intensity was cut by more than 19 per cent,
helping to avoid 1.55 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions
-- five times the emission reduction committed by the EU under
the Kyoto Protocol. However, this historic success is shadowed
by two other simultaneous changes: China, for the first time
in recent history, surpassed the United States as the world's
largest carbon emitter and, soon afterward, as its largest
energy consumer. The country's energy related carbon emission
grew by a third in five years. Growing and daunting challenges
lie ahead.

During the 11th FYP period energy intensive industries
continued the rapid growth experienced during the period of
the previous Five Year Plan, posing stern prospects for
China's energy saving targets. Intensive regulations -- coupled
with an unprecedented scale of both investment and stringent
enforcement -- achieved a cumulative 12.5 per cent reduction in
energy intensity between 2007 and 2009. However, the stimulus
package implemented in response to the global economic crisis
promoted investment in infrastructure and triggered a quick
rebound of energy intensive industries. Action to save energy
saving slowed down in the first half of 2010 and energy
intensity began to grow again.

The legacy of the economic stimulus carried over into the 12th
Five Year plan (12th FYP) period. The motivation for local
government to achieve economic development remains high. As a
result, the GDP growth rate reached 9.6 per cent in the first
half of 2011, and, not surprisingly, the reduction in energy
intensity was unsatisfactory. This poses an enormous challenge
if China is to meet its low-carbon targets for the next four
years. The reappearance of a rollercoaster pattern of energy
intensity implies that the foundation of China's low-carbon
development is less than solid.

Nevertheless, the achievement of low-carbon development in the
11th FYP period deserves significant recognition for
effectively curbing, and dramatically reversing, the rapidly
rising trend of energy intensity. There was also tangible
improvement in technological progress and in reducing energy
intensive industries' and products' contribution to the
economy, eliminating inefficient production capacity. A system
of policies and institutions for low carbon development has
been established, and is improving.

[...snip...]


Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 05:10:20 AM
I was thinking of a thread title more along the lines of: "China: Economy, Environment, Large-Scale management", or something like that.
Well, one of the Perks of being Admin is you get to Title Split Threads as it pleases you to do so.  :icon_mrgreen:
If you want your own Thread Title, then wise idea here would be to begin an entirely NEW thread with the Title you like for it.  I'll move your posts from here to that thread if you request it.  Elsewise, you are stuck with my Titleing.

No big deal. If you can re-title this thread, that would be cool, but no bigee either way.
No need to make a big operation out of it.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 05:25:25 AM

No big deal. If you can re-title this thread, that would be cool, but no bigee either way.
No need to make a big operation out of it.

The software does not enable Retitling of threads once they are begun.  You can re-Title each Post you make to the thread, but even Admin cannot Retitle the whole thread once begun on this software package.  The ONLY way to retitle a thread is to start a new one and Migrate all the posting over to it.  I CAN do that, because of course I am ADMIN, Power of GOD on a Forum.  :icon_mrgreen:

If you start the new thread under the title you like, since this one is your baby overall I will migrate the whole thread over there.  No problem, not complicated,  I can do that in under a minute.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 05:30:27 AM
The overall success of the Five Year Plans, up to the 11th, are a matter of
historical record.  Now comes (or CAME, as of 2011) the 12th FYP, and
it is a doozie!

Quote


http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2011/04/05/12th-five-year-plan-hailed-as-greenest-fyp-in-chinas-history.html (http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2011/04/05/12th-five-year-plan-hailed-as-greenest-fyp-in-chinas-history.html)

12th Five Year Plan Hailed as `Greenest FYP in China's
History'

Posted on April 5, 2011 by China Briefing

One of the most significant messages that emerged from the
Annual Sessions of China's National People's Congress last
month was undoubtedly the importance and urgency to create a
"green" China - one where sustainable development will be the
top priority and one which will be fully compatible with
China's economic plans for growth.

China's new 12th Five Year Plan (FYP), hailed as the "Greenest
FYP in China's History," contains a series of social and
economic objectives to be achieved by 2015, of which one-third
are targets relating to natural resources and environmental
issues, aiming to build sustainable development practices into
Chinese industries.

The new targets are no less ambitious than those from the last
FYP, where the government managed to successfully reduce
China's energy intensity by 20 percent from 2006 to 2010. The
new targets, signed off by the NPC and the State Party earlier
this month, intend to lower energy intensity by a further 16
percent over the next five years. Other equally impressive
goals arising from the Annual Sessions include China's goal to
boost the proportion of non-fossil fuels in overall primary
energy use from the current 8 percent up to 11.4 percent; to
cut CO2 emission by 17 percent overall; and to reduce major
pollutant emissions, such as heavy metal and chemical waste
from manufacturing processes, by around 8 percent to 10
percent.

[...snip...]

Although traditionally it had been relatively difficult for
foreign investors to get involved in the renewable energy
market, it is possible that new avenues could be opening up in
this sector as China pushes forward with the new
environmentally-friendly FYP. In order to restructure and
upgrade Chinese industries with the new targets in mind,
authorities have recognized that there is a need for foreign
input in terms of new investment and technologies in these
areas.


.................................

Note well, Ash, since you had asked about the dependence of China's
renewable energy development on "foreign capital": "traditionally
it had been relatively difficult for foreign investors to get involved in
the renewable energy market"
.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 05:51:35 AM

This is snippets from one section, of several that I
will post, from an ebook about the 12th FYP:

Quote


http://www.chinadialogue.net/UserFiles/File/PDF_ebook001.pdf (http://www.chinadialogue.net/UserFiles/File/PDF_ebook001.pdf)
China's Green Revolution: Energy, Environment and the 12th
Five-Year Plan

page 17:

China's green era begins

Hu Angang and Liang Jiaochen

Five-year plans (FYPs), which set down and clarify national
strategy, are one of China's most important policy tools. Just
as they have helped to drive China's economic success over
recent decades, so they will play a pivotal role in putting
the country on a green development path.
The 12th
Five-Year Plan, now under consideration by the National
People's Congress, marks the beginning of that process in
earnest.

FYPs embody the concept of progressing by degrees, or
developing step by step. This approach has been one of the
driving forces behind China's economic progress in recent
decades, and will now provide the platform for its green
development. It is the methodology underpinning China's
socialist modernisation: to reach a new step in development
every five years. Unstinting efforts over a number of FYPs
have driven China's transformation.18

Climate change presents a long-term and all-encompassing
challenge for China. It demands a long-term development
strategy and broad goals, as well as near-term action plans
and concrete policies. Combining these is precisely the idea
behind FYPs.

At the global climate-change summit in Copenhagen in 2009,
China demonstrated it has the long-term political will to
respond to climate change; to work with the world to limit
global temperatures to no more than two degrees Celsius above
pre-industrial temperatures (the goal set out in the
Copenhagen Accord). In November that year, the Chinese
government formally put forward its medium-term targets on
climate change: a reduction in energy intensity of 40% to 45%
on 2005 levels by 2020, and generation of 15% of energy from
non-fossil fuel sources by the same date.

The period from 2005 to 2020 takes in three FYPs, the 11th,
12th and 13th. In each five-year period, national
circumstances and long-term strategy will inform the selection
of appropriate targets. In this way, further steps towards the
medium-term development goals set for 2020 - themselves part
of a longer-term green development strategy - will be taken.
The development philosophy of China's five-year plans will be
combined with its green development strategy.

We have already seen some success in the 11th FYP period
(2005 to 2010), during which China met its energy-saving and
emission-reduction targets, a good first step towards
achieving 2020 targets.
Next we need to research, set and
implement energy-saving and emission-reduction goals for the
12th FYP, taking further steps along the same path.

One of the key strengths of Chinese socialism is its capacity
for long-term, national-level planning - its political
continuity. FYPs are an important example of this. Despite the
twists and turns of history, China has held firm in its
modernisation goals. China is one of the few nations able to
pursue 19 long-term development goals, rather than chop and
change as political parties with differing stances succeed one
another.

Long-term policy continuity is vital for dealing with issues
like climate change. Cutting greenhouse-gas emissions and
building a low-carbon economy require an overhaul of both our
mode of economic development and our lifestyles. Achieving
this requires perseverance. This is where China's policymaking
framework shows its strengths. China's enduring and stable
political system, in combination with its five-year planning
structure, will ensure that the country maintains a
consistent, long-term strategy for tackling climate change at
the same time as formulating policies that respond to the
needs of the time.

These are strengths many other nations lack.

[...snip...]

Successes in energy-saving and emissions-reduction over the
last five years give us a taste of what's to come. In our
evaluation of the 11th FYP, we found that targets on
population, resource conservation and environment were all
fulfilled. Energy intensity dropped by about 20% as planned.

Arable land cover was held at 1.2 million square kilometres, a
higher figure than was targeted.20

Meanwhile, water consumption per unit of industrial value
added dropped 35% against a target of 30%.
The coefficient of
effective use of water for irrigation reached the targeted
0.5. And chemical oxygen demand (an indirect measure of water
pollution) dropped by 14%.

Carbon-dioxide emissions also fell - by an accumulative 12% -
more than the 10% goal mandated by the plan.
The binding
targets for energy-saving and emission-reduction in particular
showed the value of "hard limits". Major progress was made on
green development, providing important experience for further
implementation during the 12th FYP.

The 12th FYP is the first for which the theme will be green
development. Again, a point will be made of the need to
"construct a resource-conserving and environmentally friendly
society".
The plan will explicitly say that, faced with
ever-stronger environmental and resource constraints, China
must increase its sense of urgency and establish concepts of
green and low- carbon development. With a focus on
energy-saving and emission-reduction, it must introduce
incentives and disincentives to help promote resource
conservation and green production and consumption.

The green development strategy has six supporting pillars,
each with its own section in the plan: actively responding to
climate change; strengthening conservation and management of
resources; developing the "circular economy"; enhancing
environmental protection; promoting ecological protection and
restoration; and strengthening systems for water management
and disaster prevention and alleviation.

Green development targets are also more apparent in the new
FYP.

Population goals aside, the number of resource and
environmental targets accounts for 33.3% of the total, up from
27.2% in the 11th FYP. It also sets the key aims that will
frame China's response to climate change. These include:
reductions in carbon-dioxide intensity, reductions in carbon-
dioxide emissions - by increasing the proportion of non-fossil
fuels in 21 energy structure - and the creation of new forest
areas to boost forest cover, timber reserves and carbon sinks.

The 12th FYP sets out both "carrot" and "stick" approaches.
For the first time, this FYP aims to reform resource pricing
and establish a system of payment for environmental services.
It requires stronger assessment of responsibility for
energy-saving and emission-reduction targets, appropriate
control of total energy consumption and the application of
green development in all economic activity.

Also for the first time, the 12th FYP puts forward an
"ecological security" strategy. In areas where development is
limited or banned, ecological protection will be rigorously
enforced and green buffer zones will be used to shield
vulnerable land. There will also be funding for specific
ecological restoration projects, so that our children and
grandchildren will be able to enjoy a beautiful China.

The 12th FYP is a true green development plan, which marks
China's entry into a green development era. It is a historical
moment: the point at which China launches - and joins - the
global green revolution and adopts a concrete plan of action
for responding to climate change. The positive effects will be
felt worldwide.

[...snip...]


Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 05:55:31 AM
Snippets from another section of the ebook:

Quote


http://www.chinadialogue.net/UserFiles/File/PDF_ebook001.pdf (http://www.chinadialogue.net/UserFiles/File/PDF_ebook001.pdf)
China's Green Revolution: Energy, Environment and the 12th
Five-Year Plan

page 38:

A test for Europe?

Shin Wei Ng

China's 12th Five-Year Plan was approved after the annual
sessions of the National People's Congress and Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference - bodies that meet
once a year to discuss and determine national-level policies.
Central to the FYP are the government's aims to accelerate
social development, expand domestic demand and develop new
strategic industries.

Over the next five years, the Chinese economy is expected to
grow by 50% to US$7.5 trillion (49.3 trillion yuan); its
working population, however, is also expected to peak around
2015 to 2017. To address the impending challenges and maintain
steady economic growth, the Chinese government will shift from
a focus on the quantity of growth to the quality of
development.


Five-year plans are more than mere political intent -
delivery of their targets is a crucial source of political
legitimacy for the Chinese leadership. Despite some
difficulties, strong top-down measures have meant that the
Chinese government has managed to achieve most of the
environmental targets set under the 11th FYP.

 As China starts to deliver on its potential, the 12th
FYP will further intensify China's "green transition", which
is particularly critical in helping China to implement its 40%
to 45% carbon- intensity reduction target by 2020.

[...snip...]

China's new industrial strategy will prioritise the
development of seven industries: alternative energy,
biotechnology, new-generation information technology, high-end
equipment manufacturing, advanced materials, alternative-fuel
cars and energy saving and environmental protection. The total
value-added output of the new industries is expected to
account for 8% of China's GDP in 2015 and 15% by 2020.

By placing substantial amounts of public investment in these
sectors and providing the right policy framework over the next
five to 10 years, the Chinese government aims to increase
dramatically the capacity and competitiveness of Chinese
businesses in the green sector. For example, under the draft
"New Energy Industry Development Plan 2011-2020", the Chinese
government plans to invest 5 trillion yuan (US$761 billion) in
the new-energy sector by 2020. Investment in environmental
protection is expected to top 3 trillion yuan by 2015, and the
government also plans to invest 100 billion yuan in the
alternative-energy vehicles industry over the next 10 years.


[...snip...]

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 06:01:55 AM

Snippets from another section of the ebook:

Quote


http://www.chinadialogue.net/UserFiles/File/PDF_ebook001.pdf (http://www.chinadialogue.net/UserFiles/File/PDF_ebook001.pdf)
China's Green Revolution: Energy, Environment and the 12th
Five-Year Plan

page 48:

A spur to action in Hong Kong

Thomas Ho

Chinese officials have clearly determined that wealth
generation alone won't deliver greater economic and social
maturity. Energy efficiency, renewables, clean technologies
and environmental protection are essential as well. Hong Kong
should take heed.

In fact, the relative weighting afforded to the environment as
against the economy in the recently released 12th Five Year
Plan is truly stunning.


The plan calls for the current rapid pace of growth to be
slowed substantially, from the 11.2% average of 2006-2010, to
7% for the upcoming five-year period.
It aims to deliver more
sustainable, energy-efficient growth through an array of
interlocking targets and policies.

When Chinese policymakers set themselves a goal, they spare no
policy tool in its pursuit. Thus traditional inputs to wealth
creation - land, water and coal - are all to be limited.


On the supply side, trillions of yuan will be invested in
cleaner, more carbon-efficient power generation and
distribution. On the demand side, energy-intensive industries
will face increasing constraints, while consumers will be
encouraged to purchase greener, reusable or recyclable
products.
Experiments with market mechanisms, such as taxing
and trading, will inform broader efforts to put a price on
carbon.

As any business leader knows, the proof of a plan is in its
execution. China is undertaking a radical transformation of
its economy, on a scale never before attempted. Even if it
hits every target, its carbon footprint will rise. But two
central tenets will help ensure China's low-carbon movement is
a one-way journey. The first is an increasingly transparent
policy and legal regime to spur business investment.

[...snip...]



Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 06:13:48 AM

Note well:
 -- "China's MASSIVE GOVERNMENT SUPPORT for the solar industry"
 -- "The Solar Industry [is] a Strategic Emerging Industry... Targeted
     for Preferential Treatment"
 -- etc.

THAT is the kind of stuff that "big government" ought, of
course, to be doing. And it IS doing it -- over there. Not here.

Quote


http://www.americansolarmanufacturing.org/news-releases/chinas-five-year-plan-for-solar-analysis.pdf (http://www.americansolarmanufacturing.org/news-releases/chinas-five-year-plan-for-solar-analysis.pdf)

SUMMARY OF CHINA'S 12TH FIVE-YEAR PLANS RELATING TO THE SOLAR
INDUSTRY

Prepared by the international trade practice of Wiley Rein
LLP, based in Washington, D.C., for the Coalition for American
Solar Manufacturing

[...snip...]

II.  CHINA'S INDUSTRIAL PLANS AUTHORIZE MASSIVE GOVERNMENT
SUPPORT FOR AND CONTROL OVER THE SOLAR INDUSTRY

The Plans Identify the Solar Industry as a Strategic Emerging
Industry that Should be Targeted for Preferential Treatment

China's 12th FYP sets forth which industries, enterprises, and
products should be targeted for preferential treatment during
the 2011-2015 period. In particular, the plan identifies seven
"strategic emerging industries" and mandates the provision of
government subsidies and other support to develop these
industries. Among the seven strategic emerging industries is
"new energy," which includes solar power. Indeed, the plan
explicitly calls for the development of "solar energy
utilization and photovoltaic and photo-thermal power
generation" and for the transformation of the solar industry
into a "leading and pillar" industry.

China's Solar 12th FYP states that "[t]he expedited
development of China's solar PV industry is of great
importance" and that the "industry will continue to maintain
rapid development" from 2011-2015. The plan sets forth the
goals of "strengthen[ing] China's PV industry," "promot[ing]
the innovation of key technologies," "improv[ing] production
techniques," and "enhanc[ing] the overall competitiveness of
China's PV industry." To accomplish these objectives, the
Chinese government will "strengthen national macro policy
guidance, persist in overall industry planning and reasonable
industrial deployment, and set norms for the healthy
development of the PV industry."

B. The Plans Call for Government Subsidies and Other
Assistance to Develop the Solar Industry

The 12th FYP calls for substantial government subsidies to
support China's strategic emerging industries, including
solar.  Indeed, news reports indicate that subsidies for the
seven strategic emerging industries will total more than $1.5
trillion. Subsidies appear to include cash grants as well as
preferential tax, fiscal, and procurement policies.

[...snip...]


Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 22, 2012, 06:17:30 AM
Quote
Even if it hits every target, it's carbon footprint will rise.

Sustainability is a much abused term, I'm curious how the Chinese choose to define it.  Is that in the FYP?

In my view sustainability and growth is a contradiction of terms.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 06:18:09 AM
This is a lengthy, detailed report, which is unfortunately
placed behind a registration wall. You have to register to
enter; however, registration is easy and FREE, so go ahead
and do it to get the full text. Also, this is one of two
reports along similar lines (see at the link).

These are just fragmentary snippets:

Quote


http://www.china-greentech.com/report (http://www.china-greentech.com/report)
The China Greentech Report 2012
Faced with Challenges, China Accelerates Greentech Growth

[...snip...]

page 14, 15 and on:

Ambitious emission and energy intensity targets set by the
central government will promote cleaner and more diversified
energy production and use. On the energy production side,
China's nuclear and gas sectors will experience strong growth
while the government continues to restructure the coal mining
industry, implementing efficiencies and cleaner processes.
Stricter emission standards will affect coal plants, and the
government will introduce carbon trading pilot programs. Gas
power, especially distributed gas energy, should experience
rapid growth with strong government policy support.

[...snip...]

In 2011, the central government set out ambitious plans for
renewable energy by setting 2015 installation targets,
doubling the renewable energy surcharge rate, issuing
standards to mitigate grid connection problems and introducing
specific carbon reduction policies.

[...snip...]

China began the Construction Phase of its 2009-2020 Strong and
Smart Grid Plan in 2011, initiating the world's largest effort
to build a reliable, efficient and smart grid.

[...snip...]

Cleaner Transportation is an important element of China's plan
to reduce carbon emissions and fossil-fuel use.
 To reduce dependence on oil imports and cut emissions, the
Chinese government is pursuing a range of transportation
policies including development and adoption of new energy
vehicles (NEVs), improved fuel-efficiency, high-speed rail and
biofuels. NEVs were named as one of the seven strategic
emerging industries (SEIs) under the 12th Five-Year Plan,
translating into government financial and regulatory support.

[...snip...]

Clean Water:
 To address its dire water situation, including low resources
per capita, severe pollution and uneven distribution, China
has set water protection as a priority over the next decade.
 China's water resources are scarce, poorly distributed and
heavily polluted. In January 2011, the State Council announced
a RMB 4 trillion water investment plan for the next decade,
and the government's 12th Five-Year Plan introduced ambitious
national targets on water efficiency and pollution control.
Given government support, private equity and venture capital
funds invested eight times more capital in China's water
sector in the first four months of 2011 than the whole of
2010.



Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 06:34:22 AM
Quote
Even if it hits every target, it's carbon footprint will rise.
Sustainability is a much abused term, I'm curious how the Chinese choose to define it. 
Is that in the FYP?
In my view sustainability and growth is a contradiction of terms.

EIN:

No one knows what, exactly, sustainability will look like in the modern/post-modern
world. (We know what it LOOKED like -- past tense -- for hunter-gatherers, but that
is irrelevant to our situation, here and forward.)  In order to "define" it, we will have
to create it, and then see in the rear-view mirror just how close we came (or failed
to come).  Sustainability will be achieved (IF it is achieved) by successive
approximations (experiments), hundreds of them, and incremental imrprovements,
over decades and centuries.  It is not something we simply go to, directly, overnight.
It is an unfolding process, an adventure, a journey into an uncharted land.

As for sustainability and growth being a contradiction: I think you're right. And obviously
the Chinese do, too, which is why the 12th FYP calls for a deliberate reduction in the
rate of growth
, so as to accomodate sustainability/environmental targets.

Actually, sustainability and growth are not a contradiction in all contexts. A certain
amount of growth is necessary in order to reach the demographic transition, which
is critical for sustainability. Growth well beyond that point -- as we have here
in the U.S./West -- is of course unsustainable, or at least is a terrible environmental
burden that probably cannot be sustained for more than a couple centuries.

Regarding this: "Even if it hits every target, it's carbon footprint will rise."  Yes, of course.
That's the way it is, chasing this thing up the slope that it has been on.  In the same way,
China's population is still rising and will continue to rise for a few decades, even though
they have reduced their fertility to below replacement (i.e. they cannot possibly improve
on that front). It takes a LONG TIME for these improvements to work their way through
to distal endpoints such as gross population.  The point is the process, the trajectory,
not the state at any given moment.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Surly1 on July 22, 2012, 06:36:27 AM
Craig Dilworth, in Too Smart for our Own Good, has this to say:

“[C]apitalism must be regarded as an economy of unpaid costs, ‘unpaid’ in so far as a substantial proportion of the actual costs of production remain unaccounted for in entrepreneurial outlays; instead they are shifted to, and ultimately borne by, third persons, or by the community as a whole.”

// One social effect of constant economic growth is increasing psychological stress, the result of being caught up in the rat race, and constantly having to run faster and faster. Lorenz traces this stress back to its biological preconditions, suggesting that: “The rushed existence into which industrialized man has precipitated himself is actually a good example of an inexpedient development caused entirely by competition between members of the same species.”

 . . . continuing growth, far from solving problems, is the primary generator of our growing social distress. The ultimate pressures resulting from growth are of a social nature – crime, civil disorder, declining mental health, war, drug addiction, and the collapse of goals and values. For each technical goal that is met, some social or economic goal must be forgone. Though population growth and migration have been controlled at all times, that control has often been guided by short-term considerations, with unexpected and undesirable long-term results. (Cf. Mishan: “Rapid economic development over the last century has been responsible not only for an unprecedented expansion of populations the world over but also, and especially in the richer countries, for the growing mobility of their populations.”) The issue is not one of control or no control. The issue is the kind of control and towards what end. No group can be expected to exert the self-discipline now necessary to limit population size and the environmental demands of industrialisation unless there is a way to keep the future advantages of such self-discipline from being swallowed up by inward migration.

The view that at least a good part of GNP represents a cost may be seen as being society’s point of view, or, ultimately, the point of view of the species. But it is not the point of view of individual capitalists. As suggested earlier, war, for example, which represents a cost for society, is a source of profit to capitalists. In this way we can partly understand e.g. the American military expenditures in the Persian Gulf area. Already before the first Gulf War, i.e. in 1985, the United States spent $47 billion projecting power into the region. If seen as being spent to obtain Gulf oil, it amounted to $468 per barrel, or 18 times the $27 or so that at that time was paid for the oil itself. In fact, if Americans had spent as much to make buildings heat-tight as they spent in one year at the end of the 1980s on the military forces meant to protect the Middle Eastern oil fields, they could have eliminated the need to import oil from the Middle East. So why have they not done so? Because, while the $468 per barrel may be seen as being a cost the American taxpayers had to bear, and a negative social effect those living in the Gulf area had to bear, it meant only profits for American capitalists.

But there are large economic discrepancies even within wealthy nations. As Schumacher asks regarding the United States, how could there be public squalor in the richest country in the world, and in fact much more of it than in many other countries whose per capita GNP is markedly smaller? Schumacher wrote at the beginning of the 1970s, but the subsequent 35 years of continuous growth haven’t helped the situation. As Reiman remarks, the richest nation in the world continues to produce massive poverty, 37 million people in the US – over 12 per cent of the population – today being classed as poor. The life expectancy of the average African-American is lower than that of the average Chinese, and the infant mortality rate in cities such as Washington, Baltimore and St. Louis is higher than in cities such as Bangkok and Cairo. As Schumacher says, if economic growth to the present American level has been unable to get rid of public squalor – or has even been accompanied by its increase – how could one reasonably expect that further such growth would mitigate or remove it? It is strange indeed that the conventional wisdom of present-day economics can do nothing to help the poor. Invariably it proves that only such policies are viable as have in fact the result of making those already rich and powerful, richer and more powerful. The conventional wisdom of what is now taught as economics bypasses the poor, the very people for whom development is really needed. The economics of giantism and automation is totally incapable of solving any of the real problems of today.

As regards free trade, Douthwaite points out that international free trade inescapably leads to a levelling down. It means that salaries and wages will tend to converge at Third World levels, and social security provisions in industrial countries will continue to be cut, since these are an overhead that economies cannot bear if they are to compete successfully with countries without them. Only the owners of the surviving transnational companies and of natural resources will escape the general impoverishment. Already the islands of prosperity are growing steadily smaller in an otherwise sick, dilapidated and hungry world.

 . . . modern man has built a system of production that ravishes nature and a type of society that mutilates man. If only there were more and more wealth, everything else, it is thought, would fall into place. Money is considered to be all-powerful; if it could not actually buy non-material values, such as justice, harmony, beauty or even health, it could circumvent the need for them or compensate for their loss. The development of production and the acquisition of wealth have thus become the highest goals of the modern world in relation to which all other goals, no matter how much lip-service may still be paid to them, have come to take second place. The highest goals require no justification; all secondary goals have finally to justify themselves in terms of the service their attainment renders to the attainment of the highest. This is the philosophy of [ social ] materialism, and it is this philosophy – or metaphysic – which is now being challenged by events.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 400 - 405). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.
[/quote]

This set of quotes really caught my attention.

My weekend plans having blown up, I found myself last night at a birthday party for a young occupier who just turned 30. His apartment, and the outside area was filled with young people, all of whom were 20 somethings and 30 somethings. (My girlfriend and I were the oldest people in attendance, by several decades.) My young friend, the birthday boy, is working at a restaurant, learning a trade, working in cooperation with the owner to try to make that business profitable. He is also wise enough to see the self-interest of learning everything he can by doing so, the better to gain knowledge to apply to his own best interest. Many of the young people in attendance were sketchily employed, if employed at all. This was not a gaggle of young, secure professionals, their educations having been paid for in themselves well on their way to professional jobs laden with status and benefits. When I saw last night was a gaggle of 20 to 30 young people in various stages of coping with an economy in which all of the money had been sucked away.

My girlfriend and I are old enough to remember when it was possible for middle-class kids, particular those that education to go to work, get a job, and make a life for themselves. To own a house, to own a car, to maybe own a vacation home and even a boat. Those days are long gone. For the young people in attendance at this party last night, the new normal is part-time work, no benefits, no health insurance, and happy to get it. It became apparent to both my girlfriend and I that what we're seeing is the formation of an entire generation who simply doesn't know that there is a better way to live, and who've been denied the expectation for a functional middle-class lifestyle. The quotes you have cited above resonate with the sound of the bells of the Cathedral of Notre Dame for me.

 Not surprisingly, many of these young people are completely disaffected with the consumerist, happy motoring lifestyle, and are pursuing ways of living that are more sustainable and less contributive to the giant capitalist bloodsucking wealth machine.

I clearly have got to get my hands on that Dilworth book.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 06:55:23 AM
I am not fond of Thomas Friedman, but in this case he's
written a potent column, worthy of posting and reading in
entirety. Spot-on, both for what it says about China, and what
it says about us, in contrast.

Quote


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/opinion/10friedman.html (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/opinion/10friedman.html)

Who's Sleeping Now?
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: January 9, 2010 - new york times

C. H. Tung, the first Chinese-appointed chief executive of
Hong Kong after the handover in 1997, offered me a
three-sentence summary the other day of China's modern
economic history: "China was asleep during the Industrial
Revolution. She was just waking during the Information
Technology Revolution. She intends to participate fully in the
Green Revolution."

I'll say. Being in China right now I am more convinced than
ever that when historians look back at the end of the first
decade of the 21st century, they will say that the most
important thing to happen was not the Great Recession, but
China's Green Leap Forward. The Beijing leadership clearly
understands that the E.T. -- Energy Technology -- revolution
is both a necessity and an opportunity, and they do not intend
to miss it.


We, by contrast, intend to fix Afghanistan. Have a nice day.

O.K., that was a cheap shot. But here's one that isn't: Andy
Grove, co-founder of Intel, liked to say that companies come
to "strategic inflection points," where the fundamentals of a
business change and they either make the hard decision to
invest in a down cycle and take a more promising trajectory or
do nothing and wither. The same is true for countries.

The U.S. is at just such a strategic inflection point. We are
either going to put in place a price on carbon and the right
regulatory incentives to ensure that America is China's main
competitor/partner in the E.T. revolution, or we are going to
gradually cede this industry to Beijing and the good jobs and
energy security that would go with it.

Is President Obama going to finish health care and then put
aside the pending energy legislation -- and carbon pricing --
that Congress has already passed in order to get through the
midterms without Republicans screaming "new taxes?" Or is he
going to seize this moment before the midterms -- possibly his
last window to put together a majority in the Senate,
including some Republicans, for a price on carbon -- and put
in place a real U.S. engine for clean energy innovation and
energy security?

I've been stunned to learn about the sheer volume of wind,
solar, mass transit, nuclear and more efficient coal-burning
projects that have sprouted in China in just the last year.


 Here's e-mail from Bill Gross, who runs eSolar, a promising
California solar-thermal start-up: On Saturday, in Beijing,
said Gross, he announced "the biggest solar-thermal deal ever.
It's a 2 gigawatt, $5 billion deal to build plants in China
using our California-based technology. China is being even
more aggressive than the U.S. We applied for a [U.S.
Department of Energy] loan for a 92 megawatt project in New
Mexico, and in less time than it took them to do stage 1 of
the application review, China signs, approves, and is ready to
begin construction this year on a 20 times bigger project!"

Yes, climate change is a concern for Beijing, but more
immediately China's leaders know that their country is in the
midst of the biggest migration of people from the countryside
to urban centers in the history of mankind. This is creating a
surge in energy demand, which China is determined to meet with
cleaner, homegrown sources so that its future economy will be
less vulnerable to supply shocks and so it doesn't pollute
itself to death.

In the last year alone, so many new solar panel makers emerged
in China that the price of solar power has fallen from roughly
59 cents a kilowatt hour to 16 cents,
according to The Times's
bureau chief here, Keith Bradsher. Meanwhile, China last week
tested the fastest bullet train in the world -- 217 miles per
hour -- from Wuhan to Guangzhou. As Bradsher noted, China "has
nearly finished the construction of a high-speed rail route
from Beijing to Shanghai at a cost of $23.5 billion. Trains
will cover the 700-mile route in just five hours, compared
with 12 hours today. By comparison, Amtrak trains require at
least 18 hours to travel a similar distance from New York to
Chicago."


China is also engaged in the world's most rapid expansion of
nuclear power. It is expected to build some 50 new nuclear
reactors by 2020; the rest of the world combined might build
15.

"By the end of this decade, China will be dominating global
production of the whole range of power equipment," said Andrew
Brandler, the C.E.O. of the CLP Group, Hong Kong's largest
power utility.

In the process, China is going to make clean power
technologies cheaper for itself and everyone else. But even
Chinese experts will tell you that it will all happen faster
and more effectively if China and America work together --
with the U.S. specializing in energy research and innovation,
at which China is still weak, as well as in venture investing
and servicing of new clean technologies, and with China
specializing in mass production.

This is a strategic inflection point. It is clear that if we,
America, care about our energy security, economic strength and
environmental quality we need to put in place a long-term
carbon price that stimulates and rewards clean power
innovation. We can't afford to be asleep with an invigorated
China wide awake.

A version of this article appeared in print on January 10,
2010, on page WK10 of the New York edition.


Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: JoeP on July 22, 2012, 06:55:59 AM
I'm adding a link to an article by CHS (below) that I think is a pretty good summary of the present and future state of things in China.  My question is related to point #10 in the article.  Why are wealthy elites fleeing China if they have such a great plan for the future?

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune11/wheels-fall-off-China6-11.html (http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune11/wheels-fall-off-China6-11.html)

 
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 22, 2012, 07:06:54 AM
Surly, yes the party is over.  Good to note there are some adaptable guests.

Dilworth's book is wildly comprehensive.  I bought it on the Kindle but it's one I'd prefer and recommend in hard copy.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 07:25:10 AM
Regarding China's forests and forested areas: This is an area
of great concern, as it impacts the total environment so
profoundly. Desertification is in part a matter of
deforestation; trees hold water in the soil, and beneficially
modify micro-climates. And that is apart from the more
obvious: the carbon-sink role of trees.

The PRC was dealt a VERY poor hand (1948) in this respect,
as described in this document from 1958:

Quote

http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5388e/x5388e00.htm (http://www.fao.org/docrep/x5388e/x5388e00.htm)
Unasylva - Vol. 12, No. 3  1958
An International Review of Forestry and Forest Products
 "According to the latest figures of the Ministry of Forests,
China's forested area covers 76,000,000 hectares, a proportion
of only 7.9 percent of the total land area....
 clearly China is inadequately forested. During the former
Empire, the forest cover was progressively destroyed and steps
were rarely taken to restore it. Uplands were usually denuded.
It is considered that, in historical times, 300 million
hectares - 30 percent of the land area - were deforested. As
shown later, continually increasing erosion still ravages over
half of these lands today, denuding 160 million hectares."

----------------------

So, they started with an abysmal situation. And what has
happened since then?  A LOT. A LOT. Stunning progress, as
you will see.

I find this amusing in a bitter-sweet way: "China recently set
the short-, medium- and long-term goals for completing its
ecological environment construction program, a grand
systematic project.  For the short-term goal, it will take
some 15 years to curb the trend of a deteriorating ecological
environment...".  Ha! fifteen years is considered
"short-term"! Over here, we can barely pay attention for fifteen
minutes!

This is, of course, how we should be thinking and acting --
with "short-, medium- and long-term goals for completing [our]
ecological environment construction programs, a grand
systematic project."  Well, thank heaven someone, somewhere
is doing it.

Snippets:

Quote


http://www.chinagate.com.cn/english/1845.htm (http://www.chinagate.com.cn/english/1845.htm)
Afforestation: A Strenuous Ecological Project
by Li Kangmei

[...snip...]

"Each year, China creates 5.3 million hectares of forests,
afforests another 3.7 million hectares of mountains where
hunting and grazing are prohibited, and plants 2.4 billion
trees by advancing the compulsory tree-planting campaign.
These efforts have stabilized the coverage of the nation's
manually planted forests at 33 million hectares, and China now
ranks first in the world in both the speed and scale of
afforestation. The country's current forest coverage rate is
nearly 6 percentage points higher than what it was in the
early 1950s."

[...snip...]

"In November 1978... the State Council decided to construct a
huge shelter belt crossing north, northeast and northwest
China, known as the Three-North Shelter Belt Development
Program. This gigantic project, referred to abroad as China's
green Great Wall, is expected to shelter over 4 million square
km of land. At present, this largest ecological project in the
world has already entered its final phase.... During the
construction of the Three-North Shelter Belt over the past 19
years, a total of 18 million hectares of forests have been
created, raising the forest coverage rate in the three-north
regions from 5.05 percent to 9 percent, and bringing large
tracts of desertified land and extensive areas suffering soil
erosion under control."

[...snip...]

"Compared with many other countries, China faces more arduous
tasks in forest protection and development. While providing
consumption for 22 percent of the world's population and
ecological protection for 7 percent of the global land area,
but with only 3-4 percent of the world's forest resources,
China must also tackle problems of ecological environment
destruction both left by history and occurring currently."

[...snip...]

"[T]he trend of ecological deterioration has not yet been
fundamentally curbed, and the country still faces a very grim
situation.  At present, the land area affected by soil erosion
covers 3.67 million square km, and 5 billion tons of soil
continue to be lost annually. The 1.61 million square km of
desertified land nationwide exceeds the country's total
acreage of cultivated land. Moreover, land desertification
continues to expand at an annual speed of 2,460 square km"

[...snip...]

"China recently set the short-, medium- and long-term goals
for completing its ecological environment construction
program, a grand systematic project.  For the short-term goal,
it will take some 15 years to curb the trend of a
deteriorating ecological environment, put man-made soil
erosion under control, and stop the expansion of land affected
by soil erosion and desertification.  It will require another
15 years to meet the medium-term goal of significantly
improving the ecological environment.  The long-term goal, to
be attained by the mid-21st century, focuses on the
establishment of a sound ecological system suiting the
sustainable development of China's national economy and
ensuring that most parts of the country are adorned with
beautiful landscapes featuring green mountains and clear
waters."

----------------------

Another item below. There is some discrepancy with the above
in the precise numbers; this might be due to variations in
definitions of "forested area". The main point is the
trajectory, which is obviously very much in the right
direction.

Snippets:

Quote


http://www.china.org.cn/report/2010-05/28/content_20141864.htm (http://www.china.org.cn/report/2010-05/28/content_20141864.htm)
China's Tree-Planting Benefits the World

[...snip...]

"China's [current] average annual forest growth exceeds 4
million hectares, with an average growth rate of 53.2 percent.
At the present time, China's forest coverage is 195 million
hectares and its rate has increased from 8.6 percent at the
founding of the PRC to today's 20.36 percent."

[...snip...]

"Asian forest coverage has begun to show net growth despite
the decrease in the 1990s. This was mainly attributable to
China's large-scale tree-planting efforts, which are
cushioning the continuous huge loss of forest resources in
South Asia and Southeast Asia."

[...snip...]

"China now has 61.69 million hectares of planted forests, with
wood stock of 1.961 billion cubic meters, making it the
country with the largest area of man-made forests in the
world. China has been conducting massive campaigns of tree
planting and returning farmland to forests for a long time.
Government statistics say that 590 million people voluntarily
planted a total of 2.48 billion trees in 2009. Over the last
29 years, 12.11 billion voluntary tree-planting trips have
been recorded, resulting in a total of 56.33 billion new
trees."

[...snip...]

"The Chinese Government has invested nearly 500 billion yuan
($73.5 billion) during the last 10 years to implement six
vital forestry projects.... Projects to protect old-growth
forests have effectively curbed exploitation of the forests
for wood."



Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 07:36:29 AM

Here's a scholarly item, abstract only. The full text would
doubtless contain a lot of useful detail. I could obtain full
text if anyone is interested. (Don't all jump at once, now. Hyuk.)

Quote


Environ Manage. 2011 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Major Ecosystems in China: Dynamics and Challenges for
Sustainable Management.

Lü Y, Fu B, Wei W, Yu X, Sun R.

State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research
Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of
Sciences, Beijing, China.

Abstract

Ecosystems, though impacted by global environmental change,
can also contribute to the adaptation and mitigation of such
large scale changes. Therefore, sustainable ecosystem
management is crucial in reaching a sustainable future for the
biosphere. Based on the published literature and publicly
accessible data, this paper discussed the status and trends of
forest, grassland, and wetland ecosystems in China that play
important roles in the ecological integrity and human welfare
of the nation. Ecological degradation has been observed in
these ecosystems at various levels and geographic locations.
Biophysical (e.g., climate change) and socioeconomic factors
(e.g., intensive human use) are the main reasons for ecosystem
degradation with the latter factors serving as the dominant
driving forces. The three broad categories of ecosystems in
China have partially recovered from degradation thanks to
large scale ecological restoration projects implemented in the
last few decades.
China, as the largest and most populated
developing nation, still faces huge challenges regarding
ecosystem management in a changing and globalizing world. To
further improve ecosystem management in China, four
recommendations were proposed, including: (1) advance
ecosystem management towards an application-oriented,
multidisciplinary science; (2) establish a well-functioning
national ecological monitoring and data sharing mechanism; (3)
develop impact and effectiveness assessment approaches for
policies, plans, and ecological restoration projects; and (4)
promote legal and institutional innovations to balance the
intrinsic needs of ecological and socioeconomic systems. Any
change in China's ecosystem management approach towards a more
sustainable one will benefit the whole world. Therefore,
international collaborations on ecological and environmental
issues need to be expanded.

PMID: 21553106



Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 07:41:18 AM

Here's more on desertification, and efforts to combat it.

Quote


http://www.fao.org/docrep/w7539e/w7539e00.htm#Contents (http://www.fao.org/docrep/w7539e/w7539e00.htm#Contents)

FAO report, 1997:

Drylands development and combating desertification

Bibliographic study of experiences in China

..................

http://www.fao.org/docrep/w7539e/w7539e03.htm (http://www.fao.org/docrep/w7539e/w7539e03.htm)

B. China's initial achievements in combating desertification

1.6 The Chinese government and the Chinese people are pioneers
in combating desertification. During previous decades of
concentrated work, innovative sand control techniques were
developed and significant research results accumulated.
Examples include fixation techniques for mobile sand dunes
along the Baotou-Lanzhou Railway, aero-seeding over shifting
sand dunes, narrow strip planting, straw checkerboard
networks, windbreaks and shelterbelts of grass, shrubs and
trees for farmland protection and agroforestry ecosystems.
Integrated management plans for erosion control that include
hills, watersheds, ['vests and roads have been developed. The
Three-North Afforestation Bureau won UNEP's 1987 Global
Environment Protection Award.

1.7 By 1988 plantations established mainly for desertification
control covered ten million ha. Forest coverage in northern
China rose to 12 percent from seven percent in the 1970s, with
ten percent of the decertified land under control. The
sheltering effect of these plantations helped open up 1.3
million ha of new farmland; 11 million ha of desert-affected
farmland and nine million ha of desertified or degraded
grazing land were protected; grain production increased ten to
20 percent and grass fodder production increased 20 percent.
During this period degraded forests and grasslands were closed
to harvesting or grazing to enable natural rehabilitation to
occur. Over eight million ha of fuelwood plantations were
established to meet the daily needs of five million local
households; wind mills and solar energy were also used as fuel
supplements. The result was rapid development of the economy
and improved environmental conditions. Erosion was reduced
over a 570 000 km2 area. Within four years of initiating the
National Programme for Combating Desertification, 2 445
million ha had been controlled, including 401 000 ha covered
with artificial plantations, 271 000 ha afforested by
aero-seeding and 1 47 million ha protected for natural
rehabilitation. One hundred thousand ha of seriously
decertified land have been converted into farmland.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 07:47:21 AM

Andrew McKillop (peak oiler) on China greentech/cleantech.

Snippets:

Quote


http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article31323.html (http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article31323.html)

Will China Save CleanTech
Commodities / Renewable Energy
Nov 02, 2011 - 07:22 PM

By: Andrew_McKillop

"Today's Cleantech boomers in the western 'postindustrial'
countries consuming every imaginable type of industrial goods
- and now Cleantech industrial goods - are almost prostrate
with respect and admiration of the Chinese juggernaut. The
Chinese didn't just talk about it - they did it!"

[...snip...]

"[Observe] the China Development Bank (CDB) and its relentless
funding of Cleantech: nothing like this entity exists in the
late stage neoliberal No Alternative western consumer
countries. It would be treated as a North Korean notion if
anybody dared propose it.
European and American politicians
battle it out with a string of Victorian capitalist style
cases of corporate theft, fraud and insider dealing in the
Cleantech sector ... but the Chinese use rigorous state
control and pump billions into projects which work in the
Cleantech sector. That is the difference."

[...snip...]

"China is attacking [the] major technical and infrastructure
problem [of super-grid development] - which will snowball if
windpower and solar power plant generating capacity rises
above about 25% of total capacity - through setting aside
around $45 billion for smart-grid companies and technologies,
for the period 2011-2016.
Advantaging the higher goal of super
grids able to transport a large amount of power around the
clock, over smart grids which only serve to limit local demand
through tariff price changes and supply cutoffs round the
clock, China will likely leapfrog the coming power blackouts
in countries that played Victorian roulette wheel capitalism

but do not like the results. The blackouts are programmed and
certain because of refusal to act against corporate graft - of
this we can be sure."

[...snip...]

"Political leaders in China are mostly scientists and
engineers, many from the electric power and oil industry. In
the US and Europe these speakers at the microphone with nice
speeches and rousing slogans, for idiots, are mostly lawyers,
bankers and non-scientific and non-technical talkers.
Totally
unlike them, scientists and engineers can appreciate and
understand facts and figures - not rhetoric and spin."


Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 09:00:24 AM

Regarding China's very serious water problems:

Note well (item below) that China's water WASTE is vast, and
that correction of this problem alone would probably put it on
a course to water-resource sustainability, or close. That's
not to mention the (slow but sure) impact of massive
afforestation, among other environmental initiatives.

Note that China uses FAR MORE water per unit of GDP than the
world average. This is significant, insofar as the world
average is already far too high. There are HUGE efficiency
gains yet to be reaped in China at both levels: coming down to
the world average, and then coming down below the world
average. China is well aware of all this and is making
progress toward these goals. Everything takes time.

Below: "Lui said water consumption was down 10 percent in 2008
from 2007." Hey, not bad for ONE year!

Quote


http://www.dckonsult.com/wrapper.php?newsid=1572 (http://www.dckonsult.com/wrapper.php?newsid=1572)
Despite Water Shortages, China Wastes Water
June 10, 2004
China's efficiency in water usage is only a quarter of the
world average, new figures show. This has prompted new appeals
from officials to conserve water. China consumed 3,860 cubic
meters of water every time it added US$10,000 to its gross
domestic product last year, about four times the world
average. However, water supplies equal 2,200 cubic meters per
person, merely one fourth the world average. The problem is
that China is much more wasteful in its use of water than most
other countries, even though it has far fewer resources than
the world average.

http://www.newsgd.com/business/prospective/200605290038.htm (http://www.newsgd.com/business/prospective/200605290038.htm)
Water consumption for per unit of GDP to drop 30% in 2010
Latest Updated by 2006-05-29 10:53:55
China's water resources are to be used more efficiently with
water consumption for per unit of gross domestic product (GDP)
to drop by 30 percent by 2010, according to the nation's water
resources meeting held Sunday in north China's Inner Mongolia
autonomous region.
With its plan to turn itself into a water-efficient society,
the country is making substantial efforts to improve water
utilization efficiency in farm, industrial and service
sectors, said Hu Siyi, vice minister of Water Resources.

http://www.china.org.cn/english/news/242432.htm (http://www.china.org.cn/english/news/242432.htm)
China promotes water conservation
China faces a severe challenge with 7 percent of global water
resources and roughly 20 percent of its population. The per
capita water volume is one fourth of the world average. The
country also has a severe regional water imbalance, with about
four-fifths of the water supply in the south.
China is fully aware of the problems and seeking ways to
improve the situation. In its 11th Five-Year Plan (2006 -
2010), the country plans to reduce per unit of GDP water cost
by 30 percent and increase agricultural water efficiency
coefficient to 0.5.
Different measures have been taken to save water. Irrigation
efficiency has been taken as the answer for reversing
groundwater decline. Rural irrigation construction now can
help save 20 billion cubic meters of water across the country
annually, said Li Yuanhua, deputy-director of rural water
conservancy department under the Ministry of Water Resources.
The country started promoting irrigation efficiency from the
mid 1980s. The measures also activated a market for
water-efficient facilities. The country reported about 200
such manufacturers from merely tens of manufacturers in the
1980s, said Li.
Meanwhile, some scientists argued the spilled water previously
considered "wasted" had actually soaked into the soil and
recharged the aquifer.

http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/02/19/china-targets-60-cut-in-water-used-per-unit-of-gdp/ (http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/02/19/china-targets-60-cut-in-water-used-per-unit-of-gdp/)
February 19, 2009
China Targets 60% Cut In Water Used Per Unit Of GDP
By 2020, China's water resources ministry seeks to slash water
consumption per unit of gross domestic product 60 percent,
according to UPI. By 2020, China's water resources ministry
seeks to slash water consumption per unit of gross domestic
product 60 percent, according to UPI.
Lui said water consumption was down 10 percent in 2008 from
2007. Still, two-thirds of China's cities are dealing with
water shortages. Furthermore, 200 million rural people do not
have adequate supplies of drinking water.


Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 09:46:41 AM

Is it necessary to mention that, when a vast nation outlines
a series of grand, mid- and long-term plans with ambitious goals,
sometimes the goals are not achieved, and occasionally
the actuality falls FAR SHORT of the goal?


Examples include, in the 10th FYP (2001-2005):
  -- TOTAL FAILURE to achieve the targetted 20% drop in
     sulfur emissions
(said emissions INCREASED by 13%!)
And in the 9th FYP (1996-2000):
  -- Targetted 133B yuan investment in coal industry; achieved
     only 73B

Yes, sometimes the goals are not achieved, and occasionally
the actuality falls far short of the goal. That's reality for
you. Things just do not always go as planned.

So, given that that is the case, I say that the Chinese should simply
GIVE UP and surrender to the inevitability of catastrophic collapse and
dieoff.  I mean, what RIGHT do they have to go on pretending that
they can escape that which is as sure as the laws of thermodynamics?
The TEMERITY of them, to question the unassailable tenets of the
Church of Dieoff!   Yes, I'm ANGRY!

 ;)

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 10:51:31 AM
In reply #5 (page 1), Ash gave me several links, supposedly in
response what I had written. I replied that I've read some of
TAE's stuff on China, but was unimpressed; I did not get more
specific. Well, here's some specifics. What I found at the
links given was exactly what I expected to find: mostly
rubbish.

Here's Ash:

Quote

http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/china-is-missing-its-own-targets.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Finance/china-is-missing-its-own-targets.html)
 China is Missing Its Own Targets
 THURSDAY, MAY 24, 2012 5:48 PM
 [...snip...]
 the Chinese population is already knee-deep in inflationary
pressures, yet the Chinese authorities need to implement
inflationary policies if they want to keep their epic
infrastructure/housing credit ponzi afloat. Right now, they
are jaw-boning about starting a series of "key infrastructure
projects"
in order to, once again, artificially boost demand
for credit and sustain their inherently unsustainable rates of
economic growth. I think they may have a harder time of it
this go round, though.
 A population already squeezed to death by high costs of
living,
horrible conditions of working and no return on
savings, only to see the same destructive policies implemented
over and over again, will not be a happy population for much
longer.

Right.

What a bunch of crap.

Let's start with the bit about "key infrastructure projects"
(note the sneer-quotes in Ash's original, as though they don't
really exist, or are not really key).

Yes, Ash, you're fucking right they're jaw-boning about key
infrastructure projects. That's because they actually
have
key infrastructure projects underway, and those
projects really are key to things that you claim
to be important, (and that everyone on earth with an I.Q. over
room temp can see are vitally important), and they have
every right to be "jaw-boning" about them.

This may come as a surprise to someone living in the West --
someone for whom lies, groundless rhetoric, empty promises,
and flimsy excuses for mass fraud and theft are daily staples
from our "leaders" -- but this stuff is real. They are
doing it. They are actually undertaking vast critical
infrastructure and other projects, with sustainability
uppermost in mind.  And we aren't. It is as simple as that.
And where you get off scorning them, I have no idea. That's
not to say that everything they are doing is perfect -- as
I've disclaimed, loudly, before. But it is a HELL of a lot
better than anything going on on this side of the Pacific.
We're happy to let our infrastructure go to hell, while they
invest $trillions in theirs. This should not be the
object of scorn; it should be the object of respect and
admiration, and a bit of awe.

Now, on to "a population already squeezed to death by high
costs of living, horrible conditions of working".

"Squeezed to death", my ass. Costs of living in China are FAR
less than here, which is one of the reasons that "middle
class" in China means anyone making over about 10K a year, or
even less. Further, the Chinese middle class has exploded in
size over the last couple decades, now on a trajectory to
reach 600 million in a few years. Per the item below: "China
is on track to create a 700% growth in per capita income in
just 20 years."

Is that not good enough? What would you advise, oh Great One?
Is China to be disparaged because the per capita income growth
was 700% and not 900%?  Or, maybe it would be better if all
those hundreds of millions were still living in desperate
poverty as rural peasants with a life expectancy of 30 -- as
was the case before the revolution. (And to a large though
decreasing extent after the revolution, since correction of
such vast problems, in the face of national poverty and
developmental retardation, takes decades.)

No, wait! If China's per capita income growth actually WAS
900% rather than 700%, then you would be bitching about how
such growth is incompatible with sustainability, right? They
should grow slower or not at all, for the sake of the
environment; endless growth is unsustainable. But if they grow
slower, and income growth tapers off, then the Chinese people
are being "squeezed to death" by their evil overlords, right?

As for "horrible conditions of working", that IS a good point,
for at least a portion of the population. China still has a
nasty class problem, with exploition of an underclass that is
shameful -- at times so bad as to be a clear-cut human rights
issue. I'm well aware of this. I despise it. I would much
prefer it if Mao-style attention to the plight of the rural
peasants, and social justice in general, had been more of a
priority over the last 30 years. (And yes, Mao DID improve
their lot, dramatically, in spite of the bleating of the
Mao-haters.) So, I see all of that, but I also see that it
exists in a context, a total picture, which is mixed, and
includes all the other things of which I've written. It is a
big, complex deal, not reduceable to one thing, and certainly
not to be disparaged in the cavalier and ignorant way that you
do. (And not just you. Many others do the same. I did the same
myself, not too many years ago.)

And so, Ash, I hope you can see why I am unimpressed with your
and TAE's take on China. I am unimpressed with it because it
is seriously ignorant and wrong-headed. But I'm not going to
deconstruct any more of it in specifics, like I just did
above; that takes too much time.

Quote

http://www.wikinvest.com/concept/Rise_of_China's_Middle_Class (http://www.wikinvest.com/concept/Rise_of_China's_Middle_Class)
[snip]
Rise of China's Middle Class
Present estimates of "middle class" in China range from 100
million to 247 million, depending on how much income renders
one "middle class." Assuming that an income of about $9000 is
necessary to be considered middle class, China could have over
600 million middle class citizens by 2015.
[snip]
While China will still possess a lower average per capita
income than the United States, it should be noted that
disposable income stretches farther in China, on average, than
it does in the United States or Europe.
[snip]
The meteoric rise in China's middle class is tied to dramatic
increases in its per capita income, which is growing at a
nearly unprecedented rate. The first industrial revolution
created a 250% increase in per capita income over a 100 year
period. The second industrial revolution triggered 350% per
capita income growth over 60 years. By comparison, China is on
track to create a 700% growth in per capita income in just 20
years.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 11:19:57 AM
Ash: You could begin, profitably, just by reading Wikipedia's
writeup on the PRC's Five-Year Plans (FYPs). It is written
unevenly and with some faults, especially on the more recent
FYPs, but it is OK as a general overview.
You base your arguments on the PRC's 5 Year Plans?  This is like basing
projections on our Economy based on statistics coming out of the BLS.
Yes, spoken like a man for whom lies, groundless rhetoric, empty promises,
and flimsy excuses for mass fraud and theft are daily staples from his
"leaders". And as a result of being steeped in all that crap for decades,
there is an understandable, if not fully justifiable, tendency to regard
cynically everything coming from official sources.  (Like "never believe
anything until it has been officially denied".)

But I have to tell you: sometimes it just ain't so.

You can go to China -- just as many thousands of others have -- and
SEE FOR YOURSELF what they are doing. And it is breathtaking, by
all accounts.

China's overall success in their Five Year Plans is a clear matter of
historical record. As I said to Ash somewhere up thread, to suggest
otherwise is to suggest that, say, we could pretend that the interstate
highway system exists when it did not actually exist. Sorry, but that
cannot be done.  This stuff is simply too damn big, too damn visible.

Quote
I will give you three statistics which REALLY COUNT here.
China Population: 1.3B
China Square Miles: 3,600,947
China Population Density: 361 Useless Eaters/Square Mile

361 Useless Eaters per square mile, you say?  Well, that certainly
puts everything into a different frame entirely!  I stand corrected
and reproved, and I hereby take back all my foolish posts about
China's efforts and successes. 

THANK HEAVEN we've got someone here on DD who can come up
with the statistics that REALLY COUNT!
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 11:38:14 AM
Alan let us assume, as you've presented, that the Chinese are creditors
that engage in long term planning.
Correct. They are.

Quote
  While those may appear to be key differences, more important is the fact that
every industrial growth economy, regardless of geographical or cultural alignment,
is based on continuous availablility of non-renewable natural resources to facilitate
their conversion into both products of consumption and waste.
Yes, HAS BEEN based on; past tense. This can change. Changing it is a difficult
process which will take many decades; really, a century at least.  The process has
begun in China, and in spite of the fact that their overall economic development
is still far behind ours, they are moving boldly forward in that process. I give them
a lot of credit for that.  By rights they should say "screw you" to all the
environmental and resource-depletion hand-wringers, and simply grow their economy
as fast as possible, no matter what, leaving the environmental concerns to those who
can truly afford them -- namely US.  They would have every right to do that. But,
strangely, that's not what they're doing.

