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Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 247

No, if your population had 1000 births but 1000 deaths in a given period of time, you are not experiencing population growth.

If you have positive population growth, it isn't because your population is experiencing a negative rate of deaths.

The ugly fact is that in low food conditions, more people die faster. This is not good for population growth.

And yet population growth still happens. As I noted, birth rate goes up too and there are plenty of examples of places over the past century that had low food supply yet still had high population growth rates. It's only when a society transitions to not enough food per person to keep everyone alive (which incidentally happens frequently during a war or famine so that it's not just a slight change in food per person), that we transition into higher death rates than birth rates.

My point here is that the dynamic between population growth and decline doesn't gradually nose over as food supply and wealth dwindles.

The original response was to your notion that developed world affluence keeps population growth in check. I'm pointing out that wealth actually helps populations grow. I generalize wealth creation as the result of capitalism, and opposition to it as socialism.

And I'm pointing out that you are merely wrong here. We have lots of evidence that wealth at all levels of modern human development correlates with lower population growth. Your generalization is wrong as well. Capitalism is not defined as things good for society, such as creation of wealth, and socialism as things bad for society, such as taking wealth away. They are merely somewhat different approaches to similar problems.

Chinese and Venezueleans may call themselves socialist, but if their action is to support an activity that ultimately helps grow wealth (which in turn grows the population), they are actually supporting capitalism. Socialism is to reject that activity out of some twisted sense of obligation to some "greater good".

So call them "socialists" because of their actions then. It's a silly argument to make and again depends on a white hat/black hat view of capitalism and socialism which isn't true.

I personally heavily favor capitalism in a society, but I don't make the mistake of discounting socialism policies just because because they don't work at the huge doses that have been tried over the past couple hundred years.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 247

I don't know that you could call anyone in Chinese government truely socialist anymore. The only socialist programs I can think about is the big projects they do, and their central planning (power, infrastructure....).

Bingo. Environmentalism is not socialism. It is a third independent attribute. Another example of this is the antics of the former USSR which among other things nearly destroyed the Aral Sea.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 247

Remember we're talking about population growth. It's not just about reproduction, but whether you can sustain a growing population.

No, population growth is about reproduction not sustainability. It's an ugly fact that poorer people have more children even in low food conditions.

They're forces that push against each other.

Ok, I see your use here. I'll just point out that "opposite forces" quickly lose their meaning when there are more than two forces in play.

But that's what socialists want. If they had their way (and some will say they do in some places), they would implement policies which restrict oil production and consumption. I say they scream bloody murder because currently, the socialists aren't winning that battle.

I disagree. Chinese socialists aren't on board with this and they're a huge part of the group. Socialists from oil-producing countries aren't on board either (eg, Venezuela).

But having said that , I do believe the shrillness of the arguments for global warming has a lot to do with losing the overall war for that.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 247

Except for the fact that 1 affluent human uses more resources than 10 not so affluent.

Think about it. If we were somehow to hold affluence constant, the affluent population will have shrunk slightly, while the not so affluent population will grow exponentially. Even a small population of not so affluent will eventually consume more than a vast affluent population, unless you check their population growth somehow.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 247

That hedonist couple that the other AC joked about may not reproduce, but in all their consumption, they have directly or indirectly employed and fed hundreds if not thousands of people, and those people will reproduce. From the farmers who grow their food to the 3rd world workers who assembled their computers, all those people get to work and feed themselves and have more kids.

The developing world people would have reproduced anyway, and if they were less affluent, they would have reproduced more than they actually did!

What keeps human population in check is socialism. It is the equal and opposite reaction to capitalism.

It's not an opposite to capitalism. After all, we have plenty of societies that have combinations of both capitalism and socialism. And socialism can curb population growth in the same way as capitalism by making most people a bit more affluent.

Socialism screams bloody murder about global warming telling us we need to stop using oil.

This is a non sequitur. Screaming about global warming doesn't make people go away or reproduce less.

