John Oliver on climate change and the Green New Deal


He gives a good summary of the proposals, all of which are perfectly reasonable, as opposed to the absurd claims made by its opponents about what it says, and that there are some hopeful signs that the tide is turning on this issue and that more conservatives are ceasing to be denialists and are becoming alarmed at the consequences of doing nothing.

Comments

  1. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Heh. Watching it, and I’m struck how John mentioned lots of ideas for tackling bits of climate change, and the list is surprisingly good, and most surprisingly it includes new nuclear plants, and it basically didn’t mention Green stuff at all (mentioned better battery storage). Wow. I am shocked. Surprisingly cogent for my expectations in light of his fearmongering nuclear waste episode that came out a while back, and surprising because he’s supposed to be defending the “Green New Deal”, which, presumably, including renewable and Green tech like solar, wind, and energy efficiency.

    John even chose to put special emphasis on taxing CO2 emissions. Amazing. He even mentioned that Canada is doing something that James Hansen calls “fee-and-dividend” in order to reduce the impact on the poorest people. Super amazing.

    John Oliver earned back a bit of my respect for this episode.

    PS:
    Nit. I don’t think I agree with his assertion that Britain’s reduced carbon emissions are due to CO2 emission taxes. I’m even dubious on the assertion that Britain’s carbon emissions are down at all. Is this analysis looking only at domestic emissions? Do they include emissions for imported goods? Because the analysis should.

    PPS:
    Still the same problem though. “Green” is not the answer, and has very little to do with the answer. Of the technologies that he named that we need to fix the problem, all but 1 are not Green. Also, even if people like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez got in power, they’d just do what already happened in Germany, which is shutting down our nuclear plants to replace them with coal plants.

    PPPS:
    Concerning the final Bill Nye segment. The unfortunate reality is that if they only accepted nuclear power, we could probably address climate change without spending that much more money than current. Nuclear electricity is cost competitive with coal electricity, and current research shows promise to make synthetic CO2-neutral gasoline that is cost competitive with current prices, and that is most of the solution right there. The idea that we need to radically change our lifestyles is fetishized by many Greeners as a goal unto itself, but it’s actually not necessary to address climate change, and it’s not very politically feasible either -- IMO, nuclear power is probably a lot more politically feasible, which is saying a lot about how politically unfeasible “drastic changes to lifestyle” are because nuclear is relatively low on the political feasibility scale.

  2. says

    Carbon pricing allows the wealthy, who have been causing more than their share of the problem, to continue doing so. Tax and cap is a scam; it’s better than nothing but it’s not going to get the emissions down. At best it’ll slow the increase. By the time it has any effect it’s going to be too late.

  3. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Marcus
    I agree with John Oliver and others that CO2 emission taxes are probably alone not sufficient, but they help. And even the rich don’t like spending money needlessly, and that extra price could result in alternative solutions with less CO2 emissions to be used by the rich.

    Having said that, I agree with you that any remotely politically-feasible tax won’t be enough in time, and the only thing that will be enough in time will include a drastic turnaround by the Greens and huge amounts of government spending on nuclear, and also on transport techs, including synthetic batteries and hydrogen and carbon fixation strategies to create fuel, including gasoline, methane, dimethyl ether, hydrogen gas, etc.

  4. flex says

    @Enlightenment Liberal PS1:

    I twigged on the comment about Britain’s emissions down to 1890 emissions levels as well. Because that period was being famous for high levels of coal-induced fog/smog/pollution (many of the famous London fogs in London were the result of coal smoke), saying that the levels are DOWN to 1890 levels does not really make me believe that there has been much of an improvement.

    For all I know 1960 levels may have been below 1890 levels of carbon emission, which would make the claim that 2019 levels have dropped to 1890 levels not really all that impressive.

  5. Dunc says

    flex, @ #4: There have only been 3 years since 1890 with lower emissions: 1893, 1921, and 1926. In the first two cases, it was the result of miner’s strikes, and the third was the result of a general strike. Peak emissions were in 1973, at 688 MtCO2. (1890 and 2017 emissions were 368 MtCO2.) [source]

    The factors leading to the 38% reduction since 1990 are analysed here. Notable caveats are that “[t]he standard territorial accounting of greenhouse gas emissions excludes lifecycle emissions from bioenergy grown overseas, the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping, plus the CO2 generated when making goods that are imported into the UK.” The article goes on to note that “domestic emissions reductions between 1990 and 2007 were largely cancelled out by increases in imported CO2. However, over the past decade, both domestic and consumption emissions have fallen by similar amounts.” (The code and data used in this analysis are available on GitHub.)

    An earlier analysis indicates that once “imported emissions” are taken into account, the reduction between 1990 and 2014 was 11%.

  6. flex says

    Thank you Dunc. That’s the sort of thing I would have hoped Oliver would have mentioned, but I know he can’t say everything.

  7. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    An earlier analysis indicates that once “imported emissions” are taken into account, the reduction between 1990 and 2014 was 11%.

    Cool. Thanks for the info! I’ll look into it.

  8. Myra Greenwood says

    Enlightened Liberal, nuclear is hugely expensive when you consider the building and then the decommissioning of a plant in the energy cost equation.

  9. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Myra Greenwood
    Before I get to costs, you have to understand that this is not a discussion about nuclear vs renewables, and that is because renewables won’t work without a majority of the grid being nuclear (or fossil fuels). Moreover, it’s likely that renewables have no place in the grid at all, with the exception of hydro which is pretty good. The Greens are a religious cult, and the leadership are filled with liars and frauds and shills on the payroll of fossil fuel companies (because Greens are the biggest enemy of nuclear which is the only competition to fossil fuels). Don’t believe me. Believe the scientific experts.

    James Hansen, the famous climate scientist, said that believing that renewables could replace fossil fuels is like believing in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy.

    https://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/23/jim-hansen-presses-the-climate-case-for-nuclear-energy/

    James Hansen has also said that the Green movement is quasi-religious.

    https://youtu.be/KnN328eD-sA?t=2041

    Leading climate scientist Kerry Emanuel has said “The anti-nuclear bias of this latest IPCC release is rather blatant, and reflects the ideology of the environmental movement. History may record that this was more of an impediment to decarbonization than climate denial”.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/10/29/top-climate-scientists-warn-governments-of-blatant-anti-nuclear-bias-in-latest-ipcc-climate-report/

    Several other preeminent climate scientists have also come out in favor of nuclear power: Dr James Hansen, Dr. Ken Caldeira, Dr. Kerry Emanuel, and Dr. Tom Wigley.

    https://www.cnn.com/2013/11/03/world/nuclear-energy-climate-change-scientists-letter/index.html

    Dozens more scientists who are regularly cited by the IPCC have also come out publicly in favor of nuclear power.

    http://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2018/10/25/open-letter-to-heads-of-state-of-the-g-20-from-scientists-and-scholars-on-nuclear-for-climate-change

    The best survey that I can find of scientists show that there is a slim majority of scientists in favor of nuclear power.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/science/2015/07/23/elaborating-on-the-views-of-aaas-scientists-issue-by-issue/#energy-issues

    Why won’t renewables work? Here’s a good summary article from a lifelong environmentalist, someone who was instrumental in getting the previous Green New Deal passed by Obama (called the New Apollo Programme).

    https://quillette.com/2019/02/27/why-renewables-cant-save-the-planet/

    Regarding the cost of nuclear power.

    Greens are the cause of nuclear being expensive and nuclear being in decline.

    http://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/3/28/why-the-war-on-nuclear-threatens-us-all

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Masses:_Opposition_to_Nuclear_Power_in_California,_1958%E2%80%931978

    https://www.ohio.com/akron/editorial/michael-shellenberger-end-the-discrimination-against-nuclear-power

    Nuclear costs so much in the west in large part because of the needless safety regulations.

    https://atomicinsights.com/evidence-suggesting-lnt-fabricated-purposeful-effort-hamstring-nuclear-technology-development/

    https://atomicinsights.com/petition-stop-wasteful-practice-of-using-lnt-as-basis-for-illogical-regulations/

    https://atomicinsights.com/opportunity-use-science-establish-radiation-standards/

    https://atomicinsights.com/reducing-nuclear-operational-and-capital-costs-by-improved-technology/

    https://atomicinsights.com/cost-increasing-results-of-accepting-the-linear-no-threshold-lnt-assumption-of-radiation-health-effects/

    Nuclear is also expensive because of legal delaying tactics by Greens which drive up nuclear costs.

    https://atomicinsights.com/foes-manipulative-legal-strategy-closing-nuclear-reactors/

    Nuclear is also less profitable in many current western countries because the markets have been carefully regulated in order to favor solar and wind and natural gas, including large subsidies for solar and wind, and laws that prioritize the “using” of solar and wind, and laws that subsidize solar and wind even in oversupply situations, and laws that outright forbid nuclear from competing properly because the law explicitly requires a certain fraction of generated electricity to be non-nuclear renewables.

    https://atomicinsights.com/why-cant-existing-nuclear-plants-make-money-in-todays-electricity-markets/

    When you remove all of that baggage, you get South Korea, where nuclear costs have decreased substantially over the last 30 years, year over year, and now overnight nuclear capital costs are like 4x to 8x cheaper in South Korea compared to the west. See following source.

