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Rationing In Our Future?

A new book says rationing—of food, energy and more—is in our future.  We hear the case, and the pushback.

Police direct cars to pumps while people stand in line with containers for gas in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police were at gas stations to enforce a new gasoline rationing plan that lets motorists fill up every other day. (AP)

Police direct cars to pumps while people stand in line with containers for gas in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, on Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Police were at gas stations to enforce a new gasoline rationing plan that lets motorists fill up every other day. (AP)

The news on Friday:  an ominous new milestone in global warming, as a key carbon dioxide measure in the atmosphere topped heights not seen on earth in millions of years.

My guest today, plant breeder Stan cox, sees more difficult climate change coming at us than we are anywhere near ready to handle.  One way or another, it’s going to take rationing to get along, he says.  Rationing.  The dread word.  On a big scale.  To survive.  We’ll hear his argument, and a pushback prediction of abundance.

This hour, On Point:  Stan Cox argues for all kinds of rationing, to live.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Stan Cox, author of “Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing.” (@coxstan)

Steven Cotler, co-author with Peter Diamandis of “Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Motherboard: Rationing is Not the Enemy — “But when shortages are created by an intentional policy of leaving available resources in the earth, it will soon become apparent that we cannot maintain this hypercharged way of life without them, and there will be constant pressure to give in, reverse the policy, and consume them. Hard experience, in peacetime as well as wartime, shows that efficiency, alternative energy, and technical innovation can’t fill the resource gap, while campaigns for voluntary restraint are unfair and eventually fizzle in the face of the economy’s urge to expand.”

The New Republic: The Case for Less: Is abundance really the solution to our problems? — “That view is simple to state. Humanity’s fundamental problem comes down to scarcity—not having enough of what we need and want. We need food, water, new shoes, new gadgets, and so on, and we suffer when we do not have them. That problem can and will be solved by technology, or—at an individual level—by buying or otherwise gaining access to the objects of our desires. Once our needs are met, we can all live happily ever after. As Diamandis puts it, we must imagine ‘a world where everyone’s days are spent dreaming and doing, not scrapping and scraping.’”

Excerpt: ‘Any Way You Slice It’ by Stan Cox

Copyright © 2103 by Stan Cox. This excerpt originally appeared in Any Way You Slice It: The Past, Present, and Future of Rationing, published by The New Press. Reprinted here with permission.

 

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  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Assume we can look into two parallel Universes; the first has Company A that pays zero dividend, the second has Company B that pays a cash dividend. Both are exactly the same at the start of our peering. Now, which one will be able to acquire new capital from investors more easily ? If you said Company B then you and I see eye to eye on this issue. A “Company B” that pays, say, a 5 % dividend, stands a greater chance of receiving the next 95 dollars of a hundred dollar bill from a “would be” investor. The thrust of my argument is: ‘ If we want to encourage more public participation in ‘sacrifice now’ for long term meaningful economic growth, we should be forcing profitable companies to pay cash dividends !

    • Don_B1

      A counterexample from the past is DEC, the computer manufacturer which famously did not pay out dividends but whose stock price grew at high rates which attracted buyers, allowing the company to sell new stock and get capital with which to do the research to build new machines, etc. It was only its failure to build a PC or an Apple Macintosh that led to its decline (well, there most probably were other issues — internal? — as well, possibly even more important ones).

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        Don_B1,
        There are numerous examples of companies whose stock has soared without paying dividends. That doesn’t make it right ! Once a company sells its’ stock it has your money. Then it can do whatever it wants to, right ? The price of the stock thereafter, is determined by buyer’s and seller’s each gambling on “The Greater Fool Theory” ( I am leaving out the influence of the Specialist dealing in the stock for this conversation. ) When you get right down to it, the issue is about credibility and accountability. Look at your own personal economics. When you make an economic decision you weigh the possible outcomes versus ’ what it took to get your spending money’, because you know that you will have to go back into the marketplace and re-earn that money to repeat more consumption. Each time you attempt to get money you will have to EARN IT, by convincing your employer through your actions. Also, when companies have to come up with CASH, they tend to be more honest, as it is harder to manipulate the books when dealing in cash ( short of hiding cash). A law to force the payment of dividends on net income will force ALL companies to Mark-to-Market, via their dividend rate.

  • Shag_Wevera

    We’ve long known that in America, roughly 5% of the population possess 75% of the wealth and assets.  I just heard that worldwide the number is more like 1% owning 95% of everything.  By definition we already have rationoning.  Kids are hungry, the sick can’t access medicine or treatment, the elderly can’t afford to live with dignity…  The rationing we are talking about today is the American middle class being forced to give up some of what they have left, and the poor being forced to subside on less than zero.  Does ANYONE think “rationing” will touch the 1-5%?

    Imagine the worldwide 99% rising up and devouring the engorged 1%.  Imagine the flood of resources benefitting us all.  The real fascinating question is why it hasn’t already happened.

    • Jasoturner

      I think you are correct.  In America, rationing will be carried out by the market.  Thus, the wealthy will never experience it.

      Hopefully we’ll at least find a way to keep the libraries open, so that the “masses” will maintain access to the great ideas. 

      They still haven’t figured out how to keep knowledge from the determined citizen, regardless of their income level.  And learning is the greatest pleasure, is it not?

      • Acnestes

        “And learning is the greatest pleasure, is it not?”

        Not to our conservative friends.  The seem to much prefer blissful ignorance.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        everyone has the internet

    • Gregg Smith

      Kids in America are not hungry from poverty. They’re fat and have gameboys. 

      • Acnestes

        Non sequitur.

      • adks12020

        50 million people in America live in poverty….open your eyes.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          yes only one flatscreen

      • Ray in VT

        Gameboys?  Are they also using their Walkmans to listen to the newest hits on tape?  ;)

        • DrewInGeorgia

          I was spinnin’ the newest 45 last night on my brand new turntable, stereophonic sound rocks!

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve got two turn tables and a microphone.  It’s where it’s at.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “Turntable”? Now Drew, if you were a proletariat like the rest of us, you’d call it a record player.

            What, do you live in a corridor? Because I used to dream of living in a corridor.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            Corridors are awesome, can’t beat the acoustics.
            :)

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I understand cassingles are all the rage with the young set.

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve got quite a collection, and I keep track of them all using my abacus.

          • Acnestes

            Just wait till they get hold of 8-Tracks!

          • Ray in VT

            Are those compatible with my Betamax?

        • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

          Gramps Smith is right! It’s the rock-and-roll music that’s made these American kids fat and spoiled!

          • Ray in VT

            Plus all that sinful dancing that that Elvis kid is only going to cause trouble.

        • Gregg Smith

          Nobody ever accused me of being hip.

          • Ray in VT

            That’s okay, someone once told me that it’s hip to be square.

      • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

        Hahaha! Gameboys? You’re betraying your age, gramps!

      • sickofthechit

         and his heart!

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        is it 1992?

    • ReasonableJim

       If a billion poor people gave a dollar to one man, he’s a billionaire, if those billion people take him down and redistribute his wealth…they are still poor. You can rise up and “devour” whomever you want, but eventually some large group will take over and administer resources how they see fit, and most likely it won’t be the way you want them to. Regardless if it is some corporation or a govt entity. Just ask the people of Venezuela how the govt in charge of their oil reserves is working out. Hint: Its not.

      • nj_v2

        Ask Norway how their oil policy is working. Hint: Pretty well.

        • ReasonableJim

           You’re going to use a relatively homogenous (86% born in Norway) country, with a mature, developed economy of 5M people and a 1.3% pop. growth rate with petroleum as their largest industry as an example? Sounds like a whole country of 1%ers if you ask me. When do you propose we take them over?  Their oil policy works only because their population is so small and their oil reserves are so big. Nice cherry pick though.

      • Don_B1

        Your analogy depends on the world’s wealth being a zero-sum game.

        But that is not what really obtains. What is necessary is that the wealthy give up a small amount of their wealth so that EVERYONE has a chance to develop their own wealth.

        It is widely claimed that raising the minimum wage simply reduces employment. But that is not necessarily true, particularly in a dynamic economy where the workers having more money means that they can now buy the produce of other workers, who then have more money to buy more things made by others in what economists all a “virtuous circle.”

        See the study from Demos, “How Raising Wages Would Benefit Workers, the Industry and the Overall Economy”:

        http://www.demos.org/publication/retails-hidden-potential-how-raising-wages-would-benefit-workers-industry-and-overall-ec

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          Rising wages result in larger sales and presumably larger profits for companies ( other things being equal). The problem is that companies retain those earnings in perpetuity ( via the “ Going Concern Concept” ) . After years and years of growing retained earnings, inequalities are sure to mount.— The rich get richer ! —– Support higher dividend payouts and save masses from themselves.

          • Don_B1

            The problem of growing inequality has many “parents,” but a big one has been the fact that those big companies have used high unemployment, etc. to keep wages low and keep the middle and lower income groups from participating in the income growth of the economy.

            Raising the minimum wage is one of several things that can be done to make those businesses share their growing income. That will slow the growth in the profits the companies share only with C-level employees and shareholders. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. After all, businesses are not going away soon.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            their need for human labor is

    • 2Gary2

      We need to simply have the government under someone like Elizabeth Warren and/or Bernie Sanders simply take the wealth of the top 5% and redistribute it in the form of Free college education/free healthcare/free hot lunch etc for the rest of us.  One obviously can not just give everyone cash but things can be done to greatly strengthen the safety net and even expand it by a lot.

      Here is one simple idea–eliminate the tax cap on earnings subject to ssi tax.  Program fixed for the foreseeable future.

      even better–tax capital gains as the income that it is and make the rich pay ssi tax on said gains and you could raise the amount of pay each month by a lot for the people who receive ssi.  That would stimulate the economy.  Some poor rich Mother F*** wont be able to buy a private island but it will help way more people to get more money each month.

      How about ssi tax on wealth if you are in the top 5%.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        would i finally get an obomaphone?

        • 2Gary2

           What you refer to as Obamaphone was a program started under Bush in order to provide phones to poor elderly people that are available to use for emergencies so said poor elderly people can stay in their homes and not go to the nursing home.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    In China alone it is estimated 21 million new cars will be added to their
    highways this year and by 2020 that figure will rise to 30 million. And they are
    moving away from compact vehicles to mid size and SUVs. We have created, and are
    continuing to expand, a world that is dependent on petroleum and when
    that resource begins to decline there is no “Plan B”. That will strip our
    society of its veneer and expose the violence that lies beneath.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      There is no energy shortage ! Companies are finding natural gas and oil all over the world. Besides, it is known that the US alone has enough methane hydrates along the coast of the US to supply energy for the next 300 to 3000 years ! The country of Poland has found enough natural gas in recent years to supply its’ people with fuel for some 300 years, the country of Australia has found enormous amounts of natural gas also. The list of finds are expanding, regularly. Why ? Because, that is where the money is ! !
      Give people a return on their investment and they will invest in your concept, be it fossil fuels or renewable energy.

      • 2Gary2

         Why the heck is gas at 3.95 a gallon here in WI?

        • nj_v2

          It won’t be long before we’ll be looking back nostalgically at the days when gas was only $4.00 per gallon.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442361723 Stephen White

           We produce .75 to .99 per gallon gasoline equivalent if you just convert your combustion engine to CNG.

        • Eric Herot

           Because the stuff they sell at the local gas station is not natural gas?

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          Check out CLNE, NASDAQ.

      • nj_v2

        Mr James excitedly exudes, “…The country of Poland has found enough natural gas in recent years to supply its’ people with fuel for some 300 years…”

        The environmental consequences of continued extraction of fossilized carbon aside, Mr James seems to have relied on sources that are overly optimistic (if optimism can be considered a reasonable attitude to have about the prospect of dumping yet more fossil carbon into the atmosphere).

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/business/energy-environment/europe-faces-challenges-in-effort-to-embrace-shale-gas.html?_r=0

        [[" Large reserves of the gas discovered two years ago were initially projected to meet Poland’s energy needs for 300 years, but estimates have since been slashed by more than 80 percent." ]] 

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          Thank you for your link. As someone who invest heavily in the energy sector, I appreciate ANY information on supply levels and alternative viewpoints.

      • Don_B1

        While it is certainly true that there is a huge supply of methane (natural gas), burning it will release huge amounts of CO2 that will change the environment to the extent that life for humans (and most other life) will be changed to an extent that it will be unrecognizable:

        1) Production of the four large crops, corn, soy, wheat and rice will be severely diminished by the increased temperatures and drought (with occasional floods).

        2) The oceans will become much more acidic as CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere and may well suffer the extinction of most life, equivalent to what has happened with previous climate extremes (four of them). That alone will be a huge stress on the more than 1 billion people who depend on the oceans for their food today.

        3) The Russian heat spell of 2009 (or 2010?) is credited with raising the cost of food throughout the Middle East and triggering the Arab Spring, with riots and uprising leading to government overthrows, notably the Egyptian government. This could easily be just a drop in the bucket to what is in store for the world in the near future. And revolutions seldom lead to better government, at least immediately. It will lead to chaos and more irrational revolts as the crowds follow the current Pied Pipers of Hamlin.

      • sickofthechit

         Each and every well fracking well drilled poisons tens of thousands gallons of water with fracking “fluid” n mind that once it is used it is injected deep underground so they don’t have to clean it up.  Bear in mind that only 2% of the water on earth is drinkable.  Not a very wise choice. charles a. bowsher

  • http://www.facebook.com/irvwestyouthadvocate Irv West

    If we can’t act responsibly as individuals, then is has to be imposed  on us by legislation and their enforcement.

    • Don_B1

      There is a whole large discussion on this tension between the individual and the collective interest in consumption of resources. A good place to see the problems might well begin with Garett Hardin’s article on “The Tragedy of the Commons” of 1968, here:

      http://www.sciencemag.org/content/162/3859/1243.full

      This is not a simple issue, except to the wealthy who see that they can just buy what they need/want and let the “hindmost” suffer the consequences.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442361723 Stephen White

         http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/04/13950-meaningless-search-results.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      speak for yourself

  • RolloMartins

    If it’s one thing Americans could do with a little more of, it is rationing. 

    • Acnestes

      I agree with both you and Irv.  If ever a state needed a nanny, it’s this one.

    • ToyYoda

      And, don’t forget, we could also use more, rationalizing too.

  • Gregg Smith

    How about the government rationing themselves so we don’t have to?

    • TomK_in_Boston

      The government IS us.

      • DrewInGeorgia

         Much to our dismay, most of us just don’t get it.

      • twenty_niner

        Except when it’s not, which is most of the time.

        @Repeal of Glass Steagall
        @TARP
        @Currency Debasement
        @Helicopter Ben
        @PatriotAct
        @OperationIraqiFreedom
        @IRS_Abuses
        @PoliceState

        • DrewInGeorgia

           @MilitaryCommisionsAct:disqus…

          All of this is allowed by US citizens whether we admit it or not. If the majority of the population which spends so much time kvetching about these issues were to spend the same time and effort doing something about them, change would be affected. Instead change is deflected.
          By US.

          • twenty_niner

            “Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat.” 

            -John F. Lehman, Jr.

            “We agree”

            -The White House

        • Eric Herot

           Want to fix these?  Try supporting election reform.  Anyone who thinks these problems will go away because we starve the federal government of funding might want to consider taking a closer look at the history of government corruption in some of the poorest countries in South America–countries with FAR smaller per-capita tax bases than ours.

          • twenty_niner

            I do support election reform. Bankers don’t. Bankers win.

