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  • it eats 18:07 on 02012/05/24 Permalink | Reply exists. that is another wordpress install, and empty now; could easily be filled with these posts here. i think i will think about that later.

  • it eats 11:33 on 02012/05/19 Permalink | Reply  

    this morning on twitter i held myself accountable on greening our ‘infrastructure’ 

    Q: let’s discuss greening the building trade.
    A: zero to discuss. they only care about regs & standards.
    Q: why?
    A: can’t sell niche skills.

    Q: but that press release said half the… what was it.
    A: half the new nonresidential buildings.
    Q: that’s a niche?
    A: it’s not zero carbon.

    Q: doesn’t today’s energy efficiency intersect w/ tomorrow’s?
    A: flip that: ask when we’ll need to retrofit today’s efficient buildings.

    Q: “when will we need to retrofit today’s efficient buildings?”
    A: it’s a trick question. owners’ll force policymakers to grandfather them.

    Q: you really have no idea what a crash greening program would look like here.
    A: i really don’t.
    Q: so you bullshit?
    A: ask why i have to.

    Q: if the US feels the urgency req’d to go green, won’t details just work out, like WW2?
    A: no.
    Q: pray tell why not.
    A: there’s no enemy.

    Q: so you picture a greening campaign of global-wartime speed & scope… herding cats.
    A: INDEBTED cats.
    Q: worse?
    A: it’s a lenders’ world.

    Q: you rail against wall street cuz you’re afraid they’ll block big polluter intervention?
    A: they already do. but no, i care about equity.

    Q: you think big finance hates greens.
    A: no, they’re tax cheats.
    Q: isn’t saving the world a special case?
    A: your morality is adorable.

    Q: i don’t get how lenders have control of greening.
    A: picture the housing crash.
    Q: ok.

    Q: dirty infrastructure is ‘underwater’? don’t greening plans include retrofits?
    A: and cheap!
    Q: but…?
    A: how many mortgage mods were done?


    Q: you liked carbon taxes over carbon trading.
    A: kinda irrelevant now.
    Q: wasn’t that also about big finance?
    A: it’s about deployment now.

    Q: green economists advocate “a high & rising carbon price.”
    A: sure, but there’s no paul volcker, no helicopter ben, for planetary systems.

    Q: you want a central bank for natural resources?
    A: when global warming got critical, nobody could pull a volcker on carbon prices. nobody.

    Q: is running planetary ecosystems like a currency desirable?
    A: maybe. this is a finite planet, overextended. we have, um, ecostagflation.

    Q: you don’t really expect the world to create a global natural resource bank!
    A: maybe after a crash or two.
    Q: “or two”?!
    A: time’s long.

    Q: i can already hear ron paul’s heirs demanding we return to a “sound energy” policy.
    A: they say that now. they’re this joke’s godparents.


    quoted & wrote more a couple days later, putting it here where it belongs.


    ALEX STEFFEN: This idea – that rehabbed older buildings are usually greener than new construction – sounds good but is wrong…

    ALEX STEFFEN: Passivhaus experts like Rob Harrison + @bruteforceblog point out new bldgs can be made super-efficient (LEED is lowball standard for energy)

    ALEX STEFFEN: Urbanists point out that greater density is highest leverage urban sustainability standard… and most existing bldgs in N Am low density

    ALEX STEFFEN: Even historic preservation folks point out that not every bldg qualifies as worth saving, +those that are worth saving on cultural terms.

    ALEX STEFFEN: I am in favor of urban reuse, historic pres, etc: but I think Americans need to face up to how massive a change awaits us.

