Cool graph on balancing carbon budgets

This image is a cool way to visualize strategies to balance carbon budgets. My advisor uses it a lot in presentations to put into perspective where soil carbon sequestration costs fit relative to ‘negative cost’ options & other options such as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

I think soils are on here twice to represent different soil sequestration options: some are cheap (no-till) some are more expensive (rangeland sequestration).

I think that it’s worth speculating why these negative cost options are underutilized.

Insulation improvement are often required after sale. Builders externalize these costs by selling houses & office buildings with rather basic insulation. Cost comparison by buyers end up costing the builder if they try to include energy efficient costs.

Similar is also true for commercial/consumer vehicle manufacturers: buyers don’t behave entirely rationally. They never build up ‘perfect information’ to make informed decisions. I believe Stiglitz talked about this?

There might be better versions available. I think I saw one where there was a large green bar representing clinker substitution in cement manufacturing that could save $50/tonne CO2 offset. Can’t find the citation and it’s late though…

So, that’s all for now. Enjoy the figure.


The 60s in Reverse: Part II

Recently, there are countless examples of liberal writers wringing their hands about the upcoming elections in November. Tea Party candidates have won a few nominations and republicans threaten the balance of one or more houses of congress as well as a number of governorships across the US.

So it makes sense for traditional liberals to be worried about all these things. But I’m not a liberal at all. I’ve just gotten used to siding with liberals because we agree on most social issues (except gay marriage, fuck marriage in general and fuck the State’s role in people’s love lives). This has made me somewhat conflicted regarding the Tea Party movement. They are the largest (maybe?), most vocal (definitely.) disorganized group of Americans to get angry about federal power since the civil war. However, there’s a whole range of social issues that are worrying to an anarchist: restricting reproductive rights & gender equality, racism & religion spring to mind. Can these be addressed? How would the landscape for dealing with these issues change in a Tea Party world? I don’t know, but tendencies toward limited government interference among Tea Partiers are super handy regarding social issues. This sphere should absolutely be outside of government influence. In exactly the same vein of separation of church and state.

Here is what I propose for anarchists who are unsure what to make of anti-government sentiment among white middle class baby boomers:

Stop voting defensively. (Stop voting entirely?) Don’t vote for liberals just because of their stance on social issues. This is the same as Kansas conservatives voting against their economic interests.

We are not part of the Tea Party movement. We are what it should have been. An anti-government movement emboldened by the bailout. Disgusted by collusion between the State and Capitalism, but not living in fear of “the other.” We can stand alongside middle class whites as well as lower class blacks and people of color. We know better than to look down on someone based on their statistics: anarchists don’t have any more right to look down on white middle class Tea Partiers than any other group of Americans.

However, we must stand against them when they are wrong. For example, if Tea Partiers ever forget the bailout and start supporting laissez-faire expansion of corporate power, we must stand against them. We must be vocal and stand against them when they use hate of the ‘other’ as an organizing tool. Unless that other is a non-human entity such as BP, Exxon, Enron, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield.

We should stand with them against monumental collusion by government and capitalist forces. We should remind them that government intrusions such as the Patriot act in our lives should be fought by citizens such as ourselves.

Rally up some crust-punks, radical cheerleading squad, drum core, anarcho-queers, manarchists and whoever else you can find. Go to the nearest-tea-party-rally-near-you™ with your awesomest get-ups, signs, flags and street theater teams and make a joyful noise. Talk with Tea Baggers. The middle class can be radical.  (If you haven’t guessed, I grew up middle class white & suburban. I like to think I am still capable of bringing shit down and causing a ruckus as well as the next radical anarchoqueer.) Capitalism benefits so few people in this country that its opponents are of all stripes. While fewer oppose the State, it’s time for liberals to start thinking hard about what it is they’re defending. It could bring together the same people that opposed one another in the 60s. It’s the 60s in reverse. A chance for the 60s as they should have been.

The 60s in Reverse: Part I

Liberals are afraid of change.

(Speaking of fear, I just woke up and started writing this post because I thought I heard someone trying to kick my front door down. (I think the noise came from somewhere else in my apartment building, and maybe I just inaccurately interpreted some noises in my sleep).)

Liberals are afraid of the social change that the Tea Party could represent. Tea Baggers views on reproductive rights, queerness and outright racism are often rather shameful frankly, but in keeping with the beliefs on non-interference, keeping them honest on reducing government power seems a dandy way to deal with these issues.

Liberals also buy the idea that government programs are necessary to keep the playing field even and promote social mobility. I think it’s clearer than ever that the government is failing in this regard (Google “The great divergence”).  Government insurance plans (a rally point for liberals who thought “if we get this one thing, things will start getting better”) might be a lot less necessary if insurance companies were not the sole drivers of cost. Reducing corporate power seems to have fallen out of discussion in the Tea Party even though the Bailout was a major catalyst in developing their movement. (Of course, I’m no Tea Bagging scholar or anything.)

Hope™ and Change™ mottoes brought about more bailouts and gridlock in Congress (okay, so the Republicans drove gridlock, but the only major pieces of legislation that I think are likely in the coming decade are crony capitalist Republicans’ bills after the next presidential election.)

This is one thing Obama supporters are in the process of learning: Change can’t be won with an election. Stunning victories by Democrats in ’08 brought about approximately ZERO change and NEGATIVE hope as far as my limited calculations can figure. I imagine Tea Party supporters will eventually learn the same, even if they do win the next couple elections.

The complete failure of Democrats to execute anything following the past election might not be enough evidence that radical change is the only option, but it is clear Leviathan has grown, but may no longer be powerful enough to counteract the great divergence & unrestrained growth of corporate power. Government and capitalism are too intertwined. Bureaucrats would have little influence upon the dynamics of the system, even if they operated with a unified will (Unless perhaps they struck down corporate personhood, but that would be the most radical change of the past 200 years and would have to either pass congress by supermajority or by state amendment convention and any legislation would likely be struck down by the Supreme Court based on precedent provided by Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad).

Leviathan was too well designed to be inefficient and slow radical change. Capitalism is the major element of change in our society and it has scared citizens on the Right (perhaps only subconsciously, but there is no arguing that the bailout has been a rally point for the Tea Party). Why has it not scared citizens on the Left? Are we just too caught up in the threats the Right could make in the realm of social issues?