            “taking a closer look at the history of government”

            I’ll just take a closer look at the history of our government, when per-capita spending was a lot lower than now.

          • Eric Herot

            Err…Do you really want to go back to an era when the people basically became homeless (or had to be supported by their children, assuming they had any) and suffered from easily preventable diseases when they became too old or too disabled to work?

            Also, your graph does nothing to illustrate your implied connection between entitlement spending and government scandal.  Health care costs are rising because our system is basically an unregulated mess, not because there’s some lobbyist (or group of lobbyists) that is funneling that extra money into their own pocketbooks.  Although the Republican-passed prohibition on Medicare negotiating prices with drug companies would be a fine example.

            And at any rate we spend more of our GDP on health care than all of the other industrialized countries with worse outcomes.  The solution here is to spend the money better, not to just “starve the beast” (just look what 30 years of that attitude has gotten us).

            Anyway, the bankers don’t have to win.  That’s up to the people.

          • twenty_niner

            “Do you really want to go back to an era when the people basically became homeless”

            No, 1960-1970 would be fine; cap overall spending (local + state + federal) at 30% of GDP. Recall that era included one Vietnam War, one Moon Shot, and one Great Society, and we were still at or below 30% of GDP total spending.

          • Eric Herot

            You need to read your graph more carefully: The only category where spending has risen since 1970 is entitlement spending, and it’s not as if those programs have become significantly more generous since 1970.  The vast majority of those increases come from out-of-control health care costs and retiring baby boomers.  Simply capping health care spending achieves nothing other than forcing people into emergency rooms (which just shifts costs onto the rest of us while simultaneously costing five times as much).  You need a structure and a *plan* to control costs.  Caps are useless by themselves.

          • twenty_niner

            “Simply capping health care spending achieves nothing ”

            Sure it does. It breaks the inflation feedback loop.

          • Eric Herot

            If Medicare were the only buyer this might actually work, provided the institution had broad authority to control the way that money is spent (which it doesn’t).  Instead we have a situation where many providers already refuse to deal with Medicare because it won’t pay as much as a private insurer, while at the same time the price of Medicare (and Medicaid, for related reasons) is rising anyway.  And of course congress banning Medicare from using its bargaining power to force down the price of prescription drugs also gets in the way.  If we were to simply cap overall Medicare expenditures at some percentage amount, you would have an effect very much like the sequester, where discretionary spending (such as paying the salaries of Medicare workers) would be cut in irrational ways in order to make room for spending previously mandated by statute, resulting even slower claims processing without really doing anything to get at the root of the cost problem.

  • J__o__h__n

    Ration the population.  The earth is being overpopulated.  Stop prolonging life after the brain goes. 

    • donniethebrasco

       You are welcome to volunteer.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      “Stop prolonging life after the brain goes. “… Do you realize you would have to eliminate most of the human race ! …. Ha, ha, ha ha, ha ha, ha ha, ha ….

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      I agree, there ARE too many people.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    The most effective rationing is being unable to pay for what is in principle available. Don’t worry about the other stuff.

    USA is being transformed by far right voodoo economics from a great middle class society to one of oligarchs and have-nots. It’s dam straight that the peasants are going to be rationed out the wazoo. The beautiful thing, from the class warfare point of view, is that it will be presented as “choice”. We love freedom of choice, right? As in “You used to have no choice but that big gub’mint Medicare, now you have lots of choices with your ryan voucher – too bad you can’t afford the extra cost for any of them”.

    CO2 hit 400ppm! That’s the real news. Stand by for rationing of the high ground.

    • donniethebrasco

       $1.00 – $2.00 gas tax.

      Let the market ration, not the government goons.

      • DrewInGeorgia

        If the real costs of gasoline consumption were factored into its price there would be a five to six dollar tax per gallon. Typical. We subsidize the price of our death down to near nothing then complain about excessive taxes on our cyanide killing us.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Do you say that aloud at Tea Party rallies?

        C’mon, big boy. Own your shite.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        You don’t even realize that your statement translates into “Let the plutocrats ration, not We The People”

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        lol taxes are the govt goons loot

    • sickofthechit

       The rationing should be based on so much per person like they did in World War Two.  It should have been done as soon as Cheney/Bush took us to war in Iraq.  Billions in oil revenue my a$$!  charles a. bowsher

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Throughout my life I have worked large amounts of overtime, and multiple jobs. I have worked in temperatures of up to 140 degrees F.. Been on my feet all day and pushed, pulled, and lifted more weight than any human should have to. For the first 17 years of my working career I worked every holiday, including Christmas. I have worked through many vacations, and in the last 15 years have had only about 6 weeks paid vacation ! I have worked weekends, split shifts, nights, and on one occasion 24 hours straight, of actual physical labor !
    Now people are calling for me to ration ? Like the song says, ‘ … I can’t go for that, no, no can do….’ . Time for someone else to sacrifice ! Quit going to 300 dollar Madonna concerts, and one hundred dollar ball games. Give up your “bling” and invest in a good mutual fund. Give up the booze, drugs, and gambling. Keep that thing in your pants !
    If you think I don’t care about the needy and unlucky, you are very wrong. I am well aware of the inequities in our world. There have always been have’s and have not’s. The Roman’s and the Greek’s existed for thousands of years with enormous inequities. Why ? Because of a lack of rules governing distribution in ownership and wealth. This is one of the reasons I believe in stockholder’s rights and forced dividend payments. THIS IS THE WAY ! Any other system is sure to be picked apart by opposing forces.

    • 2Gary2

       No one cares about how much work you did yesterday.  The thinking in business is what have you done for me lately??

      I am more and more convinced sacrificing like you did for any job is a waste of time.  I do commend your work ethic but that and one dollar may get you a cup of coffee.

      • donniethebrasco

         If “yesterday” isn’t “lately,” then what is?

        Two seconds ago?

        • 2Gary2

           I literally mean today.

      • Wm_James_from_Missouri

        I still tend to work 11 to 14 hours a day.

        • 2Gary2

           This is fine as long as you go into it not expecting anything beyond a paycheck.  I am in no way denigrating you for your choice to work so much.  I have just saw too many folks do what you do and then get tossed to the curb by the business they sacrificed so much for.

          Remember–I have never heard anyone say on their deathbed that they wished they had spent more time at work.  ( I used to work in healthcare)

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        and when he throws out his cup you can just pull it out of the trash and stand on the corner and panhandle passers by. hard work is for suckers

        • 2Gary2

           I never said I was dissing him for hard work, only that corporations only care about what you do now and what you did and sacrificed in the past mean absolutely nothing.  The moral is to yes work hard but I would never sacrifice anything for a corporation who will show you the door in a new york minute.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            actually having a good resume is pretty important to most big corporations. hard work is its own reward but its also a good way to advance your career. give it a shot sometime my friend was leading the 99% a few months ago and now she has stock options and all it took was a little hard work.

  • twenty_niner

    You can either ration by price or by lines. And somehow, party members always jump to the head of the line. Leftist economists prefer lines, but they always skip the chapter on “capital utilization”. In other, there’s probably no greater waste of human utility than standing and waiting.

    Meanwhile, the left is preparing our new menu:

    “UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-22508439

    Once were all used to eating quarter-caterpillar-pounders with head cheese, they will work on the next hit cook book, “To Serve Man”.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Turning from ideology to reality, the fact is that the middle class has been rationed down to the ground while we have been practicing the righty voodoo econ of tax cuts and deregulation.

      • twenty_niner

        The middle class got outsourced to China. This was a bipartisan effort conceived by central bankers in the 70s and brought to fruition by Clinton. I clearly remember Al Gore didactically lecturing about what a “good deal” this was. Being able to move one’s labor pool to the third world did a lot more to agreggate capital to the top than any tax cut.

        Throw in easy money policies by the Fed that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy at the expense of workers and savers, and there goes your middle class.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          You got part of it. Conservadem clinton and the gingrich congress did a lot of the damage. Conservadem Obama is in bed with wall st now. Offshoring is a huge part of the problem, as are tax cuts and corporate deregulation. Central bankers? Sure, but follow the money. Our plutocrats were sick and tired of not living like feudal Lords.

          Vodoo econ is the problem, and it is indeed bipartisan.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          and soon the chinese will be replaced by robots that will be interesting

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i know for a while there i had to eat the prepackaged parmasian cheese in the pasta aisle instead of from the deli section

    • BHA_in_Vermont

       “party members always jump to the head of the line”

      As it has apparently always been. I was in Delphi, Greece a few years ago. The words on one of the columns apparently read something like “you can go to the front of the line if you pay more”.

  • 2Gary2

    We already have big time healthcare and dental care rationing by the scum insurance companies.  They need to pay the CEO and all the VP their multimillion salaries.  How disgusting that we do not shit can the whole health insurance system and get single payer.  I am so sick of united health denying things and spending all their energy trying to find a way to say no to claims.

  • donniethebrasco

    Dear Chicken Little:

    Now that the world cannot be showed to be warming, you have to find another data point to support the argument that the sky is falling.

    The company that supports cap and trade is the Chicago Climate Exchange, staffed completely by Obama insiders.

    • nj_v2

      Yep, take a look at how much the world isn’t warming:

      http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/01/14/Heat-extremes-laid-to-global-warming/UPI-15711358212697/

      Published: Jan. 14, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      POTSDAM, Germany, Jan. 14 (UPI) – Monthly heat records worldwide have been raised by a factor of five because of global warming, European scientists say.

      German and Spanish researchers writing in the journal Climate Change report that on average, there are now five times as many record-breaking hot months worldwide than could be expected without long-term global warming.

      In parts of Europe, Africa and southern Asia, the figure is even higher with the number of monthly records increasing by a factor of 10, they said.

      The increase was revealed by analysis of 131 years of monthly temperature data for more than 12,000 grid points around the world provided by NASA, the researchers from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Complutense University of Madrid said.

      “The last decade brought unprecedented heat waves; for instance in the United States in 2012, in Russia in 2010, in Australia in 2009, and in Europe in 2003,” study lead author Dim Coumou says. “Heat extremes are causing many deaths, major forest fires and harvest losses — societies and ecosystems are not adapted to ever new record-breaking temperatures.

      “The surge in the number of records has been particularly steep over the last 40 years, due to a steep global-warming trend during this time, the researchers said.

      “Statistics alone cannot tell us what the cause of any single heat wave is, but they show a large and systematic increase in the number of heat records due to global warming,” Potsdam researcher Stefan Rahmstorf said. “Today, this increase is already so large that by far most monthly heat records are due to climate change. The science is clear that only a small fraction would have occurred naturally.”

      • TomK_in_Boston

        That’s only true in the real world.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442361723 Stephen White

         Easy to prove wrong, but the 13,950 “scientist” that are soo into the myth of anthropological cause to climate change in any significant way have an agenda. See http://www.populartechnology.net/2013/04/13950-meaningless-search-results.html

        • nj_v2

          That was almost an actual sentence you posted there. Maybe you’ll do better next time.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

      Cannot be showed? Was the slow reading group out being examined by the school psychologist on the day verb tenses were being taught? I’m guessing the answer is yes, since they also seem to have been absent on the days when science was being taught.

    • Eric Herot

      CCE wasn’t a “company that supports cap and trade” it *was* the cap and trade system in the US.  Also, although it was founded in ’03 (before anyone had ever heard the name “Obama,” even in Illinois), it hasn’t existed for most of his presidency.

  • Expanded_Consciousness

    This dude has been reading too many dystopian novels.

  • donniethebrasco

    Al Gore – “I’ll be taking my private jet.  You’ll be taking your bicycle.  SAVE THE EARTH.”

  • donniethebrasco

    Start liking to eat insects and switch grasses.

  • donniethebrasco

    Message to Obama: Pass a $1.00 federal gas tax, or shut the f up.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Not telling you what to do, but in your situation I’d switch to decaf for awhile.

      • donniethebrasco

         Attack the person, not the idea.

        Obama Tactics 101

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Attack?

          Four rambling yet succinct posts in about 8 minutes, each one revealing loads of ignorance.

          If that’s attacking you, you’re thin-skinned even for a right-wing hack.

        • nj_v2

          Idea? There was an idea there?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Do you say that aloud at Tea Party rallies?

      C’mon, big boy. Own your shite.

    • Eric Herot

       Message to congress: Support such a thing.

  • donniethebrasco

    Force China to stop using coal.

    Or, let’s all move to Mars.

  • donniethebrasco

    Is on “Coast to Coast” with George Noory after this?

  • donniethebrasco

    Where is Jack “Chicken Little” Beatty?

    He would be embracing this big government gooberism.

    • nj_v2

      They’ve unlocked the computer room at the asylum for the day.

      • donniethebrasco

         OBAMA TACTICS 101

        Attack the person, not the idea.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          A talking point from 1980 is not an “idea”.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          When did Newt/Ailes/Rove’s Projection 101 become an Obama tactic?

        • Acnestes

           A talking point machine is not a person.

  • 2Gary2

     I never had a seat at the party and now you want me to pay when I shared in none of the gains??  You must be drinking your own bath water if you thing those of us who did not share in the good times to now  pay for the party we did not attend as the rich  still live so well? I do not think so.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

    Malthusian prophecies of DOOOOOOOOOM are as old and as popular as civilized humanity. I have no doubt that at any time humans are running up against some constraint imposed by the environment, but history demonstrates that we invariably figure out how to deal with it in a way that enables better standards of living for an increasing population. I’m having a hard time getting worried about this time being different somehow.

    • nj_v2

      Nature bats last. The constraints we’re up against are those of biology and ecology. We don’t make up those rules, but we have to play by them.

      Much as humans like to think they exist in some realm apart from or above the natural world, everything we do is part of the larger ecosystem we live in.

      Industrial agriculture is not sustainable. Our development patterns are not sustainable. Species extinctions are at levels higher than in thousands of years. Nearly all major ocean fisheries are in decline. Fossil fuel prices will, at some point, begin to rise inexorably as demand overtakes supply, even with the new, exotic sources.

      Either we collectively—through the civic institutions of government—figure out how to address these issues, or the laws of biology will solve it for us.

      • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        Before the Green Revolution, humanity was statistically destined for starvation, with people like you warning that humanity would be learned-right by mother nature. We all know how that turned out.

        Viewed in chunks of several decades, “optimism” has been the right approach to humanity’s relationship with the environment since the beginning of time. I reassert that I doubt this time will be any different, but of course feel free to continue worrying while others actually solve problems through effort and ingenuity.

        • nj_v2

          The Green Revolution was an agri-bubble. It relies on ever-increasing, continual inputs of synthetic, fossil-fuel based fertilizers which do not replenish soil and synthetic pesticides, the overuse of which results in resistant insect pests and weeds.

          And corporate emphasis on profit has dangerously narrowed the genetic diversity of our food crops. 

          There are alternatives to this model, but they will be difficult to deploy on a scale large enough to accommodate current population levels and consumer demands/expectations.

          It’s unfortunate that you seem to think that concern for our current, collective situation precludes working to solve problems.

    • TELew

      History also demonstrates that the way such pressures are alleviated is often through such things as the collapse of centralized civilization (Mayans and Western Roman empire, for instance), disease, and war.  Great adjusters of population.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        they work every time

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Does anyone here remember, “ringer washers” or hanging your clothes on the line. ( Personally, I love the smell of linen that has been sun soaked. )

    • donniethebrasco

       The great thing of the US.  You have the freedom to do this or not.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Except for the places where homeowners’ covenants prohibit people from hanging laundry outside.

