On 11/18/2013 4:43 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
On Sun, Nov 17, 2013 at 11:23 PM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 11/17/2013 4:25 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
On Sun, Nov 17, 2013 at 8:41 AM, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:
On 11/16/2013 11:36 AM, Telmo Menezes wrote:
But I certainly take your point that there is a reason the government
trusted.  However, it is not the government that is warning us about
warming.  It is in the scientific research literature.  You didn't
about drones or drugs or the Patriout act in Physical Review or even
No, but then they come up with this plan

What plan?  Where is it?  As far as I know there is no plan whatsoever.
Here with "they" I mean the people with the most political clout,
access to the media an so on who campaign for the reduction of CO2
emissions. Their demand seems to be for the signing of a global
treaty. This is a demand for empowering governments to further
regulate economic activity, now at a global scale, and one of the main
suggestions is some global tax based on carbon emissions. Is this not

That's the market based approach to reducing CO2 emissions by charging for
the externalities.  But there is no treaty even on the table to require any
particular solution or even to enforce any degree of reduction.

that the way to solve the
problem is to give more power to the above-mentioned government.

So even the proposals don't give any new power to governments - they always
had the power to tax.
This is too simplistic. Taxes have a long and complicated history, and
several types of taxes that are accepted today were very controversial
not so long ago. For example, the income tax in the US came into
existence in 1913, with ratification of the 16th amendment. My father
lived a good part of his life under the fascist regime in Portugal. We
had a thriving match industry, so there was a tax on lighters. I have
the license he had to carry in his pocket to use his lighter. This tax
would now be illegal because of a UE treaty that forbids this type of
protectionism. It was made redundant before that by the
post-revolutionary nationalisation and consequent destruction of the
match industry.

Then, also in the UE, we saw the social security system turn into a
tax: first, people were convinced that they should put some money
aside and let the government take care of it, so that it is later able
to provide you with a pension. Now that this system is collapsing,
existing pensions are being cut, future pensions are uncertain and the
age of retirement is rising. Yet, people don't pay less to social

The pattern seems to always be the same: an initial reasonable plan,
then a slow slide down a long sequence of small "corrections" and
"mistakes" that eventually lead to pure obligation with nothing in
return. Now, most UE citizens are resigned to the idea that they have
to pay taxes to make up for past mistakes and expect nothing in
return. This was attained by a process of slow cooking.

You're protesting against a plan that you imagine.

proposed solution that does not involve further government intrusion
in our lives is rejected.

What solution is that?
More nuclear power and geo-engineering. Both these proposals exists
and there is interest on the part of investors. They are always met
with a lot of resistance from environmentalists. I'm not saying that
all of this resistance is unjustified, caution is a good thing in
these matters, but I definitely see a lot of resistance that comes
from some moral framework that sees these ideas as fundamentally
immoral, even more so if someone can profit from them.

Sure, there's a lot of luddite resistance fed by scares like Fukushima.  The
important role I see for government is driving the R&D to LFTRs.  It's too
big and too politically risky to expect private investment to take it on.
It needs government funded and government protected development - just like
the internet, spaceflight, uranium reactors, vaccination, intercontinental
railroads, and just about any other really big technological development.
I'll comment on two: the internet and railroads.

The internet is the synergistic outcome of a number of technologies. I
am fairly certain that no government desired the internet as it exists

First, that's your supposition. If you named anything in the world "as it exists today" there would be some government, maybe even all people, who would want it to be different, not "as it exists today", in some respect.

But it was created and developed by government funded organizations.  By DARPA, 
by CERN.

I can be fairly certain because they're using large chunks of
our money to try to make it go away in its current format. Many
different protocols were dreamt of. Creating a working internet
protocol does not take a genius. It just so happened that TCP/IP
gained popularity faster than other alternatives. A very great part of
what makes the internet what it is today is open-source software.
Sure, many companies and government organisations got in that action
too for a number of reasons. But we saw an entire unix kernel being
developed in front of our eyes by a Finnish kid and his followers. I
remembered when this was laughed at, something that only a gigantic
serious effort by government and corporations could achieve.

So you want to denigrate the government's role because the government just 
created the market?

That it
would only ever be a toy. Now it powers Google, the majority of cell
phones and several governments run on it.

No, the majority of phones now use Android which was developed by Google to break into Apple's smartphone market. But so what? Digital computers were developed by government funding during and just after WW2. I never claimed that private enterprise didn't create things. I was just countering your claim that government just obstructs free enterprise and everything government does would be better done by the free market. It's not true because some projects are too big and involve too many legal/political problems for private enterprise to risk them. The intercontinental railroads are an example because it would have been very difficult for private companies to obtain the right-of-ways without government intervention. The Panama Canal is another good example. Sure, in theory they could have done by private enterprise, but in practice it probably wouldn't have happened or happened much later.

The initial history of the internet as we know it (circa '92 to '95)
is a history of circumvention of red tape created by governments.
Monopolistic government-backed telecoms made data exchange
artificially expensive. It still does, by preventing long-range radio
networks and open access points, purely for the purpose of the
protection of monopolies and total surveillance.

Sure without the FCC everybody could just broadcast on whatever band they wanted - and all anybody would hear would be interference.


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