    The following source also clearly shows a massive spike in overnight nuclear capital costs in the west right after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, which is further evidence that the massive cost we see today is due to regulations (and many of them are unnecessary).

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421516300106

    Also, South Korea also benefited from choosing a single decision and building it over and over again, with the same people, to gain standard learning curve benefits, unlike many projects in the west which are first-of-a-kind reactors, built by new people, and in that kind of situation, we should not be surprised by substantial cost overruns.

    I’ll be happy to argue about anything that you want, and give more sources as required, or dive into the given sources. The problem is that the Greens have lied to you, and their leaders seem to be mostly quacks and paid shills -- many are professional liars who receive substantial funding from the fossil fuel companies. Just a few examples.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world

    https://atomicinsights.com/stanfords-universitys-new-natural-gas-initiative/

    https://atomicinsights.com/following-the-money-whos-funding-stanfords-natural-gas-initative/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/03/28/the-dirty-secret-of-renewables-advocates-is-that-they-protect-fossil-fuel-interests-not-the-climate/

  10. Myra Greenwood says

    Enlightenmentliberal, what about Germany? Also Natural gas is green, but yes it’s a fossil fuel.

  11. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    What about Germany? Their emissions have barely decreased over the last 20 years, and most of the reductions can be attributed to the shutting down of industry and less efficient coal power plants in East Germany after reunification. One might have achieved modest reductions with green tech in Germany if they had kept their nuclear power plants open, but at the same time they were building lots of solar and wind, they were also building lots of new coal power plants to replace some nuclear power plants that they shut down.

    In roughly the same amount of time, for roughly the same amount of money, France converted half their electricity to nuclear. It took only 15 years. Had Germany choose nuclear instead of Green, they would be almost done converting their grid to nuclear, assuming the same amount of money spent. France has cheaper electricity, and half the total CO2 emissions per capital, which includes electricity emissions plus emissions from all other sources. France’s electricity is IIRC 90%-95% clean sources, mostly nuclear at 75% with some hydro.

    The only industrialized countries that have reduced their electricity emissions similarly is Sweden, who also uses a hunch of nuclear and hydro. Contrary to popular conception, nuclear is faster and cheaper to build by far.

    This is also ignoring the problem of intermittency and lack of storage. Germany, with only 15% annual electricity production coming from solar and wind already had oversupply periods. The extra electricity is wasted or dumped on their neighbors. Each additional unit of solar and wind leads to more oversupply conditions, making it harder and harder to sustain the grid with more and more solar and wind. Electricity is not a commodity. You don’t pay for a lump sum to be delivered of the first of the month. It’s a service. You pay for millisecond by millisecond reliable electricity at a certain voltage and frequency. Thus, LCOE numbers for unreliables like solar and wind are dishonest.

  12. Holms says

    “Net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” -- impossible without dismantling current society and going back to agrarian, communal farming living with a fraction of the current population.
    “Meeting 100% of the power demand … through clean, renewable, zero emission energy sources” -- ditto.
    “Create millions of good, high wage jobs in the United States” -- okay, this one is at least possible.

    In other words, it is well intentioned nonsense.

  13. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Holms

    impossible without dismantling current society and going back to agrarian, communal farming living with a fraction of the current population.

    It’ perfectly possible for electricity. Having said that, nuclear and hydro are IIRC about 1% of coal emissions; IIRC mostly because of all of the concrete.

    To Myra
    Gregory Jaczko is one of those well-known anti-nuclear Green cultists. He’s a liar.

    The facts of the matter are that practically zero people have ever died from radiation from civilian nuclear power plant accidents or waste in the United States. Zero. Not a single person.

    Whereas, airborne particulate pollution from coal is one of the leading causes of death, killing like 3 million people worldwide every year. I don’t remember the number for the US, and it’s probably a little smaller than our “fair share” of 3 million, but it’s still probably at least thousands dead every year from premature deaths from airborne particulates from coal.

    Natural gas explosions are also commonplace, often killing dozens or more each time.

    On top of that, there’s all this other waste from fossil fuels like coal, such as coal ash.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/21/us/coal-ash-spill-dam-breach.html

    On top of that, fossil fuels require so much more mining per unit of energy produced, and that’s dangerous to human life and also harmful to the environment.

    On top of that, fossil fuels are the driver of climate change and ocean acidification, which have the real potential to kill billions and end human civilization as we know it.

    If you want to talk about Fukushima and Chernobyl and Three Mile Island and Windscale and Hanford etc., let’s do it.

    Hanford. Not a civilian nuclear power plant. The waste profile is entirely different. Also, I never see any actual predictions of total number of deaths -- the Greens often leave it to the imagination of the audience, which means that the total number of deaths is probably damn near zero.

    Windscale. According to my brief research, maybe 240 additional thyroid cancers, and with a survival rate of 99% with treatment, assuming treatment for those affects, maybe 3 deaths total from radiation.

    Fukushima. The number of people who have died or are going to die from radiation, including cancer-induced radiation, is basically zero. The land remains contaminated with radiation, which is actually the biggest concern, but according to other research I’ve done, the levels are subsiding at an amazing rate in grown food plants according to ongoing regular testing. I was actually surprised at how quickly it is getting to safe levels. And this was with a 50 year old design. We know how to make them safer.

    Chernobyl. Contrary to popular myth, the total number of induced cancers is just a few thousand or less, and almost all of those would be thyroid cancers from radioactive iodine which again has a survival rate of 99% with treatment, which means that the total number of dead is likely to be about a hundred. Maybe a lot less. And again, the degree of ongoing land contamination is far less bad than what many people believe.

    All of this is according to mainstream scientific sources, including the World Health Organization. For Chernobyl in particular, this is according to an international committee established to look into the matter, comparable to the IPCC for climate change. Anyone who says otherwise -- like Green Peace -- are liars or conspiracy theorists, believing in a conspiracy of hundreds or thousands of scientists and others from hundreds of countries.

    And again, it’s either nuclear power, or runaway climate change. There is no third choice. Renewables will not work.

    Here’s a few outright lies from your article:

    If the energy they produce is not closely controlled, they can fail in catastrophic ways that kill people and render large tracts of land uninhabitable.

    This is lie. Chernobyl was just approx 100 deaths, and all of the nuclear power accidents are likely single digit deaths. They also don’t make large swathes of land uninhabitable. For example, did you know that Chernobyl was a multi-reactor site, and that after the accident, people went to work at the site regularly for years to operate the remaining reactors? Bet you didn’t. Also, hundreds of people have lived in the exclusion zone for almost the entire time, and they show no measurable signs of harm from radiation. Also, the entire Chernobyl exclusion zone is a beautiful wildlife zone, and the animals show no measurable harm from radiation (and there are one or two quacks that publish incredibly poor studies to the contrary, and we can talk about those in great detail if you want).

    Was the risk of accidents or further spread of nuclear weapons greater than the hazard of climate change?

    The connection between nuclear power and nuclear weapons today is tenuous at best. Look only at Korea: South Korea signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and they have lots of nuclear power, and they don’t have weapons. North Korea signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and they were denied nuclear power, and now they have nuclear weapons. The brute fact of the matter is that it’s not that hard today for a regime to develop nuclear weapons technology from scratch, and if they really want it, then they will get it, excepting military action to the contrary.

    With the IAEA and the NPT, we have international inspectors to make sure that they’re not making nuclear weapons. It can be argued that continued spread of nuclear power under the NPT is a good way to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

    Also, conventional nuclear power plants cannot practically make weapons material. They would require expensive refits and/or very, very obvious changes in operation that would be obvious to any inspectors. I remind you that no weapon has ever been made from material from a conventional civilian nuclear power reactor. Weapons material always comes from centrifuges, or from power reactors that were designed and built with the express goal to produce weapons material by greatly reducing their ability to produce electricity. The design of these dual-use reactors is drastically different.

    Can you make a bomb from material from a conventional civilian nuclear reactor? Yes. Would it be much easier to make centrifuges or custom purpose reactors? Yes, according to history, because that’s how every nation who has a bomb has done it.

    No new plants had been proposed in decades, because of the industry’s dismal record of construction oversight and cost controls, […]

    Yea, that’s because of people like Jaczko and other Green activists who did everything they could to make nuclear power expensive in the 1970s and 1980s, and they succeeded.

    Large dams for hydroelectric power could require evacuation of nearby communities if they failed

    I don’t think “evacuation” is the proper word for recovering dead bodies for burial.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banqiao_Dam

    And solar, wind and geothermal energy pose no safety threat at all.

    More lies. Solar and wind produce far more toxic waste and present a far larger threat to human health compared to nuclear power. In addition to the 10x or 100x more mining required, there are other huge problems, such as:

    https://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/renewable/wind/big-winds-dirty-little-secret-rare-earth-minerals/

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2018/05/23/if-solar-panels-are-so-clean-why-do-they-produce-so-much-toxic-waste/

    Could reactors be phased out here without increasing carbon emissions? If it were completely up to the free market, the answer would be yes, because nuclear is more expensive than almost any other source of electricity today.