        And homeowners’ covenants cover the vast majority of new housing construction in this country over the last, say, 15-20 years.

        Didn’t you know that? Or are you just hung up on the imaginary freedom you think the market gives you?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442361723 Stephen White

       I think we all need to be driving the Big Fins, chromes just like in Cuba (1959 Caddy Fleetwood is tops!). Too bad Castro won’t let me and the mob back into his Havana Heaven :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      you dont hang your clothes? turn in you BUR membership card at once!

  • donniethebrasco

    I am getting in my Hummer to go to the store to buy a hand gun and ammunition.

    Then I will smoke a cigar in the car with the windows up, with my kids who are not buckled in a car seat.

    I also plan to buy a bottle of water.

    • nj_v2

      Put down the bottle, and slowly step away from the keyboard.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442361723 Stephen White

         nj_v2 Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party International or KommieUSA?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Why do I get the feeling that the only difference between you and Joe McCarthy is his charm and rock-solid research?

    • J__o__h__n

      Thanks for smoking with your windows closed.  I hate when people hold their cigars and cigarettes out the car window for others to have to breathe.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Don’t skip your high school classes.

    • jimino

      That’s wonderful!  I suggest all true conservatives should smoke tobacco, inhale, and expose all their family members to second hand smoke, and buy every family member old enough to carry a weapon their own gun, and keep it loaded of course.  One should live in accord with their principles.  

    • Don_B1

      Does this mean that you do not support the right of your children to have a smoke-free environment? They might want, if they knew the hazard, to avoid second-hand smoke and the lung and other cancers they will have an increased likelihood of suffering in their future.

      Do you think they will appreciate your actions when they know you did it deliberately if they do suffer cancer?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      good luck with the ammo they are sold out because of the best salesmen in the world.

  • Jim

    The idea of rationing is revealing very quickly in Boston, MA. An article in this month’s Boston Magazine has shown how it works. Rationing is essential and sharing is more important.

    Americans would need to go back to a community society after being disengaged since the start of the Reagan administration when people believe wealth can carry the nation forward forever. it does not work that way anymore.

  • Eric Herot

    The argument being made here is both ridiculous and unhelpful.  Environmental conservation and cutting fossil fuel use does NOT mean slowing down the economy.  It just means we have to shift how we work.  E.g. Taking trains or bicycles instead of automobiles.  Solving problems with software (which, of course, is incredibly profitable and requires no mining or milling to ship) instead of heavy machinery.  Shifting to an economy that works to minimize fossil fuel use will require LOTS of people to get to work developing new technologies (read: MORE ECONOMIC GROWTH).  We don’t need *less stuff* we need *more efficient* stuff.

    And the reason this conversation is unhelpful: It makes people think they must give something up in order to realize this improved efficiency.  It’s not actually necessary in order to solve our problem and it makes people oppose the movement to reduce our fossil fuel usage.  It *precisely* plays into the oil company’s fear mongering that we are all going to have to live like paupers if the environmentalists get their way.

    • nj_v2

      Giving up something doesn’t mean “living like paupers.”

      • Eric Herot

        Giving up *fossil fuel* doesn’t mean living like paupers.  But the overarching concept here is that people’s standard of living must, necessarily, be lowered (I strongly believe this is how people hear it when you say they have to “have less stuff”).  In a country where a lot of people already feel like they’re teetering on the edge of poverty, it’s hard to see how such a concept would ever gain much traction.  What’s the incentive, exactly?

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    It will work fine as long as the 1% can buy however many “ration coupons” as they like and the “takers” die thus reducing pollution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.sammet Lisa Sammet

    Rationing will be a far more humane way to face the world of resource depletion. We are not only facing climate change, but also we are running out of every nonrenewable resource. We have passed the point where we have used half of our oil reserves. But also most other materials such as rare earth minerals, uranium, coal. There are very many good researchers and scientists who have been trying to get us to see that we have a collision of resource depletion, climate change, overpopulation and an economic system based on growth that is so steeped in debt that it is in itself a danger. We can make a better world if we stop our addition to growth. Growth has become a religion in the world. It is time to look at steady state economics that was first described by Herman Daley. Thank you for talking about this issue.

  • http://twitter.com/Mithrandir48 Jeff A

    We live in America and we have a market economy.  We should be using market forces of prices, supply and demand to determine who can buy what…this is not China where we have to use rationing.  Even the poorest people in the US are given EBT dollars to purchase the bare essentials; using rationing to solve any problem will fail since it would just create a black market for all the “rationed” goods.  Rationing assumes that people are not smart enough to create black markets, rationing is about as useful as the war on drugs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      just look at what happened when they rationed butter recently in norway

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442361723 Stephen White

    I met Paul Erlich when he was living. Rude individual just like all the green peace/sierra club members I worked for and with when I was a biologist. When I grew out of my childishness, I bought an oil company.Cox is a Communist, no matter how well mannered he appears. Donniethebrasco FOR PRESIDENT!!!

  • Yar

    Americans believe in rationing, they just don’t think they should apply to themselves.  Case in point, we ration the number of new citizens we allow to immigrate to our country.  

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Yar, why can’t we send our system to them?
      Why must Americans constantly try to solve everyone’s problems. Why don’t other countries choose to compete with America by EXCEEDING America’s blessings ?

      • Yar

        What system? a system that exploits the rest of the world?  Or, were you referring to “US Democracy” where the person with the most money wins the most votes?

      • Don_B1

        Actually the export of our system has been happening, though not without bumps along the way.

        As an example of that, as China’s economy has grown, the labor cost has grown and now other countries, e.g., Bangladesh, have lower costs and have imported many of the industries from China, here the clothing industry.

        It will take some (a lot) more time, but things will even out over time. What this country, the U.S., has not done is to build new industries that will provide good wage jobs here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442361723 Stephen White

    I was in the Embargo in the 70s, Cox is states a big whopper when he claims how popular it was. The oil embargo was a fraud and not real.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Yes, and in my opinion, the oil embargo was the single biggest event that changed the economic atmosphere in this country.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Where are your polls, then? Prove it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442361723 Stephen White

    I was in the Embargo in the 70s, Cox states a big whopper when he
    claims how popular it was. The oil embargo was a fraud and not real. No matter how real Climate change, money will be made regardless of the facts. Stop Cox and his bag of tricks.

  • Eleanor

    What about looking at how intensive grazing benefits and makes the most of the world’s grasslands and so would be more sustainable  than mono-crop agriculture.
     
    And the concomitant move towards a more primal/paleo diet  would drastically reduce health costs and would even increase productivity, as people would be using their energy intake instead of storing it.      

    TED talk, Allan Savory: How to Green the World’s Deserts and Reverse Climate Change
    http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html

    And “Peter Ballerstedt, PhD — Reality of Ruminants & Liebeg’s Barrel: Examining the New ‘Conventional Wisdom’
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoZtMKtUeME

  • nlpnt

    Stan Cox: making…umm…a…uh…good… unhnhumm…point.
    Tom: His usual unnecessarily pleading, almost whiny tone when playing devil’s advocate.

    Interesting discussion among people who know their stuff, rendered almost unlistenable by tone. Transcript, please.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Actually, given how much public radio consists of mainsteream and right-wing talking-point-spewing “savvy” people with amazing breath control, I sorta like Cox’s delivery, simply because it’s not so slick and practiced.

      It’s refreshing to hear this, up until the point that it becomes just another vocal tactic.

      • m2cts

        I agree but he could have least made up for his halting delivery with nice tits – oh, wait, it’s radio!

  • Emily311

    Rationing is an excellent idea. We don’t have time for people to cut back on their own. Plus, a lot of times people don’t know how many resources they are using. Many people don’t have the money for things like electric cars, etc. Rationing seems like the smartest idea I have ever heard for dealing with climate change.

    • Don_B1

      The amount of energy falling on the Earth every day is so much more than humans (as well as all other life) will need in any future we can imagine; what is needed is the technology to capture it.

      For our current needs, current technology is sufficient and affordable. But just implementing this technology will lead to improvements and certainly new technologies will be invented.

      If you call “rationing” changing the shape of roofs to accommodate solar collectors (which may migrate to south-facing windows with some of the new developments that are coming) or using an electric (or pneumatic/hydraulic energy storage/recovery system in your car, then I don’t see that a huge impediment, except in the minds of people who want to object for purely ideological reasons.

      Note that some people, like those wealthy people who had energy use meters placed in their homes to test how much energy could be saved through usage knowledge, when the bills were compared with neighbors, took steps to increase their energy use just to be contrary or to boast how well they lived. That sounds like being juvenile as well as ideological to me.

      It will take spending some money to get these efforts going, but it is not “rationing” in the old sense of that world.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      you first

  • Yar

    Mike, said we can build a zero energy house, but in a civil disorder in a society short on resources, no wall will be big enough to survive even if you made wise choices.  It has to be a community choice to live in balance with our resources.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      that wall problem may explain the current bullet shortage

  • Joel Thomas

    What about Jevon’s Paradox? Increased eficiency tends to increase rather than decrease consumption.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Up to a point. Then I will decide to take a nap.

    • Don_B1

      “Jevons paradox” for instances like this has been thoroughly debunked; the debunking just has not traveled as far as the paradox.

      See a good debunking for the paradox under the title, “Fallacy of The Prius Rebound Effect”:

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/26/451740/debunking-the-fallacy-of-the-prius-rebound-effect/

      • Joel Thomas

        Jevons point was that increased energy efficiency does not beget a reduction in fuel use unless it is supported by government interventions which reduce demand. California has some of the strictest environmental laws in the country, not to mention large monetary incentives to buy hybrid cars. This article completely ignores those facts. When they are included in the conversation, they actually prove his point.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    “Nibbling around the edges with higher-mileage cars induces driving more.” (Unstated, but believe Cox understands, is “…for those who can make those choices”.)

    “Green Metropolis” is a good read on this branch of the subject.

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      TF, you will find that there is a maximum number of miles that people will choose to drive in the future.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I’m sure there is.

        But that number is different given population and development density, and the spaces between places. That makes the idea of “feasible” a malleable feeling, rather than something someone figures out the way they would when really grokking the numbers.

        For one thing, people still think of “gas” when then think of costs-per-mile.

        For another thing, where one is makes a big difference. To a suburban New Englander like me, “twenty miles” is “nothing”. To my relatives in a Texas suburb (same ordinary house, no ranching, no horse trailers), “seventy miles” is the same “nothing”.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          whilst for new yorkers uptown can be an unmanagable distance

      • Don_B1

        @TF @Wm_James_from_Missouri:disqus 

        I believe TF is alluding to “Jevons paradox” which for instances like this has been thoroughly debunked; the debunking just has not traveled as far as the paradox.

        See a good debunking for the paradox under the title, “Fallacy of The Prius Rebound Effect”:

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/26/451740/debunking-the-fallacy-of-the-prius-rebound-effect/

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          A good read, and the “Jevons paradox” term was something I hadn’t heard of earlier.

          But I’m not just talking about the Prius. I remember when the best mileage in a new car was something like 24-26 combined, in a small Datsun which was a pretty basic and honest beast for its day. Something has to be propelling Americans’ increase in VMT besides actual need. Personally, I refer, again, to the idea of gas prices and actual costs per mile being practically equivalent in the psychology of the American driver.

          There are two WalMarts in the 12-mile stretch between Sturbridge and Worcester on Rt 20 in MA; those shopping centers weren’t there 25 years ago. The increase in population in the surrounding area can’t be the reason there are two of those, plus other megastores in that stretch, now.

          I will try to find something about that if I have the time.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            there has been alot of population growth out there not that i think thats the cause of the rise of walmart.  thank god for that walmart out there i actually found some ammo there the other day

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i bet our self driving cars will have so much great gadgetry that we will want to be driven around in them all day

  • brownem

    We need to make energy conservation as common as grocery shopping.  I would put solar panels on my house in a heartbeat if it were something I  could do easily as a consumer.  

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      its very easy and now they can even do it for no upfront cost. now go get it done

  • nj_v2

    Lifestyle change alone isn’t going to solve issues of energy, food, and resource use without political action to subvert, overthrow, or undo the corporate control of the political system which favors corporate and monied interests.

    The current corporate-controlled political/industrial/food/energy system will just laugh at piddly little “lifestyle” choices.

    Plus, the entire infrastructure of our current, industrial “developed” society is going to need to be redesigned and rebuilt. Everything, really everything we do, everything we use, everything we eat and wear is dependent on and assumes a continued supply of cheap, readily available fossil fuel. And those days will soon be over.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      where is it going?

      • Don_B1

        When the public, Democrats and Republicans, which already realizes that Climate Change is real, sees just how serious the costs and destruction will be, the Congress will be forced (most likely by removal of Republican Luddites) to act to make the fossil fuel industry pay the external costs of burning fossil fuels for energy, which will price them out of use.

        And this will happen a LOT sooner than you think.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          as soon as people get tired of making billions of dollars off it i am sure they will let that happen lol

  • http://twitter.com/Mithrandir48 Jeff A

    It just snowed here in Minnesota in early May (about a week ago), I’m not too concerned about global warming but I am concerned about someone who wants to change my lifestyle to conform with his Earth worship religion.

    • BHA_in_Vermont

      Climate change can not be determined by specific weather events. You need to look at the whole.

      Winter 2012-3 in Vermont was significantly colder than winter 2011-2. So that means there is no global warming, right?

      Nope.

      The number of years in a decade that Lake Champlain didn’t freeze over has been going up (records back to 1816). It DIDN’T freeze 6 of the last 10 years, 30 years ago, it froze 7 of 10. A hundred years ago, it was rare for it not to freeze over 10 of 10 years.

      Between 1816 and 1930 (115 years), it failed to freeze over only 3 years.
      Failure to close 20 year increments:
      3 times between 1931 and 1950.
      8 times between 1951 and 1970.
      9 times between 1971 and 1990.
      12 times between 1991 and 2010. (it didn’t freeze in 2011 or 12 either)
      That trend is pretty clear.

      The leaf buds on trees where I live used to show up the 1st week of May, the trees are in full leaf the first week of May starting a few years ago. The amount of sun on a given day of the year has not changed, the only other option is the temperature.

      • http://twitter.com/Mithrandir48 Jeff A

        Once again you don’t get it, I’m okay with a small temperature increase…as I would assume most people are okay with it north of the Mason-Dixon line.  If you would like to see the effects of cold temperatures here just look up “Mille Lacs ice attack” on youtube and watch the ice coming out of the lake and attacking houses.  Global warming is a good thing to most areas in the north, you can talk about warmer winters all you want but I don’t see that as a problem. Also, if slight warming ends May snows I’m in support of it 100%!

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Good thing in the North”, meaning the mosquitos never die in the winter? That’s a big change in the ecosystem, if only for the spread of diseases and pests.

          I sorta enjoy a few months of summer bugs going away. If I wanted otherwise, I’d move several hundred miles south.

          • http://twitter.com/Mithrandir48 Jeff A

            What are you talking about?  We’re in the midst of global warming but we just had snow in May…that is very, very rare.  Even if we get an overall temperature increase of 10 degrees year round we will still get cold enough in Minnesota to kill off any mosquito…although that is our state bird.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Uh, not everyone who lives where mosquitos die in the winter is in Minnesota. Not every summer bug which goes dormant in the winter is a mosquito.

            Do you really have all the ignorance you’re claiming?

          • Don_B1

            Already the Rockies and other forested areas of North America are not experiencing deep and long-lasting enough winter freezes to kill off enough bark beetles that have decimated hundreds of square miles of forest.

