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"The problem is that costs are subsidized by basically letting businesses destroy the environment. The solution should be simple: add lots of taxes, let the off-the-shelf cost of meat and gasoline reflect the real cost to our environment, make deforestation a crime, tax the shit out of all polluting industries and if a country is not participating add taxes on imports from said country, or ban those imports altogether. "

This will either lead to: your country (and many countries) becoming a massive failure or war.

Leading people isn't done solely by smacking people repeatedly and saying "no don't do that", or taking money out of their pockets every time they do.

This mechanism doesn't work if you do it to everyone, and in fact, if you look at oppressive governments, even they tend to have at least one class of people who can do whatever they want or are paid well or whatever, and use that class to keep others in line.

Leadership instead is often convincing people to be dragged along with you in a direction they may not want to go. It has to actually be palatable to people to do so.

There are other problems. What makes you think people won't emigrate to the places which don't do this crazy plan? What makes you think the leaders of those places won't end up with tons of power because they have a near-unlimited set of people who want to live there, tons of money, and a happy populace?

If they gang up with other countries, what makes you think they won't just take over your country, and if you've pissed off the populace enough, that your populace won't want that to happen?

This "simple" solution just ignores all the politics, etc involved, because it thinks they don't matter. But they do.




What do you mean? You're discarding the solution as something completely impractical when the reality is that import tariffs and taxes are very effective at controlling certain behaviors and mitigating the second-order effects of certain economic activity.

Recycling, sin taxes, environmental regulation and control for polluting industries. They are not 100% effective but they are clearly way more effective than the alternative of doing nothing.

We don't live in a black and white world where people either accept prohibition passively or defy it just because. There are cost-benefit relationships to doing these things and reasonable economic policy is about striking the balance that allows the most beneficial results.


I think the dispute is over exactly how effective they would be at actually changing the climate, though.

In the meantime, since they are very effective at changing economic activity, as you describe, the argument is that you would soon see disparities in economic output, and geopolitical power, and even immigration inflows / outflows between the countries that institute these onerous regulations, and those that don't.


Apologies for just cherry-picking this phrase;

(Disclosure: part of a populace)

> that your populace won't want that to happen?

I'd be willing to, if it helps the planet. I could be more thrifty in what I buy. Currently I'm not because I'm buying organic meat (even then, not very often) and other extras for sustainable things. Of course then I'd need to be thrifty on other stuff, but if that's what it takes. It helps if everyone else has to do it, too :) (for encouragement, and also because it's easier to be thrifty as a populace). Maybe it would even be nice.

It feels a whole lot more effective than my personal decision to restrict my consumption of meat to the occasional delicacy :P I often wonder, I try my best to leave a relatively small footprint, but it's real hard to get an idea what gives the biggest bang for your effort. Is it meat consumption? Maybe all those litres flushing the toilet? (although in NL, we got so much water we like to banish it) And does it really weigh up to what the industries are doing, or is it really just a drop in the ocean?

When I was a kid, one of my favourite authors, Midas Dekkers, a biologist, wrote this thing that always stuck with me: You can procreate, put a new human on this planet, or instead you can throw your empty batteries into the ocean all your life and still impact the environment less.


Although I basically agree with you (Fear & Greed aren't just what drive the Stock Market) the problem is that the Politics of Fear seem (to me) to be far more dangerous short term... but if people aren't afraid of their frog being boiled, what are we to do?

Some form of global collectivism will be required to deal with extreme climate change, whether it is enforced by governments or insurance companies and banks.

Alternately, pull out and nuke it from orbit... it's the only way to be sure.




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