Privatization of food, water, shelter, and power kills people. We need to take back the world.


I sometimes feel like a bit of a broken record when it comes to climate change and capitalism. It’s clear to me that dealing with climate change in a way that tries to reduce suffering and needless death will be impossible under a capitalist system. Everything about the way our economy is designed pushes the rich to keep accumulating wealth, and to keep hurting other people to do it. With the ubiquity of the internet in our everyday lives, the ways in which capitalists (or any other rulers for that matter) can directly interfere in our lives are ever-growing. I’ve posted recently about the dangers of heat, and I think it’s clear to most people that some form of artificial cooling is becoming as necessary as heat is in the winter. Under those circumstances, a privatized power grid can turn into a sci-fi nightmare:

Apparently this is a shocking statement in some circles, but I do not believe anyone should have the power to play with people’s lives like that. This is a big reason why I favor solar and wind power – they can be decentralized and integrated throughout the areas -in which humans use power, which makes it more difficult for anyone to control access to electricity.

It’s important to understand that this is not limited to electricity, or even technology in general. It has been done with the housing market for ages, creating and maintaining a large homeless population. Homeless people have always been killed by exposure to the elements, but by now it should be clear to you that those numbers are going to start climbing rapidly. People are already willing to accept worsening labor conditions and debt in an effort to keep a roof over their heads. How much more will we put up with in a world where being denied shelter almost guarantees death?

Corporations (most famously Nestle, but there are others) are also in the process of creating a similar circumstance with access to water around the world. As with the question of shelter, access to potable water is going to become increasingly important as exposure to higher temperatures puts both people and crops at risk of dehydration and overheating. I hope it doesn’t need to be said, but if your access to water depends on being able to pay, then you do not have a right to stay alive in any functional sense.

In a similar vein, it should alarm you that Bill Gates, who has killed a lot of people for money by insisting on corporate control over vaccines, has been buying up vast amounts of farmland.

There is a very real, very immediate danger posed to humanity, not just by climate change, but by the combination of climate change and capitalist hegemony. I don’t know whether it’s malice or pathology, but it seems pretty clear that the capitalists of the world are happy to consume all of humanity, and they should no more be allowed to do that than a serial killer should be allowed to murder at will.

We need to organize, protect and empower each other, and take all power away from those whose “leadership” has brought us to this point.


If you like my work, please share it with others who might find it interesting. If you’re willing, please also consider contributing as little as one dollar per month to my patreon. For various reasons, this is my only source of income right now, and it’s less than we need to break even. Doing so will get you access to some extra content (science fiction and some nonfiction), and give you some influence on what topics I write about.

Comments

  1. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    This is a big reason why I favor solar and wind power – they can be decentralized and integrated throughout the areas -in which humans use power, which makes it more difficult for anyone to control access to electricity.

    But they don’t work like that. You think you have a choice between centralized and de-centralized energy production. You don’t. You have a choice between centralized energy production and (extreme) poverty. “To believe that solar and wind can replace fossil fuels is almost as bad as believing in the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy” – paraphrasing preeminent climate scientist James Hansen. This is a sentiment that is shared by a large majority of climate scientists.

  2. says

    As I have said many times before, favoring those forms of power generations doesn’t mean excluding all others. That might be YOUR approach, but it has never been mine.

    And yes, I have disagreements about the world with Hansen. He’s an American conservative (though not a fascist like the current GOP) which IMO means that despite his expertise in climate science, his understanding of how society works is extremely flawed.

    As always, I favor a wedge strategy, and I think the exact proportions of the wedges are going to vary depending on the region in question.

  3. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    As I have said many times before, favoring those forms of power generations doesn’t mean excluding all others. That might be YOUR approach, but it has never been mine.

    You still talk about it as thought it’s practical on some level. It’s not. It almost never makes sense to make solar cells and wind turbines. Not even close. For certain remote off-grid applications, yes, but never if you can make a connection to the grid.

    And yes, I have disagreements about the world with Hansen. He’s an American conservative (though not a fascist like the current GOP) which IMO means that despite his expertise in climate science, his understanding of how society works is extremely flawed.

    It’s not just James Hansen. It’s the vast majority of climate scientists, and the IPCC reports. They all call for much more nuclear.