    (how big, also how fast, varying by the usual things of geography, demography, current logistics, regional self-image, i dunno, lotsa stuff.…)

    ALEX STEFFEN: If building’s worth saving on cultural grounds, or b/c it’s well-built for rehabbing, save it. But most US buildings are neither.


    i dreamed engaging @alexsteffen on diff regions responding diff’ly to costs/harms; i noted me ‘thinking’ not ‘analyzing’ or ‘studying’ it.

    in current housing market it’s hard to tell owners (cuz they’d grump, or cuz they’re MBS diffuse) that their property is in a deprecated place.

    i mean if you had $1T (~$100M per 10,000 households) to start greening our zoning w/ minimal pain, to finish SOON, how would you spend it?

    the TCO of today’s buildings affects owners’ willingness to internalize eco-costs, complicating the present affordability of tight greening. this is the dreaded ‘inflation expectations’ thing, absent a central bank of natural resources that can set a credible eco-price policy.

    building green now in absence of nat’l green plan is sorta like buying gold to hedge against monetary wipeout. there’s an element of faith. not that the visions (goldbug vs green) are equally sound, but they both run counter to nat’l policy and impose extra costs on adherents.

    you want to say “i’ll build my green building in a green place” but in absence of green land use policy it’s hard to be sure where that is. where will policy be, come year 2022 & beyond? probly, the way we’re hooking together on the net, single family homes won’t feel so crucial.

    but we see now many of those among us who can AFFORD to take the loss, choosing instead to rig things to hold the less-capitalized hostage. “CAN AMERICA REALLY AFFORD a totally-refunded carbon tax?” why yes, yes we can, in fact it’d improve economic efficiency, by exposing costs.

    goldbugs are the frontier nostalgia vote. offer them choice btwn long bad droughts & careful water policy and they’ll shoot the messenger. SOMEBODY must’ve watched ‘gunsmoke’ religiously as children. and if ‘star trek’ had a mild effect on our dreams & expectations…

    let’s repeat that conservationist urban planning is way harder than clean energy, but it’s integral, as logistics shape electricity demand. how many electric vehicles do you want to assume will be on our roads in 25 yrs? 100 million? 300 million? they’ll be on the grid we build. (conservationist urban planning would of course change the MIX of vehicles on the road. let’s just count their number, to guess power draw.)

    going thru this in your mind, do you start feeling sympathy for federal reserve experts who just shrugged & said “housing bubble? whaaaa?”


    institutional investors evicted thousands of CHILDREN. how do you persuade them not to fight green zoning that cuts their properties’ value?

    • Arkady 01:34 on 02012/07/23 Permalink

      I got into a discussion with a Randroid over fracking. He was in tears at the dishonesty and ignorance of the leftists. It was really kind of cute. The leftists were driving policy, but brave frackers were defying political correctness and stalinist oppression in order to keep giving poor people the gas they need to heat their homes. I was appropriately amazed, but it gets even more amazing: leftists are uncomfortable with science and quantitative data. They all have degrees in deconstructing the racial biases of early cro-magnon cave painting. They acquired power in spite of that, by playing on the trust and generosity of the right wing, and then eviscerated the free market.

      There are days when the planet can’t boil fast enough to suit me.

    • it eats 02:22 on 02012/07/23 Permalink

      well honestly i’ve been rethinking my stance against fracking. it does, after all, generate revenue more safely & reliably than selling h-bombs to rabid badgers.

    • Arkady 05:48 on 02012/07/23 Permalink

      Institutional investors are rabid badgers with h-bombs. They also seem remarkably stupid to me. They use passive aggression to destroy the underpinnings of the businesses that keep them in business. It’s not apparently deliberate, but genuinely appears to be stupidity. Offhand, I can’t think of a sector with more wealth under its control. Is there one? The wealth depends on the existence of something other than bubbles and control fraud. Yet they routinely rally behind champions of bubble economics and control fraud.

    • it eats 08:53 on 02012/07/23 Permalink

      if derivatives are money, in terms of collateral, then no, clearly no, nobody’s ever had more wealth, or more dangerously since they’ve got this art concept of trillions leaning against trillions in a hurricane so they can take out their billions whenever the stars align which happens often cuz in their computers they’ve multiplied the sky by infinity.

      it’s not hard to understand why people surrounded by astronomical amounts of fantasy wealth would forget where they put primary productivity like the rest of us misplace keys. that’s the joke about the ‘job creators’ phrase isn’t it? in the middle-banksters’ world “get a job” is child’s play, the pay pool’s near infinite. is it plausible they’re looking so quickly/narrowly that the hucap scarcity games are only one line item on a giant portfolio? we already know they suck at real-world macro.

