Prince Philip's comment

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JamesNewell
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Prince Philip's comment

Postby JamesNewell » 27 Feb 2014, 17:09

Just before the most recent international conference on carbon dioxide pollution, Prince Philip commented that it is the energy corporations which are causing the failure of the international governments to agree on an adequate solution to the CO2 problem.

Step back and consider what that means. The top executives and major shareholders of the corporations are now more powerful than the world's governments. In the United States they have more power than the voters from the use of legal bribes (campaign contributions) and highly paid jobs given to government officials after they leave office. The cash flow of the corporations together is enough for them to be able to bribe as many government figures, internationally, as they need to get what they want.

So it appears that the only political strategy left is to somehow convert the top executives and major shareholders of the corporations to environmental responsibility. For example:

We already are seeing major damage from global warming, such as more flooding, more serious storms, and so forth. Besides costing lives, this increasing damage is very expensive. One can therefore argue that the increasing economic costs are already beginning to reduce sales and profits of the corporations, so there is a cost to the wealthy in terms of their own incomes and assets.

In the area of pollution from the release of chemicals which cause mutations, mutagens, there seems to be a subtle campaign to say that as long as the diluted chemicals are below a level considered to be hazardous to human health, it is OK to not make corporations spend money to end the releases. However, mutagens have a subtle effect. They increase the rate of mutation of disease organisms. An increase in the rate of mutation of disease organisms is probably increasing the number of new emerging diseases which arise per decade, and the number of drug resistant diseases which develop. Use of drugs selects for drug resistant disease organisms, but mutations are the raw material natural selection uses. New emerging diseases and new drug resistant strains of older diseases are a danger to the top executives, major shareholders, and their relatives, so the release of chemicals which cause mutations is harmful to them as well.

In the area of GM foods, I think it is potentially dangerous to add genes for poisons to plants. Even if the genes are safe now, they will mutate over future decades, adding new properties of each kind of added gene, which will slowly modify the poisons in various ways. Some of those modifications are likely to have effects on human health, including the health of the top executives, major shareholders, and their relatives.

Jim

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Re: Prince Philip's comment

Postby Aphritha » 28 Feb 2014, 16:24

I'm really not surprised.
So it appears that the only political strategy left is to somehow convert the top executives and major shareholders of the corporations to environmental responsibility. For example:

We already are seeing major damage from global warming, such as more flooding, more serious storms, and so forth. Besides costing lives, this increasing damage is very expensive. One can therefore argue that the increasing economic costs are already beginning to reduce sales and profits of the corporations, so there is a cost to the wealthy in terms of their own incomes and assets.
In my opinion, the little guy is going to have more pull here. As long as the cash keeps flowing in, the energy companies are going to carry on in the same way they always have before. The consumer would have to stop consuming unless a new plan was formed, and we'd have to have enough that were willing to stick to this in order to make a dent in the pocketbooks of the executives.

In the area of pollution from the release of chemicals which cause mutations, mutagens, there seems to be a subtle campaign to say that as long as the diluted chemicals are below a level considered to be hazardous to human health, it is OK to not make corporations spend money to end the releases. However, mutagens have a subtle effect. They increase the rate of mutation of disease organisms. An increase in the rate of mutation of disease organisms is probably increasing the number of new emerging diseases which arise per decade, and the number of drug resistant diseases which develop. Use of drugs selects for drug resistant disease organisms, but mutations are the raw material natural selection uses. New emerging diseases and new drug resistant strains of older diseases are a danger to the top executives, major shareholders, and their relatives, so the release of chemicals which cause mutations is harmful to them as well.
Few people think this far ahead. It would seem increased education is in order, but I don't see it being added to most school curriculums anytime soon.

In the area of GM foods, I think it is potentially dangerous to add genes for poisons to plants. Even if the genes are safe now, they will mutate over future decades, adding new properties of each kind of added gene, which will slowly modify the poisons in various ways. Some of those modifications are likely to have effects on human health, including the health of the top executives, major shareholders, and their relatives.
I'm no expert on this topic, so what I'm saying may not be correct, but from what I understand GM seeds also ruin soil, making it hard to grow anything other than GM products. The idea is eventually, a monopoly by those with the GM seeds can be put in place.
Not to mention these products aren't usually as rich in nutrients. Wouldn't it be odd if a tomato was one day considered 'junk food'?
The idea of modifying our food so that bugs can't destroy it may have seemed good initially, but in the long run we'll pay for it. It is my belief that when we go against nature, rather than working within her patterns, it blows up in our face eventually.