    Solar and wind don’t work, and cannot work. Solar cells and wind turbines could be entirely free, and it wouldn’t be cheap enough to be practical. Turning intermittent solar wind electricity into reliable electricity is hugely expensive. Already the extra transmission requirements are more expensive than the baseline costs of the solar cells and wind turbines. Already the extra costs for storage and backup dwarf the baseline costs of the solar cells and wind turbines. There’s also the extra costs of grid inertia and frequency control services which largely come for free with a large thermal (or nuclear) generator, and the extra costs of blackstart capability which also largely come for free with a large thermal (or nuclear) generator.

    You are letting your dreams of the future blind to you to the reality of today, which is that solar and wind are scams, and always have been, and that the Green energy movement is a scam. These same people like Amory Lovins have been saying that solar and wind are just now finally ready every year for like 60 years now. When will the little boy have cried “wolf” enough for you to recognize the scam for what it is?

    There’s not enough mineable lithium in all of the world for the necessary amount of batteries, nor nickel, nor lead (not even close). Other cheap scalable battery technologies don’t exist yet. Contrary to popular belief, batteries are not getting exponentially cheaper, and the lead-acid technology of 150 years ago is still the cheapest kind of battery (give or take). (Lithium batteries were revolutionary not because of cost, but because of their small weight and size.) There’s not enough free land for pumped hydro (not even close). We cannot turn intermittent solar wind electricity into reliable electricity. Relying on an unproven technological breakthough for this problem is the most irresponsible thing that I’ve ever heard.

    The “best” approach for solar wind, as described in most leading Green papers, is the exact opposite of decentralization. They call for cross-continent cross-national transmission grids in a feeble attempt to reduce solar wind overbuild, storage, and backup requirements. They call for “smart grid” technology that allows a capitalist to control your thermostat from a central location. Far from decentralization, solar and wind represent greater centralization and control by the elite.

    With a cross-continent transmission grid, storage requirements might be on the order of about 1-3 days, which is basically impossible. Without that, storage requirements are on the order of 3-4 weeks, which is flatly impossible. Your dream of decentralized power production ala microgrids of solar and wind is a pipedream, and obviously so to anyone with a modicum of engineering knowledge. It’s nothing but a fallacious “appeal to consequences” argument. It’s a dangerous and self-serving delusion. It’s arguably the most dangerous delusion in the world because of climate change.

  4. says

    It got caught in spam. Dunno why.

    I’m not interested in going round with you on this again. Fight for what you believe in, by all means. I don’t know that lengthy comments on my blog is going to achieve much, and you don’t seem interested in my posts about how to get the power to actually make change, but suit yourself.

    Stop making shit up about what I do and don’t believe. If you can manage to avoid having tantrums and insulting me in the future that would be nice too, but I’m primarily not interested in spending time dealing with your random assumptions.

  5. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Let me point out the most important thing – every Green paper that models the energy transition calls for far more centralization of power production than today. They specifically call for cross-continent and cross-national transmission grids to guarantee supply, and smart grids so that some capitalist in a central planning room can turn down your thermostat when there’s not enough wind and solar.

    If you want decentralization of power supply, the best that can be achieved in the real world is small modular reactors (SMRs) like NuScale. Each unit is about 77 MWe, which is enough for a small city on the order of 10,000 people. That level of decentralization is achievable. Again, contrast that with the extreme interconnectedness of the proposed Green smart grid. Already, the electrical grid is arguably the most complicated machine that humanity has ever built, and the Greens are proposing to make it many times more complicated in order to rely on solar and wind instead of nuclear.

  6. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    And yes, I have disagreements about the world with Hansen. He’s an American conservative

    Science is not conservative or progressive. Facts are facts. And the facts are that the vast majority of climate scientists agree with James Hansen that relying on solar and wind without nuclear is impossible, let alone relying on solar and wind in a decentralized way which is even more impossible.

    You’re basically being a conspiracy theorist now, using ad homs to dismiss the views of the scientists.

  7. says

    As I’ve said before, my disagreement isn’t with “science” it’s on politics and policy. It’ not an “ad hom” to point out that there are factors at work about which the scientists you cite are not experts.

    Simply waving away the complications of human society because you think it “shouldn’t” be that way won’t change anything.

  8. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Simply waving away brute facts of physics and engineering won’t make decentralized energy production scenarios any less delusional.

