reasonable things to say, and ideology

these are reasonable things to say:

-your EV has 200 kg of metals in its batteries and it is a big environment impact

-you PV panel need rare eartchs mostly mined in China, and lot of chinese polisylicon too

-desertec (solar in the sahara) will never work out, EU economis won’t accept to depend on african countries

so, you have 200kg of metals and you car will run on it for 1,000 techarges and 200k kms. Your combustion engine in that time would need some 20 tons of fossil fuel. 100X impact on the environment, it seems, and 40 tons of CO2 in the atmosphere

same reasoning applies to PV panels, you need rare earths once, they will produce electricity for 30 years only with solar rays. But then China will hold us up, but if that happens, panels keep producing, when Putin stops sending gas to Europe we shiver and the price shots up immediately, haven’t you noticed?

And Desertec, this crazy idea of producing solar energy in the Sahara desert for Euope, are we so crazy to depend on adfrican countries for our energy? Apparently yes, we produce oil in Libya, Nigeria, Congo

if you did not think how unreasonable are the 3 sentences above it’s not your fault, it’s the habit to an energy system that runs smoothly in the background. If you look at the background then you worry, but mainstream communication always avoid to have you look behind the curtain, they successfully appeal to your comfort in keeping an effective status quo. You re being a conservative to whom a fossil ideology successfully appeals. It tells you things that sound sincerely reasonable, throws data at you that looks like science, you feel good with it but really are being vulnerable to ideological appellations to some feelings you have for a world that works well for you, warm house, big car, flights, things that are wrecking the planet for everybody. Do not stop at the reasonableness of things you hear, think outside the fossil ideology that encrust you, look at the world out there with fresh eyes

Fascismo fissile

il vittimismo dei nucleari

il grande passato perduto e rimpianto

l’attesa della palingenesi, la prossima generazione, il reattore di IV generazione

lo stato deve fare qualcosa, ogni stato, anche se si adora il mercato lo stato deve investire perchè non si può aspettare il mercato

c’è una cospirazione contro il nucleare, la burocrazia rallenta e blocca i nuovi impianti, i nemici del nucleare diffondono fake news per fuorviare il pubblico, e allora c’è anche bisogno di un avvocato dell’atomo per denunciare il complotto dei verdi radical chic

perchè il nucleare è centralizzato, per pochi eletti e toglie la potenza elettrica alle masse. Bisogna fare prima del solare e dell’eolico, si deve arginare il socialismo energetico

è una tecnologia centralizzata, iniziatica, si deve studiare per entrare nella elite niucleare

Covid, Lab Leak and Schismogenesis

I decry Trump for denying the gravity of Covid, Trump also used to bash China on trade, and once Covid started, on a lab leak originating the pandemic.

Trump position on the Pandemic is dead wrong, so let’s create a distance from him, let’s distinguish our position, let’s oppose him on social isolation, masking, quack medicine, vaccination etc. Why should I ever consider the lab leak which is a pure hypothetical issue now that we should concentrate on saving lives against Trump’s lies?

Schismogenesis, anthropologist Gregory Bateson described this behavioural mechanism that deters you from even considering the lab leak hypothesis, lest you blur your distinction with Trump. And this is what makes this book an odd and uncomfortable read, an otherwise seemingly good science book, very attentive to details, well substanciated and referenced, mostly not drawing conclusions, but making me feel like blurring that disctinction from Trump’s quackery.

It does not help that the book co-author is that Matt Ridley has some ideas on climate change that would put him more in Trump’s field, The book is really the investigation conducted by Alina Chan and a group of internet “sleuths” which ened up collecting strong evidences of risk associated to virus sampling in bat caves, lab studies with human cell coltures, and “gain of function” research and gene editing, so that I feel it deserved much wider circulation. Put on hold your schmismogenic instinct and read it with a clean mind.

Viral by Alina Chan

But of course do not trust me, I am a lazy writer and I haven’t explained much to you, go straight to Scott AAronson who wrote a long and detailed review of the book, equally startled by how this book is rightfully throwing him off balance in his convictions on Covid

George vs Harbinger

rather, georgism vs harbinger tax, that latter, read in Radical Markets, struck as market nerdy (name your own price and pay taxes on it, but not too low or you’ll risk being bought out of your home) in principle has some advantages, encted in a world of great financial disparity, recurrent real estates bubbles, what can possibly go wrong ?

