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Author Topic: I thought that it wasn't possible to get any more ridiculous.  (Read 3645 times)

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Offline Jude

Re: I thought that it wasn't possible to get any more ridiculous.
« Reply #50 on: February 10, 2011, 10:59:35 AM »
I believe in the private sector as the solution to most of our problems, but the private sector believes in the profit motive.  There's nothing profitable about conservation, sacrifice, and restraint.  They're the opposite of consumption, greed, and rapid growth.

Initiatives like this, cap and trade, EPA policies, etc. try to change that so that there is profit to be made in being conscious of the effect companies have on the environment.  They do so because without that corporations are most likely to take the easiest route -- not giving a damn.

I really don't see how a private interest group could possibly encourage corporations to be less profitable in the name of slowing/stopping Climate Change.

Furthermore, maybe these bags won't be the end of the world if we fail to stop them, but you can apply that logic to every single tiny change we could make to positively effect the world, all of which add up to big sweeping advances when taken together.  We do need to perform a cost-benefit analysis in deciding what we're going to do in order to preserve humanity's place on earth, but 5 cents extra for a bag is hardly high on the "cost scale."

If a scientist who is very knowledgeable about the issue runs the numbers and it turns out this initiative doesn't make sense in terms of gains versus losses, then I don't think this legislation was very intelligent.  However, I'm not going to prejudge because I don't know.  I just disagree with the general sentiment of refusing any governmental involvement in stopping climate change:  it has to happen and it needs to start as soon as feasibly possible.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2011, 11:04:55 AM by Jude »

Offline Vekseid

Re: I thought that it wasn't possible to get any more ridiculous.
« Reply #51 on: February 11, 2011, 01:09:54 AM »
It's more appropriate to consider that the private sector focuses on externalizing. Especially corporations. This is effectively their job - they take an underutilized resource and turn a profit from it.

So there is no sense in trusting them to curb public externalities.

Offline Zakharra

Re: I thought that it wasn't possible to get any more ridiculous.
« Reply #52 on: February 12, 2011, 03:28:03 PM »
Zakharra, this is not about oil. This is about plastic.

Oil takes a few weeks to degrade into a useless sludge in an environment like the Gulf. This is because oil is a relatively simple substance that is easily converted into fuel for things to eat, and things are well adapted to eat it. Even then, large quantities can still be significantly ecologically and economically disruptive. The 'let it happen and live with it' argument is like saying we shouldn't try to mitigate the effects of volcanic eruptions or hurricanes.

Plastic is not the same thing as oil, like diamonds are not the same thing as coal. One is a lot more chemically stable then the other - and plastics usefulness is due to that chemical stability.

 True. I had forgotten that part. I was just looking at the oil thing differnetly. Yes, the oil spill in the Gulf is a tragity, but so has every volcanic eruption, mudslid and other natural diaster. However the earth has recovered from those over time.  Human intervention has altered things a bit and we always want things fixed 'Now!'

 There does need to be a better way to deal with plastics. Fixing our waste problems can definately be improved. Using the heavy hand of government isn't always the best solution though.

Offline Jude

Re: I thought that it wasn't possible to get any more ridiculous.
« Reply #53 on: February 12, 2011, 11:31:48 PM »
Business won't do anything about the environment unless there's money to be made in doing it.  That's unlikely to occur, though it could happen.  The other half of the "private problem solving" engine is charity, and that's unlikely to occur as well due to the scope of the problem, its abstract nature, and how hard it is to empathize with (there are few living victims to observe of climate change thus far).  Current environmentalist efforts certainly aren't the way to go if we're going to fight climate change.  We need to do a hard-nosed cost-benefit analysis, not partake in grandiose application of the naturalistic fallacy.