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Re: [The-Burnsville-Socrates-Cafe] 1/22/13 questions and discussion

From: Dick S.
Sent on: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:19 PM
Adam Zyglis.jpg

That's what I'm talkin' 'bout!

On Jan 23, 2013, at 03:22 PM, Jon Anderson <[address removed]> wrote:

1/22/13 questions and discussion

1-why is interdependence hard to see/understand?6
2-do we think that any god/goddess, regardless of culture, should intentionally conceal itself in order to maintain an emphasis on faith?9/5
3-can loyalty be measured?6
4-do we know ourselves better than people close to us, or visa versa?7
5-how much of our lives do we really control?8
6-will addressing climate change bankrupt us sooner than entitlements?9/6


will addressing climate change bankrupt us sooner than entitlements?

Dick: it's going to be much more expensive to deal with crop destruction, displacement of withered lands, oceans rising, ice caps melting, fisheries repair than any potential entitlement reforms. How do we plan for our economic future? Are we even going to be able to resolve it?

Jim: if there's a mistake involved in climate change issues, what is it?

Dick: not acknowledging the climate changes.

Jim: I end up with assessment of risk; the overt rejection of obvious risk. For example building a house on a coastline in the path of hurricanes is an overt rejection of obvious risk and that makes climate change issues expensive. The same is true for entitlements. The common element is the unwillingness to admit reality. At least with climate change we will have more time to deal with it than we do with entitlement costs.

Dick: the core of this question is which will bankrupt us first.

Mitch: is this question about strictly the US or global involvement?

Dick: other countries have similar problems. Some nations are coastal and have long felt threatened.

Mitch: for countries trying to combat it -- like the US -- they're going to end up holding the bag for countries who aren't doing anything (China).

Dick: no one will be exempt from negative consequences, but yes, that is possible.

John: here's a solution: put on a huge carbon tax which will help with both problems. Risk vs. uncertainty: risk is somewhat predictable but climate change is uncertain/unpredictable. Should our government insure the most unlikely disasters? Jim's point is that some parts of the country are already near danger (with or without climate change).

Richard: would people be more willing to pay taxes if they're given a name other than tax?

John: use a "natural disaster tax."

Marla: how have the coastal countries who get hit often survived?

[Construction differences: very little to re-build, there's just cleanup.]

Dick: we don't look around the world for solutions. Our "exceptionalism" attitudes prevent us from letting other nation's solutions solve problems here.

Jim: built in to this question is the assumption that we're going to recreate climate as it once was. This can't be afforded.

Jon: what if you change that assumption? What if our goal is not restoration but instead problem solving minus re-creation?

Jim: I despair of this country, I don't think the political courage exists for these two problems to be solved.

Dick: step one is acknowledging the problem and we haven't gotten there.

John: should government insure against the uncertain?

Jim: up to a point but reconstruction, no.

Shannon: how do you make that distinction?

Jim: think of the ads that say "I deserve something." This makes me mad! That's what we face as we discuss making sacrifices necessary for dealing with both problems.

Shannon: a value judgement about the people asking for help?

Jim: yes

John: if Dick could prove human causation of global warming would Jim be willing to have a carbon tax to compensate victims?

Jim: expand the question a bit. When we say we need to raise $$ it's got two purposes; fixing houses and changing climate. If narrowly confined it and we had a real "lock box" on those resources I would support it.

Dick: [to John] who should pay a carbon tax?

John: everybody, depending upon consumption.

Richard: would a contingency tax be better (means testing taxation)?

John: that can be done easily. I'd be interested to see what actuaries are saying now. Minnesota already has a fund like this for the unemployed.

Richard: anyone who has worked in rehab knows its expenses so how can awareness be raised?

Marla: where I work -- paper industry -- we used to make messes in forests all over the world. Now that's not happening because the industry recognized the problems they were making.

Jon: what tipped them?

Marla: I don't know

Mitch: the main reason companies change is when profit continues or expands as the result of constructive changes. China may change if some country whom they respected brought them an idea for cleaning their air/water.

Jim: in America if people object enough there's a reaction. But China?

Mitch: China's trying to buy Facebook stock to control it in China!

Shannon: in the days when the US was growing didn't we have pollution problems?

Mitch: oh yeah

Shannon: China may need to be dirty for now

John: pollution is a problem only a rich man/country can solve.

Mitch: our industrial development was unique in world history, so China could copy our solutions more quickly. In their defense theirs is on a bigger sale than ever.

Richard: didn't China eliminate pollution for the Olympics? Perhaps they could be as effective at fixing their environment as they were at making China seem unpolluted during the Olympic games.

Marla: I notice we've been critical so far about America's chances for success until we got to China when we started bragging about our superiority!

Jon: let's go round the table, which will cost us more: entitlements or climate change?

Kevin: climate change

David: climate change

Jim: entitlements

Phillip: entitlements

Lynn; climate change

Meg: if it happens, climate change

Mitch: entitlement costs will be rolled into climate change costs

Shannon: see Mitch

John: entitlements (a transfer because they don't vanish into thin air)

Marla: entitlements

Richard: climate change

Jon: neither, I think we'll figure out solutions as we go along, just as our species always has. Of course, if we don't we are doomed, it seems.

Julene: climate change

Dick: if we let coastal folk die off that takes care of entitlements! [joke!]

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