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Bakari
biodieselhau...
Male
Oakland, CA



 
Posted By Bakari

"Turning-Hustlers-into-Entrepreneurs" discusses the possibility of increasing micro-credit in order to support independent "black market" business people.  As someone who has been running a successful off-the-books business for several years, I believe the major obstacle is not a lack of credit, but rather a government which is geared toward big business.

As the examples in the article illustrate, people are already doing what they are doing, without capital.  What they lack is official legitimacy.  Many entrepreneurs, such as myself, would love to "go legit", but it is not a realistic option.
I understand and support the idea that government regulate business to protect consumers.  The problem is that government does not take the size of a business into account in the requirements it imposes on operating legally.

For example, a single guy with a pick-up truck doing local deliveries pays the exact same state license fee as a company with a fleet of semi trucks.  The  least insurance available to him is a million dollars of coverage with a 1-2 thousand dollar annual premium, even if he never comes close to transporting a million dollars worth of goods.   Every city he works in requires its own separate business license.  If he needs to hire a subcontractor on occasion, he needs to buy worker's comp insurance at a minimum, and possibly more.  Being self-employed, he pays an additional tax (which an employer would otherwise cover).  And of course by staying underground, he avoids paying any income tax on his business revenue.

All of this can easily add up to thousands of dollars.  That sum may be inconsequential to a corporation with annual sales in the millions of dollars, but to a small independent, going legit would cost me about 20% of my entire net revenue, more than two months income.

The solution to this is not to finance small business to help them pay for theses fees - these fees are annual, and taking loans only increases risk.  The solution is to have license fees proportional to net revenue, instead of being fixed amounts, requiring insurance companies to offer a full range of coverage options, including (potentially less profitable) low limit policies, and restructuring tax code so there isn't a penalty to being self-employed. Similarly, laws making it difficult or illegal to run certain types of business from home could be relaxed, (for example, allowing small scale retail in otherwise residential districts), eliminating the need for a dedicated store-front, a major on-going expense.

Reducing the government imposed costs of running an independent business legally would , without the additional risk incurred (for both the investor and the entrepreneur) by accepting loans or the costs incurred by providing grants.  It would also increase tax revenue, by encouraging existing underground businesses to come above the radar and join the mainstream economy.

 
Posted By Bakari

OMG
I am going to be the person in charge of my local polling place.
Democracy will literally be in my hands.

It will be my responcibility to ensure every vote in my neighborhood gets counted.


I am proud, and slightly terrified.

 

How it is I skipped over getting experince as a clerk first, I am not entierly sure, but I just got a very official looking notice in the mail, informing me that I'm gonna be the guy in charge this primary election, June 8th.

 

I start at 6am, work until 9pm, and I will have a crew of 5 people.

My designated polling place happens to be the same as where I normally go to vote, and its easy walking distance from my house.

 

 


 
Posted By Bakari

I posted my essay equating the free market with anarchy on a discussion board for anarchists.  The following is the comments it generated.


(I am David Craig Hiser.  All the other comments are various random anarchists.  Many comments were off topic, and are not shown here.
All of the comments, as well as my original essay, are here: http://www.anarchistnews.org/?q=node/7038
)

----------------------------------------------

Submitted by Ofelas on Thu, 2009-04-02 01:18.

Is this fellow trying to say that capitalism (with leaders and all) and anarchy/anarchism are all one and the same? Cuckoo Cuckoo.

-----------------------------------------------

Submitted by DavidCraigHiser on Fri, 2009-04-03 22:52. [I am David Craig Hiser]

More or less, yes.
Capitalism has no leaders.
Capitalism has only the market.
Democracy (or rather, what we call democracy, actually a republic) has leaders.
Our political system is the only thing which stands between our (the US) system and true capitalism / free markets.
Each move toward deregulation is a move toward economic anarchy.

------------------------------------------------------------

 

Capitalism is brutally authoritarian. It depends on police and armies to keep the masses of workers from being able to take the products of their labour from those who are robbing them (their owners, the bosses).

Capitalism is the antithesis of anarchism. It is the single most hated ideology amongst every authentic anarchist. I understand you want to call yourself an anarchist because its a cooler label than being a capitalist, but sorry, you may not use it. Actually, I'm not sorry. Anyone who supports all the evils of capitalism must be a douche, and I don't apologize to douches.
Go read the Infoshop FAQ and learn what anarchism is. Read the section on 'so-called anarcho-capitalists'. Go post on an Ayn Rand messageboard.