            This is leaving run-off, drought and fire damage dangers with huge amounts of dry tinder.

            As a Minnesotan, you have to be aware of the way the Red River has been experiencing 100-year-floods multiple times in spans of as little as 10 years.

            One of the predictions of Climate Change is that there will be increased dryness in already low precipitation areas with intermittent heavy rains and even more heavy rains in previously wet areas and even some dry periods there.

            All of this will end up depressing crop yields and causing increasingly unlivable conditions for everyone.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            the problem is that the intensity of storms and droughts and such will just increase and increase until the co2 levels make it so hot you melt so much glacial ice and permafrost(when the permafrost melts there will be additional massive CO2 releases) you shut down the thermocline with too much fresh water in the ocean that keeps the planet temperate then you have an ice age which would mean where you are it would start to snow one day and not stop for years. that will stink no matter how much you like winter

        • Gordon Green

          Good god man, get a clue!  Climate change is not a good thing if it means the infrastructure your society has developed to bring you food and water no longer works!  It’s about big things that affect all of us, not whether or not you’re comfy in your slippers.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          plus think of all the wonderful new beach front property that is being created

    • Don_B1

      Just because this spring was “abnormally cool” compared to the last 50 years (or less) does not mean that the “unusual cool spring” is not caused by climate change.

      In fact, it probably is, and this is why:

      1) You may have heard about how much the Arctic has warmed; it has warmed multiple degrees more than in the Tropics.

      2) This difference in warming has decreased the temperature difference between the Arctic and the Tropics.

      3) Temperature differences are what cause winds as the warm air rises faster than cold air (which usually actually sinks). Wind directions are twisted by the Coriolis Force.

      These three items help one to understand how ACC, which is warming all the Earth, but proportionately differently in different parts, has decreased the forces driving the steering currents in the Temperate Zones (particularly in the Northern Hemisphere) resulting in slower passages of storm systems from West to East and causing the Jet Streams to meander even more than usual, causing the barrier between the Arctic air masses and the Temperate Zone air masses to be weakened and cold Arctic air to penetrate the Temperate Zone more than usual. It also causes “blocking highs” to be more likely to form, such as the blocking high that steered Hurricane Sandy toward New Jersey and New York.

      Once these patterns get established, then tend to stay in place longer than in the past.

      Please go to;

        http://www.skepticalscience.com

      for a more complete description of this likely cause of the spring weather that the U.S. has been experiencing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      eff em! fire up your out door patio heaters throw some hotdogs on the grill and do some dougnuts in your pickup.

  • mountainbikerz

    Maybe we will be saved(?) by a pandemic or race targeted bioweapons as outlined in “Progress for a New American Century.”  The elephant in the room is the ever growing population.  Imagine the demands on a world with a thousand times fewer people.  The challenge is reducing demand without violence.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      thats what seems like a possible outcome. spike the flu shot one year.i think they are just waiting untill the japanese perfect sex robots then they wont really need us for anything. when human labor is obsolete why bother keeping us around?

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Health care is already rationed by price. The poor might as well live in rwanda.  The right love to scream that any national plan will lead to rationing and they can’t see the rationing right in front of their faces, right now.

    Student loan debt is a cancer and = rationing of education, for another example. As more wealth is redistributed to the top, the peasants will be rationed out of more and more, while the righty pols will tell them about all the wonderful choices they have – and can’t afford.

    • Bruce94

      Thanks for bringing up healthcare.  Practically every advanced Western democratic country on earth has achieved universal access, cost control and quality care by adopting medical rationing to some extent.  I do believe the hysteria over ACA (i.e. death panels, false claims it violated the Constitutional or would lead to socialized medicine) arose in part because ACA was perceived by many Cro-Mag Conservatives as rationing or at least the first step toward govt. rationing in recognition of healthcare’s huge contribution to public/private debt burden and the alarming rate at which it’s price was rising relative to all other items in the CPI.

      As you aptly point out, rationing also defined the pre-ACA model of U.S. healthcare–only back then our medical rationing (unlike that found in the European or Canadian systems) was based on price (ability to pay) manipulated by monopolistic and oligopolistic forces administered by private insurance companies. 

      By contrast the rationing that occurs in most of the European countries and Canada with successful national healthcare models is based on human needs with substantial input, standards and oversight from government.  Whether we call it rationing or not, to the extent ACA limits over-consumption by some and increases consumption by others who have until now been excluded from insurance coverage, and reduces the price distortion caused by monopoly power in the medical market, I’m in favor of it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        that part sounds fine to me its when they use the cost of socialized medicine to justify things like banning medium sodas happens that it begins to be a real problem

  • Awrighty

    While the caller Chris from VT has taken matters into his own hands and is laudably living in a more sustainable way, he is in the vast minority. His actions are the smart way to go, but the population of this earth is not going to follow him willingly. Look at the US and how divided we are on this issue, now consider that we make up only a small percentage of the world’s population, and most of them want a lifestyle more like ours.  It will all be forced upon us and we will have to adapt. The well-off will adapt fairly easily, but the poor in low lying lands or areas that become deserts will suffer the most. 

  • Eric Herot

    The problem here is not “growth culture” but the perverted incentive structure.  It’s true that making cars more fuel efficient motivates people to drive more, which is precisely why this is such a bad approach to conservation.  It’s something that’s able to pass congress precisely because it does not achieve its goal. 

    If you want people to produce less CO2, then tax CO2 production!  If people still manage to find a way to drive 100 miles a day without producing any, is that really a problem?

    The current guest has the right idea: Forcing people to limit their CO2 production (by taxation, not rationing), will actually spur economic growth (because of the new industries that will need to be created to support this change).  Build the externalized costs into the existing system like we did with sulfuric acid and acid rain and people WILL find ways to do more with less.

    • m2cts

      Nail on the head: Externalized costs are hidden – and paid by everyone instead of those who cause it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i still havent figured out how to breath without producing any carbon dioxide

      • Eric Herot

        Living things are themselves inherently carbon neutral because the carbon dioxide we exhale comes from plants (or animals that eat plants) which we eat, and those plants consume carbon dioxide from the air you breath out.  It’s a closed system.  The problem is with fuel we have to dig out of the ground in order to burn, which causes a net increase in atmospheric CO2.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i eat cows fed corn which was made from oil which produce vast quantities of methane which is many times more powerful of a greenhouse gas than CO2. if humans were not eating oil based foods you would be right. if humans were not eating oil based foods we would probably not be in this situation in the first place

    • Don_B1

      @eherot:disqus  @m2cts:disqus 

      There are issues where the Jevons’ paradox may well be true, but owning/using a fuel-efficient car has been shown to not increase the amount of driving:

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/03/26/451740/debunking-the-fallacy-of-the-prius-rebound-effect/

  • http://www.facebook.com/lars.grantwest Lars Grant-West

    You think rationing sounds bad – what we really need is to set limits on population or we will, inevitably, run out of resources. As long as we make people comfortable, they will make more people to consume available resources. Rationing will happen, and liberty will eventually, inevitably, need to be sacrificed. This can be decided BY us, as a species, now, or decided FOR us down the road.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      i choose liberty

      • Don_B1

        The “liberty” to do without?

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i dont understand what liberty and why i should have to sacrafice any liberty. lars really did not make much sense i dont know who he was going to slaughter or forcably stearilize.we ration everything all the time we have a market that does it for us

    • Don_B1

      Actually, just educating women has been shown to lower the population growth rate in developed countries, from most of the Eurozone, Canada, Australia and even to the U.S. Much of the U.S. growth rate comes from immigration, not native births.

      As soon as women perceive that their children have a decent chance of reaching adulthood, there is no longer the driving need to have large families so as to still have children to be parent caretakers as was the case in earlier times. Most (though certainly not all) large families are members of religions which counsel against birth control.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        i think it has much to do with children not being useful in western culture. in other cultures children work and are useful not just leeches on their parents resources. this is what has lowered the population growth as much as anything and spreads as people move away from agrarian lifestyles

  • gemli

    What about telecommuting?  How much carbon is being spewed into the atmosphere for millions of people to drive to work, only to sit at a computer that most could just sit at at home?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      Sounds reasonable but many “bosses” don’t easily trust workers to keep their noses to the grindstone unless they’re physically monitored & tied to an antiquated time-clock. Didn’t that “Lean In” lady-boss at Facebook recently call for no more work-at-home mommy-slackers? Wonder how much stock she owns in Big Petrol, personally.

    • nj_v2

      Can a carpenter use their computer to control the robot that’s pounding nails to frame a building?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        will the robot need him to?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      how many of our jobs could be done by a computer much more efficiently?

  • brownem

    energy conservation has to be user and consumer friendly.  I would love to solar panel my roof…but I know nothing about it and how to shop for the best deal and nobody to talk to about it.  

    • m2cts

      You’re right. That’s why in Germany it’s common that people buy shares of larger installations who are installed in ideal locations (factory, school and other larger buildings). The electricity produced is counted against your consumption.
      Cheaper, more efficient than single home installation.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      go to the home show in your area. if its a decent one they should have several companies you can talk to. in many cases they have different plans that range from 0 upfront to buying the whole system to many plans in between. you could give the internet a shot too. most should offer you a free site evaluation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1442361723 Stephen White

     CHK in Okc can produce .75 to .99 per gallon gasoline equivalent if you just convert your combustion engine to CNG. GO THUNDER!!!

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      A Chinese billionaire has recently committed 500 million dollars to the US natural gas infrastructure.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      in argentina years ago many of the cars and trucks were running CNG seemed to work fine

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=595452520 Cynthia Rose Osorio Florez

    Why no women on your panel? Again, this is a critical voice and a necessary contribution to this conversation. I ask this not because I like pointing it out but because the critical part of the conversation that’s missing is having children. And you simply cannot have that conversation without a woman at the table. Population control has got to be addressed eventually. Even if we populate another planet, there will still be the need to ‘cap’ the number of humans on this planet. Even if we ration, there will be a need to address this. It’s a difficult conversation to have and perhaps we’re not ready…but perhaps if there was a woman on your panel the subject would at least be brought up.

    • J__o__h__n

      I can’t believe that wasn’t mentioned. 

    • Eric Herot

       Population control is one of those problems we address AFTER we’ve done every possible thing to improve efficiency in other ways.  We haven’t even *started trying*  to scratch the surface of the efficiency problem, so going down the population control route is, frankly, ridiculous.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        greater efficiency always leads to more consumption

        • Eric Herot

          Not if the efficiency is borne out of a response to scarcity (e.g. because of high fuel taxes).  Fuel efficient cars result in more driving because they are designed around a scarcity that doesn’t exist.  If the oil itself were expensive, and that was the motivator for increasing efficiency, it’s hard to see why we would automatically use more of it (and indeed in places where fuel IS expensive, consumption is greatly reduced!)

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            then they would make more efficient cheaper cars that more people could afford to drive more often thus increasing consumption. if gas were to become very expensive from a high gas tax people would switch to electric cars(the building and shipping of which uses lots of resources) and then our carbon emissions would be more because of all the extra coal that would have to be burned and additional resources to make the electric cars.

          • Eric Herot

             You don’t tax the specific fuel, you tax any fuel based on the amount of CO2 produced.  This means that electricity generated from coal becomes very expensive, as does the shipping cost of anything requiring fossil fuels in order to ship.  If people buy more efficient cars and start driving more, you just further raise the cost of the CO2.  But in the mean time, you’ve gotten everyone driving more efficient cars.  In reality, once the price reaches a certain point, most people choose to dispense with the car altogether because even a very fuel efficient car is still pretty expensive to operate.

            Gas is already very expensive in the entire rest of the industrialized world, and it has mainly not resulted in everyone buying electric cars, because they tend to be expensive and impractical.  Instead it mostly results in people living closer to work and taking the train (or walking) everywhere.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            they just drive little europeon cars and moterscooters. which is easy because everything over there is close together. try getting around on a scooter in TX

          • Eric Herot

             Things are far apart here *because* oil has been cheap for so long.  With oil around $4/gallon, property in the city is suddenly enjoying a resurgence of value.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i would think it was because the property values had crashed and now buyers can actually afford those properties that priced so many out of the market with their inflated prices

          • Eric Herot

            The property values inside major cities fared much better during the recession than their suburban and rural counterparts.  They went down a bit, yes, especially during 2008 and 2009 when credit had basically dried up, but they certainly didn’t fall far enough to put a lot of people underwater on their mortgages.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            in some cases thats true. i was working in real estate in 2002 and the housing collapse seemed inevitable to me then. “investment properties” were selling for prices that ment the rent roll did not cover the mortgauge, clearly unsustainable. in citys because they were already fully developed few new properties were able to be built. in less developed places they built and built further and further out as the prices forced people our of the cities. when the prices collapsed people could afford to live in the city where they want to be so those far flung developments tanked.  too bad i did not know about or have the resources to short derivitives.

          • Eric Herot

             The overarching theme, though, is that people would live in the city if they could afford it.  For big parts of the latter 20th century this was not the case.  Anything that makes driving a car more expensive will contribute to this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      in many countries the population is declining. what we need to do is make sure everyone has access to birth control and that its socially acceptable. its true men do not know the solution to how to stop women from wanting children(if we did things would be different) so there should have been some women on the panel

  • Jadusta

    Regarding the caller who asked about “liberty”, does he realize that there was rationing in this country during WWII?  It was directed by the government and people accepted it. This radical notion of liberty is a development of the past 30 years during which we have lost our way.  

    • nj_v2

      The Libertarians are kind of a cult. They think that people should be able to do anything they want, as long as it falls within some narrow definition of “not harming others” and they get to draw the line where they want.

      • Bruce94

        Exactly.  The Libertarian cult would also shrink govt. “to where it can be drowned in a bathtub” so that the next time we encounter a “free” market failure like the 2007-08 financial crisis or alternately some natural disaster like Katrina (which some would argue reflects a failure to deal with the externalities of oil production), the government’s capacity to respond to or prevent future losses will be considerably weakened. 

        The laissez-faire Libertarians also remind me of another cult–the Supply-Siders who peddle their obsession with tax cutting and deregulating in spite of the empirical evidence that after the application of this bogus, faith-based economic theory for over 20 years, it simply hasn’t worked.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          a much better idea will be more bailouts and still no accountability right?

          • Don_B1

            It appears to me that your comment is a multiplicity of non sequiturs. How does a call for proper regulation lead to more bailouts or alternately (?) no accountability?

            1) Bruce94 appears to be calling for proper regulation of the financial sector.

            2) Lack of proper regulation is a major contributor to the “free” market failure, specifically the mortgage bubble and the overleveraged derivatives that were over valued by the private rating agencies, which collapsed in September 2008 with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

            3) The financial collapse threatened the complete freeze up of the banking system with the resulting collapse of nearly all commerce within and without this country.

            4) The lack of accountability for the 2008 financial crisis devolves from the way the TARP was written and the Bush administration implemented it. The TARP passed under intense pressure as the stock markets had been dropping like a stone in water after Henry Paulson’s first single paragraph bill giving the Bush administration a blank check failed to get support in Congress. So the second attempt added some oversight provisions, but not enough. It is true that the Obama administration had a slight opening in which it could have inserted requirements on the banks, but did not, probably because it felt that the economy could not stand additional delays of bank litigation at a time when the economy was still in deep trouble.

