India

Starving Indians Not Impressed by Global Warming Plan

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picturesque poverty

How do you say "screw you" in Hindi?

The plan's authors, the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change, said India would rather save its people from poverty than global warming, and would not cut growth to cut gases.

"It is obvious that India needs to substantially increase its per capita energy consumption to provide a minimally acceptable level of wellbeing to its people."

The plan's only real promise was in fact a threat: "India is determined that its per capita greenhouse gas emissions will at no point exceed that of developed countries."

More global warming fun here.

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  1. Link please.

  2. I had better elaborate. Link for what the Indian Council on Climate Change stated is what I meant.

  3. Also if I believe screw you in Hindi is “teri aisi ki taisi”.

  4. “It is obvious that India needs to substantially increase its per capita energy consumption to provide a minimally acceptable level of wellbeing to its people.”

    Energy use increases with economic growth. Many of the green coalition trying to reduce global CO2 emissions, just completely ignore this uncomfortable fact. We are not going to conserve our way out of this mess without condemning half of the planet’s population to continued poverty.

    If India, China, sub-Saharan Africa don’t play the developed world isn’t going to either. That’s another ignored fact.

    Fission, folks. Fission and research/developement of other non emitting energy sources are the way to go. Conservation alone will not do it.

  5. I believe “screw you” in Hindi is “teri aisi ki taisi”. Sorry for the typo above.

  6. J sub D,

    For a second there I thought you had written FUSION, not fission. I was worried you might be one of those perpetual energy freaks I’ve run across.

  7. Here’s a “sort of” link – mentions the same India response, as the above, and more: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&item=230269081162

    …best I can do for now – over to you KMW for the real link!

  8. OOPS! Wrong link to eBay laptop – d’oh!

    Can’t seem to get the correct URL for to article I want! Gimme a minute….

  9. I saw that ebay link and thought you were making a joke. LOL

  10. http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun

    Title: Doomed to a fatal delusion over climate change. Or look for Andrew Bolt under columnists/bloggers if y’all are still with me on this…

  11. George Will said it best when he told that avuncular bore Sam Donaldson, developing nations would have no patience for this “drama of the rich” in regards to the global, global warming initiatives.

  12. For a second there I thought you had written FUSION, not fission. I was worried you might be one of those perpetual energy freaks I’ve run across.

    Nah. I’m sane, even somewhat conservative about technology. Other subjects? Perhaps a little less conservative in my views.

  13. So Ward’s argument against restricting global warming pollutin is “it’s for the Indian children.” OK.

    J sub D,

    Energy use increases with economic growth. Once upon a time, cultivated land increased with economic growth. Right up until it didn’t.

    Once upon a time, whale mortality increased with energy production. Right up until it didn’t.

  14. Naga Sadow | July 9, 2008, 7:16pm | #
    I saw that ebay link and thought you were making a joke. LOL

    I’m not that subtle/clever…

    lol

  15. Yeah, joe. India, China and the rest of the underdeveloped world is going to climb out of poverty without massive increases in energy use. Go tell it to somebody stupid enough to swallow it.

    Reality, it sucks sometimes but it is all we have to work with.

  16. Energy use increases with economic growth.

    If true, then you want to help the emerging economies to be as efficient with their energy consumption as possible to reduce the emissions associated with their economic growth.

    Perhaps cleaner, more sustainable options adopted more widely in India will allow them to increase their energy consumption without exceeding CO2 emissions targets.

    India is determined that its per capita greenhouse gas emissions will at no point exceed that of developed countries.

    This is exactly the right plan. And developed countries should target emissions reductions over time to factor in the global c02 load. This will result in a global per capita calculation to create the emissions target with developing countries approaching that target from below and developed countries approaching it from above.

  17. Whoa! Did anyone else go to that link KD provided? The comments were great.

  18. Joe, it isn’t Kathy saying “it’s for the Indian children”, it’s India saying it’s for the Indian children! This is a nation crawling out of destitution and and they’re saying “no” to the white man’s paternalistic racism. They’ve got a real chance of leaving poverty behind, just like Europe and North America have, but only if they ignore the advice of intellectual moralists in Europe and North America.

  19. Isn’t there some kind of treaty that cuts aid to developing countries if they do want to start a clean energy program, i.e. nuclear power?

  20. More efficient options are available with current technology.

    For instance, I hear the most affordable car in India averages 50 mpg for only $2500.

    How is the US doing compared to this?
    How many affordable 50 mpg cars do we have on the market here?

  21. Neu Mejican,
    The Japanese are world leaders in energy stinginess and have technology to sell that increases energy efficiency in almost all phases of modern technological society. Only a fool would argue against wisely using your resources. My point upthread is that if the poorest on the planet are going to climb out of poverty, energy use is going to go up, not down.

    With the present energy mix, that means CO2 emissions would also be going up, not down. We aren’t going to conserve ourselves out of this. We have to innovate. Treaties and goals don’t do a goddam thing towards developing non-emitting energy sources and I am firmly convinced that is where the answer lies.

    Today we have fission, crappy solar, unreliable wind, hydroelectric (dam some more rivers anyone?) and a small but growing geothermal industry that are “climate change friendly”.

