Monday Message Board

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please. If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link You can also follow me on Twitter @JohnQuiggin, at my Facebook public page   and at my Economics in Two Lessons page

27 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. New antibiotic.
    I was (s)not not being facetious in the last message board. /2019/03/18/monday-message-board-411/#comment-206548

    Your nose may have a new antibiotic. Produced from bacteria found in the mucus in 33% of our noses. And it seems to kill MRSA.

    JQ, do know a researcher able to rapidly tune this model for Australia? Fatty Vaughton, as a high profile example would aopreciate it. And why do we not include “societal costs” into cost generally as distinct to third party payer aka insurance? Just a US centric costing compared to Australia as a single payer ?

    “We developed an economic simulation model to quantify the costs associated with CA-MRSA infection from the societal and third-party payer perspectives. A single CA-MRSA case costs third-party payers $2277-$3200 and society $7070-$20 489, depending on patient age. In the United States (US), CA-MRSA imposes an annual burden of $478 million to 2.2 billion on third-party payers and $1.4-13.8 billion on society, depending on the CA-MRSA definitions and incidences. The US jail system and Army may be experiencing annual total costs of $7-11 million ($6-10 million direct medical costs) and $15-36 million ($14-32 million direct costs), respectively. Hospitalization rates and mortality are important cost drivers. CA-MRSA confers a substantial economic burden on third-party payers and society, with CA-MRSA-attributable productivity losses being major contributors to the total societal economic burden…”

    The economic burden of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA).

    And your nose – evolution and adaptations knows – how to deal with MRSA. Big pharma may look the other way.

    “Staphylococcus aureus resides in the noses of 1 in 3 people without causing a problem. MRSA — an S. aureus strain resistant to many antibiotics — is found in 2 in 100. In a small percentage of cases, the bacterium escapes to the bloodstream, causing infection. MRSA kills 11,000 people annually in the United States alone.

    “The potential new soldier in the fight against MRSA is a molecule called lugdunin produced by the bacteriumStaphylococcus lugdunensis, report Andreas Peschel and colleagues at the University of Tübingen, Germany, on 27 July in Nature.When Peschel’s team infected the skin of mice with S. aureus, lugdunin ointment killed the infection both on the surface and in deeper layers of the skin. S. lugdunensis also reduced the amount of S. aureus when squirted into the noses of cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus).

    “In addition to MRSA, lugdunin killed S. aureus resistant to the antibiotic glycopeptide and vancomycin-resistantEnterococcus spp.”

  2. An online petition to cancel Brexit has garnered 5.4 million signatories so far in the UK, ten times more than a rival one supporting hard Brexit. SFIK there is no petition supporting May’s doomed negotiated deal.

    The scheme is run by Parliament and deserves a look by others. Expats like me and SFIK minors can sign. Security is basic, with just an email confirmation link, but that looks enough. I have suggested selective forensic audit. Petitions with more than 10,000 signatures get a reply from the government; with 100,000, normally a Commons debate. Worthwhile.

  3. Well, no matter what side of Brexit one supports, I think it’s clear that all-in or all-out were/are the only serious alternatives. Looks like STAY will win now… but I am not known as the reverse prophet for nothing.

    The interesting thing is that neoliberalism continues to be a completely non-reversible process. It’s full hand of aces seems to be its tangle of legalism and corporate trade links plus corrupted politicians and revolving doors at the top end of town. The people get to vote and their vote is powerless to change anything… seemingly… until it isn’t… some day… over the rainbow… by and by… we’ll eat pie in the sky when we die. 😉

    Sorry, can’t take Brexit seriously anymore.

  4. Iko, we’ve been through this before. There are neo-liberals who want the UK to leave the EU, and there are neo-liberals who want the UK to stay. There are socialists who want the UK to leave and socialists who want the UK to stay. The ideology is all over the shop which is why the Parliament is Monty Pythonesque, what with Tory ministers voting against proposals that they move and urge the House to support and the Labour Party wanting … well, it’s hard to know what they want because they don’t know what they want.