  9. says

    A cross-continent grid doesn’t preclude people with PV panels on their houses being able to use them separately as well. We don’t HAVE to have a grid setup that means people with their own generators can’t use them when the grid goes down, OR that means some entity like a corporation can just set your thermostat for you.

  10. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    What part about “it can’t work” don’t you understand? I can point out the flaws myself. I can point to the studies (which I’ve already done) which point out the flaws. I can cite the scientists saying that it’s impossible, “a mirage”, “almost as bad as believing in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy”. There’s a reason that every example pathway in the IPCC reports involves a boatload of nuclear (and that’s in spite of a clear anti-nuclear bias in the reports – and again, I can talk about the specific biases, or link to scientists talking about the specific biases).

    Your 100% renewables fantasies
    Will.
    Not.
    Work.

    They’re impossible just like running our society on hamsters in wheels is impossible (and for much the same reasons too).

  11. tuatara says

    Instead of these pointless arguments about how to provide for an ever increasing demand for energy, how about instead we STOP USING SO MUCH FUCKING ENERGY!

  12. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Instead of these pointless arguments about how to provide for an ever increasing demand for energy, how about instead we STOP USING SO MUCH FUCKING ENERGY!

    This can only be said from someone who is grossly ignorant of so many things.

    Much of the world lives in poverty, using almost no energy. To raise them out of poverty requires expending a lot of energy upkeep. Even if they were more energy efficient than Europe, multiplying a low energy usage rate times 10 billion people is more power usage than today’s total power usage. Worldwide, energy usage is only going to go up, not down. Energy efficiency can help somewhat, but it’s not going to reverse this trend.

    No amount of reduction in energy consumption will make solar and wind practical. It’s not a question of amount. We have a lot of free land. The problem is turning intermittent electricity into useful electricity. That’s hard. That’s hard whether it’s 1 TW or 10 TW. Solar and wind are simply not suitable for providing power for society without large amounts of backup, whether hydro (can’t scale), fossil fuels, or nuclear power.

    I’m also particularly offended when you say that. It strikes me as colonialist and racist. It’s people like you that are responsible for untold human misery and suffering in the third world. In particular, it’s this kind of colonialist and racist thinking that has denied the same food security benefits to much of Africa that the rest of the world enjoys.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1997/01/forgotten-benefactor-of-humanity/306101/

    Environmental lobbyists persuaded the Ford Foundation and the World Bank to back off from most African agriculture projects. The Rockefeller Foundation largely backed away too—though it might have in any case, because it was shifting toward an emphasis on biotechnological agricultural research. “World Bank fear of green political pressure in Washington became the single biggest obstacle to feeding Africa,” Borlaug says. The green parties of Western Europe persuaded most of their governments to stop supplying fertilizer to Africa; an exception was Norway, which has a large crown corporation that makes fertilizer and avidly promotes its use. Borlaug, once an honored presence at the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, became, he says, “a tar baby to them politically, because all the ideas the greenies couldn’t stand were sticking to me.”

    Borlaug’s reaction to the campaign was anger. He says, “Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things.”

  13. tuatara says

    Hmmnnn, okay.

    I will (try to) keep this short and polite.

    Firstly, I take the deepest offence to being labelled a racist colonialist. Let me tell you a little about myself (and my family).
    I grew up as a mixed-up mixed race person.
    My father had our language beaten out of him when he was a child by his racist colonialist school teachers.
    Our tribal lands were in the most part stolen by a duplicitous colonial government. Much of the rest was sold from under us by a duplicitous tribal enemy who was able to claim “ownership” under a narrow colonialist legal definition.
    I am the product of a recently dispossessed people bred with a people whose dispossession was so far in the past that they have no idea they are dispossessed.

    I feel like saying something very impolite to you but will refrain, unless you do not apologise.

    Secondly, is your definition of poverty the same as mine? I doubt this very much.
    For me poverty stems directly from dispossession, or what is in legal terms called alienation of property rights.
    To quote Sir Douglas Graham, ex Minister of Justice of the New Zealand Government:
    “Under British law alienation of property rights is total, and in perpetuity”. This is the foundation of all poverty, everywhere.
    This also happens to be the food of capitalism.