------------------------------------------

Submitted by David Craig Hiser on Mon, 2009-04-06 11:04.

You have greatly misunderstood my own position.
I am in no way advocating capitalism.
I am totally opposed to capitalism.
The reason I am opposed to anarchy is that I believe capitalism can (and likely will in the modern world) arise from it. That was the point I was trying to get across.

I am not forgetting bosses. Being employed by someone is a voluntary relationship. An employee can quit, and even open a competing business. The occasional "American dream" story not-withstanding, people generally can not choose to join the upper class.

I am claiming you can not have a classless society without a mechanism to enforce equality. You must somehow prevent individuals from accumulating wealth.
If individuals have complete freedom, sooner or later someone will accumulate wealth, and then they will be able to take advantage of that accumulation, which is capitalism.
If society prevents that from happening, then individuals are not free to do as they like, even if their actions do not directly hurt anyone else, and this entails some form of authority...

[there is a character limit, but just for Gregg, I have the rest on a non-myspace location: http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/last-one-anarchists-this-time.html]

 
Posted By Bakari

This one was on my hypermileing forum, and began as a question about gas taxes.
That quickly degraded into an argument about taxes in general, and from there fell further to a general condemnation of government.
Since it was the off topic message board anyway, I decided to weigh in:

(original, including the entire discussion, here: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthread.php/over-80-oppose-raising-gas-tax-8319-6.html)

----------------------------------------------------

[me]
Of course 80% oppose raising gas tax. Not because they think it won't work, but because they personally enjoy the luxury of driving an inefficient vehicle. It has nothing to do with the cost of a hybrid. Trucks vans and SUVs make up 1/2 of new car sales, and all of those buyers knew they were buying gas guzzlers. It would cost less money - not just in gas, but upfront - to buy a small (non hybrid) car.

Quote:
I am for the freedom of choices that we all have in this country. In my opinion, you cannot tell me what to do if I am not hurting anyone else.

1 You do have total choice if gas prices are raised. You can choose to buy whatever car you want. In fact, even if CAFE standards were raised you would still have choice, because they only refer to fleet average, not individual models. The only way anyone's freedom is restricted is if it became illegal to buy a car that got less than XX mpg.
2 Buying a big car DOES hurt others. In addition to the fact that they do far more damage in an accident, there is this little thing called "global warming" (to be honest, I am not 100% convinced, but it is undeniable that burning fuel does environmental and health damage to all living things, including ourselves.)

Quote:
I oppose all taxes. period.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

(There is more.  Much more. It is not only on my original myspace blog, but it is also now Neopolitan, which may or may not take off as the new place for all of my social and political rants.  http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/part-2-gas-tax-digression.html)

 

 

 


 
Posted By Bakari

I have learned, finally, not to get into discussions with Christians.
I haven't quite got there yet with libertarians.

There is still a part of me that thinks that by pointing out the logical flaws, the mistaken assumptions of fact, and there basically immoral implications, that otherwise intelligent kind people will reconsider.
Part of it was when I read Ayn Rand's novels I could see being swayed by the unspoken implications.  It was only when reading her ides laid out in plain straight forward English that I could easily see her for what she is: the literal embodiment of pure evil.
Part of it is how many of my own friends and associates accept one or another of these ideas, and I know them personally, I know they are intelligent, compassionate, and generally reasonable.

Most of all I write for the people on the fence though, the random anonymous people who might happen across these discussions online, so there is a counterbalance to the radical rhetoric which admittedly does sound totally rational and appealing when its presented as it is, out of context.

One was a blog essay which an anarchist friend sent me a link to attacking democracy.  (He mentioned the caveat of not supporting the market economy.  I have already written before here about how a market economy will naturally arise in the absence of government regulation.)

While the arguments here are not necessarily universal among anarchists, libertarians, and capitalists, some of them are common, or are at least similar.
(It is kind of long already, so I'll save the other two for future installments.)

I don't have the responses here, but that's mainly because there really weren't any substantial responses, just general insults and links to other people's writing.  If you are interested, you can read both the original essay and all of the comments here:
http://libertariananarchy.com/2008/12/against-democracy/

 

[The rest can be found on my original, charcter limit free blog, here: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=97022263&blogId=496945265

It is also now Neopolitan, which may or may not take off as the new place for all of my social and political rants. 

http://neapolitanblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/capitalists-libertarians-and-anarchists.html]


 
Posted By Bakari

I'll say one thing for Jr.