As intelligent long-term planners -- as they obviously are (see numerous
posts up thread)  -- they are well aware of the problems of non-renewable resource
depletion. They are taking steps toward remediation of those problems. Perhaps they
should be taking more and different steps. Perhaps you would like to hold forth on
what steps, precisely, they should be taking that they are not already taking. Go for
it!  Sketch out what YOU think should be their next FYP, or even the next two or three.

Quote
  Any...plan should have the decrease of resource consumption as the target result.
Yup. I agree. That's what they're shooting for. They have not, of course, achieved it yet.
What would you expect?  This is a many-decade or even multi-century project, not
something that happens overnight because we read some books about overshoot and
decided that they've GOT to do everything that we think they should do, RIGHT THIS
MINUTE.

Say, what do you think about the 12th FYP's call for DELIBERATELY REDUCED ECONOMIC
GROWTH in the interest of building a sustainable society?  Pretty cool, huh?
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 12:08:49 PM
Though, you might ask yourself, Ash: for someone who is so certain that he knows
what's happening in China, and how screwed they are, isn't it odd not to have
spent a few hours in actual investigation and reading on the subject, sufficient to
come up with this stuff on your own?  Why do you have to rely on me?  You're the
big expert, with the pronounciamentos about how fucked the Chinese  are.  All it
takes is a little bit of effort to expose yourself to the full story. But for some reason,
you've chosen not to. Why is that?

Anyway... to follow are a few items, (a FEW items; there's much more), sometimes
with a comment of mine.

I've spent plenty of time reading about the financial, social, geopolitical, environmental
and energy situation in China, and thinking about the inter-relation between all of
those things...
But not enough, apparently, to acquire knowledge about the most important, most
world-significant and fantastic  things that are happening in China.  Perhaps you're
like the CIA who, it is said, learned everything that could possibly be learned about
the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s -- except for the fact that it was on the
verge of sudden political collapse.  Frankly, when you say you've spent "plenty of
time" reading about China's environmental and resource issues, I don't believe you.
In fact, it is painfully obvious that you haven't. Sorry, but that is the truth.

I expect more of people who put themselves out there as pundits, writing feature
articles
(as opposed to mere comments) on popular blogs with audiences in
many hundreds or thousands. I expect such people to really KNOW something
about the subjects they're writing about.  Maybe they don't have to be
world-class experts, but they've got to have some clue.  That goes with the
territory.  That's a major part of why I don't write feature articles, restricting
myself instead to the comments area, which is by its nature more of a free-for-all,
where any idiot (including me) can mouth off, and everyone knows that. In other
words, I expect prominent writers to VET THEMSELVES, and BE CRITICAL of
themselves, just as I am with myself.  I don't think that is too much to ask.

Quote
I can't tell if you are being sarcastic with your comments about ad hominems
Consider them an ongoing, on-the-fly I.Q. test, on which you're capable of
scoring very high.

Quote
I've spent too much of my life living for my own personal pleasures, especially
4 years of continuous debauchery in college, and I'm done with all of that.
A bit of debauchery is wholesome, Ash.  Maybe you need a bit more. It will
help with my I.Q. tests.

Quote
[RE has]  already gotten me to go against my principles and become a mean-
spirited asshole on these threads.
Hey, what would we do without people who bring out the best in us?

Quote
For Christ's sake (quite literally), people, let's recognize the fact that we
are on an online forum talking about the most serious issues human beings
could ever talk about, in perhaps one of the most important times in human history,
and let's just choose to forgive each other for our perceived transgressions and be
civilized.
Points well taken. Be civilized, yes.  And PART of civilized exchange, in my view,
is raking people over the coals when they deserve it.  I don't do it unless I truly
believe that my counter-party deserves it.  When people start pontificating
on things about which they really know little or nothing, they deserve it, because
the pontifications get read by many people (just as you point out), who are thus
led to believe things that are not so.  You write that "Alan, I haven't been talking
to just you this whole time, but everyone who reads this."  Yes. Same here. I am
talking to the whole audience, not just you.

FWIW:  I rake MYSELF over the coals, frequently, indeed much more than I so
rake anyone else. That's part of it, too.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 12:14:52 PM
Alan, can I ask why you are Spamming your own thread?  Cutting and Pasting 30 posts is unlikely to see anybody read or respond to them.  Why don't you copy/paste everything into one really LONG post instead?

Just a suggestion.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 12:16:55 PM
Let us make the ATTEMPT here to STOP NAPALMING each other
and make good and substantive arguments to TOPIC.
I hereby promise to make a TON of substantive arguments, while lacing them
only occasionally and sparingly with napalm -- only as needed.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 22, 2012, 01:05:31 PM
Alan is kind of like me with regards to spiritual discussions. He feels that he has discovered some very important Truths, perhaps a year or two ago, that are not getting nearly enough attention in the Doomer community. So he showed up on TAE about middle of last year to bring the "Gospel" to us, and then he disappeared after probably taking a lot of abuse. Now he has decided to bring the information to DD, and I for one will say that he raises some very good points and that I appreciate his enthusiasm to get the facts and figures out there.

And, like me with Christianity and accusations of Biblical manipulation/contradictions, how it's demeaning to women, how it causes wars, etc. etc., he feels that a lot of other people are talking out of their ass when they speculate on China's potential collapse into extreme economic, financial, social and political upheaval. Perhaps we are to a certain extent. After all, there's no exact, mathematical way to describe the inter-dependencies of the global economies and financial systems, as well as their effects on things like development of energy infrastructure.

You really have to go off of your instinct when it comes to those complex issues, and project against the grain of what seems to be the dominant trends of the last few decades. People like me and RE and other China Doomers are forced to rely on theoretical arguments about how a nation increasing its dependency on a criminal banking cartel to finance infrastructure is never a good thing for the masses, even if it appears to be allocated towards positive things like clean-tech. Or how all of the clean-tech in the world cannot fix the environmental and socioeconomic issues that are a necessary by-product of industrial capitalism, which has been on steroids in China for many years now. Or how the West will not idly sit by and collapse quietly while China tries to secure a bunch of deals for necessary resource inputs and continues to prosper.

Those are just a few examples of the speculative theoretical and, for lack of a better word, intuitive arguments that we must make, because there is no hard data or mathematical models that can capture those realities. Alan recognizes some of these realities, but usually dismisses as them as being a part of a "mixed bag" of good and bad that, ultimately, does not overwhelm the rapid progress that China is making in developing clean energy tech and addressing environmental issues, such as water contamination and waste. He believes these things will take many decades or even a century+ to play out, and countries like China will have that kind of time because they will not be as badly affected by economic and financial issues as the West. They will bounce back more quickly than we could ever imagine.

He also believes that peak oil will not severely affect countries like China before they are able to displace most of their fossil fuel reliance with renewable energy. Peak oil advocates will have a hard time finding any solid data that gives them a good idea of just how badly current projections are over-estimating supply over the next few decades, but we know it's happening. And we know financial collapse will create the conditions for supply collapse later, due to falling prices and massive under-investment in the industry. Frankly, all of this is a good thing in terms of AGW and the collapse of the big oil-banking complex, but it could throw a HUGE monkey wrench into China's energy plans, and perhaps much quicker than the China Optimists expect.

All in all, though, Alan is giving us some great information to help judge where China currently stands in their transition efforts and form a more complete big picture. I believe he is extremely over-dismissive of many other factors that relate to such a transition, but perhaps he will respond and give us a clearer picture of why he thinks those factors are not much of a threat. I'm sure RE will probably weigh in with his thoughts as well. Keep up the enthusiasm, Alan, and keep spreading that Gospel!
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 01:19:32 PM
That was a well constructed response, Alan, but I'm not sure you actually
answered anything.
It answered plenty.

Quote
You look at things with Western eyes, just as most of us (here) tend to do. In the
West, the world of finance has become the tail wagging the economic, social and
political dog. This is much less true in the East.  There, national organization and
collective purpose play a much larger and indeed primary role in things, superceding
finance.  Finance is employed to serve national and collective ends, rather than the
nation, and all of society, being employed to serve finance capital's ends (as is the
case here). In short: It is a totally different ballgame.
This is laughable to anyone who has followed the level of financial mal-investment
in RE and infrastructure, as well as industrial and environmental policies,
perpetrated by the Chinese elites.
What is truly laughable -- or actually pathetic -- is this cynical failure to see
what China is doing; which is, rapidly building the infrastructure (including RE
developments) for their huge population, and increasingly building it in an
environmentally-sound way.   I run into this on the internet all the time, and I
am amazed at the callousness and bitterness toward what is obviously a
visionary national initiative -- not without faults, of course, but overall highly
admirable, even wise.  "Malinvestment", indeed!  You think that they should
NOT be giving their people decent places to live, and decent (and cheap,
clean, green) mass transit, and dramatically improved electrical power
infrastructure, and vastly expanded forest coverage and other environmental
restoration projects, and all the rest?! What the fuck do you think they
should be doing?

Mind you, I am yelling not just at you, but at all the other (hundreds!) of jerks
who make the same "arguments", which I see all the time.  What are they
thinking? Do they know anything at all about China?  Have they become so
irretrievably cynical and jaded that they are incapable of seeing even the
possibility of a national leadership doing the things that need to be
done for the good of the whole country?  Are they incapable of seeing
anything except the excesses and errors? (Of which there are some,
naturally.)  What is with these people?  I think they've all gone mad -- the
result, no doubt, of having lived in America for the last 30 years.

Quote
Also, your references to the Great Wall of China and centuries-long restoration
projects is anything but reassuring...
What the hell is that supposed to mean? Pardon my vulgarity, but your
cavalier attitude baffles me.  I mentioned the Great GREEN Wall (nothing to do
with the "Great Wall" of ancient history), which is in fact a century-long
environmental restoration and protection initiative, well underway, though not
without problems. (What else would you expect?)  It is actually happening, and
it is more than a little impressive, since NO ONE, anywhere, has ever undertaken
such a grand and visionary project.  You almost could not dream of a more-
impressive environmental restoration project. (If you CAN dream of one, then
please hold forth! Tell us about it!  It'll surely be exciting and inspiring.)  If that is
not reassuring, then what WOULD be reassuring?  I mean, seriously. What could
they possibly do that would  impress or reassure you?

Or, perhaps by "reassure" you mean that which would set your mind at total
ease, knowing for stone certain that ALL of China's problems have been solved,
now and forever.  If that is the standard, then I guess there really isn't anything
that they, or I, can offer.

Quote
The "Fall of the West, Rise of the East" spin has been the one that has
dominated the mainstream for at least the last decade...
Don't I wish!  No, Ash, that spin has not dominated, not even close. What DOES
dominate is the mindless mantra about "America is the GREATEST COUNTRY
ON EARTH", "Envy of the world",  blah blah blah.  American exceptionalism,
wherever you look.  Actually, not where you, personally look, Ash.  The
venues that YOU read -- the collapse/doom stuff -- probably do feature the
"fall of the west, rise of the east" meme.  But you are unusual. The average
schlub is steeped in America Is Number One bullshit.

Quote
Quote
Well, OK, two decades then. Or three. You know what I'm talking about.
Mass dieoff, a la dieoff.com
No, I don't know what you are talking about. You are the one who is admitting that a
die off will occur, and that it is ALREADY occurring, but you refuse to say about how
many people this will effect, where, to what extent and over what time period. You
don't want to deny that a significant number of deaths will occur due to all of these
various crises, but you don't want to describe it as a "mass" die off. So maybe you can
explain what you mean?
OK. I mean death of billions within a generation. That's a mass dieoff, and a
catastrophe. That is not what is happening now.  Right now, we have millions or tens
of millions dying annually, prematurely, from malnutrition, infection, etc., etc.  That's a
disaster, and it is terrible, but it is not on the same order as the mass dieoff of the
dieoff.com type, which is BILLIONS. QUICKLY.

Quote
where are the links supporting this assertion "China's reserves will power things
handily for at least 50 years, possibly 100, at current rates of consumption".
That's a simple bing search, nothing esoteric about it. I would only add that the
data you come up with needs to be interpreted in light of other ongoing processes,
namely the massive buildup of renewable and semi-renewable energy infrastructure,
as well as the rapidly declining energy intensivity of the GDP, which will of course exert
growing downward pressure on coal need/demand as the century wears on. As I said,
it is likely that they will be largely converted well before the coal bin gets depleted.

Quote
Ah, so now we have introduced Australia and Vietnam into the equation of China's
energy needs. Do you not see how that could complicate the picture significantly
"Complicate", meaning? 

Yeah, they get some coal from Australia and Vietnam. So what? Australia and
Vietnam are probably delighted to have the customer. 

Anyway, after several more decades, it won't matter. Coal, as a bulk/staple
energy source,  will be history. And good riddance!  The dirty, filthy crap!
 
Quote
Quote
They will be powering themselves with renewables probably decades before the
coal is exhausted.  Unlike us, they think ahead, and they are capable of setting national
priorities and acting on them, persistently, with the requisite commitment of resources.

And you know this because of the last decade or so of Chinese history? Or because of the
fact that the Great Wall of China exists?
I know it because of the incredible dynamism displayed by China over the last 40 years,
and their documented success in achieving their objectives, and the (highly admirable)
nature  of their objectives going forward.  Is that enough?  No, wait! There's more.
I also know it because of their manifestly high intelligence, and the way in which
they are acting about as well as anyone COULD act, given the totality of their
circumstance. They are acting in good accord with energy/resource realities that face
them, rapidly developing the alternative/renewable infrastructure that is essential for
national survival and prosperity in the late 21st century.   {{ Chinese national anthem
begins playing here...   ;)  }}

(Great Wall of China?!  I never said anything about the Great Wall of China. Where did
that come from?)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 01:40:41 PM
I believe he is extremely over-dismissive of many other factors that relate to
such a transition, but perhaps he will respond and give us a clearer picture of
why he thinks those factors are not much of a threat.
I think those factors are not much of a threat because the tooth fairy will
soon come to our aid, wave a magic wand, and make everything better.
So we really need not worry anymore.

I've got to get off the internet and get some work done around the house before
my wife files for a (well-justified) divorce.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 22, 2012, 01:46:10 PM
Here are some examples of internal arguments that China Doomers recognize, many of which are theoretical and/or intangible. These are all snippets, full articles can be found at links.

On income inequality:

Quote
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_06/b4214013648109.htm (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/11_06/b4214013648109.htm)

 It takes about three hours by bus from the glitzy malls of central Beijing to reach Yongfengtun, a farming village northwest of the capital that has quadrupled in population, to 20,000, over the past few years. Here one finds a gritty version of a Chinese bedroom community. Grimy storefronts advertise cheap clothing, shoes, and budget mobile-phone service. Mangy dogs root through piles of trash on the bicycle- and pedestrian-crowded streets.

Yongfengtun's streets may be rundown, yet they attract thousands of migrant workers and the so-called ant tribe (cash-strapped urban youth) from across all China. "It's cheap!" says one 23-year-old, a recent college graduate who pays $39 a month for a 65-square-foot apartment. "Heat costs money," he says ruefully as he kicks a pan of water for washing laundry that has frozen solid. "There is no way I could afford an apartment in central Beijing," with rents probably 10 times higher for a comparable place, he says.

It's not as if incomes are stagnant in China—anything but. In the first half of 2010 per capita income rose 13 percent in the countryside, to $935 a year, and 10 percent in the cities, to $2,965 a year. Nevertheless, swelling slums in the suburbs of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou attest to a yawning wealth discrepancy between thousands of newly minted rich and millions of poor.

China already is showing levels of inequality comparable to the Philippines and Russia and is far less egalitarian than Japan, the U.S., and even Eastern Europe, according to Li Shi, an authority on income distribution trends at Beijing Normal University. Official figures show rural incomes are less than one-third those in cities, with the top 10 percent of urban Chinese earning about 23 times that of the poorest 10 percent—a ratio that is almost certainly understated, according to Li. "You can find increasing income inequality almost everywhere in China today," he says.

On ghost towns as of 2010:

Quote
China’s economic stimulus programme has accelerated the already aggressive pace of urban development in the country. But while investment in construction is creating much-needed infrastructure in some cities, it is also adding to the number of ghost towns with nearly empty facilities in other parts of the mainland.

The nation already has its share of empty edifices. Overlooking Beijing’s "Water Cube" swimming centre and "Bird’s Nest" stadium stands Pangu Plaza, a huge but little-used five-tower complex spanning the length of seven football fields. The project includes an office block, serviced-apartment buildings, a shopping centre and the Pangu 7 Star Hotel.

Although Pangu Plaza was completed two years ago, the shopping centre is mostly empty, with virtually no tenants and many outlets boarded up, Patrick Chovanec, a professor at the School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University, said. "There are no lights in the offices. At night, people don’t seem to be home."

A public relations executive at the Pangu hotel said the shopping centre and office building are still seeking tenants, adding: "Our hotel’s occupancy rate is alright, but this is the low season, so the occupancy is low at the moment."…

Chovanec describes his visit to a development zone in Yingkou, a port city in Liaoning province, where an industrial zone and a residential zone with a marina are planned.

"The scale of this thing will take your breath away. It is comparable in scale to Pudong (Shanghai’s business district)," he said.

Yingkou’s development zone is under development and hence is mostly empty space.

A government building and a steel mill are possibly the only two buildings in the zone, Chovanec said. "The administrative building is this monstrous monolith. It’s almost empty except for a presentation."

A few satellite images of ghost towns (many more at link below):


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1339536/Ghost-towns-China-Satellite-images-cities-lying-completely-deserted.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1339536/Ghost-towns-China-Satellite-images-cities-lying-completely-deserted.html)

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/12/17/article-1339536-0C851EB6000005DC-474_634x475.jpg)
Property to let: Zhengzhou New District is China's biggest ghost city, complete with entire blocks of totally empty accommodation

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/12/17/article-1339536-0C859468000005DC-363_634x453.jpg)
Half of Erenhot is empty. The other half is unfinished

(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/12/17/article-1339536-0C8596E0000005DC-803_634x475.jpg)
The ghost city of Dantu has been mostly empty for over a decade

On Chinese social unrest:

Quote
IN AN industrial zone near Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in south-west China, a sign colourfully proclaims the sprawl of factories to be a “delightful, harmonious and happy district”. Angry steelworkers must have winced as they marched past the slogan in their thousands in early January, demanding higher wages. Their three-day strike was unusually large for an enterprise owned by the central government. But, as China's economy begins to grow more sedately, more such unrest is looming.

China's state-controlled media kept quiet about the protest that began on January 4th in Qingbaijiang District, a 40-minute drive north-east of Chengdu on an expressway that crosses a patchwork of vegetable fields and bamboo thickets. But news of the strike quickly broke on the internet. Photographs circulated on microblogs of a large crowd of workers from Pangang Group Chengdu Steel and Vanadium being kept away from a slip road to the expressway by a phalanx of police. Word spread that police had tried to disperse the workers with tear gas. In the end, as they tend to—and undoubtedly acting on government orders—factory officials backed down, partially at least. The workers got a raise, albeit a smaller one than they wanted. Managers' wages were frozen.

Strikes have become increasingly frequent at privately owned factories in recent years, often involving workers demanding higher wages or better conditions. Private firms, like state ones, are usually strong-armed by officials into buying off strikers. The thinking is that capitulating keeps a lid on news coverage and helps to prevent unrest from spreading. Yet the explosive growth in the use of home-grown versions of Twitter has made it easy for protesters to convey instant reports and images to huge audiences. The Communist Party's capacity to stop ripples of unease from widening is waning—just as economic conditions are making trouble more likely.

(http://media.economist.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/full-width/images/print-edition/20120128_FBP001_0.jpg)

On soil pollution:

Quote
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/12/china-soil-pollution-bonn-challenge?INTCMP=SRCH (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/12/china-soil-pollution-bonn-challenge?INTCMP=SRCH)

Nowhere is the global push to restore degraded land likely to be more important, complex and expensive than in China, where vast swaths of the soil are contaminated by arsenic and heavy metals from mines and factories.

Scientists told the Guardian that this is likely to prove a bigger long-term problem than air and water pollution, with potentially dire consequences for food production and human health.

Zhou Jianmin, director of the China Soil Association, estimated that one-tenth of China's farmland was affected. "The country, the government and the public should realise how serious the soil pollution is," he said. "More areas are being affected, the degree of contamination is intensifying and the range of toxins is increasing."

Other estimates of soil pollution range as high as 40%, but an official risk assessment is unlikely to be made public for several years.

The government has spent six years on a soil survey involving 30,000 people, but the academics leading the project said they have been forbidden from releasing preliminary findings.

...

"The biggest environmental challenge that China faces today is water pollution, but there are efforts underway to control that. In the future, the focus must be on soil pollution because that is much harder to deal with. Soil remediation is an immense and growing challenge."

Calls for a clean-up of the land are slowly gaining prominence. Huang Hongxiang, a researcher from the Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, warned earlier this year that China needed to widen its focus from production volumes.

"If we don't improve the quality of farmland, but only depend on increasing investment and improving technology, then – regardless of whatever super rice, super wheat and other super quality crops we come up with – it will be difficult to guarantee the sustainable development of our nation's agriculture."
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 01:52:55 PM
Alan, can I ask why you are Spamming your own thread?  Cutting and Pasting 30
posts is unlikely to see anybody read or respond to them.  Why don't you copy/paste
everything into one really LONG post instead?

I personally don't like mega-posts. I like bite-sized chunks, partly because
I can then refer to them later by number; but also because I think that
parsing them out like that makes it all easier to digest. Maybe I am wrong, but
that is how I look at it. 

You think that 15,000 words as ONE post is more likely to be read than 15,000
words divided into 20 posts?  Maybe. But I don't see why. If anything, the
opposite.

As for responding to them: I don't expect people to respond to the individual
items so much as to become informed about the total situation by way of them;
the "big picture".

Anyone who wants to know about this subject will have to do some reading.
I cannot spare them that. I can only make it as digestable  (with good
selection, snippets, highlights, organization) as I can.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 02:31:31 PM
I personally don't like mega-posts. I like bite-sized chunks, partly because
I can then refer to them later by number; but also because I think that
parsing them out like that makes it all easier to digest. Maybe I am wrong, but
that is how I look at it. 

You think that 15,000 words as ONE post is more likely to be read than 15,000
words divided into 20 posts?  Maybe. But I don't see why. If anything, the
opposite.

The problem is you clutter up the Recent Comments Listing with just posts from this thread.  You could easily take chunks of say 4 of your posts and combine them in one post broken up into 4 Parts I-IV.  This would reduce the listing in Recent Comments by 75%.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 03:20:55 PM
I personally don't like mega-posts. I like bite-sized chunks, partly because
I can then refer to them later by number; but also because I think that
parsing them out like that makes it all easier to digest. Maybe I am wrong, but
that is how I look at it. 

You think that 15,000 words as ONE post is more likely to be read than 15,000
words divided into 20 posts?  Maybe. But I don't see why. If anything, the
opposite.

The problem is you clutter up the Recent Comments Listing with just posts from
this thread.  You could easily take chunks of say 4 of your posts and combine
them in one post broken up into 4 Parts I-IV.  This would reduce the listing in
Recent Comments by 75%.

Well, that's different.  I didn't know I was screwing up some listing somewhere
else. Pardon me. I had never been to the "recent comments" page.  However, now
that I have gone there (just now), I note that there is ONE line for each thread; i.e.
individual posts are not listed there, just threads... with the one having the most
recent activity at the top, I gather, and the rest descending by time of last activity.
Is that what you meant? You don't like having the "Malthus to China" thread at the
top of that list, persistently? 

For the record: I'm done with the mass posting. There was a bunch of stuff that
needed to be said, more or less all at once, but from here on it will be smaller and
more occasional repartee. Anyone who is interested in China needs to read the
complete series of posts, starting with #19 I believe.  I do not apologize for the
fact that it is a fair amount of reading.  That's the price of being an informed
person, and having something worthwhile to say about a subject.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 04:23:21 PM

Well, that's different.  I didn't know I was screwing up some listing somewhere
else. Pardon me. I had never been to the "recent comments" page.  However, now
that I have gone there (just now), I note that there is ONE line for each thread; i.e.
individual posts are not listed there, just threads... with the one having the most
recent activity at the top, I gather, and the rest descending by time of last activity.
Is that what you meant?

No, wrong page dude.  Go here:

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?action=recent (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?action=recent)

This listing gives the most recent 100 comments on the Diner.  Its what I read from to catch up after I have been away from the computer a while.  When you make a zillion posts to your thread, you push off the bottom of list posts I may not have read yet.  It is unnecessary to make so many posts.  You could consolidate information like this into fewer posts.  Your cooperation in this is requested.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 06:00:54 PM
OK. As I said, no more mass posting; that was a one-time thing.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 06:01:56 PM
From Steve on Economic Undertow in his article Fuel, Money, Climate (http://www.economic-undertow.com/2012/07/10/fuel-money-climate/)

Quote from: Steve from Virginia
Quote from: Keith Bradsher
China and Money:

Price Data Suggest Specter of Deflation in China
Keith Bradsher (NY Times)

Prices are tumbling across the Chinese economy, according to government data released Monday, as a flood of goods pouring out of the country’s factories and farms exceeds anemic demand from Chinese households and businesses.

The downward trend makes it much harder for businesses to sell enough goods to repay loans that they took out, usually on the expectation of rising prices. Falling prices also discourage investment, which had slowed sharply this spring, and gave consumers an incentive to delay purchases until prices could fall further.

The news of falling prices, together with a pledge by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Saturday to maintain stringent bans on real estate speculation, produced a slide Monday in mainland Chinese stock markets. The main index of the Shanghai stock market dropped 2.4 percent, while the Shenzhen stock market’s benchmark fell 2.2 percent.

China has been a candidate for hyperinflation to occur and still might, however declining interest rates and the slowdown of Wall Street lending in general mean the long-running carry trade bringing dollars to China has run its course. Without a flow of new capital, hyperinflation appears to be less likely. Fewer funds are also being imported by manufacturers as sales slow in Europe and the US.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 06:21:23 PM
This is a lengthy, detailed report, which is unfortunately
placed behind a registration wall. You have to register to
enter; however, registration is easy and FREE, so go ahead
and do it to get the full text. Also, this is one of two
reports along similar lines (see at the link).
These are just fragmentary snippets:
Quote

http://www.china-greentech.com/report (http://www.china-greentech.com/report)
The China Greentech Report 2012
Faced with Challenges, China Accelerates Greentech Growth
[...snip...]


I just realized that the registration wall is not real; they just don't give you
the link until you register.  But I will give you the link!  here it is
(I would have given it to begin with, but I didn't realize that it is accessible
without registration):
http://www.fileden.com/files/2012/5/11/3302935/China_Greentech_Report_2012_English.pdf (http://www.fileden.com/files/2012/5/11/3302935/China_Greentech_Report_2012_English.pdf)

Also: this is a GREAT, very detailed report, almost 200 pages, with many hundreds
of references to both the  Chinese and English literature.  The orientation is business
and investment (in the Greentech sector), which is not my preferred orientation, but
they are forgiven. The book is laden with detail and documentation as to what is
going on in this area, not restricted to finance/investment.   It  is not a puff-piece or
tout; it is very candid about the PROBLEMS being encountered. For example, there
are significant financing problems in the solar  area (Ash, take note), and these might
get worse if the global economy goes south.

There are TONS OF PROBLEMS, CHALLENGES, DIFFICULTIES, and ROAD-BLOCKS. There
are SHORTCOMINGS, SHORTFALLS, WEAKNESSES and FAULTS. There are DANGERS,
HAZARDS, TRAPS and TRIP-WIRES.  I don't want anyone to get the idea that the
conversion is going to be easy!
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: JoeP on July 22, 2012, 06:25:01 PM
Alan:  "Anyone who is interested in China needs to read the complete series of posts, starting with #19 I believe"

Well I'm interested in China, but I didn't catch where you answered my question in reply #56.  Can you point me to where you answered this specific question?  There are just so many replies in this thread in one day I probably missed it.
 
Title: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 06:39:13 PM
Two from Caixin Online.  Where the "Subscribe Button" reads, "Buy Now or Die Later".  If I ever Monetize the Diner, I am ripping off that Tag Line.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE

By Yang Wang 07.13.2012 19:21
Why Eating in China is No Game (http://english.caixin.com/2012-07-13/100410915.html)

To win gold, China’s athletes must beat not only their competitors, but the chemicals added to food in the country

(http://img.caixin.com/2012-07-13/201207130058.jpg)
 Liu Xiang, China’s best 110 meter hurdler, hasn’t had pork for years

Because of my work, I often have lunch meetings with athletes. Most of the time, they are most willing to sit down to talk to me over a meal, but not recently.

"We are not allowed to eat outside of the training center cafeteria anymore," one athlete from China's swimming team told. "Otherwise we could be thrown off the team!"

This year, the General Administration of Sports prohibited all of the country's sports teams from eating pork, beef or lamb, except for the meat provided from known safe sources at the athletes' training bases.

China's has had countless serious issues with food in recent years. In the sports sector, where doping is of particular concern, it's no wonder the sports authority keeps a very close eye on what the members of its national teams put in their mouths.

Before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese swimmer Ouyang Kunpeng received a lifetime ban. He was believed to have eaten barbecue at a roadside stall and thus had a serious level of clenbuterol in his blood. Farmers in China illegally add clenbuterol to pig and sheep feed to keep the animals lean. In the sporting world, the chemical is a performance-enhancing drug.

In August 2010, German table tennis star Dimitrij Ovtcharov tested positive for clenbuterol in a routine examination. He suspected that the meat he ate a week earlier in Suzhou during the China Open must have contained this banned substance.

As a result, the anti-doping organizations in France and Germany have exhorted their athletes not to eat any meat products coming from China to avoid getting a positive score in a doping test.

China's national quarantine department says that before meat can be cooked for the national teams it is tested.

Except that for China's astronauts, no supply of food is safer than the one especially for China's national teams.

In it for the long haul, the Chinese marathon team eats chickens they raise themselves. The judo team in Tianjin keeps an arm lock on its meat supply by keeping its own pigs.

The vice-director for security at the National Aquatic Centre said that all 196 swimmers of the national team were obliged to stop eating any meat for 40 days around February this year simply because of a lack of any source of qualified meat.

The family of Liu Xiang, China's best 110 meter hurdler, said Liu hasn't had pork for years.

China recently came fifth in the World Grand Prix Finals of women's volleyball. Yu Juemin, the national team's coach attributed the poor performance to the fact that "the team hasn't had any meat for three weeks. The impact of this diet on their nutrition has affected the physical force of the players."

China's sports teams' attitude towards food also reflects the mindset that only a gold medal is worth having.

At the upcoming Olympics in London as many as 600 international chefs are said to be working to come up with all variety of delicacies to satisfy the best athletes in the world.

It will be a great shame for the Chinese teams, who are supposed to stick to their own cooks, not to enjoy the Chinese food that would have been prepared specially to cater to them. Most of all, they should get out of their dormitories and have some fun with other athletes from all over the world.

After all, it's only a game.

The author is a sports columnist


-------------

By staff reporter Gong Jing 07.17.2012 16:54

Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket (http://english.caixin.com/2012-07-17/100411903_all.html)

(http://img.caixin.com/2012-07-17/201207170017.jpg)
Will a 410 billion yuan government project be enough to finally rid China’s cities of unsafe drinking water?   


(Beijing) – Hurtling beneath the ground, there are sturdy new subways coursing through every major urban center of China like an electric current of modernity. The country's rapid urbanization in a matter of mere decades has produced engineering marvels that will be held up in the future as feats of fortitude and ingenuity.

But also installed underground with the power to astonish are failing water supply infrastructure networks. To date, there isn't a single city in China that provides safe tap water to all of its residents.

In 2006, the latest revisions to the Standards for Drinking Water Quality stipulated that tap water quality across the country would be directly potable by July 1 of this year. The deadline came and went with no apparent recognition.

Du Ying, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), announced the results of a 2011 report on drinking water. In samples from major cities nationwide, Du said the largest cities had an 83 percent rate of compliance, while medium-sized cities had a 79.6 percent rate. This means that for every 100 urban residents with tap water, roughly 79 have access to water that can be drunk straight from the tap without boiling.

City governments have attempted to raise drinking water coverage but appear to have gained little headway. In 2004, Hangzhou completed construction of its Nanxing Waterworks Deep Treatment Facilities. The Hangzhou government announced the city would have directly potable water by 2008. However, just before the end of 2008, the municipal government pushed the deadline back by two years. By the end of 2010, however, the city still was not able to provide directly potable water to all residents.

Parts of Guangzhou and Shenzhen have also attempted to achieve directly potable tap water, but without success.

In addition to this, large and medium cities have compartmentalized the effort by setting goals for potable tap water in residential complexes, schools, hotels and public places.

City government officials have complained that the cost of water treatment remains too high for current budgets. Others say that even when properly treated, directly potable water may not be feasible with deteriorating water infrastructure networks.

Adding to this was the tepid reception to the 2006 drinking water standards. The standards were never viewed as feasible given the country's poor management of its secondary water supply, numerous senior officials at Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) and Ministry of Health said on the condition of anonymity. Water pollution, old pipes and private sector siphoning of water resources all represent major obstacles to addressing tap water quality.

Liu Wenjun, former director of the Tsinghua University's Drinking Water Safety Institute, said that in contrast to other countries, the question of feasibility comes after investment plans and projects are issued.

"The new standards were introduced without preliminary studies or implementation plans. After that, there were no follow-up investment plans and no assessment measures," said Liu.

The failure to meet the new standards by the deadline is not the standards themselves, said Tsinghua University Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering Wang Zhansheng, but instead the government's lack of initiative. Wang said funds were never issued by the central government, and not enough importance was attached to the task.

Many of China's drinking water experts say that since the 1990s, the country has not kept up with water infrastructure investments. The result has been a hulking barrier to clean water made up of sub-standard water plants and pipe networks, embedded in every major urban area.

On June 14, MOHURD and the NDRC jointly issued a plan to invest 410 billion yuan in the urban water supply before 2016, the biggest flow of government funds to national water infrastructure since the 1990s.

The plan allocates 46.5 billion yuan to updating water treatment facilities, 83.5 billion yuan to improving water pipe networks, 94 billion yuan to new plant construction, 184.3 billion yuan to new pipe networks, 1.5 billion yuan for water quality testing and 200 million yuan in emergency water supply capabilities.

Wang said the 46.5 billion yuan will be directed at upgrading water treatment facilities, adding that following this, the government estimates roughly 20 percent of water plants nationwide will be able to meet national water treatment standards.

Investments to the pipe network are expected to completely update the water pipe infrastructure.

However, a lingering concern among experts isn't so much the plan itself, but execution. Wang said he is concerned over whether the investments will be implemented. A striking omission in the plan is the source of the funding – it seems the central government will be relying on local governments to bear most of the cost.

"The plan won't work if it relies on local governments for investment," said Wang. "Provinces with poor economies just won't be investing what they need to invest."

Investment is only one dimension of providing safe drinking water for China's 600 million urban residents. Nationwide, the secondary water supply is becoming increasingly polluted by industrial activity and poor sanitation treatment.

In China's provincial capitals, each city has thousands of tanks and reservoirs. But because facilities were never built to standard and sanitation inspections remain lax, much of the water supply is susceptible to microbial contamination.

Tap water is the product of a complex system which includes water treatment plants, pipes and other factors. But if no measures are taken to address water quality at the source, corrective measures for a functioning infrastructure aren't likely to succeed, said Liu.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 22, 2012, 07:35:50 PM
Alan,

I'd like to look at that report, but this is the message I get from virus protection software:

"When we tested this site, it attempted to make unauthorized changes to our test computer by exploiting a browser security vulnerability. This is a serious security threat which could lead to an infection of your computer."

I don't know if that's just some issue with my software, but I'd rather not risk it.

Here's an idea I was going to propose anyway - why don't you just write an article about the state of clean energy tech development in China, picking out what you feel are the most relevant parts of that report or others? I'm sure RE would publish it for you.

Frankly, you're not going to get many people to ever sift through a 200 page report to figure out WTF is going on over there. And if your ultimate objective is get this information out to more people, then you need to do your own write up and make it an article. Maybe even a series of articles. That would also make it easier for other people to formulate any criticisms of the information that they may have, and then for you to respond to those, so on and so forth.

Just an idea...
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 07:54:45 PM
Alan is kind of like me with regards to spiritual discussions. He feels that he has
discovered some very important Truths, perhaps a year or two ago, that are not
getting nearly enough attention in the Doomer community.
Yes, truths, in my view, but heavily undergirded with FACTS, which are not a
matter of my opinion, and which can be gathered and studied by anyone with
sufficient interest in gaining  knowledge.

Unfortunately, the doomer community (like most tribes) tends to be insular,
with limited, narrow information sources.  Once you're  in the doomer orbit,
you tend not to venture out very much, groupthink takes over, people start
quoting each other too much, etc. Large swaths of  media/info-sources get
ignored, favoring the "official" tribal recommended reading list.  A big walled
garden, you might say.  I know this from personal  experience, and from
observation of others, over about 13 years now.

Quote
So he showed up on TAE about middle of last year to bring the "Gospel" to us,
Or rather to bring some challenging, novel ideas to you.

Quote
and then he disappeared after probably taking a lot of abuse.
Let's just say that the challenging ideas were not appreciated.

Quote
Now he has decided to bring the information to DD, and I for one will say
that he raises some very good points and that I appreciate his enthusiasm
to get the facts and figures out there.
Glad you're enjoying the show. Hopefully a  few others will as well.

Quote
he feels that a lot of other people are talking out of their ass when they
speculate on China's potential collapse into extreme economic, financial,
social and political upheaval.
Yes, for the most part they are talking out of their asses. Which is not
to say that they are certainly wrong. Maybe China WILL collapse into
extreme upheaval.  But the people who are talking out of their asses
will still be talking out of their asses.  Stopped clocks are right twice a day.

Quote
Perhaps we are to a certain extent. After all, there's no exact, mathematical
way to describe the inter-dependencies of the global economies and financial
systems, as well as their effects on things like development of energy infrastructure.
You really have to go off of your instinct when it comes to those complex issues,
and project against the grain of what seems to be the dominant trends of the
last few decades. People like me and RE and other China Doomers are forced to
rely on theoretical arguments about how a nation increasing its dependency on
a criminal banking cartel to finance infrastructure is never a good thing for the
masses, even if it appears to be allocated towards positive things like clean-tech.
Yes, that's a paradox.  But it is hard -- nay, impossible -- to deny the fabulous
progress that China has made, wherever the financing came from. And it is
progress in which  hundreds of millions of very NON-rich people have partaken,
materially. That is, again, with the caveat that China's exploitation and abuse
of the lower class is very real, and unacceptable. Giant contradiction, but
there it is.

Quote
Or how all of the clean-tech in the world cannot fix the environmental and
socioeconomic issues that are a necessary by-product of industrial capitalism,
which has been on steroids in China for many years now.
It can fix, or prevent, an awful lot of the environmental issues; rather less
the socioeconomic (class) issues, although even that area might be improved
more than I imagine.  Rising tides DO sometimes lift all boats, and it could be
argued that that is what is happening in China right now, even with respect
to the exploited sweat-shop laborers -- who are, overall, living a much better
life than they would have lived as rural peasants in the old country
(malnourished, half-starved, suffering from chronic infections, living in filth,
dying at age 32, etc.)  Anyway, it for sure will not result in an egalitarian,
classless society, but it might result in something acceptable, short of that.

Quote
Or how the West will not idly sit by and collapse quietly while China tries
to secure a bunch of deals for necessary resource inputs and continues to prosper.
When the dollar falls, the U.S. will not be able to do much BESIDES sit idly by.
There will be chest-beating and raised fists, but they will be impotent. 
I'm guessing a 5-10 year window for that.  Could be longer.

Quote
Those are just a few examples of the speculative theoretical and, for lack of
a better word, intuitive arguments that we must make, because there is no hard
data or mathematical models that can capture those realities. Alan recognizes
some of these realities, but usually dismisses as them as being a part of a "mixed
bag" of good and bad that, ultimately, does not overwhelm the rapid progress
that China is making in developing clean energy tech and addressing
environmental issues, such as water contamination and waste.
That's right. Does not overwhelm. The progress, however incomplete, is simply
undeniable. They are as though building a new world, the 21st century world,
leaving us behind. This will be more clearly visible, even stark,  in 10-20 years.
Or so I think.  If DD is still around, I'll post about it.

Quote
He believes these things will take many decades or even a century+ to play out,
and countries like China will have that kind of time because they will not be as
badly affected by economic and financial issues as the West. They will bounce back
more quickly than we could ever imagine.
The financial tail does not wag the economic dog to the same extent there as
it does here. Money is EVERYTHING here; not as much, there. Also, when your
country issues the world's reserve currency, your thinking becomes more
financialized; everything reduces to money, and the money is basically OURS,
or so goes the unconscious thought. But what if that changes? What if the
reserve currency loses credibility? What then? Does the world and its activities
come to an abrupt and permanent halt? Or are alternative arrangements
quickly made? The latter, I think.

Quote
He also believes that peak oil will not severely affect countries like China before
they are able to displace most of their fossil fuel reliance with renewable energy.
Peak oil advocates will have a hard time finding any solid data that gives them
a good idea of just how badly current projections are over-estimating supply
over the next few decades, but we know it's happening.
How do you know that?

Quote
And we know financial collapse will create the conditions for supply collapse
later, due to falling prices and massive under-investment in the industry.
There will be currencies, and capital, and it will be invested in vital industries
such as energy.

Quote
Frankly, all of this is a good thing in terms of AGW and the collapse of the big oil-
banking complex, but it could throw a HUGE monkey wrench into China's energy
plans, and perhaps much quicker than the China Optimists expect.
Time will tell!

Quote
All in all, though, Alan is giving us some great information to help judge where
China currently stands in their transition efforts and form a more complete big picture.
I believe he is extremely over-dismissive of many other factors that relate to such
a transition, but perhaps he will respond and give us a clearer picture of why he
thinks those factors are not much of a threat. I'm sure RE will probably weigh in
with his thoughts as well. Keep up the enthusiasm, Alan, and keep spreading
that Gospel!
Thanks for the encouragement.  And if you'd like to make a contribution to the
spreading of this Vital Truth, please click on the PayPal icon just to the right....
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 08:09:29 PM
Alan,

I'd like to look at that report, but this is the message I get from virus protection software:

"When we tested this site, it attempted to make unauthorized changes to our test computer by exploiting a browser security vulnerability. This is a serious security threat which could lead to an infection of your computer."

I downloaded it Ashvin, its clean.  I would upload a copy into the Library here except the file size is too large for the current settings, which I cannot figure out how to modify at the moment.  I'll try to get in touch with Peter on this, but right now he is MIA.

Meanwhile, just lower your protection settings for this download if you want to read it.  No issues I can see.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 08:10:48 PM
Alan,
I'd like to look at that report, but this is the message I get from virus protection
software: When we tested this site, it attempted to make unauthorized changes to
our test computer by exploiting a browser security vulnerability. This is a serious
security threat which could lead to an infection of your computer."
I don't know if that's just some issue with my software, but I'd rather not risk it.
In that case, register first and then download it. I did not get that security warning;
maybe THAT is why it is necessary to register.

Quote
Here's an idea I was going to propose anyway - why don't you just write an article
about the state of clean energy tech development in China, picking out what you
feel are the most relevant parts of that report or others? I'm sure RE would publish it
for you.
Maybe.  I have too many interests, and limited time. I feel like I've done enough
on this subject.  The materials I've excerpted and linked should be adequate for
anyone with a serious interest.  And if there is no serious interest, then I can't help.
But I'll think about it.

Quote
Frankly, you're not going to get many people to ever sift through a 200 page report
to figure out WTF is going on over there.
I don't need to get a lot of people to read it. Only a few -- the pundits. The
people who SHOULD read this stuff.   

But maybe you're right. Maybe I should do an exposition. It would be an OilDrum kind
of thing, cross-posted here.

BTW: you don't have to read 200 pages; you can read the Executive Summary, which
is much shorter. My snippets are shorter even than that, but they are inadequate.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 22, 2012, 08:20:57 PM
Alan, I think the point you're missing is that development, of any kind, creates more problems than it solves.  I have read much of what you posted and while I agree that planning is vital, and it's a good thing they've targeted a reduction in growth, anything short of steady-state or actively reversing development is a losing proposition.  Even conservation and efficiency is misleading because, as per Jevon's paradox, it leads to greater use of resources by expanding the application of the resources to other activity or to a wider population.  China is still operating within the technology and progress worldview, so it just amounts to changing the window dressing rather than a structural change.  Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).  Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

I've concluded, rightly or wrongly, that small self-sufficient regulated (not through infanticide or abortions but through preventative measures) populations that have greatly reduced their use of technology, practically to zero, is the only viable solution for long-term human survivability.  In short, we should seek to work within the boundaries of ecological niches.  But I don't see that happening without an evolutionary change or bifurcation of the species.  Homo sapiens will use all the available resources until they no longer can.  Then we'll just be stuck with our useless ingenuity.  That's if we don't further disrupt the ecological equilibrium (unlikely based on our history) we depend on before arriving at that point.

I see two options: Evolve or Perish.  Evolution sometimes gets it wrong, I think we're a case in point.  What China is doing is clearly better than what the West is doing, but it still falls way short.  Nature doesn't reward for effort, only for success.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 08:37:11 PM
Alan:  "Anyone who is interested in China needs to read the complete series of
posts, starting with #19 I believe"
Well I'm interested in China, but I didn't catch where you answered my question in
reply #56.  Can you point me to where you answered this specific question? 
There are just so many replies in this thread in one day I probably missed it.

Believe it or not, Joe, that was on my list of things to do. Seriously.

Your question was:  "Why are wealthy elites fleeing China if they have such a great
plan for the future?"

The answer is: I don't know. I would offer these thoughts, though:

-- How many are actually LEAVING, and how many are simply making some backup plans.
The articles cited by Smith suggests that most are doing the latter.

-- How are "wealthy elites" defined?  Are we talking true WEALTH, mega-bucks? Or just
some skittish, nouveau-"rich" upper middles?

-- The quality of life for rich people may not be, in China, what it would be elsewhere.
In fact it probably isn't.  They would be better off living in luxury in Dubai.   China's "great
plan for the future" does not necessarily mean a great plan for the  maximal pleasure
and comfort  of rich people -- and for my money, that's just fine!

-- Are they afraid that the PRC may institute more capital controls, and otherwise make
rich people less comfortable or (heaven forfend) less rich?   Are they afraid that the PRC
may make greater moves toward social justice, and a more level playing field?  Do they
sense these things -- tendencies -- in ways difficult or impossible for us, here, to discern?
It sounds like it.   I would be very happy if the PRC got back to some of that Old Time
(Maoist) religion!  But the rich would be less than pleased.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 08:47:20 PM
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).  Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Megafauna Extinctions don't show unsustainability for Homo Sapiens, they show unsustainability for MFs in the presence of Homo Sapiens.  They were basically Sitting Ducks.

Megafauna were basically replaced by smaller versions of the same species which were more Nimble and did better surviving in the presence of Homo Sapiens HGs.

Similarly with the Fisherie, while under Sail Power we came pretty close to Extinguishing all the Whales (Ocean Mega Fauna), we never even came close with the rest of the smaller Fishies until we started trolling around with Floating Fish Factories complete with Liquid Nitrogen freezers that can stay out for months at a time netting up everything down to Fingerlings to process into Fertilizer or Dog Food.

The use of Fire by Homo Sapiens is problematic on a sustainability level, but it is not by any means a necessary technology to use or keep.  I've documented how the Inuit and Athabascans did that in one of the most extreme environments on Earth.

If we manage to avoid the ELE,it is quite possible IMHO for Homo Sapiens to live a Sustainable Lifestyle that actually could be quite a few steps up from the way the Inuit lived.

In reality, the ONLY thing that makes Homo Sapiens unsustainable now is unrestricted exponential Growth resultant from lack of predation on the species.  This will change rapidly once "modern" medicine goes the way of the Dinosaur.

If the Nukes can be decommissioned and all the Spent Fuel Glazed and  dropped into a Subduction Zone around the Marianas Trench,this experiment with Sentience can likely continue on a while longer.  Obviously at no where near current Population Levels though.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 09:03:37 PM
Alan, I think the point you're missing is that development, of any kind, creates
more problems than it solves.
Not true.  Economic development solves many more problems than it creates, up to
a certain level of income -- approximately 10K/year.  Below that are all the
problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation,
high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on.
It is a mess.  It is vital to bring everyone up to that level, approximately. Beyond
that level is a different matter.  Benefits fall off, rapidly, and begin to reverse.
We live in the quintessentially OVER-developed society -- the U.S.A. -- so it is much
easier for us to attune  to the problems of over-development. But the problems of
under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people
than those of us with the opposite problem.  Sub-saharan Africa, for example!
 
Quote
  I have read much of what you posted and while I agree that planning is vital,
and it's a good thing they've targeted a reduction in growth, anything short of
steady-state or actively reversing development is a losing proposition.
Why?  Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal of
steady state can do any good?  In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing)  involves incremental steps.

Quote
  Even conservation and efficiency is misleading because, as per Jevon's paradox,
it leads to greater use of resources by expanding the application of the resources
to other activity or to a wider population. 
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

Quote
China is still operating within the technology and progress worldview,
As indeed they MUST, still, at this stage of their development. Remember: they
still have several hundred million people who are dirt-poor. They CANNOT leave those
people in that miserable state.  It would be immoral.  Their per-capita income is still
in the $6-8K range -- too low. They need to continue operating within the technology
and progress worldview, for perhaps another generation.  WE, on the other hand...   ;)

Quote
so it just amounts to changing the window dressing rather than a structural change.
Over time, window dressing changes become structural changes.  We begin with
baby steps. Then, big-baby steps.  Trajectory is everything.

Quote
  Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions). 
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.
Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?

Quote
I've concluded, rightly or wrongly, that small self-sufficient regulated (not
through infanticide or abortions but through preventative measures)
populations that have greatly reduced their use of technology, practically
to zero, is the only viable solution for long-term human survivability. 
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

Quote
In short, we should seek to work within the boundaries of ecological niches.  But I
don't see that happening without an evolutionary change or bifurcation of the
species.  Homo sapiens will use all the available resources until they no longer can. 
Then we'll just be stuck with our useless ingenuity.  That's if we don't further disrupt
the ecological equilibrium (unlikely based on our history) we depend on before arriving
at that point.
I see two options: Evolve or Perish.  Evolution sometimes gets it wrong, I think we're
a case in point.  What China is doing is clearly better than what the West is doing,
but it still falls way short.  Nature doesn't reward for effort, only for success.
You may be right. Time will tell!
Title: Re: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 09:19:18 PM

Will a 410 billion yuan government project be enough to finally
rid China’s cities of unsafe drinking water?
   


Answer:  NO!

But it is a great step toward.

Hey, give 'em some slack, RE!  They're only 60 years in to a project (development
of good municipal water systems) that we started on a HUNDRED and sixty years
ago.  You know -- back when the British were butt-fucking the Chinese.

Things take time, for gosh sakes. You don't decide to build the Great Pyramid,
and then schedule the placement of the capstone for the day after tomorrow!
Title: Re: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 09:39:27 PM
Hey, give 'em some slack, RE!  They're only 60 years in to a project (development
of good municipal water systems) that we started on a HUNDRED and sixty years
ago.  You know -- back when the British were butt-fucking the Chinese.

In case you haven't noticed Alan, "Cutting Slack" and "RE" in the Same Sentence is an Oxymoron on a par with "Military Intelligence" and "Jumbo Shrimp".

The fact they are only 60 years into this project simply justifies another Tag Line I use with respect to the Chinese, which is that they came in a Day Late and a Yuan Short on the Industrialization paradigm.  They arrived at the Party when the last Keg was already needing to be tipped to get out any Beer. The Chinese are gonna have the worst Hangover here also, they built an Industrial Infrastructure to make stuff nobody can afford to buy anymore.  They sure will not be selling $500 I-phones to the Foxconn workers who make them paid at $2/day, and their Eurotrash Clients are Fresh Out of Credit now, the Spanish and Greek Cards have already been Cancelled.

The Chinese are...

(http://2.fimagenes.com/i/2/5/ff/am_86399_3125663_106334.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: alan2102 on July 22, 2012, 10:04:43 PM
The fact they are only 60 years into this project simply justifies another Tag Line
I use with respect to the Chinese, which is that they came in a Day Late
and a Yuan Short
on the Industrialization paradigm.  They arrived at the
Party when the last Keg was already needing to be tipped to get out any Beer.
The Chinese are gonna have the worst Hangover here also, they built an
Industrial Infrastructure to make stuff nobody can afford to buy anymore.
Wellll, we haven't got into the decoupling issue yet. I can address that
tomorrow. For the moment, suffice to say that I think you'll be surprised at
how non-U.S. demand picks up the slack. And as far as arriving late: you'll
be surprised there too, I'm fairly certain.  They arrived late to modernity, and
are segue-ing in to post-modernity (renewables) at a remarkable clip. There's
plenty of party left, as I believe you'll see if you live long enough. It just won't
be here in the old US of A, for a long time.


  R.E.'s IGNORANT, MEAN* & BIGOTED*  VIEWS ON CHINA ARE...
(http://2.fimagenes.com/i/2/5/ff/am_86399_3125663_106334.jpg)

* "useless eaters"



[I could not resist, RE. I just could not resist.]

Title: Re: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 10:20:59 PM

Wellll, we haven't got into the decoupling issue yet. I can address that
tomorrow. For the moment, suffice to say that I think you'll be surprised at
how non-U.S. demand picks up the slack. And as far as arriving late: you'll
be surprised there too, I'm fairly certain.

I'll be surprised when Pigs Fly also. You have Decoupled from REALITY.

(http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2232/2139604121_b99c9db883.jpg)

Quote
  R.E.'s IGNORANT, MEAN* & BIGOTED*  VIEWS ON CHINA ARE...

...I could not resist, RE. I just could not resist.

No subsidiary licensing available for stealing my Graphic Metaphors!  Exercise some creativity and find your OWN! :P

RE
Title: Useless Eaters
Post by: RE on July 22, 2012, 10:59:59 PM
  R.E.'s IGNORANT, MEAN* & BIGOTED*  VIEWS ON CHINA ARE...

* "useless eaters"


Emphasis Mine.

The "Useless Eaters" quote has variously been attributed to Winston Churchill and Henry Ford, and is used by me here tongue-in-cheek.  It does not just represent the Chinese, but ALL the excess Poor People of the world the Illuminati would like to dispense with.  Below, a few Quotes from many of the principal pundits of the Eugenics Movement

Quote
Useless Eaters Beware: Agenda to Depopulate Earth (http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/channel.cfm?channelid=67&contentid=6258&page=2)  (continued)
by STEPHANIE R. PASCO (INFOWARS)

 The schools therefore use the means described earlier to combat family attitudes that favor jingoism (nationalism) we shall presently recognize in nationalism the major obstacle to development of world mindedness. We are at the beginning of a long process of breaking down the walls of national sovereignty. UNESCO must be the pioneer."


Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution, 1991:

"In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill (this is absolute proof that man made global warming is a fabrication).... But in designating them as the enemy, we fall into the trap of mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself."


Mikhail Gorbachev:

"We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren't enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage."


Aldous Huxley, Brave New World 1946:

"There is, of course, no reason why the new totalitarians should resemble the old. Government by clubs and firing squads, by artificial famine, mass imprisonment and mass deportation, is not merely inhumane (nobody cares much about that nowadays); it is demonstrably inefficient and in an age of advanced technology, inefficiency is the sin against the Holy Ghost."


Aldous Huxley, Lecture named Population Explosion 1959:

"Let us ask ourselves what the practical alternatives are as we confront this problem of population growth. One alternative is to do nothing in particular about it and just let things go on as they are The question is: Are we going to restore the balance in the natural way, which is a brutal and entirely anti-human way, or are we going to restore it in some intelligent, rational, and humane way Try to increase production as much as possible and at the same time try to re-establish the balance between the birth rate by means less gruesome than those which are used by nature - by intelligent and human methods? There are colossal difficulties in the way of implementing any large-scale policy of limitation of population; whereas death control is extremely easy under modern circumstances, birth control is extremely difficult. The reason is very simple: death control - the control, for example, of infectious diseases � can be accomplished by a handful of experts and quite a small labour force of unskilled persons and requires a very small capital expenditure."


Barry Commoner, Making Peace with the Planet:

"There have been 'triage' proposals that would condemn whole nations to death through some species of global 'benign neglect'. There have been schemes for coercing people to curtail their fertility, by physical and legal means that are ominously left unspecified. Now we are told that we must curtail rather than extend our efforts to feed the hungry peoples of the world. Where will it end?"

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, April 28, 1997, Testimony before Congressional Committee: "There are some reports, for example, that some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus, and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least. Alvin Toeffler has written about this in terms of some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops. Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. It's real, and that's the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and that's why this is so important."

Jacques Cousteau UNESCO Courier 1991:

"In order to save the planet it would be necessary to kill 350,000 people per day."


Jacques Cousteau, Population: Opposing Viewpoints:

"If we want our precarious endeavor to succeed, we must convince all human beings to participate in our adventure, and we must urgently find solutions to curb the population explosion that has a direct influence on the impoverishment of the less-favoured communities. Otherwise, generalized resentment will beget hatred, and the ugliest genocide imaginable, involving billions of people, will become unavoidable."

