Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Роберт » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:29 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:I can't complain about Canada withdrawing from Kyoto when China and India aren't bound by it all. Kyoto just says "produce everything in China less efficiently and also incur pollution from transportation costs". Pretty much the worst thing for the environment, short of lighting everything on fire.

Nothing a few tariffs couldn't fix, amirite? Just have an agreement that anyone who doesn't sign gets tariffed out the wazoo.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Chen » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:32 pm UTC

Роберт wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:I can't complain about Canada withdrawing from Kyoto when China and India aren't bound by it all. Kyoto just says "produce everything in China less efficiently and also incur pollution from transportation costs". Pretty much the worst thing for the environment, short of lighting everything on fire.

Nothing a few tariffs couldn't fix, amirite? Just have an agreement that anyone who doesn't sign gets tariffed out the wazoo.


China and India DID sign Kyoto. Since they are not Annex 1 countries they didn't have to reduce their greenhouse emissions in the same manner as the Annex 1 countries (which included Canada). This is one of the reasons the US didn't sign.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Роберт » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:38 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Роберт wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:I can't complain about Canada withdrawing from Kyoto when China and India aren't bound by it all. Kyoto just says "produce everything in China less efficiently and also incur pollution from transportation costs". Pretty much the worst thing for the environment, short of lighting everything on fire.

Nothing a few tariffs couldn't fix, amirite? Just have an agreement that anyone who doesn't sign gets tariffed out the wazoo.


China and India DID sign Kyoto. Since they are not Annex 1 countries they didn't have to reduce their greenhouse emissions in the same manner as the Annex 1 countries (which included Canada). This is one of the reasons the US didn't sign.

Oh, right, I forgot about that. Good call.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Dark567 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:40 pm UTC

Chen wrote:China and India DID sign Kyoto. Since they are not Annex 1 countries they didn't have to reduce their greenhouse emissions in the same manner as the Annex 1 countries (which included Canada). This is one of the reasons the US didn't sign.
I think the real reason the US didn't sign is that they simply looked at it and went "Ha, why the hell would we sign something just so we can pay fines in the future?" and then started to point fingers at China and India.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:53 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I mean, the Stern review puts the costs of cutting emissions to be about $1.5T a year. That's kind of abstract, though; let's humanize it. It's about 190,000 deaths a year (valuing all those dollars as statistical American lives; in reality it maps to many more deaths since other countries spend less on risk reduction). Don't you think that arguing we should use deception to embark on a plan that costly is, well, dangerous?


I believe the Stern report puts the cost of doing nothing at being much, much higher. Their argument is that choice is closer to between losing 200,000 lives and losing 20,000,000 than it is to being between losing 200,000 lives or losing 0.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:22 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Chen wrote:China and India DID sign Kyoto. Since they are not Annex 1 countries they didn't have to reduce their greenhouse emissions in the same manner as the Annex 1 countries (which included Canada). This is one of the reasons the US didn't sign.
I think the real reason the US didn't sign is that they simply looked at it and went "Ha, why the hell would we sign something just so we can pay fines in the future based on something that's just a hoax propagated by 'scientists' who hate God and family values?" and then started to point fingers at China and India.


Fix't. I'm way too afraid that this is more of a stupid "global warming is a hoax by those damn liberals trying to destroy America!" thing than an economic thing.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Zamfir » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:15 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:I mean, the Stern review puts the costs of cutting emissions to be about $1.5T a year. That's kind of abstract, though; let's humanize it. It's about 190,000 deathsa year (valuing all those dollars as statistical American lives; in reality it maps to many more deaths since other countries spend less on risk reduction). Don't you think that arguing we should use deception to embark on a plan that costly is, well, dangerous?

WTF? You call converting from dollars to lives though some statistal artifact "humanizing"? By that measure, the LHC costs about a thousand lives, the world spends 20,000 lives each year on cosmetics, and the US could save half a million lives by not repaying its debts to China. Though of course 'killing' a lot of Chinese in the process, but if the alternative is killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, it would be traiterous not to contemplate that at least. No one uses that kind of conversion elsewhere, so why truck it out here?

There's no place where you can spend 1.5 trillion and save 190,000 lives, and there is no place where you can give up 190,000 lives and get 1.5 trillion. Nor would many people want a world where lives are tradeable commodities, if we could make one.

Or in another light: if you could earn 100 million dollar tomorrow by killing someone, would that be the right thing to do? Just because you could technically give part the money to the EPA to be spend on fine particle filters that will statistically save multiple lives?
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:20 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:There's no place where you can spend 1.5 trillion and save 190,000 lives, and there is no place where you can give up 190,000 lives and get 1.5 trillion.

