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The News Thread

Discussion in 'GMD Social Forum' started by Jimmy... Dead., Jun 19, 2014.

  1. CiG

    CiG Deformed Urban Pustule

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    Makes me think, do Hawaiians consider themselves Americans?

    As it relates to the U.K. and Europe, if it's to be determined solely by continental categorization, couldn't the same method be used to call Canadians Americans?

    Thanks for the quick rundown, it's an interesting subject. The reason I initially brought it up was because I was reading along with a debate some friends were having mostly related to how, in one of their words, continental Europe tends to prefer technocracy, bureaucracy and statism at the expense of individualism while the Anglosphere tends to prefer basically the opposite and this is why it's problematic to lump the English in with Europeans.

    I hadn't really thought about it much myself but it was interesting nonetheless.
     
  2. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Ease of travel and shared language has a hand in marking identity of place. In the US, state identity has eroded with the advent of of the car and plane. The former has helped lead to regional identity shifts in Europe.
     
  3. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    U.S. Climate Report Warns of Damaged Environment and Shrinking Economy
    https://nyti.ms/2zmesuU?smid=nytcore-ios-share

     
  4. The Ozzman

    The Ozzman Melted by feels

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    In other news: water is wet
     
  5. CiG

    CiG Deformed Urban Pustule

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  6. HamburgerBoy

    HamburgerBoy Active Member

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    So you mean with 82 remaining years which should average (assuming the trend stays in line with the last several decades) around 2% compounding economic growth each (~400% growth total), we might end up with only 360% instead because of global warming? What a disaster.
     
  7. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    I wouldn’t say it’s a disaster (yet). I think these kinds of forecasting data are important for making long-term financial decisions. And a difference of 40% is significant, even with overall growth.

    I think the more potentially devastating phenomena have to do with exposure to diseases and the increasing likelihood of natural disasters, insofar as these can be seen as exacerbated by climate change.
     
  8. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Gotta take a large dose of salt with an 8 decade forecast. Can we use a little bit of retrospection to agree that an economic forecast in 1918 in both the short (~10 years) and long term (82 years) would have been laughably off?
     
  9. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    But the point of this kind of forecast is to be off. The goal of the report is to influence people to act differently—which, if they do, the forecast will be inaccurate.
     
  10. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Well I'll agree that's the point of it, which really just makes it propaganda (not that propaganda is inherently a problem). But it's going to, most likely, be wildly off no matter how people respond to it. Plus, since it's really just propaganda, its effects in that direction will be mitigated by the next "report" just like it in the next year or whatever. There's at least 2-3 per year these days, from different sources of funding. The argument is whether it turns it into "noise" or whether it affects behavior change by giving the impression of actionable truth from being repeated. The third option, which gets less talk, is whether people "believe" and yet aren't going to shift behaviors in response. Psych literature suggests the third option. A better tack would be to make it look like "everyone" is taking climate change seriously (seriously = engaging in meaningful behavior change), not just some guy in a proverbial lab coat. Not sure how to turn that suggestion into effective action (gotta overcome people's "lying eyes" until they aren't lying anymore, which won't be easy), but it'd be better effort than throwing money at 2-3 doomsday reports per year.
     
  11. HamburgerBoy

    HamburgerBoy Active Member

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    The developing world (much of it enjoying 5-10% annual economic growth thanks to minimal environmental laws among other regulations) isn't going to stop using fossil fuels any time soon, and certainly not because of some random report. I haven't seen anything to suggest that stopping the current trend is possible, unless there's some incredible breakthrough in solar technology, or if the world suddenly goes full nuclear power. But the reason doomsday scenarios are rarely as bad as they're made out to be isn't because of foresight, it's because people work in their best interests in the present. If Florida for example becomes perma-flooded and gangraped by hurricanes all year long, you can't just take current annual damage reports and exponentiate, assuming that people are stupid enough to live in a nearly-inhospitable zone. They'll simply move north or west, just as the residents of the Doggerland 6000 years ago aren't still taking damage today. Science only really works well in a closed system, which real life is not.
     
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  12. Black Orifice

    Black Orifice Vein-Marbled Tower

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    People beg to differ: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/22/us/survivors-california-wildfires.html
     
  13. HamburgerBoy

    HamburgerBoy Active Member

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    Fires aren't nearly as insurmountable as the ocean. People in smaller forested towns can move somewhere less green, the government can begin allowing controlled burns again, and firefighting forces can have their ranks grown. California wildfires suck but they aren't that big of a deal talking strictly economically; current projections of damage are around $2 billion, while Cali's gross product is pushing $3 trillion. The people most effected are those of less economic value (retirees, bumpkins, etc).
     
  14. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    I think that most climate scientists are fully aware of the complexities and uncertainties that plague forecasts like this when we're talking about open systems (in fact, I'd argue that most scientists today are aware of the dynamics of open systems--see Onori and Visconti's 2012 piece on the shift from a homeostatic to an autopoietic worldview in biology). The difference between climate scientists and conservative economists, in this case, is that conservatives see uncertainty and tend to think "There's too much uncertainty to justify action"; whereas climate scientists see uncertainty and tend to think "There's too much uncertainty to justify inaction."

    Regarding migratory patterns 6000 years ago: we don't live 6000 years ago. We live today, and today there's far less space in the world. Inhabitants of Florida could move north, but where the hell will they settle? Furthermore, as rising sea waters submerge more land, that means fewer national resources for feeding and housing a growing population (even if it's growing at a slower rate). Hazards like floods and wildfires are the more easily and empirically observable disasters, but there are more extensive systemic problems waiting down the line as more people are displaced. Some of these are already taking place, including impacts on agriculture (which is a mixed bag).

    As to your earlier point, it's true that many developing countries are resistant to rolling back fossil fuel use. They've seen the U.S. and other developed countries exploit fossil fuels for centuries, and they deserve their shot at development. It's a complicated issue, but it's not an excuse for avoiding action altogether.
     
  15. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Probably in the vast tracts of uninhabited land or the many many empty houses to the north and northwest. The build-density of the DC-Boston corridor is not even remotely representative of the rest of the US.

    Most agriculturally available land isn't immediately along the coastline, and most of what isn't, isn't even under high development:
    https://www.farmland.org/farming-on-the-edge

    There is no shortage of housing:
    https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/07/vacancy-americas-other-housing-crisis/565901/

    There's somewhat of a neurosis in the approach to uncertainty of "just do something!", a neurosis which is blind to the fact that action can compound problems as much as it can alleviate them. Resources are scarce and finite, and we do not live in computer models which can simply be reset when they prove wrong.
     
  16. Blurry_Dreams

    Blurry_Dreams Active Member

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    i remember a thing about how some Canadians will get sort of pissed off when someone thinks they're an American
     
  17. no country for old wainds

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  18. TechnicalBarbarity

    TechnicalBarbarity -TheNightsBane-

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  19. no country for old wainds

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