"Uncontrolled population growth and poverty must not be fought from inside, from Europe, from North America, or any nation or group of nations; it must be attacked from the outside -- by international agencies helped in the formidable job by competent and totally non-governmental organizations."

Bertrand Russell, The Impact Of Science On Society 1953

"I do not pretend that birth control is the only way in which population can be kept from increasing War has hitherto been disappointing in this respect, but perhaps bacteriological war may prove more effective. If a Black Death could be spread throughout the world once in every generation survivors could procreate freely without making the world too full� The state of affairs might be somewhat unpleasant, but what of that? Really high-minded people are indifferent to happiness, especially other people's. There are three ways of securing a society that shall be stable as regards population. The first is that of birth control, the second that of infanticide or really destructive wars, and the third that of general misery except for a powerful minority..."


Henry Kissinger, 1978:

"U.S. policy toward the third world should be one of depopulation"


David Rockefeller, 2000:

"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order."


David Rockefeller: Memoirs 2002 Founder of the CFR:

"We wield over American political and economical institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political structure, one world, if you will. If that�s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it."


David Rockefeller


"We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine & other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promise of discretion for almost 40 years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plans for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. Thomas Ferguson, the Latin American Case Officer for the State Department's Office of Population Affairs (OPA) (now the US State Dept. Office of Population Affairs, est. by Henry Kissinger in 1975): "There is a single theme behind all our work - we must reduce population levels," said Thomas Ferguson, the Latin American case officer for the State Departmentï Office of Population Affairs (OPA).

"Either they [governments] do it our way, through nice clean methods or they will get the kind of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran, or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it. "The professionals," said Ferguson, "aren't interested in lowering population for humanitarian reasons. That sounds nice. We look at resources and environmental constraints. We look at our strategic needs, and we say that this country must lower its population -- or else we will have trouble.

"So steps are taken. El Salvador is an example where our failure to lower population by simple means has created the basis for a national security crisis. The government of El Salvador failed to use our programs to lower their population. Now they get a civil war because of it. There will be dislocation and food shortages. They still have too many people there." (1981)


Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, April 28, 1997; Testimony before Congressional Committee:

"And advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."


Sir Julian Huxley, UNESCO: its Purpose and its Philosophy:

"Political unification in some sort of world government will be required� Even though� any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable. In the early 1950's, former Communist Joseph Z. Kornfeder expressed the opinion that UNESCO was comparable to a Communist Party agitation and propaganda department. He stated that such a party apparatus 'handles the strategy and method of getting at the public mind, young and old.' Huxley would lard the agency with a motley collection of Communists and fellow travelers.

President Richard Nixon believed abortion was necessary as a form of eugenics to prevent interracial breeding

Theodore Roosevelt to Charles B. Davenport, January 3, 1913, Charles B. Davenport Papers, Department of Genetics, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.:

"I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized and feebleminded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them. The emphasis should be laid on getting desirable people to breed."

Theodore Roosevelt:

"Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind�. Any group of farmers, who permitted their best stock not to breed, and let all the increase come from the worst stock, would be treated as fit inmates for an asylum�. Some day we will realize that the prime duty, the inescapable duty of the good citizens of the right type is to leave his or her blood behind him in the world; and that we have no business to permit the perpetuation of citizens of the wrong type. The great problem of civilization is to secure a relative increase of the valuable as compared with the less valuable or noxious elements in the population. The problem cannot be met unless we give full consideration to the immense influence of heredity.  I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized and feebleminded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them. The emphasis should be laid on getting desirable people to breed."


By Carl Teichrib:

"The Georgia Guidestones, a massive granite edifice planted in the Georgia countryside, contains a list of ten new commandments for Earth's citizens. The first commandment, and the one which concerns this article, simply states; "Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature."


Robert Walker, former chair of PepsiCo and Proctor & Gamble on water:

Water is a gift of nature. Its delivery is not. It must be priced to insure it is used sustainably.

Ted Turner makes the radical statement that, "A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal,"

Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood, funded by the Rockefellers) said in her proposed The American Baby Code, intended to become law:

"The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it."

This is the woman (Margaret Sanger) whom Hillary Clinton publicly declared she looked up to, during the 2008 presidential debates.

Here is a short list of some advocates of eugenics; Alexander Graham Bell, George Bernard Shaw H. G. Wells, Sidney Webb, William Beveridge, John Maynard Keynes, Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Emile Zola, George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes, John Harvey Kellogg, Winston Churchill, Linus Pauling, Sidney Webb, Sir Francis Galton, Charles B. Davenport Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard (who wanted to create a Dept. of Peace):

"Out of the full spectrum of human personality, one-fourth is electing to transcend�One-fourth is ready to so choose, given the example of one other�One-fourth is resistant to election. They are unattracted by life ever evolving. One-fourth is destructive. They are born angry with God. They are defective seeds. There have always been defective seeds. In the past they were permitted to die a natural death - we, the elders, have been patiently waiting until the very last moment before the quantum transformation, to take action to cut out this corrupted and corrupting element in the body of humanity. It is like watching a cancer grow. Now, as we approach the quantum shift from creature-human to co-creative human the human who is an inheritor of god-like powers the destructive one-fourth must be eliminated from the social body. We have no choice, dearly beloveds. Fortunately you, dearly beloveds, are not responsible for this act. We are. We are in charge of God's selection process for planet Earth. He selects, we destroy. We are the riders of the pale horse, Death. We come to bring death to those who are unable to know God the riders of the pale horse are about to pass among you. Grim reapers, they will separate the wheat from the chaff. This is the most painful period in the history of humanity..."

Henry Kissinger


Alexander Haig is quoted referring to the US State Department Office of Population Affairs, which was established by Henry Kissinger in 1975. The title has since been changed to The Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs:

"Accordingly, the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs has consistently blocked industrialization policies in the Third World, denying developing nation�s access to nuclear energy technology�the policies that would enable countries to sustain a growing population. According to State Department sources, and Ferguson himself, Alexander Haig is a "firm believer" in population control.

Although the above stated quotes should be sufficient to prove that the elitists in power have definite intent to depopulate this planet to what they deem to be a sustainable level. Some will argue these are only opinions and are of no real consequence. I will now move on to providing bits of documentation showing this is a plan that has a worldwide scope of influence.

(http://www.haitianinternet.com/spa/_files/spa_album/pic_164.jpg)
You have to understand when I am refering to the Iluminati here and their plans.  My Plan is DIFFERENT.  My Plan is to get rid of THEM before they get rid of US.

Bring on the Orkin Man.

RE
Title: Re: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: alan2102 on July 23, 2012, 03:31:27 AM

Wellll, we haven't got into the decoupling issue yet. I can address that
tomorrow. For the moment, suffice to say that I think you'll be surprised at
how non-U.S. demand picks up the slack. And as far as arriving late: you'll
be surprised there too, I'm fairly certain.

I'll be surprised when Pigs Fly also. You have Decoupled from REALITY.

Funny you should mention REALITY, RE.

Snippets only; full text (worthwhile) at the link:

Quote

"Anyone who continues to argue that a Chinese decoupling from
America's economy is impossible at this point is truly beyond
hope [or: out of touch with reality]."


----------------------

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-china-ready-pull-plug (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-china-ready-pull-plug)

09/16/2011 08:23 -0400

Submitted by Brandon Smith from Alt Market

Is China Ready To Pull The Plug?

There are two mainstream market assumptions that, in my mind,
prevail over all others. The continuing function of the Dow,
the sustained flow of capital into and out of the banking
sector, and the full force spending of the federal government
are ALL entirely dependent on the lifespan of these dual
illusions; one, that the U.S. Dollar is a legitimate safe
haven investment and will remain so indefinitely, and two,
that China, like many other developing nations, will continue
to prop up the strength of the dollar indefinitely because it
is "in their best interest". In the dimly lit bowels of Wall
Street such ideas are so entrenched and pervasive, to question
their validity is almost sacrilegious. Only after the recent
S&P downgrade of America's AAA credit rating did the
impossible become thinkable to some MSM analysts, though a
considerable portion of the day-trading herd continue to roll
onward, while the time bomb strapped to the ass end of their
financial house is ticking away.

[...snip...]

China Discreetly Moving To Dump U.S. Debt

China has been tip-toeing towards this for years, and has
openly admitted on numerous occasions that they plan to
institute a break from U.S. debt and the dollar in due course.
Anyone who continues to argue that a Chinese decoupling from
America's economy is impossible at this point is truly beyond
hope.


[...snip...]

Delusions of Chinese dependency on the U.S consumer still
abound, and those who suggest a catastrophic dump of U.S. debt
and dollars in the near term are liable to hear the same
ignorant talking points we have heard all along:

"The Chinese are better off with us than without us."

"China needs export dollars from the U.S. to survive."

"China isn't equipped to produce goods without U.S.
technological savvy."

"America could simply revert back to industry and production
and teach the Chinese a lesson."

"The U.S. could default on its debts to China and simply walk
away."

"The whole situation is China's fault because of their
artificial devaluation of the Yuan over the decades."

And on and on it goes. Though I have deconstructed these
arguments more instances than I can count in the past, I feel
it my duty to at least quickly address them one more time:

U.S. consumption of all goods, not just Chinese goods, has
fallen off a cliff since 2008 and is unlikely to recover
anytime soon. China has done quite well despite this fall in
exports considering the circumstances. With the institution of
ASEAN, they barely need us at all.


China is well equipped to produce technological goods without
U.S. help, and if Japan is inducted into ASEAN (as I believe
they soon will be), they will be even more capable.

America will NOT be able to revert back to an industrial based
economy before a dollar collapse escalates to fruition. It
took decades to dismantle U.S. industry and ship it overseas.
Reeducating a 70% service based society to function in an
industrial system, not to mention resurrecting the factory
infrastructure necessary to support the nation, would likely
take decades to accomplish.

If the U.S. deliberately defaults on debt to China, the global
reputation of the dollar would implode, and its world reserve
status would be irrevocably lost. We won't be teaching anyone
a "lesson" then.

[...snip...]

Title: Re: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: RE on July 23, 2012, 03:54:02 AM

Funny you should mention REALITY, RE.


I read Zero Hedge every day for the last 4 years or so.  I doubt I have missed too much over there since the Tyler Durdens and the rest of the Piglets repeat themselves all the time.

When China "decouples" from the Dollar all hell will break loose.  In CHINA more than anywhere else!  They are fucked Six Ways from Sunday over there.  It is  a MERCANTILIST economy, and when they decouple, ALL their "savings" from the last 20 years of SLAVE LABOR go WORTHLESS.  Meanwhile, the Industrial Plant they built over the last 20 years is LOADED in Debt, and none of it can pay off.  They cannot build the Renminby into a currency of any value based on a lot of completely WORTHLESS shit they cannot pay off on in Dollars EITHER as long as the Dollars actually hold some value here.  They are so fucked it is not even funny really.

The Chinese are
(http://2.fimagenes.com/i/2/5/ff/am_86399_3125663_106334.jpg)

Everybody KNOWS, that's how it GOES

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: g on July 23, 2012, 04:36:43 AM
Quote EndIsNigh" Alan, I think the point you're missing is that development, of any kind, creates more problems than it solves."

I wish China well and all of us for that matter. It is most difficult to envision where the resources are going to come from to support these projections. Especially where the Chinese have already created and auto oil based economy much like the US and Europe. The pictures that have been posted on DD of the pollution and destruction of the environment in China are also just too much to handle. Something has to give. 
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 23, 2012, 05:51:33 AM
I wish China well and all of us for that matter. It is most difficult to envision where
the resources are going to come from to support these projections. Especially where
the Chinese have already created and auto oil based economy much like the US and
Europe. The pictures that have been posted on DD of the pollution and destruction
of the environment in China are also just too much to handle. Something has to give.
I agree that the buildup of the auto infrastructure and industry in china is  a HUGE
mistake -- their biggest single mistake, IMO.  They are handling most things in a highly
intelligent and forward-looking manner, with the glaring exception of that.  I really must
emphasize that on my next private video telecon with PM Jiabao and his staff.  ;)

I emphatically do NOT agree that the lurid "pictures that have been posted on DD
of the pollution and destruction" are meaningful, or reflect a situation in China that
is "just too much to handle."  Pictures usually (though not invariably) contribute the
equivalent of an emotional outburst to an otherwise-rational discussion. You can
come up with horribly ugly, or sublimely beautiful, pictures of any place or any thing
you like. In fact it is a trivial exercise, with the bing/google image databases. I could
easily come up with a  series of stunning civilization-of-the-future and wouldn't-
ANYONE-want-to-live-there photos of China, but I don't, because they would
contribute nothing to the discussion. Yes, OF COURSE there are all those beautiful
things, as well as all those ugly things, in China.  Big deal. 

I say: dump the freaking  facebook photo bullshit, and SHOW ME SOME NUMBERS.
GIVE ME SOME HARD FACTS.   That is, if you want to convince me.

Hrrrumph!   

;D 
Title: Re: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: alan2102 on July 23, 2012, 07:30:43 AM
When China "decouples" from the Dollar all hell will break loose.  In CHINA more
than anywhere else!  They are fucked Six Ways from Sunday over there.  It is  a
MERCANTILIST economy, and when they decouple, ALL their "savings" from
the last 20 years of SLAVE LABOR go WORTHLESS.  Meanwhile, the
Industrial Plant they built over the last 20 years is LOADED in Debt, and
none of it can pay off.  They cannot build the Renminby into a currency of any
value based on a lot of completely WORTHLESS shit they cannot pay off
on in Dollars EITHER as long as the Dollars actually hold some value here. 
They are so fucked it is not even funny really.

RE, your habit  of heavily  peppering your text with upper-case and
BOLDFACED words is reminiscent of of my own.  IT IS  AN
unfortunate habit,  HOWEVER, when the  typographical EMPHASES
are used
  as a substitute for -- rather than to supplement -- quality
argument
with documentation.

I welcome your posting of quality arguments, with documentation, for your
assertions.

Once again, and in brief:

"When China "decouples" from the Dollar all hell will break loose. "

Agreed.

"In CHINA more  than anywhere else!"

Not agreed. Transiently, things will be chaotic in China, yes. Not more than
anywhere else.

"They are fucked Six Ways from Sunday over there."

In some ways, but a LOT less than elsewhere.

"It is  a  MERCANTILIST economy, and when they decouple, ALL their "savings" from
the last 20 years of SLAVE LABOR go WORTHLESS."

Rubbish. The only way that anyone could write such a sentence is by way of the most
assiduous ignoring of all the facts I've posted on this thread. That's intellectually
dishonest.  You are welcome to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.
China has invested $trillions in critical infrastructure, including those so-called "ghost
cities" that Ash mentioned (I'll get back to that one); this stuff is not going to just suddenly
disappear ("go worthless").  Further, the Chinese are aggressively accumulating PMs and
rare earths, and in other ways are diversifying out of the dollar, as fast as they can. Neither
will that stuff  "go worthless". They know that some of their treasuries will wind up going
to money heaven, but they are transitioning as fast as they can. Very smart. They are NOT
going to be caught flat-footed when the dollar goes south, even though they will of course
take some losses.

If you truly believe that  "ALL of their savings will go worthless", then you really are out
of touch with current reality; perhaps living in a 1990 or 2000 time-warp.  That's the
doomer equivalent of the pollyanna's belief in the tooth fairy.  Two sides of the same
deluded coin.

"Meanwhile, the Industrial Plant they built over the last 20 years is LOADED in
Debt, and  none of it can pay off."

Note well those words: "THE INDUSTRIAL [SYSTEM] THEY BUILT OVER THE LAST
20 YEARS".  Yes!  It exists! They built it!  It is huge!  It is HEAVY!  It is functional!
And it is not going away! No matter what the global finance vultures do, it is not
going away, and they will NOT let it lie fallow for long, and neither will the billions of
people in this world who are hungry for a better life. Mankind will not be crucified
on a cross of (THEIR) finance capital.  Mankind in general, that is.  Though the U.S.
might be.

"They cannot build the Renminby into a currency of any value based on a lot of
completely WORTHLESS shit they cannot pay off on in Dollars EITHER
as long as the Dollars actually hold some value here."

What is that "worthless shit" to which you refer?  Their industrial system?

"They are so fucked it is not even funny really."

Thank you, professor R.E., for your astute and compelling views.
I'm going to attach your extensive annotated bibliography as a pdf file,
since I know that many of our readers are eager to explore the scholarly
underpinnings of your work.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Surly1 on July 23, 2012, 08:12:26 AM
Who do you really think will suffer when China decouples from the dollar?

Let me confess I know little about China aside from what I read, and I trust what I read here more than what I find anywhere else, because it's been filtered by some good minds.

But just on the basis of one of your "thought experiments," in my simple mind that, when TSHTF, even an empty "ghost city" is worth more than a handful or worthless, non-negotiable paper.

What China has is the ability to make stuff. And a grateful world, even aside form the FSA, is buying. China has the rare earths market by the nuts. They have several large shitloads of people. And they are able to manifest the collective will to act in their own self-interest, and their efforts in green energy are testament to that.

In 50 years, assuming there is indeed an "in 50 years" in human scale, what do you suppose China will look like, as opposed to what the FSA will look like? Joe P posted an interesting article http://metrotimes.com/culture/sign-of-the-times-1.1344652 (http://metrotimes.com/culture/sign-of-the-times-1.1344652)about Detroit; is that the future of the FSA? China could lose two thirds of their population and still be by far the most populous country on earth. . .
(http://metrotimes.com/polopoly_fs/1.1344653.1342553217!/image/2946933831.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_335/2946933831.jpg)

Just not seeing why China is "toast" by your logic. Yeah, they have a certain exposure to dollars, but they have already announced their intention to get off the crack pipe.

I look at what has happened over my lifetime, ever since chief felon Nixon "opened the door" to China? It looks to me like China has been playing chess, while the US is convinced the game is checkers, and they are wiping up the board with us. Am sure they are delighted to watch us hollow out our economy with useless wars and endless imperial adventures. While they sit and wait. We think in quarters; they think in decades. It may well be US, rather than the Chinese, who are "toast."

(http://www.thisblogrules.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/history-people-on-toast2.jpg)
Title: Re: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: alan2102 on July 23, 2012, 08:22:21 AM
China has invested $trillions in critical infrastructure, including those so-called
"ghost cities" that Ash mentioned (I'll get back to that one); this stuff is not going
to just suddenly disappear ("go worthless").....
Note well those words: "THE INDUSTRIAL [SYSTEM] THEY BUILT OVER THE LAST
20 YEARS".  Yes!  It exists! They built it!  It is huge!  It is HEAVY!  It is functional!
And it is not going away! No matter what the global finance vultures do, it is not
going away, and they will NOT let it lie fallow for long....

This calls for expansion.

China's savings exist in several forms, including one that is almost never discussed:
concrete and steel.  Yes, concrete and steel.  How so?  How are these things "savings"? 
Well, it takes a whole lot of energy to make (and transport, and install, etc.) concrete
and steel.  It takes a huge amount of energy and money to build a modern
urban/industrial system -- which is what they've done (and are doing) -- and much of it
is tied up in the hard physical realities of concrete and steel. And once you've initially
created that system -- once you've built the concrete/steel roads, bridges, buildings,
terminals, factories, tracks, machine tools, etc., etc. -- you've GOT it, for a very long
time, perhaps a century or more.  It endures. Further, a great deal of it is
recyclable. Because of this endurance, and recyclability, it takes MUCH less energy and
money  to maintain such a system, versus building it for the first time from scratch.
And, while maintaining things on that much-reduced budget, the system continues to
grind-out all kinds of useful and vital things.

So, it should be evident now how concrete and steel (configured as sensible, functional
infrastructure) is a form of savings, or investment -- and a much more secure form of
savings than any fiat currency!  Concrete and steel, configured as I said, are money in
the bank, or better than money in the bank, because IT WILL NOT DISAPPEAR, no
matter what the finance vermin do, and you can keep on using it for decades and
centuries -- indeed you can keep on using it to create real wealth, and meet real human
needs, whether  or not you "make money" in the process. Get it?  China's savings in the
form of physical  infrastructure --  running into many $trillions by now -- far outstrip their
treasury  holdings, and are certainly much more important than their treasury holdings,
though the latter get all the headlines.

I betcha you didn't hear anything about that on DeflationDoomGloom.com!  I KNOW you
didn't.  I've been there. It takes a long time to figure this stuff out, after climbing out of
the (doomed?) matrix of doomerism.  And it is important to figure it out, because not
figuring it out means being caught in the web of lies that the banksters have spun.

A funny thing about the Deflationista Doomers (DD'ers; not to be confused
with Doomstead Diner-mavens, though there is surely some overlap!) is that they
buy-in so uncritically  to that which the vultures of global finance want us to think.
The DD'ers believe that we are utterly dependent on them and their money, and
that without them we would collapse, helplessly and permanently,  into ruin. 

This is EXACTLY what they want us to believe; it is as  though a script written in the
bowels of JP Morgan or Citigroup. At root it is the idea of money uber alles; that
money can buy ANYTHING; money RULES; and all that goes doubly for THEIR money.

That's what they want you to believe. And along with that goes a sort of blindness
to real wealth and the sources of real wealth, such as physical infrastructure.

How could the DD'ers have fallen into this trap, given that they are quite intelligent
and their analyses are often astute? Somehow they did, as they now exhibit gross
over-valuation of money, with simultaneous blindness to real wealth and its sources and
mechanisms of conveyance. (The same blindness prevails in them with respect to
precious metals, though that is a subject for another time.) In this blindness they reflect
one symptom of the West's disease, having to do with confusion of money with wealth,
and the substitution of money FOR wealth, or true value. At the end of the day, it
amounts to the substitution of the false for the true.
 
I'm not saying that money is not important; it IS. It is a tool, and we need it.  But this
extreme worship of money goes way too far. It is I think a form of idolatry; the worship
of a false god;  a sin, in the J/C tradition.

Yes, money is important, but we are bigger than money.  Money does not have the
last word; WE DO.
Title: Re: Why Eating in China is No Game/Drop in the Dirty Water Bucket
Post by: Surly1 on July 23, 2012, 08:41:19 AM

China's savings exist in several forms, including one that is almost never discussed:
concrete and steel.  Yes, concrete and steel.  ... And once you've initially
created that system -- once you've built the concrete/steel roads, bridges, buildings,
terminals, factories, tracks, machine tools, etc., etc. -- you've GOT it, for a very long
time, perhaps a century or more.  It endures. Further, a great deal of it is
recyclable. Because of this endurance, and recyclability, it takes MUCH less energy and
money  to maintain such a system, versus building it for the first time from scratch.
And, while maintaining things on that much-reduced budget, the system continues to
grind-out all kinds of useful and vital things.
//  China's savings in the form of physical  infrastructure --  running into many $trillions by now
-- far outstrip their treasury  holdings, and are certainly much more important than their treasury holdings,
though the latter get all the headlines.



Here's hoping the Chinese do a better job maintaining their infrastructure than we do. Infrastructure in the northeast, as in much of the nation, is in great disrepair. We continue to focus on the current quarter, while the Chinese are thinking multiple decades out. In the real world, and when the conduits fail, real world STUFF would seem to trump a handful of worthless IOUs.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 23, 2012, 08:41:43 AM
when TSHTF, even an empty "ghost city" is worth more than a handful or worthless,
non-negotiable paper.
EXACTLY. WORTH FAR MORE.

Quote
What China has is the ability to make stuff.
EXACTLY. THAT'S WEALTH.

Quote
China has the rare earths market by the nuts. They have several large shitloads
of people. And they are able to manifest the collective will to act in their own
self-interest, and their efforts in green energy are testament to that.
THANK YOU.

Am I correct in assuming that what I've been posting here has influenced
your thoughts?  Or did you come to these conclusions independently?

Quote
In 50 years, assuming there is indeed an "in 50 years" in human scale, what do
you suppose China will look like, as opposed to what the FSA will look like?
What is the "FSA"?  The Fucked States of Amerika?

Quote
Just not seeing why China is "toast" by your logic.
That makes two of us.  Except that I'm not seeing much logic. Just BOLD-FACE
table-pounding.

Quote
Yeah, they have a certain exposure to dollars, but they have already announced
their intention to get off the crack pipe.
Just an "intention"?!  Ha!  It is well underway. WELL underway.

Quote
I look at what has happened over my lifetime, ever since chief felon Nixon
"opened the door" to China? It looks to me like China has been playing chess,
while the US is convinced the game is checkers, and they are wiping up the
board with us.
Damn good metaphor, which sums poetically what I've been saying (awkwardly)
with all this boring factual crap.

Quote
Am sure they are delighted to watch us hollow out our economy with useless
wars and endless imperial adventures. While they sit and wait. We think in
quarters; they think in decades.
"Decades" ---> CENTURIES. 

Quote
It may well be US, rather than the Chinese, who are "toast."
It quite obviously IS.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Surly1 on July 23, 2012, 09:08:11 AM
To answer your question, yes, to a certain extent, by providing actual evidence for what is going on.

For years I have maintained a reflexive mistrust of mainstream media. I tell others, my family members, friends, anyone I can buttonhole long enough, that if the MSM is retailing a narrative, the truth is likely to be 45, 90 or even 180 degrees off axis. The visual analogy is that of a magician-- if you want to see what's really going on, keep your eye on the magician's "off" hand.

Thus do I believe it to be so about China. My attitude is buttressed by conversations I have had with people who have visited the mainland, and return with stories about what life is like there. Those inevitably get around to the pollution, which is apparently endemic and overwhelming. Which speaks directly to the Chinese "green energy" initiative.

Could well be that, after the energy conduits fail, Chinese windmills and solar will keep some part of a semi-industrial workforce engaged. As we have seen in other threads, and the work here of agelbert, that the "truth" that renewables cannot meaningfully contribute to a nation's energy picture is just so much agitprop. Say what you will-- the Chinese take the long view, and in our financialization of all walks of life, we are playing right into their hands.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 23, 2012, 10:47:26 AM
When you guys talk about "thinking in centuries", I can't help but think about economic, population, energy, political projections by various institutions that say "this is what such and such will look like or will be doing in the year 2077". Such projections reflect a hubris of humanity that we can control long-term outcomes at large-scales, even though it has never really worked out that way in the past. Neither God nor planet Earth gives us all the time we perceive to need in order to make things right, or, more importantly, to make ourselves right. Ultimately, RE is right when he says China is a "day late and a yuan short" when it comes to this particular game we play of industrialization and sustainability at large scales. Whether it's chess or checkers... the time is running out.

No large-scale system based on greed, profits, wage-slavery, mass manipulation, consumerism, etc. will ever work out for the masses, regardless of whether it is technically "communist" or "command economy" or a "capitalist free market economy".  The socioeconomic inequality, environmental degradation, structural waste, corruption, decadence, alienation and all manner of unintended consequences will eventually build up to a tipping point, no matter how much foresight is used in advance. China has put itself on that exact path, and simply throwing a lot of money into various investments will not get them off. I'm not arguing that they shouldn't do what they are currently doing to mitigate the damage, but it won't be enough to reach their grand visions of the future.

No, I don't have a mathematical proof of this argument; yes, it is theoretical and intangible and based in history. But if a picture or a painting or a sculpture is worth thousands of words, then a well-crafted theory is worth a lot more.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Surly1 on July 23, 2012, 11:20:34 AM
Ashvin, I guess I was taking the earlier point that at least China is investing in its own infrastructure, and in some green energy, while stateside we can't even agree to build a bridge anymore. And we no longer seem to have the will to repair the infrastructure we do have, apparently because poor people can ride on the roads and bridges as well.

We're all mostly gathered in places like this, TAE et al, because we see that it is only a matter of time before TSHTF. I agree with RE as well regarding his theory of the conduits, et al, and agree with you that the whole sordid applecart will eventually tip over.

Alan's point is, I think, that when the music stops, at least China will have some stuff, and that stuff they built can be used to create more wealth, via whatever system rises from the ruins of the current one. To the extent that, when the era of financialization is over, stuff on the ground will be worth more than a leather portfolio full of IOUs. Just an observation, but seems likely to me.

You are probably right about the hubris as well, but the point I was making was that the Chinese always seem to take a longer view than we do. Whether or not that amounts to a hill of beans is another matter, entirely.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 23, 2012, 11:26:49 AM
When you guys talk about "thinking in centuries", I can't help but think about
economic, population, energy, political projections by various institutions that say
"this is what such and such will look like or will be doing in the year 2077".
Such projections reflect a hubris of humanity that we can control long-term
outcomes at large-scales,
Ash, what makes you think that the act of planning necessarily entails such
hubris?  You and I make plans every day, every week.  (Well, either we do, or
else our lives are chaotic and inefficient.)  All of us do. It does not entail
"hubris" or arrogating to ourselves god-like powers of control.  Plans are made
to be modified over time and updated, as conditions change.  As they say in
the military: "no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy".

Your critique is not of plan-making (which would be preposterous), but of
severe inflexibility and control-freakiness.  KNOW what you are attacking.

Quote
Ultimately, RE is right when he says China is a "day late and a yuan short" when
it comes to this particular game we play of industrialization and sustainability
at large scales. Whether it's chess or checkers... the time is running out.
I look forward to being COMPELLED to confess that you are right, in the face
of the overwhelming reason and documentation with which you have accompanied
your assertions.

Quote
No large-scale system based on greed, profits, wage-slavery, mass manipulation,
consumerism, etc. will ever work out for the masses, regardless of whether it is
technically "communist" or "command economy" or a "capitalist free market economy".
Not even a large-scale system that HAS, in a clear-cut and statistically
undeniable way, worked out for many hundreds of millions, and to some
extent even the whole population of 1.4 billion?  (See up thread.)

Quote
The socioeconomic inequality, environmental degradation, structural waste,
corruption, decadence, alienation and all manner of unintended consequences
will eventually build up to a tipping point, no matter how much foresight is used
in advance.
Is that really ALL you see? ONLY the bad stuff?  Does it mean anything at all
to you that the life expectancy of the Chinese people has gone from about 32
to over 73  in the last 50 years?  That is PHENOMENAL.  And I can assure you,
no matter how difficult their lives, they are very very pleased to have that
extra 40 years.

Quote
China has put itself on that exact path, and simply throwing a lot
of money into various investments will not get them off.
Is that really ALL you see? Money, money, money?  See up thread.

Quote
I'm not arguing that they shouldn't do what they are currently doing to mitigate
the damage, but it won't  be enough to reach their grand visions of the future.
OK. Well, Prime Minister Jiabao, and I, await with great interest your detailed
presentation on specific actions and priorities to set the PRC on the path to
actually reach those grand visions.

Quote
No, I don't have a mathematical proof of this argument; yes, it is theoretical and
intangible and based in history. But if a picture or a painting or a sculpture is worth
thousands of words, then a well-crafted theory is worth a lot more.
I agree.  But I'm not seeing any well-crafted theory, or even any theory, in
what you just wrote.  All you've said is: "there's a bunch of bad stuff going on,
and I don't see any good coming of it".  That's not a theory; it is a reaction,
tinged with hysteria ("time is running out! TOO LATE!")
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: reanteben on July 23, 2012, 01:00:46 PM
great stuff, alan. funny, too. excellent to have you here. keep on spammin' on!  ;D

i did, however, find the folowing statement surprisingly mundane.


Quote
Is that really ALL you see? ONLY the bad stuff?  Does it mean anything at all
to you that the life expectancy of the Chinese people has gone from about 32
to over 73  in the last 50 years?  That is PHENOMENAL.  And I can assure you,
no matter how difficult their lives, they are very very pleased to have that
extra 40 years.

and i'm pretty sure there's a logical fallacy in there somewhere. why bother, as an anarchist, arguing for contextless benefits of an industrially-Regulated Group Mind over a preindustrial one? it's a great china argument you're making but out of respect for decentralized nature of Life Consciousness shouldn't we keep the underlying tone wistful? (john mcmurtry terminology in caps.)

besides, what is so phenomenal about your lifespan statistic? it is the norm for rapidly industrializing countries is it not?

cheers.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Ashvin on July 23, 2012, 01:21:29 PM

Ash, what makes you think that the act of planning necessarily entails such
hubris?  You and I make plans every day, every week.  (Well, either we do, or
else our lives are chaotic and inefficient.)  All of us do. It does not entail
"hubris" or arrogating to ourselves god-like powers of control.  Plans are made
to be modified over time and updated, as conditions change.  As they say in
the military: "no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy".

Your critique is not of plan-making (which would be preposterous), but of
severe inflexibility and control-freakiness.  KNOW what you are attacking.

My critique is that the central planning of large-scale systems inevitably becomes inflexible and, more importantly, corrupted as time goes on, and wealth and power is concentrated into ever fewer decision makers. It is not even remotely comparable to the decisions made by individual human beings. This view is deeply rooted in systems/complexity theory, post-Marxist socioeconomic theory and thousands of years of brutal history.

Quote
I look forward to being COMPELLED to confess that you are right, in the face
of the overwhelming reason and documentation with which you have accompanied
your assertions.

Both me of and RE have provided you with plenty of documentation so far about the numerous and severe problems faced by China over the next few decades...

Of course, they are only severe problems for China if its existential goal is to be a global superpower.

Quote
Is that really ALL you see? ONLY the bad stuff?  Does it mean anything at all
to you that the life expectancy of the Chinese people has gone from about 32
to over 73  in the last 50 years?  That is PHENOMENAL.  And I can assure you,
no matter how difficult their lives, they are very very pleased to have that
extra 40 years.

No, I see the good stuff, but, unlike you, I don't think its remotely likely that the good stuff will overwhelm the bad stuff over the long haul. Once the rot sets in, it only compounds on itself in ever-greater degrees, until every part of the society is vulnerable to sudden collapse. You could think of in terms of the scripture that says "Bad trees cannot produce good fruits", or alternatively in terms of complexity theory and Marxist theory that says these types of centralized, profit-based systems that concentrate wealth/resources will always end up collapsing in on themselves.

Quote
Is that really ALL you see? Money, money, money?  See up thread.

Well not that much money anymore... I see a central government that has been setting targets for how much credit its banks should conjure up for many years now, for all manner of infrastructure projects, and just recently was unable to reach that target due to falling demand for credit. And, at the end of the day, I see a twisted world system in which the banks are the ones calling the shots, not the governments, democratically elected or otherwise.

Quote
I'm not arguing that they shouldn't do what they are currently doing to mitigate
the damage, but it won't  be enough to reach their grand visions of the future.

OK. Well, Prime Minister Jiabao, and I, await with great interest your detailed
presentation on specific actions and priorities to set the PRC on the path to
actually reach those grand visions.

The point is that their visions for the future should become less "grand", and more realistic. Again, I don't think they should give up on all of their various renewable energy or restoration projects, and, in fact, should probably devote even more resources than they already have. But neither China nor other parts of the world should bank on the ultimate success of these measures, and communities of people should definitely be prepared for "failure" to the best extent possible.

Quote
I agree.  But I'm not seeing any well-crafted theory, or even any theory, in
what you just wrote.  All you've said is: "there's a bunch of bad stuff going on,
and I don't see any good coming of it".  That's not a theory; it is a reaction,
tinged with hysteria ("time is running out! TOO LATE!")

No, it's a theory based on many hundreds of years of economic, social and political philosophies and history, as well as plenty of current evidence that validates those perspectives. Like I said before, though, it's not the kind of exacting, engineering-style numbers and projections that you are looking for.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: JoeP on July 23, 2012, 02:11:08 PM
Alan,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the "wealthy fleeing China" question - especially the honest "I don't know" beginning to the reply.  I don't know either...might just be a case by case kind of thing. 

I think if I was a wealthy Chinese person, the reason I'd flee would be the pollution.  I suspect the actions they are taking to clean things up are either "window dressing" and/or insufficient in scale.  Just my thoughts.
 

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 23, 2012, 02:56:29 PM
great stuff, alan. funny, too. excellent to have you here. keep on spammin' on!  ;D
Glad you're enjoying the show.  Huzzahs!

Quote
i did, however, find the folowing statement surprisingly mundane.
Why?

Quote
why bother, as an anarchist, arguing for contextless benefits of an industrially-
Regulated Group Mind over a preindustrial one?
Yeah, you might say that. But it IS awfully easy for us to say, is it not? I mean,
we've GOT the extra 40-50 years -- during which to make clever points about
the meaninglessness of context-free benefits.  Would those points mean
anything to someone dying at age 12 of some horrible infection?

Quote
besides, what is so phenomenal about your lifespan statistic? it is the norm
for rapidly industrializing countries is it not?
Yes, the norm for pre-industrial vs. industrial. AND phenomenal. An extension of
life on that order is, to me, stunning. Very impressive.  And we take it for granted!
Just like your comment: "What's the big deal, Alan?"  Or like Ash's comment,
oblivious to the huge upside.  But it IS a big deal, for the people newly affected.
A very big deal.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 23, 2012, 03:00:11 PM
I think if I was a wealthy Chinese person, the reason I'd flee would be the
pollution.  I suspect the actions they are taking to clean things up are either
"window dressing" and/or insufficient in scale.  Just my thoughts.
Their efforts are without question insufficient.  But, you've got to start somewhere.
The U.S.'s efforts were insufficient in 1965.  Air quality in many cities was terrible.
Rivers were so polluted that they caught on fire!  Then things changed, and by
degrees, these problems got cleaned up.  We are STILL dealing with the fallout
of leaded gasoline -- banned in 1978 -- which put god knows how many megatons
of lead into the environment, especially urban.  It takes many decades and longer to
clean up such a mess. But we can do it. If we had the kind of planning and
leadership and commitment that China had, we could do it in a very short time, like
say 25 years.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 23, 2012, 03:52:47 PM
Surly!  All these years I had no IDEA you were a China Bull!  Your Inner Pollyanna is showing.

(http://www.dvdizzy.com/images/pollyanna2.jpg)

What China has is the ability to make stuff. And a grateful world, even aside form the FSA, is buying. China has the rare earths market by the nuts. They have several large shitloads of people. And they are able to manifest the collective will to act in their own self-interest, and their efforts in green energy are testament to that.

They make stuff in factories that take a lot of energy to run which people will not have functioning money to buy.  Even something like Shoe Factories will no longer be economic as the shipping costs increase.  Local shoemakers will reappear.

Quote
In 50 years, assuming there is indeed an "in 50 years" in human scale, what do you suppose China will look like, as opposed to what the FSA will look like?

China
(http://www.pinktentacle.com/images/neo_ruins_3.jpg)

Last Great Frontier
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3124/3143937879_526f0490fa.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 23, 2012, 04:06:22 PM
Your critique is not of plan-making (which would be preposterous), but of
severe inflexibility and control-freakiness.  KNOW what you are attacking.
My critique is that the central planning of large-scale systems inevitably
becomes inflexible and, more importantly, corrupted as time goes on, and wealth
and power is concentrated into ever fewer decision makers.
Thanks. I'll have to think about that for a while. At one time, I would have
agreed right away, but in recent years I've been questioning my old dogmas.
But maybe my old dogmas are right.  I'll think about it.

Quote
Quote
I look forward to being COMPELLED to confess that you are right, in the face
of the overwhelming reason and documentation with which you have accompanied
your assertions.
Both me of and RE have provided you with plenty of documentation so far about
the numerous and severe problems faced by China over the next few decades...
Yes, of course China has numerous and severe problems.  The whole point of the
FYPs, and most of the point of the central state's efforts, is to address their
numerous and severe problems.  This thread is about their numerous and severe
problems, and what they have done and are  doing about them.
 
You did put up a post with some text that deserves a reply, on page 6 I think; I'll
get to it.

But mostly you guys have just posted lurid photos, more or less worthless; RE,
especially.  Sorry, but that's the truth. See message #99:
http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=618.msg5558#msg5558 (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=618.msg5558#msg5558)

Quote
Quote
Is that really ALL you see? ONLY the bad stuff?  Does it mean anything at all
to you that the life expectancy of the Chinese people has gone from about 32
to over 73  in the last 50 years?  That is PHENOMENAL.  And I can assure you,
no matter how difficult their lives, they are very very pleased to have that
extra 40 years.
No, I see the good stuff, but, unlike you, I don't think its remotely likely that
the good stuff will overwhelm the bad stuff over the long haul.
Why?  What makes you so sure?  You sound like what you were criticizing
to begin with:  "the  hubris of humanity that we can control KNOW
long-term outcomes".  We cannot know, just like we cannot control.
We can only do our best in the here and now.

 I have repeatedly emphasized the TRAJECTORY of things, which is all that
we can really be responsible for. The long-term outcome is, just as you say,
out of our hands. We can only step toward that which is better than what
is happening now, or what came before.  TRAJECTORY.

Quote
Once the rot sets in, it only compounds on itself in ever-greater degrees, until
every part of the society is vulnerable to sudden collapse.
You should read that sentence of yours carefully, and ponder it -- ponder where,
from within you, it is coming. You're making a profoundly nihilistic statement.
It is the kind of statement that comes from one for whom a psychic rot has set in.
Note that I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT OF YOU. I think you're healthier than that.
You probably have dark moods in which such ideas present themselves to you,
but those moods are not the real you.  That happens to me, often.

Quote
The point is that their visions for the future should become less "grand",
and more realistic.
Why is "grand" incompatible with reality? They HAVE achieved grand things,
repeatedly, for decades.  It is history. Undeniable.  Let's give credit where it is due.

Quote
Again, I don't think they should give up on all of their various renewable energy
or restoration projects, and, in fact, should probably devote even more resources
than they already have. But neither China nor other parts of the world should
bank on the ultimate success of these measures, and communities of people
should definitely be prepared for "failure" to the best extent possible.
"Prepared", as in small permacultural/survivalistic communities -- that kind of thing?
For whatever it is worth, that is exactly the kind of thing that I championed for years.
Decentralism, permaculture, self-reliance, collapse survival, blah blah. All that kind of
stuff. But I now see the problem with it.   The problem is that it is not really compatible
with the large-scale "renewable energy and restoration projects", as in the case of
China.  You have to do one or the other; cannot do both. Which should it be? The
more I think about this, the more I think that the decentralized/permacultural/etc.
way is more appropriate for the U.S., but the centralized/large-scale way is more
appropriate for China. Why?  A lot of it is cultural difference.  Asians are more
collectivistic than Americans.  Americans are fierce individualists, they tend to hate
big government or big anything.  Not sure about this. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: reanteben on July 23, 2012, 06:13:23 PM
great stuff, alan. funny, too. excellent to have you here. keep on spammin' on!  ;D
Glad you're enjoying the show.  Huzzahs!

Quote
i did, however, find the folowing statement surprisingly mundane.
Why?

because it strikes me as a conventional view in favor quantity over quality. of course most are going to say they rather society had a lower infant mortality rate - which is mostly what we're talking about here with the lifespan argument. but even accepting the argument at face value - at what cost? what about the non-human side of the ledger? how do you balance that?

Quote
why bother, as an anarchist, arguing for contextless benefits of an industrially-
Regulated Group Mind over a preindustrial one?
Yeah, you might say that. But it IS awfully easy for us to say, is it not? I mean,
we've GOT the extra 40-50 years -- during which to make clever points about
the meaninglessness of context-free benefits.  Would those points mean
anything to someone dying at age 12 of some horrible infection?

would those points mean anything to a black man unjustly incarcerated, and medicated, for the last 50 years, who has not been allowed to kill himself for 45 of them? tit for tat, man.  :P

Quote
besides, what is so phenomenal about your lifespan statistic? it is the norm
for rapidly industrializing countries is it not?
Yes, the norm for pre-industrial vs. industrial. AND phenomenal. An extension of
life on that order is, to me, stunning. Very impressive.  And we take it for granted!
Just like your comment: "What's the big deal, Alan?"  Or like Ash's comment,
oblivious to the huge upside.  But it IS a big deal, for the people newly affected.
A very big deal.

fine, it's impressive on a statistical level. but so what? it just strikes me as a rather abstract argument.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: steve from virginia on July 23, 2012, 06:49:24 PM
Quote
But it is hard -- nay, impossible -- to deny the fabulous
progress that China has made, wherever the financing came from. And it is
progress in which  hundreds of millions of very NON-rich people have partaken,
materially.

In order to accept the premise one has to accept without question that accumulating a lot of resource-wasting junk represents 'fabulous progress' or any kind of progress at all.

Believe it or not, this is a riddle that confuses the 7 billions out there who drool like Pavlov's dogs whenever that TV switches on offering the latest pieces of junk for sale: 'no money down'!

The modernistic-fetishes that the Chinese masters of the universe are so proud of are insipid, obsolete copies of Western fetishes. These have long lost whatever power or potency they might have at one time possessed. China has 'stuff' ... who cares?

China had what mattered: a functioning 3,000 year old civilization. Now? They have freeways, 'Big Macs', ghost cities, too many steel mills and no civilization at all. Good grief!

People fail to understand it isn't one version of modernity that is bankrupt versus another. It is the entire modernity idea itself that is defunct. Modernity cannot pay its own way, it requires endless debt- and resource subsidies. When credit itself is questioned, when credit cannot bring more resources forward to be destroyed, industrialization falls apart ... as it is doing right now.

People believe modernity is 'productive' but the opposite is true. Modernity and industrialization are reductive, they destroy value replacing it with money-worth which is really a re-arrangement of debts. Those that hold the debts have enforceable claims against those "hundreds of millions of very NON-rich people" who don't realize that they have been had.

What China does better than any other country is waste. Per unit of GDP China is twice as wasteful as the US. How can this waste be anything other than what it is? Waste that undermines the future for the immediate present for the benefit of a handful isn't progress but a hollowing out, a form of self-immolation. Calling waste progress is a lie pure and simple, whether the lie comes from Americans or Chinese doesn't matter.

This leaves out China's self-destructive all-out assault on the world environment.

The manner by which China unravels is impossible to know but unravel it shall and sooner than anyone expects. China's 'success' has been in turning the entire country into a cheap version of Las Vegas. Is this impressive? Not really; the process hasn't 'worked' for Nevada! Why should the same transformation that fails in the country of its invention succeed elsewhere?

China's prosperity -- like Vegas' -- is an inch deep, China is already unraveled: what exists is a shiny 'big business' facade, good for reeling in the suckers: it's a Potemkin Country. It is like a board that has been eaten by termites: it looks good on the outside but the inside of the board is sawdust

China ... a bunch of ugly buildings, smog, traffic jams, and poison: a robber barony. Take it away, please.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: JoeP on July 23, 2012, 07:23:31 PM
This is important - Jagger/Springsteen/Elvis/steve from virginia has entered the Diner.    :emthup:
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 23, 2012, 07:31:31 PM
This is important - Jagger/Springsteen/Elvis/steve from virginia has entered the Diner.    :emthup:

(http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.445042!/img/httpImage/image.jpg)

I knew Steve couldn't resist this one, Ted Nugent's House notwithstanding.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 24, 2012, 01:21:01 AM
Here from Patrick Chovanek (Hat Tip to Steve from Virginia, fellow China Bear on Economic Undertow (http://www.economic-undertow.com/))

RE
Quote from:  Patrick Chovanek
Am I a China Bear? (http://chovanec.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/am-i-a-china-bear/)

July 17, 2012

tags: bear, bull, China bear, Chinese economy, rebound, Stephen Roach, stimulus, talking their own book

There are two schools of thought on the Chinese economy right now.  The first says “It’s always darkest just before the dawn.”  The second says “It’s always darkest just before it goes pitch black.”  It’s clear that China’s economy is slowing.  But what happens next is far from clear, and the subject of much debate.
 
The conventional wisdom at the moment, among officials and economists, runs something like this:  China’s economy is slowing alright, perhaps a bit too much for comfort, but it’s mainly a self-induced slowdown driven by the government’s own cooling measures.  GDP growth is still above Premier Wen’s target of 7.5%, and is destined to improve in the 2nd half of the year as the government switches gears to re-stimulate the economy.  The slowing inflation rate gives them plenty of room to ease.  The real estate market has already bottomed out, and the banking system is stable.  Maybe stimulating more investment isn’t the best thing for China’s economy in the long run, but Chinese leaders have the ability to kick that can down the road for some time.  They have time.
 
No they don’t.  I disagree with virtually every single element of the conventional view I’ve just outlined.  Over the next few days, in a series of posts — on credit, real estate, inflation, and stimulus — I will describe how and why.  For the last two weeks, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from this blog, focusing on my Twitter feed @prchovanec — which if you haven’t checked out, you should.  Not only has Twitter been a wonderful way to introduce new readers to this blog, it has offered me an excellent perch for monitoring the data and news stream coming out of China, while trying to make sense of what it all means.  Several important story lines have emerged, and what I’m seeing really worries me.
 
Indeed I am worried — not thrilled, not vindicated — because contrary to stereotypes, I do not consider myself a “bear” on China.  In that respect, I would like to make a few points.  Because over the next few days I’m going to be saying some very negative, critical, and even scary things about China’s economy, these points are quite important.
 
1)  I don’t hate China.  I’m not “rooting” for China to “crash and burn.”  I realize that at least a few of my Chinese readers, when they hear me harshly criticize policy or make dire warnings, might conclude that — as an American — I’ve caught an acute case of China-envy and would love nothing better than to see China taken down a notch.  In fact, I am so critical not because I want the worst to happen, or believe it must happen, but because I hope and believe the worst can be avoided, if clear-sighted, courageous choices are made.  My wife is from Beijing, my son was born here, and we are all tied by blood and affection to a whole host of relatives in China whose struggles and aspirations we share.  On a less personal level, no matter what you think about China’s current form of government, or the implications of its rising global influence, the complex challenges and opportunities posed by a strong and prosperous China are infinitely preferable to the terrible dangers and uncertainties the world would face if China were to “collapse” or just lose its way in confusion.
 
2)  I’m not a “Perma-Bear”.  In other words, I’m not the kind of commentator who has been warning of China’s imminent crash for so long that eventually I’m bound to get it right, like the broken clock that tells the right time twice a day.  I’ve been traveling to China for 26 years, and living here for over a decade.  For most of that time, I would have described myself as a China “bull.”  I’ve seen an incredible transformation of an economy, an astonishing burst of wealth creation.  I’ve worked for private equity funds that invested in promising Chinese companies and helped them grow. In the past, the problems — bad debt, inefficient state industries, protected markets — were outweighed by even more positive developments: the wholesale privatization of small and medium state enterprises, China joining WTO and committing to more open markets, foreign investors taking an active stake in reforming state-run banks.  But something changed in the past few years, when China adopted state-managed stimulus and money-printing as a model for permanently boosting economic growth.  I don’t see myself as inherently a “bull” or a “bear” on China.  The fact is, I see plenty of promising areas where China can achieve huge productivity gains and realize meaningful growth — but I don’t see that happening as long as China keeps trying to insulate favored market sectors from economic reality.
 
3)  I’m not “talking my own book”.  Earlier this week, former Morgan Stanley strategist Stephen Roach warned CNBC viewers to ignore skeptical concerns about China’s economy.  “Beware of people who say things like this,” he told the anchor, “Oftentimes they’re just talking their own book.”   In other words, they’re talking down the Chinese economy because they have taken short positions that will pay off if it tanks, or merely if market sentiment turns negative enough.  I don’t know about other people, but I can assure you that when I express concern about the Chinese economy, I am NOT talking my own book.  I own (one) property in Beijing, which we bought at a reasonable price.  My wife’s career, with a global investment bank, rides on the health of the China market.  Virtually all of our income is in RMB, and there are barriers to moving it out of the country.  Because of my wife’s job, we are prohibited from taking any short positions in the market, at least actively — in fact, it’s very hard for us to move in or out of any China-related investment freely.  In our lives, careers, savings, and income,  we are exposed long on China — and like most people in China, can’t really do much about it.  But I’m still going to call things as I see them, when I see them heading for a cliff.
 
In short, I have no reason for talking down China, and plenty of reasons for wanting China  to get things right.  Keep that in mind as you read my “bearish” Tweets, or consider my negative outlook for China’s property market or my skepticism towards China’s renewed stimulus efforts.  I would much prefer to see a very different fact pattern and reach far different conclusions.
 
Of course, my worries may prove overblown, my facts incomplete, my vision faulty.  In which case, I’ve at least given everyone food for thought.  As Yogi Berra said (which I’ve stolen unapologetically from Fred Thompson’s latest blog post): “Predicting is tough. Especially about the future.”
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 24, 2012, 03:09:16 AM
Reply to post #73 on page 5:

Here are some examples of internal arguments that China Doomers recognize, many of which are theoretical and/or intangible. These are all snippets, full articles can be found at links.
On income inequality:
Yes. Income inequality and worse: blatant exploitation of an underclass, to
the level of human rights violation.   And, in addition to that, poverty is still
a huge problem: over 150 million Chinese live  under the international
poverty line of $1 per day.

This is a serious problem in China.  I've mentioned this several times, and
indicated my disapproval. As I wrote, it  would be wonderful if the PRC would
be more true to its roots, adopting more Mao-style social justice and rural
peasantry orientation.

However, the fact that they have this problem does not negate everything
that they have accomplished, or render the leadership illegitimate, in my
view. If the problems were much worse than they are -- say, if the leadership
were sending thousands to their immediate execution in concentration
camps -- then it might negate their accomplishments. But that is not the
level of violation.  It is bad, but not that bad.

Further, as I've written elsewhere, even the lowliest laborer in a sweat
shop has, very likely, a better life than he/she would have had before the
revolution, and possibly even better than up to recent years in many
areas. China was, not long ago, mostly a feudal backwater, with a vast
terribly impoverished peasantry, shockingly low life expectancy, etc.  The
entire nation has been lifted up, by degrees, over decades, and almost
everyone has enjoyed benefits in some measure.  This is in no way a
justification for the unacceptable exploitation and classist oppression that
goes on in China.  But it IS a statement of reality, for perspective.

China's PPP-adjusted GDP per capita has gone from $250 in 1980 to
over $8000 today -- an increase of 3000+%.  Lots of this new wealth has
gone  to the rich, which bugs me.  But a much larger portion has gone
to investment in infrastructure, which is the basis of future wealth for
the entire nation.  And an increasingly large fraction is going to a
growing middle class. Here's a bar chart that illustrates the trend.
However, before viewing it, note that it sets 25,000 RMB or less (annual
income)  as "poor".  That's about $4000. And in China, given their
low cost of living, $4,000/year is NOT terribly poor.  It is bare bones,
but not exactly "poor".  Anyway, with that caveat, here's the chart:
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_VyTCyizqrHs/SKWhGe2GgiI/AAAAAAAABIY/3J-0j-gJtrQ/s1600/chinamiddleclass.jpg)
(image from: nextbigfuture.com/2008/08/china-and-worlds-emerging-middle-class.html )

........................................................................................

Quote
On ghost towns as of 2010:
Yes, the "ghost cities" issue. This is, like everything about China, a big
mixed bag. Some of it reflects an irrationally exuberant (pardon the expression)
construction sector -- maniacal building. But some of it reflects the planning
theme that I've stressed: they are building infrastructure for a great new
civilization, and they are doing so in a PRO-ACTIVE way, rather than (as we do)
in a re-active way.  It is a bit too easy to dismiss their building binge as
"mis-allocation of capital" -- which is the way it looks to Western minds,
obsessed with quarterly (short-term) results, and increasingly unable to
comprehend real investment (as opposed to mere speculation) and real wealth
(as opposed to mere money); see:
http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=618.msg5568#msg5568 (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=618.msg5568#msg5568)

Furthermore, and the proof of the pudding, is that those "ghost cities" are in the
process of FILLING UP.  They may start out empty, but they don't stay that way.

vis:

Quote

http://moneymorning.com/2011/09/15/china-fears-much-ado-about-nothing/ (http://moneymorning.com/2011/09/15/china-fears-much-ado-about-nothing/)
China Fears Much Ado About Nothing
September 15, 2011
By Frank Holmes, Guest Writer, Money Morning
 the Shanghai province of Pudong was once 'the biggest ghost
town of them all'
....  upon visiting Pudong in 1998, legendary
economist Milton Friedman lambasted the province as 'a statist
monument for a dead pharaoh on the level of the pyramids'....
Today, millions of Chinese citizens and China's largest
state-owned and private banks call Pudong home, making it one
of the financial centers of the Eastern Hemisphere
.... Says
GaveKal: 'Hundreds of once-empty districts across the country,
from Shangdi in northwest Beijing to Donghu in southeast
Wuhan, have turned into flourishing neighborhoods.'
....
According to GaveKal's research, China's cities absorb 20
million new people each year, creating a current shortfall of
75 million housing units. They estimate 40-50 million new
urban households will need to be constructed by 2020 in order
to meet demand. The chart on the left illustrates that a large
portion of China's urban growth will take place in suburbs as
cities with 1 million people or less experiencing the most
growth.

.........................................

http://macrobusiness.com.au/2011/06/another-china-ghost-city-filled/ (http://macrobusiness.com.au/2011/06/another-china-ghost-city-filled/)
Another China ghost city filled
Posted by Unconventional Economist in China economy
on Jun 30th, 2011 | 39 comments
 Back in April I published an article, China's largest ghost
cities filled, providing an `eyes on the ground' report from
Wendell Cox, co-author of the Annual Demographia Housing
Affordability Survey, who was touring China at the time.
Wendell had provided photographic evidence showing that one of
China's famed `ghost cities', Zhengzhou New District, was in
fact a well occupied and fully funtioning city.
 Now Wendell is back, this time debunking the below satelite
photo recently published in Business Insider showing large
tracts of construction to the North East and West of Changsha,
Hunan - a city twice the size of Los Angeles - lying vacant:

 Here is an extract from Wendell Cox's article published in New
Geography a few days back:
 Changsha, Hunan: Changsha is the rapidly growing capital of
Hunan province, adding nearly 50 percent to its urban
districts between 2000 and 2010 (even greater growth than in
the US growth leaders, Las Vegas and Raleigh). The Business
Insider article displays a satellite image showing huge areas
of construction both to the northeast and to the west of the
urban area.
 When planning a 2009 trip to China, I chose to visit Changsha
because of the extensive construction shown in this very same
satellite image. In my continuing satellite image research on
urban areas, especially relating to Demographia World Urban
Areas, I noted that this appeared to be the most extensive
construction in the nation. A number of photographs are
included in our Changsha Rental Car Tour, which were taken in
September 2009.
 On a rainy and quiet Sunday afternoon I took a tour of the
northeast construction area and found that much of the
construction had been finished. Moreover it was obvious from
both the traffic and the open shopping centers and shops that
this was anything but a "ghost city" (see photograph, above).
 The next day I took a similar trip to the western construction
area. As in the northeast, much of the construction was
complete and the communities were alive.