Why I thought about Harbinger ? I read Vitalik here on Bulldozers and Vetocracies, while I am not convinced this dimension he introduces is profound, fundamental and close to the basic mechanism, I got intrigued by his preference for Harbinger Tax and Quadratic Voting. QV was in Radical Markets but I have much recollections, it markets nerdy, introduces prices ion political decisions and the same doubts apply.

While we are not talking the same thing, lottery seems better solution to get out of dysfunctional prestige and charisma politics which attracts the wrong people. But then, quadratic voting would apply also fo lottery politicians, so better have a second look

Anarchy and Democracy

for no particular reason, a Google Ngram Viewer with etherogeneous terms

actually there is a reason, I am reading David Graber “There Never Was a West” and a few quotes:

“The word “democracy” has meant any number of different things over the course of its history. When first coined, it referred to a system in which the citizens of a community made decisions by equal vote in a collective assembly. For most of its history, it referred to political disorder, rioting, lynching, and factional violence (in fact, the word had much the same associations as “anarchy” does today).”

and the thing is, once people started thinking about making without kings they found inspiration in Athen’s democracy, notwithstanding that Athen is a “a militaristic, slave-owning society founded on the systematic repression of women” and rather there could be other living example of people participating in taking political decisions.

So democracy is a way of organizing human relationships toward governamce, or simplay a manner of state government ? And it is difficult to be critical of democracy becuase the terms is popular and appeals to everybody. And Graebebr says a propos of the anti-globalization movement he took part in, “The problem is what to call it. Many of the key principles of the movement (self-organization, voluntary association, mutual aid, the refusal of state power) derive from the anarchist tradition. Still, many who embrace these ideas are reluctant, or flat-out refuse, to call themselves “anarchists.” Similarly with democracy. My own approach has normally been to openly embrace both terms, to argue, in fact, that anarchism and democracy are—or should be—largely identical”

Anyway I go back to reading, the piece is farily long and I am stuck to the second page, go read it yourself

reading december 2, 2021

St.Andrewism on Maslow, the pyramid which was not a pyramid, and the Siksika (Blackfoot) taken from this medium post

minute 8:00 of Graeber-Thiel debate “Where Did the Future Go?” David Graeber gives a perfect defintion of what acdemia would need to foster creativity again: give money to creative intellectuals instead of trapping them in competition, publish or perish and stuff

Now Progress Studies, Collison and Cowen, it started a couple of days back from the this 3d on ethics of Progress Studies, Collison offers they are catholic small c (universal maybe) start here

today I was reading this post from Applied Divinity Studies which introduced Stubborn Attachement, the book by Tyler Cowen, which I read but can’t remember much. Here the post he also wrote the Moral Foundation of Progress, to read

Climate crisis, private capital, socialized risk

GFANZ: “The Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) was launched in April and chaired by the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, Mark Carney, a former governor of the Bank of England and the Finance Adviser of the United Kingdom Prime Minister for COP26. Now consisting of more than 450 banks, insurers and investment managers from 45 countries (..) “It includes such familiar names as BlackRock, Vanguard, State Street, Bank of America, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, and the like. The total assets of the GFANG members is about $130 trillion, with $63 trillion coming from banks, $57 trillion from investment managers and $10 trillion from asset owners such as pension funds “

clarification “the Lex team of the Financial Times intervened and clarified that $130 trillion is not ready funds but the total assets managed by member financial institutions of the GFANZ”

so much boasting, little less substantial committments, it is clearly a bait for governments who do not want to pay the polical costs of decarbonization at home, so would accept a “helping hand” from investors. Quotes from this great article Climate crisis, global debt, and the Fermi paradox – a proposal to the IMF

So, where is the catch ? Private investors in GFANZ want to get government guarantees in order to “derisk” their own investments, so social risk and private gain, something we have already heard of, think global crisis in 2008. Derisking is punt under the spotlight by economist Daniela Gabor as the new Washingotn Consensus, the guiding idea on internation monetary institutions in tackling the climate emergency, without tackling the inequality behind it. Here on the Guardian: Private finance won’t decarbonise our economies – but the ‘big green state’ can

Post scriptum: I think it is relevant to add here Policy Tensor’s post on funding the transition with public money, it has a lot of data on the cost of risky green projects in less developed countries, rightly say that we are back to the development themes of the 60’s of the 20th century, he offers a stark analysis of the geopolitical situations and calls for US to “securitize” the transition issue, which isn’t per se a good thing, sorta calling for a war posture.

BTW he sort of dissent with Gabor, derisking might be needed but the process should not be left in the hands of the blackrocks

Is it feasible to publicly fund the global energy transition?