    Is your “lifting out of poverty” of the same ilk as the equality between men and women being dependent on the education of women? Why would it not equally depend on the education of men?

    In other words, is your poverty framed in relation to middle-class America? Or should middle-class America (Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada, UK, France, Belgium etc) not perhaps instead move a way toward the poorest to reduce the gap?
    Do we really need 10 billion middle-class consumers? If this the the goal then we are simply doomed.
    Surely we should all use less energy to ensure that we all survive.

    Take a look at Kiribati.
    I had the great fortune of growing up there, at Tarawa, in the early 1970’s. it was a bit of a mess even then. The ravages of WW2 were still painfully evident and the people had lost many wise elders with whom a vast knowledge had disappeared (many either worked to death or executed by the Japanese – those that were left at least after the Christians had had their way).
    We had no running water, no electricity (unless the generator was fuelled and able to start),which was not often). Water was from a well and had to be boiled to make safe over a fire (the ground water was made unsafe by the imposition of Christian burials).
    Kiribati has no way of being lifted out of poverty. There is no agriculture to support their burgeoning modern population.They have no mineral resources to extract and sell The pelagic fisheries surrounding them are rapidly depleting thanks to industrial over-fishing. They have no ability to open a factory to make useless plastic trinkets for “toys are fucking us” or Apple iPhones.
    They are entirely reliant on the middle-class world for their very survival.

    Their very land is being inundated and made uninhabitable by rising seas because we won’t STOP USING SO MUCH FUCKING ENERGY!

    Their only hope is evacuation when the time comes that they have no other choice. The noble goal of lifting the world out of poverty will have made the people of Kiribati the poorest people in the world. I hope you can look after them at your place. I will certainly open my home to some of them for I owe them my own identity.

  14. says

    Gerrard for the last time, I have never advocated for solar and wind to the exclusion of all else, and I think nuclear has a place. I just don’t think it’s our One True Savior like you do.

  15. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Gerrard for the last time, I have never advocated for solar and wind to the exclusion of all else, and I think nuclear has a place. I just don’t think it’s our One True Savior like you do.

    I don’t know what that means. Do you mean that nuclear has a large and necessary place? Do you mean that there is no global solution without boatloads of nuclear? Because that’s what most of the climate scientists say and the IPCC reports say.

    If this the the goal then we are simply doomed.

    Why?

    Their very land is being inundated and made uninhabitable by rising seas because we won’t STOP USING SO MUCH FUCKING ENERGY!

    False. Because they keep emitting so much greenhouse gases. Those are not the same things.

  16. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    tuatara
    So, what standard of living do you think is acceptable? Do you think that people should have to rely on river water or well water with boiling? Or do you think that people ought to have clean water? That means water sanitation plants, pumping stations, factories to make the pipes, etc. That takes energy. How about medicine and safe food? That requires refrigeration, and that takes energy. How about indoor heating for people in colder climates? That takes energy. Do you think we should do away with the internet? The internet takes energy. Basic sanitation aka trash removal and sewage also takes energy. Having food to eat also takes energy, and a lot of it. Roughly 1-2% of the world’s total energy usage goes to making fertilizer, and without that, at least half of the world would starve. II can probably go on for a while.

    So, again, I ask, what standard of living do you think is acceptable? If you want, we can try to ballpark how much energy that’s going to require, and see 10 billion people at that energy usage compares to today’s total worldwide energy usage.

  17. tuatara says

    Gerard.

    so, no apology for the racists colonialist slur?

    Gee, thanks for your understanding.

    You really do miss the point of Abe’s OP, which is about corporatization of resources for no other reason than financial profit for a few at the expense of all others. Where I come from that is called dispossession and is the very source of our poverty – poverty that my people are still struggling with.

    Do you really think that I don’t want people to have access to food and water?
    Heck, I even want them to have access to the land of their ancestors as well!
    The world has moved too far from this for it to be a realistic dream. But I would ague this is no less realistic than 10 billion middle-class Americans on planet Earth being sustainable, which seems to be what you think is.

    Do I want energy wastage? Hell no! Energy is a precious resource that we should treat as such. Does the “average” citizen of the developed world treat energy as a precious resource? For the most part I would think no. What about water? Do you treat water as the finite resource that it is? Most people that I know don’t.
    Do I want the world destroyed so that a few billionaires can get richer while the rest of the population is chewed up by their capitalist money machine? Hell no!