    As I said above, reality sucks, but we still have to deal with it.

  22. You click on the photo for the link Katherine originally intended.

  23. Get some damn birth control and stop multiplying!

    Everybody…not just the Indians.

  24. How many affordable 50 mpg cars do we have on the market here?

    Safety regs + consumer preference= none.

  25. For instance, I hear the most affordable car in India averages 50 mpg for only $2500.

    How is the US doing compared to this?

    The US is keeping their children safe and their retired unions fat and happy by building far safer cars at 5 times the cost.

    Or do you want the street littered with dead children and the Medicaid rolls packed with Detroit retirees?

  26. Two possible global warming effects – the failure of the Indian Ocean monsoon season, and the melting of the Himalayan glaciers – would doom that same Indian population to death by thirst.

    So if the global warming people are right, their choice is either to be hungry or thirsty.

    Tough choice.

  27. New Mexican,

    I gotta agree with J sub D. Strong argument that follows the creed of economics. Resources are going to be used to pull their people out of poverty. Also, I’m gonna need a link to “Crazy Damodar’s Used Cars” or some similiar link regarding the cars.

  28. For instance, I hear the most affordable car in India averages 50 mpg for only $2500.

    It would be illegal to sell in the USA, thank you Ralph Nader. Also the average American does not want to settle for a crappy econobox. He wants, and can afford, a decent sized, comfortable car.

    Get me started on this and I can rail all night about scintifically, technologically, economically foolish policies.

    If we had moved forward with nuke plants starting in the seventies 40% of our CO2 emissions would not exist. I thank the irrational wing of the environmental movement for that. Injuries at Three Mile Islanfd = 0. Injuries mining coal in the U.S. this year ? one shitload.

  29. Today we have fission, crappy solar, unreliable wind, hydroelectric (dam some more rivers anyone?) and a small but growing geothermal industry that are “climate change friendly”.

    Part of the problem is that we in the US and the west have adopted a utility-based centralized generation model for electricity that doesn’t really lend itself well to the renewable sources.

    People are asking, “How can we replace a coal fired plant with a renewable plant that generates the same amount of electricity?” The answer usually at current technological levels is that you can’t.

    But we shouldn’t be looking to replace those plants one-for-one, in order to keep the whole centralized utility system running.

    Solar and wind have to be deployed at the level of the energy consumer, whether residential or business, if they’re going to work. Solar panels and windmills have to be as common as TV antennas used to be, and the centralized system has to be a backup / continuous power supply system.

  30. Chloe,

    Why do I have to stop creating little ones? I’m trying to keep my tribe alive and kicking!

  31. BTW, for those wondering what a $2,500 car looks like, link here.

    Top speed…65 mph. It’s a real rocket!

    My Sentra could crush that car. Sheesh.

  32. Thanks MP. New Mexican, am I really expected to give up my Z28 for . . . that?

  33. Perhaps, J sub, you should save that line for somebody who wrote something roughly similar.

    I guess Once upon a time, whale mortality increased with energy production. Right up until it didn’t. was a more complicated statement than I imagined. Here, let me dumb it down a shade.

    Once upon a time, the production of energy carried with it much greater external costs than it does today, but the advance of technology has lessened them. Right now, increasing energy consumption among Indians would require greater greenhouse pollution, but that isn’t necessarily how it has to be. All of the proposals to address the greenhouse gas emissions problem involve the development of clean energy sources.

    If we had moved forward with nuke plants starting in the seventies 40% of our CO2 emissions would not exist. I thank the irrational wing of the environmental movement for that. How about if we had moved forward with it in the 90s? I thank the entirety of the global warming denial wing for that. Look at how the politics and public opinion surrounding nuclear energy has changed, now that 70% of the public realizes we have a carbon/energy issue to solve. Too bad somebody decided they could make a buck delaying that day of recognition.

  34. BTW, for those wondering what a $2,500 car looks like, link here.

    Almost any American would buy a used car with their $2500 rather than that thing, even if it were street legal in the U.S.

    That’s not to say that the market in India doesn’t want the things. Tata is betting a fortune that it fills a need. They are probably right.

  35. Don’t have to stop, Naga. Don’t have to do anything. But if someone is going to have 20 kids, then they should either be able to support them, or they shouldn’t complain to the government and the world if the family is living in poverty and filth and struggling for food and medical care.

  36. Errrr . . . okay. Chloe . . . are you a . . . republican by any chance?

  37. joe said:

    All of the proposals to address the greenhouse gas emissions problem involve the development of clean energy sources.

    They are explicitly saying that they don’t want to pay for those proposals. So I guess you’re going to force me to subsidize their energy industry, right?

  38. Yup, so that you will stop forcing me to stop subsidizing your externalized carbon emissions.

    I win, because my force doesn’t kill anybody, and yours (all of ours, actually) does.

  39. Oh, good god.

    No, Naga. I don’t want the government telling me anything to do…not taxes, not being religious, not anything. Not even taking my money and giving it to someone else who won’t take responsibility for their own.