            5) With enough “Blue-Dog” Democrats not willing to go back to Glass-Steagall, a much more complicated approach, called out in Dodd-Frank, has been adopted, which the banks are in full opposition to, fighting each proposed regulation rule in court, delaying the process of completing its implementation to this day and far into the future. When asked about its approach, Paul Volcker stated that he told the bankers that if they did not like Dodd-Frank, the Congress could restore Glass-Steagall. I am sure he, and the bankers, all recognize that under the current Congress that alternative is most unlikely.

            So are you really advocating for more deregulation which would be the most sure way to create the next financial crisis, with devastating results for the middle and lower income citizens of the U.S.?

            Then what accountability is provided by the Dodd-Frank law, which might not even be in effect, and “too big to fail” or “too big to sue” would surely be in effect?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            no more bailouts, more accountability. seems simple

          • Bruce94

             Thanks for the review.  As the man said: “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” 

          • Bruce94

            One man’s bailout is another man’s rescue that pays dividends for the entire society as was done with the auto industry.  TARP on the other hand was a bailout of a different color lacking the accountability you evidently would like to see.  As I recall, it was George W. who signed that one.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            where exactly are the dividends from the companies we now own? i would like a check from GM. funny how ford did not need a dime. i could care less if those two companies and all the banks went under. i dont drive american cars anyways. if they did not suck they would not have needed a bailout. like ford for example and all the forign cars that are in fact made in america. one banks bailout is robbery of millions of americans. so you are defending bush’s actions?

          • Bruce94

            Sorry if I gave the impression I was defending Bush’s bailout.  While I view some kind of bank bailout as necessary at the time to avoid a potential collapse of the global economy, I cited TARP as a bailout without accountability because Bush failed to extract any concessions or obtain any commitments from those behemoths to increase lending to the private sector or mitigate the disaster they had caused or compensate those who were damaged by their reckless speculation and possibly fraudulent practices. 

            If I’m not mistaken the auto companies who received fed. asst. have already repaid most or all of the loans. In any case, your check from GM & Chrysler is in the form of a resurgent, profitable auto industry which, if allowed to go thru standard bankruptcy proceedings, would have resulted in massive layoffs and  decimated the economy in those states and communities affected.  Not only the auto companies you dislike, but also all of the suppliers, parts manufacturers and distributors up the chain would have taken a huge hit, so your check is also in the form of reduced welfare, food stamp, unemployment ins., social security, etc. payments.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            meh, i perfer icelands solution for the banks.
             bruce people  buy cars so the companies that make good cars in america like ford toyota and bmw and others would make up for whatever ecomomic activity gm has since generated.  we cannot have the govt in the business of picking winners and losers it leads to market failure.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        as are those who think that they should be able to dictate how others live their lives “for their own good” or the “good of society”.  there are some in that cult who have drawn the line at 16 oz of fountian drink.

        • Bruce94

          I must admit I find some of your one-liners hilarious!  Do you do stand-up in a club some where? 

          As for the cult of those who would define our needs and decide what’s good for all or some of us, in a sense we have that already with mass marketing and advertising techniques that manipulate consumer preferences, celebrate greed and status seeking, and create artificial needs once our basic needs have been saturated.  But I digress.

          I’m also thinking of other things besides the 16 oz. fountain drink ordinance that you and other liberty-loving free spirits might find offensive. 

          Here’s a few. I’m betting you also object to mandatory vehicular seat belt laws and mandatory motorcycle helmet laws.  Let me guess, you live in the state with the motto–”Live Free and Die…And Don’t Worry about the Emergency Room Tab if You Don’t Have Insurance or the Cash; a Little Creative Accounting and Cost Shifting Will Take Care of the Bill.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            thank you. i have been thinking about getting into stand up. i’ll tell my wife you think its a good idea too.
            i do love NH and their motto. its amazing for someone from the peoples republic of Mass to see a man on the highway on a moter scooter smoking a ciggerette while texting without a helmet. god bless them. whats also about amazing is the number of adults who dress up for halloween at work. i used to do deliveries up there and almost a third of receptionists were in costume. live free or die sounds good to me.  whats nice about people without helmets and seatbelts is that their care is usually very cheap. its only expensive if they live which does not happen too much. a 16 oz soda is a small. i am sure bloomberg is so cheap he orders his sodas no ice but the rest of us normal people drink sodas that are half ice.

          • Bruce94

             Just so you know, I used to costume on Halloween at work.  It made for some interesting commutes.  BTW I purposely altered to NH state motto to Live Free and Die–it was my stab at stand-up. 

            Funny line about Bloomberg.  Kinda reminds me of what I do when I order coffee on a hot summer day from Dunkin’ Donuts.  I get a hot cup small cream only, take it home and pour it over ice for the added value. 

            Good to know your wife supports your gift of humor.  My wife thinks I spend entirely too much time listening to Tom and typing comments like these.

            In a few months we will be spending a lot more time in the people’s Republic of MA and NH, so maybe I’ll get used to encountering the guy on the motorcycle smoking a cigarette while texting without a helmet.  It’s going to be fun :-)

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            its magical

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1408098372 Mari McAvenia

      I was just talking with a gent who can remember those days well. He tried to call in but couldn’t get through. His take: A huge black market was created by the rationing process. Many ordinary people who had access to the manufacturing of the ration stamps or control of their distribution became millionaires very quickly, sometimes selling them on the black market for more than their face value to nervous hoarders. It’s human nature.

      • Jadusta

        I knew a gent who could remember those days as well, my Dad.  He was a youngster and worked in his uncle’s grocery store, and he did say they’d look the other way when people left one stamp out of the middle of their sugar ration book.  But he didn’t ever relate a huge black market.  My point is simply that we can’t muster the same type of community response to big problems anymore, because people are more selfish and don’t want to sacrifice anything for other people, since they’ve been told for 32 years that we’re the greatest and so exceptional, regardless of the facts.

  • Yar

    What would happen if Warren Buffet decided to burn his entire wealth in Gasoline?  Should he have the liberty to waste all his wealth on consumption if he chooses?

    • m2cts

      An excellent point – because on a slightly smaller scale this exactly the attitude prevailing among people who “have made it”, be they middle class or filthy rich: “I earned it, I’m paying for it, so bugger off!” 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        warren buffet has given billions of dollars to charity

        • m2cts

          Ken Lay of Enron also was a big “philanthropist” — dishing out sums that looked impressive but were peanut compared to his criminal loot.
          Listen, we can’t have billionaires decide in what areas of personal interest they’re gonna be generous. We need policies that curb the enormous wealth gap and benefit everyone. 
          Case in point: Bill Gates. He loves charter schools and pours tons into it. Do they work? Not by objective measures. Yet no once can stop his machine.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            do you aslo want to stop gates from curing diseases? how about the billions he spends on improving farming in africa?  seems like all the govts in the world have not put any effort that can compare to his on that front.  i far perfer gates spending his billions to benefit humanity, even if some of his efforts may be misguided, than bloomberg using his billions to buy political power to try to impose his will on the american people. so if you dont want billionaires to decide what they should do with their money who do you think should decide what to do with their money?seems like plenty of govts have wasted plenty of money on charter schools what evidence do you have they can do anything better?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      what do you think those burger king burgers are made from?

  • http://www.facebook.com/maurice.bissonnette.5 Maurice Bissonnette

    When I hear people talking about growing the economy I wonder if they realize we only have one planet. living on the planet as though it is a ship on the sea, that sea just happens to be space.

    • Eric Herot

       Growing our economy doesn’t have to mean consuming more resources.  All it means is putting more people to work.  The “information age” means that a lot of what we  make today doesn’t require the consumption of resources at all (or at least much less of it).  The rest can be done using recycled resources.  In the ideal future world, we use the energy from the sun to break down the parts from an old, less efficient computer and use them to build new, more efficient ones.  What’s the harm in that, exactly?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        what will we need human labor for in the future?

      • asuka langley sohryu

         I like what you’re saying, but (as you suggest) truly carbon-free energy is a sine qua non. Economic activity means work means energy always, surely. The information economy eats through energy.

        • Eric Herot

          But we don’t really need to achieve *zero* carbon footprint.  That’s just the ideal.  Even a 1-percent-per-year reduction world wide would make a huge difference.

  • DeJay79

    Mr. Stan Cox, I hear what you are saying but the reality of
    the situation is that citizens of the USA will not allow for a radical and
    complete change of the economic system, with redistribution and restraint. We
    are unfortunately going to ride this system out until the end. Per Winston Churchill’s quote.

  • climatecafe

    The answer is the revenue neutral carbon tax  - aka cap and dividend.  Prices on carbon will rise encouraging conservation and renewable energy but it will be fair because everyone will be rebated the carbon tax collections PER CAPITA as a monthly dividend.  (Tom, I wish you would have Peter Barnes on your show to talk about this.)

    • m2cts

      Exactly right. The thing is we need a MECHANISM to change direction, and this is a very promising one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      how much will the average persons exhalation tax bill be?

  • Gordon Green

    We’ll know we are taking the climate change problem seriously when rationing starts.  Until then, we’re just playing games. 
     
    Seriously, in WW2, would FDR have tried to get GM to make tanks with a tax credit?  This kind of playing at the margins with cap and trade etc. is fine for non-emergencies.  But we have an emergency on our hands, and if it isn’t clear to everyone that this is the case yet, it will be soon.

  • Eric Herot

    Right, except we have lots of billionaires and we’re not asking them to give up everything (or even *most* of what they have).  Indeed, right now the system is set up such that most billionaires actually pay fewer taxes, by percentage, than the average middle-class family.

    The answer to making the government allocate resources more fairly, and cutting back on “special interest funding” isn’t to try to end all taxation (that will never happen, exactly because of those special interest).  The answer is campaign finance reform.  Make it very difficult or impossible for politicians to benefit by helping those special interests.

    And Venezuela’s main problem is not their oil policy, it’s their total lack of functional democracy.

    • donniethebrasco

       Let the billionaires have all of their wealth.

      Just make it very difficult to pass it on to the next generation.

      Why are our politicians so unwilling to create a large estate tax for billionaires?

      Because they don’t care.

      • Trond33

        What was the statistic I heard somewhere last week, of the 535 members of Congress, only 2% are not millionaires.  98% of the members of Congress have a worldview vastly different from the person on Main Street. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        because they named it the death tax and no one really every pays it anyways?

  • Bruce94

    The guest is making entirely too much sense by talking as if the economy should behave as a sub-set of the ecosystem.  What is anathema to our consumer society is the idea that human needs are finite and there are limits to economic growth including nonrenewable resource depletion, environmental pollution and time scarcity (not to mention that growth per se may be consistent with an increasing gap between rich and poor and a growing proportion of families at or below the poverty line). 

    The guest correctly points to one alternative to the Conservative Nirvana and it’s false premise that the above limits can be overcome by technological razzle-dazzle in support of rabid consumerism, hyper individualism and growthmania–all of which are features of a rapacious form of unregulated capitalism that is probably not sustainable in the long run.

    Thanks On Point for giving the mike to a sober, rational and articulate voice for exploring a paradigm shift that many now view as desirable, if not, necessary.

    • sickofthechit

       Another word for our current brand of capitalism is Cancer.

      • Bruce94

        With the financial crisis of 2007-08 and subsequent Great Recession as well as the rise of state capitalism in the world’s second largest economy, it remains to be seen whether our traditional brand of capitalism (cancer as you describe it) will metastasize throughout the world  as the Neo-cons assumed it would OR whether it’s spread is not as inexorable as they once believed. 

        I don’t think anything today’s guest advocated would necessarily destroy capitalism per se, but would certainly entail significant economic reforms and cultural changes which would result in the rejection of the neoclassical growth model and our obsession with acquisition and consumerism.  In this vein, Amitai Etzioni has discussed the need for a social transformation that embraces communitarian and transcendental values consistent with aspirations that are neither labor nor capital intensive.

        It was gratifying to hear today’s guest mention Herman Daly who has written extensively about the potential consequences of ignoring or discounting the natural limits to economic growth as well as its direct and indirect costs.  In his forward to “Toward a Steady-State Economy” written several decades before Hurricane Katrina, there is an uncanny portent of some of the disastrous effects that the storm had on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. 

        I also believe Joseph Stiglitz brings a lot to the table when it comes to a rationing discussion.  His focus on info. asymmetry, monopoly power, externalities and inequality changes the calculus from “whether or not ‘free’ markets fail” to “when and where do ‘free’ markets inevitably fail” and, hence, require interventions like rationing in order to remedy the situation or mitigate the harm.       

    • Eric Herot

      It’s a uniquely American misconception that economic growth must automatically result in increased waste an pollution.  The rest of the developed world, after signing the Kyoto treaty, managed to continue to grow their economies for many years without significantly increasing their carbon footprint.  You just have to set up the incentive structure in such a way that clean, efficient growth is *encouraged* rather than discouraged.  If we play our cards right, we can actually employ additional people cleaning up the economy we already have, and we will experience a drop in CO2 output that coincides with economic growth.

  • donniethebrasco

    Obama could create a “Sharing” cabinet member.

    It doesn’t look like your are using that spare bedroom in your house.  You must let this “homeless” family live there.

    • jefe68

      Inane and juvenile.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      maybe that third amendment will come in handy after all

  • twenty_niner

    I am ready to follow Al Gore. I will cap the number of mansions I own and number of miles I fly to Al’s. Look forward to seeing Al in line for bread.

    • brettearle

      Political bias can sometimes reach the level of ineffective cliche.

      Yours has.

      Gore’s hypocrisy has NOTHING to do with the Planet possibly becoming hotter.

      • twenty_niner

        The topic is not climate change; that’s secondary. It’s about standing in line. I’d like to know whom else is going to be in that line. Or will “some animals be more equal than others”.

        • Gordon Green

          Rationing being applied to everyone uniformly, rich or poor alike, is essential.

          • twenty_niner

            I think party members should get a little extra. Responsibilty does have its rewards.

          • Gordon Green

            Wall Street too, so essential for the economy… 

          • twenty_niner

            The current administration couldn’t agree more with a Fed policy that gives big banks unfettered access to the discount window, huge profits with weekly POMOs; all the while debasing the currency, leaving savers and those on fixed incomes holding the bag.

    • jefe68

      What a load childish bunk.

      • twenty_niner

        Agree.

        First he throws American industry under the bus by campaigning for NAFTA and MFN for China, outsourcing the middle class to the third world. Then he makes millions preaching about carbon footprints, all while buying one mansion after another, and then tops himself by selling his network to Al Jazeera, which is funded by oil money. Only the left could produce such a piece of work.

        • jefe68

          So. He’s one rich guy who made a movie about climate change. Would it be better if he drove around in his hummer smoking cigars and shooting at pheasants.

          • twenty_niner

            No, just a modest house and a Volt and maybe not selling out to Al Jazeera would suffice to lend a little credibility – kind of “do as I do” instead of “do as I say”. Basic leadership stuff.

            My guess is, in a rationed economy, some are going to get more rations than others.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            we already have that its called the free market

        • nj_v2

          It’s amusing you think Gore represents “the left.”

          • harverdphd

             Correct…he represents the worst of our people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=743785444 Leigh-Anne Trobaugh

    I have noticed a dramatic uptick in sustainability culture in the Pacific Northwest. I live in Washington state, and when I decided to become an “urban farmer”, I expected all my friends and neighbors to think I was crazy! I was surprised to discover that from Bellingham to the Oregon-California border and East, to Idaho, people are keeping as many chickens and goats as their municipalities will allow, converting their lawns to produce food in favor of turf. My feeling is that the trouble really comes from the people in power. If we could lend support by fostering development of an infrastructure that would create a VIABLE alternative to the standard ways of life. Commuting, for example, is a matter of driving from the areas where housing is affordable to work. I worry that, without such established infrastructure (ie high-speed rails? Please reference the “Trains in China/Trains in America” meme) individuals will not have the means required to simply get to work with the current state of the petrol-based systems.