His press correspondents dinner was much much funnier than Obama's was.  He gets points for that.  I guess there was just so much more to make fun of about him, and he knew it, which, granted, is a very bad quality for the most powerful person on the planet to have.

But still.

I miss the days of making fun of the president.  It was enjoyable.  And it gave a good place for everyone to direct their anger.  Now who are we gonna be angry at?  We're going to have to go back to road rage, and as a bicyclist, motorcyclist, and hypermiler, that's extra bad news for me.  I realize now, too late, that I should have voted for McCain.  In the interest of amusement.  Sure, there is a slight chance we get universal health care within the next decade, but under Jr. we didn't need health care. 

Because laughter is the best medicine.





(starts 2 minutes in)

 

 


 
Posted By Bakari

I tend to spend time around certain type of people.  I feel fortunate to live in a place where there are so many like-minded people to be drawn to, and to have attracted to me.
They work in education, or in jobs with a direct environmental benefit.
They are socially aware, concerned with the world outside of just their own personal lives.
As such they tend to buy local food, used clothes and furniture, they are vegetarian, vote regularly.  They bicycle and take transit, or if they drive its a sub-compact shared with other people, a hybrid, or powered by veggie oil.
They value things like education, cultural understanding, and tolerance.
They see that the way we do things here is not always necessarily the "best" way to do them.  And a part of valuing what other cultures has to offer entails traveling to other places and experiencing them first hand.

Driving that most-visible-of-all-symbols-of-American-consumption, the H2 (the Hummer luxury model) across the country with a couple of passengers, along the 3000 miles of Highway 80 from SF to NY, uses less fuel and causes less pollution (per person) than doing the same journey in a full loaded commercial passenger plane.

A single round-trip intercontinental flight more than negates an entire years worth of commuting by bicycle.

We are able to get away with travel because it is so grossly subsidized; from our military (which is larger than the entire rest of the world combined) being assigned to guard pipelines to the fact that airports are paid for by taxes, not by the airlines, combined with the fact that we simply have way too much money (the world average income is $7000, but the less developed world averages only $700 per year) and so don't think twice about spending it frivolously, from household doo-dahs to vacations.

When a person travels for education, or humanitarian reasons, with the peace corp perhaps, the plane ticket alone is likely to cost several times more than what the local residents make, and do more environmental destruction than the residents would have done, in an entire year.

And this segues me nicely into my next topic.

 

[Due to character limit, the rest of this essay can be read by clicking the following link]:

MySpace Blog


 
Posted By Bakari

For a long time now we have tried to believe in supply side economics (also known as Reganomics, closely related to the trickle-down theory).
Cut taxes and/or interest rates, which means people will have more money or borrow more (respectively), which they will in turn spend, and that spending will make the economy grow. Bush Jr. gave tax-payers not just a break, but a refund, calling it a "stimulus". This apparently did not work, because only a few years later we were at the point of handing billions of tax money over to major corporations.

The very idea that stimulating consumption can help the economy is flawed.

The goal is to increase the total amount of value circulating in the economy.
We want constant growth.
Setting aside for the moment the logical, ecological, and spiritual problems with never-ending growth, it is fairly straight-forward that consumption alone does not create anything.

Imagine several ship-wrecked survivors on a tiny deserted island. They have the luggage they brought with them, but nothing else.
Imagine they find some rare, beautiful shells, and decide to work out a system of representative currency using these shells.
It doesn't matter how much these shells are traded, saved, or spent. There is still the same amount of total value on the island.
No amount of consumption is going to increase the overall material holdings of the survivors. The only way any one person can amass anything more than they started with is at the expense of someone else.

As manufacturing has moved over seas, and produce is increasingly imported, we have moved to a service and finance based economy.
Nothing new is created by a service.
The finance industry is literally nothing more than moving virtual money - a placeholder for actual wealth - around, and skimming a transaction fee off the top.
Imagine one of our survivors loaning the worthless shells to another survivor, with a one shell per 100 interest rate, though there is nothing of any real value to buy.
Both the borrower and the investor still have no food, no clean water, and no shelter.

Perhaps one day someone comes across an enormous pile of shells, and places them into circulation.
You could say the total worth of our survivors has just increased - but obviously it doesn't mean anything. In fact, now that they aren't rare, each shell is worth that much less.