  40. How about if we had moved forward with it in the 90s? I thank the entirety of the global warming denial wing for that.

    Huh? You will face protests, lawsuits and criminal activity the day ground is broken on a new fission plant in the US.

    This will not be coming fron the coal or oil industries.

    Look at how the politics and public opinion surrounding nuclear energy has changed, now that 70% of the public realizes we have a carbon/energy issue to solve. Too bad somebody decided they could make a buck delaying that day of recognition.

    Well now that the green and responsible Nancy and Harry show is running Capitol Hill, we can expect rapid movement on that front, right?

  41. Yup. There’s already been movement, and the next President of the United States has incorporated nuclear energy expansion into his platform.

    I’m not sure why, exactly, you decided Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are relevant to this conversation, beyond the odd habit you’ve developed of invoking references to figures in the Democratic Party whenever you’re conversing with me.

  42. joe said:

    I win, because my force doesn’t kill anybody, and yours (all of ours, actually) does.

    Nice try…

    Deaths by Poverty

    Now: lots and lots and lots.
    Future: lots and lots and lots.

    Deaths by GW

    Now: Unknown
    Future: Unknown

  43. I’m not sure why, exactly, you decided Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are relevant to this conversation, beyond the odd habit you’ve developed of invoking references to figures in the Democratic Party whenever you’re conversing with me.

    Because you are a Democratic Party fanboy, a toadie, a partisan hack. You’ll note I often reference republican fuckwads when pissing on Guy Montag’s neocon parade. Same reasons, he just has a different slavish party affiliation.

  44. Poverty! Poverty! Death by poverty!

    If we tax carbon emissions and spend tax dollars on alternative energy, people with suffer “death by poverty!” I’d write “nice try,” but that’s not a nice try. It’s really, really lame and hysterical. I think I found one of those Chicken Littles I’m always hearing about.

  45. Because you are… yeah, that’s what I thought; you’re one of those people who simply cannot discuss an issue with partisanship getting in the way.

    Where can a liberal environmentalist find an intelligent conversation about global warming without getting bombarded by chicken little hysteria and partisanship from his interlocutors?

  46. Here’s a head’s up, J sub: if you’re opinion about global warming requires you to use the word “Democrat” or “Republican,” you’re a hack.

  47. joe said:

    If we tax carbon emissions and spend tax dollars on alternative energy

    I was referring to Indian poverty.

    I think I found one of those Chicken Littles I’m always hearing about.

    And you were the one to introduce the “It’s my policy, or DEATH” banal rhetoric to this discussion, which, BTW, is completely unsupportable.

  48. I was referring to Indian poverty.

    Really? I’m curious, how DOES an American system of taxing carbon and subsidizing alternative energy sources increase poverty in India?

    Given that their efforts to expand their economy are running up against $130/barrel oil, a source of energy that is only going to get scarcer and/or more expensive at the same time that a couple billion Indians and Chinese are ready to start advancing economically, I’d have to say that American spending on alternative energy research would serve to alleviate Indian poverty.

    And you were the one to introduce the “It’s my policy, or DEATH” banal rhetoric to this discussion Oh, MP, I’ve been called a lot of things, but “Kathryn Mangu-Ward” has not, till now, been among them.

    Funny how Starving Indians Not Impressed by Global Warming Plan slipped right by you.

  49. joe said:

    Really? I’m curious, how DOES an American system of taxing carbon and subsidizing alternative energy sources increase poverty in India?

    It doesn’t. Western pressures to adopt more expensive fuel sources, pressures which would accompany the carrots you are proposing delivering to them at our expense, would put speedbumps on their road to economic expansion, thus helping to maintain the poverty status quo in that country.

    And yeah, when 35% of the whole country is already “food insecure”, going hungry is not an issue you can simply shrug off from your ivory tower.

  50. joe, American subsidization of alternative sources of energy doesn’t affect India directly, but as anyone who has looked into what it would take to cut global emissions could tell you, American subsidization won’t make a nickel’s worth of difference if half of the world’s population (India and China) are still burning carbon-based fuel.

  51. Really? I’m curious, how DOES an American system of taxing carbon and subsidizing alternative energy sources increase poverty in India?

    Well, for starters it would somewhat fuck up the U.S. economy, which currently is providing lots of jobs in India, thus hurting job creation there.

    The net effect over time might be less poverty in India, though, since if our economy takes a protracted beating the folks in India and China would likely take over some of the jobs being shed by us — causing their energy useage to go up, and increasing overall CO2 emissions.

    The bottom line is, you have to be fairly wealthy to give a fuck about the possibility that sometime in the future the climate might get a bit warmer, if a speculative scientific theory pans out. If you’re hungry and have no food in the house, assuming you are lucky enough to even have a roof over your head, this is WAY far down your list of worries, and you will do whatever it takes to alleviate that hunger.

  52. AR has it right, we could all stop using carbon emissions tomorrow in the USA (or the developed world for that matter) and it wouldn’t change a damn thing because the developing world would continue burning coal.

    We don’t have a global government (unless you want to advocate one) and no country is going to follow some idealist treaty that violates its national economic/security interests. So, in the end, theres shit all we an do about global carbon emissions, assuming its a problem at all.

