Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Democracy vs. Climate Change

I'm not sure why anyone is so afraid of the economics of responding to the threat of global warming.

1. Create (in Canada) tens of thousands of jobs retro-fitting older homes with better windows, doors, insulation, alternative power sources. Build constantly improved public transit infrastructure. (The same money that goes towards auto insurance and replacement of aged vehicles can go to shiny new trains, subway trains, buses, etc.). In short: "Green Jobs."

2. Tax all those wealthy individuals and corporations who received tens of billions of dollars and most of the profits from increased productivity over the last couple of decades? Why? Because a) All they did with that money was gamble with it in the financial markets that became increasingly divorced from reality, thus bringing about the financial market's near collapse. & b) To pay for all those green jobs, and redistribute the wealth BACK to the ordinary individuals who comprise the vast majority of society.

The job is huge. But we can do anything we want. That we're stuck kow-towing to the oil and auto sectors is just testimony to the lack of vision of our political-economic system.

Oh yeah, and the "conservative" party of Canada must be destroyed.


no_blah_blah_blah said...

In the long run, it is clear that the creation of green industries will be of benefit both environmentally and economically. New jobs and new industries are always good, as they diversify the economy and reduce unemployment. New competition also drives innovation to its peak.

As with any transition, though, there is always a short-term cost in terms of time needed for new training, new equipment installation, etc. That's from where the seeds of doubt originate. The fearmongers spread doubt about how long that "short-term pain" will last. As usual, the ones who spread the most fear are the ones who will lose the most: companies that profit from fossil fuels.

Also, getting a government that doesn't kowtow to these fossilized companies (i.e. not Conservative, and not the tar sands-supporting Ignatieff) would help.

thwap said...

You know what?

I don't believe that there needs to be any short-term pain.

Think of it like WWII, where we went from a depression to an economic boom.

Now imagine that all of this is going into the creation of an ecologically sound, people-serving economic model.

no_blah_blah_blah said...

Actually, you're right. I guess I just woke up with tunnel vision this morning and forgot that the government can spend money as well. D'oh!

The short-term pain refers to private business ventures and investments. "You have to spend money to make money," I think it goes. This is what the fearmongers always blow way out of proportion.

Since we're agreeing to the Keynesian economic model for the government (I believe), the key for the government is to remember to tax the wealthy during the eventual boom so that it can restock its coffers. "Spend when times are bad, tax when times are good."

Unfortunately, the Conservatives did the opposite and enacted significant tax cuts when times were good before our economy collapsed. Oops.

opit said...

Canadians almost did destroy the Conservative party. When Kim Campbell had her short run as PM the PCs ran on Free Trade and GST. The Liberals - Chretein - ran against both...and after they won both were strong as could be: the P.C. had 2 seats nationally. I don't know of a single promise in the Red Book that was kept.
Talking about 'getting rid of the P.C.' is about as realistic as swapping Bush for Obama : more 'war' escalation.
Dual Party Tyranny is our heritage - it's just they formally recognize it down south of the 49th!
Super insulation is something that came out is the 70's. Ever since childhood asthma has skyrocketed because of indoor air pollution.
Lack of air exchange leads to health impacts affecting our immune system : a symptom of slow suffocation. Heat excahger technology would cut heat costs - they are the major power expense - and allow us to breathe.