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Global warming and its solutions

by torquerotates
Tags: global, solutions, warming
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mheslep
#19
Mar23-08, 10:17 PM
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Quote Quote by vanesch
How fast do you think climate has to change to "capture" a walking tribe? Assume they walk 10 km a day. In a year, they have walked 3000 km including some rest. Even if they only walk 1 km a day, they do 3000 km in 10 years.
Sure, IF
-you're the first humans ever making the trip, because otherwise you're tribe had either a) be very good at trade/diplomacy or b) be very good at fighting because the locals are going to object to you meandering through their food supply, and
-you have a map, because if you take more than a week to cross a large mountain range like the Rockies in Winter pre-Columbian there's no food supply and you starve.
vanesch
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Mar24-08, 12:25 AM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
In a sense nobody is considering anything else other than free markets any more, even the most adamant AGW. The only solution in play is carbon caps and trade - a free market approach with .gov giving out the credits which are then bought and sold. There's already a large and fast growing carbon trading exchange in Europe, principally founded by a US economist who's become wealthy as a result, interestingly. Fifty years ago governments would have indeed implemented an across the board one-emissions-standard-for-all regulation but no more.
Uh, in my book that's government regulation! This market wouldn't exist without any imposed CO2 quota (by the gouvernment - via international agreements).
vanesch
#21
Mar24-08, 12:26 AM
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Quote Quote by DaleSpam View Post
Yes, it is a large fraction, about 20%. Consider the following, the largest urban population of Mexicans is Mexico City, the second largest is Los Angeles. Money sent back to Mexico from immigrants in the US is the second largest source of Mexican GDP.
Wow, 20%. Didn't realise that. In any case, I can assure you that not 20% of the African population can come to Europe...
Andre
#22
Mar24-08, 04:00 AM
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Quote Quote by vanesch View Post
How fast do you think climate has to change to "capture" a walking tribe? Assume they walk 10 km a day. In a year, they have walked 3000 km including some rest. Even if they only walk 1 km a day, they do 3000 km in 10 years.
Roughly 12,670 +/- 20 Calendar years BP, major changes took place in the Northern hemisphere, the start of the Younger Dryas. This codates with the sudden disapearance of the Clovis culture in America and the extinction of some of the mega fauna actually only the mammoths and the sabre-toothed cats. The horses, turtles, ground sloths, etc were already extinct while the Mastodon survived into the Holocene.

It is believed that temperatures dropped several degrees, inferred from isotope ratios, however, pollen analysis would also support extreme aridness and greater climate continentality (colder winters, warmer summers). Were would the Clovis and the mammoths have to move?

(Recolonisation of the continent happened only several hundreds of years later with the Folsom culture.)
Schrodinger's Dog
#23
Mar24-08, 09:56 AM
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How can you solve a problem that doesn't exist? And why should you bother? Sorry just trying to get into the big Business mind set. See how it feels.
mheslep
#24
Mar24-08, 01:56 PM
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Quote Quote by vanesch View Post
Uh, in my book that's government regulation! This market wouldn't exist without any imposed CO2 quota (by the gouvernment - via international agreements).
No market would exist anywhere without a government enforced rule of law. Nor will you find any free market economist stating government has no role.

Thus the interesting problem is determining the most efficient (lowest cost to society) method of reducing or restricting emissions. Two of the economic tools for doing this are command and control, and market based tools ala cap 'n trade. If its feasible to set up a market, then the latter is almost always preferred by economists because it fosters innovations in better, cheaper ways to reduce emissions
In theory, if properly designed and implemented, market-based instruments allow any desired level of pollution cleanup to be realized at the lowest overall cost to society, by providing incentives for the greatest reductions in pollution by those firms that can achieve the reductions most cheaply.

Rather than equalizing pollution levels among firms (as with uniform emission standards), market-based instruments equalize the incremental amount that firms spend to reduce pollution — their marginal abatement cost (Montgomery 1972; Baumol and Oates 1988; Tietenberg 1995).
Command-and-control approaches could — in theory — achieve this cost-effective solution, but this would require that different standards be set for each pollution source, and, consequently, that policy makers obtain detailed information about the compliance costs each firm faces. Such information is simply not available to government. By contrast, market-based instruments provide for a cost-effective allocation of the pollution control burden among sources without requiring the government to have this information.
From
Market-Based Environmental Policies:
What Can We Learn from U.S. Experience (and Related Research)?

www.rff.org/documents/RFF-DP-03-43.pdf

Market based solutions don't always work. For instance, transaction costs can make it unfeasible - if an emission source does some direct harm to individuals then the cost of setting up a compensation system with zillions of transactions is prohibitive. The 'Global' aspect of AGW and CO2 with ~zero local effect makes it perfect for a market instrument.