  53. As for nuclear, do you really want places like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt to have access to enriched uranium that could possibly be used in the production of nukes?

    No? Neither do I.

  54. So India wants to make the same mistakes the Western world has made: lavish the punjis with consumer goods, give them token political power and demand feckless growth to satiate the machine. This is, in the first place, an impossible prospect given the unique circumstances that led to its occurrence in the United States and Europe. What is truly horrifying is that nobody seems to care how destructive this has the potential to be — by hook or crook their birth rates will decrease, but giving them toys to play with in the meantime is criminal disregard for even the immediate future. Everyone always forgets the demand side of these things, it seems.

    Let’s keep letting the slaves define our direction forward, shall we?

  55. Good for India.

  56. De-plete,

    If you were poor and hungry, you wouldn’t have the energy to be such a douchebag.

  57. Joe,

    Why do you hate the environment so much?

    The subsides for alternative energy sources you love so much are actually increasing carbon emissions.

    “Simply said, ethanol production today using U.S. corn contributes to the conversion of grasslands and rainforest to agriculture, causing very large GHG emissions,”

    Current wisdom in California says gasoline produces about 92 grams of carbon dioxide for every megajoule of energy produced; ethanol is reckoned to be slightly cleaner at 75.9 grams. But the land-use penalty alone from growing more biofuel crops could add as much as 140 grams/MJ-a “really enormous” number, professors Farrell and O’Hare wrote.

    Once again government action taken to fix a problem actually makes the problem worse.

  58. You know, you gotta believe that our CO2 actually hurts anything in the first place before you panic and condemn millions to starvation, not to mention having us developed lands go back to teepees and campfires (as if that were still allowed!)

    As Rush Limbaugh said, if our C02 can warm the world, why doesn’t it do it in the winter time, when it would do some good?

    Face it, folks, our C02 is not much in the face of volcanoes and state-sized wild fires in California.

    Global warmening is a hoax.

  59. Global warmening? Yeah, that’s a hoax, definitely. I mean, I’ve never even heard of it.

  60. TJIT | July 9, 2008, 11:04pm | #

    The subsides for alternative energy sources you love so much are actually increasing carbon emissions.

    Environmentalists have been skeptical of corn-to-ethanol schemes for quite some time. It was the farm lobby that pushed this, not environmentalists.

  61. India also is one of the few nations honest enough not to sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty. Most other would-be powers sign it and then break it.

  62. The enviros are the scum of the earth. They are rich bastards who don’t care about average people. Few people on the planet are doing as much damage and downright evil as the hard-core enviros. Preventing average people from accessing affordable energy is deeply immoral.

  63. “Environmentalists have been skeptical of corn-to-ethanol schemes for quite some time. It was the farm lobby that pushed this, not environmentalists.”

    Ummm so Al Gore isn’t an environmentalist?

    Global Warming yep, I remember when I was a school child and the big FEAR was Global Cooling. If I remember correctly the ice age should hit any minute. Let me take out the metric thermometer they claimed we’d all be using when the US went all metric to check the temperature.

  64. Interestingly enough, the Prime Minister of India has stated that hat a gradual shift towards renewable energy, in particular solar power, would enable India to “make [its] economic development energy efficient.”

    Also, China is already a huge player in the solar photovoltaic and nuclear fields.

    While these developing nations have huge hurdles to overcome with regard to attaining first-world status, they do have one advantage.

    They aren’t being held back by a massive legacy energy infrastructure.

    With planning and forethought, these nations should be able to erect methods of delivering energy using alternative methods (solar, wind, nuke, etc.) No need to try to retro-fit an already aging and decrepit system for the 21st century.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see some pretty interesting developments on the energy front coming out of these countries.

  65. “Right now, increasing energy consumption among Indians would require greater greenhouse pollution, but that isn’t necessarily how it has to be. All of the proposals to address the greenhouse gas emissions problem involve the development of clean energy sources.”

    And isn’t necessarily that development of clean energy sources has to succeed. We shouldn’t confront actual energy situation with ideal energy situation(an energy source with no harm effect) but rather appoint how to make things better. Unless we begin to talk about actual policies, simply saying that we should develop clean energy sources is to state a goal that should be pursued, but with no actual indication of how to achieve it.

    “Given that their efforts to expand their economy are running up against $130/barrel oil, a source of energy that is only going to get scarcer and/or more expensive at the same time that a couple billion Indians and Chinese are ready to start advancing economically”

    It’s not clear that oil is going to get scarcer or more expensive in the future.

    About scarcity:

    (1) – We don’t know all the natural oil reserves that actually existed

    (2) – Oil can be artifcially produced, too. It just too expensive NOW.

    About prices:

    (3) – A lot of oil reserves will be economically relevant with elevated prices. Some people question about why we don’t have much more oil production as a response of rising prices. Well, the problem is that the extra oil production ‘need’ more elevated prices. When we get there, prices will stabilize for while.

    “I’d have to say that American spending on alternative energy research would serve to alleviate Indian poverty.”