    A solution simply will not be found in government-imposed rationing. If that was ever to be the case, it would fail. Too many people presently bristle at the thought of sharing the burden. With one of the most popular political buzzword lately being “socialism”, as if having the same opportunity as someone who has been perceived not to have worked as hard as me. The caller who worried about his liberties is my fear precisely; they aren’t willing to yield their consuming power because it’s a perceived “right”. It’s 2013, and I’m wondering how this is seriously still an issue! We have mapped the human genome, potentially discovered the ‘missing link’ and have a camera driving around on Mars, but we can’t figure out how to slow the warming of the planet? People need to wake up and stop thinking so small. It’s not about your liberty, in fact, it’s not about you. The fact of the matter is, there are some of us who are scooping water from a rapidly-sinking ship with our bare hands while people, who refuse to even acknowledge the hull is damaged, overflow their cabin bathtubs water because they can. At the end of it all, we’re all going to drown. So, why bother, if the “other” is going to piss all over our small-time efforts. Because they refuse to yield their “freedom”, they’re damning us all.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      keep driving your prius

      • jefe68

        What’s the point of this comment?
        There was a time when victory gardens, as gardens were called during WW2 were the norm.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          My guess: Have you heard “Sacrifice is for suckers”? It may be an existential question up for debate.

          But to some folks, that’s warped into “if don’t dump used motor oil on the lawn of my downhill neighbor, I’m some sorta pussy”.

          For some people, “We’re all in this together” (a slogan from WWII, my parents tell me) is now “Get what you can while you can. Except if it’s two workers organizing.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            things roll downhill

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          whats your point jefe?are you a prius driver?

  • m2cts

    Noam Chomsky recently weighed in on this subject in a speech in Denver. Here are his concluding remarks (12min) focussing on how the West is wrecking nature and speeding up our descent into a climate abyss:
    http://bit.ly/17Oenud

    • William

       But most of the advances in food production, medicine, science, technology happen in the West.

      • m2cts

        Correct. But at the same time that “Western” science tells us unambiguously that ever increasing CO2 level will destroy a livable climate Western capitalist forces want to squeeze out the last drop of fossil fuels and burn it, consequences be dammed.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          i assume you are writing this on a wind driven computer

          • m2cts

            As it happens: partially, as we bought the wind energy option of xcel energy. And we have solar PV which covers all our usage from April through October

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            have they paid for themselves yet?

      • nj_v2

        And yet, Western, industrial agriculture is not sustainable; medicine is challenged by overuse of certain drugs and antibiotics; Western development has caused entire species to become extinct…

        • harverdphd

           Take heart, you’re wrong again, as you prefer to be.

  • TyroneJ

    The bottom line is that humans are as subject to Malthusian limitations as every other species on the planet. We will continue to increase our population until the breaking point, because that is what species with insufficient predation do. In my town, I see every day 5000+ square foot houses with one couple, maybe with a kid or two, living in
    them. These people consume excessive natural resources but think that by driving a Prius and sorting the recyclables from their garbage, somehow magically makes up for the huge carbon footprint and energy consumption intrinsic to living is such a large structure. They really do delude themselves into thinking that by shopping at Whole Foods, they are at least not damaging the World, if not outright saving it.

    It may not happen in our lifetimes, but humans will keep reproducing until our food/energy/social systems collapse. It is as inevitable as the sunrise.

    • madnomad554

       I must reply too your post. According to the National Home Builders Association, the average sized home in 1970 was 1400 sq ft. In 2010 the average size was 2700 sq ft. During that sane 40 years, the average family size shrank by one person.

       I have never lived in a residence bigger than 1000 sq ft and never felt I didn’t have enough room.

      Imagine if millions of couples had built NORMAL sized homes in the past 15 years, then this housing bubble probably would not have happened. It sickens me that the media and politicians, even the WH refers to this as a “housing crisis”. It’s not a crisis when overweight, overindulgent mass consumers spend all of their money, then claim, “I don’t make enough money”! If you give them more they’ll just spend more.

      This country makes up only 3% of the worlds population yet it produces 25% of the worlds garbage. Mostly mass consumers who supposedly don’t have enough money. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

        “This country makes up only 3% of the worlds population yet it produces 25% of the worlds garbage.”

        Exactly: only 3% of the world’s population. I’d worry if the entire world lived like us. But long before that happened, scarcity would raise prices to a point at which that simply would not be possible, at least at current levels of technology. You can’t hold a dependent variable constant and linearly project a disaster based on that.

        • Bruce94

          “Humanity is smart and resourceful.  We’ll figure this one out.”  I agree for the most part, but think today’s guest has illuminated one way that we can indeed begin figuring this one out.

          “Scarcity would raise prices to a point at which [living like us] would not be possible.”  That begs another question:  would those price increases also make it impossible for us to continue living like we have and do now (i.e. in a world of exploding prices could we, ourselves, afford to continue keeping our economy going if it fails to evolve beyond the rabid consumerism and hyper individualism that have characterized it heretofore)?

          Looking at the flip-side of the outputs question you answered above, what do you think of Peak Oil?  Another doomsday scenario or another compelling reason to take today’s guest more seriously and to question the sustainability of an economy based on a philosophy of growth ad infinitum whose assumptions contradict not only the laws of thermodynamics, but also well-established biological concepts such as homeostasis and ecological balance?      

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            we keep producing evermore so it does not seem to have peaked. more likely we will run into a bottleneck when the mined phosphorous peaks

        • madnomad554

           It’s a puzzle with many pieces. I’m not holding a dependent variable constant hostage based on only one angle.

          The 25% is simply part of the overall equation.

        • PithHelmut

          You don’t seem to understand the exponential factor. It makes me giggle too the way people quote facts and stats from the past. Forget about normal. Forget about building from history. This is going to be different. Normal will soon be extinct just like all the millions of species we took out to expand our girths. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            the ladies appreciate girth

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          each american uses the resources of a blue whale lol

      • Eric Herot

         Most of that “extra” mass that makes the US so much worse than the rest of the world isn’t consumer goods being upgraded and older ones being thrown away.  It’s carbon dioxide produced by vehicles being driven when a train, bicycle, or walking trip could have sufficed instead (or was impossible because we choose to live in the suburbs), and furnaces heating that extra 1300 square feet of house.

        • madnomad554

           Those 2700 sq ft homes themselves are mass consumption. Mass consumption of natural resources, trees for one thing. Half the house will take half the trees.

          Vehicles, sure. Detroit is still building 400hp V-8′s and the mass consumer is still buying them. There are plenty of 4 cylinder engine cars with 150hp that are more than capable of hauling the mass consumer back and forth to work and such.

          Then you have your lawnmowers, weed eaters, leaf blowers, ATV’s, boats, jet skis. I cut my grass with an old reel type mower and trim the edges with a pair of lopping shears.

          The mass consumer just doesn’t care. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            why do you bother to maintain your bourgeois monoculture? seems wasteful. you should have permacultured your lawn area and be producing all your own produce using homemade humanure

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          much more efficient furnaces right?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        in the last 40 years how much more efficient have windows insulation and heating systems become?

    • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.rose Kyle Rose

      Two things:

      (1) Why the assumption that it will be a collapse? Population growth has already slowed dramatically: it is not at all clear that humanity will run into the brick wall of overpopulation rather than simply slow to a sustainable level due to increasing levels of scarcity.

      (2) Pointing to examples of overconsumption such as small families living in McMansions makes for great doomsaying (and believe me, I do agree with the eye-rolling at over-consuming Prius drivers who live in huge houses), but realize that those people are nothing more than examples of outliers that have existed throughout history. Aggregate consumption is more a function of productivity than of the number of noble-equivalents in society: assuming technology had progressed at the same pace, those resources would have been consumed anyway, only by a broader part of the population rather than a narrower slice of the upper-middle class and upper class. Either way, there’s more CO₂ in the atmosphere.

      But at least with the upper middle class we have enough people high enough in the hierarchy of needs to spend time thinking about how to solve the big problems rather than just counting pennies until their next paycheck.

      Humanity is smart and resourceful. We’ll figure this one out.

      • nj_v2

        Humanity is also violent, selfish, and stupid. We haven’t figured out inequality, bigotry, war… 

        I’d love to be wrong, but i’m not so sanguine. 

        • harverdphd

           Sucks to be you, as usual.

          • Ray in VT

            Ugh, is it that time of the week again, when we get subjected to your single sentence, pointless musings on nothing?

      • PithHelmut

        Haven’t we been smug long enough? Hate to use the word morality, but there is a certain level of morality that we’re not meeting when we enable people to live in these monstrous dwellings and millions on our planet are dying of starvation. One day, when and if we get to look back, we are going to wonder what the heck we were thinking. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          how are you enabling them? you know you sound like sour grapes right?

          • GuestAug27

            It’s pretty simple, Futo.  The reason why you and I can afford to consume vastly more than most people on this planet is because our consumption is subsidized (enabled) by our military spending.  Why do you think we have 800+ military bases around world and spend three billion dollars on military every day?

             The only purpose is to secure our access to natural resources (primarily energy).  That is what enables a middle-class family in the U.S. to have a lifestyle that includes a super-sized house in the suburbs and one car for each adult.

            If we were paying for our military with an energy tax instead of an income tax, gasoline would be $20/gal, and our lifestyle would change in a hurry.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            no it would not. if its paid for with a gas tax or an income tax it costs the same. . i hope we are actually getting the return on our military spending you think we are.gas in other countries does not cost $20 per gallon. for example As of December 2012, the cost of gas in Japan is $4.24 US.  and japan is a tiny island without oil of its own or a military. how does that fit into your theory?

            “Why do you think we have 800+ military bases around world and spend three billion dollars on military every day?”
            i dont think its to benefit you or I. unless you own some defense contractors stock. it is not there to secure any resources for us its there to secure resources for the military industrial complex i agree 100% the only purpose (of our military) is to secure our access to natural resources. that is what their stated goals have been. i dont know how successful that has been. afganistan is only indirectly a war for oil (with our pipeline puppet president there) its primarily a war for lithium. on cspan one day they were haveing a hearing on afganistan and our official long term plan was that the afgans farm the surface( using wonderful monsanto GMOs) while we extract their minerals. maybe now that we found a huge pile of lithium in wyoming we can move out of afganistan. besides afganistan the only other place before thei wyoming find where there are large amounts of lithium is bolivia and they have successfully blocked our efforts to subjugate them because they have a president who cannot be bought, for now. that and they all hate us after one of our companies bought their water, all of it, even the rain water which led to a uprising there and the current ban on forign companies expoliting them.

          • Tyranipocrit

            this is the most interesting comment ive heard come from you ever.  

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            lithium is the mineral of the future

          • Tyranipocrit

             excellently said

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        agreed. the doomsayers here like most people fail to grasp the mind numbing possibilities of genetic engineering. it will make the information technology revolution seem as about as important as the 8 track player.  in the future like in the past we will simply grow a car or a house or whatever.

    • alliwant54

       Agree with you on overpopulation.  In my opinion, even at about population two billion, being rich should indicate that your apartment is maybe 500 sq ft instead of 350, or you have a second bicycle.  Demanding more from this piddly little planet is too much.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        and how big will a party leaders domicile be?

    • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

       Except for the “big houses”, exactly correct. MUST READ “Collapse”, where Jared Diamonds records about 7 civilizations that died out (Easter Is., Greenland Norse,Anastasi-sp) and 4 that survived and became self-sustaining. We have overbred and are destroying entire species every day- everything the 7 did. The number one factor that led to annihilation was climate change (with hostile neighbors, resource depletion, arrogant denial of science).

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        yup and society always bounces back

        • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

          Like the Indians! Just, say, a little reduced:

          —- “The consequences of deforestation were starvation, a population crash, and a descent into cannibalism. Surviving islanders’ accounts of starvation are graphically confirmed by the proliferation of little statues called moai kavakava, depicting starving people with hollow cheeks and protruding ribs. Captain Cook in 1774 described the islanders as “small, lean, timid, and miserable.” —- Easter Island after they had eradicated 11 species of trees, 12 of seabirds, and lost 85% of their population. —
          — Collapse by Jared Diamond

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            at one time the entire human race consisted of only a few hundred individuals.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            there were once as few as a few hundred humans, now we have a few billion

  • sickofthechit

    EARTH-A limited resource in the middle of nowhere.  It’s long past time we started acting with that as our foremost thought!
    Charles A.Bowsher

    • Ray in VT

      Don’t worry, Charles, one of my former co-workers had it all figured out.  We’re just going to built rockets and go to other planets.  Why a guy like him, who was making $10/hour as an assistant manager at a retail store, was going to get a pass on said rocket was not a detail that he had worked out.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        they dont really need us here on earth sooner or later either

  • Trond33

    I feel a lot of this is perhaps consumer responsibility, akin to eating right – buy “right.”  We as consumers should start demanding higher quality goods designed to last, as opposed to built-in obsolesce.  As well as products designed for recycling from the very start.  I have read that electronics designed for ease of recycling at the end of their life would only add $5 to $10 per device.  Not much in the grand scheme of things. 

    Maybe I am a throwback, but I still polish my shoes.  Buy a bit more expensive shoe that will last and take care of them.  Even everyday dress shoes for work will last over five years.  

    Associated costs or hidden costs is a fascinating topic – essentially the unrecognized cost in any action.  For consumers, that choice of paying less up front for a product has to be weighted against the lifespan.  If the product saves you 50% up front, but then the cheap product last 2 years is it a good buy.  Not if the more expensive product last 6 years, at the end of the day it actually costs more to go with the lower cost product.  Of course, a valid counter argument is that many cannot afford the more expensive product to begin with.

    Gas is a good example.  I have a friend who always buys the lowest priced gas.  So I did an experiment, filled three tanks for cheap gas, then ran through three tanks of name brand gas.  Turns out I was getting about 4 mpg more on the name brand gas.  Which, when I did the calculations, put the real cost of the cheap gas at about .15 cents more per gallon than the name brand gas.  Several friends have subsequently come to the same conclusion.  Unfortunately, my friend who’s known as the “cheapest person alive,” refused to see the logic, even with the calculations right there.  He still wastes time and miles in the quest to fill up at the lowest price possible.  

    Now when I see the lines of people filling cheap gas at the grocery, I say to myself, “if they only knew the real price.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      you get what you pay for.

  • donniethebrasco

    I just got into my Hummer.  I am lighting up a cigar.  Drinking a 17oz soda.  About to go to the gun store and buy a gun.

    I just hope that Obama doesn’t “obtain my call records without a warrant.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/govt-obtains-wide-ap-phone-records-probe-202010831.html

    • jefe68

      You really must think your funny.
      However you come across as a complete wanker.

    • Ray in VT

      Don’t worry about it, dude.  They were after the communications of reporters and such.  People with actual useful information about things, so you’re probably pretty safe.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        unless he has been shopping for a pressure cooker

    • PithHelmut

      That’s the kind of thinking that’s keeping humanity down. Along with the market and the idea of profit at the expense of the ecology and killing for profit. What kind of civilization is that going to bring forth? Gun people sound so Neanderthal. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        what kind would you like to see?