Healthcare? I think that's about it though: the point of putting a monetary value on human lives isn't to show that any amount of money costs a proportional amount of lives, but that, if faced with the choice between saving money and sacrificing lives, a human life is worth ~$8.5 million.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Dark567 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:22 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Zamfir wrote:There's no place where you can spend 1.5 trillion and save 190,000 lives, and there is no place where you can give up 190,000 lives and get 1.5 trillion.

Healthcare?
Well, the numbers quoted by Vaniver come from the EPA, I assume that means that many lives will be saved by having a better environment, one that probably causes less disease, bad food etc.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Zamfir » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:35 pm UTC

sourmilk wrote:Healthcare? I think that's about it though: the point of putting a monetary value on human lives isn't to show that any amount of money costs a proportional amount of lives, but that, if faced with the choice between saving money and sacrificing lives, a human life is worth ~$8.5 million.

No, that's not how it works. Life saving actions depends enormously on the context, and you can't abstract away that context to a single number. Unless you honestly wnat to make the argument that killing someone and spending the money on air filters can on the whole be a good thing to do. Or that long-range trucking is a murderous occupation because of the fine particles it emits, or that Steven Spielberg has killed dozens of people by not donating his money to cancer research.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:40 pm UTC

Sure you can abstract away the number, you just have to be very careful when applying it. I can say that every X dollars put into healthcare, on average, saves a life. But that doesn't mean I can go around treating a human life as exactly as valuable as X dollars for all situations.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Zamfir » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:48 pm UTC

Sure,, but that means you cannot just translate any dollar amount to lives. At best you can stay in a context, and decide that cancer treatment X is far more expensive per success than treatment Y,s ospending on Y is currently the better thing.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:53 pm UTC

Yes, that's essentially what I just said.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:23 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Dark567 wrote:
Chen wrote:China and India DID sign Kyoto. Since they are not Annex 1 countries they didn't have to reduce their greenhouse emissions in the same manner as the Annex 1 countries (which included Canada). This is one of the reasons the US didn't sign.
I think the real reason the US didn't sign is that they simply looked at it and went "Ha, why the hell would we sign something just so we can pay fines in the future based on something that's just a hoax propagated by 'scientists' who hate God and family values?" and then started to point fingers at China and India.


Fix't. I'm way too afraid that this is more of a stupid "global warming is a hoax by those damn liberals trying to destroy America!" thing than an economic thing.


No, it's more "environmental movement was hijacked from 'save the environment' to the current 'fuck American industry' bullshit".
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby morriswalters » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:27 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:
morriswalters wrote:If it doesn't pay to cure the problem, but the problem needs to be cured,
Error: contradictory premises.

morriswalters wrote:The winners and losers in this case can't be predicted. The problem is climate change. There is no way to tell if the change in any particular location will be beneficial until we get there and by that time it will be to late to worry about it.
Why can't they be predicted? Or are you taking the position that all climate change models are useless?[/quote]

Yeah, well if your house is burning you don't ask the fireman to calculate how much to put out the fire, you tell him to put it out. But more to the point there may not be a cost effective way to attack the problem and if not, do we just ignore it? That seems to be the policy des jour. As to the second I would be very surprised if the models are that specific.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:30 pm UTC

I like Penn & Teller usually, but this is something I don't think they're quite right on. People always kvetch about how environmental regulations hurt businesses, but I've yet to encounter any evidence of that. And even if they do to a certain degree, my ability to breathe morally outweighs a business' ability to profit. And you've got a classic Bullshit problem where they take idiotic extremists and try to use them to represent the majority without properly explaining that the extremists are the problem, not the larger movement itself. And, when Penn says that the science is inconclusive, he's just wrong. 98% of climatologists believe that global warming is man made.

Vaniver wrote:Error: contradictory premises.

Not all problems are economically beneficial to solve. That doesn't mean we shouldn't solve them.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby buddy431 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:40 pm UTC

Will Canadians, as a whole, be that worse off from climate change? Is it worth spending whatever it costs to reduce emissions? My impression is that most of the costs of climate change are going to come in areas where people are already living marginally - people who spend a large amount of their income on food, or who live in low lying areas that will be flooded and who are poor enough that relocation will be a serious hardship. The Stern report seems to back this up, at least in that poorer countries will suffer first, and be most affected.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Dark567 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:14 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:98% of climatologists believe that global warming is man made.
For what its worth(not very much), they have an incentive to say that. Most people didn't care about funding climatology at all until global warming was discovered.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby mike-l » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:26 am UTC