This is EXACTLY what happens every year, when the government literally prints up new money which is not tied to any actual increase in production.
They just print new money.
In fact, taxes pay for 59% of government spending. The other 41% comes from borrowing money (not much different from an American consumer with a credit card) and.... scooping more shells of the beach, and pretending that they have any value.
Since everyone agrees that $1 is worth some amount of real stuff, they can get away with this, but since they are spending without creating anything real, that value has to come from somewhere.
Where it comes from is out of every dollar held by every person in the country, as they become less valuable due to the increased supply. In a way, printing money to cover the deficit is a backdoor tax, a tax via inflation, but one which doesn't build us any new roads or guarantee healthcare.

When you think of the island, it is easy to see that this system isn't really doing any good overall.

[Entire blog at MySpace]


 
Posted By Bakari

The non-profit I work for is government financed.

We were trying to expand our size and range of services for the
community, (not to mention securing better working conditions for the
employees), and many people had been working behind the scenes on this
project for a couple of years. When I started 2 years ago it seemed
little more than a vague idea, but at each new meeting updates showed
it was coming closer and closer to a reality.
And then
Last week

I was invited to a last minute meeting...
At it we were told that the city (the smallest of 3 funding sources for
the project, but a vital component w/o which it could not happen) had
decided, unilateral, to rescind the (as yet unofficial) offer to back
the project, using the funds instead for a smaller, independent, temporary,
substitute instead.

The federal grant has been pending for almost 3 years, and will expire this year.
We were informed of this change early last week.
Not 'literally' last minute, but about as close as possible.

We had exactly THREE DAYS to prepare, between the sub-committee meeting
where we learned of the potential change, and the general city council
meeting where it would be voted on.

We had one chance to get it done, and get it done right.
If we did not convince the city council, the city funds would be
eliminated, which would mean we would lose an additional million in grants and other support;
in other words, this one meeting would decide if it happened or not.

Our campaign began the next morning.
It involved, of course, fliers, posters, handouts.
It involved speaking in person to every single patron of our services,
calls to cycling advocates and supporters in the area, connections
with the downtown business association, the Sierra club, allies in
government.

It involved secret meetings, letters and calls to the city counsel and
mayor's office, and countless, constant, emails between the people involved.

After getting home around 10 or so from a meeting, I was up at 5:30am to open the shop the next morning.
After work at 2, the rest of the day involved preparations for the evening.

6:30pm, co-workers and allies began trickling in.
At 7, as we walked to city hall, others joined us along the way.

Several popular things were on the agenda that night.
New members were being sworn in so there was ceremony and speeches.
People were there to protest the hiring of John Yoo (the guy who
wrote the 'enemy combatant' law in order to circumvent Geneva
convention guidelines for treatment of prisoner's of war) by UC
Berkeley.

The council hall was full.
We were made to sit in the hallway downstairs.
As our supporters showed up to join us, we passed out signs, and waited
to be let in one by one as people there for other reasons left.

We were #28 on the agenda.

We expected to be there all night, waiting.

As an information item, we would be allowed 3 speakers, 1 minute each, and no vote would be taken at that time.
A council member moved that it be changed to an action item.
The mayor recognized that many people there were for our project, and asked just how many there were.
About 4/5th of the room stood.
The mayor moved it on the agenda to be addressed after the first
information item (a report by the financial analysis department.)

The city staff, which had come up with the alternate plan, gave their report.
They were grilled some on the numbers, and it seemed we at least had a chance.
Our line of people waiting to speak, from the manager of the project,
to the director of BART, to long-time patrons of the service who had
given up their cars only after finding out about us, went to the back
of the room.

It was a long night.

We won.


 
Posted By Bakari

 [This was written by my mother, and is re-posted here without permission]

 

 



There are so many reasons that I am euphoric about Obama's landslide election to the position of President of the United States that I can't begin to name them all, and when I try, I get tangled up in words, none of which can adequately express all the reasons.



At first I was happy not to have to explain anything as most people around me share my elation, and people all over the U.S. , and indeed around the world, understand in great measure the significance of what just happened here.



However, by the day after the election I was disheartened by the number of people in my LGBT community who were so disillusioned and depressed by the gay-marriage set-backs that they failed to be moved by the significance of Obama's election. It is not all LGBT people, by any means, who are too boggled down by that single issue to appreciate the magnitude of the good thing that just happened. But a significant number seem to be.



Then too are those whose political understanding is narrowed in other ways; those who, for example, believe that the only event worthy of the term "revolutionary" is one where a capitalist system is replaced by socialism overnight. Surely there will be those who say of Obama, as they said of Roosevelt , "he saved the capitalist system from itself," and they will see him, therefore, as an anti-hero.



