A question to my Libertarian friends.
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17-07-2012, 11:14 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
(17-07-2012 10:53 AM)Seasbury Wrote:  
(17-07-2012 10:45 AM)HDT Wrote:  By my standards of today's government those things would make you a rather liberal man, Chas.
Conservatives' lists today would look more like this:

Defense
Transportation infrastructure
Communication infrastructure
Environmental protection
Health care
Food safety
Medical safety
Workplace safety
Basic scientific research
Public safety


I consider myself a rather liberal person and feel that I can agree with basically everything you said plus a few categories. I think where you divide liberals and conservatives ultimately comes down to the policies. I don't want the government running my life as much as you. I think liberals only want the government to do what is needed just like you and judging by what you think the government should be doing, I would contend that you could possibly be considered rather liberal Chas.
Defense
Transportation infrastructure
Communication infrastructure
Environmental protection
Health care
Food safety
Medical safety
Workplace safety
Basic scientific research
Public safety

Environmental protection can be traced back to Teddy Roosevelt (National Parks and conservation) and Richard Nixon who created the EPA. Both men would be considered communists today - but in their time, they were considered conservatives.

Food Safety was largely the result of the public outcry after Upton Sinclair's The Jungle was published -- the public wasn't thrilled about eating human fingers and/or hands in their sausage. Workplace safety followed years later...both were addressed by Republican administrations -- I believe...

Medical safety shouldn't be regulated? Let the market decide if you want to patronize a particular hospital that has a reputation for amputating the wrong limb? Rather not...

Basic Scientific Research plays a giant role in defense and exploration. Without it we do not have an internet to have this discussion -- that was DARPA. Many of the economic drivers we've enjoyed these last 60 years were directly related to innovations created by NASA -- think I'd like to keep that function of the government going...
I'm not saying those are my views. I'm saying that seems to be the tone of the New Republican Party. The Paul Ryan's and Mitch McConnell's of the party.

Comparing historical conservatives to today's conservatives is not fair considering that everyone could be a "conservative" to a degree. It just depends on the system of which you are trying to conserve. Like you said, Teddy today would be very much a leftist. Also due to identity politics in today's cultures you will never hear of a liberal Republican. There is a reason Eisenhower's family have all left the party. Historically yes, they may have been considered conservative, but today they aren't and if you find yourself in agreement with their policies you would be considered, by today's standards, liberal. That was my point towards Chas.

"A man who dares waste an hour of his life has not discovered the value of life." - Charles Darwin
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03-08-2012, 08:57 PM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
That's a fair question, and a difficult problem to solve by any means.

I am a libertarian, and I'm concerned about the lack of concern many people (of many political stripes) are showing for this problem. I've been guilty of it myself. I must admit I've been slow to acknowledge that it might be a real problem. Some of that may have been that it came bundled with its own big-government "lets tax them and regulate them" solutions. Some of it may be that I thought it was just another chicken-little apocalyptic end-of-the-world thing.

I don't like "solutions" that involve keeping millions (billions?) of people in the 3rd world in poverty and begging for energy. I also don't like the idea of the developed world backsliding into the dark ages, so to speak. Let's please not adopt any anti-human solutions.

I obviously am not a fan of government solutions, but that leaves the question: so what is the solution? "Do nothing" doesn't sound like a solution to me. Is there a voluntary solution?

I'm not going to pretend I have all the answers, but I can make at least one suggestion: we should stop subsidizing fossil fuels. Apparently we do so to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars a year. That's kind of crazy if we want to wean ourselves off of these energy sources, and not a very libertarian thing to do in the first place.
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05-08-2012, 11:53 PM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
There is one thing we both agree on. The amount of tax breaks oil companies receive is astounding and some of the reasoning for certain breaks is ludicrous. I like how you approach the problem though, it is at least a very honest answer. Much more than some that I have heard from my friends.

"A man who dares waste an hour of his life has not discovered the value of life." - Charles Darwin
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07-08-2012, 04:07 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.
First we have to consider what climate change really is. You see, Climatologists have used various techniques and evidence to reconstruct a history of the Earth's past climate. From this data, they have found that during most of the Earth's history global temperatures were probably 8 to 15 degrees Celsius warmer than today. In the last billion years of climatic history, warmer conditions were broken by glacial periods starting at 925, 800, 680, 450, 330, and 2 million years before present.

The period from 2,000,000 - 14,000 B.P. (before present) is known as the Pleistocene or Ice Age. During this period, large glacial ice sheets covered much of North America, Europe, and Asia for extended periods of time. The extent of the glacier ice during the Pleistocene was not static. The Pleistocene had periods when the glacier retreated (interglacial) because of warmer temperatures and advanced because of colder temperatures (glacial). During the coldest periods of the Ice Age, average global temperatures were probably 4 - 5 degrees Celsius colder than they are today.

