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Libertarian solutions to the CO2 problem?
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Darqcyde



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
CTrees wrote:
Ah, negative externalities. One of my favorite tools with which to troll libertarians.

Serioulsy, if you can get a libertarian to admit that there's a problem, the only real, workable solution is to compromise the liber ideals and use some regulation.


Seth Finklestein explains why the House of Cards issue is fun like this.

Quote:
The fanatical opposition of Libertarians to anti-discrimination laws also illuminates a crucial aspect of the effects of the philosophy. They can never admit even one instance of government intervention doing good overall for society as opposed to the effects of the market. This isn't a matter of preference, it's absolutely crucial to the function of the ideology. If they ever do that, then it's an admission that social engineering can work, the market can fail, and it's just a matter of figuring out what is the proper mixture to have the best society.

This is what sets it apart from Liberalism, Conservatism, and so on. One outcome against prediction will not send those intellectual foundations crashing down, because they aren't based so heavily on absolute rules applications. Libertarianism, by contrast, if it ever concedes a market failure fixed by a government law, is in deep trouble.

So this in turn leads Libertarians into amazing flights of fancy, for example, to deny the success of civil-rights laws. They must say institutional segregation was somehow all the government's fault, or it would have gone away anyway, or something like that. Rather than racism, it's being made stupid by ideology-poisoning.

Libertarian logic is an axiomatic system that bears very little resemblance to standard deductive thought - which is in part why it's so debilitating to people. It's a little like one of those non-Euclidean geometries, internally valid results can be derived from the postulates, but they sound extremely weird when applied to the real world.


to wit, as i have had it described to me and others: it fundamentally is a market failure (and would be a free-market failure even moreso) in that people are not necessarily able to intelligently determine the personal economic value of all things. The free market won't make it magically so that 'liberated free market consumers' can be trusted to value things correctly, even in their own self-interest.

So, the tragedy of the commons occurs. Waters are overfished without Force and Fraud at work.

Weren't the American founding fathers concerned about the individuals ability to value and evaluate what was best for all? Isn't that why they decided on indirect voting and basically our whole representative system of government?

I think the main flaw in "Libertarianism" across the board lies not so much the overestimation of individuals abilities but rather in individuals capacity to properly utilize the abilities they do have. This can manifest as selfishness, stupidity, willful ignorance, greed, blind overzealousness, and a slew of other negative sociological traits.

Why worry about the environment, failing states, or various legitimate political issues (failing health care, education, infrastructure etc.), I have my hard earned big screen tv to enjoy Jersey Shore on while playing on Facebook on my cell phone debating what young adult novel series will be the next big thing. Or maybe it' s watching anime subs and reading scanlations between WoW raids and watching netflix. Or maybe you're waiting for football to really start since the strike was avoided (THANK GOD FOR THAT Rolling Eyes )and want something else to talk about during your weekly poker game. Oh wait, that would be a typical (not necessarily average) American teen.

Tl;dr. Americans don't care about anyone else (including other Americans) but themselves and are caring less all the time.
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: When you treat people like babies, they become incompetent Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
It occurs to me that situations in which the actions of a small few end up impacting almost everybody are a good test of different social contracts. How well can someone's political ideology deal with problems that affect everybody, not just a conflict between a small party of individuals? Mostly inspired by Scott Denning's presentation to the Heartland Institute's 6th International Conference on Climate Change.
So the topic for now is how would a Libertarian society deal with the issues surrounding human CO2 emissions?

Let's assume two conditions:
1) The negative effects of the problem are not in serious doubt.
2) Letting the negative effects play out is not an acceptable solution. Some type of action is needed to avert them.

The most obvious CO2 problem is global warming, and for the sake of discussion we'll assume that the IPCC's projections for the next 100 years are not in serious error. The other, less well-known side of the coin is global ocean acidification, which has serious implications for the global food chain (including us). All nations have been carbon emitters, but over the last century the biggest emitters have been the US, China, India, and Europe. So we have a problem where there's been unequal contribution to the problem that we're all facing.
Though these issues apply to everybody, the parts of the world expected to be impacted (by AGW at least) the most are typically those who have contributed the least. Letting it all play out with Business As Usual will only exacerbate these problems, not solve any of them. So some kind of action is needed, at all levels of governance and internationally.

What solutions would be consistent with Libertarian ideals and social policy?


Why oh why would you try to solve a technological problem with sociology, when in fact it should be the other way around?

No set of ideals would be violated if you simply reward those "Libertarians" who come up with the best "individual" solutions to the problem.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So that's one suggestion: reward people who take it on themselves to reduce their CO2 footprint.

For some reason I don't really think that's a very practical way to tackle an issue as massive as this. Not only are residential sectors contributing less than industrial ones, we'd also have to make this enough of an incentive to reliably convert the populace en masse. This also does nothing to address the culpability of those who choose to keep polluting.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mass apathy + ignorance = who give's a fuck, let's do ________
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mouse



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
So that's one suggestion: reward people who take it on themselves to reduce their CO2 footprint.

