Tuesday, June 30, 2020

In which the pond can't find all the elephants that seem to have left the reptile room ...


The pond had little choice in the matter - the reptiles had deemed the column worthy of an illustration, albeit not by the cult master, and this Nicholas chap seemed to be offering an assessment of the state of the Union, and the pond had a few questions that needed answering …

What, for example, would happen if some loon put a price on the head of Americans wandering around Pine Gap? The pond suspects that the reptiles would be frothing at the mouth, full of fierce anger. But if Vlad the impaler puts a price on US soldiers, why the river of reptiles flows on smoothly, with nary a ripple …

What would Nicholas have to say about this, and the Donald, and the GOP, and love and pain and the whole damn thing?

Imagine the pond's surprise at the astonishing feat that Nicholas pulled off for the reptiles. See if the first gobbet gives a clue …


Yes, yes, all that, but what of the Donald, and the GOP, and alliances, and allies who think the US is deeply and comprehensively fucked, thanks to same, and the state of the Union and all that, the subject of much fodder for cartoonists?


Sorry, that would get in the way of the astonishing feat being attempted by our new arrival, Nicholas, as he continues his inspiring, fearless effort in his second gobbet ...


Yes, yes, we know it's all China's fault, but what of the Donald and the GOP and their tremendous handling of the virus, and assorted other matters, much celebrated by cartoonists?


Silly pond, expecting answers of a specific kind, when our Nick is intent on talking of "the little people" (is that the new way to evoke the deplorables?), while achieving an astonishing feat ...


Yes, not a single mention of the Donald and the GOP and all that amuses cartoonists …


… and the pond suspects it will never know exactly what Vlad has on the Donald, but it surely must be something exceptionally good … because apparently Pax Americana means you can put an actual price on an American soldier, and the Donald and the GOP don't really care that much …

Well that elephant has clearly left the room … and so to another pond duty, not that the pond likes it much, but now that Dame Groan has been reduced to penny a word status - what's that, Dickens earned a farthing a word? - the pond has come to think of her columns as climate denialism done penny dreadful style …


Come on down, damsel of the reptile road …


The pond knew all along it would be absurd to abandon sweet, decent, pure virginal dinkum clean Oz coal, and hang around with slutty, useless, expensive champagne and government subsidy loving renewable energy. Would anyone mind if the pond ran a cartoon reminding them that Dame Groan is something of a steamroller herself?



It's not exactly right … but instead of justice, think of that flattened object as climate science, though Dame Slap allegedly cares deeply about the science ...


Scientific fact? But what of per capita consumption, what of dinkum pure clean Oz coal's contribution to emissions, what of shared responsibility, what of setting ann example, what of the world going to hell in a hand basket, what of stepping up and showing leadership?

Oh forget it, there's a lot of whats there, but all Dame Slap cares about are those coal inspired watts. You can take the damsel off the coal road, but she'll stay true to highway robbery, and never talk of all the subsidies that coal robber barons have copped on their way to glory and ruining the planet ...


Ah yes, pure decent clean virginal dinkum coal. Damn you all you woke climate-obsessed voters, fancy giving a fig or a toss about the planet …but there are alternative reads for inner city dwellers than Dame Groan's penny dreadful denialism …


Well they're all up for googling, but the pond particularly liked this effort in the NY Mag ...

...climate change isn’t just a brutal form of time travel, it is discombobulating to our very sense of time. When looking at projections for future warming, an event like the Siberian heat wave appears as an acceleration of history, but when looking at the paleoclimate record, it seems like a trip deep into the prehuman past, toward eras like those, lasting millions of years, when palm trees dotted the Arctic and crocodiles walked in their shade there. Especially at extreme levels, warming threatens the apparent march of progress on which the modern, Western “timeline” model of history was built. But at least until the arrival of large-scale carbon removal technologies, it also illustrates the fact that time — in the form of carbon emissions, which hang in the atmosphere for centuries — is irreversible. Because we are doing so much damage so quickly, destabilizing the entire planet’s climate in the space of a few decades, warming can seem like a phenomena of the present. But its effects will unfurl for millennia, with the climate stabilizing perhaps only millions of years from now. Climate change unwinds history, melting ice frozen for many millennia and pushing rainforests like the Amazon closer to their long-overgrown savannah states. It also makes new history, drawing new borders and new riverbeds, turning breadbaskets like the Mediterranean into deserts and opening up arctic shipping routes to be contested by a new generation of great power military rivalries. It compresses history — those Houston storms, for instance, represent more than a millennia of extreme weather, concentrated in a period of just five years. And it scrambles and scatters it, too, disrupting the cycle of seasons and relocating rain belts and monsoons, among many other distortions. At the same time temperatures in Verkhoyansk reached 100 degrees, in other parts of Siberia it was snowing. Was it winter or summer, a Russian catching the national weather forecast could have been forgiven for asking. They may have wondered, is this our hellish climate future or the return of the Little Ice Age?
Contemplating the impacts of climate change from this perspective can seem na├»vely abstract — and it is, when compared to the storms and the wildfires and the droughts. (Not to mention the literal plague of locusts, 360 billion of them, which have devastated agriculture in East Africa and South Asia this year, descending in clouds so thick you couldn’t see through the insects and leaving millions hungry.) But in addition to its humanitarian cruelties, for instance making pandemics like COVID-19 much more likely, warming is already recalibrating much more hard-headed models of time, too. This is a sign that warming is truly the meta-narrative of our century, touching every aspect of our lives. Beyond the catastrophes and crises, the surreal and disorienting aspects of climate change are showing up even in the most numbingly pragmatic places. Like, for instance, mortgages.

