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Thread: The Carbon Thread

  1. #196
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    Obviously it's impossible to assign all possible stances on all possible issues to a single axis running from "left" to "right". How you can meaningfully categorise political stances these days is a fascinating subject, for sure, but I think it's a debate for another thread.

    Anyway, my main thrust over the last couple of pages is basically: what opinion the public has of climate science, whether they think AGW is the-biggest-threat-humanity-has-ever-faced or a con perpetrated by scientific charlatans for whatever nefarious purpose, is of no real consequence if no party that could feasibly hold power (no pun intended) has an energy policy that differs substantially from the status quo. Also, I think you severely overestimate how sympathetic to 'green' issues most people are in this country. Most people aren't academics and don't read the Guardian or the Indy. On Monday there was a piece on the beeb news website about how the ozone hole is the biggest it's ever been; the Mail's headline the same day was "Hooray, the ozone layer is safe!" (with the predictable strapline about cancer rates).

    Edit: yeah sure, Britain is clearly to the "left" of where it was a couple of hundred years ago, when slavery was legal and you had to be a hereditary nobleman in order to vote, but as droid and scott point out, it's a different story if you consider recent history - say the last half-century or so.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 22-09-2010 at 05:00 PM.
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  2. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Most people aren't academics and don't read the Guardian or the Indy. On Monday there was a piece on the beeb news website about how the ozone hole is the biggest it's ever been; the Mail's headline the same day was "Hooray, the ozone layer is safe!" (with the predictable strapline about cancer rates).
    very true, bit O T of me, selected newspapers by circulation in the UK (2009 latest full year figures)

    Sun 3.1 million
    Mail 2.2 m

    Telegraph (home of notoriously vocal AGW sceptics Booker and North) 691k
    Express ('climate change is DEFINITELY a COMMUNIST PLOT') 674k

    Guardian 302k

    Indy 185k

    of course i take Vim's point on-board about the broad sweep of history (and are very thankful for same, natch!), but Droid's riposte about the inarguable, depressing trends in many areas in the last few decades seems water-tight. i think it was me the other day somewhere on the board who noted the only region of the world to become more equal in the last decade was latin America and although the likes of Colombia's conservative govt are included in that sweep, there's been a lot of govts of a decidedly pinkish hue in that part of the world in recent years.

    countries w govts pushing smaller state agendas are becoming less equal, or at any rate are not closing any gaps.

    sorry very little to do w AGW debates!

  3. #198

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    Not forgotten this thread--just v. busy!

    Scott, I don't doubt that the Mail an the Sun have larger circulation than the Guardian. What I'm interested in is if the Mail has gotten more or less right wing over time (e.g. since it was a pro-Hitler paper). What do you think? By implication, droid thinks that it has gotten more right wing, whereas I think that this is ridiculous.

  4. #199

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    Mr Tea, fortunately or unfortunately, most people's opinions are not that important. What are the opinions of the people who actually govern the country (not necessarily politicians, of course!)--that's the relevant question.

  5. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Not forgotten this thread--just v. busy!

    Scott, I don't doubt that the Mail an the Sun have larger circulation than the Guardian. What I'm interested in is if the Mail has gotten more or less right wing over time (e.g. since it was a pro-Hitler paper). What do you think? By implication, droid thinks that it has gotten more right wing, whereas I think that this is ridiculous.
    Whats ridiculous is first claiming that 'we' have gotten 'more' left wing in the past 60 years, and then changing this to 'we' are less right wing than 'imperial Britain' and then changing again to 'the daily mail has gotten less right wing than when they supported the Nazis'...

    Its shoddy stuff Vim, well below your usual standard. Define your terms instead of changing the goalposts.

  6. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    Mr Tea, fortunately or unfortunately, most people's opinions are not that important. What are the opinions of the people who actually govern the country (not necessarily politicians, of course!)--that's the relevant question.
    What I'm saying is, if issues relating to climate change and environment at large were sufficiently important to a sufficiently large number of people, the Greens would be a major force in parliament, or even form the governement, rather than being a small fringe party that gets a few local councillors here and there.