    Another lie. Again, renewables cannot provide 100% of power to the grid, and our goal needs to be the near complete elimination of CO2 emissions from electricity production. 80% reductions for electricity emissions is not good enough if you look at the targets that we need
    to meet to really stabilize CO2 levels in the atmosphere. This is because electricity consumption is going to go drastically up worldwide as other countries industrialize, and also because, hopefully, we’ll be moving a lot of fossil fuel use, like industrial heat and transport, to electricity, which will further drastically increase electricity production.

  14. John Morales says

    EL, I like the way you’ve revealed yourself to Myra Greenwood.

    Can you make a bomb from material from a conventional civilian nuclear reactor? Yes.

    Also, conventional nuclear power plants cannot practically make weapons material. They would require expensive refits and/or very, very obvious changes in operation that would be obvious to any inspectors.

    Heh. You hold that nuclear is way way over-regulated so that it is economically non-competitive, yet you laud the regulatory regime that makes it impractical but not impossible.

    And again, it’s either nuclear power, or runaway climate change. There is no third choice.

    Such blinkered thinking! But I like the way that, say, both 0.0001% nuclear and 100% nuclear are both congruent with your claim.

    More abstractly:
    Perhaps, ceteris paribus, widespread adoption of nuclear would be best.
    On the other hand, ceteris need not remain paribus.

  15. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Heh. You hold that nuclear is way way over-regulated so that it is economically non-competitive, yet you laud the regulatory regime that makes it impractical but not impossible.

    What are you talking about? Are all regulations exactly equivalent in all ways in your world? Also, what is the color of the sky in your world? In my world, some regulations are good, and some regulations are bad, and even that is something of a gross oversimplification, because each regulation and their effects are multi-faceted and often extremely complicated to analyze.

    Such blinkered thinking! But I like the way that, say, both 0.0001% nuclear and 100% nuclear are both congruent with your claim.

    Like above, I really don’t understand what you’re saying here. Obviously I don’t think that 100% nuclear is the same thing as 0.0001% nuclear, so, I really have no idea what you’re talking about.

    And then you end with some pretentiousness by writing partially in Latin. Is that Latin? Looks like Latin. I don’t speak Latin, and I’m unfamiliar with those Latin terms, and odds are good that you’re going to further ridicule me because “I’m not educated enough to comment on this matter” because I don’t know those particular Latin words.

  16. John Morales says

    EL, ah, thanks for the clarification that you don’t think nuclear is way way over-regulated so that it is economically non-competitive, despite the impression you’ve hitherto given me.

    Like above, I really don’t understand what you’re saying here. Obviously I don’t think that 100% nuclear is the same thing as 0.0001% nuclear, so, I really have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Perhaps your consciousness is too elevated; I was being literal, not obliquely metaphorical.

    But sure, care to further elucidate what the minimum necessary proportion of nuclear power generation should be, in your learned estimation?

    And then you end with some pretentiousness by writing partially in Latin.

    Language-games are a hobby of mine. No pretence there.

    (Also, you are on the internet. You could criticise unknown idioms, or look them up.
    Your choice is informative)

  17. Holms says

    #15 EL
    It’ perfectly possible for electricity. Having said that, nuclear and hydro are IIRC about 1% of coal emissions; IIRC mostly because of all of the concrete.

    It depends on whether the text I quoted in my #12 is intended to apply to all energy consumption, or all energy consumption via electricity. The source footage did not make that clear, though perhaps the GND itself does.

    _________

    And again, it’s either nuclear power, or runaway climate change. There is no third choice.

    Such blinkered thinking! But I like the way that, say, both 0.0001% nuclear and 100% nuclear are both congruent with your claim.

    All you are doing here is faulting EL for sometimes stating things with brevity, rather than including full detail with every sentence. Even a child could see that EL is not arguing for “0.0001%” nuclear generation just because he didn’t specify a high percentage in that particular sentence.

    I have noticed this trend with you in earlier conversations; when you dislike a person / the position being argued for by that person, you will take issue with any semantic issue no matter how trivial and no matter how obvious the explication may be given the context.

  18. consciousness razor says

    EL:
    I think you should acknowledge that there are legitimate security and environmental concerns, because nuclear material is not particularly safe. This is not so easy to reconcile with your “nuclear is safe” mantra, but you have to do so, before you can honestly make the case that it can be used and stored safely over long periods of time, in order to minimize the risk to people and the environment. Because there are big risks to minimize, and a ton of things need to happen at every nuclear facility (as well as extensive planning before they are even built) in order to minimize them.
    I believe that can be done. However, it’s not cheap, not easy, not to be taken lightly, nor to be dismissed as the paranoid fantasies of a corrupt lunatic fringe of “Greens.” It’s a very real issue, part of the reality that nuclear supporters have to address honestly and openly.
    What do I mean when I say it’s “not particularly safe”? Let me tell you of a few things that come to mind. Whether or not it can be made into a “nuclear bomb” of whatever design, you do not want nuclear materials distributed to children at Halloween like candies. You do not want it dumped into the water supply. You do not want to decorate schools and hospitals with it. And you don’t want it put it into bombs. It is not an ordinary commercial product, and we cannot treat it as if it were, with the same light touch we tend to use (for better or worse) in all sorts of other cases.
    This is precisely saying that they need to be “closely controlled,” and it is no lie that failing to do so can lead to fucking catastrophe. (Your #15 is simply wrong about that.)
    People who want a responsible nuclear energy program have to start there, or else they are the liars. You should be convinced, like I am, that we don’t need to tell a noble lie, in order for it to be widely supported.

  19. John Morales says

    Holms, your concerns are duly noted.

    All you are doing here is faulting EL for sometimes stating things with brevity, rather than including full detail with every sentence.

    It may seem so to you, but actually, I am being correct. As usual.

    (You tacitly concede this when you don’t dispute my claim, but rather speculate about its purpose)

    I have noticed this trend with you in earlier conversations; when you dislike a person / the position being argued for by that person, you will take issue with any semantic issue no matter how trivial and no matter how obvious the explication may be given the context.

    Yes, because the semantics are the meaning itself.

    Perhaps you are unaware that I am most familiar with EL’s pontifications over a long period of time; for example, I recall him once claiming that every dollar spent on renewables was a dollar stolen from proper nuclear development.

    There is method to my madness; over time, his claims have become ever more etiolated as I (among others) quibble about his hyperbole and equivocations.

    (Also, it is fun)

  20. Holms says

    It may seem so to you, but actually, I am being correct. As usual.
    [etc]

    You misunderstood me. I made no comment against the specific semantics, rather I pointed out that you are being selectively stupid: pretending not to know the context surrounding that highlighted sentence purely to pretend that the meaning was ambiguous.

    Yes, because the semantics are the meaning itself.

    Not when the meaning is already evident via the details provided in earlier sentences. Do you really want EL’s already lengthy comments to be made even longer by him stuffing every sentence with every already-stated detail?

  21. John Morales says

    Holms, thanks for the retort.

    You misunderstood me. I made no comment against the specific semantics, rather I pointed out that you are being selectively stupid: pretending not to know the context surrounding that highlighted sentence purely to pretend that the meaning was ambiguous.

    An interesting attribution of motive, but alas (and again!) there is no pretence.

    (You quite sure you’re not engaging in the Fundamental Attribution Error?)

    Not when the meaning is already evident via the details provided in earlier sentences. Do you really want EL’s already lengthy comments to be made even longer by him stuffing every sentence with every already-stated detail?

    If the meaning is already evident via the details provided in earlier sentences then the semantics of any such claim are at best phatic, but always otiose.
    So the turgidity is already there, in that case.

    Anyway, your appeal to consequences is duly noted.

  22. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To Holms

    It depends on whether the text I quoted in my #12 is intended to apply to all energy consumption, or all energy consumption via electricity. The source footage did not make that clear, though perhaps the GND itself does.

    Yes, sorry. I noticed that the first time. I should have been clearer myself that I was not attacking what you said, but rather expanding on it. My apologies there.

    Not when the meaning is already evident via the details provided in earlier sentences. Do you really want EL’s already lengthy comments to be made even longer by him stuffing every sentence with every already-stated detail?

    Thank you Holms, and sorry for being me.

    To consciousness razor
    Look. You and I disagree on fundamental scientific facts. I believe that radiation is far less harmful to human health than you do, and specifically that the plausible real health impacts of nuclear waste are exaggerated by a thousand or a million fold by Green Peace et al. You say that there are “big risks”. I say that there are not. You say that it’s not cheap. I say that it is. You say that it should not be taken lightly, and I will agree there.

    You also reference the potential for “dirty bombs”, conventional explosive bombs designed to spread radioactive material. Stop getting your science information from TV shows like 24. Most of the human health damage from such a bomb would be from the actual conventional explosive itself, and not from the radioactive material.

    and it is no lie that failing to do so can lead to fucking catastrophe.