My initial reaction was to feel sorry that some of my friends and associates were missing out on something so wonderful and I put forth my arguments of why they should celebrate, not mourn, this incredible moment.



As I continued to hear from more and more LGBT people for whom the (temporary) gay marriage defeat overshadowed the election of the first Black president of the United States (who also happens to be more progressive than most presidents of our lifetime), I began to get annoyed by the tunnel vision of so many in the LGBT community who, (like so many individuals in so many oppressed groups), can only see their own oppression, their own struggle, their own specific needs, and can do no more than give lip-service to any other cause. I don't know why I always expect more of activists, (and of everyone I know personally), but I do.



Finally, I came to terms with the fact that badgering people haphazardly with various reasons they should be absolutely elated right now rather than sad and self-pitying was not helping anyone, and that I was wasting too much time reacting to the statements of individuals one at a time. I decided it would be much more productive for me to try to organize my thoughts and share them with everyone at once – and then let it go and let people choose to appreciate or not the wonder of this moment.

 

 

[entire blog at MySpace]


 
Posted By Bakari

There are a whole bunch of significant propositions on the ballot this time around.

Read about them: Easy Voter Guide
(A friend showed me this link.  I like it because they take the pro /com arguments from the official voter guide and distill them down to the core legitimate arguments, leaving out the deliberate misinformation and irrelevant crap)

Register:
http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm

Actually vote.
We live in a state with actual democracy (ie the people vote directly on laws, as opposed to only electing people to choose laws for us)
Not everyone does.
We probably shouldn't take that for granted.

I can see a number of these issues easily going the wrong way (and I'd say almost all of them have a pretty clear right and wrong answer) so we are going to need your help.

Thank you 


 
Posted By Bakari

NOTE:  let me say upfront that I think this entire entry is a gross oversimplification.



We (Americans) aren't very smart.

Oh sure, there are plenty of individuals to prove me wrong; but as a whole, as a nation, I think it would be hard to argue.

But we are like the school bully or the rich kid (whose parents think it's good for him to go to public school).  We get our way all the time, and no one dares to point out to us how dumb we are.

We alone still use the English system of measurement, being afraid to learn something new, even if it's far easier in the long run.  50% of us believe in literal creationism (dinosaurs are either a hoax perpetrated by scientists and/or the devil, or they died in Noah's flood), and another 40% believe in intelligent design(1). Contrast this England, where 97% of Priests and Ministers don't believe in literal creationism(2)! 20% of us think the sun revolves around the earth,  and 11% can not find the US on an unmarked world map.(3,4)

Clearly we have the resources.  We have by far the largest total GDP, as well as one of the highest per capita in the world.(5,6)

So why is it this way?

Well...

I don't know.

For once, I can not even pretend to have any answers.

I don't like how this blog is turning out.
I think I will erase the whole thing and start over.

We'll see.

-----

For once it seems that the conservatives and libertarians have at least part of it right.

As it turns out, the US spends more per student than a great many other industrialized countries, the majority of which have students at all levels that can out preform ours.(7,8)
Private schools in the US also spend less money per student, yet have better test scores and higher graduation rates.
There is of course a number of more complex issues than money - kids in private schools have parents involved enough to not only pay the tuition, but to choose a specific school for their kid, put in the time to find it and enroll them, and a more involved parent willing to pay extra for education is more likely to have been well educated themselves, to have begun teaching stuff like counting and the alphabet early, and to have sent the child to preschool and kindergarten.

However in at least one US school district that was studied, it was also true that for the equivalent size, the public schools had twice the administrative staff compared to the private schools, and half the teachers.(9)
While spending overall divided by number of students is higher, a great proportion of that is wasted on administration, management, and bureaucracies.

Unfortunately it looks like if anything, the efforts meant to improve public schools are aimed largely at management and bureaucracy.  Poorly preforming schools have control handed over to larger and more distant entities, the district becomes more involved, and eventually the state takes over entire districts.  Increasingly complex and demanding rules govern funding, with policy set at the state and federal level, and teachers are taken out of the classroom (and replaced with subs) for mandatory training and professional development regardless of how well their doing or what they may have been working on in the classroom that day otherwise.

---
There seems to be something disturbingly self-defeating about much of our education policy,

 

<entire blog at MySpace>


 
Posted By Bakari

I have been failing to fulfill my responsibility to provide my non-nonsensical thoughts to my 4 or so readers and the 10 anonymous people who for some reason refuse to let me know who they are.
This is primarily because I haven't had time (from work, spending time with my wife, and video games).
When I have posted, its been the sucky unoriginal kind where I just summarize a news story or post a link I found interesting.
Unfortunately, this is going to be another of those.