Also see MIT's 14.23 Econ course - Introduction to Economic Regulation for a good primer.
DaleSpam
#25
Mar26-08, 06:16 PM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
No market would exist anywhere without a government enforced rule of law.
This is a little exaggerated. Even in total tyrrany or complete anarchy there is some market activity. However, you are absolutely correct that the government involvement in things like enforcing contracts and private property rights greatly enhances market activity.
mheslep
#26
Mar26-08, 10:58 PM
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Quote Quote by DaleSpam View Post
This is a little exaggerated. Even in total tyrrany or complete anarchy there is some market activity.
There's always at least a little government as anarchy is unstable - it can not stay 'complete'.
vanesch
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Mar27-08, 12:12 AM
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Quote Quote by mheslep View Post
No market would exist anywhere without a government enforced rule of law. Nor will you find any free market economist stating government has no role.
I didn't say that, but the question was: should the government(s) intervene in this climate thing, or should we let the market solve it (on its own). By that last thing, one would count on the feedback from "I'm doing something to the climate" hence "50 years from now this might affect my revenues" (higher production costs in changed environment, less revenue because of starving customer population etc....). Or, another mechanism which would be "free market" would be that people would only buy products that are made using low-emission processes, by some kind of preference. As such, it would give your product a higher market value if people only bought it, even if it had a higher price.

Putting quota on emissions by rule of law is an intervention in this otherwise free market. This is like limiting the number of doctors or lawyers per capita.
mheslep
#28
Mar27-08, 10:07 PM
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Quote Quote by vanesch View Post
I didn't say that, but the question was: should the government(s) intervene in this climate thing, or should we let the market solve it (on its own).
I understand that; I was attempting to steer the dialog to a more productive question: what should be the nature of the government action? Putting any emissions restrictions aside for a moment, as I suggested above we still need to have a government to have any free market at all. For instance, it must act positively to assure private property rights. Thus its not representative of an ideal free market to imagine firm A acting independent of the govt. w/ only buyers and suppliers. The govt. must be in that example to enforce rights. This includes, importantly, the protection of third parties which have their property infringed by firm's A emissions. In an idea free market firm A would be required to make all third parties whole. Even in the case of AGW, if firm A contributed to some percentage of a catastrophic rise in sea level that destroyed my beach property, they owe me in an ideal free market. Unfortunately this idealized scenario doesn't work because of the transaction costs involved with large scale cases like AGW. So instead we need the govt. to act on our behalf instead by regulating the emissions. The interesting question is, how does it best do that with out wrecking the productivity of the enterprise.
Constructe
#29
Sep2-08, 09:58 AM
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It won't be solved in any form you know, but in the end it will be corrected for though non-governmental solution as follows:

The US energy solution will go something like this. A declining population caused by weather related disasters and pollution even if we cut carbon emmisions in the US to 0. Lower consumption due to increasingly scarce goods and the fact that our money is being owned by everyone overseas (all we have is debt). So in the end, conservation or not, we will not be able to afford too much power besides hydroelectric. We basically burn about everything we can get in our country or countries we invade (Canada has lots of wood). Sounds silly grim but I bet your children's kids won't think that when they have kids. They will probably ask, "Why didn't you do something about it back when you could of?"

Af course we could build tons of nuclear power plants willy nilly and set up mass transit all over and encourage people to live close together. That will help alot whit the gas problem. And we won't need air conditioning except on the top of the rocky mountains and in Alaska anymore. That will save loads of electricity if you don't mind no air conditioning.

Then there is India, who will at current exponential growth have more population than the rest of the world in your grandchildren's life. What can you do about that? Basically, although you may feel the US' actions can save the world, such thinking is obviously false.

Well I guess, the wild card for the US is fusion power that fits into your car and can run air conditioners to blow hot air onto less fortunate countries until the world heats up to a nice warm 250 degrees or so (when living at all may be a burden). Otherwise kiss the present days goodbye.


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