The most recent glacial retreat is still going on. We call the temporal period of this retreat the Holocene epoch. This warming of the Earth and subsequent glacial retreat began about 14,000 years ago (12,000 BC). The warming was shortly interrupted by a sudden cooling, known as the Younger-Dryas, at about 10,000 - 8500 BC. Scientists speculate that this cooling may have been caused by the release of fresh water trapped behind ice on North America into the North Atlantic Ocean. The release altered vertical currents in the ocean which exchange heat energy with the atmosphere. The warming resumed by 8500 BC. By 5000 to 3000 BC average global temperatures reached their maximum level during the Holocene and were 1 to 2 degrees Celsius warmer than they are today. Climatologists call this period the Climatic Optimum. During the Climatic Optimum, many of the Earth's great ancient civilizations began and flourished. In Africa, the Nile River had three times its present volume, indicating a much larger tropical region.

From 3000 to 2000 BC a cooling trend occurred. This cooling caused large drops in sea level and the emergence of many islands (Bahamas) and coastal areas that are still above sea level today. A short warming trend took place from 2000 to 1500 BC, followed once again by colder conditions. Colder temperatures from 1500 - 750 BC caused renewed ice growth in continental glaciers and alpine glaciers, and a sea level drop of between 2 to 3 meters below present day levels.

The period from 750 BC - 800 AD saw warming up to 150 BC. Temperatures, however, did not get as warm as the Climatic Optimum. During the time of Roman Empire (150 BC - 300 AD) a cooling began that lasted until about 900 AD. At its height, the cooling caused the Nile River (829 AD) and the Black Sea (800-801 AD) to freeze.

The period 900 - 1200 AD has been called the Little Climatic Optimum. It represents the warmest climate since the Climatic Optimum. During this period, the Vikings established settlements on Greenland and Iceland. The snow line in the Rocky Mountains was about 370 meters above current levels. A period of cool and more extreme weather followed the Little Climatic Optimum. A great drought in the American southwest occurred between 1276 and 1299. There are records of floods, great droughts and extreme seasonal climate fluctuations up to the 1400s.

From 1550 to 1850 AD global temperatures were at their coldest since the beginning of the Holocene. Scientists call this period the Little Ice Age. During the Little Ice Age, the average annual temperature of the Northern Hemisphere was about 1.0 degree Celsius lower than today. During the period 1580 to 1600, the western United States experienced one of its longest and most severe droughts in the last 500 years. Cold weather in Iceland from 1753 and 1759 caused 25% of the population to die from crop failure and famine. Newspapers in New England were calling 1816 the year without a summer.

The period 1850 to present is one of general warming. Figure 7x-1 describes the global temperature trends from 1880 to 2006. This graph shows the yearly temperature anomalies that have occurred from an average global temperature calculated for the period 1951-1980. The graph indicates that the anomolies for the first 60 years of the record were consistently negative. However, beginning in 1935 positive anomolies became more common, and from 1980 to 2006 most of the anomolies were between 0.20 to 0.63 degrees Celsius higher than the normal period (1951-1980) average.

So, armed with actual knowledge of the earths climate history, what climate change are we worried about? The climate has always changed. The Earth is a dynamic system that is always changing and nothing humans do will stop that. What we are worried about is not climate change. What we are worried about is how climate change will effect us.

People worry about the melting ice caps but that fact is, the earth has only had ice caps for about 20% of its existence. Ice caps are not the "norm". We aren't worrying about an aberration in earths climate. We are worrying about something that is normal. Something that happens on a regular 120,000 year time frame. Right now at this point in the earths history, we should be getting warmer.

There is a slight aberration though. Most of the environmental groups like to point out that over the past 90 years or so the average temperature of the earth has gone up by .2 degrees. This is however slightly misleading. Because you see, we have accurate climate data going back 180 years. Why do they only quote the last 90 years instead of the full 180 year set? Because over the 90 years before the part they point out the earth lost .2 degrees in temperature. Over the full 180 year data set the earths average temperature has stayed even.

However even that is misleading. In the late 1800's and early 1900's we started placing weather stations which allowed us to record temperature data with greater accuracy. Most of these weather stations were placed out away from cities where they would not be effected by the urban heat bubble that occurs when you build a city. The problem is that as the cities grew the weather stations didn't move. So weather stations which, 100 years ago were in the middle of no where are now sitting in the middle of large urban populations where they are effected by the heat that gets trapped in cubic miles of concrete jungle. It is true that building a city will increase the average temperature of the area immediately around the city. This is called an urban heat bubble. New york City for example is about 20 degrees warmer on average now then the area was before new york city was built. However this is a local effect, not a global one.

Discovering how much of the earths warming is directly due to the activities of humans is a tremendously difficult thing to do. Do I believe we are having an effect on our environment? Yes, absolutely we are. Am I going to move to the coast as soon as I can feasibly afford to do so? Yes. I miss falling asleep every night to the sound of the ocean outside my window.

I predict that CO2 levels will rise, the ice caps will melt and the land masses at the poles will slowly become covered by large deciduous forest which will slowly convert all that CO2 into O2 neutralizing the green house effect causing the earth to once again cool. Why do I think this will happen? Because it has happened several times before. Its just what the earth does.

With all that being said, I am all for developing new "green" power systems and working to minimize human influence on the environment. Every time we have tried to control our environment we have screwed it up but that's no reason to stop trying. I just think we need to be more honest about why we are doing it. We aren't worried about the changing climate and the effect its having on the planet. We are thinking about the effect its going to have on us.
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07-08-2012, 04:16 AM
RE: A question to my Libertarian friends.


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