    • Tyranipocrit

      i hope he does.  

  • g_b_m

    Isn’t the elephant in the room overpopulation?  Rationing is about scarce resources.  I’m pretty sure that population rationing won’t be very popular…anywhere.

    • Trond33

      Hate to be cynical… but I suspect as a species, we are only around the corner from natural population control in the form of a super bug.  Odds are against us.  Look how much of the population of Europe was decimated by the Black Plague (if I remember right, upwards of 50% over 400 years).  I don’t doubt that even with our technology and medical knowledge, it could happen again.  

    • Trond33

      Hate to be cynical… but I suspect as a species, we are only around the corner from natural population control in the form of a super bug.  Odds are against us.  Look how much of the population of Europe was decimated by the Black Plague (if I remember right, upwards of 50% over 400 years).  I don’t doubt that even with our technology and medical knowledge, it could happen again.  

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        scientists say it will happen. in fact some of them are creating “bugs” that could do it so they can study them. i am sure nothing could ever go wrong with that

      • Tyranipocrit

        and it will come from china. 

        middle class Chinese overzealous about protecting children from dirt and bacteria in home. (tho the poor like to play in filth in the streets while parents neglect)

        at the same time–they get IVs of antibiotics everytime they get a sniffle–clinics on every block where people sit in chiars sucking up antibiotics.

        Factory farming–producing frankenstein meat and superbugs.

        the combination is about to bring the death of millions–one more reason china must be contained–less we all suffer the plague. 

        This is fact–possibility–not fearmongering.  Its just the facts.  And the chinese gov will work hard to covre it up long afte rits a problem and the infected have gotten on planes to europe and the US.    

    • GuestAug27

      You are right.  If the problem can only be solved by population rationing or consumption rationing, I know what I would pick.

    • mozartman

      Absolutely right – famine will do what we cannot do voluntarily.  probably not in North America which has a better resource base than most other regions, but Africa, South Asia, Pacific islands are in big doodoo. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        unless one year monsantos corn seed is defective

    • Tyranipocrit

       ware on terror isnot very popular either.  gun ownershio isnt very popular either. the rich in power isnt very popular either.  people eat shit everyday.  time to take our medicine

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        gun ownership is pretty popular. oboma biden and gabby giffords all have them. the rich seem to enjoy their power. perhaps you should have taken your medicine before posting

        • Tyranipocrit

           90% of the population is for strict gun control Eor.  100 of gun lobbyists are for more guns and muurder.  so you do the math.  if you can.  I will go take my medicine now teabag–nahnahnah–my dad is gonna beat your dad up.  how many times can a tard tell sb in a debate to take his medicine before it just doesnt mean anything anymore.  good argument jack. 

          1 + 1 = 2, not 3.  Buddy buddy.  Why dont you go find a hand grenade gunlover and sit on it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            you are the one who thinks others should take medicine. maybe now that cannabis is legal for medicinal uses you could get a reccomendation maybe it will work better than what you are taking now. my kind? is this hostility because i am black?
            thats a funny statistic maybe if you repeat it enough it will be true.

          • Tyranipocrit

             what?  Can i see you?  i cant see you.  “Your kind” refers to republican conservative gun-toting Cheney lovers who deny pollution and think communist and tree hugger is a bad word.  If I am wrong.  i have been wrong before.  And will be the first to admit it.  i have no problem with that. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            sorry thats not the right pidgeon hole for me. i am a  registered democrat (its a long story) although i personally try to reject all -isms and schisms. i havent said anything about tree huggers. i personally love trees they provide a perfect place for me to tote my gun around.

    • MASSListener

      You are right. Check the population growth rate by country and compare it with their own natural resources, and (not so nice but real), find if there is a correlation between immigration into this country because we have plenty of resources (including government help)

  • Robbie Ousley

    Why isn’t anybody looking at FIFFE?  The only way politics, the law, and greedmongerers are going to allow FIFFE is for the situation to get so bad that average people take interest and prioritize FIFFE.  What is FIFFE? It is Free Independent Fossil Free Energy household by household letting people have personal control of our own energy without making it legally restricted to extremes and allowing home energy makers do simple things we know are the best for us, our country, and our world.  Stop big profits control or stand back and watch it all fall apart and then regrow from death to much better life than we have now.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

     Rationing? More like mass hellish starvation- when 40-50% of crops fail in 3-4 of the 5 major growing areas from 40-50C drought, a billion of the poorest people in China, Africa, India, everywhere will starve- food will pentuple, dectuple in price; epidemics will rip through the billions of weak, and civilization itself will totter. I’ve been screaming about this for years- THIS is the nuclear bomb of AGW, not storms or a few cm of ocean rise- I’m convinced it hits within 10 years. Did a 6 month article on AGW… and it scared the hell out of me.

    • PithHelmut

      Hammermann, when people finally get the extent of the closeness we are to a complete upheaval of what is “normal”, they probably will not only panic but realize how darned foolish they have been by bargaining the climate for meaningless trinkets. 

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        there is this bullet shortage

        • Tyranipocrit

           recycle.  melt down all guns and bullets for raw materials–hoes, and spades and gear boxes

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            there is a shortage how can we melt down what we dont have? it may be time to turn our plowshares to swords

          • Tyranipocrit

            what?!!! Are you insane?  U think there is a shortage on guns and bullets?  What world do you live in?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            the actual world. next time you are at walmart (lets both just pretend you are a walmart shopper) see if they have any ammo. you will see a big empty cabinet. obomas fear mongering about  gun control has caused all the ammo to be sold out. if there is some in your store let me know and i will come buy it all or just the three boxes they are limiting people to

          • Tyranipocrit

            thank you–i laughed about the tardmart thing–you are right i would never go to such a place of filth and stupidity.  BUt guess what BUddy boy–the reason as you say those cabinets might be empty–you nutters bought it all and stockpiled–so no shortage–it just went from walmart to your dank basement.  And they are still making more.  Do you think they use rubber bullets to kill babies in the  middle east? they prefer cluster bombs.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            walmart is actually an amazing achievement in organisation and efficiency and typically quite clean, they polish all the floors every night.  yes the ammo shortage is a result of hoarding. if you cannot buy something then there is a shortage. yes they are making as much as they can but its not enough we still have a shortage. the ammo goes from the walmart to my humidity controlled safe and then to the range and then i need to buy more.
            i am not sure what rubber bullets or the middle east have to do with anything i posted

          • Tyranipocrit

            i am referring to their business practices–not their floors.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            while i hate the fact that the 5 waltons make as much as 40% of the american people combined i love buying a pair of pants for $10. you are paying to subsidize walmart anyways so you might as well get what you are paying for anyways.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      plant your garden buddy. maybe the false flag was just so they could track pressure cooker sales so they can have a list of everyone who can can their own food wtshtf

  • http://bmerson.myopenid.com/ Brian

    Actually, it seems to me that everything in the US is already being rationed.  It’s just rationed by price.  

    • GuestAug27

      On the contrary, we give huge subsidies to fossil fuel industry to keep their product “affordable”. Unfortunately, as a result we as a society are addicted to cheap energy.

      • Tyranipocrit

         good point.  society is rationed in some way or another–for the rich.  the reason why this word ratining is so scary is the rich have brianwashed us into thinking so–to keep them getting the rations.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      so thats why i cant fill my swimming pool with dom perignon

  • PithHelmut

    If the media weren’t so damned quiet about climate change, the people would understand the dire implications that will be upon us. Everyone should become familiar with the exponential factor.  The market is the worse thing that we allow to continue. The market is anti-Nature. We need economics that is pro-Nature and that is being worked on. The people who have known about this for decades and have been called “alarmists” is all a media-driven psychological ploy to keep people unaware of the lives we’re leaving our children. I’d like to see the fossil fuels expenses for advertising. I bet that’s gone up and up. Because people are wising up and the fossil fuel companies are desperate. Any day now their product could be rendered worthless. I hope everyone here is getting out of investing in them.

    • GuestAug27

      Always follow the money.  We have free media, but it’s only free for those who own it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      oh is that delevery of helium 3 coming from newts moon base soon? the market is just like nature. survival of the fittest and neither the market nor nature care who wins and loses.

      • Tyranipocrit

         not true,  you are absolutely wrong about nature.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          nature cares? are you familiar with how evolution works?

          • Tyranipocrit

             yes i am but you are not.  It is a common myth and deliberate distortion by capitalists of the so -called “survival of the fittest” talking point.  Vigorous anf fittest are not the same thing.  Adaptation and strenght or cruel voracious greed are not the same thing.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            survival of the fittest is not a talking point it is an immutable law of nature. maybe you could slow down and explain what the heck you are talking about.

          • Tyranipocrit

            go read about it.  Darwins words are distorted and misused and misunderstood.  He is talking aboutadaptations.  NOt strength.  he is talking about adaptations over millenia, not voracious cruelty and conquering hubris.  The idea of social darwinism is total BS.  Doesnt even make sense.  Rhetoric of the 1%–to keep you in thrall.  Go read about it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i did not say anything about “social darwinism” i have never heard of it.  survival of the fittest is a law of nature

          • Tyranipocrit

            but you dont understand it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            evolution? i understand evolution very well.

  • nj_v2

    Disqus fail.

  • nj_v2

    Disqus fail 2.

  • GuestAug27

    How refreshing to see somebody shove the truth in the face of the American consumer.  Unfortunately, solving these problems will require fairness on global scale, something that the greed-based system called Capitalism is incapable of.  Could it be that Marx was right when he said that Capitalism would self-destruct?  Was his timing just a little off? We’ll find out soon.

    • alliwant54

       Maybe Marx was right.  He certainly pinpointed Capitalism’s weaknesses. Consider also the fact that eternal growth is just impossible.  I have long thought the economic way forward was to find a way to use cooperation as the central principle of the economy, rather than competition.  Competition is how things are settled in nature, where there is no higher culture.  Humans have the capacity to do better, if we realize that is possible.

      • donniethebrasco

         If you had a job, you would realize that there is cooperation in the business world.

        • Tyranipocrit

          yes you are right–cooperating to exploit others–just like a military going door to door raping and pillaging under command.

      • mozartman

        Reminds me of Lenin who said that the capitalists will sell the rope to the communists with which they will hang them, meaning the capitalists.  Sure, the commies hanged themselves first, but the capitalists only bought a few decades of time with borrowed money and borrowed resources.  Natural degradation will hang the capitalists eventually.  Just look at China which has already problems recruiting talented people to Beijing due to the bad air pollution.  Who wants to live there unless they have no choice? Chine has maybe one quarter the GDP per capita than the US.  if they only double that, where in the world will all the water, grains, meat, fuel, etc come from to power that growth?  

        • Tyranipocrit

           not true–beijing has no problem attracting people–even wesernerss-pllution is not a factor for thse people.  And pollutin is the same or worst than beijing in most of china–BJ just gets the publicity.

          China is the doom of the world.  MOre people should be looking at it–and stopping this train now.

          • Tyranipocrit

             china recently censored and blocked an excellent environmental website–an ngo based on cooperation between china and the west.  it was up for years–wonderful video and articles–very educational and interesting–now blocked under the new dictator.  At a time when more people need to be informed and participating–china tries to doom the world and its own people.  wackos.  maybe you can see it in the west–china dialogue.. china discusses the environment.

          • mozartman

            Well, I heard otherwise.  I mean high level, highly educated people.  They can live anywhere and get a new job, so why live in China with it’s pollution problems.  Google the topic and see what’s going on.

            Actually, China has far more environmental awareness than we give them credit for.  You mention that website below.  They know they cannot go on like that.  20% of the global population and less than 7% of the arable land and even less of the fresh water.  The US, of all rich countries has the least awareness that we are in trouble as the discussion rightly said. China has a dictatorship yes, but maybe they need that to make changes.  They can think long term.  Washington thinks only to the next election, so problems like global warming get ignored.  I fear the US more in that respect than China.  

          • Tyranipocrit

             I have lived in China for 7 years.  In several cities across the nation.  The pollution is beyond your imagination and the people are aware of it–but they dont care enought to change anything or be the change–they all pollute horribly –they are all par tof the problem–i am flabbergasted everyday by the inhuman stubborness in this country.  For as much as the governemnt does towards green teach they do ten times as much in dirty energy without filters or regulation.  If I had six hours to explain I could cite hundreds of pages on food contamination and just horrendous inexusable unbelievable acts of inhumane filthy contaminatin of food, use of non-edible posionous materials/ingredients and examples of pollution–most I have witnessed wiht my own eyes and read about in Chinese media.  When it is exposed, sometimes china will report it but it doesnt do anything about it, and people take no action.  Some “peasants” are reacting but they are severely beat down.  I have seen babies peppered sprayed.  Authorities absolutely never will not listen to legitimite complaints about anything–i have never met such stubbor obstinate obtuse argumentativ epeople in my life and they will never back down on anything–no matter how wrong they are.  They will never just say “my bad” what could i do different.  They make you an enemey first.  They car ebaout nothing.  It sounds so harsh–but is true.  I am talking about 90% of population (best guess). ANd 100% of authorititeis probably.

          • Tyranipocrit

            claerly the 1% wouldn’t live there, but I don’t refer to the 1% everytime I make an argument. Why must the focus be on them all the time? I am talking about the majority. many mnay Chinese and foreigners are fascinated by Beijing and sadly I knw foreigners who dismiss pollution and make excuses and often kow-tow as well. many beijingers wit money are moving to coastal cities like Dalian. Common people dont have the priviliege–they are confined by money and law. There is something called the Houku system in Cina–mobility is not a freedom. its hightly restricted with barriers at every turn. But not for those who can bribe. Corruption will always reign supreme under capitalism.

      • Tyranipocrit

         you believe, like a most, a false notion of nature.  Consider ants, termites, and other insects that cooperate.  Consider the many animals who raise young from other species.  Consider how many species like dolphins and dogs that coperate to survive.  IN fact most species coperate to survive.  nature is not all competition–it is cooperation!

  • GuestAug27

    One has to wonder, why the rich, powerful, and supposedly smart people (let’s just call them the ruling class) are not more visibly alarmed about the climate change and other negative effects of our relentless pursuit of economic growth that are threatening our very existence?  There was Al Gore making noise about this for a few years, but he seems to have moved on.  One would think that if we really had a problem, we would hear from the “people in charge.”  After all, they own all the media?

    Does their silence mean there is no problem and we can go on like this forever or does it mean that they are reluctant to tell us what the solution is going to be?

    Are they planning on buying themselves a one-way ticket to Mars when the Earth is sufficiently close to being uninhabitable?  Will there be a major war or famine or an epidemic that will wipe out half of the Earth’s population, during which they will use their wealth to protect themselves?

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      more than half

    • Tyranipocrit

       yes, they are building bunkers now.

  • GuestAug27

    Easy solution: work less (as in 20 hour work week, worldwide), live more!

    • donniethebrasco

       Obviously you either work for a non-profit or you have a trust fund.

  • BDSpin

    Finally!  A program that presents reality. What a refreshing change from the media’s usual orgy of denial about resource depletion. Thank you, On Point, for having Stan Cox as a guest.  

    • donniethebrasco

       As long as I get to make the allocation, you will bend over.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      lol

  • alliwant54

    Some other way of allocating resources is necessary, but one idea that crosses my mind is that the top-down solution which may be necessary at first may not be permanent.  Once we have rearranged our economic priorities, we may find that cooperative distribution has taken root and need not be imposed from above. I’d imagine a substantial timescale for such a change, maybe a century or two.  We have adapted before, let’s hope we can do it again.

