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

Justin Mason jm
Fri Jul 8 13:03:22 PDT 2005

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Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) writes:
> 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.

Spot on -- 100% agreed on all points.

- --j.
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