On the plus side, I have 5 original ideas lined up, which I am sure I will get to relatively soon. The subjects are written down so I won't forget, and the content has been enhanced and refined by countless raving conversations with people in the real world.

In the meantime...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Virgin Airlines has decided to put 100% of its profits over the next 10 years into developing a non-food crop based renewable bio-fuel to replace petroleum based jet-fuel.
You should avoid flying altogether: although planes are the cause of a relatively small percentage of GHG emissions, this is largely because of the sheer volume of driving we do. Takes a lot of energy just to keep something that weighs 485 tons in the air, never mind traveling at hundreds of miles per hour.  Not that driving to NY is much better (its actually slightly worse if you make the drive solo).  If you have to travel long distance, its best to take the train.
But we all know we're gonna fly at least occasionally.
I think Virgin has earned our business.  Plus, their is innuendo in the brand, which is another plus.
http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/01/virgin-airlines-pond-scum-biofuel-global-warming.html
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A bill has just passed congress, and is expected to pass the senate soon, which focuses on stopping domestic terrorism (that is, acts done by US citizens and permanent residents) not only before they happen, but before they are even planned. It goes beyond conspiracy to commit a crime to simply holding an ideology which may tend to lead eventually to a crime. While that is not an arrestable offense, it sets up a government agency tasked with tracking and surveillance on individuals which have undergone or are undergoing " 'violent radicalization' [which] means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change."
Look carefully at the syntax of that sentence (a quote from the bill).

 

It is not based on an actual attempt, plan, or even necessarily even a specific thought of violence, but just having an "extremist belief system" which facilitates violence.
It explicitly includes political or social change. There is no definition of what constitutes "extreme".
Protests have at times included breaking windows, flipping over unoccupied cars, and resisting arrest, all of which can be considered violence.
[entire blog at MySpace]


 
Posted By Bakari

I am a liberal. I am an environmentalist. I commute by bicycle to my job advocating the bicycle as a means of everyday transportation. I run my work truck on modified vegetable oil at significant extra cost compared to petroleum diesel. I have a reasonably strong understanding of the sciences, including an associates in biology and earth science (which encompasses, among other things, geology and ecology)
I don't believe in global warming.

I should clarify; I don't not believe in the same way I don't believe in "God".
I acknowledge that the world is almost certainly getting warmer, and there is a good chance that humans have had something to do with it. It is certainly possible.

Graph of temperature of planet earth over time

Note that the time scale is a log.

 

The graph is a log in order to more easily see the range over different time scales. Each section exists on its own with a linear scale, I just choose that one because I think it allows for a better perspective.

The graph that is used by people who want to convince people of human caused climate change is invariably that of the last 1000 years. 1000 years, on the scale of global processes, is nothing. It is equivalent to looking at specie change or continent movement over the past 1000 years which would "prove" evolution and plate tectonics are myth.

However, the question is not "is the Earth getting warmer". That is measurable. The questions are: 1 "is there a net positive or a net negative feedback mechanism?" (in other words, will it continue out of control or will it naturally stabilize); and 2 "is it our fault?"


Looking at the larger scale, from the time the earths climate settled into a reasonably stable pattern, there has been a periodic cycle, and we are not outside of the range of normal. From the fact that there have been at least 5 similar cycles so far, there is a strong indication that some negative feedback mechanism is at play which serves to keep temperature extremes in check.

 

This is not to say that the consequences of a temperature increase (like the ones which have in fact occurred, naturally) are not catastrophic. It has been estimated that at least one of those past times of warming contributed to the extinction of up to 90% of all sea life, and 50-70% of land life.  However, humans and our technology weren't around to cause it.

 

I have yet to see any compelling evidence that the rate of change is outside the normal range - we simply have no way to precisely measure the change over very small intervals of something that happened billions of years before we existed. Nor is a rapid rate automatically indicative of a ever-increasing one. If there is a net negative feedback mechanism (and the historical global temperatures cyclic nature is a strong indicator that there is) it may simply kick in sooner if the rate of change is higher.


The historical geologic data suggests that it is temperature which affects CO2 levels, not the other way around.


I have heard many times now environmentalists, journalists, and politicians say something along the lines of "there is a scientific consensus" or "the facts are in, the question is what do we do about it" or some equivalent.
There isn't, and they aren't.

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