    • Arkady 05:12 on 02012/09/19 Permalink

      The progress of fantasy has made me, effectively, a crusty old conservative. One of those sad fools who yells profanities at rubbish bins, “where’s your productivity now, motherfucker? WHERE is it NOW, eh?” The bins never respond…

    • it eats 06:11 on 02012/09/29 Permalink

      dress up like a garbage truck and try again, is what i’m saying.

  • it eats 11:21 on 02012/03/29 Permalink | Reply  

    oh. hi! i’ve got something to put here! about climate economics, kinda. 

    in recent months i’ve been sitting back, letting the presidential river of crap flow by, biding my nails over the ecological situation, but you know how that goes. “the climate is always changing” as they say.

    anyhow there was a flurry of attention to the sourness of our planetary pickle, resulting mostly from the word ‘irreversible’ being used in a fairly conservative science magazine.

    The skeptics have decided that evidence isn’t really evidence — it’s a grand conspiracy of thousands to fool the public — so no amount of evidence will matter. Nevertheless, this is worth noting:

    Global Warming Close to Becoming Irreversible, by Nina Chestney, Scientific American: The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter … scientists warned on Monday. … As emissions grow,… the world is close to reaching thresholds beyond which the effects on the global climate will be irreversible …

    no great shock there, except for how many serious people it caught off-guard, except they’re the sorts who get caught off-guard by a surprising number of impolitic aka ‘inconvenient’ truths.

    ok for some reason i flared up briefly in reaction to the above.

    a twenty-year window for action, as compared to the conventional “by 2050, whatever” discussion, has real present macroeconomic implications.

    we’re not slumping our way toward another great moderation, we’re heading toward an industrial overhaul of mammoth proportions. we have foreknowledge of this, and our foreknowledge makes it as dumb to imagine the 2020s as a time of public austerity as it would’ve been to pass a balanced budget amendment during the second world war.

    oh i remember! it was cuz someone called me names! for not calling myself a name! or something. here’s that earlier exchange at

    which started with

    John Whitehead defends environmental economists:

    What’s wrong with climate change economics?, Environmental Economics: Er, nothing?

    and then went like

    romm thinks 2°C isn’t even a possible minimum anymore. by discussing it as a possible maximum, whitehead proves romm’s point.

    john whitehead
    Er, I thought that I had said that 2C was a minimum increase; i.e., I accept the IPCC projections (and why wouldn’t I?).

    How did I discuss it as a possible max?

    i was terse, in a hurry. too complicated for that. i’m talking about possible outcomes of scenarios, not upper ranges of a particular scenario.

    it’s apparent in what mark thoma quoted that you don’t see 2C as a worst case maximum. this could’ve guided you to what *i* was saying.

    you quoted nordhaus talking about 2C as a possible outcome of mitigation. this is what i meant by 2C as a possible maximum.

    it’s my understanding that romm, based on recent findings about feedbacks etc, no longer sees 2C as possible in even his most optimistic effort+technology dreams.

    being a little more passive than joe romm, i experienced fear, not anger, when in your blog response to me you described being “troubled” – surprised? – that 2C was a stretch.

    john whitehead
    I think it is silly for those of us who think that climate change is a bad thing to be squabbling about how bad.

    The real problem is those who don’t buy into the science.

    A Joe Romm problem is feeling the need to rip on economists because they are not as enthusiastic about the problem as [insert name here] might be.

    sure, 20-year window for action, 40-year window for action, what’s the difference, we’re all doing it for the sake of the kids.

    john whitehead
    “how bad” is a second order problem these days. the bigger fight is with those who say “no problem.”

    there’s no fight. only conflicting imaginary retirement strategies in a ghost town of yesterday’s promises.


    so let’s go back to the first article and the comment about public austerity & green federal spending.

    a twenty-year window for action, as compared to the conventional “by 2050, whatever” discussion, has real present macroeconomic implications.

    we’re not slumping our way toward another great moderation, we’re heading toward an industrial overhaul of mammoth proportions. we have foreknowledge of this, and our foreknowledge makes it as dumb to imagine the 2020s as a time of public austerity as it would’ve been to pass a balanced budget amendment during the second world war.

    i wasn’t done with it. it tasked me.