Yeah. There's no money out there for refuting global warming
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Vaniver » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:28 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:There's no place where you can spend 1.5 trillion and save 190,000 lives, and there is no place where you can give up 190,000 lives and get 1.5 trillion. Nor would many people want a world where lives are tradeable commodities, if we could make one.
Er, what? Malaria kills about a million African children a year, and it costs an estimated $2000 to save one life. So, for $2 billion (about a thousandth of the scale we're talking about) you could prevent a million deaths a year (about five times the scale of lives we're talking about). (Actual costs: it looks like institutions funded by the Gates Foundation spend about ~$500M annually to prevent about 200-300k deaths annually, which matches the estimate, but they don't calculate this metric explicitly.)

That is, lives are tradable commodities, and the only way to think carefully about saving lives is to use math. If someone is lets their fear of doing math mean they end up saving a thousand lives instead of a million, that strikes me as a colossal waste.

morriswalters wrote:But more to the point there may not be a cost effective way to attack the problem and if not, do we just ignore it?
Well, yeah; that's what cost-effective means.

sourmilk wrote:People always kvetch about how environmental regulations hurt businesses, but I've yet to encounter any evidence of that. And even if they do to a certain degree, my ability to breathe morally outweighs a business' ability to profit.
Rothbard argued at one point that any pollution was morally indefensible, because it infringed on the rights of others. I think that's a bit extreme, and am happy with the EPA's method of assigning a statistical value to a life. I just wish they taxed people that cost directly- if the coal industry had to pay the $185 billion in healthcare costs it causes, then coal would be replaced with nuclear and overall wealth (counting both dollars and health) would increase. That we cannot agree to do something that simple over something that well-known suggests to me that the problem is not economists measuring things but politics failing to switch from a poor equilibrium to a better one.

sourmilk wrote:Not all problems are economically beneficial to solve. That doesn't mean we shouldn't solve them.
No, we shouldn't- that's what economically beneficial means! (I should note I am separating monetarily beneficial and economically beneficial, but people's desires are measured in their willingness to pay for them.)
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:58 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:
morriswalters wrote:If it doesn't pay to cure the problem, but the problem needs to be cured,
Error: contradictory premises.

morriswalters wrote:The winners and losers in this case can't be predicted. The problem is climate change. There is no way to tell if the change in any particular location will be beneficial until we get there and by that time it will be to late to worry about it.
Why can't they be predicted? Or are you taking the position that all climate change models are useless?


Take Norway for example. If I recall correctly, it is expected to get increased rainfalls (and for this thought experiment it matters little if this is indeed the case) , this will allow for more hydropower to be produced and possibly offset other more harmful power generating. Increased rainfall will also certainly affect agriculture, probably beneficially and also possibly affect the salinity of the surrounding ocean by a significant amount, this could affect the fishing industry. Slightly warmer temperatures might also beneficially affect tourism and lower heating requirements. Indeed increasing acidity of the oceans could also have effects on Norways fishing industry.

Although, trade may be very negatively affected if other countries end up struggling economically with respect to climate change and that could affect the economics of Norway in a very serious way.

Climate change can have many different affects on a country's economy, some positive and some negative and usually, I think, some effects can generally be describe as being positive or negative but certainly such affects are not quantified. And even if we did want to, the GCM lack the forecasting skill to quantify such things and they would disagree in some level to each other, so much so, that a rational decision probably couldn't be made one way or the other using the data produced.

And perhaps most importantly, climate science is first and foremost about studying the science of climate change and maybe when we have a much better handle on that, more attention can be applied to studying the economics of climate change, but to be blunt, that is generally outside of the purview of climate science, who, generally are not economists. This is not to say the models are bad, they are very useful, very useful indeed and have done much to further our understanding of both both climate change and atmospheric science in general, but certainly they lack the skill to distinguish winners and losers from climate change in the sense that is being asked here.

However, it is fairly clear that there will be some very big losers, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and other Himalayan States, but again this is not quantified. Identifying winners is much more awkward, clearly countries like Norway and Canada will be on the winning side of things, but whether or not the net effects for these states will be positive or negative is a question I don't think anyone is even willing to have a professional stab at, we don't have that level of understanding. Especially perhaps because the economic well being of any state is so connected to the economic well being within the international community.

Second Thought Experiment.

If a hammer is applied to a flower vase, we expect the vase to shatter. Perhaps we want to gain a better understanding of the shattering mechanisms of the vase as the hammer is applied. We produce a computer model to reproduce the shattering mechanisms and perhaps we learn much about the shattering mechanics. But still, after a few years of studying such mechanics we are still unable to accurately predict, for a set hammer force and for a set flower vace, where all the shards of the vase will end up, such a failing in predictive skill does not discredit the predictive ability that the vase will shatter.