  5. rog, 11:16
    Just like one of the speakers said about 5 or 6 minutes in to the Al Jazerra documentary, there needs to be a rational discussion about guns.
    I myself love justice. My love of justice leads me to have respect for guns. The crusader/jihadists of the Scenic Path are all armed with 5 weapons of war. The pen, the spoon, the harmonica, the dagger, and a .45 caliber 2 shot derringer.
    You might have noticed from my previous comments that I have a complete disdain for the idea that justice can be achieved by having a vote. Well at least a vote which allows large numbers of people to participate. But where as I have complete disdain for this idea that is often refered to as democracy I recognize that those that rise to the top of societies power structures are also usually completely untrustworthy. One is left with quite a dilemma when one can not trust the masses or the elites to do what needs to be done. The first because they lack the training, the second because they lack the intentions.
    I can not trust anyone most of the time. But if I want to progress I have to trust someone at least part of the time. This problem of lack of trust leads me to fall back upon a principle which was extoled by a previous generation of politcal philosophers. The principle is that there must be a BALANCE OF POWER between the different forces in a society that are trying to shape that society to their liking.
    Firearms play an important role in maintaining this balace of power. If a citizenery is disarmed it does not even have a theoretical possibiltiy of oppossing any abuse that the institutions of the state may heap upon it when those institutions fall to continuing criminal cliques, which is so often the case.
    But the lowest levels of society, in terms of the power that they posses have one advantage. There are lots of them. Sadly many of them can not be trusted at all.
    The balanced soulution that I came up with is that a government run by reasonable people should allow a residents of a society to have as many weapons as they want. But each weapon must be capable of firing only two shots before reloading. The police on the other hand should be allowed to carry weapons that fire between 6 and 8 rounds before reloading. It would be unreasonable to expect a nations policemen to have to deal with potential trouble makers on a equal basis. But there are way more residents than there are police. So if a government were abusing the population the police would have to think twice about assisting in such abuse or they could become the victims of vigilantee justice, which is really the only kind that there is when a government is run by a criminal enterprise.
    Finally the members of the military form the REGENCY that bears ultimate responsibilty for the conduct of the society. A properly formed military should be overwhelmingly made up of reservists as in Sweden and Switzerland from a broad crosssection of the societies population, with an overall size that is less than the total number of police in the country. These are people who need to be properly trained not only in the arts of war. But even more importantly in the arts of citizenship with the goal of protecting a REPUBLIC, NOT AN EMPIRE. What makes a Republic is not the presence of voting or even popular will. But the presence of insitutional checks and balances AND a leadership that is actually trying to achieve justice, which loosly defined is doing the greatest good for the greatest number.
    Because the military has the special responsibility of not only defending the country from a foriegn invasion, but also acting as the Regent for the nation, it members should have access to any type of weapons that they please. If a nation actually faces a potential foreign invasion the number of police could be increased to maintain a balance between locally employed police forces and a nationally employed military in times which the military must be enlarged. The police would also serve as a paramiliary force in times of crisis.

    Now of course unreasonable people will claim that by limiting the population in general to only two shot weapons will deprive them of multiple shot weapons during times that a multiple shot weapon is needed. Such an arguement is hog wash. People who make such arguements should be emmasculated. Anyone firearm owner who can not solve a problem that needs to be solved by a firearm with two shots in either a coward or is an incompetent firearms owner. If a firearms owner can not kill a snake with two shots they clearly need to take remidial target practice. If a firearms owner can not kill 4 people, should that be neccessary with 2 shots, they again clearly need to take remedial target practice.

