Presvias wrote:I'd just say my view is this: Pollution/fixing the environment often but not always intersect; we should try a lot harder to help ourselves in these respects, even if it doesn't stop global warming - which as you say, it mightn't - we should still try - and certainly we want cleaner air, less other kinds of pollution by default right?
Yes, we should--to a point. However, the problem I have with the establishment is that they lie and exaggerate to the point where people distrust them. When I was a kid, they peddled an oncoming ice age as a result of particulates in the air. Was there an imminent ice age? No. However, they wanted to push a clean air act, and they did. Did they immediately switch to global warming? No. Then, they told us if we did not ban chlorofluorocarbons, the ozone layer would disappear, the Earth would flood with ultraviolet radiation, and all plant life followed by all animal life on Earth would perish. They got their legislation banning CFCs. Then, it was on to global warming. The problem with that was they weren't making the air cleaner, or taking away hairspray, they were selling a return to a pre-modern way of life. They also stopped making scientific sense. They opposed nuclear power, including all the efforts to make it safer such as pebble bed reactors, graphite moderation, different fuels such as Germanium or Thorium, breeder reactors, micro reactors, subterranean reactors, and so forth. So they developed an anti-science, anti-technology reputation with Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) campaigns. Further, they later coupled this with the Clinton administration's "politics of personal destruction" and started trashing anyone who was skeptical of their program. What's worse is that they knew that the temperature trend reversed from declining to inclining, and decided to forecast higher temperatures. They were right about higher temperatures, but they constantly exaggerated to the point that all of their predictions have been wrong for over 30 years--all of the wrong predictions dramatically over-estimating warming. Further, all funding of science by the United States means the data is in the public domain and they are required to share it. Yet, it is often very difficult for any skeptic to obtain the data that is supposed to be available to the public for free, leading ironically to more skepticism. When hacked emails and server notes at HadCRU were released, it showed a very political and not very scientific initiative with data handling that was ramshackle to say the least. As I've said multiple times, a little kid's video game has more reliable and robust data handling.
Rancid wrote:One could argue that it is well within the power of China to fix their pollution problem. It would be even easier for them to do that than it was for the US given the Authoritarian nature of that government.
Well if this were a moral question, China sure was quick to cede the moral high ground and become the world's worst polluter at a time when our leaders were ever wise and understanding of the threat of global warming. Yet, China (and India) quickly abandoned bicycles and rickshaws for automobiles and the US was just as hasty at outsourcing factories subject to the clean air and clean water legislation to countries that had no such protections. So given the concomitant political dishonesty, it simply came to appear that they knew what they were doing was counter to their stated political problems and they continued to do it anyway making them appear hopelessly dishonest or almost impossibly unethical in pursuit of profits while condescending to the global population at large. It's not without reason that there are so many people skeptical of their prognostications, and the most compelling reason for skepticism is the behavior of the establishment itself.
Rancid wrote:Anyway, I'm sure you agree that it wasn't just outsourcing production that reduced pollution.
No. I think catalytic converters were among the biggest contributions along with particulate and sulfur scrubbers on coal plants. Sulfur dioxide used to be a pretty significant problem. It still is from time to time. Yet, that was another very counter-intuitive government move. East Coast coal sources are plentiful, but they are sulfur rich. In the west in places like Wyoming and Utah, you get much cleaner low sulfur coal, and the Clinton administration did their level best to ban it--even abusing national monument legislation to that end.
I've said similar things about the unrelated Americans with Disabilities Act. While I don't think there is a constitutional obligation to make provisions for the handicapped, I think providing incentives and tax credits to that end is a noble endeavor. Yet, Congress didn't stop there. They treated it as a civil right and created a whole new class of lawsuits for lawyers to make money. Again, it leads to very peculiar situations. For example, in high rise buildings--before you had to badge-in to the elevators--you'd have to have a code to get in to the bathrooms so that the homeless weren't ambling in to high rises to camp out in the boys room. Yet, you could easily defeat such provisions, because the ADA required handicapped access. If you don't know the bathroom code, you can just push the handicapped button and you not only get into the bathroom, the door will open automatically for you.
To me, the constant dishonesty, propaganda and personal attacks by political factions and their media apparatus has become intolerable to the point that making someone like Donald Trump president is preferable to anything they have to offer. They may find Donald Trump overbearing, tiresome and loathsome; yet, oddly they do not see that the general public has an even worse opinion of them--they seem almost oblivious to that fact.
"If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, a ewe, or a camel, their urine and excrements become impure, and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed as quickly as possible and burned."
-- Ayatollah Khomeini