.................................................................................

On Chinese social unrest:

On soil pollution:

I will address these shortly, after my second cup of coffee.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 24, 2012, 03:32:19 AM
Here from Patrick Chovanek (Hat Tip to Steve from Virginia, fellow China Bear on Economic Undertow (http://www.economic-undertow.com/))
RE
Quote from:  Patrick Chovanek
Am I a China Bear? (http://chovanec.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/am-i-a-china-bear/)

July 17, 2012

tags: bear, bull, China bear, Chinese economy, rebound, Stephen Roach, stimulus, talking their own book

There are two schools of thought on the Chinese economy right now.  The first says “It’s always darkest just before the dawn.”  The second says “It’s always darkest just before it goes pitch black.”  It’s clear that China’s economy is slowing.  But what happens next is far from clear, and the subject of much debate.

R.E.:

Because of an annoying peculiarity of this forum software, all quoted text is placed
in TINY, almost-unreadable 7-point  type.  This can only be avoided by placing a
corrective format command at the top and bottom (here using parentheses instead
of brackets, so it does not disapppear):

(quote)(size=10pt)
...text text text text...
(/size)(/quote)

10 point is about right, consistent with the rest of the text of posts.

Further, in this particular post (yours) the italic tag adds to the problem. That
tag can easily be removed.
 
Hence:

Quote from:  Patrick Chovanek

Am I a China Bear? (http://chovanec.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/am-i-a-china-bear/)

July 17, 2012

tags: bear, bull, China bear, Chinese economy, rebound, Stephen Roach, stimulus, talking their own book

There are two schools of thought on the Chinese economy right now.  The first says “It’s always darkest just before the dawn.”  The second says “It’s always darkest just before it goes pitch black.”  It’s clear that China’s economy is slowing.  But what happens next is far from clear, and the subject of much debate.

..... MUCH better!
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 24, 2012, 04:05:12 AM
Reply to post #73 on page 5, continued:

On Chinese social unrest:
Quote
IN AN industrial zone near Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in
south-west China, a sign colourfully proclaims the sprawl of factories to be a
“delightful, harmonious and happy district”. Angry steelworkers must have winced
as they marched past the slogan in their thousands in early January, demanding
higher wages. Their three-day strike was unusually large for an enterprise
owned by the central government. But, as China's economy begins to grow
more sedately, more such unrest is looming.


Yes, no doubt. I don't blame them a bit. As I wrote above (reply #121,
immediately above), China's inequality/social-justice problems are severe.
There's no excuse for them. Or, to be charitable, I'll say LITTLE excuse for
them.  And I'm sure that "more such unrest" IS indeed looming, just as an
economic slowdown is looming. I've never claimed that China's path is
going to be smooth and comfortable.  I am not speaking as a spokesman
for the Chinese chamber of commerce; I am not breaking out the pom-poms.
Rather, I am only saying what I'm saying.  To get that, you have to go back
to page 1 and go through the entire series of posts. As I've repeatedly
intoned, CHINA IS A BIG MIXED BAG. Good and bad, problems and solutions,
the highly admirable and the lowly execrable, all in one big basket.  If I've
emphasized the positive -- as I have -- it is to counter the great tide of
the negative to which most of us are exposed, especially in these doomer
venues. You cannot understand China if you are ignorant, or if you are
caught up in a doomeristic ideology -- just like you cannot understand China
if you are caught up in a pollyannistic/cornucopian ideology.

I am also suggesting that the intelligence and even  wisdom that China has
displayed over last 30 years puts it in a position to deal with the coming
difficulties much better than most places.  Perhaps their political system WILL
collapse, under pressure from hundreds of millions of angry poor people.
Indeed, that is exactly what happened in 1948!  The point is that they now
have the infrastructure (industrial as well as other institutional -- university
system, government, etc.) to support a greatly improved system of things
that can, and likely will, redound to the benefit of all, to at least some
extent. It already HAS done so, to a large extent, as I've described above.

..........................................................................................

Quote
On soil pollution:

Quote
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/12/china-soil-pollution-bonn-challenge?INTCMP=SRCH (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/12/china-soil-pollution-bonn-challenge?INTCMP=SRCH)
Nowhere is the global push to restore degraded land likely to be more important,
complex and expensive than in China
, where vast swaths of the soil are contaminated
by arsenic and heavy metals from mines and factories.

This is a topic of special interest to me. I've been investigating it for some
years.  The problem of soil contamination is of course vast.  But in recent years
there have been tech developments (LOW-tech, I might add) that promise much
faster soil remediation than was possible in the past. Namely, phytoremediation,
or the use of specific plants which are heavy-metal accumulators. These plants
mop-up soil heavy metals quite handily; amazingly well. There's also
mycoremediation (Paul Stamets and others), the use of mushrooms for the
same purpose, which might work even better.   I can post a ton of details and
abstracts, if anyone is interested.  On a somewhat higher-tech level, there's
also the use of special  chemical-degrading organisms, which "eat" petrochems,
dioxins, etc., and metabolize the gunk to harmless end-products.  Very cool.

The bottom line is that with current knowledge, soil de-contamination is MUCH
easier than it was in the past. It really is possible now, with sufficient political
will, to clean up this (very important) aspect of the mess we created over the
last century.  And, in keeping with the general pattern, I would expect China to
lead the world at this, within a decade or two, and leave us in the (lead- and
mercury-laden) dust.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 24, 2012, 04:22:41 AM
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example.  What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment. As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population control. And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make as much money as possible. This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.

As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with vast profits and investment outlets. Thus the ruling class in the United States (and elsewhere) is bitterly opposed to the industrialisation of the so-called ‘source countries,’ and to the emergence of integrated processing economies in colonial and semi-colonial areas. This opposition appears regardless of the nature of the regime in the underdeveloped country that seeks to reduce the foreign grip on its economy and provide for a measure of independent development.

As regards the phenomenon of increasing social inequality, it is important to appreciate that it should continue so long as the vicious circle is able to continue turning without hindrance. However, such events as an inordinate increase in a society’s surplus, as in ancient Athens and modern industrialised nations, or a social revolution, as in France and Russia, can lead to an increase in social equality. But such increases are invariably directly followed by constant decreases, unless and until such an event should occur again.

That the non-vital needs of the powerful living in Third World countries also strongly influence those countries’ domestic economics is emphasised by Georgescu-Roegen. He noted, already in 1971, that Third World countries’ economic plans, claimed to bring economic progress through industrialisation, are, more often than not, rationalisations of the ulterior motives of the elite in the country in question. The inflation in Latin America at that time, for example, did not answer ‘the aspiration of the masses to improve their standard of consumption,’ as one economic expert claimed, but the aspirations of the upper classes for a still more luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, the leaders of underdeveloped countries are not anxious to limit the populations of their own lower-class majorities, because cheap and abundant labour is a benefit to the ruling class. According to Georgescu-Roegen, and in keeping with the VCP, the same lip service to the welfare of the masses concealed the aspirations of the powerful classes in many a planned economy at the beginning of the 1970s, and, we might add, the phenomenon has continued to the present day.

The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international investment and aid. As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid – it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing it.” And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races were healthy and long-lived.”

There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries after World War II. As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35 years later, they are still not developing.

Some 50 years ago these countries were politely and optimistically named the ‘developing countries,’ and the 1960s were to be known as the ‘Development Decade.’ But ‘development’ here meant growth in GNP, which was to be accomplished through increasing resource exportation – as taken up in the previous chapter. This growth was to be supported by growth in the GNP of the industrialised countries – the more the industrialised countries grew, the more resources they would import from the Third World, thus benefiting Third World economies. Thus, for example, the Report of the 1970 Commission on International Development (the ‘Pearson Report’) submitted to the World Bank considered the expansion of exports – mainly non-renewable minerals, including oil – the main criterion of success for ‘developing’ countries. African and other Third World countries were to develop economically through the wealthy people in each country making increasing profits by exporting ever greater quantities of their respective country’s resources, and creating jobs for labourers in the process. But as Malthus said already in 1798:

Quote
Foreign commerce adds to the wealth of a state, according to Dr Adam Smith’s definition, though not according to the definition of the [French] economists. Its principal use, and the reason, probably, that it has in general been held in such high estimation is that it adds greatly to the external power of a nation or to its power of commanding the labour of other countries; but it will be found, upon a near examination, to contribute but little to the increase of the internal funds for the maintenance of labour, and consequently but little to the happiness of the greatest part of society.

Malthus’ reasoning here is that it is only a growth in the quantity of vital resources available to the poor that can improve their lot (and then, of course, only in the short term). What we have is the making of each Third World country into a banana republic, which may here be understood to be a poor country economically dependent on exporting unprocessed goods/resources to industrialised countries. As Daly says:

Quote
[T]he vision of globalization requires the rich to grow rapidly in order to provide markets in which the poor can sell their exports. It is thought that the only option poor countries have is to export to the rich, and to do that they have to accept foreign investment from corporations who know how to produce the high-quality stuff that the rich want.

And as Trainer says, if most money can be made producing carnations to airfreight to European supermarkets, or fattening cattle to airfreight to American hamburger chains, then in a market system that is what will be done. And Kuenen: “At present the technologically underequipped nations are selling their natural wealth for short-term gains.”

It is ironic however that governments call for economic growth to reduce poverty while, as noted earlier, there has been massive poverty in the richest nation in the world throughout a 65-year period of tremendous and unrepeatable economic growth. (It may be noted that the wealthiest man in America owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined.) How then is economic growth, in particular such growth as is based on exports, to reduce poverty? For the people living in these countries, what they produce for themselves and for each other is of infinitely greater importance to them than what they produce for foreigners. The promotion of export-oriented development has been one of the most disastrous Third World policies in the past two decades, in fact increasing poverty.

The whole thing is a scam – part of the larger scam of the world’s need for economic growth – that allows powerful capitalists to make profits stripping the Third World of what it has to offer. Thus the status quo from colonial times is maintained, with the economically most powerful making the largest possible profits. Only now it is transnational corporations that are sucking as much as they can out of these (and all other) countries, rather than such nationally-bound companies as the East India and Hudson’s Bay Companies.

The fundamental ‘mistake’ which neoclassical economic theory makes with regard to the Third World is the assumption that simply encouraging as much economic growth as possible will result in satisfactory development. In fact the indiscriminate, sheer-growth conception of development causes immense havoc among the poor. In the form of increasing exports, it has stripped them from the land and moved them to urban slums, it has made large numbers poorer and hungrier, and it has destroyed their forests through the building of dams. According to a report of the international Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, below-cost imports drive Third World farmers out of their local markets, and if they do not have access to a safety net, they have to abandon their land in search of other employment.

When it comes to the provision of aid, the West has given with one hand, and taken more with the other. In effect, more aid is going to the rich than to the poor. It is the normal functioning of the global market-economy which delivers the available resources to a few and deprives the majority. The drive to maximise output, sales and returns on investment inevitably leads to the focusing of productive capacity on the already rich.

The conventional growth and trickle-down view accelerates the operation of the very mechanism that is responsible for the problem of poverty. As expressed by John Browett, in keeping with Boulding, while transnational corporations may be developing, the people living in the newly industrialising countries are not. While trickle down occurred in the industrialised countries from 1850, it has never extended to the Third World. And as suggested by Trainer in 1989, the lack of trickle down in the Third World may well be the most clearly established proposition to have emerged from three decades of development research. In fact, as intimated above, conventional growth strategies often result in the very opposite of trickle down, an effect most tragically evident when the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture enriches planters, who then increase export crops by terminating the leases of peasant farmers.

The conception of development as growth through increasing exports does not best serve the interests of classes other than the elite. What is required here is not that the rich world charitably redistribute some of its wealth to the poor; it is that it should stop taking such a disproportionate share of what the world has to offer.

Conventional development theory and practice is capitalist (bourgeois) development theory and practice. To conceive of development as indiscriminate economic growth is to opt for the view which most suits the capitalist class, since it is in their interest to maximise the amount of capital being exchanged, and not have to bother about whether capital really ought to go into things that are appropriate but not very profitable, and not into things that are inappropriate but profitable. Foreign investors never go into the Third World to invest in clean drinking water, mobile health clinics, or cheap staple foods for impoverished people – because there is little profit to be made from these sorts of ventures.

It should also be pointed out here that the projects funded in the name of aiding the Third World, apart from economically supporting those engaged in carrying them out, are large-scale, unsustainable and in fact ecologically destructive. These projects, such as the building of large dams, are drafted in an atmosphere in which economic growth is to be striven for as the ultimate goal, and ecological consequences are either ignored or dismissed.

C. G. Darwin provides an example: the Sukkur dam (completed by the British in 1932) spread the water of the Indus over a great area and transformed a large part of the desert into a garden. According to generally accepted values, this was a great blessing for humankind, since people who earlier were on the verge of starvation could now be fed. But this was not what happened; after a few years the only effect was, as in the case of the Green Revolution, that there was a large rather than a small number of people on the verge of starvation.

Similarly, the Aswan High Dam, designed by Soviet engineers in the late 1950s, stops 98 per cent of the silt that had formerly coated the inhabited part of Egypt. Without this top dressing of fertile silt, Egyptian agriculture had to turn to mineral fertilisers, of which Egypt became one of the world’s top users, with much of the Aswan’s electric power going to fertiliser factories.  The Nile Delta began to shrink. The lack of silt nutrients destroyed sardine and shrimp fisheries in the Mediterranean that had employed 30,000 Egyptians. Without the flushing of the flood, the irrigation canals of Egypt became an ideal habitat for the water hyacinth, a beautiful but pernicious weed. The snails that carry schistosomiasis – a debilitating disease that attacks the liver, urinary tract, or intestines – love water hyacinth, need stagnant water, and consequently flourished in the new Egypt. Schistosomiasis infection rates increased five- to tenfold among rural Egyptians with the transition to perennial irrigation, and after 1975 approached 100 per cent in many communities. The dam also swamped and corroded the cultural heritage of the Nile Valley. However it at the same time eliminated the costly consequences of irregular Nile floods, and supported a doubling of the Egyptian population. Thus was destroyed the only large, ecologically sustainable irrigation system that ever existed – one which had maintained millions for five millennia and made Egypt the richest land in the Mediterranean from the Pharaohs to the industrial revolution.

The modernisation of Third World agriculture also means the increasing commercialisation of food production, and can consist in little more than converting land from production by the poor for use by the poor, to production by rich farmers for use by the rich in the Third World and by consumers in the rich world.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 445-451). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


Quote
Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.

I accept the principle but not the conclusion.  I haven't seen any evidence that China is targeting a steady-state economy.  You've shown they are (were) targeting lower growth, which is the least they should be doing given their feverish growth rates.  But there's no indication they're targeting a steady-state.

Quote
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

It is still debated but has not been conclusively disproven.

Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?

Maybe, but don't blame me, I didn't make us that way.  Show me how I'm wrong.

Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

This in no way addresses the points made and is irrelevant to their validity.  Besides, you're only assuming I'm not.

As for the social unrest and inequality issue brought up in your most recent post, overpopulation is clearly at the root of that problem. 

You argue that China has come so far since the revolution, which may be true, but I'm taking a wider view of our predicament as a species and how that applies to your analysis.  Everything you point to that China is doing is consistent with the vicious circle and reaction principles.  They may be tweaking it a little so it looks different than the Western efforts, but as long as these principles are in affect, the results will be much the same.  I'm describing instincts and characteristics of the species that underpin all human activity.  China, being populated by humans, is not exempt.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/07/20/too-smart-for-our-own-good-and-too-dumb-to-change/ (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/07/20/too-smart-for-our-own-good-and-too-dumb-to-change/)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 24, 2012, 08:18:22 AM
I will be away from my computer until late tonight, and will
then get back to specific, point-by-point responses to some of
the recent posts (endisnigh, steve, others), as time permits.

For now, however, I have something more general to say that
is highly relevant to all subsequent discussion. Please read it.

-- ------------------------------------------------------------

CONSIDER:

To follow are stats from the U.N. Human Development Report,
FAO and UNESCO official documents, The WHO's annual health
statistics report, and other sources:

--- Average life expectancy at birth increased, globally,
    from 59 to 70, since 1970. In some places, like China
    and India, the improvement has been much greater.

--- Infant and child mortality has dropped drastically in
    absolute numbers:
      1960: 20 million/year
      1990: 12 million/year
      2010: 7.6 million/year
    Note that that is in the face of a huge population increase,
    so the proportions (if the numbers were expressed as
    percentages) would be even more dramatic.

--- Malnutrition or undernutrition has increased in absolute
    numbers since 1970, by about 100 million sufferers. However,
    sufferers as a percentage of global population has fallen
    off a cliff: from 37% in 1970 to 17% today. That is in the
    face of a huge population increase. If the 1970 rate were
    still in force today, we would have 2.6 billion sufferers,
    rather than the approximately 900 million that we actually
    have, today -- an enormous improvement. Hence, the world
    has dramatically improved in both its ability, and
    willingness, to feed its human population, over the last
    40 years.

--- The percentage of underweight children worldwide declined
    from an estimated 25 percent in 1990 to 16 percent in 2010.

--- HIV infections fell by 16 percent, 2001 to 2008, and have
    probably declined faster since then (data coming out of
    Africa suggests major improvement, but further verification
    is needed)

--- The population with access to safe drinking water increased
    from 77% to 87% in recent years, on track to reaching the
    Millennium Development Goal target.

--- Percentage of enrollment in school of high school aged kids
    has increased from 55% to 70%, since 1970. Not a huge deal,
    but very nice.

--- Global illiteracy in 1950 was about 700 million subjects,
    and is currently about the same; meanwhile, the population
    has nearly tripled, from 2.4 billion to 7 billion. Hence,
    we've seen a dramatic decline in the rate of illiteracy,
    from nearly a third, down to about 10%.

--- Per capita annual income has doubled from $5,000 to $10,000
    (PPP-adjusted), since 1970. A lot of it has gone to the rich
    (booo! hisss!), but a lot of it has gone to the rest of us.
    And that extra money buys a lot of things, including better
    education, better medical care, better nutrition, etc.,
    resulting in some of the improvements mentioned above.

--- Population (absolute numbers) has increased greatly since
    1970. However, fertility has fallen off a cliff, almost
    everywhere except in sub-Saharan Africa. China and India
    (formerly considered hopelessly-overpopulated third world
    countries) are now below replacement -- a stunning
    achievement in so short a time. The same pattern is
    evident almost everywhere. The population explosion is
    resolving itself, thank heaven!

There's more, but that should suffice.

These are dramatic, real improvements, based on irrefutable
statistics from reliable sources --  NOT "window dressing",
NOT fake, NOT propaganda.


For God(dess)'s Sake, People! ACKNOWLEDGE REALITY!

It's not hard. It just takes a bit of mental latitude,
combined with a willingness to read outside the narrow doomer
Approved Reading List.

Note that I did NOT just say that:

 --- social justice & perfect equality reign, worldwide
 --- a new utopian Golden Age is just around the corner
 --- every day, and in every way, things are getting better
 --- an exalted state of ginger-peachy-ness prevails, globally

..... or any other such rubbish.  I only said what I said.

What I am trying to counter-balance -- what the FACTS of our
world undeniably counter-balance -- is this "everything-is-
hopelessly-fucked-and-spiralling-rapidly-downward" doomeristic
narrative, which is ignorant and out of touch with reality.

Need I add that some things ARE hopelessly fucked and
spiralling rapidly downward?

Like China, the world is a BIG MIXED BAG. COMPLEX.
MULTI-FACETED. NUANCED. LOADED WITH CONTRADICTIONS.

Copische?

--------------------------------------------------------------

NOW:

The foreward to the U.N.'s Human Development Report for 2011
states the following; read carefully:

Quote

http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/HDR/2011%20Global%20HDR/English/HDR_2011_EN_Contents.pdf (http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/HDR/2011%20Global%20HDR/English/HDR_2011_EN_Contents.pdf)
Forecasts suggest that continuing failure to reduce the grave
environmental risks and deepening social inequalities
threatens to slow decades of sustained progress by the world's
poor majority -  and even to reverse the global convergence
in human development.

YES. We have VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS, DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF US.
VERY VERY SERIOUS, GRAVE PROBLEMS!

However, read that sentence again, more carefully this time.

Note: "threatens to slow decades of sustained progress
by the world's poor majority - and even to reverse the
global convergence in human development."

Did you catch that?

What they just said was that there have been DECADES OF
PROGRESS (positive developments) resulting in a trend toward a
GLOBAL CONVERGENCE IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT ("convergence"
meaning level playing field; equity).

That's very important. There, in a few words, they are
referring to the items in my bullet-point list above, and
more. They are acknowledging the bald and undeniable
statistical reality that very substantial, even dramatic,
positive change HAS HAPPENED
. And with that
acknowlegement, the entire narrative (e.g. Dilworth, among
many others) that would denounce ALL of modernity and ALL of
industrial development as a sham, a fake, a worthless wrong
turn, or (even) a diabolical scheme to reduce us to slavery on
a global plantation, is vitiated, or even rendered moot for
many practical purposes. That's not to say that said critiques
are valueless; I've read many of them, and found worth in
them. And need I add that there are, in our world, numerous
mindless cheerleaders for modernity and apologists for
capitalism and malignant growth -- people who are pathetically
BLIND to the deep problems and contradictions of modernity and
capitalism -- that badly need to read those critiques and take
them to heart. But at the end of the day, those critiques must
be placed in the context of our present reality, which
includes very considerable good, amidst bad. The good is REAL,
and significant, by any conceivable humane standard. Denying
or ignoring the good will necessarily result in a skewed and
effectively useless view of the world -- just as does denying
or ignoring the bad.

That is all, for  now.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: reanteben on July 24, 2012, 11:26:27 AM
alan! the Regulating Group Mind!     :locked: :pile: :locked:

Quote
Their version of oneness is a collective
hive mind. That is what people are indoctrinated into via the pineal gland. These collective
hive minds have over time become quite powerful, relative to life in the lower domains,
feeding off other beings and gathering large quantities of knowledge. When one is connected
to a hive mind, a feeling of euphoria is experienced and access is granted to a large bank of
knowledge.

However, I have also been receiving many emails from people all over the world in regards
to these channelings and meditation groups, and how many many people are beginning to feel
that there is something not quite right with all that fluffed up, it’s all about love and light and
oneness talk. I know what I have just written will create a reaction in people and thoughts
such as, “hang on, how can anything to do with love be a negative thing?”.
We are now at the point where people are beginning to feel and see through this fluffed up
deception. I shared this information previously and was castigated by certain groups for it.
My perspective about this fluffy love business comes from beyond the version of duality
down here in the lower domains. Let me explain what I mean.
We have been experiencing a negative charge of energy on this planet for a very long time.
What we are seeing now is the other side of duality being implemented into our reality. A
positive charge now needs to be injected here in order to rebalance the scales, and because
the period of time for rebalancing is much shorter than the period of time of negative charge,
then the white light of conditional love needs to be very intense. It is important to consider
that we have been deprived of unconditional love for a very very long time and as part of our
journey into separation we have forgotten what unconditional love feels like. As I have said
in, “Our Journey And The Grand Deception”, people will take to this lower version of love
like a child takes to candy. Yes it is love, but it is a limited version of love. It has to be,
because it is on one side of duality.
Virtually all channelings are from this paradigm of conditional love. Please be aware of any
meditation technique that asks you to bring light and colour in from outside of you.
Especially down through the crown chakra. Remember I previously shared that the 4thD is
the dimension of the mind, well, this is how these high level 4thD beings manipulate you...

If you want to do a meditation with light, focus on your own inner light situated in the
location of the Thymus, and bring your own magnificent light out filling up your body and
radiating it all around you. You may then send it to anyone or anything you wish. If you feel
uncomfortable with this then you may be experiencing worthiness issues. These beings that
ask you to bring their light in, eg: so called ascended masters or angels etc, are not honouring
your own sovereignty and see themselves above you, as though you are a child in need of
help, and therefore propagating and exacerbating the worthiness issue. Remember your own
magnificence and that you were the one who was brave enough to relinquish your power and
incarnate in order to graduate and become a creator. They are jealous of who and what you
are, and what you are becoming. They will try everything possible to continue to impose a
perspective that you are a helpless child and that only through their techniques and their
light will you be safe.

Please understand that this is a much larger version of “problem reaction solution”...

I just simply ask that people take a step back and take stock of what is actually going on in
our world. Don’t be too desperate to flock to the first sign of love that comes along...

I hope this message better helps you understand a greater perspective and in doing so helps
with your powers of discernment.

Love, Liberation & Fortitude

George Kavassilas

http://www.our-journey-home.com/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=57151 (http://www.our-journey-home.com/LiteratureRetrieve.aspx?ID=57151)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: steve from virginia on July 24, 2012, 11:48:26 AM
Quote
There, in a few words, they are
referring to the items in my bullet-point list above, and
more. They are acknowledging the bald and undeniable
statistical reality
that very substantial, even dramatic,
positive change HAS HAPPENED.

Who is 'they'?

Whose statistics?

Why believe 'them', they always lie? "Lies, damned lies and statistics ..."

It is always easy to find someone 'out there' who will agree with you. One can find folks who will assure you that smoking cigarettes is good for you. Choose Leonardo Maugeri (http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/Oil- The Next Revolution.pdf) on one hand and Chris Nelder (http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2012/07/24/1094111/is-peak-oil-dead/) on the other. Whom do you like better? It's a horse race, place your bet.

All of it is a trap.

There is a reason why there are horses and bettings in the first place: there are ... uh ... 'system malfunctions occurring'. Races and bettings are ways to ration resources: be careful of how you bet!

Wishful thinking holds that our problems are minor: adding some interest rate fiddling here or giving some more money to billionaires there, offering recycled credit or oil-drilling in the middle of the ocean somewhere ... all these things (or one of them) will solve the problems and 'sustainable growth' will restart all by itself (just like it always has). The problem is ... none of these things have worked or are working. Now what?

In the end what matters is outcomes, not at all what we humans desire in the way of outcomes. Outcomes occur whether we approve or not. Right now we ('We') are all on a voyage to outcomes. People say, 'we are going to be fine', but the fact of the discussion and the need for reassurance speaks for itself.

Rather we are all on the Titanic and the outcome is we are all together on a voyage straight down. It is the liars and corporate shills who declare that everything is fine. This is wrong, we either head for the lifeboats or fix the Titanic somehow or else! There is no time to waste, the last thirty years of constant corporatist advertising/bullshit has been time wasted.

Adjustments can be made to reduce the impact of outcomes but these adjustments are more like choices about what to jettison. Keep in mind if we childishly refuse to make these choices they will be made for us as the 'outcome' of our own favored processes.

Modernity shifts forms and contexts: 3 million Americans have lost their lives since the 1930s in auto crashes, more than all the shooting wars put together. There are an unknown number (much higher) of auto casualties worldwide. These casualties of modernity don't register, they are the cost of doing business.

Where is their opinion? Where is the opinion of their families or friends? Nobody even frames the question, does this mean the issue doesn't exist?

Warfare has become more destructive: there have been at least 8 major wars that involved more than 2 or 3 countries -- world wars -- since the first real world war: the conquest of the New World by the Spanish in the 16th century. This war bootstrapped many of the others. With conquest came the eradication of the native populations: the outcomes being disease, enslavement, outright massacre and environmental dislocation. The wealth of a continent was plundered with pitiful survivors reduced to poverty.

Where is their vote? Where is their opinion about the process? What did 'they' say about these people?

The same thing occurred during and after the 17th century wars of European colonial expansion when the wealth of India, S. Asia and China was plundered and sent back to England, France, Portugal and Netherlands. Nobody bothered to ask the inhabitants of these countries during the period of their military defeats and subsequent enslavement whether they were 'better off' or not.

It is a (false and self-serving) assumption that Asians were impoverished before the Europeans arrived to 'save' them. Asia was the most prosperous part of the world  -- without modernity or industrialization -- and fell only when the Europeans emptied them out.

Industrialization and 'progress for the few' reduced great areas of the English and European countryside to ruin due to closure, loss of local employment, agricultural economies of scale, pittance industrial wages, loss of access to commons and traditional property rights. What does the UN have to say about that?

Water under the bridge, right? There were reasons on the ground to support Cromwell and desire to kill the English king.

War is what gives manufacturing its advantage over the citizens, it reduces states to ashes. That is why it is important to know  -- and be skeptical -- of who 'they' are. 'They' are self-interested and don't have a good record for telling the truth.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: WHD on July 24, 2012, 09:23:12 PM
Quote
http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/HDR/2011%20Global%20HDR/English/HDR_2011_EN_Contents.pdf
Forecasts suggest that continuing failure to reduce the grave
environmental risks and deepening social inequalities
threatens to slow decades of sustained progress by the world's
poor majority -  and even to reverse the global convergence
in human development.

Alan,

My problem with this quote, and your glossy response to it, is that the word "slow", should be replaced with "collapse". And that is because, since the appropriate tech movement of the 70's, sense has been largely abandoned, in favor of empire, debt based financialization, endless war and an orgy of consumption. And even now, with the weather high-tailing the climate to God-knows-what, and a clear peak in "easily" drilled oil supplies, and a clear limit of how much carbon can be burned before we effectively make the earth uninhabitable for anything greater than single celled organisms, there is hardly a glimmer of real awareness outside the blogosphere, that anything at all is remiss. You are showing the same credulity for the U.N. statistics as you do for reports about Chinese energy enlightenment. You seem to think that a people who have heavily invested themselves in abject greed and near total obliviousness are going to suddenly turn things around and make things right. That's what needs to happen, but there are about 27 trillion dollars of "oil" in the ground that are going to be invested in sustaining abject greed and near total obliviousness, not to mention one big fat FU to the health of the earth and it's people. As if the monied powers of the EAST and WEST are not priming that pump in the last of the wild places, among the last of the truly free people, one last thrust of massive rape, pillage and plunder. Three billion more, waiting in the queue, trying to live like Americans, Americans who won't hesitate to use the baddest ass military machine the world has ever known, to take whatever they think is necessary to sustain the life they have grown accustomed to. We've been putting of the reckoning for 40 years. The longer we try to hold on, the worse the COLLAPSE is going to be. But hey, maybe if we can figure out how to make cars fly, that will fix everything. 
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 25, 2012, 11:15:25 AM
WHD: this is a reply to only one sentence of your post. I'll get to the rest,
and other posts, later (I hope).  Busy week, here.

You are showing the same credulity for the U.N. statistics as you do for reports about
Chinese energy enlightenment.
This issue was raised by another commenter or two up thread. It has to
do with epistemology.

OK, so the U.N. statistics are unreliable, as well as the PRC's statistics.

Where does that leave us?  How do you know what you think you know?
What statistics do you believe, and why?

 - How do you know that there is such a thing as global warming?
 - How do you know that oil is peaking?
 - How do you know that the earth has a population of 7 billion?
 - How do you know that the earth's population ever exceeded ONE billion?
 - How do you know that the earth's carrying capacity is being strained?
 - etcetera

You know all those things based on statistics and (statistics-informed)
statements from what you deem to be reliable sources.

If you don't think that the U.N. or the W.H.O. are reliable sources,
then I don't know what to say. We cannot converse productively, unless
we can agree that such sources are reasonably reliable.  I do not claim
that every word the U.N. utters is gospel. Rather, that they are generally
a reliable source, and I have no particular reason to question their stats. 
Do you?

The Chinese government's stats are a little different.  All governments
lie about at least some things; the Chinese are certainly no different; I'm
certain that they've lied many times (even though I lack proof); maybe
they are lying about various stuff that I posted.

HOWEVER:  idle speculation (like "maybe they are lying about x and y") is
not sufficient. You've got to come up with some plausible explanation as to
why they would lie, and demonstrate (within reason) how they could lie.  In
other words, to put it in trial-law terms: means, motivation and opportunity,
in addition to just all-round plausibility.

Why would the Chinese lie in the direction that you suggest? i.e. so as to
appear to be much more successful than they actually are?  My own first
thought, when considering the matter, is that they would probably lie in
the opposite way:  they would want to appear LESS successful, and weak.
If I were a Chinese high-level master-planner,  plotting to build China into
the next great and dominant world power, I would want the world to think
of China as (at least somewhat) weak, fragile, indebted, incompetent,
disorganized,  and so on; i.e. NOT a serious threat.   I would want the world
to dismiss  China as a significant power.  That's the smart thing to do.  Why
do you  think the Chinese want to lie in the opposite way?

Further, as mentioned up thread, the truth is that the Chinese have tended
to UNDER-state their targets, and over-fulfill them.  The GDP growth targets,
for example, are almost always stated as less than is actually achieved.
I also noticed, from studying the FYPs, that there is a  bias in the same
direction on other fronts: the targets tend to be over-shot. (Maybe I am
wrong, but that was my distinct impression.)  So, what's with that? How
does your thesis address that?  This modesty in stated targets is
consistent, rather, with my thesis, that the Chinese might wish to appear
somewhat less successful, powerful, etc., than they actually are.

In any case, if you want to impeach their numbers, you've got to put up an
ARGUMENT for same, not just casually dismiss them on a hunch, or because
they don't comport with your biases or worldview.  I say an "argument";
that does not mean that you have to prove it beyond any shadow of doubt.
Ash seems to think that I am swayed only by hard numbers or strict proofs,
but that is not so.  I'm quite open to hypotheses based on good reason,
plausibility, etc. -- even (sometimes) foggy conspiracy hypotheses,
provided they've got a pretty darn persuasive argument in favor.

Remember: means, motivation, opportunity.  To take an example
pertaining to opportunity: the Chinese could try to lie, say, about the
success of a reforestation program, but they would be limited by the ability
of other parties to verify their claims, using satellite photos. In that case they
would not, effectively, have the opportunity to lie, at least not for long. (And
assuming that they put some value on their own global credibility!)

So, go ahead: make your case. Why should we disbelieve the U.N.,
the WHO, UNESCO, the Chinese, and my other sources?   (And BTW
my info on china is NOT all from the Chinese!  It is based on numerous
sources from around the world.)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 25, 2012, 11:27:44 AM
Quote
There, in a few words, they are
referring to the items in my bullet-point list above, and
more. They are acknowledging the bald and undeniable
statistical reality
that very substantial, even dramatic,
positive change HAS HAPPENED.

Who is 'they'?

Whose statistics?

Why believe 'them', they always lie? "Lies, damned lies and statistics ..."

See reply to WHD, immediately above.

The U.N. and the W.H.O. "always lie"?!  Do tell. Provide examples and
documentation from sources you consider reliable.

Extra credit questions:

- What makes you think that water pollution exists?
- Why do you believe that there are no Ghawar-sized oil fields in Utah?
- What gives you the idea that Mumbai has a population in excess of 1 million?
- What is your basis for thinking that millions of Americans have died in car crashes?
- From where comes your conviction that the Titanic existed, and that it sunk?

Please provide evidence for each, from sources you deem reliable. Explain why
you believe them to be reliable.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 25, 2012, 04:01:39 PM
Quote
http://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/corporate/HDR/2011%20Global%20HDR/English/HDR_2011_EN_Contents.pdf
Forecasts suggest that continuing failure to reduce the grave
environmental risks and deepening social inequalities
threatens to slow decades of sustained progress by the world's
poor majority -  and even to reverse the global convergence
in human development.

Alan,

My problem with this quote, and your glossy response to it, is that the word
"slow", should be replaced with "collapse". And that is because, since the
appropriate tech movement of the 70's, sense has been largely abandoned,
in favor of empire, debt based financialization, endless war and an orgy of
consumption.
I TOTALLY AGREE with the second sentence, which sounds like something
I would have written (even the phrase "orgy of consumption" is one that I've
used many times). Very well said.  And -- did you notice? -- nothing that I have
said is inconsistent with it.  I never said that the various positive developments
of the last 30 years were done in an optimal way. To the contrary, they were
often done in ways of which I strongly disapprove. For example, the Green
Revolution did dramatically reduce undernutrition, and otherwise benefited the
health of billions. But the same ends could have been achieved in MUCH better
ways -- appropriate tech ways, low-fossil-fuel-intensivity ways, low-chemical-
intensivity ways, etc. I could wax on about this at length, and provide juicy URLs,
if anyone is interested. But I'm just using it to illustrate the point (above).
I TOTALLY agree with you. I only add that, just because I don't approve of
the specific techniques or policies (e.g. Green Revolution) does not mean that
those policies were worthless -- and the numbers bear it out, bigtime.

I'm not sure about the first sentence.  I don't think the decades of
sustained progress, to which they refer, in the areas mentioned, is about
to collapse. But they are correct to fear a slowdown. This kind of stuff requires
ongoing, vigorous political will. And the tough times that we face could easily
undermine that will.

Quote
And even now, with the weather high-tailing the climate to God-knows-what,
and a clear peak in "easily" drilled oil supplies, and a clear limit of how much
carbon can be burned before we effectively make the earth uninhabitable for
anything greater than single celled organisms, there is hardly a glimmer of
real awareness outside the blogosphere, that anything at all is remiss.
Do you really believe that all multicellular life is going to be wiped out by
CO2/warming?  Why?

Quote
You seem to think that a people who have heavily invested themselves in
abject greed and near total obliviousness are going to suddenly turn things
around  and make things right.
No. I think that they've done some things right, and might continue to do
some things right. And what they HAVE done right, has had an appreciable
impact on things.  That's all. What is so hard to understand, or accept, about
that?  It seems to me like a modest proposition. But you're reacting to it as
though I was, instead, pushing some wild a tooth-fairy-waves-magic-wand
scenario.

I'll leave it at that. I have nothing of use to say in response to the
rest of your message.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 25, 2012, 04:22:20 PM
Wishful thinking holds that our problems are minor
Yes. And that's certainly not me!  I think our problems are MAJOR.
Beyond major. Humongous.

Quote
In the end what matters is outcomes, not at all what we humans desire in
the way of outcomes. Outcomes occur whether we approve or not.
Yes. That's just the point I was making to WHD, above, regarding the
Green Revolution. The outcomes were positive, whether or not I approve
of the way in which they were achieved. The facts compel that conclusion.

Quote
People say, 'we are going to be fine'
They might be right, but I doubt it. The next half-century at least is going to
be a time of great trouble and tribulation, in many ways.

Quote

the last thirty years of constant corporatist advertising/bullshit has been time wasted.
I whole-heartedly agree. Actually much worse than time merely wasted. It has been
a period of disastrously squandered opportunities.

Quote
The wealth of a continent was plundered with pitiful survivors reduced to poverty.
Don't get me started! Our ancestors behaved in an utterly shameful, inexcusable,
barbaric way.  Unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about that now... except
to "pay forward" and make the best of the world as we find it right now, today.

Quote
It is a (false and self-serving) assumption that Asians were impoverished before
the Europeans arrived to 'save' them. Asia was the most prosperous part of the
world  -- without modernity or industrialization -- and fell only when the Europeans
emptied them out.
Very good point. On the other hand, the population was much smaller. And yes,
of course it is true that the Euros screwed them over. But once they were screwed
over, THEY WERE SCREWED OVER. I mean, their condition was as I wrote in earlier
posts. China WAS a feudal backwater with a vast, immiserated population. Simply
removing the destructive imperial influence was not  sufficient to turn things
around. Only a real revolution, such as they had, or some other dramatic change
in leadership and practice, could turn things around. 

Quote
Industrialization and 'progress for the few' reduced great areas of the English
and European countryside to ruin due to closure, loss of local employment,
agricultural economies of scale, pittance industrial wages, loss of access to
commons and traditional property rights.
TRUE.

Quote
What does the UN have to say about that?
All too little, I'm afraid. However, that fact does not mean that they're lying
about everything. To conclude the latter, on the basis of the former, would be
ridiculous.  But I fear that that's what you've done.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 25, 2012, 04:31:01 PM
alan! the Regulating Group Mind!     :locked: :pile: :locked:

Quote
Their version of oneness is a collective
hive mind. That is what people are indoctrinated into via the pineal gland. These collective
hive minds have over time become quite powerful, relative to life in the lower domains,
feeding off other beings and gathering large quantities of knowledge. When one is connected
to a hive mind, a feeling of euphoria is experienced and access is granted to a large bank of
knowledge.
Via the pineal gland?  Wasn't the pineal supposed to be the part that you
want to activate, to become spiritually enlightened?   Isn't DMT supposed to
activate the pineal?   Anyone know where I can get some?

Regarding a "feeling of euphoria" combined with being granted access to "a large
bank of knowledge": I felt that way in the late 1990s, when discovering the
internet!   :)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 25, 2012, 05:50:34 PM
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition,
disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually,
population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real,
and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite
problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.
On the surface!?  What is superficial about starving, living in filth, and dying
of some terrible infection?

Quote
  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our
development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example. 
What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than
their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should
say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that
modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world
poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment.
Rubbish,  out of touch with the facts, except for the very last clause: "problem
of unemployment".  This is a serious problem and to date he is right: modern
technology is not helping, but is rather hurting, in that regard. But the main
part of the sentence is rubbish. Poverty is declining, worldwide, FAR TOO
SLOWLY, but it is declining: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty)
more here, figure 0.2 (note that the figures are in terms of absolute numbers,
not percentages):
http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/wess/wess2010files/overview_en.pdf (http://www.un.org/esa/analysis/wess/wess2010files/overview_en.pdf)

Perhaps more significant is that the worst correlates of poverty -- the diseases of
underdevelopment, malnutrition, illiteracy, high fertility, etc. -- are declining much
faster than  poverty itself.  It could well be argued that this is more important
than "poverty"  defined in terms of income/money.

The author should know about both of these things, and acknowledge them:
1) (slowly) declining poverty, globally, and 2) much more rapid decline in bad stuff
generally associated with poverty.  If he doesn't then he is either ignorant, crazy,
or intellectually dishonest.

Quote
As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the
world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have
been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and
oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population
control.
TRUE. THIS IS VERY BAD.

Quote
And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the
Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to
implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make
as much money as possible.
True for the most part, with exceptions. For example, I don't think that the
Gates Foundation's intent is to make a bunch of money. If that IS their intent,
they are doing a very poor job of it.

Further, regardless of intentions, good or partially-good outcomes can still 
result -- which was I believe Steve's point, above.

Quote
This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in
Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.
As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented
the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying
it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with
vast profits and investment outlets.
Yep. That's right. I've got some great materials on the North/West's butt-fucking
of Africa -- continuing to this very day -- if anyone is interested.  What a shameful,
execrable saga.

[snip]

Quote
The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become
developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international
investment and aid.
Probably true, but it is a tricky point, because it tends to abet the new nihilistic
narrative in aid literature: Moyo, Easterly, and others. The problem is, we butt-fucked
them for so long that they are (some of them are, especially in Africa) SO ground-down
and retarded that they are as he says: destined never to become developed, destined
never to crawl out of misery -- UNLESS, that is, they are aided in some way.  Obviously,
true AID must be a great deal different than "aid" has been in the past. Big subject.

Quote
As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid –
it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I
were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself
off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the
village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing  it.”
Mostly right, but overly enthusiastic. There's no reason to go on such a wild Jihad
against ALL industry and modern development.  Some of it, in fact, is critical; e.g.
mosquito nets and anti-parasitic meds.

Quote
And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the
effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races
were healthy and long-lived.”
I don't doubt it. But that does not mean that they will become healthy and
long-lived again by (us) simply leaving them alone. The destruction has been
too profound, for too long.

Quote
There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries
after World War II.
HUH?!  I swear, this guy is weird!  He makes sense for a number of paragraphs, and
then he drops a blooper like that! 

My friends, WHOLE HUGE NATIONS THAT WERE THIRD WORLD
COUNTRIES  ARE NO LONGER THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES, since
WWII. China is one. India is another.  OK, some might still classify India as "third world",
but not many, and most Indians would disagree, and even if true, it will not be true
for more than a few years longer. In any case, both India and China were hopeless
basket-cases after WWII, but today the situation is dramatically different. NO ONE
disagrees with this.

"No appreciable improvement"?!?  Is he mad? Or just dreadfully ignorant?

Quote
As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor
are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes
of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this
tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and
happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to
be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing
about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35
years later, they are still not developing.
Again, madness, or terrible ignorance.  I can forgive Schumacher and
Boulding -- men of the 50s and 60s.  How could they have known what was going
to happen?  But this Dilworth guy... there's no excuse.

I agree that SOME "developing countries" are not developing -- particularly the
ones in southern Africa.  But to take that characterization from 40 years ago and
claim that it is true today, across the board -- that is outrageous,  out of
touch with reality. Dilworth should be ashamed of himself.

I believe I've read enough of Dilworth. He makes some good points, but none of
them are very original, and they are peppered with crazy stuff.

I will reply to more of your post, EIN, later.

A
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 25, 2012, 06:29:50 PM
First, on the specious complaint about small print in the Quotes.  I don't see you fixing the font size in every quote. I personally got no issues reading small print, my eyes work just fine. If YOU have a problem with small print, set your Browser to blow it up to 200% or whatever size it is you need to read at.

Now, onto more substantive issues.


OK, so the U.N. statistics are unreliable, as well as the PRC's statistics.

Where does that leave us?  How do you know what you think you know?
What statistics do you believe, and why?

I don't know how Steve or WHD know what they know, but I know what I know through the process of Deduction and using CFS.  Common Fucking Sense!  Unlike some Unnamed Troll in this thread, I didn't buy the propaganda and Drink too much Kool Aid when I was a kid.

(http://www.parkerkohl.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/ad.jpg)

Quote
If you don't think that the U.N. or the W.H.O. are reliable sources,
then I don't know what to say. We cannot converse productively.

If you need to rely on Statistics from the UN and WHO to have a productive conversation, I can Deduce from that you lack CFS.


 
Quote
To me, that is a little like believing in the tooth fairy, or disbelieving in the fact
that the sun is 93 million miles away. Not to say that every word the U.N.
utters is gospel. Rather, that they are generally a reliable source, and I have
no particular reason to question their stats.  Do you?

I am unsure on the Tooth Fairy question. Not enough evidence either way there.

The distance to the Sun is a physical unit of measurement, it is not a statistic. It can be deduced from Astronomical calculations with a decent Telescope.

The UN is as Reliable as the BLS in compiling data. Same people running their Super Computers and writing the Algos.

Quote
The Chinese government's stats are a little different.  All governments
lie about at least some things; the Chinese are certainly no different; I'm
certain that they've lied many times (even though I lack proof); maybe
they are lying about various stuff that I posted.

The only way Goobermint Stats are Different than WHO and UN stats is in who is running the show to generate said stats.  In the case of the UN and WHO, it's a more direct connection to the Globalists who fund those organizations.

Quote
HOWEVER:  idle speculation (like "maybe they are lying about x and y") is
not sufficient. You've got to come up with some plausible explanation as to
why they would lie, and demonstrate (within reason) how they could lie.  In
other words, to put it in trial-law terms: means, motivation and opportunity,
in addition to just all-round plausibility.

Why would the Chinese lie in the direction that you suggest? i.e. so as to
appear to be much more successful than they actually are?

The OBVIOUS reason to LIE is to encourage DIMWITTED Investors with no CFS to buy into their Ponzi. China is as much dependent on Capital Investment as any other Wannabee Industrial Nation.  Once they lose access to the International Credit Markets,  they are just as fucked as the Greeks and Spaniards are now.

 
Quote
My own first
thought, when considering the matter, is that they would probably lie in
the opposite way:  they would want to appear LESS successful, and weak.
If I were a Chinese high-level master-planner,  plotting to build China into
the next great and dominant world power, I would want the world to think
of China as (at least somewhat) weak, fragile, indebted, incompetent,
disorganized,  and so on; i.e. NOT a serious threat.   I would want the world
to dismiss  China as a significant power.  That's the smart thing to do.  Why
do you  think the Chinese want to lie in the opposite way?

Your own First Thought is WRONG.  In your case, I suggest going way down your list of thoughts to find a RIGHT one.  Reason explained above.

Quote
Further, as mentioned up thread, the truth is that the Chinese have tended
to UNDER-state their targets, and over-fulfill them.  The GDP growth targets,
for example, are almost always stated as less than is actually achieved.
I also noticed, from studying the FYPs, that there is a  bias in the same
direction on other fronts: the targets tend to be over-shot. (Maybe I am
wrong, but that was my distinct impression.)  So, what's with that? How
does your thesis address that?  This modesty in stated targets is
consistent, rather, with my thesis, that the Chinese might wish to appear
somewhat less successful, powerful, etc., than they actually are.

Regardless of whether they Understate or Overstate a given Target, you can be damn sure whatever they DO state is NOT the truth.  In order to ferret out the TRUTH, you have to fish around a lot and read between the lines.  This is Steve's forte, not mine, I will let him handle that department.

Quote
In any case, if you want to impeach their numbers, you've got to put up an
ARGUMENT for same, not just casually dismiss them on a hunch, or because
they don't comport with your biases or worldview.  I say an "argument";
that does not mean that you have to prove it beyond any shadow of doubt.
Ash seems to think that I am swayed only by hard numbers or strict proofs,
but that is not so.  I'm quite open to hypotheses based on good reason,
plausibility, etc. -- even (sometimes) foggy conspiracy hypotheses,
provided they've got a pretty darn persuasive argument in favor.

I personally am quite comfortable with working on Hunches backed by CFS. Steve is another matter entirely.  About the last thing Elvis does is work on Hunches.  If he decides to drop back in here, I suspect you will get quite the Load on your monitor.

Quote
So, go ahead: make your case. Why should we disbelieve the U.N.,
the WHO, UNESCO, the Chinese, and my other sources?   (And BTW
my info on china is NOT all from the Chinese!  It is based on numerous
sources from around the world.)

Waiting for Elvis to Enter the Building.
(http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.445042!/img/httpImage/image.jpg)

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 25, 2012, 08:21:43 PM
Alan,

Dilworth's premise is that the vicious circle principle humankind is engaged in certainly delivers results that may appear positive in the short-term, as you've pointed out, but over the long timescale of human development those gains erode, generally as population and consumption increase, requiring new solutions to the even greater and more numerous problems that emerge.  As those problems accellerate and our ability to respond to them is reduced by their sheer number and magnitude, we reach a point where the whole thing comes apart.  It's like being on a treadmill and the speed continually increases until we can no longer keep up.  Is that not what we see today?  How is Dilworth wrong in explaining the VCP and its' ability to describe how we arrived at this point?  If those greater problems indicate a trajectory toward species extinction, as it already has for many hundreds of species through our activities, it makes sense to change the trajectory through radical action, not piecemeal reactionary action.  Not through the 'baby steps' you've claimed is necessary.  Dilworth doesn't see that happening, nor do I, and therefore the odds of overshoot reaching it's inevitable conclusion are very high.  The hubris of believing humankind can escape the very laws of nature is too great.

Add to all this the fact we haven't even begun to take into account the ecological dynamic equilibrium Dilworth describes in his book that we rely on for our continued existence, which practically all human activity continually seeks to undermine.  You think we've got a century to lower our footprint, yet the widespread disruption of dynamic equilibrium of ecosystems can result in state changes that occur VERY rapidly.

I suppose you can dispute the conclusions, but you'll have to read the book to attempt to dispute the principle.  He is attempting to explain the principles at work that have caused us to arrive where we are today.  Of course he understands we're not going to simply go back to the stone age overnight, but unless we seriously address the principles he's demonstrated and seek to overcome them, we'll continue to be driven by them.  It is a radical idea that goes against all accepted thinking, but then so are most revolutionary concepts.

Speaking of revolutions, I'm glad you brought up the Green Revolution, since it's a perfect example of the above.  I realise you'll cite declining poverty rates in recent years, but that's consistent with the VCP.  As we struggle to maintain food production in the face of a massive population increase following the Green Revolution, due to the many issues that confront us we can expect to see a resurgence of poverty and its' attendant problems.  Except now we've got BILLIONS more to feed.  The Green Revolution is an example of the reaction principle, in which humans address the immediate concern, in this case starvation, without addressing the root cause.  So yes the Green Revolution appears to have succeeded in the short term, but it will be an even bigger failure in the long term.  I'm not sure how you can reconcile a billion lives saved today if it results in billions lost tomorrow.

Quote
On the surface!?  What is superficial about starving, living in filth, and dying
of some terrible infection?

I'm not disputing the nature of those very real and awful conditions, on the contrary, when the long term result is an even larger number of people suffering from the above mentioned maladies than if we had addressed the root problems, I would argue it is a less than desirable result.  It seems that you're struggling to grasp this concept.

Quote
I believe I've read enough of Dilworth. He makes some good points, but none of
them are very original, and they are peppered with crazy stuff.

Instead of claiming 'crazy stuff' how about you actually refute his position?  Besides, you've made some good points too, but not all of them are good.  Maybe I should do the same and just say I've read enough of Alan.

Dilworth on the Green Revolution:

Quote
On the VCP, population growth generally is the result of there being a surplus of vital resources, which leads to or is combined with a weakening of internal population checks. This growth then eats away at the surplus until the population arrives at a state where vital resources are scarce. The higher the level of fertility and/or the lower the level of mortality, the faster this state of affairs will come about, and the more pronounced it will be.

Not only has world population since the 1950s grown fastest in the Third World, but the vast majority of the people living there are already at the bottom of the global power-hierarchy, making the effects of population growth even worse for them. The result has been a high mortality rate and much suffering.

Given the VCP, the reasonable attempt at an antidote to this state of affairs would be to try to establish or re-establish internal population checks so as to reduce the size of the population and bring it into equilibrium with its source of food. The path actually followed, however, was one that simply took the Third World further round with the vicious circle. With the ostensible ultimate aim of reducing Third World hunger by producing more food (cereals, starting with rice), in the late 1950s the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations set up the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the (US-controlled) Philippines, which has since grown to be the world’s largest rice research agency. In this regard both common sense and the VCP tell us that, without the reinstatement of internal population checks, given sufficient breeding sites an increase in the amount of food in the Third World would only be pouring oil on the fire, and lead to population growth together with a further weakening of whatever checks as might still exist, with the result that the same problem should simply recur, only on a more intractable scale. As C. G. Darwin suggested already before the Green Revolution, if a larger quantity of food should at some time be accessible thanks to some discovery, for example in agriculture, then the size of the population will quickly rise to the new level, and afterwards development will continue as before, with the difference that the marginal starving group will constitute a larger proportion of the greater population. What Darwin describes is of course an expression of the pioneering principle, manifest through the vicious circle’s moving from the having of a surplus of vital resources on to population growth.

This seems so obvious that one can wonder whether the ostensible reason for the IRRI project was the real reason. And it becomes clear that it was not. The real reason for the project was not to help the poor, but to increase the power of the capitalist political bloc centred on the United States, and the personal wealth of the capitalists involved. Thus with these ultimate ends in view, the direct aim of the IRRI was, using extant Third World varieties of rice, to breed more highly productive strains. Control of these strains was to fall into the hands of American capitalists; and control of the countries producing them into the hands of the capitalist bloc. From their point of view population growth in the relevant countries was good, not bad. It ensured a market for the capitalists’ products, and provided manpower if a large military force were needed in conflicts with socialist states. What they forgot was that whatever patent they may have had on these strains didn’t hold in the communist bloc, so the communists could and did produce them themselves. We shall see a change in this regard in the next agricultural revolution – to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

What were produced were rice varieties that required copious quantities of mineral fertilisers and poisons, large amounts of which American companies were manufacturing in the postwar years, at the same time as they were scouting for markets overseas. So started the Green Revolution.

Outside of Mexico, the Green Revolution received its greatest support on the frontiers of the communist world, from Turkey to Korea, where it recommended itself as a way of blunting the appeal of socialist revolution, at its height in the 1960s. The rice programme in particular largely stemmed from American anxieties about the possible spread of Chinese communism after 1949. Meanwhile, socialist societies – China, Vietnam, and Cuba – embraced the idea of scientifically improved crops with equal vigour. High-yield rice strengthened communist China as much as it did Asia’s island fringe, which America relied upon to contain China. In several of its manifestations, then, the Green Revolution was a child of the Cold War, and may be said to have achieved its economic but not its political goal.

Where the Green Revolution was implemented, farmers came to use heavier and heavier doses of biocides. This efficiently selected for resistant pests – as antibiotics did for bacteria. And as of 1985, roughly one million people had suffered acute poisoning from pesticides, two-thirds of them agricultural workers. The vast fertiliser requirements of the Green Revolution led to the eutrophication of lakes and rivers. Meanwhile the necessary irrigation helped drive the huge dam-building programmes of China, India, Mexico and elsewhere. Before the Green Revolution, farmers raised thousands of strains of wheat around the world. After it, they increasingly used only a few, and became fettered to a system based on a necessarily diminishing source of energy which required constantly increasing quantities of water.