    Grossly exaggerated catastrophes. The 3 million people that die every year from coal, and the larger 7 million people that die every year from all airborne particulate pollution -- that’s a real tragedy. One out of every 8 deaths worldwide -- in other words 12.5% of all deaths worldwide -- are the direct result of airborne particulate pollution. The hundred dead from Chernobyl, and the single digit dead from other nuclear accidents, is unfortunate, but is insignificant in comparison to the damage done by fossil fuels. And I haven’t even talked about climate change and ocean acidification yet. Even solar and wind produce more toxic waste and harm more people than nuclear power. Everything that you think that you know about radiation and the dangers of nuclear power are lies from the Green movement. If you don’t read any other sources, at least read these:

    The following is an article about the real scale of the Chernobyl accident, and the pseudoscience being peddled at the highest levels of Green activism about Chernobyl. In particular, it details the pseudoscience conspiracy-theorist fearmongering of one of the foremost Green activists, Helen Caldicott, while also touching briefly on other Green orgs, like Green Peace.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/05/anti-nuclear-lobby-misled-world

    The following is a report from the World Health Organization, which matches the same information published by the the UN international committee for the Chernobyl accident, a committee similar in scope to the IPCC for climate change. It involved thousands of scientists from a hundred countries. Read it. Read about the real scale of the accident. Read how one of the worst lingering health effects is the psychological trauma and depression from organizations like Green Peace.
    https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2005/pr38/en/

    You have been fooled into believing that you have the scientific consensus behind you, but you do not. You are part of a religious cult.

    This religious cult is a far bigger impediment than climate change deniers for stopping climate change, and stopping those needless 7 million deaths per year from airborne particulates. More people die every few minutes from airborne particulates which have ever died from radiation from nuclear power. Exclude Chernobyl and it’s every few seconds instead of every few minutes. That’s the real tragedy -- not these almost entirely fictitious harms of nuclear power.

  23. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Also, read about the real dangers of a leak of radioactive waste.
    https://jmkorhonen.net/2013/08/15/graph-of-the-week-what-happens-if-nuclear-waste-repository-leaks/

    Once you read that, please read this portion of this comment from the same source:

    It is highly instructive to note how anti-nuclear activists seek to discredit the science here. They may well know that even using highly pessimistic assumptions about e.g. the copper canister and the bentonite clay, there is an overwhelming probability that any doses caused to the environment or to the public will be negligible. Perhaps for that reason, or perhaps simply because they themselves honestly believe that any leakage results to immediately horrendous effects, they completely ignore the crucial question: “so what?”

    What would happen if a waste repository springs a leak?

    What would be the effects of the leak to humans or to the environment?

    Even if you search through the voluminous material provided by the anti-nuclear brigade, you most likely will not find a single statement answering these questions. Cleverly, anti-nuclear activists simply state it’s possible that nuclear waste can leak – which is not in doubt, anything is possible – and rely on innuendo and human imagination (fertilized by perceptions of nuclear waste as something unthinkably horrible) to fill in the gaps in the narrative.

    Whether you go along with this manipulation is, of course, up to you.

  24. consciousness razor says

    You and I disagree on fundamental scientific facts. I believe that radiation is far less harmful to human health than you do, and specifically that the plausible real health impacts of nuclear waste are exaggerated by a thousand or a million fold by Green Peace et al. You say that there are “big risks”.

    Get yourself some radioactive sludge and mix it in with your next glass of Kool-Aid. If you think it’s less harmful to human health than I do, you’ll drink it down gladly.
    But oh, how unfortunate: you won’t be able to casually obtain any to prove your point, because those pesky officials withholding it from you don’t know their fundamental scientific facts like you do. They must have been brainwashed with the rest of us, by all that Green Peace literature.

    Grossly exaggerated catastrophes.

    Did you not read the word “can”? There is no exaggeration in saying all sorts of catastrophic things can happen. Not that they did, but that they can, if for instance the right people treated it as irresponsibly as you do. It’s fortunate that you’re just talking on a blog, not running the show.

    The 3 million people that die every year from coal, and the larger 7 million people that die every year from all airborne particulate pollution — that’s a real tragedy.

    Much pathos. I feel your pain. Or I did the first half a dozen times. Stop reading your script at me. You know I’m not arguing for coal or other fossil fuels. We’re not discussing them, nor are we discussing the scale of the accident at Chernobyl. We have discussed, several times now, that I’m pro-nuclear. That is why I don’t like to see you denying patently obvious facts, which schoolchildren could easily refute, about it being dangerous and requiring extensive security and regulations to make it safe enough: because denying that shit is totally counterproductive.

  25. consciousness razor says

    denying patently obvious facts, which schoolchildren could easily refute,

    That was garbled. They could refute your denials, not the facts themselves.

  26. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Did you not read the word “can”? There is no exaggeration in saying all sorts of catastrophic things can happen.

    Possible, therefore probable fallacy.
    https://www.logicallyfallacious.com/tools/lp/Bo/LogicalFallacies/41/Appeal-to-Possibility

    That is why I don’t like to see you denying patently obvious facts

    What patently obvious facts are those?

    about it being dangerous and requiring extensive security and regulations to make it safe enough

    Everything is dangerous. Saying something is dangerous is saying nothing of value. It’s tautological. You have to compare its danger compared to alternatives in order to say something of value. That’s what real adults do. They do cost-benefit analysis which is done by comparing alternatives. And when you compare nuclear power to its alternatives, even hypothetical impossible Green solutions, nuclear power is safer and environmentally cleaner by a wide margin.

  27. Holms says

    #23 John
    An interesting attribution of motive, but alas (and again!) there is no pretence.

    I’m not attributing motive to you in that text you quote, I’m describing your actions. I’ll try a new wording: you are taking a sentence in isolation and pointing out that when taken alone in this fashion, its wording is wide open to interpretation: “both 0.0001% nuclear and 100% nuclear are both [sic] congruent with your claim.” Or perhaps a metaphor would help? You are criticising a tree for not being a forest.

    Your motive you described yourself: word games are your personal entertainment.

    Anyway, your appeal to consequences is duly noted.

    Dear god. How did the ‘duly noted’ construction become so pervasive? And why is it so common to people with pretensions of intellectualism?

  28. John Morales says

    Holms:

    I’m not attributing motive to you in that text you quote, I’m describing your actions.

    You might not have intended so doing, yet you succeeded nonetheless:
    “pretending not to know the context surrounding that highlighted sentence purely to pretend that the meaning was ambiguous.” — that is, the imputed motive for the supposed pretence of contextual ignorance you perceive is to allow me to pretend that it was ambiguous (it was vague, not ambiguous).

    Your motive you described yourself: word games are your personal entertainment.

    Language-games, not word games.

    Dear god. How did the ‘duly noted’ construction become so pervasive? And why is it so common to people with pretensions of intellectualism?

    Clearly, you’re got a thing about this purported pretension of mine.

    (I note you didn’t dispute your appeal to consequences, but)

  29. John Morales says

    EL, since I have time, and Holms is otherwise occupied:

    Possible, therefore probable fallacy.

    But what about cost-benefit considerations? Possible, therefore not to be ignored.

    (Consider a lottery where if you enter you will either win $100 with 99.9% probability or die with a 0.01% probability. $100 is nothing to sneer at; do you enter that lottery? Only one in a thousand!)

    Everything is dangerous. Saying something is dangerous is saying nothing of value.

    !

    Um, by substitution:
    ‘Therefore, saying the effects of ongoing climate change are dangerous is saying nothing of value.’

    And when you compare nuclear power to its alternatives, even hypothetical impossible Green solutions, nuclear power is safer and environmentally cleaner by a wide margin.

    Are you quite sure one could not conceive a hypothetical impossible Green solution where it is not the case that nuclear power is safer and environmentally cleaner by a wide margin?

    (Care to ask me to supply such an impossible hypothetical?)

  30. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John Morales
    I’m ignoring your useless pedantic word games.

    (Care to ask me to supply such an impossible hypothetical?)

    Yes. If such a thing existed, and you knew about it, then I would like you to supply such a thing. Based on my research, I’m tolerably confident that no non-nuclear Green solution can get us to circa 100% C02 emissions reductions for electricity production.

  31. Holms says

    You might not have intended so doing, yet you succeeded nonetheless:
    “pretending not to know the context surrounding that highlighted sentence purely to pretend that the meaning was ambiguous.”

    Those are both actions. You pretended to not know the context in which EL’s comment was made, you pretended that the meaning of the selected sentence could not be ascertained. Think ‘filling a kettle to make a cup of tea’ -- two actions, the second of those depended on the first / the first was to enable the second.

    And you have yet to dispute either.

    Language-games, not word games.

    Oh, I thought I recalled your wording correctly. Though, again I note that you do not dispute that that is your motive.

    Clearly, you’re [sic] got a thing about this purported pretension of mine.

