[FoRK] "What did the president know and when did he know it?"

Ian Andrew Bell FoRK fork
Fri Jul 8 12:57:08 PDT 2005

On 8-Jul-05, at 12:24 PM, Stephen D. Williams wrote:

>   I agree with many approaches: I think we should be much more  
> stringent about polluting vehicles (trucks in the US and old  
> diesels in Europe) for instance.  We should invest more directly in  
> trying various alternative energy sources (nuclear, wind ->  
> hydrogen, etc.) rather than trying some lame indirect route like  
> making existing energy more expensive for consumers.  I really fail  
> to see how that encourages energy companies to spend on other  
> energy types.

Then, at least to some extent, we are in violent agreement.  But if  
it's strictly voluntary / philanthropic I don't much expect to see  
widespread behaviour change.

  I am (as is the EU and most of the rational world) also arguing for  
a restructuring of base economics to reflect the real cost of things,  
socially and environmentally, to allow for economics to appropriately  
catalyze innovation _AND_ conservation.

While it's great that you support both, we live in an economy that is  
structured to reward the waste of resources and to defer real  
innovation until a crash occurs, simply because those costs such as  
pollution and societal impact are not accounted for (rather they're  
subsidized out the back door with public funds).  If we want to avoid  
a series of successively greater crashes then the time to act is now.

It's clear from the discussions at the G8 and from Kyoto that America  
(Bush) and China (unfair to target only two, but they're the biggest)  
now view their willingness to hollow the ecosystem as a global  
competitive advantage, which will undermine efforts by ecologically- 
conscious nations to conserve using economic levers.  It does so by  
making their products non-competitive on the international scene and  
therefore any and all efforts to conserve or innovate effectively  
neuter the nation or company which undertakes them.

That, friends, is the real problem.


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