The Green Revolution did not engineer an income redistribution towards Third World farmers; nor did it achieve food independence except for a few countries.  Until 1981 the Third World had long been a net exporter of food, after 1981 it was a net importer.

Of course the people on whom the Western capitalists foisted the Green Revolution were themselves much better attuned to their long-term needs than the capitalists were, not that the capitalists really cared. Western power simply usurped the ecologically more benevolent lifestyle.

With its new strains, and the fertilisers, biocides, mechanisation and increased irrigation they required, world grain production doubled between 1960 and the late 1980s. Most of the world had been ‘saved’ by becoming more energy-intensive, complex and polluting. And for this, the scientist who led the teams responsible won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. This is highly ironic, for the increase in food, leading to an increase in population and thereby population pressure, worked rather towards decreasing the likelihood of peace.

Not unaware of the problematic nature of the results of his efforts, the winner of the Prize himself said: “Perhaps through this development we can buy 25 to 30 years of time. [But u]nless there is a breakthrough in slowing population growth on a world-wide basis, the world will disintegrate.” Yes, the world will disintegrate; but you should have thought about slowing population growth before introducing your more productive seeds and their poisons on the market.

As clearly expressed by Forrester (and as implied by Malthus):

Quote
Many programs – for example the development of more productive grains and agricultural methods – are spoken of as ‘buying time’ until population control becomes effective. But the process of buying time reduces the pressures that force population control. … Trying to raise quality of life without intentionally creating compensating pressures to prevent a rise in population density will be self-defeating. Efforts to improve quality of life will fail until effective means have been implemented for limiting both population and industrialization. [ I ]f we persist in treating only the symptoms and not the causes, the result will be to increase the magnitude of the ultimate threat and reduce our capability to respond when we no longer have more space and resources to invade.

Another negative aspect of this ‘saving’ was that its use of poisons required monoculture cultivation, opening crops to potential destruction by e.g. weather, at the same time as it reduced biodiversity. Also, the ploughing that was often required raised the temperature of the soil in the spring. In temperate regions this would have increased the activity of beneficial soil organisms; but in the tropics and subtropics it had the opposite effect, and is largely responsible for the nine times greater soil erosion there. Tropical soils are not amenable to sustainable agrarian agriculture, only to horticulture, just as were the non-riverine soils in Mesopotamia; once again, the over-exploitation of soil resources using agrarian agriculture results in soil degradation. Capitalists, spurred by the profit motive, nevertheless support the implementation of agrarian technology in the tropics.

Nevertheless, as noted, world grain production doubled in the short term thanks to these efforts. And population growth followed suit. As Catton puts it, the Green Revolution burdened the 20th century with almost another doubling of world population.

In the cradle of the Green Revolution in India there are today vast stretches of land where grass will no longer grow, the water is no longer drinkable due to contamination from mineral fertilisers, aquifers have dried up, soils are degraded, and biodiversity is fast vanishing, the agricultural result being declining rice yields. In 2001, in Wayanad, millions of fish died because of the presence in the water of the copper-based fungicide Furadan, sprayed on pepper gardens to control the wilt disease. And at the same time pests developed resistance to the poisons, leading to the development and use of new ones.

The Green Revolution not only increased the profits of the capitalists who owned the more productive seeds, but it also increased the profits of the large-scale landowners in the Third World, for whom the major financial investments required in e.g. tractors were both possible and paid off at least in the short term. In India, the poorest farmers, each of whom tilled perhaps half a hectare of land, could not afford these extras, and were forced to sell their farms and migrate to the cities, while the richer farmers increased the size of their holdings at the expense of the poor, and became even richer. (This brings to mind the definition of foreign aid as the money poor people in rich countries give to rich people in poor countries.) Thus another ‘achievement’ of the Green Revolution was to enrich two or three per cent of the wheat and rice farmers enormously, leaving the vast majority of subsistence farmers in the lurch. The increasing incidences of suicide among farmers in India lend testimony to this failure of high-tech agriculture. Thus, as in the horticultural and agrarian eras, while the poor continue to live barely above subsistence level – and some of them under it – the increase in the amount of food led to population growth.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 419-423). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: steve from virginia on July 25, 2012, 08:45:30 PM
Hmmm ...

It's hard to know where to go with all this.

Alan2012, you remind me of no one more than Henry Rodriguez. So much talent, so much to offer ...

There is too much baseball to listen to, a (very hard) book to write, more and more articles ... people can believe in what they please, little green men or unicorns ... I personally don't care one way or the other. I don't have a horse('s ass) in this particular race.

The arguments one way or the other don't matter much, events are now in control. God bless and good luck, you will need it.



Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 25, 2012, 08:49:43 PM

There is too much baseball to listen to, a (very hard) book to write, more and more articles ... people can believe in what they please, little green men or unicorns ... I personally don't care one way or the other. I don't have a horse('s ass) in this particular race.

The arguments one way or the other don't matter much, events are now in control. God bless and good luck, you will need it.

So much for a contest of Graphs & Charts.  :(

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: WHD on July 25, 2012, 09:57:43 PM
Quote
In any case, if you want to impeach their numbers, you've got to put up an
ARGUMENT for same, not just casually dismiss them on a hunch, or because
they don't comport with your biases or worldview.

Alan,

Here goes - they are communist kleptocrats ripping off their people to the tune of hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions. If you want to believe anything that flows from the motives of such people, you are free to.

Quote
Do you really believe that all multicellular life is going to be wiped out by
CO2/warming?  Why?

A 40% decrease in phytoplankton, in fifty years. Another estimated 27 trillion of "oil" in the ground. Methane bubbling out of the arctic waters and permafrost by the mega-ton.  Fires and greed ravaging the remaining forests. Phytoplankton go bye-bye, ocean dies, much or most if not all multi-cellular life dies too - don't forget the leaking radiation!

Quote
just because I don't approve of
the specific techniques or policies (e.g. Green Revolution) does not mean that
those policies were worthles

Those policies are worse that worthless, if they generate desertification, which they will. You are far too generous. That green revolution is beyond likely to give us epic famine, wherever it is practiced.

Quote
what they HAVE done right, has had an appreciable
impact on things.  That's all. What is so hard to understand, or accept, about
that?  It seems to me like a modest proposition. But you're reacting to it as
though I was, instead, pushing some wild a tooth-fairy-waves-magic-wand
scenario.

Fairy is what I think about your conception of the Chinese State, and the UN.

What HAS been done? 400+ nuclear facilities, untold nuke warheads, tens of thousands of off-shore oil wells, hundreds of thousands (millions) of fracking wells poisoning aquifers. All of it vulnerable to economic meltdown, geologic activity, projectiles from space initiating tectonic activity. WHAT HAVE THEY DONE, indeed.

Even if we had 100 years like you say, there's still that estimated 27 trillion (or is my number small?) of motive still in the ground. More than enough to make the climate untenable for anything like seven billion humans.

It's not like I don't think we could turn it around in a decade, if that's what we decided as a species. I sense instead, the proverbial four horseman, deep in our collective soul. We could excise that maybe, but we'd have to take our eyes off the bling.


Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 12:14:37 AM

Reply to #116 on page 8:

great stuff, alan. funny, too. excellent to have you here. keep on spammin' on!  ;D
Glad you're enjoying the show.  Huzzahs!

Quote
i did, however, find the folowing statement surprisingly mundane.
Why?

because it strikes me as a conventional view in favor quantity over quality. of course most are going to say they rather society had a lower infant mortality rate - which is mostly what we're talking about here with the lifespan argument. but even accepting the argument at face value - at what cost? what about the non-human side of the ledger? how do you balance that?
1.  Does quantity automatically lessen quality? Why do you say "quantity OVER quality"?
Does it have to be "over", or can it just be along-side? Leaving aside the "over quality"
part, I have to agree with the conventional view favoring quantity of life. I'm pro-life,
while at the same time favoring women's right to choose, of course.

2. At what cost? -- I know what you're saying, and I hate the way things have been
set up, so that every developed-world human life winds up costing mega-tons of
resources (unnecessarily), and also makes life more difficult (even impossible) for some
species, such as other large mammals and fish. Note well the "unnecessarily", however.
In other words, this can be changed, and on some fronts it is being changed, ALL TOO
SLOWLY, but there is some change; I'm looking forward to more of such change.  Some
(TOO FEW) of the bad effects of humans on the rest of the biosphere have been
mitigated in recent decades.  Much as I don't approve of the methods of the Green
Revolution, I have to admit (facts compel me) that it has resulted in more total biomass
on earth, which is good.  I note also that the erosion of forested land worldwide has
been slowed quite a lot over the last 2 decades, and reversed in some areas. The
progress on these fronts is much too slow for my taste; and yet, I have to admit that
there is at least some awareness and action in the right direction. I can also see that
it is well within the potential of humans to do much better. We're a smart specie. Those
big brains took a long time to evolve, and we COULD use them to do more building and
healing.  To return for just a moment to one theme of this thread: the Chinese example
of large-scale ecological restoration is quite inspiring in this regard.

Quote
Quote
why bother, as an anarchist, arguing for contextless benefits of an industrially-
Regulated Group Mind over a preindustrial one?
Yeah, you might say that. But it IS awfully easy for us to say, is it not? I mean,
we've GOT the extra 40-50 years -- during which to make clever points about
the meaninglessness of context-free benefits.  Would those points mean
anything to someone dying at age 12 of some horrible infection?

would those points mean anything to a black man unjustly incarcerated, and medicated, for the last 50 years, who has not been allowed to kill himself for 45 of them? tit for tat, man.  :P
What are you saying?  I am as opposed to the prison-industrial complex, and
its built-in racism, as anyone. Does your example, or the fact that some people
live miserable long lives,  render valueless the overall improvement in life
expectancy?  I don't think so.

Quote
Quote
Quote
besides, what is so phenomenal about your lifespan statistic? it is the norm
for rapidly industrializing countries is it not?
Yes, the norm for pre-industrial vs. industrial. AND phenomenal. An extension of
life on that order is, to me, stunning. Very impressive.  And we take it for granted!
Just like your comment: "What's the big deal, Alan?"  Or like Ash's comment,
oblivious to the huge upside.  But it IS a big deal, for the people newly affected.
A very big deal.

fine, it's impressive on a statistical level. but so what? it just strikes me as a rather abstract argument.

I'm astonished. You don't think the statistics represent human values, overall?
To hell with the statistics, if you like; it is damn impressive on a HUMAN level.
Do you know many people who really, truly, would prefer to be dead?

A
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 12:55:21 AM
Continuing with reply to EIN, #124 on page 9:

Quote
Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal of steady
state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.

I accept the principle but not the conclusion.  I haven't seen any evidence that
China is targeting a steady-state economy.  You've shown they are (were) targeting
lower growth, which is the least they should be doing given their feverish growth rates.
 But there's no indication they're targeting a steady-state.
Right.

Do you think that steady state MUST be achieved overnight, and that any
lesser objective or effort is worthless?

Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal of steady
state can do any good?

Quote
Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?

Maybe, but don't blame me, I didn't make us that way.  Show me how I'm wrong.
Some permaculture-type people are living sustainably, or very nearly so. There's
no iron law -- "by our very nature" -- that says we cannot live sustainably.
Further, what is truly "sustainable"?   We don't know yet. It will probably take
centuries to refine a definition.  Meanwhile we use the term roughly, as I
just did, to indicate an approximation.

Quote
Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

This in no way addresses the points made and is irrelevant to their validity.  Besides,
you're only assuming I'm not.
I agree that it does not address the other points made; it was not intended to.
It was intended to address your immediate point, to the effect that more or
less complete abandonment of technology (that was it, wasn't it? going from
memory) is necessary to achieve sustainability.  Your use of a computer would
appear to be inconsistent with that, on a personal level.

Quote
As for the social unrest and inequality issue brought up in your most recent post,
overpopulation is clearly at the root of that problem. 
Why do you say that overpopulation is the cause of inequality?

Quote
You argue that China has come so far since the revolution, which may be true,
but I'm taking a wider view of our predicament as a species and how that applies
to your analysis.  Everything you point to that China is doing is consistent with the
vicious circle and reaction principles.  They may be tweaking it a little so it looks
different than the Western efforts, but as long as these principles are in affect, the
results will be much the same.  I'm describing instincts and characteristics of the
species that underpin all human activity.
Yes, you're arguing from general principles and from authority. The core general
principle seems to be:  we're fuckups, and nothing we do is going to make any
difference (or maybe will make things WORSE).   Maybe you're right.  I'm not
convinced  yet, but maybe you're right.

At such time as I become convinced of that, it will be a great relief!  I won't have
to work anymore.  I won't have to care anymore.  I won't even have to think
anymore!   Just drink beer and enjoy the last waning days of civilization.
Nihilistic doomerism is an intellectual and spiritual retirement to a place with
lounge-chairs in the shade, on white sandy beaches.

I notice that religionists, clutching their holy scriptures, also argue from general
principles and authority. They are quite immune to empirical findings that are
inconsistent with the dogma. That stuff is irrelevant. Nothing matters except the
Holy Word of God, and whether or not you are Saved.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 01:35:18 AM
First, on the specious complaint about small print in the Quotes.  I don't see you
fixing the font size in every quote. I personally got no issues reading small print,
my eyes work just fine. If YOU have a problem with small print, set
your Browser to blow it up to 200% or whatever size it is you need to read at.
Feeling a bit prickly there, are we?  Hey, I wasn't attacking you, RE, just
pointing out a little software problem.  No, I don't fix it in every quote; that
would be too tedious.  I fix it for long text, as a service to the reader.

Quote
Now, onto more substantive issues.

OK, so the U.N. statistics are unreliable, as well as the PRC's statistics.
Where does that leave us?  How do you know what you think you know?
What statistics do you believe, and why?

I don't know how Steve or WHD know what they know, but I know what I know
through the process of Deduction and using CFS.  Common Fucking Sense
Unlike some Unnamed Troll in this thread, I didn't buy the propaganda and Drink
too much Kool Aid when I was a kid.
Glad to hear you hold me in such high regard, RE. And you need not thank me for
contributing challenging new facts to the Diner; it really is my pleasure!

Quote
The UN is as Reliable as the BLS in compiling data. Same people running their
Super Computers and writing the Algos.
Why do you say that? 

Quote
Quote
The Chinese government's stats are a little different.  All governments
lie about at least some things; the Chinese are certainly no different; I'm
certain that they've lied many times (even though I lack proof); maybe
they are lying about various stuff that I posted.
The only way Goobermint Stats are Different than WHO and UN stats is in who
is running the show to generate said stats.  In the case of the UN and WHO, it's
a more direct connection to the Globalists who fund those organizations.
Does that make their stats wrong?

Here are some questions for you, RE:

 - How do you know that there is such a thing as global warming?
 - How do you know that oil is peaking?
 - How do you know that the earth has a population of 7 billion?
 - How do you know that the earth's population ever exceeded ONE billion?
 - How do you know that the earth's carrying capacity is being strained?
 
Please provide evidence for each, from sources you deem reliable. Explain why
you believe them to be reliable.

Quote
Quote
HOWEVER:  idle speculation (like "maybe they are lying about x and y") is
not sufficient. You've got to come up with some plausible explanation as to
why they would lie, and demonstrate (within reason) how they could lie.  In
other words, to put it in trial-law terms: means, motivation and opportunity,
in addition to just all-round plausibility.

Why would the Chinese lie in the direction that you suggest? i.e. so as to
appear to be much more successful than they actually are?

The OBVIOUS reason to LIE is to encourage DIMWITTED
Investors with no CFS to buy into their Ponzi. China is as much dependent
on Capital Investment as any other Wannabee Industrial Nation.  Once they
lose access to the International Credit Markets,  they are just as fucked as the
Greeks and Spaniards are now.
You're right. That IS an obvious reason.  But as I thought it over, I rejected it,
in favor of the one I presented.
Why? Because said lies would not be what the investors (at least not the big
ones) would be paying attention to. Those guys don't care about the PRC's press
release generalities (whether or not true), announcements that the latest Five Year
Plan had exceeded expectations (whether or not true), etc.  They care about specific
facts pertaining to specific opportunities: whether or not there is a real chance to
make money on the specific operation in question.  If they were swayed more by
the general press release stuff than by the specifics pertaining to particular
investments, then they would not be investors for long!  They would be broke.

Quote
Quote
My own first
thought, when considering the matter, is that they would probably lie in
the opposite way:  they would want to appear LESS successful, and weak.
If I were a Chinese high-level master-planner,  plotting to build China into
the next great and dominant world power, I would want the world to think
of China as (at least somewhat) weak, fragile, indebted, incompetent,
disorganized,  and so on; i.e. NOT a serious threat.   I would want the world
to dismiss  China as a significant power.  That's the smart thing to do.  Why
do you  think the Chinese want to lie in the opposite way?

Your own First Thought is WRONG.  In your case, I suggest going way
down your list of thoughts to find a RIGHT one.  Reason explained above.
Your explanation is  WRONG.  See above for the  RIGHT one.

Quote
Quote
Further, as mentioned up thread, the truth is that the Chinese have tended
to UNDER-state their targets, and over-fulfill them.  The GDP growth targets,
for example, are almost always stated as less than is actually achieved.
I also noticed, from studying the FYPs, that there is a  bias in the same
direction on other fronts: the targets tend to be over-shot. (Maybe I am
wrong, but that was my distinct impression.)  So, what's with that? How
does your thesis address that?  This modesty in stated targets is
consistent, rather, with my thesis, that the Chinese might wish to appear
somewhat less successful, powerful, etc., than they actually are.

Regardless of whether they Understate or Overstate a given Target, you can
be damn sure whatever they DO state is NOT the truth. 
Really?  Would that include stats on the population of Beijing? How about
that 6,000-mile high speed rail network? Is that a lie, too?
 
Quote
In order to ferret out the TRUTH, you have to fish around a lot and read
between the lines.
True. But there are limits, beyond which we become idiots -- like when we
assume that EVERYTHING anyone says is  a lie.

Quote
Quote
In any case, if you want to impeach their numbers, you've got to put up an
ARGUMENT for same, not just casually dismiss them on a hunch, or because
they don't comport with your biases or worldview.  I say an "argument";
that does not mean that you have to prove it beyond any shadow of doubt.
Ash seems to think that I am swayed only by hard numbers or strict proofs,
but that is not so.  I'm quite open to hypotheses based on good reason,
plausibility, etc. -- even (sometimes) foggy conspiracy hypotheses,
provided they've got a pretty darn persuasive argument in favor.

I personally am quite comfortable with working on Hunches backed by CFS.
Steve is another matter entirely.  About the last thing Elvis does is work on
Hunches.  If he decides to drop back in here, I suspect you will get quite the
Load on your monitor.
Well, he dropped back in, in order to drop back out, as you can see.

Quote
Quote
So, go ahead: make your case. Why should we disbelieve the U.N.,
the WHO, UNESCO, the Chinese, and my other sources?   (And BTW
my info on china is NOT all from the Chinese!  It is based on numerous
sources from around the world.)

Waiting for Elvis to Enter the Building.
He entered, and left. Too busy with important stuff, like baseball.

Like I said:  Nihilistic doomerism is an intellectual and spiritual retirement to
a place with lounge-chairs in the shade, on white sandy beaches. Some day,
God(dess) willing, I will make it to that place.

A

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 02:30:33 AM
Quote
I believe I've read enough of Dilworth. He makes some good points, but none of
them are very original, and they are peppered with crazy stuff.

Instead of claiming 'crazy stuff' how about you actually refute his position? 
I did. I pointed out more than one specific statement of his that was wrong, and
I mean seriously, totally wrong, as though he is completely ignorant of that which
he purports to know.  Like for example how third world countries made NO
APPRECIABLE GAINS since WWII.  Has he ever heard of China? Or India? What
gives? How could he make that statement?  You tell me!

Quote
Besides, you've made some good points too, but not all of them are good.  Maybe I
should do the same and just say I've read enough of Alan.
Maybe you should. You'll have to be the judge. But before you go, you might point
out which SPECIFIC statement of mine is as off the beam as the ones of Dilworth
that I mentioned.

Quote
Dilworth on the Green Revolution:

Quote
On the VCP, population growth generally is the result of there being a surplus of vital resources, which leads to or is combined with a weakening of internal population checks. This growth then eats away at the surplus until the population arrives at a state where vital resources are scarce. The higher the level of fertility and/or the lower the level of mortality, the faster this state of affairs will come about, and the more pronounced it will be.

Not only has world population since the 1950s grown fastest in the Third World, but the vast majority of the people living there are already at the bottom of the global power-hierarchy, making the effects of population growth even worse for them. The result has been a high mortality rate and much suffering.

Given the VCP, the reasonable attempt at an antidote to this state of affairs would be to try to establish or re-establish internal population checks so as to reduce the size of the population and bring it into equilibrium with its source of food. The path actually followed, however, was one that simply took the Third World further round with the vicious circle. With the ostensible ultimate aim of reducing Third World hunger by producing more food (cereals, starting with rice), in the late 1950s the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations set up the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the (US-controlled) Philippines, which has since grown to be the world’s largest rice research agency. In this regard both common sense and the VCP tell us that, without the reinstatement of internal population checks, given sufficient breeding sites an increase in the amount of food in the Third World would only be pouring oil on the fire, and lead to population growth together with a further weakening of whatever checks as might still exist, with the result that the same problem should simply recur, only on a more intractable scale. As C. G. Darwin suggested already before the Green Revolution, if a larger quantity of food should at some time be accessible thanks to some discovery, for example in agriculture, then the size of the population will quickly rise to the new level, and afterwards development will continue as before, with the difference that the marginal starving group will constitute a larger proportion of the greater population. What Darwin describes is of course an expression of the pioneering principle, manifest through the vicious circle’s moving from the having of a surplus of vital resources on to population growth.
I suspect he means MALTHUS, not Darwin. But, either way, the deal is that
things have turned out opposite to that prediction. More food ("surplus of vital
resources") has NOT led to an increase in the rate of population growth. Rather,
what we're seeing is a decrease.  As I said up thread, fertility has fallen off a
cliff in all those places where it was supposed to be exploding:  India, China,
elsewhere in Asia. In contrast, fertility remains very high in places, like southern
Africa,  where there is a persistent DEFICIT of vital resources -- the opposite of
what Dilworth et al suggest.

Quote
As clearly expressed by Forrester (and as implied by Malthus):
Quote
Many programs – for example the development of more productive grains and agricultural methods – are spoken of as ‘buying time’ until population control becomes effective. But the process of buying time reduces the pressures that force population control. … Trying to raise quality of life without intentionally creating compensating pressures to prevent a rise in population density will be self-defeating. Efforts to improve quality of life will fail until effective means have been implemented for limiting both population and industrialization.
Well,  Forrester has been proven wrong.  Efforts to improve the quality of life
have been followed by lower fertility, and even collapse (to sub-replacement)
of fertility. Absolute population, of course, takes longer to change, due to
demographic momentum. But the trajectory is  clear.  Population growth
gets smaller every year, and has for the past 30 years. There is no sign of a
change in this trend. In fact it is speeding up.

Generally I agree with most everything Dilworth says about the Green
Revolution.  But he really should acknowledge demographic reality.  That is,
unless we are to reject demographic statistics, on the basis that all the
parties involved are corrupt liars.   But if we do that, then what is our basis
for believing that the human population of earth exceeds (say) 100 million?
If we do that, then what is our basis for believing most of the things we
believe?

A
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 02:37:21 AM
It's hard to know where to go with all this.
Well, you could start with reason, well-seasoned with facts. Though that is
an awful lot of trouble, and probably not worth the effort. Besides, all of the
"facts" are merely propaganda purveyed by corrupt liars, so there's really
no point.

Quote
people can believe in what they please
Yes, so it seems.

Quote
I personally don't care one way or the other. I don't have a horse('s ass)
in this particular race.
Whatever. Have a happy day.

A

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 02:40:11 AM

There is too much baseball to listen to, a (very hard) book to write, more and more articles ... people can believe in what they please, little green men or unicorns ... I personally don't care one way or the other. I don't have a horse('s ass) in this particular race.

The arguments one way or the other don't matter much, events are now in control. God bless and good luck, you will need it.

So much for a contest of Graphs & Charts.  :(

RE

Who cares about graphs and charts?  They're all composed by corrupt
liars.  Fuck it.  I'm ordering another pitcher of margaritas.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 02:51:40 AM
Quote
In any case, if you want to impeach their numbers, you've got to put up an
ARGUMENT for same, not just casually dismiss them on a hunch, or because
they don't comport with your biases or worldview.

Alan,

Here goes - they are communist kleptocrats ripping off their people to the tune of
hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions. If you want to believe anything that flows
from the motives of such people, you are free to.
ALL of them? The entire vast government, the university system,
the social agencies and NGOs... ALL of them?

[snip]

Quote
It's not like I don't think we could turn it around in a decade, if that's what we
decided as a species.
In a DECADE?!  That would be incredibly fast. You really believe that?  You have
a much more optimistic way of assessing potentials than I do.

Quote
I sense instead, the proverbial four horseman, deep in our  collective soul. We could
excise that maybe, but we'd have to take our eyes off the bling.
Yes, I get that feeling at times. And it may turn out that way. Maybe we'll suicide.
Time will tell.

Meanwhile, I don't care if its only 5AM... I'm having another margarita.

A
Title: Re: Useless Eaters
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 03:19:20 AM

reply #95 on page 7:

The "Useless Eaters" quote has variously been attributed to Winston Churchill
and Henry Ford, and is used by me here tongue-in-cheek.  It does not just
represent the Chinese, but ALL the excess Poor People of the world
the Illuminati would like to dispense with.  Below, a few Quotes from many
of the principal pundits of the Eugenics Movement

Quote
Useless Eaters Beware: Agenda to Depopulate Earth (http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/channel.cfm?channelid=67&contentid=6258&page=2)  (continued)
by STEPHANIE R. PASCO (INFOWARS)
[snip]
I'm curious: what do you think of the huge fall-off of fertility and
population growth rate over the last 30 years?  Could this represent
the Illuminati's way of getting rid of "useless eaters" (preventing them
from being born to begin with)?  "Depopulation" by attrition -- normal
mortality -- combined with low fertility? A winning combo.

Quote
You have to understand when I am refering to the Iluminati here and
their plans.  My Plan is DIFFERENT.  My Plan is to get rid
of THEM before they get rid of US.
But what if they are reducing the population in a gentle, organic way (by
causing reduced fertility), resulting in slow progress toward  sustainability? 
Is it possible that the Illuminati are not as evil as we think?

Or if they ARE as evil as we think, when do the fireworks begin? When do
they start the kill-off, in earnest?
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 26, 2012, 04:00:19 AM

Feeling a bit prickly there, are we?  Hey, I wasn't attacking you, RE, just
pointing out a little software problem.  No, I don't fix it in every quote; that
would be too tedious.  I fix it for long text, as a service to the reader.

As a further Service to the Reader, I SHRANK your quote to microscopic dimensions to save Screen Real Estate.


Quote
Quote
The UN is as Reliable as the BLS in compiling data. Same people running their
Super Computers and writing the Algos.
Why do you say that? 

CFS

Quote

Here are some questions for you, RE:

 - How do you know that there is such a thing as global warming?

 I make no claims regarding "global warming", only global climate change.  Ocean Temp data available on a real time basis, USGS seismos also avaialble on a real time basis.  I got a marvelous Equake program I run all the time to keep track of the Quakes.  Freeware..

 - How do you know that oil is peaking?

By observing the market volatility resultant from it.

 - How do you know that the earth has a population of 7 billion?

 I don't know that it does. I SUSPECT people are dieing faster than the models indicate now, so it may very well NOT have thatmany.

 - How do you know that the earth's population ever exceeded ONE billion?

  Direct experience.  I rode the NYC Subways & London Underground and extrapolated it out myself from that.

 - How do you know that the earth's carrying capacity is being strained?

Because I drove my 18-wheeler to more strip mines and disgusting smelly paper plants than you can possibly imagine.  When YOU get out there OTR, you SEE this stuff.  It hits you over the head like a SLEDGEHAMMER.
 
Please provide evidence for each, from sources you deem reliable. Explain why
you believe them to be reliable.

My SOURCES are ME. I AM RELIABLE.

Quote
You're right. That IS an obvious reason.  But as I thought it over, I rejected it,
in favor of the one I presented.
Why? Because said lies would not be what the investors (at least not the big
ones) would be paying attention to. Those guys don't care about the PRC's press
release generalities (whether or not true), announcements that the latest Five Year
Plan had exceeded expectations (whether or not true), etc.  They care about specific
facts pertaining to specific opportunities: whether or not there is a real chance to
make money on the specific operation in question.

"Big Investors" only care about keeping the Game Running. They create the credit, they have infinite availability of that.  They do NOT have infinite availability of resources to match that credit.


Quote
Really?  Would that include stats on the population of Beijing? How about
that 6,000-mile high speed rail network? Is that a lie, too?

EVERY statistic is not False.  That is why you need CFS.  If you don't have CFS,you can't figure out what is worthwhile data and what is propaganda.  If TPTB JUST published false data, it would be easy to show it false.  In fact what is done is to put Needles in the Haystack, some false data in a sea of accurate data. Problem being that the needles make the rest of the data false as well. If I am going to sell you a used car, I am going to tell you all about how well the engine was maintained and new tires and NOT tell you about the fact the Tranny won't shift on cold days. (happenned to me, fixed said tranny for another $1500)

 
Quote
True. But there are limits, beyond which we become idiots -- like when we
assume that EVERYTHING anyone says is  a lie.

I DO NOT assume EVERYTHING anyone says is a LIE. Only stuff which violates CFS. If you HAD any CFS, you would understand this concept.

Quote
Well, he dropped back in, in order to drop back out, as you can see.

Very disappointing there. :(  However,Steve has his own agenda, and despite the fact the Diner keeps GROWING at exponential rates and could gain him new readership, he does not like hanging out at Ted Nugent's House for Dinner.  Fearful of all the Guns at the Table, no doubt.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 05:13:46 AM
I will give you three statistics which REALLY COUNT here.
China Population: 1.3B
China Square Miles: 3,600,947
China Population Density: 361 Useless Eaters/Square Mile

R.E., you of all people should know that those statistics are DAMNED
LIES, spewed out by corrupt liars in the employ of Chinese kleptocrats,
evil capitalists, and the Bavarian Illuminati! The Knights Templar and the
Gnomes of Zurich are also involved, in a lesser role.

The real population of China is 89.2 million, and China consists of
1.3 million square miles.  The Gobi Desert, thought to be part of China,
is in reality the site of the verdant and beautiful hills and valleys of
Shamballa -- visible only to those whose spiritual eyes have been
opened.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 26, 2012, 05:40:06 AM
Quote
Quote
The UN is as Reliable as the BLS in compiling data. Same people running their
Super Computers and writing the Algos.
Why do you say that? 
CFS
Well, far be it from me to argue with CFS!

Quote
Here are some questions for you, RE:
 - How do you know that there is such a thing as global warming?
 I make no claims regarding "global warming", only global climate
change.  Ocean Temp data available on a real time basis, USGS seismos also
avaialble on a real time basis.  I got a marvelous Equake program I run all
the time to keep track of the Quakes.  Freeware..
It is good to know that the temp data and USGS stuff is honest, straight
up, and not part of the conspiracy to conceal the truth from us. I do have
to wonder, though, how that is possible.

Quote
- How do you know that oil is peaking?
By observing the market volatility resultant from it.
Yes, volatile markets certainly do prove the peak of the underlying.

Quote
- How do you know that the earth's population ever exceeded ONE billion?
  Direct experience.  I rode the NYC Subways & London Underground
and extrapolated it out myself from that.
If your direct experience of perhaps 1/1000th of the planet can be extrapolated
to the other 999/1000ths, then we can safely conclude that the other
999/1000ths are of similar density to NYC and London, thus arriving at
a global population of circa 600 billion.

Quote
- How do you know that the earth's carrying capacity is being strained?
Because I drove my 18-wheeler to more strip mines and disgusting
smelly paper plants than you can possibly imagine.  When YOU get out there
OTR, you SEE this stuff.  It hits you over the head like a SLEDGEHAMMER.
Well, here again, far be it from me to argue with an 18-wheeler driver in
Bumfuck, Nebraska.  At least now I know where the TRUE numbers should
be coming from, instead of all the nonsense being peddled by the hundreds
of academic institutions, governmental agencies and NG environmental
research groups.

Quote

Please provide evidence for each, from sources you deem reliable. Explain why
you believe them to be reliable.
My SOURCES are ME. I AM RELIABLE.
Yo! And the road to solipsism is paved with tangy margaritas!

Quote
Quote
You're right. That IS an obvious reason.  But as I thought it over, I rejected it,
in favor of the one I presented.
Why? Because said lies would not be what the investors (at least not the big
ones) would be paying attention to. Those guys don't care about the PRC's press
release generalities (whether or not true), announcements that the latest Five Year
Plan had exceeded expectations (whether or not true), etc.  They care about specific
facts pertaining to specific opportunities: whether or not there is a real chance to
make money on the specific operation in question.
"Big Investors" only care about keeping the Game Running. They create the
credit, they have infinite availability of that.  They do NOT have infinite
availability of resources to match that credit.
Infinite availability of credit?  Could you be talking about banks? Doesn't
sound like investors.

Quote
Quote
Really?  Would that include stats on the population of Beijing? How about
that 6,000-mile high speed rail network? Is that a lie, too?
EVERY statistic is not False.
AH! NOW WE'RE GETTING SOMEWHERE. The ones that are not false
are... the ones that you and your CFS say are not false.  It is all clear
to me, now.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 26, 2012, 06:35:53 AM
Quote
Do you think that steady state MUST be achieved overnight, and that any
lesser objective or effort is worthless?

Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal of steady
state can do any good?

I agree that incremental steps are useful where appropriate.  I don't agree it's appropriate in our circumstance.  I also don't agree with the methods.  You also haven't demonstrated that China has stated a steady state economy as their goal. 

Quote
Some permaculture-type people are living sustainably, or very nearly so. There's
no iron law -- "by our very nature" -- that says we cannot live sustainably.
Further, what is truly "sustainable"?   We don't know yet. It will probably take
centuries to refine a definition.  Meanwhile we use the term roughly, as I
just did, to indicate an approximation

Yes of course I know such people and think they're doing something useful by demonstrating an alternative set of living arrangments.  I personally do what I can in this regard but am limited financially due to the unaffordability of land in Australia, without taking on inordinate amounts of debt, which I do not care to do.  My point is that the definition of sustainable that comes from private enterprise and governments is not a vision of people living a permaculture lifestyle.  It is a very different definition, one that is primarily concerned with maintaining the status quo capitalist system.

Quote
It agree that it does not address the other points made; it was not intended to.
It was intended to address your immediate point, to the effect that more or
less complete abandonment of technology (that was it, wasn't it? going from
memory) is necessary to achieve sustainability.  Your use of a computer would
appear to be inconsistent with that, on a personal level.

I could easily abstain from computer use, though we both know my doing so alone would have little overall affect.  People first need to understand an idea before they can act on it.  My use of technology to communicate ideas of reducing reliance on technological solutions is ironic, yes, but more effective than living like the Unabomber.  However, I'm no longer interested in jumping up and down and yelling about it.  Been there, done that, didn't work.  So now I am focussing on a softer approach.  Quietly inserting ideas into discussions or public forums, highlighting the absurdities of our Western living arrangements to get people thinking on their own.

Quote
Why do you say that overpopulation is the cause of inequality?

Why do you only address the issue of inequality when I also mentioned social problems?  I'm not sure if I can even take you seriously here.  I mean, do you really think overpopulation doesn't cause social and equality issues?  I think your extreme pro-life stripes are showing.  Perhaps if people took more seriously the bringing of people into the world, and their upbringing, we wouldn't have so many abused, neglected, and starving children.  The "every child is sacred so keep em comin'" attitude is a big problem.  Yes every child is sacred, all the more reason to take it as a responsibility requiring much thought, care, and attention. 

Quote
Yes, you're arguing from general principles and from authority. The core general
principle seems to be:  we're fuckups, and nothing we do is going to make any
difference (or maybe will make things WORSE).   Maybe you're right.  I'm not
convinced  yet, but maybe you're right.

No you've wrongly summarised my position.  If this is what you've concluded, it appears I'm correct in my assertions that you haven't correctly appreciated Dilworth's premise.  If you had, you'd know that he does suggest solutions to the biological problem, though he has concluded it's unlikely they'll be used.  You see solutions based in our inventiveness and technofixes.  Conversely, I see the solution is found in behaviour and cultural change, and a recognition of how our inventiveness is often more trouble than it's worth.  In other words, your solution is the problem.  I haven't advocated giving up as you've described, though perhaps it appears that way given the difference of opinion in identifying the root problem.  I say humans have tinkered enough, while you say more tinkering is required.  If the solution is less tinkering, then that appears to you as inaction.  I don't think our problem is that we haven't done enough, it's that we've done too MUCH.  This is a philosophical difference which I don't believe we'll reconcile.

Quote
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.  - Albert Einstein

Quote
At such time as I become convinced of that, it will be a great relief!  I won't have
to work anymore.  I won't have to care anymore.  I won't even have to think
anymore!   Just drink beer and enjoy the last waning days of civilization.
Nihilistic doomerism is an intellectual and spiritual retirement to a place with
lounge-chairs in the shade, on white sandy beaches.

Sure.  Perhaps we wouldn't be here debating this situation had humans done just that.  Sounds pleasant to me.  But no, the simple life wasn't enough, so we have the complicated life and all it's attendant problems.  PROGRESS!  Indeed.  But hey, we're here now, we can't stop!  Sounds a bit like...the vicious circle.

Quote
I notice that religionists, clutching their holy scriptures, also argue from general
principles and authority. They are quite immune to empirical findings that are
inconsistent with the dogma. That stuff is irrelevant. Nothing matters except the
Holy Word of God, and whether or not you are Saved.

As for general principles and religious zeal, of course I've recognised the potential for that with this subject.  Though I wouldn't exclude yourself from such tendencies.  After all, you're only human.  What's your intention here anyways?  Come to save the nihilistic doomers by forcing them to see the truth of progress in China?  To show us the way, led by a reformed doomer himself?  I've attempted to inform my local council representatives of the issues and what is at stake, but they're still stuck in the pro-growth mindset.  Tell me, what should I be doing?  Don't assume I, and others here, haven't and aren't trying to make a difference. 

You may have sincere intentions but I'm not sure they're directed to the right audience.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 26, 2012, 06:36:59 AM
AH! NOW WE'RE GETTING SOMEWHERE. The ones that are not false
are... the ones that you and your CFS say are not false.  It is all clear
to me, now.

CFS is the ULTIMATE TOOL!  Better even than  Occam's Razor!  I am glad I have made this CLEAR to you.  :icon_mrgreen:

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: steve from virginia on July 26, 2012, 07:14:42 AM
Quote

So much for a contest of Graphs & Charts.  :(

RE

Good grief! I don't have the time -- or the interest -- to read all this dude's page-after-page of bilge. I don't have time or interest to read Leo Maugeri's bilge either -- and he has a Harvard University imprint rather than 'Jimmy-crack-cornball' non-version of an imprint.

You gotta get a clue, RE: he's just another cornucopian. There are millions of harmless ones out there, ignorable chum, useful idiots for big business.

Worthwhile arguments are self-evident. There is no such thing here, nothing to stand on its own, rather repeated nonsense, this is not an argument it is spam.

Some of these guys are professionals who invade message boards like yours with the intent of being disruptive. If they are not paid they are ideologically motivated. Frankly, from with what little I take the time to look at, he has no particular idea to promote other than the fact that he is here. Simply get rid of him or tell him to behave or else.

Any visitor over here is a guest and has the obligation of all guests to be mindful of others as well as the nature of the topic or subject-matter. The name of this forum ('Ted Nugent's House') implies a certain mindset: yr dude is over here looking for a brawl.

Spammers are always trying to sell something. Just get rid of him, I can't do it for you or I would.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: JoeP on July 26, 2012, 10:46:33 AM
Alan,

Looks like this article has a comments section just begging for you to visit it:

http://www.alsosprachanalyst.com/economy/why-you-should-stop-believing-in-chinese-leadership.html (http://www.alsosprachanalyst.com/economy/why-you-should-stop-believing-in-chinese-leadership.html)

Just an idea.  :dontknow:
 
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: reanteben on July 26, 2012, 04:39:25 PM

Reply to #116 on page 8:

great stuff, alan. funny, too. excellent to have you here. keep on spammin' on!  ;D
Glad you're enjoying the show.  Huzzahs!

Quote
i did, however, find the folowing statement surprisingly mundane.
Why?

because it strikes me as a conventional view in favor quantity over quality. of course most are going to say they rather society had a lower infant mortality rate - which is mostly what we're talking about here with the lifespan argument. but even accepting the argument at face value - at what cost? what about the non-human side of the ledger? how do you balance that?
1.  Does quantity automatically lessen quality? Why do you say "quantity OVER quality"?
Does it have to be "over", or can it just be along-side? Leaving aside the "over quality"
part, I have to agree with the conventional view favoring quantity of life. I'm pro-life,
while at the same time favoring women's right to choose, of course.

no, of course it doesn't have to be 'over,' but from any non-dysfunctional metaphysical perspective it clearly is when it comes to homo industrialis. you can't just cherry-pick future mosquito nets and malaria vaccines and a fictional steady-state ethos and whatever average lifespan that appeals to you. what you see is what you get. and what we have is permanent oligarchy. where does your anarchism fit-in with the neo-'Progress' of the chinese FYPs? (have you read part 2 of RE's LPWP series? BTW - you'll like his uncharacteristically rosy part 3. [sorry, i'm offline so no link.]) i ask because, despite your anarchist preface at the beginning of this thread, you appear, in your enthiusiasms, to relish compartmentalizing it in favor of, when we get down to brass tacks, drop-in-the-bucket geoengineering.

favoring quantity of life in and of itself does is not what is perjoratively conventional.

as for womens' right to choose - i prefer life-consciousness over the Progressive false-consciousness. this does not necessarily disinclude abortion nor infanticide nor geronticide nor suicide.


2. At what cost? -- I know what you're saying, and I hate the way things have been
set up, so that every developed-world human life winds up costing mega-tons of
resources (unnecessarily), and also makes life more difficult (even impossible) for some
species, such as other large mammals and fish. Note well the "unnecessarily", however.
In other words, this can be changed, and on some fronts it is being changed, ALL TOO
SLOWLY, but there is some change; I'm looking forward to more of such change.  Some
(TOO FEW) of the bad effects of humans on the rest of the biosphere have been
mitigated in recent decades.  Much as I don't approve of the methods of the Green
Revolution, I have to admit (facts compel me) that it has resulted in more total biomass
on earth, which is good.  I note also that the erosion of forested land worldwide has
been slowed quite a lot over the last 2 decades, and reversed in some areas. The
progress on these fronts is much too slow for my taste; and yet, I have to admit that
there is at least some awareness and action in the right direction. I can also see that
it is well within the potential of humans to do much better. We're a smart specie. Those
big brains took a long time to evolve, and we COULD use them to do more building and
healing.  To return for just a moment to one theme of this thread: the Chinese example
of large-scale ecological restoration is quite inspiring in this regard.

why is more biomass but less diversity a good thing?

i think "restoration" is a very poor choice when talking about forest management. forest management isn't remotely inspiring with boardfeet in the lexicon.

Quote
Quote
why bother, as an anarchist, arguing for contextless benefits of an industrially-
Regulated Group Mind over a preindustrial one?
Yeah, you might say that. But it IS awfully easy for us to say, is it not? I mean,
we've GOT the extra 40-50 years -- during which to make clever points about
the meaninglessness of context-free benefits.  Would those points mean
anything to someone dying at age 12 of some horrible infection?

would those points mean anything to a black man unjustly incarcerated, and medicated, for the last 50 years, who has not been allowed to kill himself for 45 of them? tit for tat, man.  :P
What are you saying?  I am as opposed to the prison-industrial complex, and
its built-in racism, as anyone. Does your example, or the fact that some people
live miserable long lives,  render valueless the overall improvement in life
expectancy?  I don't think so.

i was just cherry-picking back at you. continuing in this vein, does your example, or the fact that some people live short lives, render valueless the preindustrial state of life expectancy? i don't think so. this is not a anti-life statement.

Quote
Quote
Quote
besides, what is so phenomenal about your lifespan statistic? it is the norm
for rapidly industrializing countries is it not?
Yes, the norm for pre-industrial vs. industrial. AND phenomenal. An extension of
life on that order is, to me, stunning. Very impressive.  And we take it for granted!
Just like your comment: "What's the big deal, Alan?"  Or like Ash's comment,
oblivious to the huge upside.  But it IS a big deal, for the people newly affected.
A very big deal.

fine, it's impressive on a statistical level. but so what? it just strikes me as a rather abstract argument.

I'm astonished. You don't think the statistics represent human values, overall?
To hell with the statistics, if you like; it is damn impressive on a HUMAN level.
Do you know many people who really, truly, would prefer to be dead?

A

what is most relevant in you lifespan statistic is that its demographic variation is no longer based on geographical location but rather the whims of the control structure.

what are human values? do they exist in isolation? is there such a thing as a local value? Truth is a value.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 26, 2012, 05:15:00 PM
Quote
why is more biomass but less diversity a good thing?

Of course we both know the answer is it's not a good thing.  Alan on the other hand...

The resilience of systems are defined by their diversity, not their numeracy.  Increasing biomass of the human species at the expense of other species, thereby reducing biodiversity, diminishes the resilience of ecosystems to future shocks.  Our survival depends on our dynamic equilibrium with other species and biological systems.  Increasing biomass and disrupting such equilibrium erodes the very foundations of our existence.  Citing an increase of biomass as a positive reflects a gross ignorance of biological systems understanding.  As an example, the increase of reindeer biomass on St. Matthews island was not beneficial to their long term survival.

Alan appears to believe that everyone would choose to live, if given the choice (correct me if my assumption is wrong).  Of course that decision can only be contemplated by the living, but he erroneously extends this to the unborn.  Denying birth to billions more is thus considered a negative.  Alan believes the more the merrier, and that we can provide a reasonable quality of life for as many humans as we can imagine, despite much evidence (see history) to the contrary.  Due to a perverse moral imperative to reduce suffering, he advocates a position which causes even greater suffering than he seeks to avoid.  Alan mistakenly believes that human inventiveness can forever overcome the laws of biological life.  In fact, it seems he has a serious deficit in understanding the fundamentals of life itself, which fosters foolish thinking.  To Alan, laws are to be challenged, limits are to be dismissed.  Hubris is to be embraced with the all powerful arms of God's Special Little Creature.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on July 26, 2012, 05:52:52 PM

Good grief! I don't have the time -- or the interest -- to read all this dude's page-after-page of bilge. I don't have time or interest to read Leo Maugeri's bilge either -- and he has a Harvard University imprint rather than 'Jimmy-crack-cornball' non-version of an imprint.

You gotta get a clue, RE: he's just another cornucopian. There are millions of harmless ones out there, ignorable chum, useful idiots for big business.

Worthwhile arguments are self-evident. There is no such thing here, nothing to stand on its own, rather repeated nonsense, this is not an argument it is spam.

Some of these guys are professionals who invade message boards like yours with the intent of being disruptive. If they are not paid they are ideologically motivated. Frankly, from with what little I take the time to look at, he has no particular idea to promote other than the fact that he is here. Simply get rid of him or tell him to behave or else.

Any visitor over here is a guest and has the obligation of all guests to be mindful of others as well as the nature of the topic or subject-matter. The name of this forum ('Ted Nugent's House') implies a certain mindset: yr dude is over here looking for a brawl.

Spammers are always trying to sell something. Just get rid of him, I can't do it for you or I would.

Obviously you are unaware of my No Ban Policy.

Having spent as long as I did on the PeakOil forum, I'm well aware of the paid Oil Industry and Goobermint Trolls who haunt these boards.  They don't really bother me though because they are fun to pound on.  :D

Insofar as your taking time to rebut him, I figured since you regularly China Bash on the Undertow that you probably had some canned stuff you could just copy/paste in.  If not, no problemo.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on July 26, 2012, 07:51:16 PM
Quote
I suspect he means MALTHUS, not Darwin. But, either way, the deal is that
things have turned out opposite to that prediction. More food ("surplus of vital
resources") has NOT led to an increase in the rate of population growth. Rather,
what we're seeing is a decrease.  As I said up thread, fertility has fallen off a
cliff in all those places where it was supposed to be exploding:  India, China,
elsewhere in Asia. In contrast, fertility remains very high in places, like southern
Africa,  where there is a persistent DEFICIT of vital resources -- the opposite of
what Dilworth et al suggest.

The observable effect has been consistent with the vicious circle principle.  We saw an initial increase in the growth rate due to the surplus delivered by the Green Revolution.  As population rose to meet the available surplus, thereby reducing it, the growth rate correspondingly fell and continues to do so.  With the next turning of the vicious cycle, the same process will occur.  GMO foods are just one example of our aim to deliver yet another surplus which will enable yet another spike in the growth rate.  We must also keep in perspective what we're talking about with reduction in the growth rate when even small percentages deliver high total population figures.  Despite your citation of slowing growth rates, we're still on target for 10 billion people by the end of this century! 

Yes of course a deficit of vital resources is a problem, but so is a surplus.  These are the two extremes of the scale.  As usual, balance is the key.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 27, 2012, 12:24:19 AM
Alan,
I have just spent several hours reading this thread. Although I am not as optimistic as you are about the overall potential of Homo sapiens to surmount the coming environmental collapse, I have reasons, good reasons from researching the cost of renewables from PV to wind, to believe the stats from China in this regard. THEY are the ones that have FORCED the price of PV down by mass producing them while WE dragged our feet. With the exception of Germany and its big push to go full renewable with various technologies from geothermal to wind, the oil pigs in our government(s) have been ruling the roost in the Western world with their predatory capitalist view that if energy can't be metered, it's not worth investing in. The fact that private investment in renewables is the fastest growing energy investment here is a testament to corporate recognition here that China is pushing renewables big time. It's all about competition but China has the biggest wallet right now.

As to all the China bears here, I don't get it. Are we all, as Doomstead Diners, ready to hoist the jolly roger and trash old glory for imperial polices involving wars and polluting, resource extraction fascist crap UNTIL another country threatens to pass us by as a world power? Is all this vitriol about the "commies" in China some kind of hidden jingoism? Is this a "nobody fucks the world better than we do" thing?

Sure, China has probably as many assholes at the top as we have BUT, they have been dealing with the FUTURE that hasn't quite arrived here yet as to massive pollution in the air, water and land. Our fucks are still playing hide and seek with reality. Their fucks GET IT! They ARE doing something about it, environment wise. That green wall is the real deal. How long do you think our government would avoid massive investment in renewables if you couldn't see 20 feet in front of you in New York, Chicago and San Francisco (never mind Dallas - they wouldn't mind  :icon_mrgreen: ) from the smog pollution? What if we had a Love Canal type situation springing up in hundreds of cities from heavy metals in the soil causing birth defects? It's IN THEIR FACE, people! This is not about the "noble and far seeing" Chinese, although I give them some credit for trying to think ahead. We can get all relativistic and question everything but that hardly serves any purpose except to delegitimize an effort by Alan to provide some solid evidence of the Chinese trajectory, sorely missing in our side of the world, that admits renewables MUST be a huge part of the future. I don't think it's radical enough but Alan has admited that it may not work so I think he is being quite rational and serious in his analysis.

As to the actual value of capital investments in China and some perceived threat to their economy when they decouple from the dollar, I give you Benjamin Franklin's quote that "Possession is nine points of the law". The Chinese have all the predatory capitalist corporations by the short hairs! The loss of the US market for products is not significant because of the huge increase in trade with the BRI part of BRIC. Then there is Japan now trading directly to China without going through our currency. And how is any big corporation going to pressure China when the dollar goes to shit? Are they going to get the pentagon to nuke them or something? Those factories are ASSETS to our predatory pigs. China has all the cards on the economic front. They've also got to run like hell just to stand still on the massive environmental degradation going on. When I was a capitalist pig I used to say, "Money isn't everything, but it's way ahead of whatever is in second place!". Well, as far as China and environmental bioremediation and transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables, THEY are way ahead of whoever is in second place (probably Germany)! We can't even get our fucking government to admit global warming is real!

All that said, I share EndisNigh's concern that the technofix is a can kicking exercise that avoids the central issue of Homo sap's nasty habit of being parasitic rather than symbiotic with the biosphere. Alan has admitted that possibility. I see no reason to believe he is irrational in seeking a compromise of some sort. We are, after all, TOOL MAKERS. That's gotten us into a lot of trouble and will probably kill us. But here is where I must say that Devolution would certainly solve this "problem". A super nuclear war coupled with a massive environmental collapse would result in humans, if any survived, that possessed the tool making skills of a chimp. Radionuclides can make offspring REALLY retarded (if they aren't so genetically damaged that they die prior to birth). Nature would then keep the chimps in a nice symbiotic relationship with the rest of the biosphere out there through disease, wars (chimps have wars where they fight, kill each other and even eat the babies from the losing tribe) and predation, not to mention lack of bananas. So, it's not just a matter of moving up the evolutionary ladder. As EndisNigh implied, our obsessive tool making may be an evolutionary dead end. Something definitely has to give one way or the other.

I think Western capital markets are total bullshit laced with lies, sprinkled with hubris, arrogance, mendacity and backed by the pentagon. Any student of history will tell you that a strong military is Worth NOTHING if the country it comes from has had it's industrial base hallowed out. WE ARE THERE. Now why do you think Russia and China keep giving the US and Israel the finger over Syria? They're feeling their OATS! We shipped ours to China! Our 1% did this! They are all hat and no cattle as to putting the arm on China to do this or that.

So what HAVE we got? NUKES? Do you think the 1% wants us bombing their factories in China? NOPE. Have you looked at the size of our armed forces lately? Have you noticed how strung out and demoralized (more suicides than combat deaths) they are? Now how in the FUCK are we going to back Wall Street China rape for fun and profit with a weak military (manpowerwise) and no industrial infrastructure to supply this military in a war with a real army like that of China or Russia? Lockheed Martin or Boeing drones is mickey mouse! That doesn't scare those two. If you killed 100 million Chinese with conventional weapons they still would have plenty of infrastructure and population to invade us if they got really pissed. We should all breathe a sigh of relief that the Chinese aren't calling more of our bluffs.
THIS is what our "leveraged" credit markets are all about. It's all bullshit.
 

My wife worries about the Chinese. My wife is a big girl 5 feet 10 inches tall and she nearly got run over by two Chinese ladies at least 8 inches shorter than her in the supermarket isle. They were going for some veggies my wife was eyeing and they really went for them. It's anecdotal but I believe the Chinese are very single minded when they decide something has to be done. I think they have decided that renewables are  IT. I think they are nuts to want to built 400 nukes but maybe some geothermal technology will convince them there is a cheaper and less dangerous way to boil water. Unlike us, they want it cheaper AND sustainable for the long haul so 2 + 2 may just equal 4 in China when the biosphere is part of the energy equation.

We have yet to simply say, enough, to fossil and nuclear fuels. If any country finally comes around to making a steady state economy with a nuts and bolts understanding of the maximum carrying capacity of the biosphere for their population and make the necessary changes, I think China has the best shot at it right now with Germany somewhere behind. We aren't even in the starting gate. As to scaling up renewables, as long as they are state run (fully socialized utilities) and not handed to corporations, a sizable percentage of the energy pie could come from them. However, I don't see what is so all fired difficult about having a mix of low tech home renewable energy systems in place to eliminate a host of energy transportation costs. Why does the grid have to supply the energy to heat a home in winter and cool it in summer when you can get it from the ground under the house? I favor 25% scaled up and 75% decentralized but I don't really know for sure. That will only work if the VCP is defeated with a steady state economy.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 28, 2012, 04:27:36 PM
Alan,
I have just spent several hours reading this thread. Although I am not as
optimistic as you are about the overall potential of Homo sapiens to
surmount the coming environmental collapse, I have reasons, good
reasons from researching the cost of renewables from PV to wind, to
believe the stats from China in this regard. THEY are the ones that have
FORCED the price of PV down by mass producing them while WE dragged
our feet. With the exception of Germany and its big push to go full
renewable with various technologies from geothermal to wind, the oil pigs
in our government(s) have been ruling the roost in the Western world with
their predatory capitalist view that if energy can't be metered, it's not worth
investing in. The fact that private investment in renewables is the fastest
growing energy investment here is a testament to corporate recognition here
that China is pushing renewables big time. It's all about competition but China
has the biggest wallet right now.
Yes, of course you're right. That's how it is coming down. The example, as
you cite, of solar PV price collapse is compelling.

Hey, I am not all that optimistic!  It only seems that way to people who
are constitutionally incapable of seeing any of the positive stuff going on.
As I've said several times: we may crash hard, suicide ourselves, whatever.
But it is really not my concern. As long as I have any energy left to
contribute, I'll do my best to foster life over death.  Maybe I will fail, but
that is not my concern. You might even say it is none of my damn business.

Quote
As to all the China bears here, I don't get it. Are we all, as Doomstead Diners,
ready to hoist the jolly roger and trash old glory for imperial polices involving
wars and polluting, resource extraction fascist crap UNTIL another country
threatens to pass us by as a world power? Is all this vitriol about the
"commies" in China some kind of hidden jingoism? Is this a "nobody fucks the
world better than we do" thing?
Great point. It is all variations on the theme of American Exceptionalism.