For some reason I don't really think that's a very practical way to tackle an issue as massive as this. Not only are residential sectors contributing less than industrial ones, we'd also have to make this enough of an incentive to reliably convert the populace en masse. This also does nothing to address the culpability of those who choose to keep polluting.


it also raises the issue of who will do the rewarding - can't be the government, that's the government intervening for social good. and your average bangladeshi or other benefitting third-worlder probably doesn't have enough to provide any real reward.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
So that's one suggestion: reward people who take it on themselves to reduce their CO2 footprint.

For some reason I don't really think that's a very practical way to tackle an issue as massive as this. Not only are residential sectors contributing less than industrial ones, we'd also have to make this enough of an incentive to reliably convert the populace en masse. This also does nothing to address the culpability of those who choose to keep polluting.


it also raises the issue of who will do the rewarding - can't be the government, that's the government intervening for social good. and your average bangladeshi or other benefitting third-worlder probably doesn't have enough to provide any real reward.


Which means the only parties in the position to reward are those who completely reject Libertarian philosophy.

Because it would be a charitable organization and while some libertarians claim that charities are dope and a good thing it runs against their most basic ideas.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do charities run against the most basic Libertarian ideals?
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
How do charities run against the most basic Libertarian ideals?


Ideas not ideals.

One of the ideas behind libertarianism is that the free market is always correct and just. But a charity in essence corrects for injustice in the market. It gives money or other aid when the market doesn't.

If something or someone deserves the money from a charity they would already have received it via the free market.

Now you can go two ways with this: either admit the market isn't always just which defeats libertarianism as a philosophy or say that charities reward those who don't deserve it which defeats the purpose of a charity.
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andrew



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snorri wrote:
One of the ideas behind libertarianism is that the free market is always correct and just. But a charity in essence corrects for injustice in the market. It gives money or other aid when the market doesn't.

If something or someone deserves the money from a charity they would already have received it via the free market.

Now you can go two ways with this: either admit the market isn't always just which defeats libertarianism as a philosophy or say that charities reward those who don't deserve it which defeats the purpose of a charity.

My intent isn't to argue, but...this isn't true. Belief in minimalist/no government and the value-creating power of a free market =! belief that the free market is always correct and just, only that a free market is preferable to government regulation. I can't name a libertarian that believes the advent of a completely free market would end all the inequities that charities correct.

Further, charities exist independent of government and are themselves participants in free markets. Philanthropy and volunteerism are both critical ideas in many libertarian philosophies.
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrew wrote:
Snorri wrote:
One of the ideas behind libertarianism is that the free market is always correct and just. But a charity in essence corrects for injustice in the market. It gives money or other aid when the market doesn't.

If something or someone deserves the money from a charity they would already have received it via the free market.

Now you can go two ways with this: either admit the market isn't always just which defeats libertarianism as a philosophy or say that charities reward those who don't deserve it which defeats the purpose of a charity.

My intent isn't to argue, but...this isn't true. Belief in minimalist/no government and the value-creating power of a free market =! belief that the free market is always correct and just, only that a free market is preferable to government regulation. I can't name a libertarian that believes the advent of a completely free market would end all the inequities that charities correct.

Further, charities exist independent of government and are themselves participants in free markets. Philanthropy and volunteerism are both critical ideas in many libertarian philosophies.


My point isn't "this is what libertarians believe" so much as a logical extension of their arguments.

It's not that inequities wouldn't exist in a libertarian fairy society, it's that they would be attributable to the personal failings of people and not the market.

These people argue that things like white-only store policies would've ended on their own. That government interference only made the change slower. This means that the market self-corrects the fastest when there are no restrictions. This also means that would go very fast. And it certainly means that there is no room in the market for people who judge by anything but economic worth. Market failures do not exist.


If you go with "market failures do exist but charities correct for them" then I really have to ask what exactly the difference is between charities and government. If charities can make a difference then so can the government.


(One thing they always bring up is that the government uses "force" like the free market of course would never because uhmm....)
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the major difference is that charities are totally voluntary, whereas using the government to correct iniquities involves coercion.
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
So that's one suggestion: reward people who take it on themselves to reduce their CO2 footprint.

For some reason I don't really think that's a very practical way to tackle an issue as massive as this. Not only are residential sectors contributing less than industrial ones, we'd also have to make this enough of an incentive to reliably convert the populace en masse. This also does nothing to address the culpability of those who choose to keep polluting.


it also raises the issue of who will do the rewarding - can't be the government, that's the government intervening for social good. and your average bangladeshi or other benefitting third-worlder probably doesn't have enough to provide any real reward.


I can't count the number of things people will do to receive a cheap medal, or even get tax breaks.
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
So that's one suggestion: reward people who take it on themselves to reduce their CO2 footprint.

For some reason I don't really think that's a very practical way to tackle an issue as massive as this. Not only are residential sectors contributing less than industrial ones, we'd also have to make this enough of an incentive to reliably convert the populace en masse. This also does nothing to address the culpability of those who choose to keep polluting.


If it's an issue of scalability you're worried about, research grants and government contracts can be provided to universities and companies to "help" produce household products designed just to do that.

Tax breaks can be given to those who buy said products, and if that isn't incentive enough, I don't know what is.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i thought we were talking about a libertarian society
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Thy Brilliance



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:33 am    Post subject: Per se. Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
i thought we were talking about a libertarian society


Encouragement isn't regulation.
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