    I had to write about the Regency of the military because that is embedded in my defence of balances of power which is crucial to my policy on guns. This Regency of the military is itself no doubt a pill which would be very difficult to swallow for most poeple who consider themselves reasonable.
    I do recognize that the leadership of the military can be part of the continuing criminal enterprise which controls a government. It can even be the leading part. It is not my contention that the Generals are the Regents. All the members of the military are the Regents.
    If the members of the military are capable of doing their job properly they must be capable of recongnizing when the Generals are not doing their job properly. That would require citizenship skills.
    That would require knowing that all the foundations that humans have come up with to imagine that a government is legitimate are just myths. A government does not gain legitimacy just because it has the support of the people, even if that could be determined. A government is not legitimate because it has the support of God, let alone those who claim to be its representives on earth. A government is not legitimate because a Constitution says so. A government is not legitimate because some combination of courts or other institutions say so.
    We live in an absurd universe. Therefore it is only fitting that my following proposition is absurd. A government is only legitimate when it does what needs to be done. Of course we all know that it is really really hard to reach a consensus one what that is. Especially when many people are not acting in good faith and are purposely blurring reality to achieve their own DISHONEST gains.
    This conclusion does not give humanity much. But it does give some people freedom. It gives people in the miltary the freedom to do what needs to be done reguardless of what those in the chain of command tell them (order them to do) when those policies that a government and or its military are carring out are incompatible with justice.
    But does it mean these members of the military have an obligation to do what needs to be done when a government and or its military are carring out policies which are incompatible wiht justice. I say that in theory the answer to this question is also yes. Yes because the members of the miltary have been placed in positions of public trust. But in practice it would be very difficult to do what needs to be done
    without taking very large risks once the institution has been corrupted. And in practice it woud be very easy to avoid the battle by delegating ones moral responsiblities as a citizen.
    That is why we have reached


  6. Some people might think that my comment about killing four people with two shots, should that be neccessary, was a joke. Seriously folks come on. I mean have you seen the way supporters of certian political manipulators line up directly behind one another to support those political manipulators.
    Why even accounting for bullet fragmentation taking out two with one should be easy for someone who has been properly trained.
    Am I making a disguised call for violence with that comment? Well take it how you want. But one thing shrould be obvious. It is not a disguised call for indiscriminate violence. When a policeman shoots an unarmed black person or an unarmed Muslim that is an example of indiscrimant violence. But if a policeman shoots an unarmed General, or an unarmed well known local organized crime leader, that is an act of violence with good taste. After all in both cases the policeman can say in all honesty about both figures, they had a gun and then I shot them.

  7. The people of Australia have it in their power to change the world. Individual Austraiians of course have very little power to make a positive difference in the world. But, there are those among you that could have a disproportionate influence over events.
    Austrialia has the ability to influence what goes on in the empire the same way that the Afghan mujahadeen influenced the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1980s. If Australia could make the US wobble such an event could inspire Germans to try to get off the world bus driven by the US leadership. An event that could have a profound effect in the USA right now would be death of an active duty Australian General or Admiral. It would of course be much more effective if such a General were to committ suicide. Comming on the heels of the death of Admiral Stearney it will appear as a crisis of confidence at high levels of the military in the empire. If there is a person of this level who is capable of comming to their senses they would of course realize that if they really want to make an impact they should committ suicide by setting themselves on fire. An event like that should really fire up the ranks.
    If no General or Admrial of integrity can be found with in the Australian miliitary any Australian field grade officer of integrity should devote themselves to creating a movement to removing Austraiia from it alliance with the USA, by any means possible.
    Unfortunately if my remarks were to act as a catalyst and convince someone to do what they should have done long ago. these remarks or the changes that they are aimed at will not come in time to save the children of Australia. Dear Australians, you are going to die. Dear Australians your children have been robbed of their future.
    But we still have at least some years possibly even decades left before industrial agriculture becomes unsustainable. There is time to create an ending to the story. in 1944/45 the war was going badly for Germany. The Germans really did not know how to wage an effective war. But they did know how to kill unarmed women and children in the areas that they still occupied. So they put a priority on doing what they knew that they could do the best. We all know what that was.
    Now the USA is in much the same situation. It can not prevent catostropic climate change let alone bring justice and peace to the world. So it continue to does what it has always done well. Wage war against economically developing societies that are trying to better themselves in a fashion outside of the rules set by the leaders in Washington. Rules designed to ensure full spectrum dominance of the planet for American elites.
    You the readers can not deny that Australia is an important block holding up that empire. Therefore if
    a General were to set himself aflame he would, finally at the end of his life, have done something noble. If the Australian field grade officers could finally do something that shows that they renounce those leaders who lead them around with a ring through their nose for decades they would finally be able to say that they sacrifced for a good cause.
    In either case it would be an end of a story that would match the ending of A Tale of Two Cities.