    It is needless wastage of energy that I despise Gerard, not energy usage for essential services.

    I am off to power down my NTD and router again, now that I don’t need them ineffectually heating my house while I am at work – in the renewable energy industry. And before you say it I will say it for you.
    Yes, I have a vested interest. My vested interest is a habitable Earth for my children’s children’s children.

    I believe you that you probably can go on for a while. Hey, why don’t you start your own blog here on FTB?! I might even read some if it, after you apologise.

  18. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    so, no apology for the racists colonialist slur?

    I don’t expect I will be doing any such thing. I hold people who say “the world should use less energy” responsible for untold misery and tragedy, especially of the poor non-white world. I am thoroughly upset at anyone who says that poor black people in Africa shouldn’t be elevated to something like a western standard of living – something which you explicitly said should not happen.

    I note that you apparently do have access to clean drinking water, refrigeration for safe food and medicine, etc.

    I also note that when confronted with these facts, you backpeddled, so I give some credit to you. The problem is that you’re trying to have it both ways. At the high abstract level, you think the world shouldn’t use more energy. However, once I drill into the details of who is going to make that sacrifice on your choice, not theirs, then you backpeddle and say that poor Africans deserve those things. However, for them to get those things that you have, energy usage worldwide is going to go up, not down, which means that it’s you that needs to apologize for your atrocious remarks that the world should use less energy.

  19. says

    Let me point out the most important thing – every Green paper that models the energy transition calls for far more centralization of power production than today.

    Well, that just makes it that much more important that the grid is not under control of a small number of people, right?

  20. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Well, that just makes it that much more important that the grid is not under control of a small number of people, right?

    Then this question is orthogonal to the question of decentralized microgrids vs honking big nuclear power plants. It could not be used as a drawback of a nuclear plan. Conversely, decentralization cannot be claimed as a benefit of any remotely realistic renewable plan.

    I’m pretty sure something else was meant by earlier comments when these words were invoked. This is a dodge.

  21. says

    You call it a dodge, I call it returning to the subject of the post. I guess we’re focusing on different things.

  22. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Ok. Back to the topic.

    The OP is living in a delusional netherworld where it’s possible to “take back” control of energy production via microgrids and personal generation. Back in reality, that’s impossible for most people to do, and will likely remain impossible, for anything resembling the modern standard of living.

    Sure, a very small number can do it (via solar cells and batteries) by spending way more money and/or relying on government subsidies (e.g. leaching off others), but that is too expensive for everyone to do it, and it also requires materials that are too scarce (e.g. lithium) for everyone to do it.

    Instead of pursuing delusional strategies for attacking the bourgeoisie – and I wholeheartedly support attacking the bourgeoisie – let’s use tactics which are actually effective and don’t make us all look like grossly ignorant fools, such as stronger governance via better elections, make all energy production capital into state-owned property, and finally we could use all sorts of general class warfare tactics like super heavy progressive taxes on the rich including income, all assets, and inheritance. All of that makes far more sense than asking for the physically impossible. Asking for a pony is not an effective strategy.
    https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=I%20want%20a%20pony

  23. says

    When it comes to day to day life, more people are going to be able to learn how to competently and safely operate a solar panel – including relocating it and setting it up in a new place – than are going to be able to competently and safely operate any nuclear reactor. Under pretty much any conditions, reliably intermittent power is better than no power. If you only have power while the sun shines, that’s predictable and very, very useful, even if it’s the diminished power of a cloudy day.

    That said, as I’ve already said, you’re welcome to take action to bring about your vision of the future. I do think we need some nuclear power, and I know that there are people working hard to get it. Nothing I do is going to stop that, nor do I want to. What I want to do is ensure that whatever we come up with as a society is under democratic control to the greatest degree possible, because otherwise it’s likely that billions will die because of artificial scarcity. That has always been the pattern, and it needs to stop.

    That’s why I’ve been increasing my focus on strategies to build collective power. In the short term that can be used to influence the political system we have, and in the long term it can be used to change that system. It’s also all within YOUR grasp, Gerrard. You can take part in organizing, and make your case while doing so. I don’t see that as being in any way incompatible or inconsistent with the work I’m doing. That said, if you think that simply doing our current electoral system “better” is going to get the change we need, then I don’t think you’re in a good place to be calling other people “grossly ignorant fools”.