    I think a lot of people are vaguely aware that there is Trouble brewing but either feel that it is suffiently far off in the future or happening far away, or that there's no point trying to do anything serious about it because it's now inevitable, and that even if everyone in Britain became a self-sufficient crofter overnight, what good is that really going to do when China's building car factories faster than we can build cars?
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  7. #202

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    BTW, I'm not arguing that anyone has gotten more right wing. That's your argument. My argument is that society as a whole has gotten more left wing over time. This is a secular trend, though there are cyclical variations. Europe is different case to the US but the trend is there all the same.

    1960 was the year of the famous "wins of change" speech (a speech given by, one should note, a conservative politician). I would think that dismantling the British Empire was a fairly unambiguously left-wing thing to do, and I don't see signs that it's about to be re-established any time soon. The Union was more left wing than the Confederacy. Tony Blair is more left wing than Lee Kwan Yew. These all seem unambiguous as well.

    It's true that there is this thing called "neo-liberalism", and it's also true that there was a significant shift in mode of government around the second world war towards a more expansive technocratic state with large welfare programmes, etc. (Note America's influence in the post-war reconstruction). This isn't about to change, and neoliberalism is more like some kind of intellectual fad amongst our elites about how to be better technocrats, like neuro linguistic programming or similar management bullshit.

    "7. Have thirty years of heightened competition, globalization, and neoliberalism decimated welfare states? No, the share of GDP going to social policy expenditures hasnít decreased on average. Some countries have reduced the generosity of certain programs, such as pensions, unemployment insurance, sickness/disability compensation, and social assistance. But these cuts have been offset by increases in need (more elderly households, higher unemployment), rising health care costs, and new programs such as child care and other family benefits. See chapters 22, 23, 35, 38."

    http://lanekenworthy.net/2010/08/25/...welfare-state/

    But I think it's a mistake to focus on economics. The more important shift is cultural. If you just look at the economics you could end up thinking that the Whigs weren't on the left, or that Germany has gotten more right wing since the Nazis.

  8. #203

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    What I'm saying is, if issues relating to climate change and environment at large were sufficiently important to a sufficiently large number of people, the Greens would be a major force in parliament, or even form the governement, rather than being a small fringe party that gets a few local councillors here and there.

    I think a lot of people are vaguely aware that there is Trouble brewing but either feel that it is suffiently far off in the future or happening far away, or that there's no point trying to do anything serious about it because it's now inevitable, and that even if everyone in Britain became a self-sufficient crofter overnight, what good is that really going to do when China's building car factories faster than we can build cars?
    Which is why I think that world looks very similar to this one.

  9. #204
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    Sorry VIm, its still one of the most garbled and incoherent arguments Ive ever seen you make:


  10. #205
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    The five people on that^ chart would make for the best Celebrity Big Brother ever.
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  11. #206

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    Sorry VIm, its still one of the most garbled and incoherent arguments Ive ever seen you make
    That must be quite a list!

  12. #207
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    Article in the New Republic on Republicans and climate change:

    http://www.tnr.com/article/environme...enial-insanity

  13. #208
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    Brazil's new offshore field could be the biggest oil find in the Americas for over 30 years.

    Could be as much as 15b barrels...looks like 'peak oil' might still be a few years off yet. Of course, finding oil is one thing, extracting it is quite another - Deepwater Horizon, anyone?
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  14. #209
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    I just meant that contra some people who've been saying that world oil production must be at a peak around now and that it's bound to decrease from now on, large new oil fields are still being discovered - but of course that finding oil isn't the same thing as being able to extract it.

    But as long as there's still resources to make Louis Vuitton handbags, that's the main thing, eh?
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 02-04-2011 at 10:53 AM.
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  15. #210

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    Hi Tea, do you know of any good websites where I can get Louis Vuitton handbags?

    Anyone got opinions about Osbourne's petrol consumer Vs company tax seesaw? I think it's doomed.

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