    I don’t have ‘a thing’ about your pretension, if by that you mean ‘bee in my bonnet’ or similar; it is simply the impression of you that I have gained over the years.

  32. John Morales says

    Holms:

    You pretended to not know the context in which EL’s comment was made, you pretended that the meaning of the selected sentence could not be ascertained.

    Nope. You may so perceive it, though I’ve explicitly stated I am most familiar with both his modus and his claims, and both he and I know that. But, no. No pretence.

    Oh, I thought I recalled your wording correctly. Though, again I note that you do not dispute that that is your motive.

    Here is what I wrote: “Language-games are a hobby of mine.”

    Not the employment of the indefinite article; or: not “the” motive, but “a” motive.

    (Part of it is SIWOTI)

    I don’t have ‘a thing’ about your pretension, if by that you mean ‘bee in my bonnet’ or similar; it is simply the impression of you that I have gained over the years.

    Fair enough. But you certainly attribute a bunch of pretence and pretension to me for someone who claims to have no thing about it, my explicit denials notwithstanding.

    EL:

    I’m ignoring your useless pedantic word games.

    🙂

    So I see.

    (What about the useful ones?)

    If such a thing existed, and you knew about it, then I would like you to supply such a thing. Based on my research, I’m tolerably confident that no non-nuclear Green solution can get us to circa 100% C02 emissions reductions for electricity production.

    You really, really sure?

    (You do know I only need to come up with any impossible hypothetical, right?
    Anything goes, so long as it is impossible)

  33. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John
    I’m not going to talk with you if you continue being this difficult and pretentious. Either make your point, or don’t. I’m not going to beg.

  34. John Morales says

    EL:

    Either make your point, or don’t.

    Well, I think I’ve made a lot of points, whether or not all are appreciated.

    One that comes to mind is the concept of relative risk versus the severity of outcomes; that was at #31, wherein I made a couple of other points.

    (And then, there are my other comments)

    I’m not going to beg.

    There is nothing I withhold from you, and therefore no need for begging.

  35. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    One that comes to mind is the concept of relative risk versus the severity of outcomes;

    And I already addressed this. When you take both into account, nuclear is safer and environmentally cleaner compared to solar and wind, which won’t even work without lots of nuclear or fossil fuels for the grid. Compared to the real alternative, fossil fuels, nuclear is far far safer and environmentally cleaner.

  36. John Morales says

    EL,

    One that comes to mind is the concept of relative risk versus the severity of outcomes;

    And I already addressed this. When you take both into account, nuclear is safer and environmentally cleaner compared to solar and wind, which won’t even work without lots of nuclear or fossil fuels for the grid.

    Really. So, the worst possible nuclear power incident (or accident, take your pick) would be safer and environmentally cleaner compared to the worst solar or wind power incident, in your estimation.

    (You’re really quite sure you consider both risks and severity of untoward events, instead of merely their risk? cf. my lottery metaphor @31)

    Compared to the real alternative, fossil fuels, nuclear is far far safer and environmentally cleaner.

    I think that you make that claim because you are blinkered about true alternatives, as I’ve often noted, if not pugnaciously recalcitrant.
    You basically discount practical concepts like distributed generation and storage and smart grids, for example. Very scalable, those.

    You’re sure you would be happy if every underdeveloped or conflict-engulfed country replaced their fossil fuel plants with fission plants — breeders, maybe? Because that is what you advocate.

    (What could possibly go wrong, given how safe radioactive substances are? 😉 )

  37. Holms says

    #34 John
    I’ve explicitly stated I am most familiar with both his modus and his claims

    So. You’ve stated multiple times, including just then, that you were well aware of what EL meant in saying “And again, it’s either nuclear power, or runaway climate change. There is no third choice,” but you set aside that knowledge intentionally and parsed the statement as if you didn’t know the context. Tell me more about how this is totally not pretending to not know.

    Here’s an example of basically the same thing:

    [EL] I’m ignoring your useless pedantic word games.

    [You] So I see.
    (What about the useful ones?)

    The sentence “I’m ignoring your useless pedantic word games” has the following two potential interpretations: ‘I’m ignoring some of your word games: those that are useless and pedantic’ and ‘I’m ignoring your word games, as I consider them useless and pedantic’ and your reply plays with that ambiguity. Yet it is obvious from context that the latter was the intended meaning, and so your game is only possible if we set aside that context as if it was not evident. The word ‘pretending’ comes to mind for some reason.

    As such, your entertainment elucidated nothing, as there was no lack of clarity here. Perhaps if you had shown discernment in your nitpicking by restricting yourself to instances of communication that are actually unclear… but no. It is a pointless game you play for personal enjoyment, which I am sure you know only serves to try people’s patience. It is not useful -- the word ‘useless’ comes to mind -- it is a fussing over non-substantive minutiae. Something something pedantic. Hey! Put ‘pedantic’ and ‘useless’ together, and you get EL’s entirely accurate description of your games!

    …It is also plain old trolling.

    Here is what I wrote: “Language-games are a hobby of mine.”

    Yes, and? Recall that you were (mis)identifying my statement “pretending not to know the context surrounding that highlighted sentence purely to pretend…” as an attempt to impute a motive to you, when it wasn’t. I then identified your motive as personal entertainment as stated by yourself; what difference does it make to the dispute if personal entertainment is your only motive, or one of several? In either case, you highlighted the wrong sentence as a statement of motive, and you have not disputed that you got it wrong.

    But you certainly attribute a bunch of pretence and pretension to me for someone who claims to have no thing about it, my explicit denials notwithstanding.

    I stated my impression of you, to you. And, what difference does it make that you deny it? Why on earth would denying it change my impression of you from ‘pretensions of intellectualism’ to ‘no pretensions of intellectualism’?

  38. Holms says

    Oops, hit post instead of preview. The last thing I wanted to say that wasn’t included continues from”

    I stated my impression of you, to you. And, what difference does it make that you deny it? Why on earth would denying it change my impression of you from ‘pretensions of intellectualism’ to ‘no pretensions of intellectualism’? Imagine that you stated your impression of me, whatever it is (argumentative? Irascible? …Charming?), and then I denied it. Would you lose that impression of me?

  39. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John

    Really. So, the worst possible nuclear power incident (or accident, take your pick) would be safer and environmentally cleaner compared to the worst solar or wind power incident, in your estimation.

    I am not going to engage with a troll who strawmans me because he likes to play word games.

    You basically discount practical concepts like distributed generation and storage and smart grids, for example. Very scalable, those.

    I can make ridiculous claims too, like we’ll solve our problems with hamsters in wheels attached to generators. As James Hansen has said, believing in claims like this -- reaching roughly 0% CO2 emissions from electricity production worldwide with renewables and without nuclear -- it’s like believing in the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. It’s preposterous as soon as you look at the numbers. The only people who say otherwise are liars and frauds like Mark Jacobson, and people who have been duped by them.

    You’re sure you would be happy if every underdeveloped or conflict-engulfed country replaced their fossil fuel plants with fission plants — breeders, maybe? Because that is what you advocate.

    With the right design, yes. Why not? Do you think that the elite and educated class of Africa and elsewhere are stupider and cannot be trusted with nuclear power? You’re sounding pretty racist to me.

  40. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    PS:
    You also seem to be implying that nuclear reactors are not safe in conflict zones. Eh. Some truth to that. I think this relatively minor problem is mitigatable, and with some alternative designs, i.e. molten salt reactors, even a bunker-buster missile hitting the reactor core would probably not be that bad because the cesium and strontium would stay in solution in the salt. IIRC, you’d have to worry about the radioactive iodine, but that threat disappears very quickly: on the order of 80 days for for 99.9% to have decayed away.

    If we don’t do nuclear, then climate change and ocean acidification are just going to get worse, causing more conflicts worldwide.

  41. John Morales says

    Holms:

    So. You’ve stated multiple times, including just then, that you were well aware of what EL meant in saying “And again, it’s either nuclear power, or runaway climate change. There is no third choice,” but you set aside that knowledge intentionally and parsed the statement as if you didn’t know the context. Tell me more about how this is totally not pretending to not know.

    Again, that is your perception, but not the reality. Since I do know what he means (stop all investment in renewables and build as many nuclear fission plants as possible, rather than not excluding nuclear plants), I alluded to the misleadingly anodyne nature of that claim.

    The sentence “I’m ignoring your useless pedantic word games” has the following two potential interpretations: ‘I’m ignoring some of your word games: those that are useless and pedantic’ and ‘I’m ignoring your word games, as I consider them useless and pedantic’ and your reply plays with that ambiguity. Yet it is obvious from context that the latter was the intended meaning, and so your game is only possible if we set aside that context as if it was not evident. The word ‘pretending’ comes to mind for some reason.

    Heh. You’re overthinking it; I was being sarcastic.

    (Obviously, writing a comment to the effect one is ignoring a comment is to not actually ignore that comment)

    …It is also plain old trolling.

    In your estimation, perhaps.

    As such, your entertainment elucidated nothing, as there was no lack of clarity here.

    It’s elucidated the degree to which you can misread my comments, so that’s something.

