Mar 20

The allies have gone into the Libyan civil war now. Their no fly zone appears more like a racing handicap thing as they try to equalise the two sides. Unlike Iraq and Aghanistan there is not need of a clear and present danger or even a totally opaque one. What we have here is a good old fashioned despot killing his people and unlike the Marsh Arabs in Iraq we’re not going to leave them to be killed from the air. Like the reluctant hero in a film we are apparently compelled to act. Continue reading »

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Dec 14

We may not get even a meaningless climate change agreement but in true G20 G8 fashion the Danish police at least got to show they are up with The Met in London or even the fascist loving Genoa Police. It’s almost as though the defining principal is whenever there is a meeting of world leaders each country shows off how brutal and nasty and repressive their Govt can be. Tolerance is for wimps. Freedom and Democracy an illusion.

I’d like to think we ever had a modicum of freedom to protest but it’s clear in the UK since the police became a branch of the Govt during the Miners Strike that the ability to disrupt and marginalise protest has been fine tuned over the years. Even when the controlled oppression breaks down and a police man beats a man to death during the G20 in London we can rest assured he will not serve any more days in prison than the man who pumped 7 shots into the head of a Brazilian Electrician not in a position to chew gum never mind detonate a bomb he clearly did not have.

As to climate change we have a pool of money promised (but not/never deposited) as guilt money for destroyed lives in the 3rd world – a double dip recession should see off this promise BTW. The message to the poor countries is you can have miserable lives waiting for grain trucks from us and we can feel benevolent and good about our charity. This is sort of a definition of Brownian good. Massive payments to 3rd world leaders will kill the local economy and create a patronage class destroying their economic activity shows the speciousness of calling this a marketing solution.

In terms of a climate change deal not happening the problem is this the 3rd world wants 400 Bn a year (not the trivial sums promised) and the West does not want to pay. No one seems to want serious and real cuts in emissions. The fact is paying leaders of third world countries so much money will lead to: the death of those economies as productive entities or the possibility they could ever become so – it’s a market distortion of unimaginable proportions: increased wealth disparity in that country as in all situations where a King figure has patronage: more starving people impoverished people waiting for hand outs: Increased state authoritarianism. It’s just like paying a country for natural resources it so distorts the economy these countries become centralised and wasteful. If this offsetting is a market solution it’s a lousy one. Indeed this solution may be worse to the working classes in many of those countries than the Climate Change itself.

The West are essentially hoping to do nothing and that technology comes to their aid even as they agree trivial cuts in future emissions on the never never. The amounts so far promised shown up as worthless by the knowledge the US gave Pakistan $10 Bn to fight its Taliban! Never mind the Billions every year it pours down toilets to keep achieving next to nothing in Iraq, Afghanistan and places like Columbia in the vapid War on Drugs.

A market correction the West could do by itself  is a Carbon Tax on consumption which is actually a much more market based solution as it is the consumption in the West that is by and large not reflecting the full cost of that consumption on the planet. What is proposed would so distort the economics of poor countries to turn them into almost pre-feudal states that will never develop. It seems the US’s hatred of taxes based on a faux understanding of it’s own history is the tail wagging the dog.

You cannot buy your way out of this problem as giving countries money not to emit will merely fund consumption and distort 3rd world markets. It’s unclear knowing how the world works it will ever bring about a reduction in emissions either. Plus where will the West raise the tax money from?

Better to use tax to reduce our consumption of non essentials? Accepting we are happy for our poor to afford transport, heating, lighting and cooking.

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