Comment: Re:Government Intervention (Score 1) 454

by khallow (#48934867) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

In the US we gave our telcos massive tax cuts in the 90s in exchange for fiber rollout. The telcos took the money and ran.

That doesn't explain all those bankruptcies during the dotcom bubble. Rather they built a vast pile of dark fiber (that is, unused backbone fiber cable) and then went bankrupt when the money ran out. Companies like Google have been using that stuff (particularly, the right of ways these days) ever since.

Comment: Re:Positive pressure? (Score 1, Offtopic) 361

by khallow (#48933095) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States
I'm aware of two sorts of evidence. First, there's the rhetoric used by the President, for example, "bitter clingers" speech and his statements about the Trayvon Martin shooting indicate he is at least in support of some sort of federal level gun control.

Second, there's the ATF Fast and Furious scandal. On the surface, it's supposedly a sting operation meant to uproot gun smuggling networks in the US in order to assist with the taming of the Cartel war in next door Mexico. In actuality, this sting delivered considerable material support to the Sinaloa Cartel, 2,000 guns guaranteed not to be intercepted plus whatever else the Cartel was able to smuggle out with those weapons (such as laundered money or more guns), a pretext (which turned out to be too flimsy when the scheme was revealed) for introducing additional regulations on gun purchases, and these guns turning up at over 200 murders in Mexico and the US and which are still turning up at crime scenes.

Comment: Re:Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 496

by khallow (#48932875) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

You are confusing expert opinion with argument from authority.

Not at all. Expert opinion is the most common basis for an argument from authority. Let's look at the three examples you gave, the Stern Review, the Garnaut Climate Change Reviews, and the IPCC's series of assessment reports. The first thing to observe is that the first two reports were funded by politicians with a particular agenda and who happened to need a particular outcome of those reports and for which the reports just happen to deliver on that agenda and need.

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair needed a pretext for supporting near future greenhouse gases emission controls. He sets aside public funds for the Stern Review, and (what a coincidence!) the Stern Review just so happens to support his needs of the moment. Same goes for the Garnaut Reviews which happen to fill the same role for former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

IPCC has long been notorious for providing what pro-climate change propaganda is needed as it is needed. For example, we have the "hockey stick" estimate promulgated in the 2001 Third ASsessment Report, extreme weather in the next assessment, and heating of the oceans in the latest one. I wouldn't be surprised to see a sudden confidence by considerable narrowing of the temperature forcing of a doubling of carbon dioxide in the next assessment report.

Each of these reporting sources has consistently exaggerated its conclusions in favor of current carbon dioxide emission reduction. Earlier in this thread, I mentioned the consistent biases of the Stern Review. The Garnaut Reviews are even worse with a claim of only 0.1 to 0.2% of Australia's fossil fuel-dependent GDP lost each year to mitigation policies for AGW. That's ridiculous.

Meanwhile, the IPCC has long been notorious for exaggerating the impact of AGW while simultaneously downplaying the costs of greenhouse gases emissions reduction. For example, I was told by slashdotter Layzej that the IPCC's Third Assessment Report (TAR) predicted a 0.1 to 0.2 C increase in global mean temperature over the few decades after 2001 (using scenario "IS92a").

But when I actually looked at the "Summary for Policy Makers" I see claims of larger near future heating for the scenario in question (of 0.1 C to 0.3 C) with the high end of the initial range of increases presented instead as a median value of this new, unjustified range. I also saw that in this Summary the TAR had obsoleted the scenario in question and was using scenarios that presented more aggressive heating.

In other words, the fine print, which Layzej unearthed was buried deep in the report somewhere, while other, significantly worse and unjustified scenarios were presented for public consumption. Now, that those overly alarmist scenarios are failing, supporters are digging up the hidden, but somewhat more accurate predictions and claiming that the IPCC was right all along.

This sort of dishonesty and misuse of expert opinion is why I term the whole effort an argument from authority. But don't get me wrong I think there's a lot more fallacies at play here than just argument from authority.

My view on this is that "expert opinion" and "peer reviewed and published" doesn't outweigh being deliberately wrong.