    Yes, and? Recall that you were (mis)identifying my statement “pretending not to know the context surrounding that highlighted sentence purely to pretend…” as an attempt to impute a motive to you, when it wasn’t. I then identified your motive as personal entertainment as stated by yourself; what difference does it make to the dispute if personal entertainment is your only motive, or one of several? In either case, you highlighted the wrong sentence as a statement of motive, and you have not disputed that you got it wrong.

    Nope; again: if one does something in order to achieve some goal, one is perforce motivated to do that something for the purpose of achieving that goal.

    It’s interesting how, though I have repeatedly told you I am not pretending, you can still imagine I have not disputed that claim.

    I stated my impression of you, to you. And, what difference does it make that you deny it?

    Ah, I see. Denying a claim is not actually disputing that claim, in your estimation.

    So, how’s your chiding of me going? Fun for me, I hope fun for you, too.

  42. John Morales says

    EL,

    You also seem to be implying that nuclear reactors are not safe in conflict zones. Eh. Some truth to that.

    It’s these sweet, sweet concessions that I like to evoke.

    I think this relatively minor problem is mitigatable, and with some alternative designs […]

    Surely so. Should be an easy sell.

  43. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John
    Sure. I never said it was flawless. I just said it was clearly the best approach.

  44. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    Quoting John, paraphrasing me

    stop all investment in renewables and build as many nuclear fission plants as possible, rather than not excluding nuclear plants

    A cursory examination of other recent threads where I have raised these issues will quickly show that I have said no such thing, and I have been quite clear to the contrary. I have also said that we should drastically cut, perhaps eliminate entirely, all government funding going to large-scale deployment of solar and wind, and instead we should be building now what we know will work, ala France and Sweden, which is large amounts of nuclear, with as much hydro as pumped storage as we can get. However, I have also said, many times, that we should continue large amounts of government funding into all remotely-plausible avenues of research, including solar, wind, and batteries, and also nuclear, and “clean coal” (if there can be such a thing, I’m doubtful), and so forth.

  45. Holms says

    #43 John
    Since I do know what he means (stop all investment in renewables and build as many nuclear fission plants as possible, rather than not excluding nuclear plants), I alluded to the misleadingly anodyne nature of that claim.

    You said it: you do know what he means, hence you were not misled by that statement. Your game depended on setting that knowledge aside. This is called ‘pretending’.

    Heh. You’re overthinking it; I was being sarcastic.

    Call it what you like, it is an example of the same thing as the one above: a highly selective parsing of text despite knowing what was meant.

    In your estimation, perhaps.

    You appear not to get it. Behaviour that matches a certain term will be described using that term, and yes, that is my estimation of your indulging in these games. Your behaviour here -- deriving personal entertainment from derailing conversations with word games that do nothing to improve the conversation and which you know try the patience of others -- is accurately described as trolling. Or shitposting.

    Do you have a better description?

    It’s elucidated the degree to which you can misread my comments, so that’s something.

    No, the error is yours, and is very basic: have you forgotten that you do not get to choose how you are perceived? Also, you do not dispute the point I made there: that the passage was not at all turbid, you simply pretended that it was.

    Nope; again: if one does something in order to achieve some goal, one is perforce motivated to do that something for the purpose of achieving that goal.

    You did a thing: you parsed a passage as if it were unclear. Part of doing that thing involved you setting aside your knowledge of the clarifying context, i.e. a pretense. Whether you break that down into two things as above, with one thing enabling / being necessary to the other, or whether you choose to describe it in some other manner, is immaterial to the point.

    It’s interesting how, though I have repeatedly told you I am not pretending, you can still imagine I have not disputed that claim.

    You misread that paragraph. I stated that your error was “you highlighted the wrong sentence as a statement of motive” (as laid out earlier in that paragraph), and that you had not disputed that particular error.

    Ah, I see. Denying a claim is not actually disputing that claim, in your estimation.

    See above.

    So, how’s your chiding of me going? Fun for me, I hope fun for you, too.

    That is your perception of what I am doing. I deny it.

    (You seem to think we get to veto the perceptions others have of us, so I will find your response to this interesting.)

  46. John Morales says

    Holms,

    You said it: you do know what he means, hence you were not misled by that statement. Your game depended on setting that knowledge aside. This is called ‘pretending’.

    Heh. You acknowledge I have made it clear to you I was not misled, but you persist in thinking I pretended to be misled, though I immediately made it clear there was no pretence.

    Call it what you like, it is an example of the same thing as the one above: a highly selective parsing of text despite knowing what was meant.

    Oh yes, I knew and know what he intended to mean: that it was futile of me to make comments he considers to be “useless pedantic word games” because he ignores them — thing is, he didn’t ignore it, did he? He directly responded to it. No parsing whatsoever to make that determination.

    You appear not to get it. Behaviour that matches a certain term will be described using that term, and yes, that is my estimation of your indulging in these games.

    I get that you’re agreeing with me. 🙂

    Your behaviour here — deriving personal entertainment from derailing conversations with word games that do nothing to improve the conversation and which you know try the patience of others — is accurately described as trolling. Or shitposting.

    In your opinion, perhaps.

    Do you have a better description?

    Sure. I am contributing to the topical conversation in parallel with amusing myself by responding to your comments. Two conversations in this format, I can easily handle.

    You are no exception to my general rule that I write comments addressed to specific people with them in mind.

    (For example, my contribution elicited #46)

    It’s elucidated the degree to which you can misread my comments, so that’s something.

    No, the error is yours, and is very basic: have you forgotten that you do not get to choose how you are perceived? Also, you do not dispute the point I made there: that the passage was not at all turbid, you simply pretended that it was.

    To what error do you refer? You quoted a response that directly rebuts your (quoted at the time) claim, the which was that no elucidation was provided by my comment — is a rebuttal also not an objection in your estimation?

    You did a thing: you parsed a passage as if it were unclear.

    Nope. You merely speculate that I did. It’s by now evident that no amount of denial regarding the presence of purported pretence on my part will sway you.

    You misread that paragraph.

    Heh. You only wish it were so.

    I stated that your error was “you highlighted the wrong sentence as a statement of motive” (as laid out earlier in that paragraph), and that you had not disputed that particular error.

    If you want to believe that specifically doing something for the purpose of achieving some goal does not entail that achieving that goal was motivation for doing that action, go ahead.

    So, how’s your chiding of me going? Fun for me, I hope fun for you, too.

    That is your perception of what I am doing. I deny it.

    <snicker>

    There is no perception of what you are doing mentioned there, there is (1) a question as to your estimation of your success at chiding me, (2) a statement about my state of mind regarding our mutual conversation, and (3) a statement of my hope that (given the degree of effort in these mutual lengthy fiskings) that state of mind is mutual. But absolutely nothing about what you are doing.

    And, of course, you ostentatiously avoided answering the one simple question.
    Anyway, I do hope you are; I can’t imagine doing what you are doing whilst not having fun so doing.

    (I have noticed you attempting to mimic some of my rhetorical flourishes, but alas, it’s all too often a bit cargo-cultish. Looks simpler than it actually is)

    (You seem to think we get to veto the perceptions others have of us, so I will find your response to this interesting.)

    I have literally no idea of why it seems so to you.

    (Be aware that not all perceptions are veridical)

  47. Holms says

    Heh. You acknowledge I have made it clear to you I was not misled, but you persist in thinking I pretended to be misled, though I immediately made it clear there was no pretence.

    Firstly, I never accused you of being genuinely misled by his comment, I said right from the outset that you were only pretending to be so; therefore there was no need to clarify whether or not you were misled. Rather, the very fact that you were not misled by EL’s post only confirms that your seeming confusion as to his meaning was a pretence.

    What you describe as ‘making clear there was no pretence’ was, let us remember: “Since I do know what he means (stop all investment in renewables and build as many nuclear fission plants as possible, rather than not excluding nuclear plants), I alluded to the misleadingly anodyne nature of that claim.” But the claim was not misleading in light of the parenthetical context; it was only misleading if you interpreted it as if you did not have that knowledge. You know, pretending not to know.
    Your defence of your claimed ‘not a pretence’ is exactly a pretence.

    Oh yes, I knew and know what he intended to mean: that it was futile of me to make comments he considers to be “useless pedantic word games” because he ignores them — thing is, he didn’t ignore it, did he? He directly responded to it. No parsing whatsoever to make that determination.

    He ignored the content of what you said, as was clear to any reader; receiving communication and responding to it with ‘I’m not bothering with this part of what you wrote’ or similar is entirely consistant with the word ignore. This is simply another “useless pedantic word game” of yours, in which you ignore common use of a word/phrase -- and therefore the accepted meaning of same -- in favour of your own much narrower definition.

    I get that you’re agreeing with me.

    It is very obvious that I am not.

    In your opinion, perhaps.

    And in your opinion you are not. “I’m not trolling because I don’t consider myself a troll” -- good jest!

    Sure. I am contributing to the topical conversation in parallel with amusing myself by responding to your comments.

    Sorry, your first claim is a falsehood.