    I also find your language odd. You think that government subsidies for things like solar panels means “leeching off others”? How so? What is the purpose of the government, in your mind? How do you propose we change how power is generated? How would we go about funding the creation of thousands of nuclear reactors?

  24. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Under pretty much any conditions, reliably intermittent power is better than no power. If you only have power while the sun shines, that’s predictable and very, very useful, even if it’s the diminished power of a cloudy day.

    I don’t see that as being in any way incompatible or inconsistent with the work I’m doing.

    It’s rhetoric like the first quote in this post that is my problem. That kind of intermittent power is not enough to sustain a modern industrial society. You might as well be saying “pre-industrial age society is acceptable”. That’s how I read it. That’s how many others are going to read it. I don’t think that keeping the world in such an abject state of poverty is acceptable.

    Modern society cannot run on “reliably intermittent” power. You can’t see beyond the end of your nose. You only focus on the things that you can directly see, and you’re grossly ignorant of everything else. What makes that solar panel, eh? Another giant centralized facility. How does that happen?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siemens_process
    Another high-temperature process. Practically all high temperature heat processes cannot just be turned on for a few hours every day. It doesn’t work like that. It takes days or weeks to safely turn them on and safely turn them off. Cut power at operating temperatures and the thing suffers damage from thermal fractures from extreme thermal differences as the thing cools unevenly. It takes days or weeks to turn on from cold shutdown to avoid those same extreme thermal differences leading to thermal fractures and such. Some equipment takes months to turn on, like apparently the equipment to make flat glass using the float-glass method according to my uncle who used to work for Guardian glass. Taking months to turn on is not unusual. With “reliably intermittent” power, you could never turn such things on.Reliably intermittent power is as good as no power at all if you want to maintain anything remotely resembling a modern society.

    “Reliably intermittent power” is useful if you want to maintain a society that resembles the subsistence farmers in a post-apocalyptic setting with unreliable ancient schizo-tech which can no longer be manufactured.

    You’re encouraging people to destroy the means of production, and you’re too ignorant and prideful to even realize it. I’ll say it again: As a Marxist, let me again say that the solution is not to destroy the means of a production.

    PS: Let me also say that even low-heat processes like hydrogen electrolyzers suffer huge efficiency penalties from damage / debris build-up caused by daily cycling. This is not just a problem with high heat processes, but many industrial processes.

    There’s also the problem of economics of letting capital lay idle. Today prices of so many goods are so cheap because we run the production capital at 24-7-365. If we only ran that capital 6 hours every day, then prices go up by 4x overnight, assuming the capital can even be turned on and off every day which is false for many production capital.

    In short, you ignorant, prideful, romantic fool. You’ll doom us all.

  25. dangerousbeans says

    capitalists buying all the land and water, and trying to own us through debt. it’s almost like the system is evolving towards a new form of fedualism

    @GerrardOfTitanServer
    ironic that you accused me of being a conservative when you’re the one who refuses to consider that our society and technology might need to change to deal with new situations.

  26. says

    Didja notice that bit where I said “When it comes to day to day life”? How about the bit where the article was about fucking with thermostats in people’s homes? I’m not talking about that kind of power generation for industry, I’m talking about power generation for people’s homes so they don’t die. If we’re reaching a point where a lack of AC during the day can kill, then any effort at changing political power dynamics is going be at risk, with that dynamic being added to things like strike efforts. We need to be simultaneously working to survive climate change despite the actions of the capitalists, and also working take power away from them. Efforts like that are more likely to succeed with supply lines that don’t depend on the powers we’re trying to overthrow.

    Factories will need a different arrangement, obviously. Some of that can be done through concentrated solar thermal setups (centralized), some through nuclear, and to some degree we simply don’t need to maintain the level of production we’ve had thus far.

    I’m not capable of covering every topic in full depth, nor is every post ever going to cover every single aspect of a given topic.

    If you think I’m personally dooming us all, you are welcome to work on what YOU think is needed. I’m not forcing you to spend your time ranting at me, and I don’t think it’s likely to further your goals.

