Oh, good heavens! This is one of the most irrational arguments against using fossil fuels I’ve seen in a long while.
There’s a new study out!!!
This paper applies a behavioral economics model of cigarette addiction to the issue of fossil fuel usage and climate change. Both problems involve consumption of a currently beneficial product that causes detrimental effects in the distant future and for which current reductions in usage induces an adjustment cost. The paper argues that because fossil fuel control requires solving an international public goods problem as well as an addiction-like problem, breaking it will be more challenging. Using insights from the model, it also suggests that fossil fuel addiction, like cigarette addiction, may generate a long period of time in which people express sincere desire to convert to clean energy, but accomplish little to achieve that outcome. Finally the paper examines the history of the international anti-smoking campaign to draw insights for the campaign against global climate change. The analogy suggests that policies to reduce the present cost of non-carbon energy sources to induce voluntary adjustments in energy usage, or, policies that induce cleaner usage of fossil fuels, or geo-engineering policies that work to reverse the warming effects of higher CO2 concentrations, may be more viable than policies that raise the cost of current fossil fuel consumption.
Of course, this must be heralded in a nutter news outlet, in this case, the Guardian.
Read this para…….
The paper explores the idea that the short-term investment for long-term gain required by both quitting smoking and ditching fossil fuels are behaviourally comparable. However, quitting fossil fuels will be more difficult, because in addition to the required behaviour challenge, there is a political “public good” dilemma – that is, a question of how to divide up a limited amount of resources equitably.
Interesting….. a “public good” dilemma….. but the “dilemma” seems to be missing something…… hmm….. moar…..
…. If fossil fuel use can be understood as an addiction, then it is only when social disapproval reaches a sufficiently high level, that the pleasure and status associated with a particular behaviour – smoking, or driving a large car – starts to decline. …..
Of course, equating the pleasure gained from smoking to driving a large car on a societal scale is demonstrably stupid and fallacious. The size of motors and cars have declined through the years. Most of us, on a personal level, have driven huge sedans with large motors in the past. My two fav motors are Fords 302 boss, and GM 455 rocket
I drive neither today. In fact, I don’t own a V8 engine. I do, however, smoke. I’m addicted to smoking, I have no addiction to driving big vehicles. Heck, I used to own a Mercury Lynx.
In fact, even if fossil fuel use were to be eliminated altogether, we would transfer our “addiction” to other sources. This is revealing, suggesting that it is our addiction to energy, not to fossil fuels per se, that is the root of the problem.
Well, yes, you morons, if you think massive improvements to longevity, quality of life, and health are addictions, then you have no idea what an addiction is. As Dr. Christy put it in recent state congressional testimony…..
professor John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, called affordable energy “the basis of our standard of living today.” While reducing CO2 emissions may or may not affect climate change, Christy said he’s certain it would raise energy costs. ”I’ve lived in Africa, and I can assure you that without energy, life is brutal and short,” Christy said. “…We are not bad people because we produce carbon dioxide.”
Yes, I’m addicted to a longer and less brutal existence.
And, that’s the difficulty with these sophist illogical meanderings. Are they really that stupid? In smoking, there need not be a replacement. If one quits smoking, …. well they quit smoking. As the authors point out, there isn’t a reliance on fossil fuels per se, it is the energy they produce. And it isn’t an addiction, it’s man’s quest for victory over the elements. To say we have an addiction to fossil fuels is like saying we have an addiction to longer, happier, and productive lives.
And this brings us to the fallacy of these sort of discussions. They pretend an alternative exists. It doesn’t. Before fossil fuel use can be curbed, there needs to be an alternative. Find the alternatives than the imaginary problem goes away. Find me an affordable equivalent to my V6 GM pickup and I’d happily drive it. Find me some cheap, reliable, available electricity generated by something other than coal or nat gas and I’d happily use it, and do. Much of the electricity I use comes from hydro-electric. No one is opposed to viable alternatives, they just don’t exist at the moment. And unlike smoking, there needs to be a replacement before we can discuss quitting.
Will these morons ever recognize how stupid they sound? Let’s all run back to the days of the 4th or 5th centuries when life was sooooo good! Dumbasses.