"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bali Story on DKos

Easily the best essay to come out of the Bali conference so far, and probably the best that will. Read it. [Note: link fixed; thanks Anna.]

Here's an excerpt:

Ultimately, as the government heavyweights arrive in Nusa Dua, the truly key questions to ask – the answers to which form the crucible in which all the answers to all the other key questions must be tested – is whether our political leaders are serious about going far and going quickly on global warming. And whether we – Americans, Chinese, Balinese – are serious about making them get serious if they fall short.

With that in mind, let me recommend that one climate delegate from each of the 188 nations in attendance take an hour’s trip eastward from Nusa Dua along the coast to Candi Dasa. Pronounced ch├ín-di-dassa, Balinese for "Ten Temples," it’s that little dot on the eastern horn of crescent Amuk Bay about two-thirds of the way to Bali’s easternmost point at Amed.

When the tide comes in at Candi Dasa, the concrete sea wall causes a rent in the water. At night the sea wall can look as black and solid as granite, and in the early misty morning light, pearly as a shell. By day, it is a blackened, rippling scar, an ugly reminder of what it replaced.

3 comments:

Anna said...

Link should be A Tale of Myopia from Bali

Anonymous said...

Typical emotional greenie tripe.

"In talking their talk and making their deals about the future of our entire planet, is it too much to hope, too naive to ask that the delegates keep the experience of Candi Dasa in mind?"

Sure. The lesson is obvious: if you're going to develop, due it with a lot more investment so you can afford some expensive environmental impact consultants. Let's face it, if Candi Dasa had been developed by leading western resort developers, the place would still have a beach, but it would also be consuming megawatts of coal-fired electricity.

Doing things the first-world-way means doing it properly and using a lot of energy in the process. Let's not jeopardize that with vastly premature concerns about a little bit of CO2.

Michael Tobis said...

It's an analogy, dude; try to engage your higher brain functions to understand the point being made before going off and arguing about something beside the point.

We are shoveling away our own future bucket by bucket. The main differences between what they did and what we do is that our impacts are less local. Oh, that, and we have much bigger buckets.

As for "vastly premature" concerns about "a little" CO2, I wonder what planet you are reporting from. Do you suppose you might be begging the question a little bit?