    Again, it’s not clear. First of all, spending more on alternative energy isn’t the same that producing more(or elevate the possibility to produce)alternative energy sources on a efficient way, when we’re talking about research subsidies. Yes, we’ll have more researches, but isn’t the same to say that we’ll have more results.

    Second, some of the money that will be used to finance these researches would be used to buy Indian products(or labor). So these subsidies will affect the demand for Indian products and labor. This is how American subsidies could hurt poor Indians.

  66. TJIT wrote:
    “The subsides for alternative energy sources you love so much are actually increasing carbon emissions. “

    as mentioned, grain/bean based biofuels are not well like by many environmentalists. Algal based biodiesel has been seen by environmentally minded biofuel enthusiasts as the future for over four years now. Most of the push for corn ethanol is a corn lobby’s wet dream come true.

    Similar issue with nuke vs coal. The coal lobby funded opposition to nuke power…now the ball is bouncing the other way.

    Not too long ago I did a google search comparing generic subsidies for both the fossil fuel industries and for renewable energies. Fossil fuels in the U.S. get perhaps as much as $20 billion per year in goodies of various natures. Renewable energies got about $2 billion worth in similar subsidies and market protections.

    These figures are even worse for renewables in many other nations like China, Iran, and India.

    If you want to complain about which sides’ are generating more CO2 waste as a result of subsidies and market protections, look at the fossil fuels…’cause they are getting the relative bulk of the goodies.

  67. >>Also if I believe screw you in Hindi is “teri aisi ki taisi”.

    Only in an excessively bowdlerized context. “Gaand marao” would convey the sentiment better, IMO.

  68. I can’t understand why a billion Indians don’t want to starve now so the planet can be half a degree cooler in 100 years.

    Damned selfish of them, if you ask me.

  69. “Almost any American would buy a used car with their $2500 rather than that thing, even if it were street legal in the U.S.”

    In fact, that’s exactly what I did pay for the car I’m currently driving. It’s a 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse that I bought in 2005, and I wouldn’t trade it for half a dozen of those crappy little Tata toaster-on-wheels deathtraps.

  70. For a second there I thought you had written FUSION, not fission. I was worried you might be one of those perpetual energy freaks I’ve run across.

    Well, the Blacklight guys are certainly nuts, and the cold fusion people often aren’t a lot better. But ITER/DEMO is mainstream science (if much too expensive to be a serious power source) and CBFRs and Polywells are being taken pretty seriously. (Paul Allen’s VC firm is funding a CBFR fusion team to the tune of $45M, and the U.S. Navy is funding Polywells).

    We actually get 99% of our power from fusion energy in the Sun (it formed all the oil and grows all our crops).

  71. “Oil can be artifcially produced, too. It just too expensive NOW.”

    Oh, absolutely. If you have enough energy you can synthesize just about anything. We could completely replace gasoline with synthetic liquid fuels, but we’d have to build a hundred new nuclear plants first to generate the energy to drive those chemical plants. (We’ll also have to build them if we switch to electric cars. All that electricity has to come from somewhere.)

    The obstacle, as always, is our politicians. They’ve been blocking the construction of new nuclear plants for three decades now. If you ask me, the solution is to convert the politicians into biodiesel and then start building those nukes.

  72. Congrats Kunal. I rarely have to look up the defintions of words but “bowdlerized” was one of those words. Also, inflection would more or less carry the meaning but I believe you are more correct than I am on this point.

  73. We actually get 99% of our power from fusion energy in the Sun

    I’ll bite, what’s the other 1%? Are you counting that the potential energy in uranium comes from not the sun but the progenitor of the sun? (in that case it’s a little more than 1%)

  74. The only problem with fission is you can’t put it in your car!

  75. Random thoughts:
    1] Ask someone who has to walk several miles to haul drinking water on her head – how is global warming or solar energy relevant – at that micro-level to her? And if it is not, how can we expect or even demand that she radically change her existing mode of existence for a concept that is at best abstract? Can a government or governments or just random people arbitrarily dictate policy that will affect millions?

    If the rate of inflation in your country is a few thousand percent, and a bottle of beer cost a few million dollars in your currency, you would probably be too preoccupied to worry about the energy crisis, no matter how real, of a few generations in the future.

    If your wife and children go hungry for days, you probably want to burn down the earth and the sun, not look for renewable energy.

    2] There are countries that wage war, spending billions of dollars and wasting human lives. Just imagine, if all that energy were to be expended on looking for a sustainable source of energy?

    3] Read ‘Fear’ by Michael Crichton. Sure, there is a energy crisis. Sure, its easier to debate, than say poverty. Or women being raped. Or people going hungry.

  76. Of course energy consumption per capita will rise as people get richer. What the world needs for this to be sustainable is for there to be fewer of us. Telling people to go screw themselves is the last thing we should be saying.

  77. It’s a lot like the westerners’ ban on DDT – after they had the benefits, but before Africa did. These guys are good at choking off the quantity & quality of life.

  78. Wow, so those seemingly insane, ranting, raving, humanities department nuts from the Students Center in college were onto something about India (and others) posessing a ‘superior society’!