  8. I often wonder whether or not my version of the internet is real or whether it is a virtual representation.
    More specifically I wonder whether my internet connection gets shunted off to a siding where everything that i write only gets seen by about a half dozen individuals working 8 hour shifts 7 days a week, on behalf of the Bundes Vergassungsschutz. I even wonder if this small team using modern technology creates an alternet internet which distorts my view of what is going on outside of my personal observations. More specifically the my whole internet might just be a simulated internet in which all of the charachters who write comments really only exist in the software of a machine which of course developes the appropriate cover stories.
    You the (virtual) reader may think that is super super paranoid. The thing is I would never seek the counseling of a psycologist or psyciatrist to treat this paranoia that other percieve, even if I was paid to do so. They can only reach their conculsions about my mental health based upon their own expierences.
    These people do not know what I learned at New Cumberland Army Depot in the first half of 1986.
    Therefore they do not know to what lenghths the military would go to in order to create a false perception of reality in the mind of a targeted person or group of people.

  9. A problem for the Labor Party but many on this blog would support this policy. Extract:

    “The Greens have promised to abolish Australia’s coal industry as it takes an end to exports and an 100 per renewable energy target within the next 11 years to the next federal election.

    A Shorten government would face pressure from the Left to shut down coal-fired power stations and ban thermal coalmining amid the Greens new ­climate policy.

    It would kill off the $25 billion-a-year export ­industry within a decade.

    Australian coal exports brought in $248 billion in revenue to the nation in the last financial year, and Scott Morrison has launched a feasibility study into a new coal-fired power station in Queensland earlier this week.”

  10. “It would kill off the $25 billion-a-year export ­industry within a decade.
    Australian coal exports brought in $248 billion in revenue to the nation in the last financial year”

    How can both numbers be true, when one is 10 times the other?

  11. Smith9 – it was in the australian? Or like me, Harry wasn’t wearing his glasse?

    And revenue – are all those billions direct to treasury, or via Caymans with a double dutch Irish sadwich for lunch.

    Detailed references please Harry. Anyone.

  12. KT2- you can find the data on the DFAT web site. Turns out coal exports in the last financial year were $63 billion, 15% of all exports. What the $25 billion or the $248 billion refer to I have NFI.

  13. Dodgy figures aside, I’m struggling to see why the Greens’ policy would be a problem for the Labor party. Obviously The Australian and other Coalition-aligned actors would like it to be a problem for the Labor party, but that doesn’t meet it is one.

  14. The Greens have it right; if Australia is still exporting as much coal or more by 2030, without carbon pricing attached, we will be committing to dangerous and irreversible climate consequences – consequences that potentially will cost Australia more than the loss of economic earnings from coal. It will come from a fund that cannot be replaced – a loss of finite capital that is more fundamental to our civilisation than coal burning. Agriculture in much of Australia is already constrained by climate extremes – one good year in five can be considered success. Make that one year in eight or ten and no water management schemes will compensate.

    The pretence that the climate costs are illusory – something made up or exaggerated by extremists – is dangerously irresponsible; the LNP cannot even bring themselves to say it is real and serious, whilst Labor won’t match rhetoric with policy substance. It isn’t The Greens who are being unreasonable or need to pay attention to the large body of top level expert advice; on the climate and energy issue they remain the only political party that is treating that advice with the seriousness that it deserves.

  15. No plan. 71% drop. Coal exports dire. Newcastle port a stranded asset risk. JQ says phasing out coal aming cheaoest options. “Looking good” says Prop-up-market-ganda Department of the nsw minerals council.