    this comment has been in my head constantly since then. i think i need to clarify.

    everyone looking at climate stuff knows of or has maybe really explored the guts of some fleshed-out plans for fast GHG abatement: lots of economic analyses find that the costs of fast action are not painful, even before comparing against the moderate or worst-case damages of BAU/slow-action.

    but those are *costs*. few plans detail how the *spending* will be distributed.

    finance VIPs’ attitudes toward big public outlays are as predictable as the cold mean night follows the carte-blanche-bailout day, and that’s as big a problem as any science-impaired lobbyist.

    how so? consider the recent US climate bill. the scale & speed of that plan that america’s legislators failed to pass was plainly insufficient to mitigate the risks our best climate scientists had identified, but even so the program would have been one of the biggest federal spends in history.

    it’s unreasonable, even ridiculous, to expect that federal budgets around the world won’t be the place where *financial* risks of massive green overhaul are mitigated. risks that include early retirement of BREATHTAKING tonnages of poisonous equipment.

    so we’re talking about a project priced at the tens-trillions scale, with trillions passing through national budgets, and now there’s no escaping the conclusion that the bulk of the *conversion* work — the costly part, from household & institutional perspectives — MUST happen & likely WILL happen in the next 20 years, not the following 20.

    this means planning on a lean mean federal budget in the 2020s is really foolish. signs point to market intervention.

    oh for completeness here is a little stream of twitterings i wrote in the interim.

    “wow the climate’s changing fast” yeah wow. ok. my longtime public point has been to spur thinking how a big fast countereffort would work.

    there was never another possibility, the fight against planetary carbon overload had to be big & bold, befitting the situation. no choice.

    people spent all this time, WASTED this time, building detailed scenarios for minimum possible abatement, like the science was debatable.

    even proud greens go after EXISTING nukes with more gusto than coal plants. can’t stand to look at the wall; can’t read the writing there.

    i’ve been ineffective. treading lightly, to speak as if the obvious FUTURE of policy was already in the pipeline, was slow & sloppy. sorry.

    it’s hard not to speak in generalities tho. details get bogged down in politics, and i don’t mean lib-con shit, i mean winners-losers.

    that’d be true even w/o the feedlot our fair federal affairs have become. ‘wartime speed’ means plain ol’ federal public interest spending.

    no matter the overall aggregate economic costs of ending carbon pollution as we know it, they’ll all flow thru the magical federal budget.

    cuz we’re not stupid: even in some fanciful slower fuel switch, households & companies can’t keep all the transition costs on their books.

    especially not while deleveraging & worried about future prospects. team poison-the-well has exploited this nicely. i wish hell existed.

    that’s about it. references for this are pretty much everywhere, unless you think real estate values only go up.

  • it eats 11:32 on 02011/10/24 Permalink | Reply  

    ‘these are not the radicals demanding intense zero-carbon industrial programs you’re looking for’ 


    access file #83. play.

    brookejarvis #FF: @drgrist and @mims are having a conversation that should help kick your week off in the right mood: grim despair.

    access file #84. play.

    mims Now that dangerous warming w/in our lifetimes is all but certain, enviros need new argument for not emitting (I.e. The policy debate should be about what happens when we get to 4, 5 or 6 degrees of warming.)

    drgrist @mims Wait, huh? Why?

    mims @drgrist I mean the new distinction needs to be between the problems on their way and the even worse problems that could be on the way. (Otherwise “climate change is inevitable” becomes the ultimate denialist fallback.)

    drgrist @mims That’s been true for decades, though, no? It’s always been about how much damage, not whether there would be any.

    mims @drgrist Yes and no. The debate has been about not exceeding 2degC. Now it’s about not getting to, say, 6.

    drgrist @mims I guess I don’t see why that’s new. 2 degrees has always been wildly unlikely.

    mims @drgrist Yet 2 is the subject of every international meeting and sets the agenda for the MSM. Not everyone talks to / reads the scientists.

    drgrist @mims Even describing the consequences of 2 gets branded “fearmongering.” Imagine if we describe what’s *really* coming!

    mims @drgrist True. 10,000 years of serene interglacial climate mean we have nothing, just nothing, to prepare us mentally.

    drgrist @mims I’ve been thinking someone (you) needs to push back on the “the climate is always changing” thing. Not during modern civilization!

    mims @drgrist That’s an interesting idea. It’s changed a bit (Medieval warm period etc.) but on the whole not much. Hmmm.