    I wonder who gets to break the news to the latest crop that ‘superior’ looks a lot different than what they had imagined 🙂

  79. so we give everybody on Earth an equal amount of personal carbon credits and then people like me and joe and kmw can buy them, for money, from those people on the bike.

    Two birds, etc.

  80. *general hand waving to follow*

    None of this will matter anyway when the indians can’t afford coal/oil/natural gas. Simply put, unless they switch to renewables, the party is going to be over and they’ll once again sink into third worldness.

  81. Kolohe,

    Actually, since uranium (and all elements beyond iron on the periodical table) are only created during supernovas, all of our energy is solar/fusion.

  82. I’ll bite, what’s the other 1%? Are you counting that the potential energy in uranium comes from not the sun but the progenitor of the sun? (in that case it’s a little more than 1%)

    Just to quibble, fission energy is derived from heavy elements produced by fusion in stars that long a go exploded. It all goes back to fusion. I refuse to speculate on the energy source that fueled the big bang.

  83. Shit SugarFree, you beat me to the punch yet again.
    ;-(

  84. The only problem with fission is you can’t put it in your car!

    You can if your car is electric (e.g. the 2010 Chevy Volt) and your local electricity provider is a nuke plant.

  85. NAL,

    And you can if you have a big car too.

    I am thinking Polara or most of the Desotos could support a pebble bed reactor for a resurgance of steam power.

  86. You know what, joe? Fuck you. I know I’ll almost certainly be OK with the skills I’m developing, so you can go ahead and vote for economic disaster and it won’t be any skin off my teeth.

  87. joe,

    Once upon a time, cultivated land increased with economic growth. Right up until it didn’t.

    Wrong metric. I think you meant “per capita caloric consumption increases with economic growth, still”. The only reason cultivated land use didnt continue increasing is productivity.

    energy == calories in this case (and fairly literally)

    Oil production may drop. Coal production may drop. CO2 emissions may drop. But energy use will continue to increase with increased economoic growth. Hopefully from a non-polluting source, but regardless, it will continue to increase.

  88. “It’s really, really lame and hysterical”

    unlike ‘we’re all going to die if we don’t do something now’.

  89. I refuse to speculate on the energy source that fueled the big bang

    That would be me.

  90. Hopefully this development is the beginning of the end for the Great Government Energy Grab of the 21st century. The powers that would demand Asia stay poor to supposedly spare a degree or two of global warming are simply evil. Don’t think that they wouldn’t preferr we all be poor and energyless and most importantly, controllable. AGW is just an excuse.

  91. The far side of the earth is way beyond my monkeysphere. My guess is that the longer we keep those little brown and yellow people mired in poverty, the better it will be for my grand-children and great grand-children.

    Any action taken to mitigate AWG by the US is just going to hurt my family to help a bunch of other people that I don’t care about.

  92. Sugarfree, J sub D-
    that was my point but poorly worded. All potential energy on earth is from our *particular* sun, except uranium-235, which is from (some particular) sun that is no longer with us (actually, it is us)

  93. Edit-
    geothermal is from some sun of days of yore as well.

    so is tidal.

  94. Joe,

    Well this thread is probably dead but;

    In your use of force criteria, where your use of force is ok because people generally don’t resist your use of force and don’t get killed.

    Does this mean that all one has to do is violently resist all any of the scenarios where you advocate force, for your force to become immoral?

    So, if enough people violently resist the income tax would that make you advocate an end to it?

    I wonder if that is the answer? It probably is.

    How many would it take for you and your fellow liberals to quit advocating the use of force in these instances do you think?

  95. so is tidal.

    Hold on. Much of that, not all, is Lunar not Solar.

    The planets did not get ejected from Sol, at least not in any current theory.

  96. So, it is settled.

    We can drill in ANWR, SD and along our continental shelf to save India from poverty.

  97. I think the point that the Indians and Chinese grasp, but many Westerners do not, is that their economic well-being and expansion is tied to use of the cheapest available energy source, which right now, and into the medium term future, is carbon-based.

    Sure, you can substitute more expensive/non-carbon based energy sources, but doing so puts a drag on their economies, condemning millions/billions to decades more at a subsistence level.

    And I don’t see how you get around the ineffectiveness of only wealthy Western nations reducing carbon output as a remedy for global warming. Its a global problem, and having the West reduce carbon output while the developing world increases carbon output, means that the Western global warming initiatives are pointless.

  98. RCD,

    Perhaps someone will come along and revive that nonsense of mixing dung with coal dust, by hand, for fuel in India. That was one of the big ones from the 1970s that was to propell India into the modern world.

    Yes, it is still carbon based, but at least it is domestic carbon.

  99. Its a global problem, and having the West reduce carbon output while the developing world increases carbon output, means that the Western global warming initiatives are pointless.

    Carbon caps in North America? Pack up that steel mill boys, we’re moving to Asia.

  100. Mediageek gets it.

    RC Dean doesn’t.

  101. Carbon caps in North America? Pack up that steel mill boys, we’re moving to Asia.

    Not imaginative enough… Carbon caps in North America can be accompanied by “fair trade” practices to guarantee environmental standards in developing nations — i.e., carbon-based import tariffs.