    “Demand for Australia’s thermal coal exports to be dire in future, IEEFA report warns1 NOV 2018, 

    “An analysis of international data in the report found global demand for thermal coal would drop 28 per cent by 2025.

    “The decline will continue, and be 59 per cent by 2040, the report says.

    “The figures are drawn from the International Energy Agency (IEA), which models trade data against climate policies and new technologies.”

    “IEEFA’s report found the key issues facing Australia’s thermal coal industry were:
    “Total coal demand in Japan, NSW’s largest market, is expected to drop 71 per cent in the long term Total demand for coal in China, NSW’s second-largest export market, is forecast to fall 57 per cent by 2040 The Port of Newcastle, the world’s largest coal export facility, is currently operating with 24 per cent spare capacity — and is a “stranded asset risk” Coal is expected to account for just 11 per cent of the world’s energy mix by 2050, from a high of 40 per cent in 2010″

    “”New South Wales Mineral Council chief executive Stephen Galille said the thermal coal sector in NSW was “looking good”, with growth expected in emerging markets.”…

    …”But Tim Buckley, one of the IEEFA study’s authors, said these forecasts ignore both the falling price of renewable energy, and global action on climate change.

    “I think we are taking a very substantial economic and societal risk by refusing to acknowledge the magnitude and speed of the technology disruption,” he said.

    “It means we’re not going to have a plan.”

    JQ said: “Since phasing out coal is among the cheapest options any new coal mine comes at the expense of faster closure of existing mines. Almost invariably, its more costly to open a new mine, than to maintain production at an existing mine. So we should not start any new mines and, in general, not expand old ones.”

    And finally, just to show te oztrialeeanz continued opinion masking as journalism and boosterism bordering pure propaganda, along with te New South Wales Mineral Council technical analysis ala it’s “looking good” ( for pseudo billionaires ) – IEEFA Tim Buckley this year…

    “Building a huge new thermal coal mine simply makes no sense for Australia in 2019,” says Mr Buckley.”

    “This application shows the outdated coal industry is being left behind as cheaper renewable energies increasingly become part of the mix and lenders shift away from coal, particularly more expensive imported coal.”

    “Over 100 globally significant financial institutions including public and private banks, credit agencies and insurance groups have restricted coal financing including 40% of the top 40 global banks and 20 globally significant insurers. The majority of the institution’s announcements are ‘climate’ policies reflecting an acceptance of climate science and a serious reorientation of business strategies.”

    “Since the start of 2018 there have been 34 new or significantly improved announcements from global financial institutions restricting coal.”

  16. Smith9 please don’t send me to Dfat!
    Google and dfat. 8 searches. 4 terms. Specific year. Coal in quotes. A rabbit hole with a looking glass. Please. Someone. Tell me how much of exported coal is returned to the australian economy TO SPEND. My economic ignorance shows.

    Yet if I were in charge of dfat’s indexing and search you would be assured of page one result to your query or a list of terms and suggestions to get you there.

    The ipcc site, abc, and treasury and dfat. Even google can’t crack them.

    After google and dfat I went for the boring “australias-trade-statistics-at-a-glance” and was 404’d in the face!

    “Unfortunately the page you are looking for does not exist.
    Error: Page Not Found ( error 404 )URL: /trade/resources/trade-at-a-glance/pages/australias-trade-statistics-at-a-glance.aspx
    Referring Page:

    Smith9? JQ? Someine. Please comment re exactly what happens with the $63 Billion.  “Turns out coal exports in the last financial year were $63 billion, 15% of all exports.”

    How is this $63B disbursed – spent – banked – tell me a term to search at least. 

  17. For those like me who want AI and baysian nets to be human readable not just assumptions -> model -> black box -> answer.

    “The US Army is interested in applying some areas of math that you would normally think of as very pure, includinghomotopy type theory (HoTT).