    Sustainable2050 @mims @drgrist Let’s expose its ridiculosity. ‘What’s all the fuss on the Dow dropping 10% yesterday? It dropped 12% only 50,000 years ago!’

    mims @Sustainable2050 Good metaphor. I wonder what global temperatures over past 10k years would look like as a stock price. @drgrist


    access file #83. play.

    brookejarvis #FF: @drgrist and @mims are having a conversation that should help kick your week off in the right mood: grim despair.

    mims @brookejarvis It’s weird. I’m so far past despairing over this stuff. All I can think anymore is adapt, adapt, adapt.

    brookejarvis @mims If only that were a more common response!

    mims @brookejarvis Unfortunately on some level maybe it is? Hence less focus on mitigation. “We’ll just adapt.” As if.

    access file #85. play.

    spylark dear @mims @drgrist @brookejarvis: ‘adapt’ is baked into bankrupt market theory. this century like the last will be what it’s built. #ows


    • Arkady 18:18 on 02012/01/18 Permalink


    • it eats 19:15 on 02012/01/18 Permalink

      oh right you ordered a salad i’ll be right back with that.

    • Arkady 18:43 on 02012/01/19 Permalink

      I almost signed up for Twitter, but they didn’t offer me the avocado and pickled asparagus I’ve wanted. Not that it makes all that much difference, in the grand scheme of things.

    • it eats 19:19 on 02012/01/19 Permalink

      the internet is dead to me. i’ve switched to long-distance screaming. still waiting reply from across big water.

    • Arkady 19:43 on 02012/01/19 Permalink

      It’s mostly dead to me too. I was asked to participate in a blackout yesterday. I misunderstood—although, to be fair, I didn’t make a serious effort to understand—and drank myself into a stupor. When I came to, I found myself wearing nothing but a codpiece and delivering an economics lecture at the University of Chicago. They offered me tenure, of course.

    • it eats 17:52 on 02012/01/21 Permalink

      i applied for that job… “seeking numerically-inclined persons who lack vision, to meet internal intellectual diversity goals”… negotiations collapsed when i differentiated vacation pay from unemployment insurance….

    • Arkady 01:19 on 02012/02/14 Permalink

      I signed up. I mean for Twitter, not the U of C. They can go fuck themselves.

  • it eats 20:42 on 02011/10/17 Permalink | Reply  


    damn you people, who say “creativity is not the answer, for it is outside this box which bounds our perfectly equilibrated accomplishments.”

    damn you, who light fireworks w/ your own hands to extol the birth of revolutionary fervor, but other days smother the dark moment’s match.

    curse you who gain stature as the answer by means of deceit & treachery, by eliminating faithful questioners on whom good policy depends.

    damn you to the very hell we’re making here, a devastated biosphere, our blood & only home from which, like a rat, you pick & hoard & flee.

    so long waiting for our stories to account for everything & still end happily, for sleight of hand to be relegated to sideshow spectacle.

    this is the place you punish yourself. you know there’s nothing here that’s not also you, and nothing here you can hate w/o being corrupted.

    we speak, we dream, we give voice to all, our words alloying every element we wish, and when we’re open & dedicated we make real good tools.

  • it eats 11:52 on 02011/10/01 Permalink | Reply  

    late at night when the brain is sleeping… something else comes creeping, creeping 

    oh we did have a nice time in bed w/ twitter.

    spylark ~american conservatives have abandoned economics: when evidence says market prices are wrong, they attack the evidence~

    ok. the credibility gap is incredible. the worst, and worst-timed, that stupid hot money can buy, dragging our civilization over the brink.

    and the people asking “are we happy” make me ill. THE STRANGE NEW OCEAN nearly killed diana fucking nyad, and you guys are lighting incense?

    corporate worshippers & market whisperers alike HEAR ME: you have corrupted your biophysical world; you have fouled your nest. YOU MUST ACT.