    In other words, in a world where the developed world is overly concerned with reduced CO2 emissions, our future is likely to be filled by worldwide trade restrictions and outright trade wars which will have devastating effects on the wealth of all nations.

    When I discuss the IPCC SRES scenarios, I generally ignore A2 and B2 because those seem like strawman futures that no one wants to see. Well, under an aggressive “make the world pay for the carbon it uses” regime, they will be exactly what we will get. And they are far, far poorer in the future than A1 and B1.

  102. Actually, NM, my comment was inspired by mediageek.

    Saying that eventually China and India will rely more and more on non-carbon fuel is not inconsistent with the fact that foregoing the cheapest available energy source in the meantime will stall their development.

  103. C02 per capita out-put by india is 1/20th of the US.
    The US population is about 1/3rd that of India

    That means we put out more than 6 times the C02 of India’s 1 billion plus population.

    When we talk of reducing the global C02 burden the US has a lot more of the load to pull.

    If the US is at 20 and India at 1 and the global target is, lets say 5. Then each Indian can quadruple their emissions and still be below the target. An American, on the other hand, needs to make some significant changes to reach the target…to 1/4 of their current emissions.

    Thing is… this is an achievable goal for the American without a significant change in quality of life.

    More efficient buildings are the most important change. More efficient transportation next. Decentralizing energy production will be an important factor. All of these changes will be good for the economy as we become more efficient users of energy resources and stop throwing away money on inefficient energy use.

  104. How do you improve the quality of life for the average Indian without building a coal-fired power plant?

    Here’s one tool in the tool box…
    http://www.motorwavegroup.com/new/motorwind/houses.html

    How many of these could be installed for the cost of that coal-fired plant?

    India and China will not, I would hope, replicate the American model of energy infra-structure as they grow, but will come up with 21st century solutions to growing energy needs. Part of this will be decentralization of energy production from diverse sources.

    No monolithic energy solution is likely to replace fossil fuels…they will just become less and less central as they get more expensive.

  105. RC Dean,

    is not inconsistent with the fact that foregoing the cheapest available energy source in the meantime will stall their development.

    Granted.

    But when they think long-term, India sees the same prospect of ever-rising oil prices and will likely make much different infrastructure choices than the US made in the 19th/20th century.

  106. That tricycle would be so illegal in NYC.

  107. So MikeP,

    Between A1’s three choices, what do you see as the most desirable?

    Between the best A1 and B1?

    Just curious.

    What policies/changes to policy would you advocate to get to your preferred choice?

  108. But when they think long-term, India sees the same prospect of ever-rising oil prices and will likely make much different infrastructure choices than the US made in the 19th/20th century.

    That may make sense, depending on their appetite for incurring opportunity costs today by foregoing the cheapest available energy source in order to have an arguably better energy infrastructure a generation from now. That strikes me as an argument with no slam-dunk winner, at the margins.

    But, for India to say, for example, cut its current carbon emissions by 50% in 42 years, or even hold its carbon emissions level for 42 years, India would have to foreswear any additional use, or even reduce, the use of the cheapest available energy source right now, and there is no way that doesn’t have a huge impact on their economy.

  109. RC Dean,

    Like I said above, any reasonable plan would allow India to increase its per capita output.

    The target is a global target and is likely much higher than India’s current per capita c02 output.

    For the developing world the challenge is to avoid the pattern of emission that the developed world is currently in.

    In the developing world, the challenge is more difficult due to the legacy of our choices made in the past before we understood the potential downside of C02 emissions.

  110. Between A1’s three choices, what do you see as the most desirable?

    A1T. Technological advancement that provides carbon-free energy at or below the price of fossil fuels is of course the best course forward.

    Between the best A1 and B1?

    The best A1.

    What policies/changes to policy would you advocate to get to your preferred choice?

    Elimination of all government subsidies and technological favoritism.

    Incidentally, I’d also like to see every nation in the world become a liberal democracy. But I’m not going to advocate anything but a laissez faire government policy to achieve that either.

  111. I side with India on this case. Enough with the enviromentalist imperialism.

  112. For the developing world the challenge is to avoid the pattern of emission that the developed world is currently in.

    To the degree this happens in the medium term, it will be done by foregoing the use of the cheapest available energy source by the developing world, with the effect of dragging down their economies.

    In the developing [developed?] world, the challenge is more difficult due to the legacy of our choices made in the past before we understood the potential downside of C02 emissions.

    I think this is another way of saying that, to the degree our quality of life is dependent on carbon-based fuel, the pursuit of global warming solutions via reduction of CO2 output will require a reduction in our quality of life. Increased cost of energy = reduction in quality of life, in my book. Increased costs of goods and services due to carbon taxes or mandated conservation measures, the same.

    Now, if the line is that we can Save Teh Planet solely through technological advances, I’m all for that.

    But, I don’t see how you can simultaneously maintain that GlobalWarming is an ImminentCatastrophe and simultaneously deny that it can be “solved” without massive worldwide economic dislocation.