    “From an Army announcement:

    “Modeling frameworks are desired that are able to eschew the usual computational simplification assumptions and realistically capture … complexities of real world environments and phenomena, while still maintaining some degree of computational tractability. Of specific interest are causal and predictive modeling frameworks, hybrid model frameworks that capture both causal and predictive features, statistical modeling frameworks, and abstractcategorical models (cf. Homotopy Type Theory).

    “And later in the same announcement

    “Homotopy Type Theory and its applications are such an area that is of significant interest in military applications.

    “HoTT isn’t the only area of math the Army announcement mentions. There are the usual suspects, such as (stochastic) PDEs, but also more ostensibly pure areas of math such as topology; the word “topological” appears 23 times in the document.”

    Fristin, king of neuroscience and brain imaging has suggested also that ai needs an “asking” function ala “what if” like our cognition.

    HoTT Friston Quiggin Topology Lesson. Has nice ring to it!

    In my bucket list is to attend Friston’s open questions lectures… “He also rarely meets people one-on-one. Instead, he prefers to hold open meetings like this one, where students, postdocs, and members of the public who desire Friston’s expertise—a category of person that has become almost comically broad in recent years—can seek his knowledge. “He believes that if one person has an idea or a question or project going on, the best way to learn about it is for the whole group to come together, hear the person, and then everybody gets a chance to ask questions and discuss. And so one person’s learning becomes everybody’s learning,”…

    …”Friston first became a heroic figure in academia for devising many of the most important tools that have made human brains legible to science. In 1990 he invented statistical parametric mapping, a computational technique that helps—as one neuroscientist put it—“squash and squish” brain images into a consistent shape so that researchers can do apples-to-apples comparisons of activity within different crania. Out of statistical parametric mapping came a corollary called voxel-­based morphometry, an imaging technique that was used in one famous study to show that the rear side of the hippocampus of London taxi drivers grew as they learned “the knowledge”.

    “A study published in Science in 2011 used yet a third brain-imaging-analysis software invented by Friston—dynamic causal modeling—to determine if people with severe brain damage were minimally conscious or simply vegetative.”

    JQ / Ernestine et al, how do you morph Friston’s dynamic causal modelling into social / economic / policy modelling please? Wellcome Trust -I’d lay money on it – would love a proposal from you Professor John Quiggin. And you’d make my envy 11 out of 10 because you would probably get an audience with Karl Friston!

    Dynamic causal modeling
    Andre C. Marreiros et al. (2010), Scholarpedia, 5(7):9568.doi:10.4249/scholarpedia.9568revision #182625

    Andre C. Marreiros, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, London, UK

    Prof. Klaas Enno Stephan, Laboratory for Social and Neural Systems Research, Univ. of Zurich, Switzerland

    Karl J. Friston, Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience, London, UK

  18. Correction to my above – should have been ‘with or without carbon pricing’.

    If we are still treating the coal industry as sacrosanct in a decade’s time it will be indicative of entrenched and enduring failure on climate, just as treating it as sacrosanct in the present is indicative of enduring failure on climate over the previous 3 decades. We continue to have strong top down political commitment to those very activities that make the climate problem worse – and the outrage at The Greens for failing to fall into line with commitment to the coal industry says more about the outraged than it does about The Greens.

    The commitment we have now to an enduring coal industry is firmly based in rejecting the top level expert advice on climate – and how anyone can believe a future built on turning aside from that expert advice will turn out better than facing up to it head on with eyes open eludes me.

    Save Australia from climate change or save the Australian coal industry from climate change action? Well, we do know where Australians with power and influence currently stand – they choose to let the world cook and support lying about climate change and climate activism to dodge any responsibility.

    Yet the public mood has been shifting, faster than I think our leadership class is willing to accept. I think the successes of solar and wind have been undercutting the economic alarmist fears around climate commitment; throwing the issue to the voting public, to choose between The Greens or coal supporting LNP and ALP no longer guarantees apathy, ignorance, self-interest and misinformation wins by default. The sense of seriousness will make it’s way into the policy of mainstream political parties, from bottom up if top down still fails. It is increasingly likely over the next decade the voting public will support ambitious RE, and support an orderly phase out of coal.