    (For example, my contribution elicited #46)

    How is that an elucidation? Everything he said there had been clear all along. To me, anyway; it appears that your estimation of his position was in fact an overstatement.

    To what error do you refer? You quoted a response that directly rebuts your (quoted at the time) claim, the which [meaning unclear] was that no elucidation was provided by my comment — is a rebuttal also not an objection in your estimation?

    You stated that I misread your comment, which is to claim that I erred. Your confusion is understandable, this conversation is getting fairly multi-threaded at this stage.

    Nope. You merely speculate that I did. It’s by now evident that no amount of denial regarding the presence of purported pretence on my part will sway you.

    No speculation, you have openly stated that you set aside his already-known position regarding nuclear investment in order to criticise a sentence. And, again with your ‘I wouldn’t describe that as ‘pretending’ therefore it isn’t’ defense? What you did exactly matched the word, irrespective of your self image.

    Heh. You only wish it were so.

    I don’t wish for any particular thing here, I am simply stating that you did, because you did.

    If you want to believe that specifically doing something for the purpose of achieving some goal does not entail that achieving that goal was motivation for doing that action, go ahead.

    Already explained, but here in brief: I desribed what you did by separating it into smaller actions. You can call that an accusation of motive if you like, but it is nonsensical to do so.

    There is no perception of what you are doing mentioned there …

    Are you dodging the point I made intentionally, or did you not see it? My perception of your posts matches the word ‘trolling’ and so I used it. Your perception of my posts led you to use the word ‘chiding’. You disputed my selection on the basis of your self-perception not being one of trolling, I disputed yours similarly. What now? Does rejecting someone’s description of our actions based on self-perception carry weight, or not? The mantra “intent is not magic” comes to mind.

    And, I find scratching that SIWOTI tickle immensely satisfying.

    (I have noticed you attempting to mimic some of my rhetorical flourishes, but alas, it’s all too often a bit cargo-cultish. Looks simpler than it actually is)

    I have done no such thing.

    (Be aware that not all perceptions are veridical)

    Were you perchance looking into a mirror as you typed this?

  48. John Morales says

    Holms, heh. Surely, you must realise that when you accuse me of dissimulation when in fact I have not been dissimulating, I have the armor of virtue. No lies to keep track of, no pretenses I must maintain. So, it’s very, very easy.

    Anyway.

    Heh. You acknowledge I have made it clear to you I was not misled, but you persist in thinking I pretended to be misled, though I immediately made it clear there was no pretence.

    Firstly, I never accused you of being genuinely misled by his comment, I said right from the outset that you were only pretending to be so

    Firstly, I specifically (and you quoted me, as in my emphasis above) said you thought I pretended to be misled, so this protestation is worthless due to irrelevance.

    Rather, the very fact that you were not misled by EL’s post only confirms that your seeming confusion as to his meaning was a pretence.

    Yes, I know what your opinion is. However, the seeming confusion is only a seeming, and as I’ve already made plentifully clear there was neither confusion nor the pretence of confusion on my part.

    What you describe as ‘making clear there was no pretence’ was, let us remember: “Since I do know what he means (stop all investment in renewables and build as many nuclear fission plants as possible, rather than not excluding nuclear plants), I alluded to the misleadingly anodyne nature of that claim.”

    Um. His claim has nothing to do with my denials of the pretence you impute to me.
    No, the descriptions are more specific (me in response to your claim) than that:
    @23: “there is no pretence”
    @30: “the supposed pretence; “this purported pretension”
    @34: “But, no. No pretence”; “you certainly attribute a bunch of pretence and pretension to me for someone who claims to have no thing about it, my explicit denials notwithstanding”
    @49: “I immediately made it clear there was no pretence”; “It’s by now evident that no amount of denial regarding the presence of purported pretence on my part will sway you”

    Your defence of your claimed ‘not a pretence’ is exactly a pretence.

    There is no defence, there is outright denial. I know my own mind better than you do. 🙂

    Your speculations are simply wrong, but sure, accuse away.

    He ignored the content of what you said, as was clear to any reader […]

    But you’re not just any reader, you’re a motivated one, and so the ineluctability of the logic eludes you.

    Think about it: to determine that a comment constitutes “useless pedantic word games”, one must perforce examine its content, upon which occurrence the content has not been ignored, but rather examined.

    I get that you’re agreeing with me.

    It is very obvious that I am not.

    You think so? Let us review, and pay particular attention to the emphasised phrases:
    Me: In your estimation, perhaps.
    You: You appear not to get it. Behaviour that matches a certain term will be described using that term, and yes, that is my estimation of your indulging in these games.

    Hm. Most people would think that when someone says “X” and the respondent responds “yes, X” then the respondent agrees with that someone. Clearly, you do not.

    Sorry, your first claim is a falsehood.

    Ah, I see you too like language-games. May you level up, so that I can enjoy myself further!

    How is that an elucidation?

    It’s not; it’s a parenthetical addendum relating to my contribution to the thread, which was one of the substantive clauses of my response to you. Here, I emphasise the relevant clause:

    Do you have a better description?

    Sure. I am contributing to the topical conversation in parallel with amusing myself by responding to your comments.

    You stated that I misread your comment, which is to claim that I erred.

    Um, sorta. The subject at hand was my entertainment, and your claim was that it was utterly uninformative to anyone.

    You: “As such, your entertainment elucidated nothing, as there was no lack of clarity here. ”
    Me: “It’s elucidated the degree to which you can misread my comments, so that’s something.”

    (Technically, that’s not a statement that you misread my comments; but it is evident to me that you have done so. Examples exist in this very comment)

    No speculation, you have openly stated that you set aside his already-known position regarding nuclear investment in order to criticise a sentence.

    Yes speculation. And on the contrary, I’ve stated (and here reiterate) that I indeed incorporated his already-known position regarding nuclear investment in order to criticise a sentence claim.

    And, again with your ‘I wouldn’t describe that as ‘pretending’ therefore it isn’t’ defense? What you did exactly matched the word, irrespective of your self image.

    I didn’t claim ‘I wouldn’t describe that as ‘pretending’ therefore it isn’t’, I quite clearly stated that there was no pretence. I do know my own mind, you know, at least to that degree.

    The only reason, by the way, it’s an “again” is because of your hitherto unceasing hectoring; you keep accusing, I keep denying, and so it goes.

    I don’t wish for any particular thing here, I am simply stating that you did, because you did.

    If you don’t wish for any particular thing here, it follows you seek to achieve nothing by your interaction.

    I think the reason you state that I did is because you indulge in wishful thinking that makes you imagine I did.

    (But, hey, perhaps you do know me better than I know myself, so that it is you who is correct)

    If you want to believe that specifically doing something for the purpose of achieving some goal does not entail that achieving that goal was motivation for doing that action, go ahead.

    Already explained, but here in brief: I desribed what you did by separating it into smaller actions. You can call that an accusation of motive if you like, but it is nonsensical to do so.

    Yes, I can see that you can not make sense of it. But that doesn’t make it nonsensical.

    Are you dodging the point I made intentionally, or did you not see it?

    What point is it that you imagine I dodged either intentionally or otherwise?

    You disputed my selection on the basis of your self-perception not being one of trolling [blah]

    Nah, you asserted your selection on the basis of your self-perception and I noted it was but your self-perception, the which you perceived as my negating the concept that personal conceptions exist, whereas my (explicitly made point) is that perceptions are not veridical.

    Does rejecting someone’s description of our actions based on self-perception carry weight, or not?

    Duh. It carries weight with us, and no weight with them.

    Point being, that it seems so to you (upon a rather jaundiced and certainly spurious basis) does not make it veridical.

    And, I find scratching that SIWOTI tickle immensely satisfying.

    Ah, you are having fun! Excellent.

    I presume Mano will let us know if we should desist from our playfulness.

    I have done no such thing.

    Not consciously so, perhaps.

    Were you perchance looking into a mirror as you typed this?

    No. I was intimating to you that your perceptions may not be veridical, and yet it is your only basis for condemnation.

    Anyway, since you’re likely having fun (that’s obviously an inference, you remain coy), I ask you again: in your estimation, how is your project of me going?

    (Or, do you think you are not so doing?)

  49. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    To John
    Remember when you said this:

    Such blinkered thinking! But I like the way that, say, both 0.0001% nuclear and 100% nuclear are both congruent with your claim.

    That’s trolling. In the context of this thread and my previous posts to this quote, there is no plausible charitable interpretation. The only possible interpretation is that you were trolling. Specifically, posting a claim that you know to be false, and doing it because you know that it would upset me, and doing it because you gain enjoyment from upsetting me. Again, classic trolling ala the conventional historical definition from 4chan. You’d fit right in there.

    This is also not an isolated incident. In my many years of interaction with you, you have regularly trolled me. You are a miserable human being -- or at least you do a really good job of pretending to be a miserable human being online.

  50. John Morales says

    EL:

    That’s trolling.

    Funny, last time you quoted that, you wrote “I really don’t understand what you’re saying here.”

