This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

December 17, 2009
Climate change debate pits economy against nature

Finding a solution to climate change will involve a balancing act that addresses human and economic needs and ensures the long-term future of the natural world.

The debate is often portrayed as an “either-or” proposition in which economic needs trump nature. But are these two really at odds with each other?

For a closer look at the impact of climate change on nature, Daljit Dhaliwal speaks with Steve Sanderson, president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

bookmark    print

Comments

12 comments

#12

For all the true believers why don’t you take ten minutes to go to climateaudit.org and actually and read the reports. Mann and company temperature climb is a fraud. Pollution is a worthwhile goal to eliminate coal and security to get out of Arab oil, climate change is just bull.

#11

The conditions in a resource-laden region such as West Virginia is or in the coal-bearing regions of China have one political aspect in common: the failure to require of resource extractors the full annual rent value of the land controlled.

In the first instance, where private property in land has a long history, the solution could be found in the system of property taxation. The annual tax should equate to what a potential user would pay under competitive bidding circumstances. Anything less paid to the community conveys monopoly-privilege to the deedholder. What is often the case (and, to the best of my understanding is the case in West Virginia), landowners do lease land to the coal mining companies; thus, the landowners claim a portion of the value of wealth produced without actually contributing any labor of capital goods to the process. The landowner, as landowner, is essentially a confiscator of wealth rather than a producer of wealth.

The situation in China, under state-socialism, is that title to all land is held by the state. I am pretty sure that the entities that are granted licenses to extract resources from the earth are not awarded these licenses by any competitive bidding process.

If access to resource-laden lands was awarded by cmpetitive bidding, the amount bid would take into consideration the “all in” costs of production. Thus, the costs of environmental remediation or prevention of pollution would be factored in based on the market price for the final product produced. Under terms that required a zero emission production process and other environmental protections, the bid would be low but the community would not be endangered by pollution and land mismanagement.

The economics described above are well understood. However, the systems of law in place almost everywhere are under enormous pressure from vested interests (and, the state bureaucracy is a vested interest) that use their economic power to secure favorable political treatment at the expense of the common good.

Moving (in the nationsl where private property in land is widespread) to a land-only property tax base under which the full annual rental value of land is collected will go a long way to solving our economic and environmental problems. We also need to look at our systems of governance, how we choose our elected officials and representatives and how political campaigns are conducted and paid for.

#10

From what I have read CO2 is not responsible for much warming and even less is man made. Another more plentiful greenhouse gas, although not as bad is water vapor. Some people want to use hydrogen cars and they emit water vapor. Back in the mid-1970s it was global cooling. Nolw it is global warming?

#9

Its not about global cooling, global warming or “climate change” – this mother of all scams is about total control of the ‘means of production’ on a global scale; and global redistribution of wealth by greedy, world-class Egalitarian hypocrites – who are making themselves (even more) filthy rich via the bogus “crisis” invented by the greedy billionaire Maurice Strong.

While sanctimoniously denouncing capitalism, the Greedy Global Collectivists are in an obvious feeding frenzy at Copenhagen, salivating at their prospects for yet more self enrichment with money coerced from the productive minority of planet earth. This phony “crisis” is ALL about MONEY and always has been about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ – not “saving planet earth”.

#8

It is tragic that people in places like West Virginia who depend on coal for jobs have to side with the coal companies and against the in welfare of the world at large. They should push their “masters” to spend some of their profits on burning coal in a cleaner way or sequestering ithe CO2 in the ground.

#7

What has the coal industry done for West Virginia except make it the poorest state in the union,pathetic. No need for innovation or entrepreneurship we’ve got coal,and the lifetime carpetbagger Rocket-feller (Dem/Senator) running the state…literally into the ground. The Chinese people are very disgrunted with their own current commi-capitalist lives,and would much rather go back to being tradesmen,and farmers,etc.,… having greater control over local gov’t than what is now. What really fascinates me about todays global dilemma,… is not that it’s a dilemma,… but a humongous pocketbook problem that’s coming home to roost with cronic lung/pulmanary problems that will be solved by each,and every gov’t on their own,…or face crippling financial hardships!

#6

Climate change has been a constant since the beginning of time. Long term changes and short term variations. Manhattan, NY, USA was under more than a thousand feet of ice between 10 and 20 thoussand years ago. Sea levels, bodies of water and pack ice have grown and receded. Recent volcanos have spewed more C02 into the atmosphere than mankind has since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Is the globe warming? Could be. That it is all mans fault is a question that is militantly promoted with out conclusive proof. Any questioning of the science, even in light of blatant untruths and fabrications only fortify the doubts of many.

I believe we should promote Alternative energy for stationary power production. Oil still has its place in transportation. We should not allow the NYMBYS to obstruct the infrastructure required to transport the new alternative energy as well as the wind mills nuclear power plants etc. Alternative energy should cover al of the bases. Wind, tidal, hydroelectric and nuclear. We should also do a better job of insulating our buildings.

#5

I think it is terrible that there will be significant economic impact with any attempt to reduce carbon emissions, however, the other side of the coin is to do nothing which will yield the same. Though I believe global warming can be attributed somewhat to cyclical climate changes on the planet, we clearly contribute extensivesly to accelerate them. We need to change, unfortunately the change amounts to a loss of money to many who can ill afford it…so we must help them through the changes and make them…or go extinct so that the planet can cleanse itself of the human virus inhabiting it.

#4

The scam is that the economy is more important than the survival of life on earth. Those in denial and those who worship the golden calf of money are truly the evil in this world. I quit eating meat, quit buying “things”, rarely drive and spend my time restoring land. I cannot act any other way because I am a scientist and I know the facts. People today have to change jobs all the time. Coal miners of today are just like the lumberjacks of 60 years ago. Holding everyone hostage. Learn new skills and find new work. I have to do that every year. Whining about jobs when our children will be suffering terribly is disgusting no matter what country a person is from.

#3

The scam is that the economy is more important than the survival of life on earth. Those in denial and those who worship the golden calf of money are truly the evil in this world. I quit eating meat, quit buying “things”, rarely drive and spend my time restoring land. I cannot act any other way because I am a scientist and I know the facts.

#2

Thank you for showing us the other side of the issue. The picture of out of work miners in China was compelling. However, I think it’s a false economy to juxtapose work versus environmental change or to say that some people must starve in order to provide fresh air for others. Frankly it seems a failure of imagination on the part of the Chinese government, a centralized autocratic body, who surely must have realized the shock that would result to the local economy when they shut down the mines! What are they trying to do? Start a populist Maoist mass movement by unemployed peasants and working class people desperate to feed their families? How ironic and foolish. Why isn’t the state moving in to help diversify the local economy and retrain the workers? As for West Virginia, I think you should research the results of mountain top removal and the thousands of acres that were destroyed by coal sludge this past year when the waste pools overflowed in a nearby state. Or how about an investigation about black lung disease and the problems with getting medical coverage such that folks have to resort to charity care from groups that normally go to the undeveloped world! People held economic hostage to their jobs are unable to advocate for their future.

#1

what the debate SHOULD be about is : to what extend is co2 responsible for alledged global warming? with the scam exposed , many people see the true intent of copenhagen . namely , a way to extract money from developed countries and working people to give to questionable “leaders” of developing countries.

Produced by Creative News Group LLC     ©2017 WNET.ORG     All rights reserved

Distributed by American Public Television