Economic & Finance Report
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The Fallacy That All the Worlds Problems Are Political Problems, That All Our Problems Can Be Solved By Political Activism.
By: James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM
Economic & Finance Report
I’m not a proponent or opponent of global warming, but it serves as an excellent example of a major flaw which has developed in America’s political system. This is the perception that all world’s problems are political problems, that the world is just one giant political arena. That every problem in the world is a political problem that can be solved by political activism and action. This is very much a fallacy and global warming is an excellent example of this premise. A problem that has a physical bases cannot be resolved by any political solution, unless the legislative process has significant control over those forces operating on the physical bases of a problem.
First of all, the general consensus in the scientific publications (not political) is that we are experiencing global warming and human activity is most likely a major factor. After that, nothing can really be said what the consequences will be, after all, you’re trying to predict the weather and look how difficult that is for just five days out, let alone five or fifty years in the future. But that’s not the point of this essay, the point is how so many are attempting to address the perceived problem.
And that’s with political activism!
Proponents of global warming use the classical methods of political activism, acting as if there is some evil, heartless, cruel, savage person … or some small malevolent group conspiring to deliberately bring the evils of global warming upon the masses of humanity. Their emotional
attitude is to root out and bring to the public light of awareness, those evil person or persons so public political action can be brought to bear upon them and thereby stopping them. But just how valid is this subconscious assumption? Is there really some mean cruel savage person or group of people who continually work towards bringing global warming upon the rest of us? Well, the physics of changing the world’s massive atmospheric environment says this isn’t something done by just a few individuals no matter how much power they may have. No, there isn’t some small group to act against.
So just who is at fault? Who is to blame for the problems of our environment? What are the true forces at work causing changes … and changes to any component of the problem? What is the forcing functions of the problem? That’s always the first step in addressing a problem (defining the problem), for without knowing a problem, you cannot develop any viable solutions.
So what’s the real problem causing global warming?
Any time you have a massive over population of any species, you will have environmental damage. A bacteria, algae, insects, a clam from the oceans of Asia, rats and feral cats on tropical pacific islands or rabbits in Australia. When their population becomes massive, the damage they cause to the environment becomes extensive. And it’s no different for us humans! Right now, there is a world population of over seven billion humans and growing. There has never been such a large population of large mammals (over say 100 pounds) in the world. The American buffalo or bison had a peak population of between 30 and 50 million, when herds extended for as far as the eye could see. That’s the real cause of global warming, as well as many other of the environmental problems we are now are experiencing. Those global warming activist are very careful to avoid facing this fact, because unconsciously they know there isn’t any real solution to the problem. The only real solution to global warming is to drastically reduce the world’s population to a tolerable level.
Unable to work real world problems, the activist are left to 0pretend0 solving the problem, which leaves them feeling better about the situation, because they are doing something even if it is a waste of time. They go about rallying public awareness and support using the methods of public education, demonstrations, news stories and rallies to fight those invisible malevolent evil people who are conspiring to harm their world. Use political activism to bring about their downfall and cure the problem of global warming … and make for a beautiful and wonderful magical new world. But why can’t they find these sinister people? Because they don’t go and look in a mirror! Global warming is a result of way to many people in the world, and just like any other massive overpopulation of a species, our overpopulation is causing extensive damage to the environment.
They’re not working the problem … instead they are pretending to solve the problem.
The problems for millenniums are being addressed using this same pretending and as a result, nothing real is being done to help them. The problems that political activism can actually address are rather limited, because of the legislative process, so if the legislators doesn’t have significant control over the forces which are driving a problem, then it stands to reason that the legislative process of a government is unable to do anything in resolving that problem.
Consequently, the government and people are left doing little else than pretending the problem is being addressed by creating and maintaining images of such.
The fallacy of global warming is that all the worlds problems are political problems, that all our problems can be solved by political activism. No need to analyze or study a problem, no need to understand or model a problem, no need to rationally work a problem, just use the old political activism … or maybe go one step further and have medicine men, wizards, sorcerers or shamans use their magic charms, wands, powders and symbols to conjure up magical spells that solve the problems of the world.
And with this same fallacy being applied to the problems of young Americans, their future continues to diminish and fade away.