Our GCM have limitations, but they are still very useful.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby morriswalters » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:33 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Well, yeah; that's what cost-effective means.

If your threatened enough, cost effective becomes whatever you have to spend to survive the threat. However, have it your way. In my experience, limited as it is, waiting never solves anything or makes it less expensive to deal with. It all depends on how it turns out. It's a gamble either way.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Joeldi » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:08 am UTC

As a youngish child, I used to think Canada was essentially utopia. Lately, I've been becoming more and more impressed with my own country, and Canada is really failing to live up to expectation.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:39 am UTC

Forgive me for sounding like an ignorant foreigner, but isn't Australia basically a (relatively) miniature US, except with more atrocities against the natives?

The more common Australian accents (I don't know the name, but think GEICO Gecko) at least sound dignified though.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby yurell » Wed Dec 14, 2011 2:42 am UTC

Nope.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:09 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Rothbard argued at one point that any pollution was morally indefensible, because it infringed on the rights of others. I think that's a bit extreme, and am happy with the EPA's method of assigning a statistical value to a life. I just wish they taxed people that cost directly- if the coal industry had to pay the $185 billion in healthcare costs it causes, then coal would be replaced with nuclear and overall wealth (counting both dollars and health) would increase. That we cannot agree to do something that simple over something that well-known suggests to me that the problem is not economists measuring things but politics failing to switch from a poor equilibrium to a better one.


If it is economically beneficial to trample the rights of others, why should we not do it?
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:22 am UTC

yurell wrote:Nope.

Well it's not like you can trust an Aussie's word. They're all criminals you know.

</racism>

Anyways, as an example for a problem that isn't economically viable to solve, but needs to be solved anyways: cancer research. Cancer research is a huge money sink: that's why they have to rely on donations. I would hope you'd not suggest we shouldn't cure cancer*?

* - I recognize that "curing cancer" itself doesn't make too much sense as there are various kinds of cancers necessitating various kinds of cures. But, for the purposes of this discussion, I don't think it's necessary to delve into that.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:34 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
yurell wrote:Nope.

Well it's not like you can trust an Aussie's word. They're all criminals you know.

</racism>

Anyways, as an example for a problem that isn't economically viable to solve, but needs to be solved anyways: cancer research. Cancer research is a huge money sink: that's why they have to rely on donations. I would hope you'd not suggest we shouldn't cure cancer*?

* - I recognize that "curing cancer" itself doesn't make too much sense as there are various kinds of cancers necessitating various kinds of cures. But, for the purposes of this discussion, I don't think it's necessary to delve into that.


Possibly not the best example. You could argue that, well, we shouldn't be funding cancer research at this point, because there are other things that we can fund that are cheaper and will produce better results. For example, you could probably save a lot more lives if you invested the money put towards cancer research into, say, making sure everyone has clean drinking water, and you might also argue that since water-borne illnesses affect all people drinking from the same source relatively equally, whereas cancers disproportionately affect people who are older, there is probably great benefit to largely abandoning cancer research in pursuit of lower-hanging fruit. The problem with this sort of situation is that often you don't know in advance which problems are easy to solve and which are not, so there is still some benefit to researching a lot of different problems, even if there is no guarantee that any one in particular will produce a positive return. [edit]That isn't to say that we shouldn't attempt to cure cancer, but rather that we shouldn't attempt to cure it yet, since there are better places to invest our resources.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:49 am UTC

That's also a bit short-sighted. Making clean drinking water will save people now, but curing cancer will save people forever.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby LaserGuy » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:55 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:That's also a bit short-sighted. Making clean drinking water will save people now, but curing cancer will save people forever.


I'm not sure what you mean. If we create a technology that can produce cheap, clean, freshwater, that technology will continue to save lives for as long as the technology exists. Unless you are suggesting that curing cancer = curing death/aging?
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:57 am UTC

If you want a place to permanently have clean water, you have to keep cleaning their water. If you want people to not have cancer, you only have to invent the cure once.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:07 am UTC

The 'cure for cancer' will not be a drug you patent once, then produce by the pound for pennies. Each case of cancer is unique, and the cure would, at best, be a procedure that has to be tailored to each individual case. Once the procedure is discovered, there will still be a lot of 'upkeep' in using it.

