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Default Personal cap-and-trade and other CO2 reduction ideas

April 29th, 2009, 13:26
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Indeed I haven't. However, I am familiar with the term "unintended consequences." And yes, in any scheme like this, they're bound to surface — which means that there must be mechanisms to adjust it on the fly to get rid of them.

Funny, though — I thought you guys would be all over something like this. It is, after all, a market solution based on simply pricing in the externalities that the market currently doesn't price in. Oh well…
I'm not knowledgeable enough in economics to be able to really understand whether it's a good idea or not.
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April 29th, 2009, 13:39
You're putting a lot of faith in government, PJ. Do you really think Congress can put together something that big without sliding in some loopholes and some angles to get Congress more money? Too many special interests on both sides for anything functional to pop out the end. That's before we even get into the issue of Uncle Sam getting into our living room.

That's not really an indictment of the idea itself so much as an indictment of our ability to implement it on this side of the pond.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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April 29th, 2009, 14:37
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
You're putting a lot of faith in government, PJ. Do you really think Congress can put together something that big without sliding in some loopholes and some angles to get Congress more money? Too many special interests on both sides for anything functional to pop out the end. That's before we even get into the issue of Uncle Sam getting into our living room.

That's not really an indictment of the idea itself so much as an indictment of our ability to implement it on this side of the pond.
So, the American government can't govern its way out of a wet paper bag. What are you gonna do about it?

It wasn't always so, you know. You had a pretty good thing going for a long time — you did serve both as a model for emulation and a benchmark as governance goes, for lots of countries all over the world. Now you're saying that all's lost, it's hopeless, might as well close down the whole shop. What happened? How would you fix it? Is it even fixable, or should you just up sticks and move to Canada?

(From where I'm at, the American government is still in pretty decent shape, globally speaking — it's not as good as some European ones, perhaps, but it's tremendously better than, say, the Russian one, or any Middle Eastern one.)
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April 29th, 2009, 14:53
Apparently Fujitsu has launched a "green" laptop - that is, they have calculated the average use of power over it's lifetime, and included the cost of replacing the corresponding amount of CO2 with renewable energy. The only reference I have is a short Norwegian videoclip, not very useful here since so few of you understand the Heroe's tongue. Perhaps some of you know more?

Woud I buy such a PC? If the specs were right, I definitely would consider it.

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April 29th, 2009, 15:00
There's some things we're very good at. Considered and coherent programs from Congress (be they environmental, fiscal, military, etc) is not one of them. As I said, too many fingers (attached to too many special interests) in the pie for any hope of success.

How to fix it? Clearly, congressional term limits would do wonders to knock down the position of "career politician", which, as I've said several times, is a big part of what has changed in the system. I don't know whether that would also help slow down the special interest PACs or not. The enviro-nuts wouldn't get 20 years to line Pelosi's pockets in order to buy her clout forever and ever amen. It could go the other way, though, where tremendous amounts of money pour in since the window of opportunity to buy any given legislator would be smaller. I honestly don't know.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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April 29th, 2009, 15:15
I honestly think the main problem is the advent of the 24 hour media cycle and increasing access of the public to politicians. When we didn't have CNN/MSNBC/FOX/YouTube available to monitor every second a politician is outside, they tended to stay in Washington most of the time and actually legislate. It was a lot less personal back then, too - their children went to the same schools, they went to the same churches and bars, etc.

Our politicians now have to be more radical to appeal to "the base" on both sides of the aisle. You aren't a "god hates gays and evolution is a lie" Republican? Good luck winning a primary. You don't think we should impeach bush or pull out of Iraq? Good luck winning a Democratic primary (to a lesser extent - their problem isn't as severe as the Republicans yet).

