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

50 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. I wonder what the truth is behind the denial in the face of evidence, the denial that has such catastrophic consequences, does anyone have any ideas? Is truely that they are puppets linked to the mining industry, is it just money and the power that money brings? Deep down Morrison’s sudden awareness of recycling means he has no concept of anything but uncontrolled growth, with “Clean up Australia” trimmings. What does drive them?

  2. There are some professional denialists who are motivated by money, but very few. More likely it is the difficulty of facing up to the reality that the current economic system is built on unsustainable resource exploitation and externalising pollution. People have dedicated their lives to participating in this unsustainable and environmentally destructive economy and have had their identities shaped by it. It’s not an easy thing to face up to – far easier to search around for a source to confirm that everything will be OK.

  3. It’s primarily a cultural thing strongly linked to demography – even Prof Quiggin concedes that. A generation & gender who principally link such science and requested action to an ideological agenda that’s conflicting to their own. A demographic who are culturally conditioned to compete and achieve superiority. Who generally left school early and were raised and educated when an ethos of religion & dogma was central to character and “knowledge”. When empathy and awareness of social/cultural externalities weren’t such a consideration.
    Yes, I generalise & stereotype strongly and there are many other causes and reasons.

  4. In the age of the global search engine, those who are interested enough can find the scientific research, article by article, spread across the academic journals. To allude to it not existing, or not being of a quantity and/or quality to warrant serious attention, is pretty facile.

  5. I am not in the habit of writing a lot. In this case, I shall.

    Perhaps unnecessarily, I will say that the few who have a complete disbelief in the scientific evidence, well they have been shown to be wrong, repeatedly, and in fact wrong by under-estimating the impact of human caused climate change. While some of that crowd possibly believe there is no developing crisis, the rest of them seemingly think that they can earn so much money, they’ll be able to buy themselves and their children out of trouble; that’s the only sane way of viewing their aberrant behaviour.

    They have no clue as to the true nature of anthropogenic global warming upon our current environment, as we move towards the future. Even without that existential threat, we act as if oblivious to the longer term impacts of erasing much of the global environment. Perhaps in some basic sense, we’ll survive; that’s almost assured. What we should really want, however, is to know that each and every one of us on planet Earth is able to do more than merely survive, or dying to support an elite.^fn1 We want more than mere survival. We don’t want an inequality that is eventually to ensure the survival of a few elite, we want to know that we can support, sustain and allow to thrive, every one on planet Earth. It’s a reasonable proposition, not something to be smeared and derided by a sitting Prime Minister of our country (i.e. Australia, in my case). It is offensive, on so many levels, how our PM was so patronising towards Greta Thunberg. She is a sixteen year old person who has accomplished more in her short life than I’ll bet our PM had managed in the same time. If she gets the opportunity to look back, thirty years hence, she will be able to say to herself, I was there, and I did my absolute best to make the right kind of difference. If history is capable of measuring scales of justice, I doubt that our current PM, or in fact numerous PMs before, will be able to account for themselves in such a positive manner.

    Pushing coal or other ridiculous non-solutions at this point in our scientific discoveries is to be on the wrong side of the debate. We know more than enough to take the risks of current and future anthropogenic climate change seriously. We know more than enough to attribute blame to humanity, and hence to look for the means of extricating ourselves from the hole we are so stupidly digging. Obviously no person upon this planet can say we are definitely going to die because of our own self-induced climate change. If that’s what you are demanding from scientists, then you are clueless. On the other hand, at what point do we accept the evidence as strong enough to change our behaviour? I would have hoped it was 40 years ago, when we had a basic inkling that we might be disrupting climate in ways previously rare…or 30 years ago, or 20 years ago, 10 years ago…and we did, but one political party in particular ran a campaign of pretending to do stuff, yet actually doing the opposite. Even in opposition, they refused to allow bills through, and that was that. So, Howard, Abbott, Turnbull, and Morrison: they all found ways of pretending to support the very thing they were essentially dismantling; while the ALP are not covered in glory, under the 2007 campaign they did at least support some of the economic and environmental changes we needed to make. Nothing they were presenting was going to crush society, or present an existential threat, and yet that is how Abbott, in opposition, behaved. For whatever reason, he got away with this. The Greens are painted as somehow politically naive, and yet their demands, with respect to steps the world must take (and hence implying we do something, not less than nothing) to avoid catastrophic climate change, well a quick glimpse of the heavily subsidised national rag today says we are mired in the 1970’s, stuck with a purblind belief that nothing we keep doing, despite all the warning signs, can come back to haunt us, or our children. It is the purblind belief of a those who hope to be among the elite when the shite hits the fan…an even more childish belief than the one of wanton denial they wallow in. Wallow in.

    If only a three word answer were possible. Anyway, as far as my personal feelings go, I reckon that Greta Thunberg, if she does nothing else, has achieved something immense. For F*x news to attack her as mentally disturbed, or as a mere teenager, is to be purblind to the basic truth: she has made plain the intransigence of governments to do what the people actually want, i.e. to move as rapidly as is possible away from polluting, climate changing, sources of power.

    I feel an amazing sense of Wow! when I think, this lady is just 16 years of age, and yet here she is, giving an essentially factual argument as to why our gutless politicians are failing us, the people. The fact is, it barely matters which country in the western world that we are talking about…her comments, her argument, is as salient. There are a number of people who read Prof John Quiggins’ blog who will disagree with me on this, but my simple response is that irrespective of why she feels so, she clearly puts the issue of evidence as a matter of what scientists have established, not what she might hope is true. Yeah, perhaps the scientists have got it 180 degrees wrong; the evidence of that is pretty much zero. Why bet against something that has so strong a base of evidence? Politics is about the only reason I can fathom as exhorting individuals to vociferously shout down people like Greta Thunsberg.