Assuming it doesn't involve self-replicating nano-bots of course.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:30 am UTC

I'm not sure that invalidates my point that it's only economically nonviable to cure cancer in the short term.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Glass Fractal » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:34 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:If you want a place to permanently have clean water, you have to keep cleaning their water. If you want people to not have cancer, you only have to invent the cure once.


That comparison is so idiotic I can't believe your computer didn't explode while you typed it to prevent it from escaping out into the world.

Water will keep getting dirt and you'll have to keep cleaning it.
People will keep getting cancer and you'll have to keep curing it.

Vaniver wrote:Rothbard argued at one point that any pollution was morally indefensible, because it infringed on the rights of others. I think that's a bit extreme


The line between your philosophy and one that advocates raping children to death for profit is that someone arbitrarily added the right not to be harmed and a minor secondary principle and now you want to ignore that bit because it could cost money? And people wonder what my problem is with Libertarianism and rightist-Anarchy.
Last edited by Glass Fractal on Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:37 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Dec 14, 2011 5:35 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:That's also a bit short-sighted. Making clean drinking water will save people now, but curing cancer will save people forever.

Beyond CorruptUser's point- cancer isn't a monolithic entity with a single cure- there's still a broad picture. What if one of the people you save now with clean drinking water is the someone that makes significant discoveries for tomorrow's cancer cures? Even if cancer was a monolithic one-cure entity, it'd still almost certainly need upkeep in order to maintain the relevancy of that cure, adjusting it for various situations and people.

Focusing only on long term solutions will cause you to flounder in the present. Focusing only on short term solutions will cause you to flounder in the future. The idea is you need to balance the two of them, and it isn't always particularly obvious which is which. Maybe someone will discover what they need to cure HIV tomorrow morning? Maybe it won't happen for 10 years. Maybe never. We can't know- we can guess, but we won't know for certain. Likewise, maybe your water treatment plant can be built without any issues and is finished within budget and on time. Or maybe a war breaks out in the country you decided to build it in, and it languishes, half finished, for years, until it eventually falls apart. Or maybe a dozen other things.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby ginadagny » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:03 am UTC

This is embarrassing for Canada, but not as bad as having to send the fucking Red Cross in to provide aid to the Attawapiskat community. Fuck I hate this country.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:17 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:If you want a place to permanently have clean water, you have to keep cleaning their water. If you want people to not have cancer, you only have to invent the cure once.


That comparison is so idiotic I can't believe your computer didn't explode while you typed it to prevent it from escaping out into the world.

Screw you.
Water will keep getting dirt and you'll have to keep cleaning it.
People will keep getting cancer and you'll have to keep curing it.

Yes but you won't have to keep figuring out how to cure it. That's the economically nonviable part.

Ghostbear wrote:Focusing only on long term solutions will cause you to flounder in the present. Focusing only on short term solutions will cause you to flounder in the future. The idea is you need to balance the two of them, and it isn't always particularly obvious which is which.

I'm aware of this. I wasn't arguing for a complete focus only on long term solutions, I was arguing to occasionally focus on things other than short-term solutions because they may be more economically viable in the long term.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:20 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:
Water will keep getting dirt and you'll have to keep cleaning it.
People will keep getting cancer and you'll have to keep curing it.

Yes but you won't have to keep figuring out how to cure it. That's the economically nonviable part.

And we wouldn't have to keep building up the basic infrastructure to make the water clean either. It'd just need to be maintained. Which is probably going to be a comparable portion of the original cost that maintaining a cure for cancer would be of the cost to develop the initial cures.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:26 am UTC

Perhaps I'm wrong, but does the ratio of startup cost : maintenance cost in water treatment even nearly approach that in cancers curing?
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.
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Re: Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Accord

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:35 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Perhaps I'm wrong, but does the ratio of startup cost : maintenance cost in water treatment even nearly approach that in cancers curing?

It's not really possible to calculate right now, because we don't know how much a successful cure for cancer would cost to develop or administer. I expect the ratios will be relatively comparable, but they won't be the same, and could still be off by a decent bit.

And even with simple things, with cheap treatment, you still run into issues. Polio has been vaccinated against for decades, and the vaccine itself costs on the order of a few dollars, and we actively have groups trying to administer the vaccine throughout parts of the world that need it. Despite that, Polio is still an issue in parts of Africa, India and south-east Asia. Cancer would take even more work, as you can't eradicate it from a region, like you can to Polio; it will keep returning, and keep needing to be cured. And my understanding is that cancer has some variability to it as well, so you'll also have to keep updating any cures to deal with changes, new variations, etc. If something as simple as Polio still costs money today, decades after the fact, why wouldn't something much more complex, like cancer?
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