  27. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    dangerousbeans
    I’m sorry, who are you? I think you changed names. I’m advocating that advances in technology will save us. Others here have advocated that bringing everyone to a western standard of living is bad and that we need to effectively go back in time. That is reactionary conservative.

    Abe

    […] some degree we simply don’t need to maintain the level of production we’ve had thus far.

    We cannot scale back. You need to stop thinking that way. We need worldwide production to go up drastically, not down. The poor parts of the world are going to industrialize to get a better quality of life, to get safe food, water, medicine, etc., and there’s nothing that you can do to stop them (short of genocide anyway). They’re going to use coal unless you provide something cost competitive. You will never be able to convince large portions of the world to stay poor. It’s the mother of all “tragedy of the commons” / “collective action issues”. For these poor people, it’s often literally a matter of life and death, of safe food, water, medicine, indoor heating and cooling, etc. This has almost nothing to do with so-called capitalist consumerism culture, and everything about basic human decency, of which you are sorely lacking.

    I don’t get it why you think it’s an unfair characterization of your position. You think the industrialized world should make great sacrifices in terms of standard of living. They shouldn’t expect 24-7 electricity in their homes or their factories. Thus, they shouldn’t expect to have factories. These are the consequences of your rhetoric. Why deny it? I don’t get it.

  28. says

    Again, it depends on what you’re talking about. We need to scale up some things, yes. That’s not universal. We don’t need to be producing cars at this scale, or electronics designed to stop working so people will buy the next model.

    Will the increased production for climate-ready infrastructure, and non-fossil power sources amount to more than the over-production currently being driven by the profit motive?

    I think people SHOULD expect 24/7 power, but they’re already not getting it because of corporate priorities.

    There are a lot of things that SHOULD be happening but aren’t, because the people in power don’t particularly want them to. Major political change has to be part of what we’re doing, or we won’t get anything done. Change at that scale tends to be opposed, and economic siege tactics like depriving people of access to power, is part of how that opposition often goes.

    As you will know, since you read everything, I’ve posted about what the baseline standard of living ought to be, along with the research behind that scenario. It includes an “industrialized” lifestyle – internet, climate control, appliances, shelter, and so on, but an economy that’s not driven buying endless amounts of stuff. It’s about getting the basics that make life good – food, shelter, health care, communication, entertainment, etc.

    Manufacturing is going to be part of that. Hopefully so is industrial-scale waste processing to deal with the mountains of trash and “recyclables” that have been piling up. Some of that will do best with nuclear power. Some will not need that. Not all manufacturing needs to be running constantly.

    As I’ve said before, the changes YOU want ALSO require massive political and economic change, but you seem to be rather disinterested in actually going about building power to make that change.

  29. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    I think people SHOULD expect 24/7 power

    You can’t a country with 24-7 electricity with only solar and wind. It’s basically impossible.

    As you will know, since you read everything, I’ve posted about what the baseline standard of living ought to be, along with the research behind that scenario. It includes an “industrialized” lifestyle – internet, climate control, appliances, shelter, and so on, but an economy that’s not driven buying endless amounts of stuff. It’s about getting the basics that make life good – food, shelter, health care, communication, entertainment, etc.

    And that’s impossible on solar and wind and other renewables.

    Some of that will do best with nuclear power. Some will not need that. Not all manufacturing needs to be running constantly.

    I don’t know why you’re saying such manifest falsehoods. Art-major engineer right here. You have no fucking idea what you’re talking about, and yet you’re proclaiming your false claims loudly and with certainty. Have you no shame? Where is your critical thinking? Why is it that you feel entitled to say shit with such confidence when you know that you don’t really know if it’s true or not. You’re just saying it because it fits your preconceived notions about how you would like reality to be. Whenever you think about what is wrong with Trump supporters, you’re falling prey to it right now too. You’re unwilling to question the dogma of your tribe. You’re more than willing to believe and proclaim things that you know to be false just to avoid questioning that tribal dogma. And because you have a certain preconceived way that you want the world to be, and anything that questions that preconception has all sorts of twisted logic employed, consciously or unconsciously, to thwart it, in order to maintain your delusion.

