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Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Doly » Mon 17 Jan 2022, 17:33:00

So...you are arguing that a popular opinion or claim is the sign of someone who should be listened to?


No. I didn't say anything remotely like that.

folks like Dr. Ehrlich were proclaiming the Great Dieoff by the end of the 1980's.


Dr. Ehrlich was giving a warning, rather than making a prediction. He was saying that population would be a major issue if there weren't measures taken to control it. Measures were actually taken to reduce the number of births, so the scenario he warned about did not happen. If there had been no Dr. Ehrlich and others like him, then the scenarios he worried about would have been far more likely to happen.

I'm tired of people that confuse forecasting with fortune-telling. I don't know how familiar you are with science-fiction, but you shouldn't conflate Hari Seldon (the academic of Foundation that has social formulas to predict the future, and his formulas contain several scenarios and need to be adjusted depending on what actually happens) and Paul Atreides (the guy that gets mystical visions of the future in Dune, and the visions happen exactly as he saw them).

Of course, if to you "exactly" means "within a century or two", we can fit all kinds of folks under the credibility umbrella.


No, but it does mean "within a decade or two", which is as long as historians usually give, but less than you seem willing to give people.

What is your opinion on it of independent researchers, versus the less independent kind? I understand the advantages you have mentioned, what would you say are the top disadvantages? Budgets, or data, or just getting your work published?


I don't give a flying F whether a researcher is independent or not, I care whether the research seems to be well done, makes sense, and it's about an important issue, as opposed to one that somebody in power has decided that people should pay attention to. I wish other people did the same, but that is obviously not the case.

As an independent researcher myself, getting work published hasn't been too easy, mostly because I'm not familiar with the correct way of writing papers. But it hasn't stopped me getting work published or cited. My problem number one is that I don't have an awful lot of time to dedicate to research, and even less to attempt to compete in getting interest with people that have a lot of time.

In any case, even good professional researchers have trouble these days with credibility on issues that really ought to have no difficulties at all, like climate change or the current covid pandemic. To me, that proves that credibility itself is a problem these days. Lots of people have a lot of the wrong notions when it comes to who to believe.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 17 Jan 2022, 21:48:06

Doly wrote:
So...you are arguing that a popular opinion or claim is the sign of someone who should be listened to?


No. I didn't say anything remotely like that.

folks like Dr. Ehrlich were proclaiming the Great Dieoff by the end of the 1980's.


Dr. Ehrlich was giving a warning, rather than making a prediction.


If that was true, then he should have known better than to assign a date. Because that makes it a prediction.

Doly wrote: He was saying that population would be a major issue if there weren't measures taken to control it. Measures were actually taken to reduce the number of births, so the scenario he warned about did not happen. If there had been no Dr. Ehrlich and others like him, then the scenarios he worried about would have been far more likely to happen.


So you are maintaining that the probabilities of exactly what is happening, would be different if he hadn't claimed what he claimed? Because it strikes me that people have been ignoring macro features of human growth, regardless of what Ehrlich or Margart Mead or any of the others claimed, way back then.

Doly wrote:I'm tired of people that confuse forecasting with fortune-telling.


Me too. And additionally tired of people not expressing their answers in the proper statistical form in order that the reader might know not just the date or effect, but its probability.

Doly wrote:
Of course, if to you "exactly" means "within a century or two", we can fit all kinds of folks under the credibility umbrella.


No, but it does mean "within a decade or two", which is as long as historians usually give, but less than you seem willing to give people.


I give people credit for any density function they use for results. Ehrlich issued an asymmetrical stop loss form for his late 1980's answer. Peak oilers are very precise, in the case of Deffeyes, picking a day and a year. For Colin Campbell? He picked several years in the early 90's from several simple scenario analysis type guesses, a basic uniform distribution. But didn't do that in his 2002 global peak call, he was precise. Oops.