Mortgages? What a teaser, but for that and links, it's necessary to head off to the magazine here, while more stolid unwoke folk will hang around for an economics lesson with our original Adam …

The pond offers this as an easy bonus, because it's aware some readers have formed a deep fondness for Killer Creighton's casual way with casualties of viral war ...


Pardon the pond if it got stuck on a thought there, right at the start of the piece. "Never forget that governments have no money - it is always ours".

Say what? Why next thing you know, some uppity layabout bludging young 'uns or canny older folk will think they can just line up with their paws out, because it's not the government's money, it's theirs, and the next thing you know the reptiles have an attack of the vapours on the tree killer front page …


Oh the vile, shameless bludgers. Fancy imagining that the government money is theirs … or is this what is known as Adam's unintended consequences?


Never mind, another gobbet and the economics lesson will be done ...


It's almost as singular  a feat as our Nick at the top of the page. Global pandemic? What pandemic? Apparently what will sort out the world and climate science and pretty much everything else is an economics lecture from Killer Creighton …

Well pardon the pond if it prefers to end with a couple of local thinkers aware that things have changed just a little in the world, though sadly the infallible Pope is behind a paywall, so the pond can only link to the wave-riding immortal Rowe here



Isn't it amazing he can surf and do press-ups at the same time? What a manly man … what a sporty man ...


3 comments:

  1. "Ah yes, pure decent clean virginal dinkum coal."

    Now, now, DP; we all know deep in out hearts (and nowhere near our brains) that burtning coal is the finest, most godly achievement of human civilisation. Surely there'll be a whole lot of lectures and assigned reading matter in the Ramsay course praising the 'civilising effects' of burning megatonnes of coal all around the world. And it was Western Civilisation that did it all.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an interesting Tuesday, DP. Nicholas, The Groan and the Killer all in one big, loving congregation.

    I won't try to analyse Nicholas's achievement re the Donald and his horde, I'll only note that the corollary to "what I thrice repeat is true" is "what I never mention doesn't exist" and note that Nicholas shares the reptiles' dedication to that trope.

    Otherwise, we have those two fine eco-liars on the same day: Groanie and the Killer. And neither appears to have much of a clue about economics, though Groanie appears to have more of an understanding than Killer. But then she does have a PhD (Amsterdam) in economics compared with Killer's pissant PhM.

    Now getting back to Nicholas, towards the end of his piece he says: "If US leaders wanted to generate broad based domestic support for Pax Americana they need to devise a workable formula for generating prosperity for all." Well, maybe not "for all" since a significant percentage of Americans already have way more "prosperity" than anyone deserves. But for the bottom of the prosperity ladder, much needs to be done to resuscitate a general feeling of decency and "fairness".

    For those who might care to follow an intelligent analysis of that viewpoint, you can find one here:
    The economic base of realignment
    https://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbling/

    As to the others, the Dame says her usual nothing much about her understanding of nothing much. As evidenced by her repetition of the gross lie that "Massive subsidised investment in renewable energy has been associated with escalating wholesale and retail electricity prices." Note that she doesn't say outright that "renewable energy" actually caused the price escalation, just that it's "associated with" the price rises. This is presumably because she knows that the "escalating prices" are mostly due to gold-plating the network grid and rent-seeking exploitation by the electricity retailers and that 'renewables' are already starting to lower electricity prices.

    What then to say about Killer ? Nothing much really, which is entirely in keeping with his miniscule, and usually grossly mistaken, "knowledge" about economics. And he worked for Treasury and APRA ?

    Anyway, if you would like to know a little about MMT and the functions of taxation and whose money it is really, try these:
    Modern Monetary Theory: Neither modern, nor monetary, nor (mainly) theoretical ?
    https://johnquiggin.com/2020/06/01/modern-monetary-theory-neither-modern-nor-monetary-nor-mainly-theoretical/comment-page-1/
    Comments On John Quiggin's "Motte and Bailey" Complaint
    http://www.bondeconomics.com/2020/06/comments-on-john-quiggins-motte-and.html

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  3. Re Killer Creighton's total inability to grasp the basics of economics at a nation-state level in the age of fiat money, this is worth a read:

    ‘No risk’ of inflation despite RBA buying $40bn of government bonds
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/30/no-risk-of-inflation-despite-rba-buying-40bn-of-government-bonds

    ReplyDelete

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