    facing many planetary crises, knowing only the crap you were fed, it’s no surprise you want to be saved by a giant green alan greenspan.

    you’re wicked proud of your global metafactory but you’ve no clue how to rip its guts for overhaul. your ‘loose nukes’ have more failsafes!


    can we all agree a strategic weapon people are not afraid to use should be categorically banned? we’ve known the coal threat. played dumb.

    what @nytimeskrugman said, that conservative ‘economics’ has renounced market failures, stopped short. this is a global STRATEGIC failure.

    we attack the future. we are death unleashing devastating biological weapons, casually continuing blood feuds embedded in our architecture.

    if we choose not to put full muscle to averting tragedy — i don’t know how i’ll feel — frankly my brain cells’ sentimentality disgusts me.

    i hope we can be what i think maybe some of the founders of our country hoped: truly free; truly able to choose a course based on knowledge.

    i checked, no new cig holes in mattress.

  • it eats 12:21 on 02011/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    in imaginary chat w/ chinese president, i painted a picture of biological earth as a dish that eats itself, and our behavior as bad cooking.

  • it eats 16:24 on 02011/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    and… stop. 

    remember ?


    let’s get the most recent numbers.

    WA 18.7%
    MO 15.0%
    MI 19.6%
    IN 15.9%
    PA 14.0%
    OH 15.6%
    VA 11.8% (virginians vote themselves all the direct employment they need)
    NC 17.5%
    GA 17.4%
    FL 18.4%


    and i closed with

    mostly i’m wondering if & when this approach gets into the top pundit territory, or if they stay w/ comfy aggregate numbers.

    ok so…

    first site i saw do like this, about 9 months later.

    wasn’t really watching for it.

  • it eats 15:51 on 02011/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Prepare a Plan for Cutting Carbon 80% by 2030 

    i went to & made a petition. it goes like this:

    Extreme weather such as droughts, flooding, and record temperatures are only some of the indications that Earth’s climate is changing even faster than expected.

    The science is clear that our fossil fuel pollution is harming the ecology of our planet, and that to protect our food, our water, our wildlife, and our future, we must deeply cut this pollution as well as better manage our natural resources.

    Someday soon we may want to confront this crisis aggressively and even though our national politics is uncomfortable working on the problem now, we can still study our options, for when that day of action comes.

    If we develop a 20-year national blueprint for reducing our climate impact by 80%, and keep that blueprint up to date, we will be both more ready and better informed for the future.

    won’t YOU add your supporting signature? !!

    (it needs 150 signees to be visible to the searching public)

  • it eats 12:54 on 02011/09/24 Permalink | Reply  

    ‘interesting contrast between #movingplanet and #occupywallstreet protests today’ 

    as we know, the word ‘interesting’ has been poisoned with self-promotional spite. political operatives love that.…

    leave that, let’s just get the twitter convo written down.

    RL_Miller Interesting contrast between #movingplanet and #occupywallstreet protests today. 1 protest angry, chaotic, confrontational; other, hopeful, organized, respectful, photogenic.

    spylark @RL_Miller “#movingplanet vs #occupywallstreet” —quitting coal & replacing oil much easier than refusing money itself by damping FIRE sector

    RL_Miller @spylark you really think that quitting coal and replacing oil is easy? ummm.

    spylark @RL_Miller i said “much easier than refusing money itself” from banking sector

    RL_Miller @spylark are you suggesting that we need to refuse money itself? what’s your alternative? I’m a little lost.

    spylark @RL_Miller goldman complicit in housing crash, in banks-first recovery plan, in euro crisis. as toxic as exxon or peabody, but TBT-confront.

    RL_Miller @spylark Wall St crisis isn’t existential threat to humanity. Climate crisis is. Hence, my priority.

    spylark @RL_Miller right… nice people have the decency to ignore how finance-driven austerity measures are raising climate risk…

    RL_Miller For new followers: yes, I’m a #singleissuehawk. Yes, I think my issue is more important than yours. Deal with it. Or unfollow.

