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Environmentalist Goals: Tank the Economy 
8th-Oct-2009 09:41 am
I've mentioned before that environmentalists, as a group, are economically and ecologically clueless. Recently, Senator John Kerry has decided to illustrate this, talking about the Cap and Trade bill and the effect of our current severe recession on the environment:

Let me emphasize something very strongly as we begin this discussion. The United States has already this year alone achieved a 6 percent reduction in emissions simply because of the downturn in the economy, so we are effectively saying we need to go another 14 percent.

In other words, we need to be down 20% in the economy to meet his environmental goals. Look around you at the effects of this recession. Do you believe, with him, that the economy must be significantly worse off, and that it is the business of government to push it down there?

If not, should you learn to be cautious about electing these environmentalists?

My own comment is to note that only in the rich societies of the world does major environmental cleanup go on, and that if we want to stop that from going on, losing the cash to make it happen is probably an effective way to go about it.
8th-Oct-2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
Well, you're not making logical sense here. You're assuming that 6% reduction in emissions is due to a 6% reduction in the economy, and that's just not there in the data. Nor is it certain that further reducing the economy will have a specific effect on emissions. Some of the world's worst economies have disproportionately large emissions because they rely on outdated technologies and can't afford to keep their factories in good repair.
8th-Oct-2009 11:20 pm (UTC)
You're right: I shouldn't assume that the reduction of the economy is the same percentage as the reduction of the emissions. Nor should I assume that the relationship is linear as the numbers change.

However, I am right that he wants it to be more reduced to achieve the goals he has in mind.

"some of the world's worst economies have disproportionately large emissions"

Exactly my point. My Dad used to refer to this as the "rich neighborhood cleanup" -- the better off a neighborhood was economically, the more time and effort was spent cleaning it up. I think that's true generally as you review economies: it takes extra cash to clean it up, and if you don't have it, it doesn't get done.
8th-Oct-2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
You may be right that he wants the economy reduced, but that is not self-evident in the quote you provided, and I would want to see evidence that he specifically plans to decrease the economy before I believe it.
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