    • donniethebrasco

       As long as I get to make the allocation, you will bend over.

    • GuestAug27

      If it takes us two centuries, we are doomed.  Also, cooperative distribution is incompatible with Capitalism.  Capitalism is all about hoarding by few at the expense of many.  So I think this is mainly a political problem. Changing the economy, once there is the political will to do it, should take one or two decades, not centuries.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        well communism has worked so well in the 20th century lets give it a go here! then maybe america will be as wonderful as china

        • GuestAug27

          If you are talking about the USSR or N Korea, they were run by parties that called themselves Communist, but the system was NOT communism.  Google “Communism 101″ or go to Communism dot com to find out what is and is not communism.

          Then we can talk about the wonderful things Capitalism has done for the people of, let’s say, Haiti and Guatemala.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            so where exactly has communism been successful? i was thinking of china where they are capitalists in commie clothes 

          • mozartman

            “Communism” as practiced by the USSR and the former East Bloc was a fake. It had almost nothing to do with what Marx wrote, who by the way, was a first class economist who analyzed the problems of his day correctly but drew the wrong conclusions how to solve them.  Forced re-distribution has never worked and will never work,, unless excessive force is applied.  But that can last only so long as we have seen with the USSR.  
            A mild form of communism worked quite well in Israel in the first decades of its existence, but more through necessity.  They had little and they needed to share resources to survive a very hostile surrounding.  That’s the way we may be heading towards.  But it’s undeniable that the path we are taking now is unsustainable and if you deny that you are just sticking your head in the sand.  Just like bond markets forced Greece and others to take a radically different course, so will nature force us to make radical changes.  There is no free lunch as super capitalist M Freeman said and that applies to our world as well.  I foresee water to be THE issue for the coming decades, followed by soil degradation and air pollution.  Water rationing is coming fast, even to many parts of the US.  That’s just the beginning. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            the greeks were tricked into austarity by flawed right wing economic theories
            give it a read
            http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17941-university-grad-student-debunks-major-austerity-theory-by-exposing-flawed-stats

          • Tyranipocrit

            they are not wearing commie clothes–they are more fashionable than most americans and desire fashion and nice things more than anyone i eve me tin the west.  When was th elast time you tuned into the real world.

            China was never communist.  The only true communists were the native americans.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            lol i bet they have prada party uniforms

          • Tyranipocrit

             nope.  you are lost.  No uniforms.  No party anything.  They hate the party.  They love prada and calvin klein and all that BS.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            who doesnt?

        • Tyranipocrit

           we hve the benefit of hindsight and the wisdom gained form expereince.  we liv ein different times.  And we are not the same inhuman society as china–trust me.  Born in america i was unable to answer the question–are we born basically good or bad.  Not really a rational question.  Having lived in china, i have come to the conclusion that if you are born in china your environment makes you basically bad–it is a great feat and uniqueness to become good.  Now i think americans are basically good in comparison.  My point is–america and the West would and has adapted to such circumstances far more humanely and efficiently than China could ever do.  WW2 Britain did it. 

          And we are not necessarily talking about “Communism”–what we need is common sense understanding of the law.  We need a green police force mae up of highly educated post graduates–with elite powers to arrest and prosecute (with juries made up of the people), we would need strong green earth first laws, and an economy that rewards co-operative businesses–co-ops, CSAs, and co-op/state run mineral industries distributed scientifally in accordance with strict green laws.  Energy by wind, tidal, and solar–controlled residntially, locally, and by state.  All buildings can function independently–not on a grid.  Lights out at 10pm–no need to burn electricity and destroy the night sky.

          A clean happy world.  New terroists would be greedy capitalist gun-toting wackos who resent harmony and clean air–they will be the new drug dealer, the new black american–persecuted and incarcerated for the good of all humanity.  I mention drug dealers and black americans because they are now unjustly persecuted and incarcerated and none of these peopl complain about it.  Many people live in a dystopia Now.  Now.  The rest live inn a fantasy.  The world i describe above is reality–a reality dystopian dreamers refuse to face.

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            but when you arrest the gun owners and enact your curfew how will people know if they are in prison or not?

          • Tyranipocrit

             what curfew?  I didnt ask for a curfew..  And I never said anything about arresting gun owners.  Read again. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            what did you mean with this part then?
            “Lights out at 10pm–no need to burn electricity and destroy the night sky.
            A clean happy world. New terroists would be greedy capitalist gun-toting wackos who resent harmony and clean air–they will be the new drug dealer, the new black american–persecuted and incarcerated for the good of all humanity

            in your brave new world how will someone know if they are in prison or not what will the difference be?

          • Tyranipocrit

            you are living in the brave new world now.  I didn’t say they would be arrested for having guns–i said it would be those kind of people who do and will commit acts of terror because like you they  believe they somehow liive under tyranny because we ask them to respect all rights and the earth–they are demented, and will probably attack civilians and officials in the new establishment–making them terrorists.  I insinuated the prisons would be full like they are now–but instead of innocent people persecuted for being black or smoking a dime bag of marijuana or doing a line of coke–their individual right–our prisons will be full of republican -minded demented terrorists–wo totally dont have a clue.  Only we wont torture you like you like to do–no hangings, no horse drawings–no water torture, no sexual assaults–the favorite of republicans it seems–you will get a cot and 3 meager hots–and you will be forced to clean up toxic waste and contaminated sites.  or we will sell you to the chinese as eunuchs.  world peace at last.  A brave new democracy.  Damn the rich!!!

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            will all your political prisoners be given the option of state sponsored sex changes?

          • alliwant54

             I’d rather have some lighting at night, and maybe turn the handle the other way on electric grids; Worldwide grids so that the sunny side of the world could share some power with the nightside.  Most of the time I use a 3W LED lamp, and don’t think that’s much to ask after dark.

            Other than that, you have touched on some realistic details of a world that enforces moderation in consumption.  Your other comment mentioning social insects is likewise insightful.  We will have to take some lessons from ants, bees and the like.  They are highly successful, and live sustainable, cooperative lives.

            Mostly, we will have to find a way to look at ourselves and revise what we consider “enough.”  I’ve got relatively little, and consider it a bit more than enough.  Someone who thinks his fair share is everything will never feel he’s got enough.  Such people may suffer a lot in the times to come.

          • Tyranipocrit

             What i meant  by lights out was not residential actually–i meant commercial space–skyscrapers, buiildings, signs, billboards, time aquare type stuff–it needs to get shut down.  Internal home lights is fine.  Street lights for walking can be solar powered.  Tall buildings permitted to have flashing red warning light on top.  Deapartment stores, etc–shut down lights.  No xmas lights and decoratinos etc.  UNless solar powered.

            BUt if you have ever seen a night sky free of light pollution–such as at sea or in the desert you would demand all lights be shut down forever.  Most people will never see all the stars and the milky way.  Most people dont know the reality of what is up there and would have a better appreciation of the world, universe and nature if they saw it even once.

          • Regular_Listener

             The idea of a green police force is interesting, as is your vision of right-wing capitalists reduced to a Taliban-like existence.  But why do you think that Chinese people are made “basically bad” by their environment?  Bad in what way?

          • Tyranipocrit

            there is a culture of lying, deception, and corruption in china. And a cultural lack of empathy. When this is the social paradigm it is hard to be anything different–the sutem, the culture, the social prafigm molds and shapes you. You need to swim in this dirty water–or drown. There is a gross lack of concern for animals and people in daily life. Even chinese writers have written about it for centuries. The Chinese know it too…they just font like others pointing it out to them. Theri idea of mutual respect and love or compassion is non-existant in many cases–at least as expressed as others. That is why they are and have always been an authoritarian societywith no significant conpet of NGOs or community outreach. Individuals are left to die in the streets–i see it all the time. I could go on for days with examples of indifference ot fellow human beings. This is cultural. When people come here with fanciful concepts of asian culture it makes me sick–not all culture is good. And culture isnt limited to literature and art or music and crafts. The mind is formed by our culture. Some tribal communities int he world have no concept of tiem. This influences there culture. My point is culture is not innherently good. So i am disgusted when peopel defend inhumanity with banal statements like–it is our culture or we are chinese you don to understand. i understand cruelty when i see it.

          • Regular_Listener

             I can agree with some of what you are saying – all cultures are not inherently good, nor are they equal.  That is an idea that many liberal folks have promoted as an antidote to racism and discrimination.  I think it is brave of you to speak out about Chinese culture at a time when you would be accused of racism for doing so.  But I have never been to China and cannot comment on anything you say about it.

          • Tyranipocrit

             can you clarify, what you mean by “antidote to racism and discrimination?  What is–cultural tolerance?  I appreciate your inquisitive responses, rather than belligerent outright rejection of what I am saying…thanks for the civil discussion.  as a side note–many Chinese are decent people, kind people–they just dont live in a culture or a just society that nurtures or supports their character.

  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    we don’t need to ration anything.  there is plenty of everything for everyone.  “crunch all you want we’ll make more”

    • paulagoldman20

      Eat another candy bar.  Plenty of those around.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        if thats what you like in america almost anyone can have as much as they could ever want. a great example of the unprecidented plenty that surrounds us

        • Tyranipocrit

           troll

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i know you are but what am i?

          • Tyranipocrit

            I’m rubber and you’re glue

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Page/100002550930740 Andrew Page

    Rationing == Control.   Control == Tyranny.

    • mozartman

      Unsustainability = Disaster = Tyranny

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Page/100002550930740 Andrew Page

        Nukes == No Carbon == No Warming(hic) == No Shortages

        • mozartman

          Good.  Let’s dig up all the uranium.  I am sure there is plenty for all our needs.  let’s worry about waste later and have some good times now.  Will it also solve the problem of water shortages and soil erosion?  Overpopulation?  I guess yes.  A couple of Fukushimas in the right places, and millions will be taken out of the gene pool.  Solves that problem too. 

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Page/100002550930740 Andrew Page

            Yes if overpopulation were even a problem in the 1st or even what used to be the 2nd world

          • Tyranipocrit

            huh?

        • Tyranipocrit

           =radiation = toxic waste in your backyard =love canal= chernoybal = fukishima =3mile island = toxic water cycled back into your fresh water drinking sources = toxic building materials that need disposal = uranium and plutonium extraction=water and fuel for extraction = destruction of earth landscapes = toxic pollution in your  backyard–MY backyard–his and hers backyard= terrorist threat= nuclear bomb

    • Tyranipocrit

       no it doesnt.  we need a green police force.  we dont need to use water and fuel to mine for precious resources–to extract diamonds and rare earth metals for smart phones–that water, those resources should be used and distributed wisely–not selfishly.  We are the the apex of intelligence–it is time we acted like it.

  • Tyranipocrit

    recycle.  melt down all guns and bullets for raw materials–hoes, and spades and gear boxes

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=647992960 Larry Pines

    There’s more than enough energy right on Earth today – and more is being added every minute. It’s stored in the form of ‘WATER’. Multi-ton ‘snowballs’ enter the atmosphere every day and, as most people know, water is made-up of Oxygen (‘O’) and Hydrogen (‘H’) in a 1 to 2 ratio.

    Mix these 2 elements in a ratio of ’1 to 1′ and you get ‘Hydrogen-Peroxide’ which is the same fuel used in the Space Shuttle main engines, the NAZI’s V-2 rockets and some  torpedoes (allegedly) used in an ill-fated nuclear submarine of the Soviet NAVY.

    The Germans pioneered the use of ‘electrolysis’ to separate H2 for O in water to provide a gas capable of lifting their ‘Zeppelins’ into the air. Hydrogen worked just fine until the zeppelin ‘Graft Hindenburg’ burst into flames – but it was proven hydrogen was NOT the source of the fire. The Germans had coated the exterior fabric skin of the airship with a mixture of Iron-Oxide (rust) and Aluminum Oxide. Unfortunately when mixed these materials become rocket-fuel which ignited from a lightening strike that fateful day.

    Today hydrogen is commonly extracted from water using electrolysis powered by fossil-fueled, hydroelectric and nuclear powered electric generators. Thankfully SOME far-sighted innovators have built solar powered electric generating stations (solar electric panels and solar furnaces) which generate several megawatts (a LOT) of electric power – some of which could be used to extract hydrogen from seawater.

    Hydrogen and oxygen can be used together to power electric generators in stationary facilities to electrify millions of stationary users. But HOW does that help mobile users (cars, trucks, ships, etc)?

    Carbon can be extracted from carbon-dioxide (CO2 – a ‘greenhouse gas’) and bonded to Hydrogen extracted from seawater to create ‘hydro-carbons’ or varying lengths (methane to gasoline, kerosene, diesel, to petroleum jelly).  This means a waste gas (CO2) which is claimed to contribute to our bizarre weather can be made useful – ‘carbon-recycling’.

    Besides; according to some energy experts the cost of extracting oil from hard to reach sources outweighs the benefits it provides (‘ROI’) when balanced against the ROI of solar, wind, hydro, coal and nuclear. While there is 100 years worth of known coal reserves (at current usage rate) there is only 42 years worth of known Uranium reserves.

    Conversely; there’s estimated to be several thousands of years worth of solar power left in our sun.

    Energy (leading to food) rationing? Only necessary for those who refuse to look forward to scientifically proven alternatives.

  • mozartman

    I drive one, is that a problem? A get from A to B just as much as one of my neighbors in his tank like truck. You just make stupid comments for the sake of making them.  Why don’t you do something useful? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      as long as you like it but if you really wanted to be fuel efficient you would drive a BMW M3.
       http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=bmw+vs+prius+top+gear+episode&mid=A6D1427F395BDDCA0390A6D1427F395BDDCA0390&view=detail&FORM=VIRE4

  • mozartman

    Free market?  Don’t make me laugh.  In health care, energy, and education it’s a cartel.  The average person has no pricing power. Pay $50,000 of r that drug or go die.  You are deluding yourself. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      yes those are all market failures caused by government interferance with poor regulations

      • Tyranipocrit

         wrong–not gov interference–corporate lobbying interference, corruption interference, supreme court innterference, big rich interfereence.  Time to prosecute the 1%.  Democracy is dead.

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          those things may have led to the govt interfering and probably explain why the regulations are so poor

        • thequietkid10

          If the government didn’t have the power to warp the free market to it’s will, there would be no corporate lobbying.

    • Tyranipocrit

       well said

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      $50,000 cannabis? it must be good

    • Regular_Listener

      So true.  I have often wondered if there is price fixing going on for a lot of products out there.  Conservatives like to point to free market competition as a way for people to access good products at the best available prices – but I bet markets are a lot less free than they care to admit. For example, how come I can’t get a credit card for less than 9-10% interest, and if I put my money in a bank or in a fund, the interest rates are much lower?  Shouldn’t this be a business opportunity?

  • Regular_Listener

    I am surprised that there was very little mention of the most serious underlying cause of so much of our current environmental and resource-related woes – the out of control growth of the human population.  How is it possible to talk about rationing without knowing how many people will have to get rations – and the importance of keeping that number to a reasonable size?

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 28, 2014
This June 4, 2014 photo shows a Walgreens retail store in Boston. Walgreen Co. _ which bills itself as “America’s premier pharmacy” _ is among many companies considering combining operations with foreign businesses to trim their tax bills. (AP)

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Jul 28, 2014
U.S. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker watches as wounded American soldiers arrive at an American hospital near the front during World War I. (AP Photo)

Marking the one hundredth anniversary of the start of World War One. We’ll look at lessons learned and lessons for now.

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