    RL_Miller @spylark Indirect connection btw finance-driven austerity measures, climate risk; very direct connection btw oil/coal, climate risk.

    spylark @RL_Miller i can see how a moral person concentrating on rules could miss how chasing fat returns could lead the amoral to socialize risk



    spylark i don’t see us going green w/o transforming finance. so watching democrats spit on #occupywallstreet is like watching the future piss away.

  • it eats 19:34 on 02011/09/18 Permalink | Reply  

    @lacymacauley (is taking wall street by hula hoop) 

    the day’ll come
    when the buildings’re gone
    ghosts, replaced or fallen
    & what their residents wanted
    is forgot
    for good
    of all

  • it eats 16:14 on 02011/09/18 Permalink | Reply  

    complex last-minute questions asked by jerks 


    …is a pretty good conversation about dean baker’s effort to change the angle of liberals’ attack.

    unfortunately for my poor question i asked it using my known name, and also it took me 20 minutes to get registered and compose the sucker, as usual barely making it before the lights shut off.


    your book focuses on the need for fair-deal types to counteract markets built by ‘flood-upwards economics.’ james k galbraith has said for years that the big federal category error is ‘fiscal responsibility’ aka the household budget metaphor. stiglitz of course champions fixing market failures, including ecological impact.

    ok. al gore just finished a giant sales pitch for his 3000-strong crew of presenters, all around the world.

    i realize the VP has a big budget, but a) would you consider a project along those lines, reintroducing progressive econ to a union-less party-less america; and b) what would be your main topics?


    after the crickets finished they said maybe the first paragraph was too pushy, and the “union-less party-less” came off glib. i tried to explain to the crickets that i meant those institutions no longer had social presence but they’d already left to see a movie.


    when i erased stiglitz’s warfare cost analyses, i meant no disrespect to the dead or grieving. i think of massive war as a psychic market failure.

    • Arkady 06:20 on 02011/09/19 Permalink

      I can’t answer for Dean, but the post-autistic economics people (Dean a stalwart among them) have been trying to do just that, for a long time. They’ve encountered walls wherever they go. The problem is that reform ideas, regardless of their merit, don’t drive policy in the status quo exercise of power. Their normal condition approaches uselessness, except as marketing platforms and recruiting slogans. In a crisis, they have a slightly better chance. But the majority of progressives are unwilling to precipitate a crisis; even a bloodless one is too much to ask. The entrance to that path is guarded by the Naderbaiters, the progressive equivalent of the Tea Baggers.

    • it eats 18:48 on 02011/09/19 Permalink

      today i learned that annie leonard’s crew is working on ‘the story of (america is not) broke’ and it will be out soon.

      The problem is that reform ideas, regardless of their merit, don’t drive policy in the status quo exercise of power. Their normal condition approaches uselessness, except as marketing platforms and recruiting slogans.

      i don’t want to slide over into the ‘better messaging’ thing here. what i really meant to be doing was to say to dean that his book implies the need for a whole curriculum.

    • Arkady 19:44 on 02011/09/19 Permalink

      That it does. I’m enjoying the book too, by the way. Over the years I’ve been reading him, I’ve rarely (but very happily) seen him do a metaphorical head-desk about the anguishing ways of progressives. It has the effect of a karate strike on flimsy shingles. He’s very diplomatic most of the time, so it’s a treat, and it proves he’s no fool either.

    • it eats 20:13 on 02011/09/19 Permalink <—handy memorable pointer to book page

  • it eats 19:14 on 02011/09/17 Permalink | Reply  

    insert _climate_solution_ here 

    oh a game!

    haha i’ll send that funny thing

    insert WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGY to build a great economy — with CLEAN energy… DIVERSIFIED transport… & ZERO waste — but DO WE HAVE THE GUTS? here

    hmm, let’s us rules hard & play by the work, as the man sez




    insert 100% SELF-PROPELLED BUILDINGS here






    insert HEALTH WEALTH & WISDOM here

    insert WOMAN POWER here

    insert MORE VEGETABLES here

    insert NON-TOXIC PROSPERITY here

    insert PLANETARY THINKING here


    insert EASY BREATHING here



    insert URBAN FOREST here

    insert URBAN FOREST here

    insert NEW CENTURY RULES here

    insert COMMON CAUSE here

    insert COMPOSTABLE TAXIS here

    all done g’night


    do you want to see others? they sparkled less, in the night.…




    these were meant to be literal local greenization improvements.