    You’ve been given a false bill of goods, a lie, that renewables can replace fossil fuels. They can’t. Maybe in a few places with overly abundant hydro resources, but not around the world. So, you keep keeping repeating liars like Greenpeace and other Green orgs, or you can fight back against their propaganda (probably fossil fuel lobby funded propaganda). Every solar cell built by Chinese Uighur slave labor is one bit of labor, resources, and time that was wasted on something unproductive which could have been spent on something productive.
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-57124636

    Every moment we keep building solar cells and wind turbines is labor, resources, and time that is wasted, releasing more greenhouse gases, and causing other untold environmental disasters in the third world, when we could start fixing the problem by listening to the scientists and the mainstream science, and start building nuclear power plants.

    As I’ve said before, the changes YOU want ALSO require massive political and economic change, but you seem to be rather disinterested in actually going about building power to make that change.

    I don’t need massive political and economic changes in order to fix climate change. Massive political and economic changes are hard. Fixing climate change, or at least greatly mitigating it, is much easier. I’d much rather we fix climate change before trying to restructure society. We don’t need one without the other. Switching fossil fuel electricity production to nuclear production and changing transport to nuclear electricity (directly or indirectly) are not radical changes. They’re quite isolated. Society would continue on like it had before.

    I don’t need to achieve all of my goals at once. I can achieve some of my goals and be happy with that. I don’t need my climate change plan to be a Green New Deal which is really just a society rewrite hidden beneath the veneer of climate change legislation. I’m picking and choosing my battles. Are you? Or are you being the stubborn child who throws a tantrum at only getting half of what you want, unwilling to accept any compromise or partial success?

  30. says

    I don’t need massive political and economic changes in order to fix climate change.

    Cool, so why are you here ranting at me? Why aren’t you DOING it?

    The science has been clear for decades and the people holding the most power have been either ignoring the problem, or paying others to ignore the problem. Why do you think that is?

    What do you think is going to get assholes like Gates and Bezos to save humanity rather than looking after themselves and their servants no matter the death and misery around them?

    What is your evidence that climate change will be dealt with responsibly going forward without political change?

  31. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    The science has been clear for decades and the people holding the most power have been either ignoring the problem, or paying others to ignore the problem. Why do you think that is?

    Because ignorant fools like you have their head up their ass and refuse to admit that they’re part of the problem. We could have and would have solved this problem decades ago if the environmentalists didn’t get coopted by the fossil fuel industry to destroy their nuclear competition. For example, California, the birthplace of the anti-nuclear movement ala Friends Of The Earth, had enough nuclear construction in the official planning staging or early construction stages circa 1970 that if they finished, California today would have entirely greenhouse free electricity. Instead, your ilk put a stop to all of that nuclear construction under the guidance of then governor Jerry Brown so that the Brown family could get all of those sweet petro dollars, and so that generation of hippies could feel like they accomplished something after failing to rid the world of nuclear weapons, e.g. displacement of their dislike of nuclear weapons onto nuclear power.

    Again, I am not alone on this position. Dr. Kerry Emanuel and Dr. extent James Hansen both more or less say that the anti-nuclear Greens are more to blame than the climate change deniers at this point.

    The science has also been clear for decades that solar and wind was never going to cut it. But people like you listened to liars like Amory Lovins saying the same old refrain every year for 50 years that “solar and wind are finally ready now to replace fossil fuels”, and rather than engage any sort of critical thinking, you just went along with it, even though Amory Lovins et al were proven wrong time and time and time again.

    You embrace the mantle of science when it’s convenient, and ignore it when it destroys your romantic fantasy.

    Also, if you were really serious about the well-being of humanity, you would be clamoring louder than I that we should be replacing every coal plant around the world with nuclear plants as fast as possible, but you aren’t. Coal kills millions every year. Nuclear kills and will kill practically zero every year. This is just airborne particulate pollution. We can’t started with coal mining deaths, the toxic waste ponds left over from coal, and let alone climate change, global warming, ocean acidification, sea level rise, etc. If this was really about saving lives and saving the environment, you would be all over nuclear power, and yelling about it louder than I. I can only guess as to your real motivations, and I wonder if you even know.

  32. says

    In other words, you think the current power structure co-opted the environmentalist movement, defusing it and misdirecting it away from action.

    You don’t have the political power to make the changes you want, and you don’t know how to get it, so all you have is commenting on blogs like this. Maybe that’s enough for you, but I’m more interested in how to get around barriers and traps that have stopped past movements for change.

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