I don't care what historians do, I specialize in the physcial sciences, not johnny come latelys telling the winners side of the past. If your output is a range, well then lets have it, otherwise you don't get to pretend one is built into your point estimate.


Doly wrote:
What is your opinion on it of independent researchers, versus the less independent kind? I understand the advantages you have mentioned, what would you say are the top disadvantages? Budgets, or data, or just getting your work published?


I don't give a flying F whether a researcher is independent or not, I care whether the research seems to be well done, makes sense, and it's about an important issue, as opposed to one that somebody in power has decided that people should pay attention to. I wish other people did the same, but that is obviously not the case.


So when you do your research, using terribly inferior information related to oil and gas volumes from TOD, do you even meet your own qualifications for "well done"? Because your TOD information has obviously led you to believe that peak oil by 2050 is a certainty, whereas I am completely capable of defending a peak oil post 2050 without breaking a sweat.

Doly wrote:As an independent researcher myself, getting work published hasn't been too easy, mostly because I'm not familiar with the correct way of writing papers. But it hasn't stopped me getting work published or cited. My problem number one is that I don't have an awful lot of time to dedicate to research, and even less to attempt to compete in getting interest with people that have a lot of time.


Well, then mark this up to something easier for professional researchers then, as we do get practice, and are given the time and resources to do it right, plus the built in credibility that comes with whom we represent.

Doly wrote:In any case, even good professional researchers have trouble these days with credibility on issues that really ought to have no difficulties at all, like climate change or the current covid pandemic. To me, that proves that credibility itself is a problem these days. Lots of people have a lot of the wrong notions when it comes to who to believe.


I can wholeheartedly agree with you on this one.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby JuanP » Tue 18 Jan 2022, 00:51:51

China's population grew by 0.034% in 2021. The number of births has been declining steadily for the last 5 years. I expect China's population to start contracting or "degrowing" this year, and continue contracting for the rest of our lives.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 19 Jan 2022, 10:37:30

That would he a good thing.

And MAYBE that helps explain China’s reaction to Covid.

They have been pushing the growth/consumption model, but that should be difficult in a shrinking/aging population. They may be facing new challenges as they enter a degrowth phase. This may scare the current regime so they are seeking ways to habituate their population to greater control. And are using Covid as an excuse to tighten down on personal freedoms and the expectation of additional growth.

Just trying to make sense of it all.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 10 Mar 2022, 17:07:47

Probably not the best thread to stick this in but here it is.

Today I needed an external disk drive, Best Buy seemed the logical choice.

I get there at 10am, the posted opening time in the door, locked. There is a State Trooper sitting there in his car, he tells us they only open at 11:00am. We chat a moment.

Best Buy hires them to show up at 10:00 due to the rash of snatch and grab burglary incidents. He opined it was probably because of the easy access to
I-95, the owners feared they were at greater risk. I don’t know how long they have been doing it, but I saw them there some weeks ago. To use his words “This is what we have come to.”

I suppose degrowth comes in a lot of flavors, it would seem civil obedience is an early casualty.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Thu 10 Mar 2022, 21:26:38

Newfie wrote:Probably not the best thread to stick this in but here it is.

Today I needed an external disk drive, Best Buy seemed the logical choice.

I get there at 10am, the posted opening time in the door, locked. There is a State Trooper sitting there in his car, he tells us they only open at 11:00am. We chat a moment.

Best Buy hires them to show up at 10:00 due to the rash of snatch and grab burglary incidents. He opined it was probably because of the easy access to
I-95, the owners feared they were at greater risk. I don’t know how long they have been doing it, but I saw them there some weeks ago. To use his words “This is what we have come to.”

I suppose degrowth comes in a lot of flavors, it would seem civil obedience is an early casualty.

I see that as the inability of current administrations, both Federal ,State, and local to deal with crime properly. It is a separate issue and has nothing to do with growth or degrowth.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby AdamB » Thu 10 Mar 2022, 23:08:01

vtsnowedin wrote:
Newfie wrote: To use his words “This is what we have come to.”