    art & infrastructure…

    beltway & barrio…

    • eve 19:42 on 02011/09/17 Permalink

      These were great! Thank you for playing…I really liked non-toxic prosperity, pentagon scale coal phase out. Sorry not to capture more pics for you – they went by quickly. Will post more on the facebook page:

    • it eats 20:07 on 02011/09/17 Permalink

      talking to faraway buildings is a blessing and those who facilitate it are angels i think. yay angels!


      ugh! that isn’t the whole flick… stops before the best part…

    • Arkady 05:50 on 02011/09/18 Permalink

      This is very cool. I like the compostable taxis best. By which I mean draft ponies that deposit compost.

    • it eats 07:06 on 02011/09/18 Permalink

      “no deposit, no return!” —battle cry of the ponies’ liberation organization of new york

      the motor was just then humming. given 1)another hour, b)info on other submissions and iii)a three-word restriction it might’ve really got interesting. as is, ground was covered.

  • it eats 10:37 on 02011/09/17 Permalink | Reply  

    here are rememberable shortlinks i made for ‘the good parts’ of the 24 hours of reality. ← gore’s presentation ← bill nye climate primer ← industry pushback primer ← gore on popular movement for climate action

    i actually watched the whole thing, including the two i slept through. if you didn’t see it, i’d like to give special recommendation to watching the istanbul discussion.

    discussion starts a little before 35 mins in.


    btw i’m chalking up the slightly less-than-tv-quality moments to gore being a weird boss.

  • it eats 00:05 on 02011/09/10 Permalink | Reply  

    attic box folk song 

    household debt
    you done us wrong
    and we can’t find
    the strength to
    forgive you

    household debt
    i wrote this song
    so please unwind

    household debt
    you killed my dog
    crashed my pickup
    stole my wife
    wrecked my life

    household debt
    as bad as it gets
    we’ll get you yet
    and forgive you

  • it eats 12:33 on 02011/09/08 Permalink | Reply  

    from the dept of ‘at least non-state actors are making change’ 

    once upon a time on twitter…

    drgrist An honest 9/11 retrospective would grapple with the fact that almost everything since has sucked. US less free, meaner, dumber, poorer.

    some time later…

    AlexSteffen Surreality of American politics doubled by fact most folks no idea how far behind the rest of the developed world US is falling.

    AlexSteffen Much of America looks like it lost a war with the future: out-dated, dumb, dirty and broken. This= a policy failure, not culture or destiny.

    AlexSteffen And if you like where we are, wait until we harvest the crops we’re sowing now w/ budget cuts, sunk-cost politics+ attacks on science.

    AlexSteffen The disturbing reality for US sustainability work: need to ruggedize both for climate chaos + catastrophic civic failure.

    a co-thinker was listening!

    cascio @AlexSteffen Big question: is there any place doing it right at this point?

    AlexSteffen @cascio Not in U.S. Magnitude of solutions /= magnitude of challenges. Heck, not even *discussion* of solutions at right order of magnitude.

    cascio @AlexSteffen No, not in U.S. — anywhere. EU going down same/worse austerity path.

    AlexSteffen @cascio Yes, EU austerity. But historical legacies, functioning civic spheres+ long-term good planning mean many Euro cities in better shape

    cascio @AlexSteffen Agreed. Just trying to figure out if there’s a functional model in use that US cities/regions/nation can emulate.

    AlexSteffen @cascio Some non-US cities starting to approach right scales + they also don’t have to worry about the same national political breakdowns.

    cascio @AlexSteffen But nothing at the national level, then. Is a functional response even possible at nation-state level?

    AlexSteffen That’s the $multi-trillion question. Don’t know. Can argue both sides.

    AlexSteffen My sense, @cascio = smart cities will go through a political discontinuity over next 20 yrs, as they confront actual conditions.

    cascio Seems likely, @AlexSteffen . Question then becomes the degree to which non-functional state/nation systems impede smart city progress.

    cascio AlexSteffen is right about cities being the leading edge of smart adaptation. What size, tho? Metropolitan, megapolitan? What’s too big?


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