It varies from district to district, of course, but for the most part this is true. This thinking is also what's SCREWED the Republicans - the conservatives rally together to murder relatively popular moderate Republicans in a primary, and then proceed to get creamed in the general election.
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April 29th, 2009, 16:37
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
I'm sure there would be speculation on the credits as well, just like there are with currencies. There's a quite a lot of experience in managing situations like that, though.
That'd bee an interesting problem actually, its not hard to imagine sepculators driving up the price in anticipation of seasonal trends and I can see support for a scheme evaporating when pensioners start freezing in winter because they can't aford the heat.
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April 29th, 2009, 18:40
Originally Posted by Rithrandil View Post
I honestly think the main problem is the advent of the 24 hour media cycle and increasing access of the public to politicians. When we didn't have CNN/MSNBC/FOX/YouTube available to monitor every second a politician is outside, they tended to stay in Washington most of the time and actually legislate. It was a lot less personal back then, too - their children went to the same schools, they went to the same churches and bars, etc.

Our politicians now have to be more radical to appeal to "the base" on both sides of the aisle. You aren't a "god hates gays and evolution is a lie" Republican? Good luck winning a primary. You don't think we should impeach bush or pull out of Iraq? Good luck winning a Democratic primary (to a lesser extent - their problem isn't as severe as the Republicans yet).

It varies from district to district, of course, but for the most part this is true. This thinking is also what's SCREWED the Republicans - the conservatives rally together to murder relatively popular moderate Republicans in a primary, and then proceed to get creamed in the general election.
Yep, see my post here quoting Specter yesterday. It's interesting to see the Dems morph a bit into sort of two parties in one in an effort to respond to their individual constituents. I have a feeling what the lefties disdainfully call the Conservadems( led by Indiana's Evan Bayh,) are going to be a pretty major voice, because as you say, there no longer are any moderate Republican district reps in Congress, but really much of the country isn't any further left than it ever was.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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April 29th, 2009, 19:54
I've said before and I'll say again—y'all put Evan Bayh on your ticket and I'll set Grandpa dte rolling in his casket by voting Democrat (well, I should probably say "heading your ticket" since there are some definite vetoes he could be put underneath). It's not really that he's from Indiana, so much as I've seen his track record in Indiana.

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May 2nd, 2009, 16:05
In respect to Evan Bayh, dte, you'll be glad to know apparently the bank lobbyists don't own him. The big bank lobbies successfully broke Dick Durbin's amendment(also backed by Obama) to allow bankruptcy judges to rewrite underwater mortgages and keep people in their homes with the aid of twelve dems who crossed over and joined the repubs—including man of no party Arlen Specter—all twelve have records of accepting major donations from the lobbies. Bayh was one of the few 'coservadems' who voted his conscience.
I don't suppose you'll consider this much of a source, but Ms Lefty-in-Chief Arianna Huffington has a write-up on the amendment and the lobbying here. (She's really pissed about 'ze bahnk bailout, dahlink."—I always confuse her with ZsaZsa Gabor when I hear her speak. )
Perhaps more palatably for those not into the HuffPo, here's the LA Times on the amendment's failure:
The financial services industry is in trouble over its role in crashing the world economy, but that doesn't mean its lobbyists have lost all their muscle on Capitol Hill.

Exhibit A: The Senate delivered a stinging rebuff to President Obama and consumer advocates Thursday by rejecting a measure to help homeowners facing foreclosure.

The vote was 51 to 45, with 12 Democrats joining Republicans in opposing the proposal, under which bankruptcy judges could order lenders to reduce the principal on home mortgages.

The proposal, which sailed through the House in March, was a key part of Obama's plan to reduce the tide of home foreclosures.

Its defeat in the Senate marked a turnaround for the Democratic supporters of the bill, who had hoped that the party's new majority would boost its chances for passage.

Instead, Democratic leaders were furious to see bankers lobbying against consumer protection measures after Congress had approved enormous sums to shore up the financial services industry…

The success came after a nationwide lobbying effort by the ABA and others, including a video appeal from the chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Assn. urging members to come to Washington to lobby on the Senate vote.

…Judges handling bankruptcy cases can already reduce the principal — and thus the size of the payments — on a vacation home, car or boat, but not on a mortgage for a primary residence. The bill would have changed that. Sponsors hoped that would give banks an incentive to modify loans to give relief to borrowers facing foreclosure.
So apparently the fear of one party rule is quite justified—it's just rule by the plutocrat, not democrat, party.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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