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Re: Prince Philip's comment

Postby JamesNewell » 28 Feb 2014, 17:50

1. Yes. The more ordinary people do, the better. So I fully support your efforts there. However, trying to be realistic, I don't think that will be enough. There have been reform movements which require people to make major sacrifices throughout history, and only a small percentage of the population sign on. The majority of people don't want to make major voluntary sacrifices. Sometimes that is selfish, but more often, people put their children first. They don't want to force major sacrifices onto their children. Still, even if a reform movement can't affect the majority, it can still be successful. For example, the reform movement gets the ideas into the public debate. Seeing the reform movement, some scientists may be inspired to invent something that can help. Or some policymakers might be able to think up a compromise which would adequately protect the environment. In addition, reducing CO2 emissions to the carbon sink wouldn't require major sacrifices by the wealthy. It might reduce their incomes a little, but not all that much. Thus, they might be willing to go along where a middle income family which would have to decrease its income by 50% or more to stop buying energy would be afraid to join the movement. The current Gross World Product is about 60 trillion dollars per year (American trillion and American dollars). If the world were to spend just 10% of that to build wind and solar power facilities, that would be 6 trillion dollars per year in new wind and solar power equipment. That would be much more than is being spent now. Notice that in a war, nations often spend much more than 10% of their Gross Domestic Product, and global warming is a more serious crisis than war is.

One special problem is that the wealthy own most of the world's media, and they are reporting in a way that tells people that there isn't more than just a minor problem with the environment. That can go further. In the United States, there is a strong conservative propaganda campaign going on saying that the climate change scientists are frauds. Then, during the Bush 2 presidency, the scientific community became alarmed because President Bush forced government scientists who wrote up reports from research suggesting that CO2 pollution and other pollution, to change their reports to the opposite conclusion. Bush 2 also packed grant giving committees in the environmental area with industry scientists.

That is part of the reason that I think we need to convert the wealthy to the point where they believe the environment should be protected. It appears that the conservative wealthy (there are some wealthy who are responsible) are increasing their manipulation of what the public is told. There are also moves to de facto censure internet communications. In the United States, the proposal is that Internet service providers would become liable for monetary damage if they allowed their customers to post harmful things and this is being discussed at an international level. Definitions can do many things. For example, the American anti-terrorism laws are, in my opinion, supposed to only apply to things like planting bombs. Bush 2 spokespersons on different occasions said that people who photograph arrests are terrorists because they terrorize (so called) the police. Environmentalists were called terrorists because they are terrorizing (so called) the businesses. This isn't just the United States because Starhawk, an American Pagan environmentalist, was barred from entering Canada to give some lectures, by Canada, on the grounds that she was a terrorist environmentalist. Bush 2 spokespersons also said that labor unions are terrorist because they terrorize (so called) businesses. Also, that the National Education Association is terrorist because it terrorizes (so called) school boards. Therefore, definitions of what Internet providers would have to forbid their customers from saying could become quite broad.

If the wealthy control the media, and begin censoring Internet communications. reform movements won't be able to function very well.

On mutagens, if the school systems censor teachers who provide that information, then it is doubly important to think up some way to get the information to people in an alternative way.

I think the soil problem comes from the genes which make a plant resistant to weed killing chemicals. Farmers then just keep putting a lot of weed killing chemical on their fields, and damage paths spread out from there.

I'm uncertain of what the potential is with the new gene produced chemicals which protect the plant from the powerful weed killers. A chemical which can neutralize another chemical might also mutate in ways harmful to human health in the long run. I don't know how high the probability of that might be, however.

Jim

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Re: Prince Philip's comment

Postby Aphritha » 01 Mar 2014, 04:16

1. Yes. The more ordinary people do, the better. So I fully support your efforts there. However, trying to be realistic, I don't think that will be enough. There have been reform movements which require people to make major sacrifices throughout history, and only a small percentage of the population sign on. The majority of people don't want to make major voluntary sacrifices. Sometimes that is selfish, but more often, people put their children first. They don't want to force major sacrifices onto their children.
Being a parent to young children right now, I think there is a terrible pressure put on the parent to consume more and more. I think this attitude comes out of the culture, so in order for many parents to still feel adequate, that standard would need to be adjusted before more in this catagory would feel comfortable jumping on a movement to lighten the carbon footprint. We'd have to adjust the way the entire world views and feels about things...
I think you're right. A very large group would be needed to make enough progress. And, that doesn't look likely.
One special problem is that the wealthy own most of the world's media, and they are reporting in a way that tells people that there isn't more than just a minor problem with the environment. That can go further. In the United States, there is a strong conservative propaganda campaign going on saying that the climate change scientists are frauds. Then, during the Bush 2 presidency, the scientific community became alarmed because President Bush forced government scientists who wrote up reports from research suggesting that CO2 pollution and other pollution, to change their reports to the opposite conclusion. Bush 2 also packed grant giving committees in the environmental area with industry scientists.