Quote
Sure, China has probably as many assholes at the top as we have BUT, they
have been dealing with the FUTURE that hasn't quite arrived here yet as to
massive pollution in the air, water and land. Our fucks are still playing hide
and seek with reality. Their fucks GET IT! They ARE doing something about
it, environment wise. That green wall is the real deal.
Well said... better than me.  "Their fucks GET IT".  Hahaha!

Yeah, they're assholes too, but at least they're SMART assholes.  Most of the
time.  Ha.

Quote
How long do you think our government would avoid massive investment in
renewables if you couldn't see 20 feet in front of you in New York, Chicago
and San Francisco .... from the smog pollution? What if we had a Love Canal
type situation springing up in hundreds of cities from heavy metals in the soil
causing birth defects? It's IN THEIR FACE, people! This is not about the "noble
and far seeing" Chinese, although I give them some credit for trying to think
ahead. We can get all relativistic and question everything but that hardly serves
any purpose except to delegitimize an effort by Alan to provide some solid
evidence of the Chinese trajectory, sorely missing in our side of the world, that
admits renewables MUST be a huge part of the future. I don't think it's radical
enough but Alan has admited that it may not work so I think he is being quite
rational and serious in his analysis.
But Agelbert, don't you realize that I'm a low-life TROLL and DISINFO
AGENT on the PAYROLL of BRITISH PETROLEUM, the CIA, and the
BILDERBERGERS!?!    :D

Besides, as EndIsNigh has pointed out, China is not going DIRECTLY,
OVERNIGHT, to TOTAL 100% SUSTAINABILITY and NEGATIVE GROWTH!
Therefore, how can anything they're doing possibly be of value?

Quote
As to the actual value of capital investments in China and some perceived
threat to their economy when they decouple from the dollar, I give you
Benjamin Franklin's quote that "Possession is nine points of the law". The
Chinese have all the predatory capitalist corporations by the short hairs!
The loss of the US market for products is not significant because of the
huge increase in trade with the BRI part of BRIC.
Great point, totally unrecognized by the China bears. "Not significant"
is an overstatement; let's go with  "MUCH LESS significant than commonly
supposed".  The reason we want to believe otherwise goes back to that
old weakness of ours...  American Exceptionalism. ("We're different. We're
better. We're the light of the world. They all depend on us."  etc.)

The China bears are going to be astonished, after the fall of the dollar, how
fast China gets to its feet. BLOWN AWAY, we will be.

Quote
Then there is Japan now trading directly to China without going through
our currency. And how is any big corporation going to pressure China when
the dollar goes to shit? Are they going to get the pentagon to nuke them
or something?
Hahahaha!  Right!  We'll rattle our sabres, but without credibility.  Out with a
whimper, not a boom.

Quote
Those factories are ASSETS to our predatory pigs. China has all the cards
on the economic front. They've also got to run like hell just to stand still
on the massive environmental degradation going on.
You bet! Somehow, my posting about environmental programs in China
was interpreted as "there are no serious environmental problems in China".
But the reality is THE OPPOSITE of that, and THAT IS PRECISELY WHY THE
BIG CORRECTIVE PROGRAMS ARE NEEDED. They have HUGE problems
and indeed will have to run like hell just to stay in place, as you say. There's
no guarantee of success. But at least they're trying, and they HAVE had some
success on some fronts.  At least they are not mired in denial, as we often are.
It is truly amazing, all the negativity here about the mere fact that the Chinese
are aware and mobilized, to at least some extent. WTF?

Quote
When I was a capitalist pig I used to say, "Money isn't everything, but it's way
ahead of whatever is in second place!". Well, as far as China and environmental
bioremediation and transitioning from fossil fuels to renewables, THEY are way
ahead of whoever is in second place (probably Germany)! We can't even get
our fucking government to admit global warming is real!
All that said, I share EndisNigh's concern that the technofix is a can kicking
exercise that avoids the central issue of Homo sap's nasty habit of being parasitic
rather than symbiotic with the biosphere. Alan has admitted that possibility. I see
no reason to believe he is irrational in seeking a compromise of some sort.
A "compromise of some sort" is almost the only imaginable way through. We
are not going to get the entire world to embrace Dilworthian/Schumacherian/etc.
stern and uncompromising critiques of modernity, bigness, technology, etc. 
Ain't gonna  happen. We MIGHT, however..........

Thanks for your message.

A
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 28, 2012, 04:47:00 PM
Quote
I suspect he means MALTHUS, not Darwin. But, either way, the deal is that
things have turned out opposite to that prediction. More food ("surplus of vital
resources") has NOT led to an increase in the rate of population growth. Rather,
what we're seeing is a decrease.  As I said up thread, fertility has fallen off a
cliff in all those places where it was supposed to be exploding:  India, China,
elsewhere in Asia. In contrast, fertility remains very high in places, like southern
Africa,  where there is a persistent DEFICIT of vital resources -- the opposite of
what Dilworth et al suggest.

The observable effect has been consistent with the vicious circle principle.  We
saw an initial increase in the growth rate due to the surplus delivered by the
Green Revolution.
No. The population explosion was well underway before the Green Revolution.
The G.R. was a response to that explosion. The G.R. did not really get up a head
of steam until the late 60s, and even then was far from full implementation,
which took another 20 years. That period of  full implementation saw radical
declines in fertility and population growth rate.

Quote
  As population rose to meet the available surplus,
Sorry, this is not tenable. Fertility and population growth rate DECLINED into
the surplus, and are continuing to do so, every year.  The numbers are clear.
There is no doubt.

The only places where this is not happening are those, as I said, where there
is no surplus, only shortfall.  LACK OF FOOD, and general scarcity, PROMOTES
FERTILITY AND POPULATION GROWTH.  That is the only conclusion that is
consistent with the facts. Further, there's good reason for it. Lack of food,
and general  impoverishment, cause a (well-justified) sense of existential risk,
which causes people to want to procreate. I can post scholarly material on this
if you are interested.

The way to reduce fertility and population growth, and eventually population
itself, is to feed and take care of everybody. The Malthusian "let 'em die!"
approach DOES NOT WORK. It backfires.

This is not "cornucopianism".  This is REALITY as we've found it.

Quote
  Despite your citation of slowing growth rates, we're still on target for 10
billion people by the end of this century! 
More like by the middle of this century. That's demographic momentum
for you. It's a bitch.  However, once a the trajectory has established itself
for many decades, the same principle ensures that it will continue for many
more decades.  That means that the declining rate of population growth,
due to cause a leveling by mid-century, will likely continue on the same
path, resulting in declining population later in the century.  Hallelujah!
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 28, 2012, 04:55:40 PM
Having spent as long as I did on the PeakOil forum, I'm well aware of the paid
Oil Industry and Goobermint Trolls who haunt these boards.
R.E., as I said up thread, paranoid accusations are the real spice in the
conversation, and I hereby refuse to participate any further until a LOT more
of them are directed my way.  And please, be more creative and fashionable.
"Oil industry" and "goobermint" are soooo 90s.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 28, 2012, 05:17:46 PM
Alan,
Glad to be of service. I've been looking at the China Greentech report/plan and I'm learning about the super hassle of balancing a power grid with GWs and later on TWs of power coming from Chinese rooftops. I've been thinking about that problem and how, when houses have grid tie-ins from rooftop PV, the most expensive part of the operation is the inverters. Of course the load balancing problem is being passed to the central power generating plants and that is a huge bag of worms. I've been scratching my head about that and I got to thinking about AC vs DC. The reason we got involved with AC current is because DC has too much voltage drop over long distances to be cost effective in a centralized grid. BUT, if some basic power system that all homes need was geothermal (heating and cooling through a low tech heat exchanger) with the only electrical demand there being to run the pump and the fan(s) that assist heat exchange  you knock off a HUGE load requirement for a central electrical grid. Furthermore, if the rooftop PV (which starts out as DC current) STAYS as DC current (it's more cost effective than AC because you don't have to dish out money for the inverter and short distances are involved from source to load) and is used just for in house DC appliances, fans and lighting that do not have to be on all the time (along with easy charging for electric car battery packs), this would encourage sound energy budgeting in family units (you use what you produce and that sort of thing). The AC grid would be totally separate from this and only used basically to run things that are on 24/7 (e.g. refrigerators, freezers, security systems, etc.). This would eliminate the load balancing headache every AC utility now has when gobs of people tie into the grid with rooftop PV and/or wind power from farmers. The feast or famine nature of wind and solar won't be so hard to deal with. At any rate, I hope the Chinese start looking at DC. It has it's hazards but it's much more benign in regard to ruining DC appliances with brownouts or power surges than AC is.
At any rate, I see they are crunching the numbers on hay for biomass so that looks positive.
Here the government just came out with a PEIS plan for several southwestern states to produce renewable energy with a potential of about 21 GW (I posted it on the WBS comments thread). While this is positive I just shake my head thinking that we are planning this stuff, the Chinese have already installed far more than that on rooftops in the last decade.

since you have been at this thought process of deciding what the proper decentralized vs centralized (government utility - not corporate) scaled up power generation mix, have you given any thought on hybrid systems that use DC while using some AC from the grid separately? What do you think?
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 28, 2012, 05:22:52 PM
Quote
why is more biomass but less diversity a good thing?

Of course we both know the answer is it's not a good thing.  Alan on the other hand...
Spare me. I didn't say that diversity is not a good thing, for god's sake.
I said more biomass is a good thing.

Quote
The resilience of systems are defined by their diversity, not their numeracy.
Diversity (quality) AND number (quantity).  There is no quality without
quantity.  Diversity is meaningless unless there are significant numbers
of the diverse. As you said elsewhere: balance is the key. There is no
point emphasizing one vital and indispensable principle, such as
quality, over another, such as quantity.

Quote
  Increasing biomass of the human species at the expense of other species,
thereby reducing biodiversity, diminishes the resilience of ecosystems to future
shocks.
Good point.

Is it possible to increase the biomass of humans, as we are  now doing (for
a few more decades), while also increasing or sustaining the other species?

How can we start making a positive contribution to other species and
biological systems, improving the overall equilibrium?

Quote
Alan appears to believe that everyone would choose to live, if given the choice
(correct me if my assumption is wrong).  Of course that decision can only be
contemplated by the living, but he erroneously extends this to the unborn.
Where did I extend it to the unborn?  No, I said that those who are living,
overwhelmingly, with rare exceptions, wish to continue living.

Quote
Denying birth to billions more is thus considered a negative.
Yes, denying births in a heavy-handed, authoritarian way would be
negative. But that's not what's happening. It is all happening
voluntarily. People are spontaneously having less kids. It is wonderful!

Quote
  Alan believes the more the merrier, and that we can provide a reasonable
quality of life for as many humans as we can imagine, despite much evidence
(see history) to the contrary.
Huh? Maybe you have me confused with someone else. Like, say, a
Catholic.  (I'm agnostic.)

 I APPLAUD the steeply declining fertility and population growth rates
that I mentioned.  I am DELIGHTED that the population explosion is
on its way to being over.  There is (almost) NO POSSIBLE WAY that we
could develop a sustainable civilization if this had not happened. Of course,
we very well STILL might not develop a sustainable civilization! That's our
choice. What I mean is, now we have a chance; now we HAVE that choice.
But with the population explosion raging out of control, there was no such
chance, no such choice.

I am also happy about the fact that this demographic transition is taking
place voluntarily; no one is forcibly "denying" birth to anyone (at least
not on a mass, globally-relevant scale). THAT'S GREAT!  That's the way it
SHOULD happen! 

Quote
Alan mistakenly believes that human inventiveness can forever overcome the
laws of biological life.
Human inventiveness can do an awful lot of things. I'm not sure about
"overcoming the laws of biological life".  Is it a law of biological life for people
to die of cholera, because of polluted drinking water?
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 28, 2012, 05:38:35 PM
[snip]
 ....The AC grid would be totally separate from this and only used basically to
run things that are on 24/7 (e.g. refrigerators, freezers, security systems, etc.).
This would eliminate the load balancing headache every AC utility now has when
gobs of people tie into the grid with rooftop PV and/or wind power from farmers.
The feast or famine nature of wind and solar won't be so hard to deal with.
Sounds like a good idea.

Quote
At any rate, I hope the Chinese start looking at DC. It has it's hazards but it's
much more benign ... [snip] ... I just shake my head thinking that we are
planning this stuff, the Chinese have already installed far more than that on
rooftops in the last decade.
Yep. Racing ahead.

Quote
since you have been at this thought process of deciding what the proper
decentralized vs centralized (government utility - not corporate) scaled up
power generation mix, have you given any thought on hybrid systems that
use DC while using some AC from the grid separately? What do you think?
AG, I have little knowledge of that technical issue -- not enough to justify
expressing an opinion.  What you're suggesting sounds sensible, but
I don't know enough to say much. However, with some diligent bing
searching, I'm sure that you or I could find someone who is thoroughly
familiar with the issues, and probably who has already drafted detailed
technical writeups on the subject.  The world is filled with amazing,
smart people, and we can find them in 1/1,000th of the time that it used
to take.

A
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on July 28, 2012, 05:55:55 PM
Alan,
How true. On the internet I have learned far more than I ever did in college. I'll have do some more reading on DC vs AC. I'm always looking for inexpensive ways to do things.  :icon_mrgreen:
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on July 28, 2012, 06:44:48 PM
1.  Does quantity automatically lessen quality? Why do you say "quantity OVER quality"?
Does it have to be "over", or can it just be along-side? Leaving aside the "over quality"
part, I have to agree with the conventional view favoring quantity of life. I'm pro-life,
while at the same time favoring women's right to choose, of course.
no, of course it doesn't have to be 'over,' but from any non-dysfunctional
 metaphysical perspective it clearly is when it comes to homo industrialis. you can't
just cherry-pick future mosquito nets and malaria vaccines and a fictional steady-state
ethos and whatever average lifespan that appeals to you.
I don't have to cherry-pick any future thing; I've got RIGHT NOW things.
Mosquito nets and vaccines (that save millions of lives) are real. Long lifespans
are real. These are real accomplishments.

Quote
what you see is what you get. and what we have is permanent oligarchy. where
does your anarchism fit-in with the neo-'Progress' of the chinese FYPs?
It doesn't, I admit. I've been forced to question many of my inner dogmas over
the last 10 years, and this is one of them. I've been forced to admit that maybe
large-scale central planning IS good under some circumstances, particularly for
underdeveloped nations. Russia accomplished something very similar to China:
dramatic improvement of the lot of the mass of the people, in a very short
time, while emerging from miserable poverty (and in Russia's case, while
prosecuting a desperate, epochal war!). Quite amazing. And impossible without
heavy-duty, centralized, authoritarian control. Maybe it could have been done
some other way. I'm all ears.

Quote
(have you read part 2 of RE's LPWP series? BTW - you'll like his uncharacteristically
rosy part 3. [sorry, i'm offline so no link.])
No. What is "LPWP"?  Would be nice to have a link.

Quote
i ask because, despite your anarchist preface at the beginning of this thread, you
appear, in your enthiusiasms, to relish compartmentalizing it in favor of, when
we get down to brass tacks, drop-in-the-bucket geoengineering.
My "anarchist preface"?  Where was that?

Reply #1 on page 1 (by me):
"I think there is plenty of room for a variety of initiatives at multiple
levels. Some things should be done in decentralized fashion; other
things require rather large-scale, capital-intensive effort.  Computer chips,
for example, cannot be made in our garages (though if they COULD be,
I would welcome that)." ---  Doesn't sound all that "anarchistic" or
fanatically decentralist to me.

Do I "relish" large-scale geoengineering projects?  No. But some
of them are necessary.  It is not all going to happen in a perfectly
decentralized way.  Nice if it did, but it won't.

Quote
favoring quantity of life in and of itself does is not what is perjoratively
conventional.
Huh?

Would you please take just a little longer to write your messages,
develop your sentences a little better, and improve the formatting?

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2. At what cost? -- I know what you're saying, and I hate the way things have been
set up, so that every developed-world human life winds up costing mega-tons of
resources (unnecessarily), and also makes life more difficult (even impossible) for some
species, such as other large mammals and fish. Note well the "unnecessarily", however.
In other words, this can be changed, and on some fronts it is being changed, ALL TOO
SLOWLY, but there is some change; I'm looking forward to more of such change.  Some
(TOO FEW) of the bad effects of humans on the rest of the biosphere have been
mitigated in recent decades.  Much as I don't approve of the methods of the Green
Revolution, I have to admit (facts compel me) that it has resulted in more total biomass
on earth, which is good.  I note also that the erosion of forested land worldwide has
been slowed quite a lot over the last 2 decades, and reversed in some areas. The
progress on these fronts is much too slow for my taste; and yet, I have to admit that
there is at least some awareness and action in the right direction. I can also see that
it is well within the potential of humans to do much better. We're a smart specie. Those
big brains took a long time to evolve, and we COULD use them to do more building and
healing.  To return for just a moment to one theme of this thread: the Chinese example
of large-scale ecological restoration is quite inspiring in this regard.
why is more biomass but less diversity a good thing?
I didn't say less diversity is a good thing. I said more biomass is a good
thing. I favor more biomass, generally. I also favor diversity. They are not
incompatible, but complementary, usually. It is true that monocultures
develop biomass with less biodiversity; this is not good, but it is better
than no biomass at all. If the ONLY way to reclaim desertified areas were
to sew monocultures, then I would favor it. We need more biomass of
all kinds, particularly non-human. Trees, grasses, amphibians, arthropods,
mammals, unicellular organisms, ALL of it.  I'm pro-life.

Yes, the Green Revolution sucked in many respects; low diversity was
one of them. But it also had some good aspects. Acknowledging the
good aspects will not cause you to dry up and blow away, and it does
not undermine your higher and better principles.

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i think "restoration" is a very poor choice when talking about forest management.
forest management isn't remotely inspiring with boardfeet in the lexicon.[/color]
OK. Whatever you call it, there's more trees growing than there were. That's
good. It absorbs CO2. It freshens the air. It holds water in the soil. It creates
habitats for many creatures. It is GOOD.

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why bother, as an anarchist, arguing for contextless benefits of an industrially-
Regulated Group Mind over a preindustrial one?
Yeah, you might say that. But it IS awfully easy for us to say, is it not? I mean,
we've GOT the extra 40-50 years -- during which to make clever points about
the meaninglessness of context-free benefits.  Would those points mean
anything to someone dying at age 12 of some horrible infection?

would those points mean anything to a black man unjustly
incarcerated, and medicated, for the last 50 years, who has not been
allowed to kill himself for 45 of them? tit for tat, man.  :P
What are you saying?  I am as opposed to the prison-industrial complex, and
its built-in racism, as anyone. Does your example, or the fact that some people
live miserable long lives,  render valueless the overall improvement in life
expectancy?  I don't think so.

i was just cherry-picking back at you. continuing in this vein, does
your example, or the fact that some people live short lives, render valueless
the preindustrial state of life expectancy? i don't think so. this is not a anti-life
statement.
Yes. My example, multiplied by millions of similar, renders valueless
that harsh aspect of preindustrial life, assuming it to have had any value
to begin with.  Do you  think it had any value?

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besides, what is so phenomenal about your lifespan statistic? it is the norm
for rapidly industrializing countries is it not?
Yes, the norm for pre-industrial vs. industrial. AND phenomenal. An extension of
life on that order is, to me, stunning. Very impressive.  And we take it for granted!
Just like your comment: "What's the big deal, Alan?"  Or like Ash's comment,
oblivious to the huge upside.  But it IS a big deal, for the people newly affected.
A very big deal.

fine, it's impressive on a statistical level. but so what? it just strikes me
as a rather abstract argument.

I'm astonished. You don't think the statistics represent human values, overall?
To hell with the statistics, if you like; it is damn impressive on a HUMAN level.
Do you know many people who really, truly, would prefer to be dead?

A

what is most relevant in you lifespan statistic is that its demographic
variation is no longer based on geographical location but rather the whims of
the control structure.
what are human values? do they exist in isolation? is there such a thing as a
local value? Truth is a value.
Sorry, I don't understand what you're saying about "geographical location and
the whims of the control structure".
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 02, 2012, 06:44:20 PM

Not discussed in any detail on earlier pages (this thread) is one other highly
significant factor: the way in which wealth, in the distilled and concentrated form
of gold and silver, are moving East. Once the Western downward manipulation
of the gold and silver markets comes to an end, (the manipulation is now fairly
well-documented, in addition to being easily predicted on common-sense grounds),
these metals will be revalued dramatically upward, and the larger holders (BRICS)
will suddenly have much more financial power in the world. The dollar will collapse
in terms of the metals, and the real holders of wealth will be left standing. I fully
expect to learn that the U.S.'s vaunted Fort Knox gold (8K tons) has been
stolen, replaced with gold-plated tungsten, leased-out, rehypothecated, or
otherwise somehow rendered null and void; timeframe: 5-10 years.

Quote

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-world%E2%80%99s-gold-moving-west-east (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-world%E2%80%99s-gold-moving-west-east)

Guest Post: The World’s Gold Is Moving From West To East - 07/30/2012

Did you know that, according to Capgemini and the Royal Bank of Canada’s latest World Wealth Report, there are now more millionaires in Asia than North America…? An estimated 3.37 million individuals in the Asia-Pacific region have a liquid net worth of over US$1 million. That compares to 3.35 million in North America. The same trend is evident in the gold market. While the current world hubs for gold trading and storage are London, Zurich, and New York, stores of physical metal are also beginning to migrate east. Gold storage facilities are springing up all over Asia like mushrooms after a summer rain. Back in 2009, the Hong Kong Airport Authority set up the first secure gold storage facility inside the confines of the Hong Kong Airport. This September, Malca-Amit, the Tel Aviv-based diamonds and precious metals company is opening a second state of the art facility at the airport, which will have capacity for 1,000 metric tons of gold. That compares to the 4,582 tons that the US government claims is in Fort Knox, and the record 2,414 million tons that the world’s exchange traded gold funds collectively held – mostly in London– as of July 5th.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on August 03, 2012, 10:58:59 AM
Alan,
Yes, and Australia clearly knows which side of its bread the butter is on. They just told the U.S. Navy where they could put their "China encircling" plans (see "Aussies stand their ground" post).

China just told the U.S. where it could put its sanctions on a bank in Honk Kong dealing with Iran.

Meanwhile, Bernanke is turning the U.S. stock market into another version of Zimbabwe's a few years back with his constant devaluing of the U.S. dollar by having the dealer banks collect swag fees from we-the-people for running HFT programs that jack up the market. Trillions of dollars pilfered for Wall Street BULL(shit) market pig lipstick on the U.S. Greater Depression economy has certainly gotten China's attention. They know they are being scammed. It's the old story of the REAL reason corporations sell stock. The "for public (suckers) consumption" reason is to obtain investment capital to purchase plant and equipment. The REAL reason is to offload risk onto the suckers so the top dogs can do some heavy insider selling and get away with grand larceny and fraud before the corporation implodes. China sees the Bernanke currency devaluation as a fraud on a national scale and is moving to do some tit-for-tat. Bernanke will go down in history as the stupidest crook that ever carried water for Wall/War Street.  As to the neocon "China and Russia" encirclement/containment insanity, Alexander the Great learned the hard way as did the Roman Empire centuries later that an army moves on its stomach. When the currency goes to shit, the logistics goes to shit and the armies of Rome start coming home. We are just about there. I am certain that the move by many, many nations that want to leash the mad, war loving empire are quietly moving to remove the dollar as the world's reserve currency.
But injured barbarians are very dangerous so it's going to get rather wild out there for a while.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on August 03, 2012, 11:43:00 AM
Alan,
I don't know much about acupuncture but I recently took to task a "The Scientist" article on alternative medicine that starts out reasonably well and then proceeds to dismiss thousands of years of Chinese knowledge in regard to acupuncture as a "placebo". This arrogance, hubris and pseudo-scientific attitude really pisses me off. The article author again stuck his overeducated foot in his mouth by warning of all the "dangers" in folk medicine remedies and the use of natural substances for healing or recreation. This "everybody that isn't a modern scientist is obviously a barbarian idiot with an IQ below 90" attitude is the kind of hubris that is destroying the scientific method. Several commenters gave him elegant critiques showing how slanted in favor of many dangerous big pharma drugs he was and how he highlighted anecdotally, and therefore unscientifically, a few isolated incidents of harm from natural substances. But I pitched in too:

I applaud this article for pointing out that important reality about the 4,000 years of Cannabis use.
As to dangers of psychoactive substances in nature, I wish to remind our scientific community of a U.S. government study nearly 12 years old now that found that an average 106,000 people die each year from pharmaceutical related adverse side effects. the actual suicides in this group are statistically insignificant. These deaths are from prescribed medications at therapeutic doses. With this kind of track record, one that the use and abuse of natural substances does not now or ever had, it is a tad ridiculous to voice concerns about all the poisons in nature such as alkaloids in many plants. Mankind did quite well prior to the scientific method in recognizing dangerous substances and passing that information about what to eat (and how much of it was toxic) for nutrition and/or disease prevention onto subsequent keepers of that knowledge among the various cultures. The fact that they didn't perform FDA double blind tests on mammalian models in a statistically significant group only invalidates this wisdom when a scientist becomes opinionated and disdainful about the critical thinking skills of his ancestors. I say it's time for a little more humility and a little less arrogance. The reason worldwide deaths are low from natural substances is because nature doesn't concentrate her poisons like the pharmaceutical does. Any serious scientist knows this. Furthermore, like the current view that acupuncture is a placebo (conveniently disparaging thousands of years of Chinese intelligence, critical thinking and empirical observations), the fact that we cannot measure biochemical cause and effect does not mean that there is no biochemical cause and effect. The fault, as has happened previously in other areas of medical science (e.g. the ridiculous view of heart function prior to the understanding of electricity's role in a natural pacemaker), is probably in our instrumentation. The blind faith is more on the side of empiricists that claim something isn't there because they can't measure it. Pasteur and Lister encountered EXACTLY the same kind of arrogant dismissals and bigoted behavior.

It's time for the government to stop dictating what natural substances people put in their bodies. If, or when, the associated deaths of users exceeds prescribed medication deaths or targeted species predation from some real or imagined substance people are using threatens extinction. then science should sound the alarm. Until then, science should be screaming from the rooftops that statistically you are more likely to die from prescribed medication than an overdose of foxglove leaves.

http://the-scientist.com/2012/07/01/alternative-medicines/#comment-603918015 (http://the-scientist.com/2012/07/01/alternative-medicines/#comment-603918015)
 
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 05, 2012, 03:53:07 AM
I recently took to task a "The Scientist" article on alternative medicine that starts out reasonably well and then proceeds to dismiss thousands of years of Chinese knowledge in regard to acupuncture as a "placebo". This arrocance, hubris and pseudo-scientific attitude really pisses me off.  The article author again stuck his overeducated foot in his mouth by warning of all the "dangers" in folk medicine remedies and the use of natural substances for healing or recreation.
You're preaching to the choir, here, AG.  Far as I am concerned, anyway.   :)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 05, 2012, 04:26:13 AM
China sees the Bernanke currency devaluation as a fraud on a national scale and is moving to do some tit-for-tat. Bernanke will go down in history as the stupidest crook that ever carried water for Wall/War Street....
 I am certain that the move by many, many nations that want to leash the mad, war loving empire are quietly moving to remove the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

Right.

The hell of it all is, we are (as a group, as a nation) going to deserve what
we get.

I keep trying to explain this to my lefty compadres. They are (rightly) concerned
about social justice, and about how the working class has been getting the shaft.
But unfortunately they do not see how the working and middle classes (and even
the poor) in the West have been greatly privileged classes from a global standpoint.
We are RICH, even those of us of the most modest means, and we've gotten rich,
and stayed rich,  off the backs of others the world over. Now, the power and wealth
are shifting their way, and they're unlikely to just forgive and forget.  Is this not
justice, of a sort?  THAT'S the stinger that no one wants to see.

Below is a post I wrote last winter to this effect.  Key line:  "Is it a paradox,
or is it poetic justice, that we, the beneficiaries of global looting for many
decades, are now being looted?  Whatever. We danced with the Devil
and had our fun, and  now the Devil is leaving the party with a younger,
sexier mate."


I can't really put it any better than that. We danced with the Devil and had our
fun, and  now the Devil is leaving the party with a younger, sexier mate.

The U.S. has never had much class consciousness or solidarity amongst workers
and those of modest means. As some pundit said, poor people in the U.S. just
think of themselves as temporarily embarrassed rich people.  Everyone is
looking for their chance to "make it". This is about to come back and bite
us in the ass in a very big way.

Quote

http://markmaynard.com/2012/01/whats-really-likely-to-happen-if-the-ypsi-income-tax-doesnt-pass/#comment-373668 (http://markmaynard.com/2012/01/whats-really-likely-to-happen-if-the-ypsi-income-tax-doesnt-pass/#comment-373668)

alan2102

Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

Demetrious: "You're right, the center of economic power IS
shifting - but not so much from West to East, as from the
bottom 99% to the top 1%."

It is Both/And, Demmy. The 1% is richer than ever, AND they
have decided to pull up stakes and move East. They see that
the economic dynamism, underlaid in part by lower wages,
greater energy resources, and younger and educated
populations, is now in the East, and that the West is
exhausted, aging and staggering under impossible loads of
debt, corruption and sky-high cost structures (prominently:
medical, and military). Capital is in the process of cutting
itself loose from the sinking ship of the West, and moving on
to greener pastures. It doesn't need us anymore. The only way
to stop this would be a good old-fashioned Trotsky-style
global proletarian revolution, followed by dictatorship of the
(global) proletariat and the institution of a new egalitarian
global regime. And there are some signs that that might
possibly occur. It is not likely, but it is possible. We can
always hope.

D: "The main reason many states, counties and cities (like
Ypsilanti) are struggling is because much of the wealth that
used to exist in our neighborhoods and communities has been
looted by wealthy elites in their quest to go from just being
super-rich, to being *obscenely* rich."

CORRECT. They've been looted, or are in the process of being
looted, and the loot (capital) is moving East. Is it a
paradox, or is it poetic justice, that we, the beneficiaries
of global looting for many decades, are now being looted?
Whatever. We danced with the Devil and had our fun, and now
the Devil is leaving the party with a younger, sexier mate.

D: "The fact is this: If corporations and the very wealthy
were required to pay even a FRACTION of the taxes they paid
only a few decades ago, there would be plenty of money to pay
decent wages and benefits to public-sector workers today; as
well to provide a decent retirement for retirees. But instead,
these powerful interests have used their political influence
to demand tax cut, after tax cut, after tax cut - until we
have finally reached the stage where many state and local
coffers are nearly empty."

CORRECT, provided that you're talking only about the U.S., or
U.S. plus the rest of the developed world. There would be
plenty of money to pay everyone in the U.S. a much nicer wage.

The problem is that the wealth and the corporations (in short:
capital) are moving away. They've BEEN moving away for some
years, (witness Detroit, over the last 50 years), and the
process is accelerating. How do you propose to stop this? Pass
a law forcing capital to stay here? That would be suicidal.
That would be the end of the bond market, and the end of the
dollar; i.e. catastrophic collapse of the whole system here.
Total economic (and probably political and social) collapse.

Furthermore, there's an ethical and social justice aspect to
this. Do you really want to maintain the global system of
depredation and looting that has made and kept us rich - at
the expense of everyone else - over the last century?

The U.S. exists in the context of an entire world, and in that
world, even abolishing the corporations and seizing 100% of
the wealth of the rich would not provide plenty of money to
pay everyone U.S.-style wages. It is simple arithmetic. Global
GDP is nearly $70 trillion, and global population is about 7
billion. Hence, global GDP per capita is about $10K. Hence, to
pay one person $100K means that 19 other people, somewhere,
must suffer a pay cut from $10K down to $5K. That is in fact
what happened for many years. We got our $100K salaries,and it
was at the expense of a great deal of poverty, elsewhere.

If by some twist of fate we did pull off that "Trotsky-style
global proletarian revolution", followed by "institution of a
new egalitarian global regime", it would mean that most
"middle class" people in the OECD would have to suffer a major
pay cut, in order to re-balance things. Again, it is simple
arithmetic. This is not my "theory"; it is plain and
easily-verifiable fact.

I say "middle class" in quotation marks since the definition
of "middle class" varies tremendously, depending. (And this is
why I keep asking you, Demmy, for definitions of such fuzzy
terms; you never reply, but you keep on using the terms.) The
World Bank defines middle class, in its global statistical
analyses, as household income of $5-15K per year. Yes, you
read right: $5-15K. And that is perfectly appropriate. That
really IS middle class, or nearly, taking the phrase at its
literal value (the middle, and close to the average, of the
whole distribution) in the global context.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 05, 2012, 05:05:02 AM
THE GLOBAL 1%: ANYONE OVER CIRCA $50K/YEAR

The global 1% dividing line is about  $50K/year income. 
Slightly less, actually; 47.5K. But 50K is a good mnemonic.

See: http://globalrichlist.com/ (http://globalrichlist.com/)

The majority of people in the developed world are in the
global 1%, in terms of income. Wealth, however, is different,
and 1%-ers by that standard would be fewer (wealth is more
concentrated than income).

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on August 07, 2012, 06:27:19 PM
Alan,
The global "1%" is a meme for the policy makers in every country including the third world or first world members of the "empires R us" elite group of predators. I think it is splitting hairs to show how rich first world citizens are in comparison with the third world by using the dollar metric. The quality of life in dirt poor countries can be much higher than first world country existence defined by crap buying consumers pretending they are "rich" because they have stuff. The issue is having POWER to perpetuate a predatory system. Those people making 100k or less in first world countries don't have it. They CAN, like leeches, go along for the ride but the reason the system continues has more to do with a successful propaganda machine than swag for all the "rich" people making 15k to 100k a year. There are vegetable and fruit markets all over the world in dirt poor countries that beat the hell out of ANYTHING we've got here in the USA because they aren't industrialized and homogenized into a narrow selection of "marketable" foodstuffs. Are you not aware of how first world country fruit magnates destroyed fruit and vegetable variety for profit since the early 20th century? And every single one of these dirt poor countries has people that are millionaires and areas with fabulous mansions. Go to google earth and see for yourself! I refuse to group an entire country in the "you are as guilty as the top dogs" category. It's simply not true. While it is true that people continue to engage in activities that hurt others over seas, that "hurt" is peanuts compared with the hurt the elite that force people to pay taxes to support monstrous military machines that rape the planet for corporate profit and selective death for OUR poor and middle class perpetrate. I applaud the crashing of the dollar if it will stop this evil. Do you think I give a shit about surviving on 5k or less a year if that is the price to pay for stopping all this evil? Bring it on! There is a LOT of stupid greed in the USA but it is concentrated on OUR 1%. Our people do not want more war but we are not in control. Is having a cell phone a mark of a high standard of living? I refused to buy one and never will. If I have to walk to the corner general store to use a pay phone like they used to do in poor countries because my land line is destroyed, so be it. If I don't have to put up with bullshit ordinances that don't let me keep a horse and homemade cart and force me to jump through hoops to get my car to pass inspection because the local government and infrastructure has collapsed into third world status, THAT would be a welcome change from the town council horseshit of vaunted first world status. Do you think I give a shit if I can't go to the movies, a concert, a country club pool, the mall or eat out? I stopped doing all that shit years ago, shovel my own snow and have a push mower. Intermittent electrical power is a price I would be glad to pay for not having a planet killing military. Most people in the USA have all these "conveniences" because they have been SADDLED with them by the "1%". When they go, I won't miss them and I'll wager quality of life will actually improve. I've got a car with broken muffler outside right now. If I didn't life in a "first" world country, I could use a hanger and some metal splints to rig up an electrolysis seal on it after a few days. But no, we are too specialized and to official this and that for jury rigging repairs like they did in the last depression. The "first" world bureaucratic bullshit is so thick you can cut it with a knife! Sorry Alan, I feel no guilt for all the poor bastards out there in third world countries. I know who caused all this misery and it was the policy makers and corporate poobahs who, as Dr. Phil says, are the ones getting the lion's share of the swag out of it. They didn't baby the first world populations for charitable reasons; it was a clever PR move and most people realize they were sold a bill of goods because the rug is getting pulled out from under them now. We can argue percentages all day but the bastards that keep this crap going are clearly identified here AND in third world countries. You severely overestimate the quality of life in the USA for the 50k or less group and severely underestimate the benefits of living in a third world environment free of excessive bureaucracy. You need another metric besides the dollar or GDP. That gives you bad data on the quality of life and happines of the citizenry. I know third world countries can be red tape hell but if you stay away from the cities, life has less restrictions than here. Why don't I move? My wife refuses to. If it weren't for her I would have moved to a boat or some cheap nowhereland long ago. Besides, having a pacemaker doesn't help. If I was in a third world country when my heart stopped, I would have left this valley of tears in 2007. So I am guilty of being complicit in animal torture (pacemaker trials) and the infrastructure borne of war and combat medice that led to pacemakers in empire land. Big fucking deal. I did not choose this life. It just happened and I know who the REAL guilty parties are for the present planetary clusterfuck.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 08, 2012, 05:27:23 PM
Alan,
The global "1%" is a meme for the policy makers in every country
including the third world or first world members of the "empires R
us" elite group of predators.
That's surely what everyone would like to think. That's what I would like
to think. But it is not quite true.  We would all love to blame  the bad
guys at the top; I share in this. And it is true that the bad guys at the
top are to blame for a LOT.  But it is not the whole story.

Quote
I think it is splitting hairs to show how rich first world citizens are in
comparison with the third world by using the dollar metric. The quality of life
in dirt poor countries can be much higher than first world country existence
There's some truth in this, but not much. We ARE rich, and not just in
terms of some glittery unnecessary consumer objects.  And I can assure you
that life here is vastly better than in truly dirt poor countries.

Quote
The issue is having POWER to perpetuate a predatory system. Those people
making 100k or less in first world countries don't have it.
There's some truth in this also -- more than in your previous statement.
However, consider that we DO have the power to perpetuate a predatory
system. We exercise that power every day, as we assent to the system's
structure and operations, and (usually) participate in them, in some
capacity.

Quote
I refuse to group an entire country in the "you are as guilty as the top
dogs" category.
I agree! I never said that "you are as guilty", and I wouldn't.
I just said: wait a minute, before you go blithely and thoughtlessly
assuming yourself to be in the (oppressed) 99%.  For most people in
the West, this really is not so. We are the beneficiaries of the system's
depredations. That does NOT mean that we are "as guilty as the top
dogs".  We are not as guilty as they are; but we ARE guilty, to an
uncomfortable extent.  Or, I should say: we are responsible.

Our problem cannot, unfortunately, be reduced to a simple "us versus
them" moral story.  We have met the enemy, and he is he, AND he is
us. Both.  Strange, but true.

Quote
While it is true that people continue to engage in activities that hurt
others over seas, that "hurt" is peanuts compared with the hurt the elite
that force people to pay taxes to support monstrous military machines that
rape the planet for corporate profit and selective death for OUR poor and
middle class perpetrate.
We don't have to participate.  The system certainly depends on our
participation and ongoing effective approval, however.  The system would
grind to a halt overnight if we were to withdraw our consent.

Quote
I applaud the crashing of the dollar if it will stop this evil. Do you think
I give a shit about surviving on 5k or less a year if that is the price to
pay for stopping all this evil? Bring it on!
Well, hallelujah for you!  Seriously. That's a GREAT attitude -- and one
that is shared by perhaps 0.0194% of your fellow 'merikans.

Quote
There is a LOT of stupid greed in the USA but it is concentrated on
OUR 1%.
My friend, I wish to God(dess) you were right, but I am certain that
you are wrong.

Quote
Our people do not want more war but we are not in control.
Of course. No one wants war -- nominally. The question is, what would
be the reaction to the conditions of no more war, like collapse of the
dollar, collapse of the military-industrial-security complex, and so on.
I can tell you what the reaction would (will) be: "Nooooo! Bring back
the good old days!"  And at that point everyone will show up at the
polls to vote overwhelmingly for the worst neo-fascist demagogues
who promise to bring back the good old days. That's how fascism
happens.  One of the great scholars of fascism, I think it was Roger
Griffin, called it "palingenetic ultranationalism" -- the "palingenetic"
part referring to the idea of rising from the ashes to rebuild a
great nation/empire, one that has been taken down by unjust
attacks and subversive activity.  That sounds to me EXACTLY
like what is most likely to happen here.  The demagogues will find
suitable scapegoats; hell, they already have: muslims, leftists,
communists, liberals, "terrorists" (all of the foregoing groups
being suspected "terrorists"), and so on.  They will tell us that
the collapse of the dollar, and with it our ("great") way of life, was
caused by financial terrorists, subversives in our midst, foreign
enemies, and so on. They will tell us that if we could just rid
ourselves of the parasites and vipers, those plotting against us, we
can once again be the GREATEST NATION ON EARTH, blah blah. They
will play gullible Americans like a fiddle with this fake mythopoetic
exceptionalist crap. The people will buy it, and we'll be off to the
races (to hell).  I earnestly wish that this were not so, but I am
all but certain that it is.

Quote
Do you think I give a shit if I can't go to the movies, a concert, a country
club pool, the mall or eat out? I stopped doing all that shit years ago
Once again: hallelujah for you, Agelbert!  That's terrific. But you must
understand that the vast majority of your countrymen will think you less
than truly AMERICAN for this behavior of yours.   ;)

Quote
Most people in the USA have all these "conveniences" because they have
been SADDLED with them by the "1%".
As of 100 years ago (pre-Bernays era) that was true, but those days are
long gone. Almost everyone in the U.S. now thinks all these consumer objects
and whatnot to be essential.  I'm not, of course, saying that they are right;
just pointing out the fact of where most people are at.

Quote
Sorry Alan, I feel no guilt for all the poor bastards out there in third world
countries.
I feel no guilt either. I do, however, feel a measure of responsibility, which is
a different thing.

Quote
You severely overestimate the quality of life in the USA for the 50k or less group
Again, I'll give a little credit on this one, but not much. The quality of life here
is pretty damn good, relative to undeveloped places. That's part of the reason
that people are flocking in unprecedented droves to the cities,  where they have
a hope of getting some semblance of a better life -- like you and I have been
living all along.  We tend to take things for granted. Hell, we take TONS for
granted, as though it did not even exist!  On a post in another thread I was
discussing all the advantages of living here; I mentioned public health
infrastructure -- which happens to be an excellent example of the kind of
thing that we overlook. That infrastructure, and prevailing hygiene, makes
our lives vastly better, and yet most of us (you, perhaps?) barely even
notice its existence.  You're talking about the quality of the fruit in the
markets -- a nicety; I'm talking about stuff that keeps you from getting
gravely ill and dying, or else that causes you to live in such a way that you
wish you were dead.

Quote
you severely underestimate the benefits of living in a third world environment
free of excessive bureaucracy.
"Free of bureaucracy" is not terribly important when you're walking
around with unresolved malaria and hence chronic anemia, no energy,
and generally abysmal quality of life. I don't like bureaucracy any more
than you do, but for the love of Pete, let's keep our priorities straight!

Quote
You need another metric besides the dollar or GDP.
GDP is a very useful metric up to a point, as I've written. The point at
which it becomes less useful comes quickly -- at about $10-15K per
capita. After that, the correlation with quality of life drops off steeply.
I've NEVER suggested otherwise. I've NEVER bought the bullshit idea
that higher GDP  is always good.  It is only good up to a point.  And
up TO that point, it is very very good indeed.  It reflects all the most
important stuff -- stuff that tends to be invisible to the typical person
in the developed world. We take all that stuff for granted. See above.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Title: Malthus to China Potpourri: LPWP Links
Post by: RE on August 08, 2012, 07:49:38 PM
Quote
(have you read part 2 of RE's LPWP series? BTW - you'll like his uncharacteristically
rosy part 3. [sorry, i'm offline so no link.])
No. What is "LPWP"?  Would be nice to have a link.

Large Public Works Projects: Part I (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/03/03/large-public-works-projects-part-i/)

Large Publics Works Projects: Part II (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/03/05/large-publics-works-projects-part-ii/)

Large Public Works Projects III- SPWPs and the Flintstone Project (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/03/06/large-public-works-projects-iii-spwps-and-the-flintstone-project/)

RE
Title: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: RE on August 08, 2012, 08:35:15 PM
Our problem cannot, unfortunately, be reduced to a simple "us versus
them" moral story.  We have met the enemy, and he is he, AND he is
us. Both.  Strange, but true.

Commonly held belief, but innacurate. The "Enemy" are those of "Us" who run the show. The first step in regaining control over a runaway train is to push the current Engineer out the door.  Step 2 is putting on the Brakes.  Step 3 is to get off the train once it comes to a halt and to learn to Walk again.

Most of the Passengers on the Train are completely oblivious to the fact the train is careening out of control towards a soon to be washed out Bridge over a Gorge deeper than the Grand Canyon.  They can't see out the Front Window of the Engine, they can only look at the Scenery on the sides of the train as they pass it by. Most of these Passengers will be quite surprised when they briefly go Weightless in Free Fall and start floating up out of their seats.

(http://wrecks.justsickshit.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/wrk_np1.jpg)

A few passengers on this train are Tuned into Newz Reports and are aware a Dam burst upriver 1000 miles from the bridge the train is due to cross. Still fewer passengers have their GPS operational on their Samsung Tablets and Apple I-Pads and know the precise position of the Train relative to the Bridge.  Fewer still know enough math to estimate how long it will take the Train to reach the bridge and how long it will take for the Wall of Water to reach the bridge.

(http://img2-3.timeinc.net/ew/dynamic/imgs/101110/Back-Future-3-train_400.jpg)
This VERY TINY minority of passengers starts SCREAMING all over the Train/Internet that we are all GONNA DIE if we don't STOP THIS TRAIN NOW! meanwhile, most of the passengers think they are NUTS, and getting enough passengers together to go and take over the Engine and put the brakes on the train is impossible.

Is the "Enemy",  "Us" the Passengers on the Train? No, the Enemy is the Engineer who is running them all headlong into the Great Beyond.  You can't stop the train until you get RID of the current person running it, who keeps the throttle open wide figuring if he gets it up to 88 Miles per Hour and the Flux Capacitor kicks in, he'll jump across time and go Back to the Future to a period when the bridge has been rebuilt.

Worked for Marty McFly, will not work IRL. So Sorry.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: agelbert on August 09, 2012, 12:11:27 AM
Alan,
I realize people like me are in the minority in the USA right now and my attitude is considered "unpatriotic" but there are more of us all the time with web sites like this one telling it like it really is. I do what, in my conscience, I think is right. If nobody else does it, that's a shame but I am a willing prisoner of my conscience and wouldn't want it any other way.

As to "who the enemy is", I continue to believe the answer to that is cui bono the most in the continuance of the status quo. If I make a penny for every hundred bucks you make, it would be a tad disproportionate to say all those slaves on the plantation making that penny are mostly responsible for not correcting the evils of the system. With modern weaponry, 1% of the population can maintain the rest in cowed submission, especially with major population reduction for a "viable" human future as the stated aim of that 1% being clearly communicated over and over and over again to the "useless eaters" by the corporate media.

So, my friend, we will see who is right on this issue soon.

"Whether one views the modern world as insane or not may even be a criterion of one’s own sanity." Masanobu Fukuoka

View from the Catbird Seat
http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=631.msg5661#msg5661 (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=631.msg5661#msg5661)



   
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 09, 2012, 07:28:08 AM
Alan,
I realize people like me are in the minority in the USA right now and my attitude
is considered "unpatriotic" but there are more of us all the time with web sites
like this one telling it like it really is.
Agreed. It is a growing movement. And in a short time -- say, two generations
or so -- after the collapse of the dollar, and after everyone has had a few decades
to fully digest the fact that owning an F-250 and 80 pairs of shoes is NOT their
birthright,  and after the new neo-fascist attempt at palingenesis (see my post
immediately above) collapses in ignominy and utter failure,  I expect that we'll bulk
to a significant number. Frugality and modest living WILL prevail. WE WILL BE
VINDICATED. Circa 2050.

Quote
major population reduction for a "viable" human future [is] the stated aim
of [the] 1% ... clearly communicated over and over and over again to the
"useless eaters" by the corporate media.
And, if we see clearly the resource limits of planet earth, is it not true
that major population reduction -- or at the very least stabilization at
a level not far north of here -- is desirable? And is it not POSSIBLE
(though I grant not likely) that the wonderful voluntary collapse of fertility
around the world represents a deliberate part of the 1%/elite's plan to
reduce population?

This goes to the questions I asked of R.E., earlier, but no reply. Here's the
post, which I think worthy of a second look:

http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=618.msg5720#msg5720 (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/forum/index.php?topic=618.msg5720#msg5720)

reply #95 on page 7:

The "Useless Eaters" quote has variously been attributed to Winston Churchill
and Henry Ford, and is used by me here tongue-in-cheek.  It does not just
represent the Chinese, but ALL the excess Poor People of the world
the Illuminati would like to dispense with.  Below, a few Quotes from many
of the principal pundits of the Eugenics Movement

Quote
Useless Eaters Beware: Agenda to Depopulate Earth (http://www.conspiracyplanet.com/channel.cfm?channelid=67&contentid=6258&page=2)  (continued)
by STEPHANIE R. PASCO (INFOWARS)
[snip]
I'm curious: what do you think of the huge fall-off of fertility and
population growth rate over the last 30 years?  Could this represent
the Illuminati's way of getting rid of "useless eaters" (preventing them
from being born to begin with)?  "Depopulation" by attrition -- normal
mortality -- combined with low fertility? A winning combo.

Quote
You have to understand when I am refering to the Iluminati here and
their plans.  My Plan is DIFFERENT.  My Plan is to get rid
of THEM before they get rid of US.

But what if they are reducing the population in a gentle, organic way (by
causing reduced fertility), resulting in slow progress toward  sustainability? 
Is it possible that the Illuminati are not as evil as we think?

Or if they ARE as evil as we think, when do the fireworks begin? When do
they start the kill-off, in earnest?

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: alan2102 on August 09, 2012, 07:52:22 AM
Our problem cannot, unfortunately, be reduced to a simple "us versus
them" moral story.  We have met the enemy, and he is he, AND he is
us. Both.  Strange, but true.

Commonly held belief, but innacurate.
Not commonly held at all. Almost everyone thinks in simple "us vs. them"
terms.  It is a retro, rather pre-civilizational way of viewing things --
accurate to a point, containing some truth, but not expressing the full
complex reality. Most people are stuck in this primitive mindset, in which
they are incapable of blaming themselves or their own group (the group
which they identify as "we", typically a nation, an ethnicity or race, a
religion, etc., but can also be a socioeconomic class) -- in which blame is
always externalized.
 
Quote
The "Enemy" are those of "Us" who run the show. The first step in regaining
control over a runaway train is to push the current Engineer out the door.
I'll buy that. Strategically, the best first move is to push the current engineer
out the door. You are CORRECT.

But it is not relevant to my point. You can push the current engineer(s)
out the door, but that ALONE will not produce the deep cultural/social/social-
psychological/memetic/etcetera change that is necessary to turn this ship
around. It'll be a great (and probably indispensable) start, but it won't do
the job. Push the engineer out the door, yeah, great. But people will STILL
want their F-250s and 80 pairs of shoes.  Even 10 years down the line,
they will STILL think that going from 80 pairs all the way down to 40 pairs
is a big sacrifice and a radical restructuring of their lives. It will take a bare
minimum of one generation, and probably two, before we get things turned
around at the deep level. And that is an optimistic estimate.

R.E., you are thinking a bit like the Jacobins. You're thinking that if we can
just behead all the evil elites, that that will be sufficient.  But it will not be
sufficient.  Necessary, yes, but not sufficient.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 09, 2012, 10:16:09 AM
in a short time -- say, two generations
or so -- after the collapse of the dollar, and after everyone has had a few decades
to fully digest the fact that owning an F-250 and 80 pairs of shoes is NOT their
birthright,  and after the new neo-fascist attempt at palingenesis (see my post
immediately above) collapses in ignominy and utter failure,  I expect that we'll bulk
to a significant number. Frugality and modest living WILL prevail. WE WILL BE
VINDICATED. Circa 2050.
Further:

Here's a statistic for you: The U.S. has EIGHT TIMES more retail square footage
than the next-highest country in the world. EIGHT TIMES. Now, it stands to reason
that Americans do not have eight times the requirement for material things
(clothes, food, toys, gadgets, sundries) that other humans have; people in the
other OECD nations get by just fine, and usually enjoy a better quality of life
than here. So, what are we to make of this? I don't about you, but what I make
of it is that Americans have been thoroughly conditioned, over generations, to be
massive over-shoppers/over-consumers of everything in sight. It may have started,
back in 1920, as a temporary propaganda-driven behavioral aberration, but it is
now much deeper  than that. It is in our blood. It is who we are.  It is now almost 
genetic, and not reversible in less than decades. Even if all the 1%/elites were
taken out and shot. Even if all the advertising/lies CEASED, right now, today. Most
people react defensively, if not violently, to the suggestion that there is something
seriously wrong with their way of life and that they should change. Reversing this is
a work of generations. And note that we're not just talking about (potentially
malleable) behaviors; we're talking about a gigantic brick-and-mortar installed base,
many feeder industries, armies of employees both direct and indirect, large financial
structures relating to and supporting, a so on. This all has to be dismantled and
healed. It is not going to happen without trauma.

I think this 8:1 retail space ratio is highly significant. I think it says a great deal
about what we now are. If it were something more reasonable like, say, 2:1 (still
VERY high), then I might be inclined to think in terms of benign, non-violent
outcomes. But 8:1 is so extreme, so wild, that it reflects a mass, nation-wide
insanity. The people are out of their freaking minds, and they will not come to
their senses easily, or quickly.

I cannot see how the response to loss of economic power (devalued dollar.
collapsing global influence, etc.) could be calm dignified acceptance of the new
reality. It is much more likely to be violent reaction, demands that our leaders
"DO  something",  frightened enthusiasm for fascist demagogues (with glowing
rhetoric  about how they will "restore America to greatness"), etc.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: Surly1 on August 09, 2012, 12:01:16 PM
It will take a bare minimum of one generation, and probably two, before we get things turned
around at the deep level. And that is an optimistic estimate.

R.E., you are thinking a bit like the Jacobins. You're thinking that if we can
just behead all the evil elites, that that will be sufficient.  But it will not be
sufficient.  Necessary, yes, but not sufficient.

I would suggest that it would take more like 500 years to change the paradigm sufficiently. Which we will not have, of course.

One of the few places where I disagree with Da Boss is "The Orkin Man" paradigm. "Necessary but not sufficient" says it perfectly. History shows pretty consistently that the Jacobin cure is almost always worse than the disease, and almost always leads to revanchism.
The Bible counsels "vengeance is mine, saith the Lord" for a pretty good reason-- dealing with the contemplated level of bloodshed is above our pay grade. Oh yeah, and that "thou shalt not murder" thingie . . .

And after the beheadings come the Bonapartes.

We need a new narrative, which will arise from those opting out of the current system and in essence "rolling their own," much of which is discussed in these very pages.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: RE on August 09, 2012, 01:05:30 PM
Not commonly held at all. Almost everyone thinks in simple "us vs. them"
terms.

No, the common wisdom is that this is J6Ps fault for running up his Credit Cards to buy Jet Skis, for buying more McMansion thanhe could afford.  It's the Boomers fault for being selfcentered, its the Unions fault for negotiating generous Pension Plans, Its the Welfare Moms fault for living off the dole, its the Black mans fault for for being shiftless, lazy and ignorant You read this trash all over the net. A relatively small percentage of the population places the blame where it truly belongs, on the Pigmen.

Quote
,But it is not relevant to my point. You can push the current engineer(s)
out the door, but that ALONE will not produce the deep cultural/social/social-
psychological/memetic/etcetera change that is necessary to turn this ship
around.

I didn't say this was all you had to do, in fact I laid out a 3 step plan explicitly.  Eliminating the current crop of Pigmen is just the first Step.

Quote
R.E., you are thinking a bit like the Jacobins. You're thinking that if we can
just behead all the evil elites, that that will be sufficient.  But it will not be
sufficient.  Necessary, yes, but not sufficient.

Old Joke.

What do you call 1000 Lawyers at the Bottom of the Ocean?

A Good Start

Again, I did not say the only thing we need to do is strip the entire Pigman class of all their Wealth and Power and let them all commit Seppuku.  This is just the first step in Building a Better Tomorrow.  :icon_sunny:

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: alan2102 on August 09, 2012, 02:38:34 PM
I would suggest that it would take more like 500 years to change the paradigm
sufficiently.
No need to go to the opposite extreme, Surly.  A few generations should be
sufficient. People and populations can and do change.

Quote
And after the beheadings come the Bonapartes.
I was saying "behead the 1%" half-jokingly. Literal beheadings, no -- not
necessary or desirable. But they should be cloistered in such a way that
they can no longer do massive damage to society.  All the psychopaths
and their ilk -- about 1-5% of the population -- should be removed
to some distant, inescapable place. An island would be good. A tropical
paradise island would be fine. They can all have decent accommodations,
plenty of food and other basic amenities, and even some luxuries. Free
Pina Coladas. Movies. Whatever.  I don't want them to suffer; I don't insist
that they be killed;  I just want them out of circulation so that they cannot
cause millions or billions of others to suffer. That seems reasonable to
me.  Would that cause the rise of Bonapartism?

We have met the enemy, and he is he, and he is us. As far as the first
part of that goes -- the "he is he" part -- we have to identify the
minority of serious miscreants, if there is one (and I think there is one).
How do we do that? Is it a matter of income? Wealth? Power? Position?
Some combination?  No.  The best single litmus test comes from a curious
point of intersection of psychiatry and theology.  Here it is:

Psychopathy and Ponerology

Psychopathy is a complex state characterized most notably by
total selfishness, an utter lack of conscience, and indifference to
(or even pleasure in) the suffering of others -- such as suffering
caused by one's own greed-driven or other antisocial actions. More
and rich detail can be found at the links below.