By: James Lyman BSAE, BSEE, MSSM
Economic & Finance Report
I just got this months issue of Scientific American, which has a very interesting article by Stephen Brusatte on “What Killed the Dinosaurs” 1, that considers that the demise of the dinosaurs was a result of the weakening of the environment prior to the cataclysmic asteroid strike. That because of the diminished disparity of the herbivores prior the meteor, the dinosaurs were weaken to the point of being unable to survive the consequences. In addition to amazing me what they are doing in paleontology research, it got me to wondering if the same thing isn’t happening to us and our modern economy.
Like you, I had no idea just what the word “disparity” really met with regards to dinosaurs, the general definition being “a great difference”. In this context, disparity is the anatomical measure of biodiversity, the greater the number of different species, the greater the disparity. The article made the point that prior to the impact of the killer asteroid several major groups of dinosaur herbivores had disappeared. The disparity of dinosaurs had significantly diminished, meaning there were now fewer species of dinosaurs and a lower level of biodiversity. In turn, this lower level of disparity made the dinosaurs, as a whole, more fragile and therefore more susceptible to any cataclysmic event. In short— the dinosaurs were probably already on the way out when the asteroid hit! For an ecosystem, the lower the disparity, the lower its resilience to cataclysmic events … the more fragile or brittle that ecosystem is.
An interesting article, if you’re a junior amateur paleontologies, which I’m really not. So whatdoes all this have to do with economic and financial matters, and more importantly, why is this article even on this website? Well, quite simply, while perusing through the article, I began wondering if the same applies to an economic system. If job types or career fields is equivalent to species, then does an economic system have disparity too?
A structure with many elements or members is more resilient than one with just a few members holding up a structure, for if one of those member fails, then the whole structure is more likely to collapse. For example, with a tripod structure, destruction of one of the three legs will almost certainly cause the tower to collapse, while a structure such as the Eiffel Tower has a lattice of structural members making it a distributed structure. Destruction of several of these individual members will not cause the tower to fall, indeed the destruction of several dozen members probably would still not topple it. The same principle of 0redundance of components0 is the bases for the invention of the internet. The military wanted a communications system able to survive a nuclear war and this was accomplished by having a lattice mesh network of communications paths where messages could find their way across from sender to receiver. If a nuclear exchange should destroy the bulk of those nodes, there would still be enough left for messages to find their way across the network.
In an economy with a wide variety of career fields people have a choices of where to go if their present job disappears. For my generation, the average American changed career fields three times over their life time. For the millenniums I can easily see them changing five, six or even seven times, at a time when the number of career fields is drastically diminishing. The millenniums have fewer and fewer options as the structure of the economy goes from a distributed structure to single member structure– that would be the economic disparity! The diversity of the job market diminishes so the people have fewer and fewer options left open to them.
So from this view point, I can see that there is disparity in an economic system, and furthermore, the inherent dangers associated with diminishing disparity. As technology displaces people they have fewer options for new jobs to go to, and often as not, those options that are available are lower paying – lower quality jobs. This is particularly true for the millenniums where so many are starting at the bottom tiers of the economy with little prospect of moving upwards like their parents and grandparents did, despite having a college degree. This in turn, means a shrinking market of young with disposable income, that in turn is very important for our present hyper-consumerism based economy. The new consumers we are depending on to continue supporting and growing the present economy is diminishing before our eyes. And more importantly, there’s the question: will those youth be content to be bypassed and just left behind?
Now the premise of Stephen Brusatte’s article is the decreased disparity of the dinosaurs so weaken the species, that with a cataclysmic event of an asteroid impact, they were unable to weather the disaster and became extinct. We have already seen the devastating effects of a cataclysmic event with the sudden spike in oil prices in 2007, when world oil consumption exceed what was physically possible to be pump out of the ground. And we saw (continue to see) the effect of economic disparity as people’s lives were disrupted while they struggled to find a new job, often any job, in a world with fewer career fields available to them.
And now the sixty four thousand dollar question! Has diminished economic disparity left the world economies so weaken that another cataclysmic event could again destroy the 0dinosaurs0 of present economies leaving the field wide open for new species of mammals to burst forth and become the new dominate economies of the world.
Only time will tell … and time always tells.
1) “What Killed the Dinosaurs, The asteroid strike was bad. The timing was worse”, Stephen Brusatte, Scientific American, December 2015, Volume 313, Number 6, pp 54-59