That is part of the reason that I think we need to convert the wealthy to the point where they believe the environment should be protected. It appears that the conservative wealthy (there are some wealthy who are responsible) are increasing their manipulation of what the public is told. There are also moves to de facto censure internet communications. In the United States, the proposal is that Internet service providers would become liable for monetary damage if they allowed their customers to post harmful things and this is being discussed at an international level. Definitions can do many things. For example, the American anti-terrorism laws are, in my opinion, supposed to only apply to things like planting bombs. Bush 2 spokespersons on different occasions said that people who photograph arrests are terrorists because they terrorize (so called) the police. Environmentalists were called terrorists because they are terrorizing (so called) the businesses. This isn't just the United States because Starhawk, an American Pagan environmentalist, was barred from entering Canada to give some lectures, by Canada, on the grounds that she was a terrorist environmentalist. Bush 2 spokespersons also said that labor unions are terrorist because they terrorize (so called) businesses. Also, that the National Education Association is terrorist because it terrorizes (so called) school boards. Therefore, definitions of what Internet providers would have to forbid their customers from saying could become quite broad.

If the wealthy control the media, and begin censoring Internet communications. reform movements won't be able to function very well.
I'm from the US myself, and I have found it fascinating that many people overseas know more about what's going on than the average US citizen. And, they're not completely at fault. There really isn't anything valid being presented as news. A person really has to hunt if they want to see what's going on, and most people don't want to do that. I've noticed also that there is, like you say, more talk that alot of the environmental crisis we face don't really exist, though I'm pleased most people do acknowledge that there is something wrong, even if they're not quite sure what.
I think the very word 'terrorism' terrorises me. Its seems like a word that gets thrown around loosely, in order to evoke emotion out of a population, in order to get a desired response.


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Re: Prince Philip's comment

Postby JamesNewell » 02 Mar 2014, 17:19

There is something that would work quite well if the wealthy were willing to not block it.

The EU, the US, and any other nations willing to do so, could pass coordinated legislation.

The legislation would require every corporation which does any business of any kind in the EU, the US, and hopefully others, to spend 10% of its gross receipts to build new wind and solar power facilities, half in the developed nations and half in the developing nations. That would produce several trillion American dollars per year in new solar and wind power facilities.

This would not be a problem for corporations because the cost would be the same for all of them. Within a reasonable range, profits are set by competition, not by specific costs, so no corporations would be harmed. They would raise prices somewhat, but that would be compensated for after a few years by extra economic growth giving people higher incomes. To be specific, building the new wind and solar power facilities would provide many new jobs. The money from the new jobs would be spent to buy more goods and services, which would increase sales of the corporations. Then, economies of scale would reduce the price per unit of the goods and services the corporations would produce. In addition, the corporations would retain ownership of the solar and wind power facilities they owned, so would earn profits from those, so they wouldn't have to keep prices raised as much after a few years. In addition, if we keep the climate change damage from getting worse, the small increase in prices in the beginning would be more than made up for in the long run.

Enforcement would be permission to do business in the EU. US, and hopefully others. That would include everything, including the right of a corporation to have its products and services sold by third parties in the EU, US, and others. Probably every corporation in all nations would therefore build solar and wind facilities, but if any didn't, they would lose the EU. US, and other markets.

Ifr all the power for it is produced by solar and wind, some increase in the standard of living is possible. There are limits. For example, everyone can't have their own private jet airplane, or too large a house, and so forth. However, our historical demographic experience is that as standard of living rises, people have fewer children. Therefore, if the standard of living in the developing nations is raised to something near the current developed nations, population growth for the entire world will go down to about zero. Again, that economic growth has to be done with renewable energy. That is the reason to require that corporations build half the new solar and wind power facilities in the developing nations. 50-50 is an estimate. The distribution could shift a bit either way if necessary.

Since the corporations would not be damaged in the long run, this would be equivalent to negotiating to the status quo. The details would be different from a real status quo, but the effects would be the same as the status quo. Therefore, it might be possible to get the wealthy to agree to thos.

Jim


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