Ponerology is the study of evil. It is a term from theology, now
being retrieved and put to use outside the theological context.
It is closely related to psychopathy, since psychopaths are by far
the main evil-doers on planet earth. Almost everyone is essentially
good and wishes to do good for both self and others -- EXCEPT
FOR THE PSYCHOPATHS. This is the REAL "1%" that we are after;
these are the true bad guys.  Recognize the psychopath, and you
recognize the person by far the most likely to do evil things --
constitutionally. They cannot help themselves; it is who they ARE.

vis:

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-07-14/why-don't-corrupt-players-wall-street-and-dc-show-remorse-their-destructive-a (http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-07-14/why-don't-corrupt-players-wall-street-and-dc-show-remorse-their-destructive-a)
Why Don't the Corrupt Players On Wall Street and In D.C. Show
Remorse for Their Destructive Actions.And Why Don't We Stop
Them?  Submitted by George Washington on 07/14/2012
"As we've repeatedly noted, psychopaths caused the financial
crisis... and they will do it again and again unless they are
removed from power." [Removed from power, and sent away to a
pleasant place where they can do no harm. --Alan2102]

-- ------------------------------------------------------------

http://ezinearticles.com/?Screening-Psychopaths-in-Government&id=4630682 (http://ezinearticles.com/?Screening-Psychopaths-in-Government&id=4630682)
Screening Psychopaths in Government
By Pavel Podolyak
"The time is ripe for a worldwide effort to formulate simple
standardized procedures to filter acutely psychopathic
individuals from positions of economic, political, and social
leadership. [Yes. Filter them, and send them away to a
pleasant place where they can do no harm. --Alan2102] This is
the very first step necessary before we start implementing
policies for international recovery of the real physical
economy. This is due to the fact that meaningful reform will
simply not be possible with highly [unempathetic] clinical
intraspecies predators remaining in charge of socioeconomic
management." [Here here! --Alan2102]

--------------------------------------------------------------

http://www.pentaone.com/hannibal/psychopath.shtml (http://www.pentaone.com/hannibal/psychopath.shtml)
The World of Psychopaths
"There are at least 2 million psychopaths in North America.
New York itself has as many as 100,000 psychopaths. The most
obvious expressions of psychopathy -- but by no means the only
ones -- involve flagrant criminal violation of society's
rules. Many psychopaths are criminals, but many others remain
out of prison, using their charm and chameleonlike abilities
to cut a wide swath through society and leaving a wake of
ruined lives behind them. Like pieces of a puzzle they are a
self-centered, callous, and remorseless person profoundly
lacking in empathy and the ability to form warm emotional
relationships with others, a person who functions without the
restraints of conscience. They are missing the very qualities
that allow human beings to live in social harmony. Psychopaths
are most often associated with serial killers but rapists,
thieves, swindlers, con men, wife beaters, white-collar
criminals, hype-prone stock promoters, child abusers, gang
members, disbarred lawyers, drug barons, professional
gamblers, members of organized crime, doctors who've lost
their licenses, terrorists, cult leaders, mercenaries, and
unscrupulous businesspeople all can be considered psychopaths."
[And, let's not forget banksters, finance vultures, most
politicians, most corporate leaders, etc., etc. Psychopaths,
all. --Alan2102]

--------------------------------------------------------------

And, finally, a great resource on psychopathy and ponerology:
cassiopaea.com. These are a few of many valuable links from
that site:

http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath.htm (http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath.htm)
Psychopathy, Narcissism, Ponerology (Evil)

http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/sanity_1.PdF (http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/sanity_1.PdF)
"Mask of Sanity" by Hervey Cleckley PDF - book download free

http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/cleckley-mos.htm (http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/cleckley-mos.htm)
Discussion of Psychopathy Traits From The Mask of Sanity by
Hervey Cleckley

http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/political_ponerology_lobaczewski.htm (http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/political_ponerology_lobaczewski.htm)
Political  Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted
for Political Purposes by Andrew M. Lobaczewski, Ph.D. with
commentary and additional quoted material by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopaths_in_history.htm (http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopaths_in_history.htm)
The Psychopath in History

http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath_macrosocial_evil.htm (http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/psychopath_macrosocial_evil.htm)
The Generation of Evil on The Macrosocial Scale

http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/official_culture.htm (http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/official_culture.htm)
Official Culture - A Natural State of Psychopathy? by Laura
Knight-Jadczyk

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: alan2102 on August 09, 2012, 03:02:30 PM
Not commonly held at all. Almost everyone thinks in simple "us vs. them"
terms.
No, the common wisdom is that this is J6Ps fault for running up his Credit Cards
to buy Jet Skis, for buying more McMansion than he could afford.  It's the Boomers
fault for being self centered, its the Unions fault for negotiating generous Pension
Plans.....
Yes. And that IS thinking in simple "us vs. them" terms. The key characteristic
is that it ALWAYS blames someone else. It is never our fault, always theirs, always
"them", while  "we" are the good guys.  Blame is always externalized. This is an
infantile tendency and it is almost never right.

In contrast, I say: it is they who are responsible for our troubles, AND
it is us.  BOTH.  There is a miscreant minority (see my post immediately
above; psychopaths) -- what you call "pigmen" -- AND there is widespread
failure such that everyone is in part to blame. J6P IS responsible for
profligately running up his plastic, and the boomers ARE responsible for
being self-centered shits, etc., etc.  Those things are really true. (Though
some of your other examples are LESS true; e.g. welfare moms. But even
there, there is room for some slight blame.)

Quote
Quote
But it is not relevant to my point. You can push the current engineer(s)
out the door, but that ALONE will not produce the deep cultural/social/social-
psychological/memetic/etcetera change that is necessary to turn this ship
around.
I didn't say this was all you had to do, in fact I laid out a 3 step plan explicitly. 
Eliminating the current crop of Pigmen is just the first Step.
In that case I apologize. I mistook your view. Would please give me a link
or two where you present your case on this matter, in detail?  I will read with
an open mind.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: Surly1 on August 09, 2012, 03:21:39 PM
I would suggest that it would take more like 500 years to change the paradigm
sufficiently.

No need to go to the opposite extreme, Surly.  A few generations should be
sufficient. People and populations can and do change.


Alan, I really wasn't going to what you read as an extreme to be cute; I really do think it would take 500 years under normal circumstances, whatever they are.

I was reading TAE in a few stolen moments this afternoon, and came across a guest post by Alexander Aston, on the subject,  "Collapse Is Humanity Adapting To Its Own Presence".
http://theautomaticearth.com/Earth/collapse-is-humanity-adapting-to-its-own-presence.html (http://theautomaticearth.com/Earth/collapse-is-humanity-adapting-to-its-own-presence.html)
In this article (long, pack a lunch, but rewarding), Aston posits that we have so distorted our reading of history as to make any true knowledge of our beginnings virtually unknowable. A snippet:

The western historical canon is well known to us in its essential form. The basic narrative runs, "Humans gave up their wandering and settled the fertile crescent, cities emerged, myths and legends were established. Then came the Greeks and all that is noble and virtuous in western culture was born: reason, art, democracy, etc. Next the Romans who brought, law, order and engineering until crushed by the barbarians and the rise of Christianity. The dark ages ensued until Europeans pulled themselves up by the bootstraps and proceeded to make their rightful claim on the world as the descendants of Greece and Rome."

The characters of our narratives have become so familiar to us that we tend to simply view our ancestors as us, separated only by time. I have watched the siege of Troy, the burning of the library of Alexandria and Gladiatorial games all carried out with clipped British accents as though everyone living in the past 10,000 years spoke the queen’s English. What happens in the reshaping of history through our narrative lens is, if you will, a cultural-morphic personification.

We attribute to our ancient cultures our own cosmologies and create a linear relationship between our cultures. Now I am not saying that we are not the descendants of the ancients that preceded us and that they have not had a powerful influence upon us. What I am saying is that we distort our ability to truly empathize and understand the humanity of those who preceded us and in doing so we distort our ability to understand our own position in history and relationship to those that will follow us.


My point in citing this excellent article is that we need new stories, stories of mutual dependence and interconnectedness, rather than those of conquest and rapine. And I believe it will take half a millennium for those to take hold. And even then, only after unimaginable disaster and loss of life, and a revulsion on the part of the survivors at what our generation has done to pillage the earth, and one another.


And after the beheadings come the Bonapartes.

I was saying "behead the 1%" half-jokingly. Literal beheadings, no -- not
necessary or desirable. But they should be cloistered in such a way that
they can no longer do massive damage to society.  All the psychopaths
and their ilk -- about 1-5% of the population -- should be removed
to some distant, inescapable place. An island would be good. A tropical
paradise island would be fine. They can all have decent accommodations,
plenty of food and other basic amenities, and even some luxuries. Free
Pina Coladas. Movies. Whatever.  I don't want them to suffer; I don't insist
that they be killed;  I just want them out of circulation so that they cannot
cause millions or billions of others to suffer. That seems reasonable to
me.  Would that cause the rise of Bonapartism?
Quote

Not going to engage this improbable straw man. Paint this scenario to the widow of Norman Rousseau, and see how willingly she signs up for her husband's murderers to live on an island filled with fleshpots, luxury and Pina Coladas.

I have discussed this very subject at near-absurd length in one of my exertions on the blog (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/17/the-orkin-man-which-side-are-you-on/ (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/17/the-orkin-man-which-side-are-you-on/))

In this overwritten screed, I trace some of humanity's history with vengeance, concentrating on the most recent example of state sanctioned genocide, Pol Pot. Idealism always seems to devolve into paranoia, violence and insanity. Perhaps you believe that humanity is ready to evolve in a meaningful way. I take a more cynical view; perhaps I have seen one too many teabags stapled to tricorn hats, themselves made in China.






Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: RE on August 09, 2012, 04:48:05 PM
Its a magnitude question Alan.  If you say everyone is to blame, that is the same thing as saying no one is to blame.  You have to make distinctions by the level of responsibility and the profiteering that led to this result.  Some people are more Guilty than others and a few people with great wealth and power who pull the strings of the Political Marionettes are Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity.  The only Punishment which Fits that Crime is Capital Punishment.

Insofar as steps 2 and 3, I go over those all the time, Step 2 is to put the Brakes on Industrial Culture and halt the burning of Fossil Fuels and the Fissioning of Radioisotopes and Step 3 is to learn to Walk again, meaning learning to live a Subsistence Life off the land in ways that don't deplete the land and the aquifers.

I Hammer Down on all 3 of these Steps all the time, and you have been a member here long enough I am sure you have read this.  Somehow I guess it didn't Register.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: alan2102 on August 09, 2012, 05:50:08 PM
Its a magnitude question Alan.  If you say everyone is to blame, that is the
same thing as saying no one is to blame.  You have to make distinctions by the
level of responsibility and the profiteering that led to this result.  Some people
are more Guilty than others and a few people with great wealth and power who
pull the strings of the Political Marionettes are Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity. 
"Make distinctions" is exactly what I've done, if you read my posts immediately
above.  I said that there is a miscreant minority -- best generally described
as psychopaths, or what you call "pigmen" -- that is especially to blame. I've
said several times that they are MORE TO BLAME than the rest of us. I don't
know how to make this any more clear than I have. I only add that simply
blaming them, and letting all the rest of us off the hook, is a tad too easy.
Indeed, it is likely the precursor to the atrocities to which Surly (wisely)
adverts.  If you won't accept ANY of the blame, then you'll probably wind
up a bloodthirsty Jacobin, yourself.  Self-criticism is ESSENTIAL. I'm
surprised and disappointed that you don't seem to see this.

By the way, I don't understand this:  "If you say everyone is to blame,
that is the same thing as saying no one is to blame."  Why?  If we all
behave like assholes, then we are all to blame for behaving like assholes.
In that case, it is not true that none of us are to blame; ALL of us are to
blame. We can stop behaving like assholes, and thus cease to be
blameworthy for that.

But, at any rate, I've identified an specially guilty small minority,
the real 1% bad guys. See above. These guys must be dealt with first,
just as you say, if we're to have a prayer of turning this ship around.
I've without question got THAT base covered.   :)

Quote
The only Punishment which Fits that Crime is Capital Punishment.
Except that that will, just as Surly fears, very likely lead to atrocity,
bloodbath, whatever. Ugly.

Quote
I Hammer Down on all 3 of these Steps all the time, and you have been a
member here long enough I am sure you have read this.  Somehow I guess it
didn't Register.
I  confess that I've not explored the Diner in much depth, sticking
mostly to a few threads, on which I have not seen those themes. Maybe
you've mentioned them in passing, and as you say it "didn't register", or
didn't stick. If so: pardon me.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: RE on August 09, 2012, 08:42:13 PM
By the way, I don't understand this:  "If you say everyone is to blame,
that is the same thing as saying no one is to blame."

Because you can't imprison everyone.  At a certain point the blame level is too low to punish.

Quote
Quote
The only Punishment which Fits that Crime is Capital Punishment.
Except that that will, just as Surly fears, very likely lead to atrocity,
bloodbath, whatever. Ugly.

Likely in any case.  If you are going to have a Bloodbath, you should make sure the right people are Bathed in Blood first.  You should read my response to Surly's Orkin Man post, Unforgiven (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/17/unforgiven/).

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: alan2102 on August 10, 2012, 02:50:51 AM

Surly, you might want to go back to this post and eliminate ONE of the quote levels.

we need new stories, stories of mutual dependence and interconnectedness,
rather than those of conquest and rapine. And I believe it will take half a millennium
for those to take hold.
Wow. Well, I agree that mythopoeisis doesn't happen overnight, but still.
I think we can come up with something pretty good in a century or so.

I was saying "behead the 1%" half-jokingly. Literal beheadings, no -- not
necessary or desirable. But they should be cloistered in such a way that
they can no longer do massive damage to society.  All the psychopaths
and their ilk -- about 1-5% of the population -- should be removed
to some distant, inescapable place. An island would be good. A tropical
paradise island would be fine. They can all have decent accommodations,
plenty of food and other basic amenities, and even some luxuries. Free
Pina Coladas. Movies. Whatever.  I don't want them to suffer; I don't insist
that they be killed;  I just want them out of circulation so that they cannot
cause millions or billions of others to suffer. That seems reasonable to
me.  Would that cause the rise of Bonapartism?
Quote
Not going to engage this improbable straw man.

1. What makes it a  "straw man"?

2. Improbable, yes; impossible, certainly not. Improbable kinda like
it was improbable that the occupy movement would come out of
nowhere and suddenly be a BIG ass deal.

3. Why no engagement? It is a critical point: what to do with the guilty.
R.E. says "kill 'em all", which you rightly criticize as being very likely if
not certain to end in a crazy genocide with unintended consequences
beyond imagining. What I say is: give the guilty a very comfortable life.
SOMEWHERE ELSE.  This is not hard to do.  No atrocities. No bloodbaths.
No wild perversion of ideals.

Quote
I have discussed this very subject at near-absurd length in one of my exertions on the blog (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/17/the-orkin-man-which-side-are-you-on/ (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/17/the-orkin-man-which-side-are-you-on/))
In this overwritten screed, I trace some of humanity's history with
vengeance, concentrating on the most recent example of state sanctioned
genocide, Pol Pot. Idealism always seems to devolve into paranoia, violence
and insanity.
So, if that latter is the case, what is to be done? Nothing? Just give up?

I did not find the linked item to be an "overwritten screed".  I did find it
curious. After some introductory paragraphs, you spent a good while
describing the  pol pot episode. Then, abruptly, you end your discussion
of Cambodia, and blurt out: "So it matters little who you pick as the
Orkin Man, or how good your motives are, or how thorough your efforts
at re-education or eradication may be"!  The problem was that you did
not establish that. You gave ONE notable historical example of good
intentions gone bad, and present that as if it constituted a whole case,
generalizable to everyone, everywhere, for all time!

Sorry, but that doesn't cut it. Not even close. Actually, if you had
bothered to make a real case, I probably would agree with you. I am
strongly predisposed, based on my own historical study, to agree with
you.  Mass executions of the guilty, in the interest of some idealistic
notion, is likely if not certain to end in disaster.  But you did not make
a convincing case for that.

Regardless, let's just agree that the mass execution approach is a
non-starter, sure to end badly.  I agree with that. So, why no
engagement of a clearly-superior alternative, i.e. the one I presented
to you? No executions. No torture. Some coercion, yes, but hey: how
bad can it be to be "coerced" to vacate to, and remain in, a tropical
paradise with all your needs met for free?  I agree that the coercion
is bad.  That's where I would bring out the "break eggs to make an
omelate" argument, emphasizing that the breaking of eggs in this
case is VERY modest (being forced to live in paradise!).
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Surly1 on August 10, 2012, 03:42:24 AM
Alan, am leaving town for a few days and gave this one more peruse before walking out the door. Don't have time for a point by point, but wanted to respond to the "straw man" issue-- I don't think it's likely that we would agree, as a group of people, to exile the 1% to some garden spot because we would not be able to overcome the revenge motive. People want punishment, redress of grievances, etc. The image of oppressors living in luxury, even in exile, is not likely to find agreement among some future revolutionary council.

Whatever the merits of the approach, we are not emotionally prepared as a people to embrace it. I could be wrong, and I would ove to be proven wrong in fact, but don't think so.

As to the merits of my article, I was not preparing a legal brief; rather, a highly idiosyncratic, off the top of the head diatribe based on personal experience and observation, and assumed the reader would carry some context from the Forum discussions contemporary at that time into the reading.So it carries the limitations that I am largely writign for amusement value, and at that, probably mostly my own...

I do appreciate the feedback.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 10, 2012, 06:38:28 AM
People want punishment, redress of grievances, etc.
It IS punishment, of a sort. They can no longer live freely in broader
society. They are THERE for the duration. No chance of escape. It
is a prison. Guard boats circling the island. Guard towers with machine
guns. Etcetera.

Quote
The image of oppressors living in luxury
I mentioned a few luxurIES, or luxury-like things: free drinks, free
movies, whatever.  Slightly more than you would get in the typical
Federal penitentiary, combined with very nice tropical weather all
the time.   I imagine modest accomodations and amenities, at the
level of a Red Roof Inn  motel. That's not exactly what the mind
conjures from the phrase "living in luxury".

But perhaps the biggest argument of all is: what is the alternative?
Bring out the guillotines?  It is likely that we can all agree that that
is, as you point out, a non-starter.  What I suggest is eminently
sensible, and most reasonable people of fair intelligence, being
informed of the historical facts (i.e. miserable failure of the "behead
them all!" approach to these things), would agree, I believe.

Note well that the "non-violence" meme has spread far and wide
amongst activists.  It is VERY strong.  People embrace it -- citing
Gandhi and MLK, etc. --  as though it were an unquestionable dogma,
and if you do question it, in most activist venues, you are immediately
regarded as either a pariah, or perhaps an agent provocateur. I think
they go too far; I think violent action has a place, sometimes (and,
incidentally, even Gandhi agrees with me on that). But I agree that
non-violence is almost always better, for several reasons,  and
many millions of activists agree with me.  Certainly 100% of the
Occupiers, and their tens (hundreds?) of millions of sympathizers
around the world, agree with me.

So, when you say that  "we are not emotionally prepared" for a non-
violent approach such as what I've suggested, I cannot see it. I see
something close to the opposite of that, at least in the left/OWS
activist  sphere.

Perhaps you're referring to the rest of the population, however,
and there I would have to admit it is more dicey. As I've said in other
posts, I see the rise of a neo-fascism to be likely. That would involve
violence, but it would not be against the psychopaths/pigmen. It would
be BY the psychopaths/pigmen, against their perceived enemies! That
might happen, but I suspect it would not last long. Their little Reich
would be unsustainable without strong dollars, cheap oil, etc., and would
collapse within a decade or two.

I see the possibility of a violent uprising -- torches-and-pitchforks-style --
against the psychopaths/pigmen to be very unlikely. The green progressive
machine-gun-wielding Orkin Man will not materialize. At least I can't see it.
Maybe I'll try harder to see it, and suddenly have an R.E.-type epiphany....  ;)

The violent/vengeful energy that would drive an anti-pigmen uprising is
more likely to be channeled into said neo-fascist formation and uprising.
On the other hand, the non-violent energy as expressed by Occupy
and its masses of supporters will not be so channeled, and would be
quite capable of doing something like what I propose. The Occupiers
are generally (small-l) libertarian and anti-authoritarian, but that does
not mean that they are opposed to prisons for murderers and criminals.

Where is the vengeful, "hang-em-high!", "boil 'em alive!" feeling amongst
the Occupiers?  I don't see it.

Quote
I do appreciate the feedback.
As do I.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: alan2102 on August 10, 2012, 07:23:54 AM
By the way, I don't understand this:  "If you say everyone is to blame,
that is the same thing as saying no one is to blame."

Because you can't imprison everyone.  At a certain point the blame level
is too low to punish.
I agree that "the blame level is too low to punish". That's just the point.
I did not suggest ANY punishment, much less prison, for the
peccadilloes, the garden-variety faults, in question: the ways in which you
are I and all the readers of these words are responsible for our problems.
We are small fry. We are retail offenders; the high-level psychopaths are
wholesale offenders. There's a difference. They belong in prison. We don't.

Ask yourself: why, when it is suggested that you have some responsibility
for our global problems, do you immediately (reactively) repair to an
extreme interpretation of that, assuming that I suggest that you be
punished?

What I DID suggest was that we get clear and cop to our responsibility,
where it is appropriate. (And it IS appropriate, to some extent, in 100%
of cases.) That's essential. Anyone who cannot do this is in my mind not
an adult,  and not a true ally, but a child, and a potentially dangerous one.

Quote
Quote
Quote
The only Punishment which Fits that Crime is Capital Punishment.
Except that that will, just as Surly fears, very likely lead to atrocity,
bloodbath, whatever. Ugly.

Likely in any case.  If you are going to have a Bloodbath, you should
make sure the right people are Bathed in Blood first.  You should read
my response to Surly's Orkin Man post,
Unforgiven (http://www.doomsteaddiner.net/blog/2012/06/17/unforgiven/).
I read it, but did not find much value, in large part because I do not
share your premises about what is likely; i.e. sudden collapse of JIT
system, social chaos, mass dieoff, and so on.  I think that stuff is
possible, but very unlikely.

I share this feeling with Ashvin: "Your cut-throat, last Hoorah Utilitarian
morality just doesn’t do it for me".   HOWEVER:  I think we do need
some Hoorah (?) (whatever that means) Utilitarian morality, just not
the cut-throat type, which will (almost) inevitably end in disaster. 
See my posts above, about cloistering the bad guys.

I also agree with Ashvin when he says: "If systematic genocide is the last
best idea we can come up with, then maybe it would be better to let
ourselves go extinct."  Right!  And your reply was supremely unconvincing;
i.e. to the effect that we should feel OK about killing three billion if the
coming collapse is going to kill SIX billion (hence, three billion saved!).
God, what hopeless "logic"! All predicated on a highly speculative
assumption that a massive collapse is imminent and will kill six billion!
Utter madness. This is the end result of  vulgar, uncritical Malthusianism
and HansoNihilism run riot, unchecked, rampaging through the brain.
The result is a form of insanity. Ugly as sin.

I did find this snippet of interest:
Quote
if you simply took away all their wealth and power and dropped these
folks into a Housing Project in Chicago and left them their Shoelaces,
Silk Neckties and Gucci Belts, they would all Hang THEMSELVES in short
order.
Hmmm. That sounds fine to me!  They are more than welcome to
do that.  In fact, I think we should have a good Kevorkian-style
euthanasia program -- voluntary, of course -- on that tropical
island, ready and waiting to execute (pun intended) the prisoners'
wishes.  No need for hanging. They can go out in perfect comfort.

PS: also a good idea to let them bring their Silk Neckties and Gucci
Belts.  Just like Back Home.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Runaway Train
Post by: RE on August 10, 2012, 03:28:24 PM

Ask yourself: why, when it is suggested that you have some responsibility
for our global problems, do you immediately (reactively) repair to an
extreme interpretation of that, assuming that I suggest that you be
punished?

I repair to this because the "We are all to Blame" meme deflects the disussion away from where the bulk of the responsibility actually is.  Just about every person short of a few H-Gs still living in the Amazon and in Nunavut has participated in the destruction of the Earth habitat, and if you ascribe Guilt for this it implies there should be a consequence for that Guilt.

Quote
I read it, but did not find much value, in large part because I do not
share your premises about what is likely; i.e. sudden collapse of JIT
system, social chaos, mass dieoff, and so on.  I think that stuff is
possible, but very unlikely.

If you do not accept the underlying Premises, obviously you will reach a different conclusion.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 10, 2012, 04:42:13 PM

R.E., did you know that it is practically impossible for
a newcomer like me to find your original Orkin Man post(s)?
The site's search function is flaky and useless; to see what
I mean, type in Orkin Man and run the search.  Useless.
I tried googling for "Orkin Man" as phrase plus
inurl:doomsteaddiner -- not much better. I tried clicking on
the link that is supposed to take me to all posts tagged
"Orkin Man" -- doomsteaddiner.net/blog/tag/orkin-man --
but this only results in ONE post, Surly's "which side are
you on" post.

"Orkin man" cannot be found on the home page, or
on the first page of the blog.

It is simply nowhere to be found -- even though it was
supposedly a popular post that stimulated a lot of
discussion.

As a site owner, sometimes it is good to pretend that
you are a newcomer and that you have ZERO of the
insider knowledge that you actually have, and see if you
can find things and understand what people are talking
about.

Another common problem is undefined acronyms.
There's one I keep seeing here but cannot remember
offhand; it is something like OPPD  or something like that.
Not defined anywhere that I could see.  Just a little thing,
but makes it difficult to understand things.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on August 10, 2012, 05:19:22 PM

R.E., did you know that it is practically impossible for
a newcomer like me to find your original Orkin Man post(s)?
The site's search function is flaky and useless; to see what
I mean, type in Orkin Man and run the search.  Useless.

Reason for that would be I hardly ever use the Orkin Man meme on the Diner Blog. It's too extreme a concept for a Newby Reader.  The Blog hopefully draws people toward the Forum, and I don't want to turn them off right off the Bat.  I use it more in Forum here, and I suspect if you search here more will turn up on this topic.

The Inquisition analogy is actually my favored one, I only Bring on the Orkin Man in threads inside the Diner Forum where I get particularly revved up over something really egregiously WRONG being perpetrated out there in the world. Ashvin and Surly both though picked up on the Orkin Man as the representation they like to use in arguing against the concept of Capital Punishment when applied on a large scale.  It's fair because I certainly am the one responsible for using this analogy in the first place.  You won't find it in any of my Blog Articles though, thus the reason the Search Engine there doesn't turn it up.

Far as how well the Search Engine works is concerned, that depends on how you use it. I can yank just about anything out of a search engine on anybody's blog by considering topics and choosing Keywords to search for related to the topic.  In the case of "Orkin Man", if you don't turn up anything with that search, you could try "Vermin", "Extemination" or "Guillotine" or "Hang em High". LOL.

The Acronym Issue is of course difficult for Newbies to Negotiate. I try to define an Acronym at least once in any post, but ones I use all the time I don't always do that and neither do the other Regulars.  You have to be a Diner for a while to pick up on the meaning of all of them.  Often newbies do not even know what FSoA means, and I never bother to define that one in every post.  Fascist States of Amerika of course.

On previous forums I have run on other topics, occassionally I tried to develop a Glossary for these things.  On the Yahoo Group system, you actually have a simple Database Tool to use for this. The problem is nobody Updates it consistently every time they develop a new Acronym. So you either read until you figure out what it means or you ASK what it means from whoever used it.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on August 10, 2012, 05:46:29 PM
I did a little Search for you Alan inside the Diner Forum where I used the Orkin Man analogy by typing in "clean kitchen" into the Search Widget.  Came back with 3 posts:

1

Environment / Re: Hope in the Age of Collapse
« by RE on August 06, 2012, 01:41:43 AM »

......  good for the Earth as Cockroaches are good for a Clean Kitchen, but I still don't see ALL Homo Sapiens as being  ......


2

The Kitchen Sink / Waste Based Society II: Vendor Financing & Planned Obsolescence
« by RE on June 08, 2012, 07:55:48 PM »

...... , I remain convinced the only way to insure a Clean Kitchen in the aftermath is to make sure the Vermin are  ......

3

The Kitchen Sink / Time has COME for the INQUISITION!
« by RE on April 15, 2012, 07:15:35 PM »

......  Cockroaches running around here. You don't get a Clean Kitchen by playing Mr. Nice Guy with the Vermin. You  ......

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: g on August 11, 2012, 03:20:13 AM
Quote alan2102 "Another common problem is undefined acronyms.
There's one I keep seeing here but cannot remember
offhand; it is something like OPPD  or something like that.
Not defined anywhere that I could see.  Just a little thing,
but makes it difficult to understand things."

I agree Alan, have found the situation to be over used and ruinous to the meaning of a posting. Find myself frequently trying to figure one out and getting frustrated and moving on. They have a place but should not be abused.     GO



Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 11, 2012, 07:45:52 AM
I hardly ever use the Orkin Man meme on the Diner Blog. It's too
extreme a concept for a Newby Reader.
True. Must not curl their delicate ears with lunatic genocidal ravings right
off the bat.  Must let them get acclimated, first.

Quote
I can yank just about anything out of a search engine on anybody's blog
by considering topics and choosing Keywords to search for related to the
topic.  In the case of "Orkin Man", if you don't turn up anything with that
search, you could try "Vermin", "Extemination" or "Guillotine"
Yes, I can do that, too. Only I did not have the EXPERT INSIDER
KNOWLEDGE that you have regarding use of those particular terms
-- vermin, etc.  One who does not have that knowledge, cannot use
that technique effectively.  Also, having very extensive experience
with search engines and searching, I thought initially that the word
"orkin" would be sufficiently unusual to take me quickly to what I wanted
or nearby at least.  However, the idiot search engine insisted on bringing
up all occurrences not of the WORD "orkin", but of the STRING "orkin",
which includes a ton of irrelevant stuff like the word wORKINg, etc.

Someday I would like to know what idiot designs these site/forum
search engines. I've found them to be amazingly flaky, generally. This
is based on 16 years of VERY heavy internet and search experience.

It is actually a good idea to include a word vs. string switch, something
you select based on what you need. But to default to string is just idiotic.

Anyway:
 I just did a search for "orkin vermin extermination" and the
results were still lousy, though somewhat better. I got four hits, at least
one of which was to a long thread with much back-and-forth on the
issue. But I STILL do not have access to your original/core writeups
on the subject, assuming they exist (as I do).

Quote
The Acronym Issue is of course difficult
Easy to solve.

Acronyms have a half-life of about 20 paragraphs, or perhaps 10 posts.
If that much goes by without a definition, then they should be re-defined,
as a courtesy.

Readers should not be forced to search multiple back pages in a thread,
trying (often unsuccessfully) to find the definition of an acronym, so as
to know what the hell everyone is talking about.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: RE on August 11, 2012, 08:10:08 AM

Yes, I can do that, too. Only I did not have the EXPERT INSIDER
KNOWLEDGE that you have regarding use of those particular terms
-- vermin, etc.

You didn't know that the Okin Man Exterminates Vermin?

Quote
But I STILL do not have access to your original/core writeups
on the subject, assuming they exist (as I do).

Your assumption is wrong.  There is no "original Orkin Man post" in the sense that I wrote a whole post with this theme.  It's just a metaphor I pulled out of the jumble of such things in my head and tacked into a post somewhere.  I have no idea what the first post I used it in was.  It's never been a title of any of my posts, only Surly used it in a title for one of his.

As I mentioned, if you are looking for stuff I wrote surrounding the idea of Capital Punishment for Crimes Against Humanity, you are better off using the Inquisition in your searches.

RE
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: alan2102 on August 11, 2012, 11:15:34 AM
You didn't know that the Orkin Man Exterminates Vermin?
Z'matter of fact, I didn't. I knew it was some kind of household
maintenance service, but for all I knew it had to do with sealing
leaky basement walls.

Quote

Your assumption is wrong. 
OK. It "felt" like that must be the case, but I didn't have real
evidence. So it goes, when you speculate, rather than pay attention
to real evidence from reliable sources.

I think I read somewhere that there was a big Orkin Man post
on TAE, followed by much discussion.  That was part of what
fueled the speculation.  Maybe I read wrong.

Quote
you are better off using the Inquisition in your searches.
Thanks for the tip.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: JoeP on August 23, 2012, 07:13:51 AM
I'm adding a link to an article by CHS (below) that I think is a pretty good summary of the present and future state of things in China.  My question is related to point #10 in the article.  Why are wealthy elites fleeing China if they have such a great plan for the future?

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune11/wheels-fall-off-China6-11.html (http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune11/wheels-fall-off-China6-11.html)

Looks like we’re getting closer to an answer and it appears to be a combination of things...and it is not good newz for those wishing that China can avoid a “hard landing”.

From Zarathustra (emphasis added):

Rich Chinese flee

(http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/1525R95676-300x223.jpg)

Rich folks in China simply want to leave the country.

That is not news. A survey did point this out more than a year ago, and survey after survey is pointing to the same conclusion. And they are going everywhere, sometimes to places that we have not heard of, like Prince Edward Island, not to mention other more popular destinations, like Vancouver, Australia, or… whatever…

One of the main reasons for their desire to leave is the safety and security of their wealth.

The BBC recently asked one rich entrepreneur in China why he sought residency right in Singapore. And it perfectly illustrates the point:

But he admits that for many of his wealthy friends it is a sense of insecurity which is leading them to ponder a life outside China.

“Most of them think I’ve got so much money here but one day maybe the government will change the policies and take it all back,” he says.



China’s rigid and opaque political system is perhaps one reason for the wealth-drain, particularly in a year in which there is due to be a changing of the guard at the very top of the Communist Party.

There are certainly lifestyle concerns too. Like Louie Huang the wealthy are often seeking cleaner air and a better education for their children.

Add to that the fears that China’s decade-long economic boom may be losing steam and it is perhaps not surprising that China’s rich are on the run.


In case you are not already familiar with Prof. Victor Shih’s theory about capital flight from China, enough capital outflow from China (US$1 trillion or more) would cause huge liquidity problems in Chinese banking system, and the wealthiest 1% of Chinese households would be enough to cause that shift of capital should they decided to leave the country, move the money away, or whatever. And that shift might be happening already (albeit rather slowly), as manifested in the slow but consistent money outflow away from China since late last year, which, as we said, is already tightening liquidity in the banking system, now necessitating multiple rounds of liquidity injection in China.

http://www.youtube.com/v/jP4AvxwP5To?feature=player_embedded

http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2012/08/rich-chinese-flee/ (http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2012/08/rich-chinese-flee/)

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri: Money Fleeing China
Post by: g on August 23, 2012, 07:26:20 AM
That is not news. A survey did point this out more than a year ago, and survey after survey is pointing to the same conclusion. And they are going everywhere, sometimes to places that we have not heard of, like Prince Edward Island, not to mention other more popular destinations, like Vancouver, Australia, or… whatever…

The US isn't on this short list.      ::)                           



























Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:09:04 PM
Quote
I suspect he means MALTHUS, not Darwin. But, either way, the deal is that
things have turned out opposite to that prediction. More food ("surplus of vital
resources") has NOT led to an increase in the rate of population growth. Rather,
what we're seeing is a decrease.  As I said up thread, fertility has fallen off a
cliff in all those places where it was supposed to be exploding:  India, China,
elsewhere in Asia. In contrast, fertility remains very high in places, like southern
Africa,  where there is a persistent DEFICIT of vital resources -- the opposite of
what Dilworth et al suggest.

The observable effect has been consistent with the vicious circle principle.  We saw an initial increase in the growth rate due to the surplus delivered by the Green Revolution.  As population rose to meet the available surplus, thereby reducing it, the growth rate correspondingly fell and continues to do so.  With the next turning of the vicious cycle, the same process will occur.  GMO foods are one example of our aim to deliver yet another surplus which will enable yet another spike in the growth rate.  We must also keep in perspective what we're talking about with reduction in the growth rate when even small percentages deliver high total population figures.  Despite your citation of slowing growth rates, we're still on target for 10 billion people by   Yes a deficit of vital resources is a problem, but so is a surplus.  These are the two extremes of the scale.  As usual, balance is the key.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:09:08 PM
Alan,

Dilworth's premise, that the vicious circle principle humankind is engaged in certainly delivers results that may appear positive in the short-term, as you've pointed out, but over the long timescale of human development those gains erode, generally as population and consumption increase, requiring new solutions to the even greater and more numerous problems that emerge.  As those problems accellerate and our ability to respond to them is reduced by their sheer number and magnitude, we reach a point where the whole thing comes apart.  It's like being on a treadmill and the speed continually increases until we can no longer keep up.  Is that not what we see today?  How is Dilworth wrong in explaining the VCP and its' ability to describe how we arrived at this point?  If those greater problems indicate a trajectory toward species extinction, as it already has for many hundreds of species through our activities, it makes sense to change the trajectory through radical action, not piecemeal reactionary action.  Not through the 'baby steps' you've claimed is necessary.  Dilworth doesn't see that happening, nor do I, and therefore the odds of overshoot reaching it's inevitable conclusion are very high.  The hubris of believing humankind can escape the very laws of nature is too great.

Add to all this the fact we haven't even begun to take into account the ecological dynamic equilibrium Dilworth describes in his book that we rely on for our continued existence, which practically all human activity continually seeks to undermine.  You think we've got a century to lower our footprint, yet the widespread disruption of dynamic equilibrium of ecosystems can result in state changes that occur VERY rapidly.

I suppose you can dispute the conclusions, but you'll have to read the book to attempt to dispute the principle.  He is attempting to explain the principles at work that have caused us to arrive where we are today.  Of course he understands we're not going to simply go back to the stone age overnight, but unless we seriously address the principles he's demonstrated and seek to overcome them, we'll continue to be driven by them.  It is a radical idea that goes against all accepted thinking, but then so are most revolutionary concepts.

Speaking of revolutions, I'm glad you brought up the Green Revolution, since it's a perfect example of the above.  I realise you'll cite declining poverty rates in recent years, but that's consistent with the VCP.  As we struggle to maintain food production in the face of a massive population increase following the Green Revolution, due to the many issues that confront us we can expect to see a resurgence of poverty and its' attendant problems.  Except now we've got BILLIONS more to feed.  The Green Revolution is an example of the reaction principle, in which humans address the immediate concern, in this case starvation, without addressing the root cause.  So yes the Green Revolution appears to have succeeded in the short term, but it will be an even bigger failure in the long term.  I'm not sure how you can reconcile a billion lives saved today if it results in billions lost tomorrow.

Quote
On the surface!?  What is superficial about starving, living in filth, and dying
of some terrible infection?

I'm not disputing the nature of those very real and awful conditions, on the contrary, when the long term result is an even larger number of people suffering from the above mentioned maladies than if we had addressed the root problems, I would argue it is a less than desirable result.  It seems that you're struggling to grasp this concept.

Quote
I believe I've read enough of Dilworth. He makes some good points, but none of
them are very original, and they are peppered with crazy stuff.

Instead of claiming 'crazy stuff' how about you actually refute his position?  Besides, you've made some good points too, but not all of them are good.  Maybe I should do the same and just say I've read enough of Alan.

Dilworth on the Green Revolution:

Quote
On the VCP, population growth generally is the result of there being a surplus of vital resources, which leads to or is combined with a weakening of internal population checks. This growth then eats away at the surplus until the population arrives at a state where vital resources are scarce. The higher the level of fertility and/or the lower the level of mortality, the faster this state of affairs will come about, and the more pronounced it will be.

Not only has world population since the 1950s grown fastest in the Third World, but the vast majority of the people living there are already at the bottom of the global power-hierarchy, making the effects of population growth even worse for them. The result has been a high mortality rate and much suffering.

Given the VCP, the reasonable attempt at an antidote to this state of affairs would be to try to establish or re-establish internal population checks so as to reduce the size of the population and bring it into equilibrium with its source of food. The path actually followed, however, was one that simply took the Third World further round with the vicious circle. With the ostensible ultimate aim of reducing Third World hunger by producing more food (cereals, starting with rice), in the late 1950s the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations set up the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the (US-controlled) Philippines, which has since grown to be the world’s largest rice research agency. In this regard both common sense and the VCP tell us that, without the reinstatement of internal population checks, given sufficient breeding sites an increase in the amount of food in the Third World would only be pouring oil on the fire, and lead to population growth together with a further weakening of whatever checks as might still exist, with the result that the same problem should simply recur, only on a more intractable scale. As C. G. Darwin suggested already before the Green Revolution, if a larger quantity of food should at some time be accessible thanks to some discovery, for example in agriculture, then the size of the population will quickly rise to the new level, and afterwards development will continue as before, with the difference that the marginal starving group will constitute a larger proportion of the greater population. What Darwin describes is of course an expression of the pioneering principle, manifest through the vicious circle’s moving from the having of a surplus of vital resources on to population growth.

This seems so obvious that one can wonder whether the ostensible reason for the IRRI project was the real reason. And it becomes clear that it was not. The real reason for the project was not to help the poor, but to increase the power of the capitalist political bloc centred on the United States, and the personal wealth of the capitalists involved. Thus with these ultimate ends in view, the direct aim of the IRRI was, using extant Third World varieties of rice, to breed more highly productive strains. Control of these strains was to fall into the hands of American capitalists; and control of the countries producing them into the hands of the capitalist bloc. From their point of view population growth in the relevant countries was good, not bad. It ensured a market for the capitalists’ products, and provided manpower if a large military force were needed in conflicts with socialist states. What they forgot was that whatever patent they may have had on these strains didn’t hold in the communist bloc, so the communists could and did produce them themselves. We shall see a change in this regard in the next agricultural revolution – to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

What were produced were rice varieties that required copious quantities of mineral fertilisers and poisons, large amounts of which American companies were manufacturing in the postwar years, at the same time as they were scouting for markets overseas. So started the Green Revolution.

Outside of Mexico, the Green Revolution received its greatest support on the frontiers of the communist world, from Turkey to Korea, where it recommended itself as a way of blunting the appeal of socialist revolution, at its height in the 1960s. The rice programme in particular largely stemmed from American anxieties about the possible spread of Chinese communism after 1949. Meanwhile, socialist societies – China, Vietnam, and Cuba – embraced the idea of scientifically improved crops with equal vigour. High-yield rice strengthened communist China as much as it did Asia’s island fringe, which America relied upon to contain China. In several of its manifestations, then, the Green Revolution was a child of the Cold War, and may be said to have achieved its economic but not its political goal.

Where the Green Revolution was implemented, farmers came to use heavier and heavier doses of biocides. This efficiently selected for resistant pests – as antibiotics did for bacteria. And as of 1985, roughly one million people had suffered acute poisoning from pesticides, two-thirds of them agricultural workers. The vast fertiliser requirements of the Green Revolution led to the eutrophication of lakes and rivers. Meanwhile the necessary irrigation helped drive the huge dam-building programmes of China, India, Mexico and elsewhere. Before the Green Revolution, farmers raised thousands of strains of wheat around the world. After it, they increasingly used only a few, and became fettered to a system based on a necessarily diminishing source of energy which required constantly increasing quantities of water.

The Green Revolution did not engineer an income redistribution towards Third World farmers; nor did it achieve food independence except for a few countries.  Until 1981 the Third World had long been a net exporter of food, after 1981 it was a net importer.

Of course the people on whom the Western capitalists foisted the Green Revolution were themselves much better attuned to their long-term needs than the capitalists were, not that the capitalists really cared. Western power simply usurped the ecologically more benevolent lifestyle.

With its new strains, and the fertilisers, biocides, mechanisation and increased irrigation they required, world grain production doubled between 1960 and the late 1980s. Most of the world had been ‘saved’ by becoming more energy-intensive, complex and polluting. And for this, the scientist who led the teams responsible won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. This is highly ironic, for the increase in food, leading to an increase in population and thereby population pressure, worked rather towards decreasing the likelihood of peace.

Not unaware of the problematic nature of the results of his efforts, the winner of the Prize himself said: “Perhaps through this development we can buy 25 to 30 years of time. [But u]nless there is a breakthrough in slowing population growth on a world-wide basis, the world will disintegrate.” Yes, the world will disintegrate; but you should have thought about slowing population growth before introducing your more productive seeds and their poisons on the market.

As clearly expressed by Forrester (and as implied by Malthus):

Quote
Many programs – for example the development of more productive grains and agricultural methods – are spoken of as ‘buying time’ until population control becomes effective. But the process of buying time reduces the pressures that force population control. … Trying to raise quality of life without intentionally creating compensating pressures to prevent a rise in population density will be self-defeating. Efforts to improve quality of life will fail until effective means have been implemented for limiting both population and industrialization. f we persist in treating only the symptoms and not the causes, the result will be to increase the magnitude of the ultimate threat and reduce our capability to respond when we no longer have more space and resources to invade.

Another negative aspect of this ‘saving’ was that its use of poisons required monoculture cultivation, opening crops to potential destruction by e.g. weather, at the same time as it reduced biodiversity. Also, the ploughing that was often required raised the temperature of the soil in the spring. In temperate regions this would have increased the activity of beneficial soil organisms; but in the tropics and subtropics it had the opposite effect, and is largely responsible for the nine times greater soil erosion there. Tropical soils are not amenable to sustainable agrarian agriculture, only to horticulture, just as were the non-riverine soils in Mesopotamia; once again, the over-exploitation of soil resources using agrarian agriculture results in soil degradation. Capitalists, spurred by the profit motive, nevertheless support the implementation of agrarian technology in the tropics.

Nevertheless, as noted, world grain production doubled in the short term thanks to these efforts. And population growth followed suit. As Catton puts it, the Green Revolution burdened the 20th century with almost another doubling of world population.

In the cradle of the Green Revolution in India there are today vast stretches of land where grass will no longer grow, the water is no longer drinkable due to contamination from mineral fertilisers, aquifers have dried up, soils are degraded, and biodiversity is fast vanishing, the agricultural result being declining rice yields. In 2001, in Wayanad, millions of fish died because of the presence in the water of the copper-based fungicide Furadan, sprayed on pepper gardens to control the wilt disease. And at the same time pests developed resistance to the poisons, leading to the development and use of new ones.

The Green Revolution not only increased the profits of the capitalists who owned the more productive seeds, but it also increased the profits of the large-scale landowners in the Third World, for whom the major financial investments required in e.g. tractors were both possible and paid off at least in the short term. In India, the poorest farmers, each of whom tilled perhaps half a hectare of land, could not afford these extras, and were forced to sell their farms and migrate to the cities, while the richer farmers increased the size of their holdings at the expense of the poor, and became even richer. (This brings to mind the definition of foreign aid as the money poor people in rich countries give to rich people in poor countries.) Thus another ‘achievement’ of the Green Revolution was to enrich two or three per cent of the wheat and rice farmers enormously, leaving the vast majority of subsistence farmers in the lurch. The increasing incidences of suicide among farmers in India lend testimony to this failure of high-tech agriculture. Thus, as in the horticultural and agrarian eras, while the poor continue to live barely above subsistence level – and some of them under it – the increase in the amount of food led to population growth.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 419-423). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:09:13 PM
Alan,

Dilworth's premise, that the vicious circle principle humankind is engaged in certainly delivers results that may appear positive in the short-term, as you've pointed out, but over the long timescale of human development those gains erode, generally as population and consumption increase, requiring new solutions to the even greater and more numerous problems that emerge.  As those problems accellerate and our ability to respond to them is reduced by their sheer number and magnitude, we reach a point where the whole thing comes apart.  It's like being on a treadmill and the speed continually increases until we can no longer keep up.  Is that not what we see today?  How is Dilworth wrong in explaining the VCP and its' ability to describe how we arrived at this point?  If those greater problems indicate a trajectory toward species extinction, as it already has for many hundreds of species through our activities, it makes sense to change the trajectory through radical action, not piecemeal reactionary action.  Not through the 'baby steps' you've claimed is necessary.  Dilworth doesn't see that happening, nor do I, and therefore the odds of overshoot reaching it's inevitable conclusion are very high.  The hubris of believing humankind can escape the very laws of nature is too great.

Add to all this the fact we haven't even begun to take into account the ecological dynamic equilibrium Dilworth describes in his book that we rely on for our continued existence, which practically all human activity continually seeks to undermine.  You think we've got a century to lower our footprint, yet the widespread disruption of dynamic equilibrium of ecosystems can result in state changes that occur VERY rapidly.

I suppose you can dispute the conclusions, but you'll have to read the book to attempt to dispute the principle.  He is attempting to explain the principles at work that have caused us to arrive where we are today.  Of course he understands we're not going to simply go back to the stone age overnight, but unless we seriously address the principles he's demonstrated and seek to overcome them, we'll continue to be driven by them.  It is a radical idea that goes against all accepted thinking, but then so are most revolutionary concepts.

Speaking of revolutions, I'm glad you brought up the Green Revolution, since it's a perfect example of the above.  I realise you'll cite declining poverty rates in recent years, but that's consistent with the VCP.  As we struggle to maintain food production in the face of a massive population increase following the Green Revolution, due to the many issues that confront us we can expect to see a resurgence of poverty and its' attendant problems.  Except now we've got BILLIONS more to feed.  The Green Revolution is an example of the reaction principle, in which humans address the immediate concern, in this case starvation, without addressing the root cause.  So yes the Green Revolution appears to have succeeded in the short term, but it will be an even bigger failure in the long term.  I'm not sure how you can reconcile a billion lives saved today if it results in billions lost tomorrow.

Quote
On the surface!?  What is superficial about starving, living in filth, and dying
of some terrible infection?

I'm not disputing the nature of those very real and awful conditions, on the contrary, when the long term result is an even larger number of people suffering from the above mentioned maladies than if we had addressed the root problems, I would argue it is a less than desirable result.  It seems that you're struggling to grasp this concept.

Quote
I believe I've read enough of Dilworth. He makes some good points, but none of
them are very original, and they are peppered with crazy stuff.

Instead of claiming 'crazy stuff' how about you actually refute his position?  Besides, you've made some good points too, but not all of them are good.  Maybe I should do the same and just say I've read enough of Alan.

Dilworth on the Green Revolution:

Quote
On the VCP, population growth generally is the result of there being a surplus of vital resources, which leads to or is combined with a weakening of internal population checks. This growth then eats away at the surplus until the population arrives at a state where vital resources are scarce. The higher the level of fertility and/or the lower the level of mortality, the faster this state of affairs will come about, and the more pronounced it will be.

Not only has world population since the 1950s grown fastest in the Third World, but the vast majority of the people living there are already at the bottom of the global power-hierarchy, making the effects of population growth even worse for them. The result has been a high mortality rate and much suffering.

Given the VCP, the reasonable attempt at an antidote to this state of affairs would be to try to establish or re-establish internal population checks so as to reduce the size of the population and bring it into equilibrium with its source of food. The path actually followed, however, was one that simply took the Third World further round with the vicious circle. With the ostensible ultimate aim of reducing Third World hunger by producing more food (cereals, starting with rice), in the late 1950s the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations set up the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the (US-controlled) Philippines, which has since grown to be the world’s largest rice research agency. In this regard both common sense and the VCP tell us that, without the reinstatement of internal population checks, given sufficient breeding sites an increase in the amount of food in the Third World would only be pouring oil on the fire, and lead to population growth together with a further weakening of whatever checks as might still exist, with the result that the same problem should simply recur, only on a more intractable scale. As C. G. Darwin suggested already before the Green Revolution, if a larger quantity of food should at some time be accessible thanks to some discovery, for example in agriculture, then the size of the population will quickly rise to the new level, and afterwards development will continue as before, with the difference that the marginal starving group will constitute a larger proportion of the greater population. What Darwin describes is of course an expression of the pioneering principle, manifest through the vicious circle’s moving from the having of a surplus of vital resources on to population growth.

This seems so obvious that one can wonder whether the ostensible reason for the IRRI project was the real reason. And it becomes clear that it was not. The real reason for the project was not to help the poor, but to increase the power of the capitalist political bloc centred on the United States, and the personal wealth of the capitalists involved. Thus with these ultimate ends in view, the direct aim of the IRRI was, using extant Third World varieties of rice, to breed more highly productive strains. Control of these strains was to fall into the hands of American capitalists; and control of the countries producing them into the hands of the capitalist bloc. From their point of view population growth in the relevant countries was good, not bad. It ensured a market for the capitalists’ products, and provided manpower if a large military force were needed in conflicts with socialist states. What they forgot was that whatever patent they may have had on these strains didn’t hold in the communist bloc, so the communists could and did produce them themselves. We shall see a change in this regard in the next agricultural revolution – to genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

What were produced were rice varieties that required copious quantities of mineral fertilisers and poisons, large amounts of which American companies were manufacturing in the postwar years, at the same time as they were scouting for markets overseas. So started the Green Revolution.

Outside of Mexico, the Green Revolution received its greatest support on the frontiers of the communist world, from Turkey to Korea, where it recommended itself as a way of blunting the appeal of socialist revolution, at its height in the 1960s. The rice programme in particular largely stemmed from American anxieties about the possible spread of Chinese communism after 1949. Meanwhile, socialist societies – China, Vietnam, and Cuba – embraced the idea of scientifically improved crops with equal vigour. High-yield rice strengthened communist China as much as it did Asia’s island fringe, which America relied upon to contain China. In several of its manifestations, then, the Green Revolution was a child of the Cold War, and may be said to have achieved its economic but not its political goal.

Where the Green Revolution was implemented, farmers came to use heavier and heavier doses of biocides. This efficiently selected for resistant pests – as antibiotics did for bacteria. And as of 1985, roughly one million people had suffered acute poisoning from pesticides, two-thirds of them agricultural workers. The vast fertiliser requirements of the Green Revolution led to the eutrophication of lakes and rivers. Meanwhile the necessary irrigation helped drive the huge dam-building programmes of China, India, Mexico and elsewhere. Before the Green Revolution, farmers raised thousands of strains of wheat around the world. After it, they increasingly used only a few, and became fettered to a system based on a necessarily diminishing source of energy which required constantly increasing quantities of water.

The Green Revolution did not engineer an income redistribution towards Third World farmers; nor did it achieve food independence except for a few countries.  Until 1981 the Third World had long been a net exporter of food, after 1981 it was a net importer.

Of course the people on whom the Western capitalists foisted the Green Revolution were themselves much better attuned to their long-term needs than the capitalists were, not that the capitalists really cared. Western power simply usurped the ecologically more benevolent lifestyle.

With its new strains, and the fertilisers, biocides, mechanisation and increased irrigation they required, world grain production doubled between 1960 and the late 1980s. Most of the world had been ‘saved’ by becoming more energy-intensive, complex and polluting. And for this, the scientist who led the teams responsible won the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. This is highly ironic, for the increase in food, leading to an increase in population and thereby population pressure, worked rather towards decreasing the likelihood of peace.

Not unaware of the problematic nature of the results of his efforts, the winner of the Prize himself said: “Perhaps through this development we can buy 25 to 30 years of time. [But u]nless there is a breakthrough in slowing population growth on a world-wide basis, the world will disintegrate.” Yes, the world will disintegrate; but you should have thought about slowing population growth before introducing your more productive seeds and their poisons on the market.

As clearly expressed by Forrester (and as implied by Malthus):

Quote
Many programs – for example the development of more productive grains and agricultural methods – are spoken of as ‘buying time’ until population control becomes effective. But the process of buying time reduces the pressures that force population control. … Trying to raise quality of life without intentionally creating compensating pressures to prevent a rise in population density will be self-defeating. Efforts to improve quality of life will fail until effective means have been implemented for limiting both population and industrialization. f we persist in treating only the symptoms and not the causes, the result will be to increase the magnitude of the ultimate threat and reduce our capability to respond when we no longer have more space and resources to invade.

Another negative aspect of this ‘saving’ was that its use of poisons required monoculture cultivation, opening crops to potential destruction by e.g. weather, at the same time as it reduced biodiversity. Also, the ploughing that was often required raised the temperature of the soil in the spring. In temperate regions this would have increased the activity of beneficial soil organisms; but in the tropics and subtropics it had the opposite effect, and is largely responsible for the nine times greater soil erosion there. Tropical soils are not amenable to sustainable agrarian agriculture, only to horticulture, just as were the non-riverine soils in Mesopotamia; once again, the over-exploitation of soil resources using agrarian agriculture results in soil degradation. Capitalists, spurred by the profit motive, nevertheless support the implementation of agrarian technology in the tropics.

Nevertheless, as noted, world grain production doubled in the short term thanks to these efforts. And population growth followed suit. As Catton puts it, the Green Revolution burdened the 20th century with almost another doubling of world population.

In the cradle of the Green Revolution in India there are today vast stretches of land where grass will no longer grow, the water is no longer drinkable due to contamination from mineral fertilisers, aquifers have dried up, soils are degraded, and biodiversity is fast vanishing, the agricultural result being declining rice yields. In 2001, in Wayanad, millions of fish died because of the presence in the water of the copper-based fungicide Furadan, sprayed on pepper gardens to control the wilt disease. And at the same time pests developed resistance to the poisons, leading to the development and use of new ones.