    Here’s the thing: she didn’t discover the crisis, nor did she have anything to do with it; nevertheless, her generation, and their children, are faced with it. If they believe we need some change in our manner of dealing with their environment, perhaps we owe them the basic courtesy of listening to their concerns. Unlike F*x news.

    fn1: Elite: I don’t mean academically elite, I mean elite through the means of great wealth or similar privilege. They are the ones who feel that climate change won’t materially affect them…and they are right, but at our expense.

  6. Tale of Two Capitalisms
    Sacred Economics in Nineteenth-Century Britain
    By Supritha Rajan

    “An interdisciplinary examination of nineteenth-century British capitalism, its architects, and its critics

    …”Rajan offers an inventive, interdisciplinary account of why this second narrative of capitalism has so long escaped our notice. The book presents an unprecedented genealogy of key anthropological and economic concepts, demonstrating how notions of sacrifice, the sacred, ritual, totemism, and magic remained conceptually intertwined with capitalist theories of value and exchange in both sociological and literary discourses.

    “Rajan supplies an original framework for discussing the ethical ideals that continue to inform contemporary global capitalism and its fraught relationship to the secular. Its revisionary argument brings new insight into the history of capitalist thought and modernity that will engage scholars across a variety of disciplines.”

  7. Over to Ove…

    “The ocean is key to achieving climate and societal goals

    Ove Hoegh-Guldberg1, Eliza Northrop2, Jane Lubchenco3

    … “But another just-released report (3) provides hope and a path forward, concluding that the ocean is not simply a victim of climate change, but a powerful source of solutions. Drawing on this report organized by the High Level Panel (HLP) for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, which quantifies and evaluates the potential for ocean-based actions to reduce emissions, we outline a “no-regrets to-do list” of ocean-based climate actions that could be set in motion today. 

    “These five areas were identified, quantified, and evaluated relative to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report concludes that these actions (in the right policy, investment, and technology environments) could reduce global GHG emissions by up to 4 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents in 2030 and by up to 11 billion tonnes in 2050. This could contribute as much as 21% of the emission reduction required in 2050 to limit warming to 1.5°C and 25% for a 2°C target. Reductions of this magnitude are larger than the annual emissions from all current coal-fired power plants worldwide. Considering each action area through a technical, economic, and social/political lens, the report concluded that carbon storage in the seabed requires considerable further investigation to address concerns regarding the impacts on deep ocean environments and ecosystems, but that the other four ocean-based sectors have substantial mitigation potential and could be readily implemented or initiated with the right policies, incentives, and guidance (3).

  8. Scomo’s promo visit yesterday to Dalby on the Darling Downs was a great example of the inadequacy of the word “drought” to describe climatic change, and their denial, associated with anthropogenic global warming. The Winter cereal crops of the past have disappeared from the area and have been replaced by the Summer crops sorghum and cotton, watered almost solely by hit and miss storms of varying intensity. Earlier this year areas around Dalby were in flood as a result of violent rain events, 250mm plus in a few hours which caused infrastructure damage and massive soil movement.
    Handouts may stabilise voting intentions but will further prolong denial.

  9. Make-believe. Its just another way of the trace-gas-hysterics running away from the need for evidence for their fantasies.

  10. Part of the fooling yourselves about matters scientific, is the Orwellian language that you are so dependent on. “Climate deniers” You cannot find one. There is no such thing as a climate denier. If you spoke English, you wouldn’t be able to keep the delusion going.

  11. Yeah very funny. But the reality is you cannot find anywhere, any such thing as a climate denier. People skeptical of the CO2-warming fraud are in fact much more sophisticated in their appreciation of climate, than you could ever be.

  12. GB. Yes. “People ARE skeptical of the CO2-warming fraud” – sters…

    And please drop the absolutist “There is no such thing as a climate denier. “. Worse than pendantism.

    And your last line puts you well under the plimsol line – where the conversation drew the line at having the niw less than 1% derail the 99% who are for precaution preventiin and possibilities.

  13. Thats Orwellian language. Its there in order to replace the evidence that you don’t have. There is no such thing as a climate denier. Anyone who says the phrase is a liar. Anyone who mixes up CO2-warming theory with “climate change” is a liar. Thats not speaking English. So get serious. Speak English. These are insults launched at people who know more about the science than you do.

    When I first came on this site I agreed that CO2 seemed to be warming, and obviously thats a good thing. There is no controversy that this is a good thing because we are in an ice age. How could a little bit of warming be a bad thing in an ice age? This is clear mass insanity. We know its orchestrated from the top.

    But the difference is now we found out that the data was being rigged. So now no-one can find the heating single in the data. This is just a fact. So now we have to stop the hysteria. Stop the lies. Stop the Orwellian language.

  14. It’s Orwellian to pretend “referring to someone as a climate denier” is Orwellian. Good grief, talk about a thin skin and a persecution complex.

    Plimer and Nova et al are very much climate deniers. They actively deny the temperature record and regard it as a fraudulent conspiracy, therefore they deny the climate. They refuse to acknowledge its true state. They pretend it is something different to what it is. They are climate deniers.

    Their views aren’t sophisticated. They’re understanding of climate physics and the atmospheric history of this planet is superficial and more or less at a 1979 Encyclopaedia Britannica level. They write polemics, not science.

  15. It annoys me that the gish gallopers are able to clog threads with shrill fake pedantry that has been refuted elsewhere. This truly is Agnotology.

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