I suppose degrowth comes in a lot of flavors, it would seem civil obedience is an early casualty.

I see that as the inability of current administrations, both Federal ,State, and local to deal with crime properly. It is a separate issue and has nothing to do with growth or degrowth.


And we're talking about along the I-95 corridor. It isn't as though California has a lock on being a place where you fire store workers for DARING to try and stop such behavior on their own....nope....just hand the bad guys the keys to the place and stand back....I wonder what La La land special snowflake gets credit for having started the trend? Well...with luck climate change will cause enough sea level rise to make I-95 an oceanfront boulevard and diminish the folks living near it that allowed a California infestation to exist in the first place.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 10 Mar 2022, 23:10:45

VT,

Yeah, a stretch for sure.

But then maybe not. Our culture is going into a downward slope where we want tk keep all the stuff we have but are no linger productive enough to sustain the standard if living. It amounts to an unconscious degrowth cycle. Whereas if we were purposely shrinking our consumption with the goal of fitting lifestyle to reduced resources that would be mindful degrowth. Both will result in smaller economies, but with different resulting cultures.

But it is not something I am willing to argue over. Pedantic.

As I said perhaps not the best place to relate the interchange, yet I still wanted to share.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 10 Mar 2022, 23:23:12

Adam,

Somewhere about 6-7 hears ago there was a fad in Philly for a little while of having “flash mobs”. They were somehow organized over social media, a notice would go out and get passed around to meet at some spot at a specific time. I believe that the participants did’t even know each other or only a few. Anyway the mob would form and it may be rather benign (but obnoxious) or it could turn into something sinister where you would get smash and grab looting.

I believe it was a “thing” for a short time and died out. OTOH this year I learned that there are “groups” of “car enthusiasts” who come together and take over a parking lot and have ad hoc competitions or demonstrations of wild car behaviors. I know because one night they took over the circle around city hall and ran the cops out. They came complete with refreshments and fireworks and simply occupied the city center shutting all traffic. This has apparently been going in for a while in other locations but has been unreported by the media. It just came out when they interviewed some “observers” who noted it was a common event in the hoods.

Who knows how much goes on in various cities if the media ignores it.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby careinke » Fri 11 Mar 2022, 07:56:00

vtsnowedin wrote:
Newfie wrote:Probably not the best thread to stick this in but here it is.

Today I needed an external disk drive, Best Buy seemed the logical choice.

I get there at 10am, the posted opening time in the door, locked. There is a State Trooper sitting there in his car, he tells us they only open at 11:00am. We chat a moment.

Best Buy hires them to show up at 10:00 due to the rash of snatch and grab burglary incidents. He opined it was probably because of the easy access to
I-95, the owners feared they were at greater risk. I don’t know how long they have been doing it, but I saw them there some weeks ago. To use his words “This is what we have come to.”

I suppose degrowth comes in a lot of flavors, it would seem civil obedience is an early casualty.

I see that as the inability of current administrations, both Federal ,State, and local to deal with crime properly. It is a separate issue and has nothing to do with growth or degrowth.


Maybe we should start a new thread along the line of Crime in your area. Then you could tell stories about what is going on in your areas.

I am in a rural area, and the large pickup thefts are getting out of control, mostly by homeless addicts or or addicts living in drug dealer houses. Unfortunately 3/4 of those big pickups are owned by small contractors/family businesses. They are stolen, driven into the forest, the tools are hawked, the trucks are trashed as the homeless live in them until the diesel runs out for the heater. Then they abandon the truck and go steal another. If they get arrested they end up back on the street within three or four hours. The citizens are getting restless with a sniff of vigilantes in the air. I could go on, but will wait for a better thread.

Back on topic, I don't think degrowth is possible with a fiat inflationary currency system like we have today.