The Green Revolution not only increased the profits of the capitalists who owned the more productive seeds, but it also increased the profits of the large-scale landowners in the Third World, for whom the major financial investments required in e.g. tractors were both possible and paid off at least in the short term. In India, the poorest farmers, each of whom tilled perhaps half a hectare of land, could not afford these extras, and were forced to sell their farms and migrate to the cities, while the richer farmers increased the size of their holdings at the expense of the poor, and became even richer. (This brings to mind the definition of foreign aid as the money poor people in rich countries give to rich people in poor countries.) Thus another ‘achievement’ of the Green Revolution was to enrich two or three per cent of the wheat and rice farmers enormously, leaving the vast majority of subsistence farmers in the lurch. The increasing incidences of suicide among farmers in India lend testimony to this failure of high-tech agriculture. Thus, as in the horticultural and agrarian eras, while the poor continue to live barely above subsistence level – and some of them under it – the increase in the amount of food led to population growth.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 423). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 422-423). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 422). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 422). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 422). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 421-422). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 420-421). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 420). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 419-420). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (p. 419). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition. [/quote]



Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:09:26 PM
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example.  What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment. As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population control. And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make as much money as possible. This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.

As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with vast profits and investment outlets. Thus the ruling class in the United States (and elsewhere) is bitterly opposed to the industrialisation of the so-called ‘source countries,’ and to the emergence of integrated processing economies in colonial and semi-colonial areas. This opposition appears regardless of the nature of the regime in the underdeveloped country that seeks to reduce the foreign grip on its economy and provide for a measure of independent development.

As regards the phenomenon of increasing social inequality, it is important to appreciate that it should continue so long as the vicious circle is able to continue turning without hindrance. However, such events as an inordinate increase in a society’s surplus, as in ancient Athens and modern industrialised nations, or a social revolution, as in France and Russia, can lead to an increase in social equality. But such increases are invariably directly followed by constant decreases, unless and until such an event should occur again.

That the non-vital needs of the powerful living in Third World countries also strongly influence those countries’ domestic economics is emphasised by Georgescu-Roegen. He noted, already in 1971, that Third World countries’ economic plans, claimed to bring economic progress through industrialisation, are, more often than not, rationalisations of the ulterior motives of the elite in the country in question. The inflation in Latin America at that time, for example, did not answer ‘the aspiration of the masses to improve their standard of consumption,’ as one economic expert claimed, but the aspirations of the upper classes for a still more luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, the leaders of underdeveloped countries are not anxious to limit the populations of their own lower-class majorities, because cheap and abundant labour is a benefit to the ruling class. According to Georgescu-Roegen, and in keeping with the VCP, the same lip service to the welfare of the masses concealed the aspirations of the powerful classes in many a planned economy at the beginning of the 1970s, and, we might add, the phenomenon has continued to the present day.

The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international investment and aid. As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid – it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing it.” And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races were healthy and long-lived.”

There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries after World War II. As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35 years later, they are still not developing.

Some 50 years ago these countries were politely and optimistically named the ‘developing countries,’ and the 1960s were to be known as the ‘Development Decade.’ But ‘development’ here meant growth in GNP, which was to be accomplished through increasing resource exportation – as taken up in the previous chapter. This growth was to be supported by growth in the GNP of the industrialised countries – the more the industrialised countries grew, the more resources they would import from the Third World, thus benefiting Third World economies. Thus, for example, the Report of the 1970 Commission on International Development (the ‘Pearson Report’) submitted to the World Bank considered the expansion of exports – mainly non-renewable minerals, including oil – the main criterion of success for ‘developing’ countries. African and other Third World countries were to develop economically through the wealthy people in each country making increasing profits by exporting ever greater quantities of their respective country’s resources, and creating jobs for labourers in the process. But as Malthus said already in 1798:

Quote
Foreign commerce adds to the wealth of a state, according to Dr Adam Smith’s definition, though not according to the definition of the [French] economists. Its principal use, and the reason, probably, that it has in general been held in such high estimation is that it adds greatly to the external power of a nation or to its power of commanding the labour of other countries; but it will be found, upon a near examination, to contribute but little to the increase of the internal funds for the maintenance of labour, and consequently but little to the happiness of the greatest part of society.

Malthus’ reasoning here is that it is only a growth in the quantity of vital resources available to the poor that can improve their lot (and then, of course, only in the short term). What we have is the making of each Third World country into a banana republic, which may here be understood to be a poor country economically dependent on exporting unprocessed goods/resources to industrialised countries. As Daly says:

Quote
[T]he vision of globalization requires the rich to grow rapidly in order to provide markets in which the poor can sell their exports. It is thought that the only option poor countries have is to export to the rich, and to do that they have to accept foreign investment from corporations who know how to produce the high-quality stuff that the rich want.

And as Trainer says, if most money can be made producing carnations to airfreight to European supermarkets, or fattening cattle to airfreight to American hamburger chains, then in a market system that is what will be done. And Kuenen: “At present the technologically underequipped nations are selling their natural wealth for short-term gains.”

It is ironic however that governments call for economic growth to reduce poverty while, as noted earlier, there has been massive poverty in the richest nation in the world throughout a 65-year period of tremendous and unrepeatable economic growth. (It may be noted that the wealthiest man in America owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined.) How then is economic growth, in particular such growth as is based on exports, to reduce poverty? For the people living in these countries, what they produce for themselves and for each other is of infinitely greater importance to them than what they produce for foreigners. The promotion of export-oriented development has been one of the most disastrous Third World policies in the past two decades, in fact increasing poverty.

The whole thing is a scam – part of the larger scam of the world’s need for economic growth – that allows powerful capitalists to make profits stripping the Third World of what it has to offer. Thus the status quo from colonial times is maintained, with the economically most powerful making the largest possible profits. Only now it is transnational corporations that are sucking as much as they can out of these (and all other) countries, rather than such nationally-bound companies as the East India and Hudson’s Bay Companies.

The fundamental ‘mistake’ which neoclassical economic theory makes with regard to the Third World is the assumption that simply encouraging as much economic growth as possible will result in satisfactory development. In fact the indiscriminate, sheer-growth conception of development causes immense havoc among the poor. In the form of increasing exports, it has stripped them from the land and moved them to urban slums, it has made large numbers poorer and hungrier, and it has destroyed their forests through the building of dams. According to a report of the international Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, below-cost imports drive Third World farmers out of their local markets, and if they do not have access to a safety net, they have to abandon their land in search of other employment.

When it comes to the provision of aid, the West has given with one hand, and taken more with the other. In effect, more aid is going to the rich than to the poor. It is the normal functioning of the global market-economy which delivers the available resources to a few and deprives the majority. The drive to maximise output, sales and returns on investment inevitably leads to the focusing of productive capacity on the already rich.

The conventional growth and trickle-down view accelerates the operation of the very mechanism that is responsible for the problem of poverty. As expressed by John Browett, in keeping with Boulding, while transnational corporations may be developing, the people living in the newly industrialising countries are not. While trickle down occurred in the industrialised countries from 1850, it has never extended to the Third World. And as suggested by Trainer in 1989, the lack of trickle down in the Third World may well be the most clearly established proposition to have emerged from three decades of development research. In fact, as intimated above, conventional growth strategies often result in the very opposite of trickle down, an effect most tragically evident when the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture enriches planters, who then increase export crops by terminating the leases of peasant farmers.

The conception of development as growth through increasing exports does not best serve the interests of classes other than the elite. What is required here is not that the rich world charitably redistribute some of its wealth to the poor; it is that it should stop taking such a disproportionate share of what the world has to offer.

Conventional development theory and practice is capitalist (bourgeois) development theory and practice. To conceive of development as indiscriminate economic growth is to opt for the view which most suits the capitalist class, since it is in their interest to maximise the amount of capital being exchanged, and not have to bother about whether capital really ought to go into things that are appropriate but not very profitable, and not into things that are inappropriate but profitable. Foreign investors never go into the Third World to invest in clean drinking water, mobile health clinics, or cheap staple foods for impoverished people – because there is little profit to be made from these sorts of ventures.

It should also be pointed out here that the projects funded in the name of aiding the Third World, apart from economically supporting those engaged in carrying them out, are large-scale, unsustainable and in fact ecologically destructive. These projects, such as the building of large dams, are drafted in an atmosphere in which economic growth is to be striven for as the ultimate goal, and ecological consequences are either ignored or dismissed.

C. G. Darwin provides an example: the Sukkur dam (completed by the British in 1932) spread the water of the Indus over a great area and transformed a large part of the desert into a garden. According to generally accepted values, this was a great blessing for humankind, since people who earlier were on the verge of starvation could now be fed. But this was not what happened; after a few years the only effect was, as in the case of the Green Revolution, that there was a large rather than a small number of people on the verge of starvation.

Similarly, the Aswan High Dam, designed by Soviet engineers in the late 1950s, stops 98 per cent of the silt that had formerly coated the inhabited part of Egypt. Without this top dressing of fertile silt, Egyptian agriculture had to turn to mineral fertilisers, of which Egypt became one of the world’s top users, with much of the Aswan’s electric power going to fertiliser factories.  The Nile Delta began to shrink. The lack of silt nutrients destroyed sardine and shrimp fisheries in the Mediterranean that had employed 30,000 Egyptians. Without the flushing of the flood, the irrigation canals of Egypt became an ideal habitat for the water hyacinth, a beautiful but pernicious weed. The snails that carry schistosomiasis – a debilitating disease that attacks the liver, urinary tract, or intestines – love water hyacinth, need stagnant water, and consequently flourished in the new Egypt. Schistosomiasis infection rates increased five- to tenfold among rural Egyptians with the transition to perennial irrigation, and after 1975 approached 100 per cent in many communities. The dam also swamped and corroded the cultural heritage of the Nile Valley. However it at the same time eliminated the costly consequences of irregular Nile floods, and supported a doubling of the Egyptian population. Thus was destroyed the only large, ecologically sustainable irrigation system that ever existed – one which had maintained millions for five millennia and made Egypt the richest land in the Mediterranean from the Pharaohs to the industrial revolution.

The modernisation of Third World agriculture also means the increasing commercialisation of food production, and can consist in little more than converting land from production by the poor for use by the poor, to production by rich farmers for use by the rich in the Third World and by consumers in the rich world.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 445-451). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


Quote
Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.

I accept the principle but not the conclusion.  I haven't seen any evidence that China is targeting a steady-state economy.  You've shown they are (were) targeting lower growth, which is the least they should be doing given their feverish growth rates.  But there's no indication they're targeting a steady-state.

Quote
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

It is still debated but has not been conclusively disproven.

Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?

Maybe, but don't blame me, I didn't make us that way.  Show me how I'm wrong.

Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

This is no way addresses the points made and is irrelevant to their validity.  Besides, you're only assuming I'm not.

As for the social unrest and inequality issue brought up in your most recent post, overpopulation is clearly at the root of that problem. 

You argue that China has come so far since the revolution, which may be true, but I'm taking a wider view of our predicament as a species and how that applies to your analysis.  Everything you point to that China is doing is consistent with the vicious circle and reaction principles.  They may be tweaking it a little so it looks different than the Western efforts, but as long as these principles are in affect, the results will be much the same.  I'm describing instincts and characteristics of the species that underpin all human activity.  China, being populated by humans, is not exempt.

http://www.doomsteaddiner.org/blog/2012/07/20/too-smart-for-our-own-good-and-too-dumb-to-change/ (http://www.doomsteaddiner.org/blog/2012/07/20/too-smart-for-our-own-good-and-too-dumb-to-change/)
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:09:45 PM
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example.  What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment. As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population control. And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make as much money as possible. This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.

As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with vast profits and investment outlets. Thus the ruling class in the United States (and elsewhere) is bitterly opposed to the industrialisation of the so-called ‘source countries,’ and to the emergence of integrated processing economies in colonial and semi-colonial areas. This opposition appears regardless of the nature of the regime in the underdeveloped country that seeks to reduce the foreign grip on its economy and provide for a measure of independent development.

As regards the phenomenon of increasing social inequality, it is important to appreciate that it should continue so long as the vicious circle is able to continue turning without hindrance. However, such events as an inordinate increase in a society’s surplus, as in ancient Athens and modern industrialised nations, or a social revolution, as in France and Russia, can lead to an increase in social equality. But such increases are invariably directly followed by constant decreases, unless and until such an event should occur again.

That the non-vital needs of the powerful living in Third World countries also strongly influence those countries’ domestic economics is emphasised by Georgescu-Roegen. He noted, already in 1971, that Third World countries’ economic plans, claimed to bring economic progress through industrialisation, are, more often than not, rationalisations of the ulterior motives of the elite in the country in question. The inflation in Latin America at that time, for example, did not answer ‘the aspiration of the masses to improve their standard of consumption,’ as one economic expert claimed, but the aspirations of the upper classes for a still more luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, the leaders of underdeveloped countries are not anxious to limit the populations of their own lower-class majorities, because cheap and abundant labour is a benefit to the ruling class. According to Georgescu-Roegen, and in keeping with the VCP, the same lip service to the welfare of the masses concealed the aspirations of the powerful classes in many a planned economy at the beginning of the 1970s, and, we might add, the phenomenon has continued to the present day.

The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international investment and aid. As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid – it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing it.” And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races were healthy and long-lived.”

There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries after World War II. As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35 years later, they are still not developing.

Some 50 years ago these countries were politely and optimistically named the ‘developing countries,’ and the 1960s were to be known as the ‘Development Decade.’ But ‘development’ here meant growth in GNP, which was to be accomplished through increasing resource exportation – as taken up in the previous chapter. This growth was to be supported by growth in the GNP of the industrialised countries – the more the industrialised countries grew, the more resources they would import from the Third World, thus benefiting Third World economies. Thus, for example, the Report of the 1970 Commission on International Development (the ‘Pearson Report’) submitted to the World Bank considered the expansion of exports – mainly non-renewable minerals, including oil – the main criterion of success for ‘developing’ countries. African and other Third World countries were to develop economically through the wealthy people in each country making increasing profits by exporting ever greater quantities of their respective country’s resources, and creating jobs for labourers in the process. But as Malthus said already in 1798:

Quote
Foreign commerce adds to the wealth of a state, according to Dr Adam Smith’s definition, though not according to the definition of the [French] economists. Its principal use, and the reason, probably, that it has in general been held in such high estimation is that it adds greatly to the external power of a nation or to its power of commanding the labour of other countries; but it will be found, upon a near examination, to contribute but little to the increase of the internal funds for the maintenance of labour, and consequently but little to the happiness of the greatest part of society.

Malthus’ reasoning here is that it is only a growth in the quantity of vital resources available to the poor that can improve their lot (and then, of course, only in the short term). What we have is the making of each Third World country into a banana republic, which may here be understood to be a poor country economically dependent on exporting unprocessed goods/resources to industrialised countries. As Daly says:

Quote
[T]he vision of globalization requires the rich to grow rapidly in order to provide markets in which the poor can sell their exports. It is thought that the only option poor countries have is to export to the rich, and to do that they have to accept foreign investment from corporations who know how to produce the high-quality stuff that the rich want.

And as Trainer says, if most money can be made producing carnations to airfreight to European supermarkets, or fattening cattle to airfreight to American hamburger chains, then in a market system that is what will be done. And Kuenen: “At present the technologically underequipped nations are selling their natural wealth for short-term gains.”

It is ironic however that governments call for economic growth to reduce poverty while, as noted earlier, there has been massive poverty in the richest nation in the world throughout a 65-year period of tremendous and unrepeatable economic growth. (It may be noted that the wealthiest man in America owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined.) How then is economic growth, in particular such growth as is based on exports, to reduce poverty? For the people living in these countries, what they produce for themselves and for each other is of infinitely greater importance to them than what they produce for foreigners. The promotion of export-oriented development has been one of the most disastrous Third World policies in the past two decades, in fact increasing poverty.

The whole thing is a scam – part of the larger scam of the world’s need for economic growth – that allows powerful capitalists to make profits stripping the Third World of what it has to offer. Thus the status quo from colonial times is maintained, with the economically most powerful making the largest possible profits. Only now it is transnational corporations that are sucking as much as they can out of these (and all other) countries, rather than such nationally-bound companies as the East India and Hudson’s Bay Companies.

The fundamental ‘mistake’ which neoclassical economic theory makes with regard to the Third World is the assumption that simply encouraging as much economic growth as possible will result in satisfactory development. In fact the indiscriminate, sheer-growth conception of development causes immense havoc among the poor. In the form of increasing exports, it has stripped them from the land and moved them to urban slums, it has made large numbers poorer and hungrier, and it has destroyed their forests through the building of dams. According to a report of the international Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, below-cost imports drive Third World farmers out of their local markets, and if they do not have access to a safety net, they have to abandon their land in search of other employment.

When it comes to the provision of aid, the West has given with one hand, and taken more with the other. In effect, more aid is going to the rich than to the poor. It is the normal functioning of the global market-economy which delivers the available resources to a few and deprives the majority. The drive to maximise output, sales and returns on investment inevitably leads to the focusing of productive capacity on the already rich.

The conventional growth and trickle-down view accelerates the operation of the very mechanism that is responsible for the problem of poverty. As expressed by John Browett, in keeping with Boulding, while transnational corporations may be developing, the people living in the newly industrialising countries are not. While trickle down occurred in the industrialised countries from 1850, it has never extended to the Third World. And as suggested by Trainer in 1989, the lack of trickle down in the Third World may well be the most clearly established proposition to have emerged from three decades of development research. In fact, as intimated above, conventional growth strategies often result in the very opposite of trickle down, an effect most tragically evident when the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture enriches planters, who then increase export crops by terminating the leases of peasant farmers.

The conception of development as growth through increasing exports does not best serve the interests of classes other than the elite. What is required here is not that the rich world charitably redistribute some of its wealth to the poor; it is that it should stop taking such a disproportionate share of what the world has to offer.

Conventional development theory and practice is capitalist (bourgeois) development theory and practice. To conceive of development as indiscriminate economic growth is to opt for the view which most suits the capitalist class, since it is in their interest to maximise the amount of capital being exchanged, and not have to bother about whether capital really ought to go into things that are appropriate but not very profitable, and not into things that are inappropriate but profitable. Foreign investors never go into the Third World to invest in clean drinking water, mobile health clinics, or cheap staple foods for impoverished people – because there is little profit to be made from these sorts of ventures.

It should also be pointed out here that the projects funded in the name of aiding the Third World, apart from economically supporting those engaged in carrying them out, are large-scale, unsustainable and in fact ecologically destructive. These projects, such as the building of large dams, are drafted in an atmosphere in which economic growth is to be striven for as the ultimate goal, and ecological consequences are either ignored or dismissed.

C. G. Darwin provides an example: the Sukkur dam (completed by the British in 1932) spread the water of the Indus over a great area and transformed a large part of the desert into a garden. According to generally accepted values, this was a great blessing for humankind, since people who earlier were on the verge of starvation could now be fed. But this was not what happened; after a few years the only effect was, as in the case of the Green Revolution, that there was a large rather than a small number of people on the verge of starvation.

Similarly, the Aswan High Dam, designed by Soviet engineers in the late 1950s, stops 98 per cent of the silt that had formerly coated the inhabited part of Egypt. Without this top dressing of fertile silt, Egyptian agriculture had to turn to mineral fertilisers, of which Egypt became one of the world’s top users, with much of the Aswan’s electric power going to fertiliser factories.  The Nile Delta began to shrink. The lack of silt nutrients destroyed sardine and shrimp fisheries in the Mediterranean that had employed 30,000 Egyptians. Without the flushing of the flood, the irrigation canals of Egypt became an ideal habitat for the water hyacinth, a beautiful but pernicious weed. The snails that carry schistosomiasis – a debilitating disease that attacks the liver, urinary tract, or intestines – love water hyacinth, need stagnant water, and consequently flourished in the new Egypt. Schistosomiasis infection rates increased five- to tenfold among rural Egyptians with the transition to perennial irrigation, and after 1975 approached 100 per cent in many communities. The dam also swamped and corroded the cultural heritage of the Nile Valley. However it at the same time eliminated the costly consequences of irregular Nile floods, and supported a doubling of the Egyptian population. Thus was destroyed the only large, ecologically sustainable irrigation system that ever existed – one which had maintained millions for five millennia and made Egypt the richest land in the Mediterranean from the Pharaohs to the industrial revolution.

The modernisation of Third World agriculture also means the increasing commercialisation of food production, and can consist in little more than converting land from production by the poor for use by the poor, to production by rich farmers for use by the rich in the Third World and by consumers in the rich world.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 445-451). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


Quote
Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.

I accept the principle but not the conclusion.  I haven't seen any evidence that China is targeting a steady-state economy.  You've shown they are (were) targeting lower growth, which is the least they should be doing given their feverish growth rates.

Quote
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

It is still debated but has not been conclusively disproven.

Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?



Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

This is no way addresses the points made and is irrelevant to their validity.  Besides, you're only assuming I'm not.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:09:50 PM
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example.  What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment. As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population control. And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make as much money as possible. This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.

As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with vast profits and investment outlets. Thus the ruling class in the United States (and elsewhere) is bitterly opposed to the industrialisation of the so-called ‘source countries,’ and to the emergence of integrated processing economies in colonial and semi-colonial areas. This opposition appears regardless of the nature of the regime in the underdeveloped country that seeks to reduce the foreign grip on its economy and provide for a measure of independent development.

As regards the phenomenon of increasing social inequality, it is important to appreciate that it should continue so long as the vicious circle is able to continue turning without hindrance. However, such events as an inordinate increase in a society’s surplus, as in ancient Athens and modern industrialised nations, or a social revolution, as in France and Russia, can lead to an increase in social equality. But such increases are invariably directly followed by constant decreases, unless and until such an event should occur again.

That the non-vital needs of the powerful living in Third World countries also strongly influence those countries’ domestic economics is emphasised by Georgescu-Roegen. He noted, already in 1971, that Third World countries’ economic plans, claimed to bring economic progress through industrialisation, are, more often than not, rationalisations of the ulterior motives of the elite in the country in question. The inflation in Latin America at that time, for example, did not answer ‘the aspiration of the masses to improve their standard of consumption,’ as one economic expert claimed, but the aspirations of the upper classes for a still more luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, the leaders of underdeveloped countries are not anxious to limit the populations of their own lower-class majorities, because cheap and abundant labour is a benefit to the ruling class. According to Georgescu-Roegen, and in keeping with the VCP, the same lip service to the welfare of the masses concealed the aspirations of the powerful classes in many a planned economy at the beginning of the 1970s, and, we might add, the phenomenon has continued to the present day.

The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international investment and aid. As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid – it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing it.” And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races were healthy and long-lived.”

There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries after World War II. As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35 years later, they are still not developing.

Some 50 years ago these countries were politely and optimistically named the ‘developing countries,’ and the 1960s were to be known as the ‘Development Decade.’ But ‘development’ here meant growth in GNP, which was to be accomplished through increasing resource exportation – as taken up in the previous chapter. This growth was to be supported by growth in the GNP of the industrialised countries – the more the industrialised countries grew, the more resources they would import from the Third World, thus benefiting Third World economies. Thus, for example, the Report of the 1970 Commission on International Development (the ‘Pearson Report’) submitted to the World Bank considered the expansion of exports – mainly non-renewable minerals, including oil – the main criterion of success for ‘developing’ countries. African and other Third World countries were to develop economically through the wealthy people in each country making increasing profits by exporting ever greater quantities of their respective country’s resources, and creating jobs for labourers in the process. But as Malthus said already in 1798:

Quote
Foreign commerce adds to the wealth of a state, according to Dr Adam Smith’s definition, though not according to the definition of the [French] economists. Its principal use, and the reason, probably, that it has in general been held in such high estimation is that it adds greatly to the external power of a nation or to its power of commanding the labour of other countries; but it will be found, upon a near examination, to contribute but little to the increase of the internal funds for the maintenance of labour, and consequently but little to the happiness of the greatest part of society.

Malthus’ reasoning here is that it is only a growth in the quantity of vital resources available to the poor that can improve their lot (and then, of course, only in the short term). What we have is the making of each Third World country into a banana republic, which may here be understood to be a poor country economically dependent on exporting unprocessed goods/resources to industrialised countries. As Daly says:

Quote
[T]he vision of globalization requires the rich to grow rapidly in order to provide markets in which the poor can sell their exports. It is thought that the only option poor countries have is to export to the rich, and to do that they have to accept foreign investment from corporations who know how to produce the high-quality stuff that the rich want.

And as Trainer says, if most money can be made producing carnations to airfreight to European supermarkets, or fattening cattle to airfreight to American hamburger chains, then in a market system that is what will be done. And Kuenen: “At present the technologically underequipped nations are selling their natural wealth for short-term gains.”

It is ironic however that governments call for economic growth to reduce poverty while, as noted earlier, there has been massive poverty in the richest nation in the world throughout a 65-year period of tremendous and unrepeatable economic growth. (It may be noted that the wealthiest man in America owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined.) How then is economic growth, in particular such growth as is based on exports, to reduce poverty? For the people living in these countries, what they produce for themselves and for each other is of infinitely greater importance to them than what they produce for foreigners. The promotion of export-oriented development has been one of the most disastrous Third World policies in the past two decades, in fact increasing poverty.

The whole thing is a scam – part of the larger scam of the world’s need for economic growth – that allows powerful capitalists to make profits stripping the Third World of what it has to offer. Thus the status quo from colonial times is maintained, with the economically most powerful making the largest possible profits. Only now it is transnational corporations that are sucking as much as they can out of these (and all other) countries, rather than such nationally-bound companies as the East India and Hudson’s Bay Companies.

The fundamental ‘mistake’ which neoclassical economic theory makes with regard to the Third World is the assumption that simply encouraging as much economic growth as possible will result in satisfactory development. In fact the indiscriminate, sheer-growth conception of development causes immense havoc among the poor. In the form of increasing exports, it has stripped them from the land and moved them to urban slums, it has made large numbers poorer and hungrier, and it has destroyed their forests through the building of dams. According to a report of the international Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, below-cost imports drive Third World farmers out of their local markets, and if they do not have access to a safety net, they have to abandon their land in search of other employment.

When it comes to the provision of aid, the West has given with one hand, and taken more with the other. In effect, more aid is going to the rich than to the poor. It is the normal functioning of the global market-economy which delivers the available resources to a few and deprives the majority. The drive to maximise output, sales and returns on investment inevitably leads to the focusing of productive capacity on the already rich.

The conventional growth and trickle-down view accelerates the operation of the very mechanism that is responsible for the problem of poverty. As expressed by John Browett, in keeping with Boulding, while transnational corporations may be developing, the people living in the newly industrialising countries are not. While trickle down occurred in the industrialised countries from 1850, it has never extended to the Third World. And as suggested by Trainer in 1989, the lack of trickle down in the Third World may well be the most clearly established proposition to have emerged from three decades of development research. In fact, as intimated above, conventional growth strategies often result in the very opposite of trickle down, an effect most tragically evident when the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture enriches planters, who then increase export crops by terminating the leases of peasant farmers.

The conception of development as growth through increasing exports does not best serve the interests of classes other than the elite. What is required here is not that the rich world charitably redistribute some of its wealth to the poor; it is that it should stop taking such a disproportionate share of what the world has to offer.

Conventional development theory and practice is capitalist (bourgeois) development theory and practice. To conceive of development as indiscriminate economic growth is to opt for the view which most suits the capitalist class, since it is in their interest to maximise the amount of capital being exchanged, and not have to bother about whether capital really ought to go into things that are appropriate but not very profitable, and not into things that are inappropriate but profitable. Foreign investors never go into the Third World to invest in clean drinking water, mobile health clinics, or cheap staple foods for impoverished people – because there is little profit to be made from these sorts of ventures.

It should also be pointed out here that the projects funded in the name of aiding the Third World, apart from economically supporting those engaged in carrying them out, are large-scale, unsustainable and in fact ecologically destructive. These projects, such as the building of large dams, are drafted in an atmosphere in which economic growth is to be striven for as the ultimate goal, and ecological consequences are either ignored or dismissed.

C. G. Darwin provides an example: the Sukkur dam (completed by the British in 1932) spread the water of the Indus over a great area and transformed a large part of the desert into a garden. According to generally accepted values, this was a great blessing for humankind, since people who earlier were on the verge of starvation could now be fed. But this was not what happened; after a few years the only effect was, as in the case of the Green Revolution, that there was a large rather than a small number of people on the verge of starvation.

Similarly, the Aswan High Dam, designed by Soviet engineers in the late 1950s, stops 98 per cent of the silt that had formerly coated the inhabited part of Egypt. Without this top dressing of fertile silt, Egyptian agriculture had to turn to mineral fertilisers, of which Egypt became one of the world’s top users, with much of the Aswan’s electric power going to fertiliser factories.  The Nile Delta began to shrink. The lack of silt nutrients destroyed sardine and shrimp fisheries in the Mediterranean that had employed 30,000 Egyptians. Without the flushing of the flood, the irrigation canals of Egypt became an ideal habitat for the water hyacinth, a beautiful but pernicious weed. The snails that carry schistosomiasis – a debilitating disease that attacks the liver, urinary tract, or intestines – love water hyacinth, need stagnant water, and consequently flourished in the new Egypt. Schistosomiasis infection rates increased five- to tenfold among rural Egyptians with the transition to perennial irrigation, and after 1975 approached 100 per cent in many communities. The dam also swamped and corroded the cultural heritage of the Nile Valley. However it at the same time eliminated the costly consequences of irregular Nile floods, and supported a doubling of the Egyptian population. Thus was destroyed the only large, ecologically sustainable irrigation system that ever existed – one which had maintained millions for five millennia and made Egypt the richest land in the Mediterranean from the Pharaohs to the industrial revolution.

The modernisation of Third World agriculture also means the increasing commercialisation of food production, and can consist in little more than converting land from production by the poor for use by the poor, to production by rich farmers for use by the rich in the Third World and by consumers in the rich world.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 445-451). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


Quote
Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.

I accept the principle but not the conclusion.  I haven't seen any evidence that China is targeting a steady-state economy.  You've shown they are (were) targeting lower growth, which is the least they should be doing given their feverish growth rates.

Quote
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

It is still debated but has not been conclusively disproven.

Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?



Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

This is no way addresses the points made and is irrelevant to their validity.  Besides, how can you assume I'm not? 
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:09:59 PM
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example.  What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment. As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population control. And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make as much money as possible. This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.

As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with vast profits and investment outlets. Thus the ruling class in the United States (and elsewhere) is bitterly opposed to the industrialisation of the so-called ‘source countries,’ and to the emergence of integrated processing economies in colonial and semi-colonial areas. This opposition appears regardless of the nature of the regime in the underdeveloped country that seeks to reduce the foreign grip on its economy and provide for a measure of independent development.

As regards the phenomenon of increasing social inequality, it is important to appreciate that it should continue so long as the vicious circle is able to continue turning without hindrance. However, such events as an inordinate increase in a society’s surplus, as in ancient Athens and modern industrialised nations, or a social revolution, as in France and Russia, can lead to an increase in social equality. But such increases are invariably directly followed by constant decreases, unless and until such an event should occur again.

That the non-vital needs of the powerful living in Third World countries also strongly influence those countries’ domestic economics is emphasised by Georgescu-Roegen. He noted, already in 1971, that Third World countries’ economic plans, claimed to bring economic progress through industrialisation, are, more often than not, rationalisations of the ulterior motives of the elite in the country in question. The inflation in Latin America at that time, for example, did not answer ‘the aspiration of the masses to improve their standard of consumption,’ as one economic expert claimed, but the aspirations of the upper classes for a still more luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, the leaders of underdeveloped countries are not anxious to limit the populations of their own lower-class majorities, because cheap and abundant labour is a benefit to the ruling class. According to Georgescu-Roegen, and in keeping with the VCP, the same lip service to the welfare of the masses concealed the aspirations of the powerful classes in many a planned economy at the beginning of the 1970s, and, we might add, the phenomenon has continued to the present day.

The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international investment and aid. As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid – it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing it.” And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races were healthy and long-lived.”

There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries after World War II. As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35 years later, they are still not developing.

Some 50 years ago these countries were politely and optimistically named the ‘developing countries,’ and the 1960s were to be known as the ‘Development Decade.’ But ‘development’ here meant growth in GNP, which was to be accomplished through increasing resource exportation – as taken up in the previous chapter. This growth was to be supported by growth in the GNP of the industrialised countries – the more the industrialised countries grew, the more resources they would import from the Third World, thus benefiting Third World economies. Thus, for example, the Report of the 1970 Commission on International Development (the ‘Pearson Report’) submitted to the World Bank considered the expansion of exports – mainly non-renewable minerals, including oil – the main criterion of success for ‘developing’ countries. African and other Third World countries were to develop economically through the wealthy people in each country making increasing profits by exporting ever greater quantities of their respective country’s resources, and creating jobs for labourers in the process. But as Malthus said already in 1798:

Quote
Foreign commerce adds to the wealth of a state, according to Dr Adam Smith’s definition, though not according to the definition of the [French] economists. Its principal use, and the reason, probably, that it has in general been held in such high estimation is that it adds greatly to the external power of a nation or to its power of commanding the labour of other countries; but it will be found, upon a near examination, to contribute but little to the increase of the internal funds for the maintenance of labour, and consequently but little to the happiness of the greatest part of society.

Malthus’ reasoning here is that it is only a growth in the quantity of vital resources available to the poor that can improve their lot (and then, of course, only in the short term). What we have is the making of each Third World country into a banana republic, which may here be understood to be a poor country economically dependent on exporting unprocessed goods/resources to industrialised countries. As Daly says:

Quote
[T]he vision of globalization requires the rich to grow rapidly in order to provide markets in which the poor can sell their exports. It is thought that the only option poor countries have is to export to the rich, and to do that they have to accept foreign investment from corporations who know how to produce the high-quality stuff that the rich want.

And as Trainer says, if most money can be made producing carnations to airfreight to European supermarkets, or fattening cattle to airfreight to American hamburger chains, then in a market system that is what will be done. And Kuenen: “At present the technologically underequipped nations are selling their natural wealth for short-term gains.”

It is ironic however that governments call for economic growth to reduce poverty while, as noted earlier, there has been massive poverty in the richest nation in the world throughout a 65-year period of tremendous and unrepeatable economic growth. (It may be noted that the wealthiest man in America owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined.) How then is economic growth, in particular such growth as is based on exports, to reduce poverty? For the people living in these countries, what they produce for themselves and for each other is of infinitely greater importance to them than what they produce for foreigners. The promotion of export-oriented development has been one of the most disastrous Third World policies in the past two decades, in fact increasing poverty.

The whole thing is a scam – part of the larger scam of the world’s need for economic growth – that allows powerful capitalists to make profits stripping the Third World of what it has to offer. Thus the status quo from colonial times is maintained, with the economically most powerful making the largest possible profits. Only now it is transnational corporations that are sucking as much as they can out of these (and all other) countries, rather than such nationally-bound companies as the East India and Hudson’s Bay Companies.

The fundamental ‘mistake’ which neoclassical economic theory makes with regard to the Third World is the assumption that simply encouraging as much economic growth as possible will result in satisfactory development. In fact the indiscriminate, sheer-growth conception of development causes immense havoc among the poor. In the form of increasing exports, it has stripped them from the land and moved them to urban slums, it has made large numbers poorer and hungrier, and it has destroyed their forests through the building of dams. According to a report of the international Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, below-cost imports drive Third World farmers out of their local markets, and if they do not have access to a safety net, they have to abandon their land in search of other employment.

When it comes to the provision of aid, the West has given with one hand, and taken more with the other. In effect, more aid is going to the rich than to the poor. It is the normal functioning of the global market-economy which delivers the available resources to a few and deprives the majority. The drive to maximise output, sales and returns on investment inevitably leads to the focusing of productive capacity on the already rich.

The conventional growth and trickle-down view accelerates the operation of the very mechanism that is responsible for the problem of poverty. As expressed by John Browett, in keeping with Boulding, while transnational corporations may be developing, the people living in the newly industrialising countries are not. While trickle down occurred in the industrialised countries from 1850, it has never extended to the Third World. And as suggested by Trainer in 1989, the lack of trickle down in the Third World may well be the most clearly established proposition to have emerged from three decades of development research. In fact, as intimated above, conventional growth strategies often result in the very opposite of trickle down, an effect most tragically evident when the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture enriches planters, who then increase export crops by terminating the leases of peasant farmers.

The conception of development as growth through increasing exports does not best serve the interests of classes other than the elite. What is required here is not that the rich world charitably redistribute some of its wealth to the poor; it is that it should stop taking such a disproportionate share of what the world has to offer.

Conventional development theory and practice is capitalist (bourgeois) development theory and practice. To conceive of development as indiscriminate economic growth is to opt for the view which most suits the capitalist class, since it is in their interest to maximise the amount of capital being exchanged, and not have to bother about whether capital really ought to go into things that are appropriate but not very profitable, and not into things that are inappropriate but profitable. Foreign investors never go into the Third World to invest in clean drinking water, mobile health clinics, or cheap staple foods for impoverished people – because there is little profit to be made from these sorts of ventures.

It should also be pointed out here that the projects funded in the name of aiding the Third World, apart from economically supporting those engaged in carrying them out, are large-scale, unsustainable and in fact ecologically destructive. These projects, such as the building of large dams, are drafted in an atmosphere in which economic growth is to be striven for as the ultimate goal, and ecological consequences are either ignored or dismissed.

C. G. Darwin provides an example: the Sukkur dam (completed by the British in 1932) spread the water of the Indus over a great area and transformed a large part of the desert into a garden. According to generally accepted values, this was a great blessing for humankind, since people who earlier were on the verge of starvation could now be fed. But this was not what happened; after a few years the only effect was, as in the case of the Green Revolution, that there was a large rather than a small number of people on the verge of starvation.

Similarly, the Aswan High Dam, designed by Soviet engineers in the late 1950s, stops 98 per cent of the silt that had formerly coated the inhabited part of Egypt. Without this top dressing of fertile silt, Egyptian agriculture had to turn to mineral fertilisers, of which Egypt became one of the world’s top users, with much of the Aswan’s electric power going to fertiliser factories.  The Nile Delta began to shrink. The lack of silt nutrients destroyed sardine and shrimp fisheries in the Mediterranean that had employed 30,000 Egyptians. Without the flushing of the flood, the irrigation canals of Egypt became an ideal habitat for the water hyacinth, a beautiful but pernicious weed. The snails that carry schistosomiasis – a debilitating disease that attacks the liver, urinary tract, or intestines – love water hyacinth, need stagnant water, and consequently flourished in the new Egypt. Schistosomiasis infection rates increased five- to tenfold among rural Egyptians with the transition to perennial irrigation, and after 1975 approached 100 per cent in many communities. The dam also swamped and corroded the cultural heritage of the Nile Valley. However it at the same time eliminated the costly consequences of irregular Nile floods, and supported a doubling of the Egyptian population. Thus was destroyed the only large, ecologically sustainable irrigation system that ever existed – one which had maintained millions for five millennia and made Egypt the richest land in the Mediterranean from the Pharaohs to the industrial revolution.

The modernisation of Third World agriculture also means the increasing commercialisation of food production, and can consist in little more than converting land from production by the poor for use by the poor, to production by rich farmers for use by the rich in the Third World and by consumers in the rich world.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 445-451). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


Quote
Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.

I accept the principle but not the conclusion.  I haven't seen any evidence that China is targeting a steady-state economy.  You've shown they are (were) targeting lower growth, which is the least they should be doing given their feverish growth rates.

Quote
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

It is still debated but has not been conclusively disproven.

Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?



Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

This is no way addresses the points made and is irrelevant to their validity.  Besides, how can you assume I'm not? 
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:10:04 PM
Quote
Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on. ... But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!

It certainly might appear that way on the surface.  But you don't have to dig very deep to find the correlation between our development and the problems you cite in your sub-saharan Africa example.  What follows is a more realistic assessment of the third world:

Quote
The Third World As Schumacher says, problems grow faster than their solutions – in the rich countries as much as the poor. Following him, we should say that there is nothing in the experience of the last 50 years to suggest that modern technology can really help us alleviate such problems as that of world poverty, not to mention the problem of unemployment. As Hawken has pointed out, literally thousands of native cultures around the world have been destroyed by economic development. Lost with those cultures have been languages, art and crafts, family structures, land claims, traditional rites and oral histories, and traditional methods of healing, obtaining food, and population control. And, as pointed out above, the improvement of the situation of the poor in the Third World is not even the intention of those that stand behind decisions to implement large capital-intensive projects there. The intention, rather, is to make as much money as possible. This applies both to the wealthy capitalists in industrialised states who invest in Third World projects, and to those who have power in the Third World.

As suggested by Baran (in 1957), the ‘backward’ world has always represented the indispensable hinterland of the highly developed capitalist West, supplying it with many important raw materials, thereby providing their corporations with vast profits and investment outlets. Thus the ruling class in the United States (and elsewhere) is bitterly opposed to the industrialisation of the so-called ‘source countries,’ and to the emergence of integrated processing economies in colonial and semi-colonial areas. This opposition appears regardless of the nature of the regime in the underdeveloped country that seeks to reduce the foreign grip on its economy and provide for a measure of independent development.

As regards the phenomenon of increasing social inequality, it is important to appreciate that it should continue so long as the vicious circle is able to continue turning without hindrance. However, such events as an inordinate increase in a society’s surplus, as in ancient Athens and modern industrialised nations, or a social revolution, as in France and Russia, can lead to an increase in social equality. But such increases are invariably directly followed by constant decreases, unless and until such an event should occur again.

That the non-vital needs of the powerful living in Third World countries also strongly influence those countries’ domestic economics is emphasised by Georgescu-Roegen. He noted, already in 1971, that Third World countries’ economic plans, claimed to bring economic progress through industrialisation, are, more often than not, rationalisations of the ulterior motives of the elite in the country in question. The inflation in Latin America at that time, for example, did not answer ‘the aspiration of the masses to improve their standard of consumption,’ as one economic expert claimed, but the aspirations of the upper classes for a still more luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, the leaders of underdeveloped countries are not anxious to limit the populations of their own lower-class majorities, because cheap and abundant labour is a benefit to the ruling class. According to Georgescu-Roegen, and in keeping with the VCP, the same lip service to the welfare of the masses concealed the aspirations of the powerful classes in many a planned economy at the beginning of the 1970s, and, we might add, the phenomenon has continued to the present day.

The majority of today’s underdeveloped nations are destined never to become developed, and the Third World would have been better off without international investment and aid. As Goldsmith says: “The fact is that trade with the Third World is negative aid – it involves selling the indispensable in exchange for the totally superfluous. If I were running a Third World country, the first thing I would do would be to cut myself off from the industrial world and foster self-sufficiency at every level down to that of the village. In fact, one should not be developing the Third World but de-developing it.” And as noted by Carr-Saunders, “there is a considerable amount of evidence to the effect that upon the whole before the advent of the white man the African races were healthy and long-lived.”

There has been no appreciable improvement in the economies of Third World countries after World War II. As Schumacher noted already in 1965: “In many places in the world today the poor are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer, and the established processes of foreign aid and development planning appear to be unable to overcome this tendency;” and again in 1973: “For two-thirds of mankind, the aim of a ‘full and happy life’ with steady improvements of their lot, if not actually receding, seems to be as far away as ever.” As aptly put by Boulding in 1972: “The interesting thing about developing countries is that they are not developing.” And, more than 35 years later, they are still not developing.

Some 50 years ago these countries were politely and optimistically named the ‘developing countries,’ and the 1960s were to be known as the ‘Development Decade.’ But ‘development’ here meant growth in GNP, which was to be accomplished through increasing resource exportation – as taken up in the previous chapter. This growth was to be supported by growth in the GNP of the industrialised countries – the more the industrialised countries grew, the more resources they would import from the Third World, thus benefiting Third World economies. Thus, for example, the Report of the 1970 Commission on International Development (the ‘Pearson Report’) submitted to the World Bank considered the expansion of exports – mainly non-renewable minerals, including oil – the main criterion of success for ‘developing’ countries. African and other Third World countries were to develop economically through the wealthy people in each country making increasing profits by exporting ever greater quantities of their respective country’s resources, and creating jobs for labourers in the process. But as Malthus said already in 1798:

Quote
Foreign commerce adds to the wealth of a state, according to Dr Adam Smith’s definition, though not according to the definition of the [French] economists. Its principal use, and the reason, probably, that it has in general been held in such high estimation is that it adds greatly to the external power of a nation or to its power of commanding the labour of other countries; but it will be found, upon a near examination, to contribute but little to the increase of the internal funds for the maintenance of labour, and consequently but little to the happiness of the greatest part of society.

Malthus’ reasoning here is that it is only a growth in the quantity of vital resources available to the poor that can improve their lot (and then, of course, only in the short term). What we have is the making of each Third World country into a banana republic, which may here be understood to be a poor country economically dependent on exporting unprocessed goods/resources to industrialised countries. As Daly says:

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[T]he vision of globalization requires the rich to grow rapidly in order to provide markets in which the poor can sell their exports. It is thought that the only option poor countries have is to export to the rich, and to do that they have to accept foreign investment from corporations who know how to produce the high-quality stuff that the rich want.

And as Trainer says, if most money can be made producing carnations to airfreight to European supermarkets, or fattening cattle to airfreight to American hamburger chains, then in a market system that is what will be done. And Kuenen: “At present the technologically underequipped nations are selling their natural wealth for short-term gains.”

It is ironic however that governments call for economic growth to reduce poverty while, as noted earlier, there has been massive poverty in the richest nation in the world throughout a 65-year period of tremendous and unrepeatable economic growth. (It may be noted that the wealthiest man in America owns more than the poorest 100 million Americans combined.) How then is economic growth, in particular such growth as is based on exports, to reduce poverty? For the people living in these countries, what they produce for themselves and for each other is of infinitely greater importance to them than what they produce for foreigners. The promotion of export-oriented development has been one of the most disastrous Third World policies in the past two decades, in fact increasing poverty.

The whole thing is a scam – part of the larger scam of the world’s need for economic growth – that allows powerful capitalists to make profits stripping the Third World of what it has to offer. Thus the status quo from colonial times is maintained, with the economically most powerful making the largest possible profits. Only now it is transnational corporations that are sucking as much as they can out of these (and all other) countries, rather than such nationally-bound companies as the East India and Hudson’s Bay Companies.

The fundamental ‘mistake’ which neoclassical economic theory makes with regard to the Third World is the assumption that simply encouraging as much economic growth as possible will result in satisfactory development. In fact the indiscriminate, sheer-growth conception of development causes immense havoc among the poor. In the form of increasing exports, it has stripped them from the land and moved them to urban slums, it has made large numbers poorer and hungrier, and it has destroyed their forests through the building of dams. According to a report of the international Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, below-cost imports drive Third World farmers out of their local markets, and if they do not have access to a safety net, they have to abandon their land in search of other employment.

When it comes to the provision of aid, the West has given with one hand, and taken more with the other. In effect, more aid is going to the rich than to the poor. It is the normal functioning of the global market-economy which delivers the available resources to a few and deprives the majority. The drive to maximise output, sales and returns on investment inevitably leads to the focusing of productive capacity on the already rich.

The conventional growth and trickle-down view accelerates the operation of the very mechanism that is responsible for the problem of poverty. As expressed by John Browett, in keeping with Boulding, while transnational corporations may be developing, the people living in the newly industrialising countries are not. While trickle down occurred in the industrialised countries from 1850, it has never extended to the Third World. And as suggested by Trainer in 1989, the lack of trickle down in the Third World may well be the most clearly established proposition to have emerged from three decades of development research. In fact, as intimated above, conventional growth strategies often result in the very opposite of trickle down, an effect most tragically evident when the ‘modernisation’ of agriculture enriches planters, who then increase export crops by terminating the leases of peasant farmers.

The conception of development as growth through increasing exports does not best serve the interests of classes other than the elite. What is required here is not that the rich world charitably redistribute some of its wealth to the poor; it is that it should stop taking such a disproportionate share of what the world has to offer.

Conventional development theory and practice is capitalist (bourgeois) development theory and practice. To conceive of development as indiscriminate economic growth is to opt for the view which most suits the capitalist class, since it is in their interest to maximise the amount of capital being exchanged, and not have to bother about whether capital really ought to go into things that are appropriate but not very profitable, and not into things that are inappropriate but profitable. Foreign investors never go into the Third World to invest in clean drinking water, mobile health clinics, or cheap staple foods for impoverished people – because there is little profit to be made from these sorts of ventures.

It should also be pointed out here that the projects funded in the name of aiding the Third World, apart from economically supporting those engaged in carrying them out, are large-scale, unsustainable and in fact ecologically destructive. These projects, such as the building of large dams, are drafted in an atmosphere in which economic growth is to be striven for as the ultimate goal, and ecological consequences are either ignored or dismissed.

C. G. Darwin provides an example: the Sukkur dam (completed by the British in 1932) spread the water of the Indus over a great area and transformed a large part of the desert into a garden. According to generally accepted values, this was a great blessing for humankind, since people who earlier were on the verge of starvation could now be fed. But this was not what happened; after a few years the only effect was, as in the case of the Green Revolution, that there was a large rather than a small number of people on the verge of starvation.

Similarly, the Aswan High Dam, designed by Soviet engineers in the late 1950s, stops 98 per cent of the silt that had formerly coated the inhabited part of Egypt. Without this top dressing of fertile silt, Egyptian agriculture had to turn to mineral fertilisers, of which Egypt became one of the world’s top users, with much of the Aswan’s electric power going to fertiliser factories.  The Nile Delta began to shrink. The lack of silt nutrients destroyed sardine and shrimp fisheries in the Mediterranean that had employed 30,000 Egyptians. Without the flushing of the flood, the irrigation canals of Egypt became an ideal habitat for the water hyacinth, a beautiful but pernicious weed. The snails that carry schistosomiasis – a debilitating disease that attacks the liver, urinary tract, or intestines – love water hyacinth, need stagnant water, and consequently flourished in the new Egypt. Schistosomiasis infection rates increased five- to tenfold among rural Egyptians with the transition to perennial irrigation, and after 1975 approached 100 per cent in many communities. The dam also swamped and corroded the cultural heritage of the Nile Valley. However it at the same time eliminated the costly consequences of irregular Nile floods, and supported a doubling of the Egyptian population. Thus was destroyed the only large, ecologically sustainable irrigation system that ever existed – one which had maintained millions for five millennia and made Egypt the richest land in the Mediterranean from the Pharaohs to the industrial revolution.

The modernisation of Third World agriculture also means the increasing commercialisation of food production, and can consist in little more than converting land from production by the poor for use by the poor, to production by rich farmers for use by the rich in the Third World and by consumers in the rich world.

Dilworth (2010-03-12). Too Smart for our Own Good (pp. 445-451). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.


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Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.


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Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

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As indeed they MUST, still, at this stage of their development. Remember: they still have several hundred million people who are dirt-poor. They CANNOT leave those people in that miserable state. It would be immoral. Their per-capita income is still in the $6-8K range -- too low. They need to continue operating within the technology and progress worldview, for perhaps another generation. WE, on the other hand...


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Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?

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You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:10:09 PM
Alan, I think the point you're missing is that development, of any kind, creates
more problems than it solves.
Not true.  Economic development solves many more problems than it creates, up to
a certain level of income -- approximately 10K/year.  Below that are all the
problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation,
high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on.
It is a mess.  It is vital to bring everyone up to that level, approximately. Beyond
that level is a different matter.  Benefits fall off, rapidly, and begin to reverse.
We live in the quintessentially OVER-developed society -- the U.S.A. -- so it is much
easier for us to attune  to the problems of over-development. But the problems of
under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people
than those of us with the opposite problem.  Sub-saharan Africa, for example!



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  I have read much of what you posted and while I agree that planning is vital,
and it's a good thing they've targeted a reduction in growth, anything short of
steady-state or actively reversing development is a losing proposition.
Why?  Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal of
steady state can do any good?  In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing)  involves incremental steps.

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  Even conservation and efficiency is misleading because, as per Jevon's paradox,
it leads to greater use of resources by expanding the application of the resources
to other activity or to a wider population. 
Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

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China is still operating within the technology and progress worldview,
As indeed they MUST, still, at this stage of their development. Remember: they
still have several hundred million people who are dirt-poor. They CANNOT leave those
people in that miserable state.  It would be immoral.  Their per-capita income is still
in the $6-8K range -- too low. They need to continue operating within the technology
and progress worldview, for perhaps another generation.  WE, on the other hand...   ;)

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so it just amounts to changing the window dressing rather than a structural change.
Over time, window dressing changes become structural changes.  We begin with
baby steps. Then, big-baby steps.  Trajectory is everything.

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  Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions). 
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.
Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?

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I've concluded, rightly or wrongly, that small self-sufficient regulated (not
through infanticide or abortions but through preventative measures)
populations that have greatly reduced their use of technology, practically
to zero, is the only viable solution for long-term human survivability. 
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

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In short, we should seek to work within the boundaries of ecological niches.  But I
don't see that happening without an evolutionary change or bifurcation of the
species.  Homo sapiens will use all the available resources until they no longer can. 
Then we'll just be stuck with our useless ingenuity.  That's if we don't further disrupt
the ecological equilibrium (unlikely based on our history) we depend on before arriving
at that point.
I see two options: Evolve or Perish.  Evolution sometimes gets it wrong, I think we're
a case in point.  What China is doing is clearly better than what the West is doing,
but it still falls way short.  Nature doesn't reward for effort, only for success.
You may be right. Time will tell!
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: EndIsNigh on April 06, 2017, 12:10:19 PM
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Below that are all the problems of underdevelopment, including malnutrition, disease, non-sanitation, high infant mortality, high fertility (and thus, eventually, population), and so on.



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But the problems of under-development are no less real, and are suffered still by many more people than those of us with the opposite problem. Sub-saharan Africa, for example!


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Why? Do you really mean to say that no incremental steps toward the goal ofsteady state can do any good? In my view, ALL progress toward anything (at
least any material thing) involves incremental steps.


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Jeavon's paradox is an amusing idea, but it is not taken seriously. It has
no credibility as a general phenomenon.

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As indeed they MUST, still, at this stage of their development. Remember: they still have several hundred million people who are dirt-poor. They CANNOT leave those people in that miserable state. It would be immoral. Their per-capita income is still in the $6-8K range -- too low. They need to continue operating within the technology and progress worldview, for perhaps another generation. WE, on the other hand...


Quote
Even hunter gatherers were unsustainable (eg. megafauna extinctions).
Humans, by our very nature, do not appear to be capable of sustainability.

Geez! That's a tad stringent, don't you think?

Quote
You first. Set an example for the rest to follow.

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: Palloy2 on June 15, 2017, 02:44:12 PM
This is the "Ghosts in the forum" bug. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.
Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: JoeP on August 04, 2017, 12:09:01 AM
I'm adding a link to an article by CHS (below) that I think is a pretty good summary of the present and future state of things in China.  My question is related to point #10 in the article.  Why are wealthy elites fleeing China if they have such a great plan for the future?

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune11/wheels-fall-off-China6-11.html (http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune11/wheels-fall-off-China6-11.html)

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: reanteben on August 04, 2017, 07:58:15 PM
great stuff, alan. funny, too. excellent to have you here. keep on spammin' on!  ;D
Glad you're enjoying the show.  Huzzahs!

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i did, however, find the folowing statement surprisingly mundane.
Why?

because it strikes me as a conventional view in favor quantity over quality. of course most are going to say they rather society had a lower infant mortality rate - which is mostly what we're talking about here with the lifespan argument. but even accepting the argument at face value - at what cost? what about the non-human side of the ledger? how do you balance that?

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why bother, as an anarchist, arguing for contextless benefits of an industrially-
Regulated Group Mind over a preindustrial one?
Yeah, you might say that. But it IS awfully easy for us to say, is it not? I mean,
we've GOT the extra 40-50 years -- during which to make clever points about
the meaninglessness of context-free benefits.  Would those points mean
anything to someone dying at age 12 of some horrible infection?

would those points mean anything to a black man unjustly incarcerated, and medicated, for the last 50 years, who has not been allowed to kill himself for 45 of them? tit for tat, man.  :P

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besides, what is so phenomenal about your lifespan statistic? it is the norm
for rapidly industrializing countries is it not?
Yes, the norm for pre-industrial vs. industrial. AND phenomenal. An extension of
life on that order is, to me, stunning. Very impressive.  And we take it for granted!
Just like your comment: "What's the big deal, Alan?"  Or like Ash's comment,
oblivious to the huge upside.  But it IS a big deal, for the people newly affected.
A very big deal.

fine, it's impressive on a statistical level. but so what? it just strikes me as a rather abstract argument. but then again i'm enthralled the fifth dimension!

Title: Re: Malthus to China Potpourri
Post by: reanteben on August 04, 2017, 07:58:20 PM
great stuff, alan. funny, too. excellent to have you here. keep on spammin' on!  ;D
Glad you're enjoying the show.  Huzzahs!

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i did, however, find the folowing statement surprisingly mundane.
Why?

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why bother, as an anarchist, arguing for contextless benefits of an industrially-
Regulated Group Mind over a preindustrial one?
Yeah, you might say that. But it IS awfully easy for us to say, is it not? I mean,
we've GOT the extra 40-50 years -- during which to make clever points about
the meaninglessness of context-free benefits.  Would those points mean
anything to someone dying at age 12 of some horrible infection?

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besides, what is so phenomenal about your lifespan statistic? it is the norm
for rapidly industrializing countries is it not?
Yes, the norm for pre-industrial vs. industrial. AND phenomenal. An extension of
life on that order is, to me, stunning. Very impressive.  And we take it for granted!
Just like your comment: "What's the big deal, Alan?"  Or like Ash's comment,
oblivious to the huge upside.  But it IS a big deal, for the people newly affected.
A very big deal.