    Makes me think of Brexit Britain, which would vote Stay if they could do it over now – because opinions are not fixed. Pollies reflecting the views of commerce and industry with strong vested interests seem determined that there be little or no opportunity for changed public opinion to change that pro-coal position – but this is an issue that is not ever going to go away. Not ever in the lifetime of any person now living. The real world impacts will bring the issue back to the spotlight again and again – and the defenders of coal are correct that it is the thin end of the wedge, that nothing less than the total demise of the coal industry will satisfy the climate activists. Which activism is a correct response to an unvarnished reading of what 3 decades of top level expert advice have been telling us about the climate problem and which activism will grow to be a mainstream political phenomena. The coal industry hasn’t even begun to see what real support for strong climate action can do.

  19. mrkenfabian,

    I agree. The blindness of current policy is leading us towards total disaster. Half of the Barrier Reef is already dead. Much of that died in just a few bleaching events in the last several years. Other massive die-offs are beginning to occur in our ecosystems. The die-off of 600 coastal kilometers (IIRC) of mangroves in the Gulf of Carpentaria just a few years ago is another example.

    Ecologists are now working with a Press and Pulse model to explain ecological pressures and damage events. Pulse disturbances are temporary disturbances that, while influential, are recoverable because of the temporary nature of the problem. (Though perhaps not if serious enough or non-recoverable damage is done.) There are also chronic or press disturbances, from ever increasing pressures like rising global temperatures or plastics and chemicals throughout entire ecosystems and the biosphere.

    The combination of presses and pulses is even more damaging than either one alone. You can imagine another person trying to push you over. While the pressure is constant you can often resist with pressure of your own but once they add pulses to the pressure (added-in shoves and differing vectors to these shoves) this becomes more destabilizing and harder to resist.

    Orthodox business-as-usual economics has got us exactly to the position we are in. That is a position of having done far too little, far too late and thus having failed to make adequate progress in these matters. Often, orthodox business-as-usual economics has been deliberately obstructive, delaying and obfuscating with regard to the measures really required to deal effectively with the climate change issue. And yet they persist in saying, Trust us, trust our methods, they will work eventually.”

    NO! I do not trust Orthodox business-as-usual economics. I think they are liars. Or those who are not liars are sadly misguided and demonstrably wrong in their prescriptions. They’ve possessed the wheel-house and had their hands on the wheel long enough. They’ve steered us wrong the entire time towards the (bleached) reefs and bleached bones of human civilizational collapse. Their “science”, their ideology, their system is already very clearly debunked and obviously maladaptive in its interactions with the biosphere. Their day is done. Their research program is defunct. Their paradigm is over. They are the only ones who still cannot see it.

  20. Ikonoclast – Ideally we should have seen top down use by governments of the alarming truth of this unprecedented problem used to win over public support for the necessary, even difficult and costly actions the problem makes necessary – especially where the actions are difficult and costly we need leadership. Instead we have had top down use of lies to prevent a coalescence of public support. It is obstruction led by supposed free market ideologues that aren’t practising the ethics that have to be there for free market ideology to be something more than applied greed that respects no rule of law, fiduciary duty or common good. I think global warming – and other significant problems we face – are not primarily about capitalism versus socialism but are about ethical versus unethical, truth versus lies, honesty versus cheating. We can’t afford unethical capitalism any more than we can afford unethical socialism – and the worst examples of either gone wrong have been corrupt governments that do not respect the rule of law or democracy. I’m not sure what we have is anything like a worst example of capitalism gone wrong but the cheaters and liars have been winning on the climate issue, to the detriment of the common good. That I think bottom up politicking is reaching the point where it challenges the top down responsibility avoidance and regulatory capture by unethical capitalism is a good thing doesn’t change that it is a conflict that will be difficult to resolve as leadership continues to draw on a range of tools for influencing public opinion and constrain the choices the public is offered.