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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 11 Mar 2022, 11:40:34

I agree an orderly degrowth seems far beyond our reach. Although Japan seems to be sort of struggling along.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Doly » Fri 11 Mar 2022, 15:15:09

This may scare the current regime so they are seeking ways to habituate their population to greater control. And are using Covid as an excuse to tighten down on personal freedoms and the expectation of additional growth.


Chinese culture is different, so it's difficult to make sense of how they operate. But I'd say an awful lot of lack of control over one's destiny is already part of Chinese culture, so it shouldn't be hard for them to emphasize those parts of the culture. I'm saying this because I remember reading in a Feng Shui book that, according to the Chinese, what determines outcome is, in this order: fate (unchangeable things), timing, placement (feng shui), habit and education, and at the very end, effort and willpower. So, the way I understand it, in the Chinese mindset people are at best like well-piloted sailboats, moving not by their own power but by altering a sail slightly.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 11 Mar 2022, 15:20:51

And in the end that may be the best solution.

They do seem to have more total control than anyone else.

I would not like it, but I don’t get to choose.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Doly » Sun 13 Mar 2022, 17:04:23

I would not like it, but I don’t get to choose.


Can you specify what you are referring to here?
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 13 Mar 2022, 17:21:15

Doly,

The Chinese central government method vs. democracy.

There are obvious pluses and minus for each type of government. Clearly Mao has demonstrated a clear disadvantage. Yet and to date democracy, government by the people, seems unable to come to grips with problems that require long term planning. While China, demonstrated by the one child policy, does have the ability to act via central planning.

The question remains if China or other central planning governments can plan in the best interest of the people. Mao demonstrated the potential for failure.

Can China develop a system that assures a benevolent and wise central government?

Can the Western democracies develop a system that assures a benevolent and wise central government?

I am not hopeful on either account.

I hope that clarifies.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 13 Mar 2022, 18:24:45

I see the democracies as having the advantage as they have the flexibility to change course as events and the facts become apparent. It sometimes takes a full election cycle but that is much shorter then the time it takes to make a dictator admit they have made a mistake. The Biden administration has made a lot of mistakes and of course refuses to acknowledge them and change course but elections are coming up which will take the power out of their inept hands.
Russia on the other hand has to wait for Putin to be assassinated or otherwise deposed before they can think about which direction they need to turn.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Newfie » Sun 13 Mar 2022, 19:38:10

Yes, that is a short coming of the existing controlled market governments, they are controlled by egomaniacs.

But then again are we really that different?

I fear that ultimately there is no good solution given our current state of evolution.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Sun 13 Mar 2022, 20:02:24

Newfie wrote:

But then again are we really that different?


I would much rather be here than there.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby Tanada » Mon 14 Mar 2022, 01:39:24

vtsnowedin wrote:I see the democracies as having the advantage as they have the flexibility to change course as events and the facts become apparent. It sometimes takes a full election cycle but that is much shorter then the time it takes to make a dictator admit they have made a mistake. The Biden administration has made a lot of mistakes and of course refuses to acknowledge them and change course but elections are coming up which will take the power out of their inept hands.
Russia on the other hand has to wait for Putin to be assassinated or otherwise deposed before they can think about which direction they need to turn.


The strength of flexibility can also be a serious weakness when the politicians in charge are wishy washy with every decision based on the latest polling results. You go from having national goals to achieve to trying to please everyone all the time and ultimately dithering because decisions are never solid for longer than a few months.
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Re: Degrowth Thread Pt. 2

Unread postby AdamB » Mon 14 Mar 2022, 09:36:51

Newfie wrote:Adam,

Somewhere about 6-7 hears ago there was a fad in Philly for a little while of having “flash mobs”.


I remember those.

Newfie wrote:I believe it was a “thing” for a short time and died out.


Seemed like it to me as well.

Newfie wrote:Who knows how much goes on in various cities if the media ignores it.


Oftentimes the local media focuses on it, street racing, motorcyclists playing "catch me if you can" with the police, and it seems to make local news for a day, but you won't see it the next unless someone gets hurt or there are suspicions it is going to happen again.
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