    (Did you only just make that determination, or is it that only now is the time to bring it up?)

    You are a miserable human being — or at least you do a really good job of pretending to be a miserable human being online.

    Yes, I’ve already experienced your opinion of me to me, remember?

    (Remember SGBM? His antipathy towards me was like a nova compared to your candle, yet I kinda liked him. I kinda like you too)

  51. Holms says

    Holms, heh. Surely, you must realise that when you accuse me of dissimulation when in fact I have not been dissimulating, I have the armor of virtue. No lies to keep track of, no pretenses I must maintain.

    All you are doing is denying that you pretended EL’s statement was unclear in meaning, when it is obivous that you did so. Your denial changes nothing of this.

    Heh. You acknowledge I have made it clear to you I was not misled, but you persist in thinking I pretended to be misled, though I immediately made it clear there was no pretence.

    Firstly, I never accused you of being genuinely misled by his comment, I said right from the outset that you were only pretending to be so

    Firstly, I specifically (and you quoted me, as in my emphasis above) said you thought I pretended to be misled, so this protestation is worthless due to irrelevance.

    I’m glad you brought this up -- it was an attempt to lay out things said vs. things not said, which I didn’t even follow up on properly, and then didn’t edit out. But it prompted a second look at what you said, and I see I missed something on that first read.

    Notice that you state “I have made it clear to you that I was not misled”, then “but” to indicate a coming contradiction or reversal: “but you persist in thinking I pretended to be misled, though I immediately made it clear there was no pretence.” Yes? Those two statements are completely congruent. You were not misled by EL’s statement, you pretended to be misled by his statement.

    And, you didn’t “[make] it clear there was no pretence”; rather, you denied that you pretended. There is a meaningful distinction there. Think “I didn’t do it, I’m innocent” as a statement from someone charged with something at trial; do we immediately declare that the person can’t have done it due to the denial?

    Yes, I know what your opinion is. However, the seeming confusion is only a seeming, and as I’ve already made plentifully clear there was neither confusion nor the pretence of confusion on my part.

    You set aside what was clearly and obvious meaning of EL’s statement as if you did not know its meaning. You can disagree all you like, but it remains that the word ‘pretence’ is quite appropriate.

    @23: “there is no pretence”
    @30: “the supposed pretence; “this purported pretension”
    @34: “But, no. No pretence”; “you certainly attribute a bunch of pretence and pretension to me for someone who claims to have no thing about it, my explicit denials notwithstanding”
    @49: “I immediately made it clear there was no pretence”; “It’s by now evident that no amount of denial regarding the presence of purported pretence on my part will sway you”

    These are a list of occasions where you denied pretending his statement was unclear. But again, since when does a denial of something necessarily mean you did not do that something? Since when do give that anything but short shrift (usually with the phrase ‘you may not have intended [thing], but intent is not magic’)?

    There is no defence, there is outright denial. …

    …Which is a form of defending yourself from an description. And?

    …I know my own mind better than you do.
    Your speculations are simply wrong, but sure, accuse away.

    Oh is that what you think I’m doing? I’m not speculating about your state of mind, I’m describing your actions. Big difference.

    But you’re not just any reader, you’re a motivated one,…

    As is every participant in the conversation, including you…

    …and so the ineluctability of the logic eludes you.

    …Which is why you overlook your error:

    Think about it: to determine that a comment constitutes “useless pedantic word games”, one must perforce examine its content, upon which occurrence the content has not been ignored, but rather examined.

    Unless A) it is dismissed out of hand without examination. Which is entirely possible given that he didn’t quote it. Or B) he meant he was refusing to address it, which is another common use (and therefore meaning) of the word ignore.

    You think so? Let us review, and pay particular attention to the emphasised phrases:
    Me: In your estimation, perhaps.

    Ah, my mistake -- I thought you were commenting on something a little more substantive than an the specific word choice. Silly of me really.

    It’s not; it’s a parenthetical addendum relating to my contribution to the thread, which was one of the substantive clauses of my response to you. Here, I emphasise the relevant clause:

    Do you have a better description?

    Sure. I am contributing to the topical conversation in parallel with amusing myself by responding to your comments.

    And you went on to claim that EL’s #46 was one such fruit of your efforts… except that what he laid out there was already known. Meaning nothing substantive was gained, contradicting (or at least, not supporting) the clause you bolded. Unless you’d like to put forth an actual gain in information to this thread by your derailment, the second clause is the only purpose being served by your posts.

    Um, sorta. The subject at hand was my entertainment, and your claim was that it was utterly uninformative to anyone.
    You: “As such, your entertainment elucidated nothing, as there was no lack of clarity here. ”
    Me: “It’s elucidated the degree to which you can misread my comments, so that’s something.”

    Which is not what happened, so it has elucidated nothing. As stated back then, your entertainment -- narrowly parsing text as if in ignorance of clarifying context -- elucidated nothing.

    Yes speculation. And on the contrary, I’ve stated (and here reiterate) that I indeed incorporated his already-known position regarding nuclear investment in order to criticise a sentence claim.

    No speculation, as I was going by your own statement; and there was no lack of clarity in that sentence that you focused on except by setting aside the context in which it occurred.

    I didn’t claim ‘I wouldn’t describe that as ‘pretending’ therefore it isn’t’, I quite clearly stated that there was no pretence. I do know my own mind, you know, at least to that degree.

    Oh wow, you really do think I’m making a comment as to your state of mind at the time.

    If you don’t wish for any particular thing here, it follows you seek to achieve nothing by your interaction.

    My comment “I don’t wish for any particular thing here…” was in reply to your “Heh. You only wish it were so.” The subject being the reply before that: you misreading my paragraph. Of course you denied misreading it, but your statement “you only wish [I misread your paragraph]” is false: I definitely do not have that wish.

    Yes, I can see that you can not make sense of it. But that doesn’t make it nonsensical.

    I’m sorry you don’t get the explanation, but I don’t know how to make it simpler. An action such as walking can be broken down into smaller actions:individual steps. Would you be so silly as to say that one step has the motive of enabling the next step? Ascribing motive to an action that is part of a larger is a highly idiosyncratic, nonsensical use of that word.

    What point is it that you imagine I dodged either intentionally or otherwise?

    The point was spelled out in the rest of the paragraph you excerpted, and your follow-on makes it clear that you missed it:

    Nah, you asserted your selection on the basis of your self-perception and I noted it was but your self-perception, the which you perceived as my negating the concept that personal conceptions exist, whereas my (explicitly made point) is that perceptions are not veridical.

    …Getting to this point was the reason behind my disputing your use of chiding for my behaviour; I could have disputed any of them equally. When describing someone’s behaviour, we use the words that best fit our perception of their behaviour, meaning all of this “Nah, you asserted…” paragraph is equally applicable to your descriptions of me.

    You use words to describe what you see, I do likewise, and what I see in your posting beginning with that ‘0.00001% to 100%’ comment is best described as trolling. Note that your personal agreement with the term is not required; since when do we refrain calling someone a troll simply because they say they aren’t one?

    I have done no such thing.

    Very interesting! Is it your position then that our accusations against someone can stick even against their denial? This would go against your protestations against the descriptions of you trolling / pretending to not know context.

    No. I was intimating to you that your perceptions may not be veridical, and yet it is your only basis for condemnation.

    And I was implying that the very same could be said of you. But you seem convinced that because you are satisfied that your perceptions of others are accurate, they cannot possibly be in error; a courtesy you do not extend to others.

    Anyway, since you’re likely having fun (that’s obviously an inference, you remain coy), I ask you again: in your estimation, how is your project of me going?

    …Project of you? Not sure why you went with that phrasing, but my SIWOTI scratching is going very well, thank you.

  52. Holms says

    Funny, last time you quoted that, you wrote “I really don’t understand what you’re saying here.”

    My interpretation of his change of heart towards that comment: he was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt at that juncture that you were arguing in good faith, and has since revised that hasty appraisal.

    Who is SGBM?

  53. John Morales says

    Pit bull with lipstick — strange gods before me.

    Before your time, I guess.

    Anyway, your opinion is duly noted. 🙂

  54. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    My interpretation of his change of heart towards that comment: he was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt at that juncture that you were arguing in good faith, and has since revised that hasty appraisal.

    Basically, yep.

  55. John Morales says

    EL, fair enough.

    Let’s consider that same claim from a different perspective, a possible past where I used it instead:
    “And again, it’s either nuclear power, or runaway climate change. There is no third choice.”

    Pretty straightforward claim, no? Translates to (A ⊻ B); hence when either is true the other is false.

    Since nuclear power does exist, it follows runaway climate change cannot.

  56. John Morales says

    Dunno, Holms. Got any further allegations about my nefarious motivations as evinced by your perception of my commenting? Because your initial material has been well-and-truly masticated and digested, and of it only shit remains.

    However, I suspect Mano may by now be becoming irritated that this thread has been made all about me; I’d personally stick to the actual post topic. Also, prudence is not a consideration I ignore, since to contribute to contribute to this derail might not be in my best interest.

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