Comment: Re:Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 496

by khallow (#48927557) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

No it isn't. It's required by law to pay taxes just as it is required to pay your employees and not kill them at the end of the day.

So you're saying it's not strictly a negative externality. The moral content or intent of a policy is completely irrelevant to whether it creates an externality or not.

Just because it would be cheaper if this law didn't exist doesn't make it an externality.

Of course not. It's incurred without choice by the employer, that's what makes it an externality.

I don't think you will ever understand what an externality is. There isn't much more I can do here. I understand that you will never want to lower CO2 emissions if you don't get what an externality is.

Funny, doesn't look like that from my end. While I grant someone seems to have a problem understanding what an externality is, I find it more interesting that merely characterizing this massive synergy of fossil fuels, energy, and transportation with the entirety of an economy, as not an externality is sufficient to dismiss it.

This strikes me as comparable to the argument from authority fallacy you presented earlier, created by presenting "credible, peer-reviewed", but highly biased predictions as if they were the best possible guesses out there.

Sure, if we ignore contrary evidence, like what I've remarked on (such as ignoring the positive externalities of fossil fuel use, proper time value of money, or the oter systematic biases contributing to portraying radical carbon dioxide emission reduction as something with low costs and large benefits) then sure, we can reach agreement on this. It's just not worth my effort to do so. Nor would it be moral.

Comment: Re:Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 496

by khallow (#48926979) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

Externalities are not related to price.

As an aside, the more (or less) something costs, the less (or more) incentive there is to produce it. Higher supply results in a price swing in the opposite direction due to supply and demand. That right there creates a positive correlation between externalities incurred by something and the price offered for that thing.

Comment: Re:Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 496

by khallow (#48926893) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

The cost of all goods include the cost of transportation. When you pay for an apple, you pay for pesticide, oil, transport, the retailer's accountant and a whole bunch of stuff whether you like it or not and these are not externalities, these are part of the voluntary trade, no matter if you are aware of the details or not.

No, it doesn't work that way. You already included a number of externalities. The retailer's accountant, for example, often is employed to insure compliance with tax codes and employment regulation. The marginal cost of the labor required to deal with that is an externality.

For oil, similarly, the various goods and services that the apple grower uses which are not directly tied to the purchase of your apple, also make the apple a little bit cheaper. That's an externality of oil which directly changes the price of the apple. Similar, because the apple is cheaper or more expensive, you may be able to offer your goods and services (eg, your labor) at a cheaper price or forced to offer at a more expensive price . And you can purchase more or less of other goods and services that you consume.

Externalities are not related to price. Cheap oil has the same externalities as expensive oil. Externalities are related to its production and burning in your car. Not to the price you pay at the pump.

This is deeply flawed reasoning. The price of oil due to its prevalent use throughout human society creates substantial externalities just on that basis alone.

Comment: Re:Science by democracy doesn't work? (Score 1) 496

by khallow (#48926187) Attached to: Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

It's not nebulous. Just because you are ignorant doesn't make it an externality. So whether you agree or not to the pollution of your own car, it is par of the deal, or the trade (between you and the gas company) if you prefer. What is not part of the deal is the pollution that you force to others while driving your car.

I prefer "trade" not "deal" because "trade" has an established meaning ("mutually voluntary exchange of goods or services") while "deal" apparently means "Whatever danbob999 decides it means". I note that you have yet to objectively define "deal" or explain its relevance to anything we've been discussing.

Yes. And when you buy gas, or buy service from a delivery company, you make the choice to add more CO2 to the atmosphere. A small part of that cost will be assumed by you. But a much larger amount will be assumed by the rest of the world, and this is what we call an externality.

It's an externality because the rest of the world didn't participate in my transaction. Similarly, cheaper or more expensive oil can result in near universally cheaper or more expensive goods and services even when the agent doesn't do anything with oil or its derivative products directly. That's an externality as well by definition since the beneficiaries didn't participate in the trading or use of fuel and thus did not voluntarily incur the cost or benefit of the pricing of oil-derived fuels.

Moneyliness is next to Godliness. -- Andries van Dam