    I think the elements of The Climate Movement that seek to make it a vehicle for socialism to fight capitalism are doing us no favours – and reinforce the rhetoric of the obstructionist right that benefits from that framing. No surprise it is tinged green and leans left – environmentalists were amongst the first to take the expert advice seriously and the social justice issues brought the left on board, but it is not innately left leaning. That those on the right refused to participate has left The Climate Movement with a green-left bias, a bias that will only disappear when those leaning right join.

    Adopting socialist policies or turning anti-nuclear have never been requirements to join; the only essential requirement to join The Climate Movement is acceptance of the mainstream science based expert advice and the need for effective action. The Greens agreeing with the expert advice is, by any measure, a good thing. The LNP disagreeing is, by any measure, a bad thing; agreeing with that expert advice is not capitulation to left extremism – but that is how it is being spun to those who lean right. These are people that I for one believe must be part of The Climate Movement for it to be successful. I would note that it has not been the green-left fiercely opposing market based solutions like carbon pricing, but unethical interests that disguise their disregard for democracy and the rule of law with a misleading overlay of free market ideology.

  21. @KT2 Sadly, I’ve forgotten nearly all of the homotopy theory I once new, and my Honours thesis on the subject has been lost somewhere in 40 years of wanderings.

  22. Thanks anyway JQ.

    Lost somewhere in 40 years of wanderings. That could be my blog name. I know the feeling well.

    I moved dwellings 28x by the age of 28! Fortunately I became a stable homeowner and have not moved in 20.

    You are certainly are ramping up with your output, to not be lost nor forgotten.

  23. Are are! The pirate who lost his glasses!

    Still hopeful someone will save me from my ignorance;

    Exactly what happens with the $63 Billion.  “Turns out coal exports in the last financial year were $63 billion, 15% of all exports.”

    How is this $63B disbursed – spent – banked – tell me a term to search at least. 

  24. It is not April 1st yet.
    This is no Joke.

    AS of this time not a single General or Admiral has come to his or her senses and set themselves on fire.
    I think that more pressure needs to be added to their calculations.
    I now think that a large microwave oven should be built and the guilty parties shouid be cooked in that rather than with napalm.

    The only question that serious real economists really need to concern themselves with now is would it be economically more advantageous to build such a large microwave in China or closer to home.

    Discussing government budget deficits or trade balances, or especially interest rates, is just a waste of time at this point when ther are is much more important issue that needs to be decided upon.

    But Curt. You are a member of an organization called Friends of Thomas Paine. Thomas Paine tried to prevent the execution of the King and Queen of France. Surely if he were here today he would speak out against such vengful behavior.

    I suspect that he would. But I also think that Thomas Paine would be letting criminals worse than Hitler escape justice. I have previously written about why the criminals that I attack are worse than Hitler.
    For what they have done the punishment that I reccommend is quite merciful. A native American once told me of an even worse way to die. It results in a slower very painful death. So these criminals should be thankful that I would be protecting them from people who are even angrier and more radical than I am, if my advice is followed.

    Those murdered in the attack on the USS Liberty are still screaming out from their graves for justice.
    They look to me because I understand how that attack fits in to the grand scheme of history.

  25. Thomas Paine would have been alive when the French Physiocrats were trying to establish a new economic order. The centuries of budgetary imbalances under profligate French monarchs had left the French economy exhausted. It could no longer provide the basic wants of its urban populations. Bread was not available at prices that any middle class family could afford. This was one of the causes of the French Revolution. Budgetary management is always important! deficits DO MATTER. The USA seems to have set a very bad example to other global economic management regimes. With Australia’s next budget proposal about to be unveiled the structural deficit will be carefully examined. Australia is riding a wave of revenue from mineral exports. this may not be around to bail out any government that decides to spend more on budgeted outlays. Fiscal policy must never be used for blatant political gains. It is there to make the economy more stable and capable of providing the needs and wants of the population. this was the main aim of the new economic system proposed by ther French Physiocrats in mid eighteenth century France. A man called adam Smith happened to be touring France at that time and was convinced by their arguments. He went back to Scotland to write his best known book:

    Modern capitalism was established from that book!

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