  113. About que relationship between growth and pollution, we need to observe two dimensions: pollution by GDP unit and global pollution.

    Even if India adopted less harmfull sources of energy(reducing pollution by GDP unit), it’s not clear that its global pollution will reduce, because of its economic expansion(the growth of GDP units).

    Pollution by GDP per capita isn’t a good measure, because if a country is very poor, its GDP per capita will be very low and pollution measured this way will be low too, even if pollution by GDP unit is high.

    And the discussion about cut CO2 emissions seems to focus on global emissions rather than emission by GDP unit.

  114. I’m thinking for the same money I spend on weekly gas I could buy that kid and his fancy tricycle and have him pull me around town for a year.

  115. Thing is… this is an achievable goal for the American without a significant change in quality of life.

    It’s even more achievable and reduces our living standards far less if we don’t do anything for the next 50 years, by which time there will zero net economic consequences from increased CO2.

    But, I don’t see how you can simultaneously maintain that GlobalWarming is an ImminentCatastrophe and simultaneously deny that it can be “solved” without massive worldwide economic dislocation.

    Oh, don’t say that, or they’ll trot out their broken-windows-fallacy-based argument that we can have “economically-friendly green solutions that will create jobs!”

  116. In Soviet Russia, globe warms you!

  117. RC DEAN

    But, I don’t see how you can simultaneously maintain that GlobalWarming is an ImminentCatastrophe and simultaneously deny that it can be “solved” without massive worldwide economic dislocation.

    TALL DAVE

    Oh, don’t say that, or they’ll trot out their broken-windows-fallacy-based argument that we can have “economically-friendly green solutions that will create jobs!”

    You clearly have fallen into the trap of seeing the broken windows fallacy where it does not exist.

    Changes that reduce waste in our energy consumption are cost reductions and are good for the economy. No broken window fallacy involved.

    As for RC Dean’s statement, I find it more strawman than anything else.

    It is not an immediate catastrophe, but a longer term growing problem than can be avoided with prudent action in the near term. As for the quality of life issues, that is hard to quantify, obviously, but many of the changes that people can make to reduce carbon footprint have a positive impact on quality of life.

    Subjectivity will rear its head on this question no matter what you do, of course, but I don’t see any logical necessity that a solution will be a painful solution. Loss of quality in one area can be more than made up with a gain in another. How they balance out is hard to predict.

  118. Neu Mejican,
    “No broken windows fallacy here”
    I think TallDave was referring to times when AGW alarmists are faced with an unfavorable (to their proposals) cost-benefit analysis in terms of damages from AGW versus damages from the restrictions on the use of fossil fuels and fall back on the argument that it will create a “green collar” sector of the economy.

  119. “many of the changes that people can make to reduce their carbon footprint improve the quality of life”.
    Such as what? Examples, please.

  120. I would be OK with a carbon tax, if it replaced the income tax dollar for dollar. Would that be OK with joe and Neu Mejican. Anyone want to place bets on their answers. Three choices:
    1.No
    2.No response
    3.Sure

  121. economist,

    I would be OK with a carbon tax, if it replaced the income tax dollar for dollar. Would that be OK with joe and Neu Mejican. Anyone want to place bets on their answers. Three choices:
    1.No
    2.No response
    3.Sure

    I don’t support a carbon tax unless it is revenue neutral.

    I think it is best coupled with a reduction in the tax on labor in our current system.

  122. Al Gore’s vote on economist’s question

    Here’s the solution. We need a CO2 tax, revenue-neutral, to replace taxation on employment, which was invented by Bismarck — and some things have changed since the 19th Century.

    More
    http://www.carbontax.org/

  123. So how many wanna bet the economist thought s/he was putting out a “gotcha” post?

  124. Such as what? Examples, please.

    I keep with my particular case.

    Moving closer to work so that I could give up my car gives me more time in my day, has improved my health since I walk more, and reduced my transportation costs by so much that (even with increased rent) I have been able to upgrade my drumset, guitar, and recording set up.

  125. For a more general example.

    In a community that has focused on reducing carbon for all citizens, there will be changes in building patterns/ community lay-out to emphasize walking distances rather than driving distances. To emphasize pedestrian needs rather than parking. This creates more livable/pleasant neighborhoods, reduces traffic, reduces noise pollution, increases interaction with neighbors, increases community cohesiveness, and increases overall health for the community.

    Why do you think people pay so much to live in the good neighborhoods in Manhattan? It is the increased quality of life. That lifestyle has a very low carbon footprint.

  126. I would be OK with a carbon tax, if it replaced the income tax dollar for dollar. Would that be OK with joe and Neu Mejican.

    4. BAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

  127. economist,

    “many of the changes that people can make to reduce their carbon footprint improve the quality of life”.

    Such as what? Examples, please.

    The only examples that they have make my home hotter than I want it in the summer, colder in the winter than I want it and suck all of the horsepower out of my hotrod.

    Seriously, why do you bother engaging these people? All of their jackbooted answers are known.

  128. Seriously, why do you bother engaging these people? All of their jackbooted answers are known.

    This from the most one-note participant on H&R.

    [yawn]

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