Tuesday, June 23, 2015

oily pharisees and saducees continue their assault on laudato si

NYTimes |  Hardest to accept, though, is the moral premise implied throughout the encyclical: that the only legitimate human relationships are based on compassion, harmony and love, and that arrangements based on self-interest and competition are inherently destructive.

The pope has a section on work in the encyclical. The section’s heroes are St. Francis of Assisi and monks — emblems of selfless love who seek to return, the pope says, to a state of “original innocence.”

He is relentlessly negative, on the other hand, when describing institutions in which people compete for political power or economic gain. At one point he links self-interest with violence. He comes out against technological advances that will improve productivity by replacing human work. He specifically condemns market-based mechanisms to solve environmental problems, even though these cap-and-trade programs are up and running in places like California.

Moral realists, including Catholic ones, should be able to worship and emulate a God of perfect love and still appreciate systems, like democracy and capitalism, that harness self-interest. But Francis doesn’t seem to have practical strategies for a fallen world. He neglects the obvious truth that the qualities that do harm can often, when carefully directed, do enormous good. Within marriage, lust can lead to childbearing. Within a regulated market, greed can lead to entrepreneurship and economic innovation. Within a constitution, the desire for fame can lead to political greatness.

You would never know from the encyclical that we are living through the greatest reduction in poverty in human history. A raw and rugged capitalism in Asia has led, ironically, to a great expansion of the middle class and great gains in human dignity.

You would never know that in many parts of the world, like the United States, the rivers and skies are getting cleaner. The race for riches, ironically, produces the wealth that can be used to clean the environment.

A few years ago, a team of researchers led by Daniel Esty of Yale looked at the environmental health of 150 countries. The nations with higher income per capita had better environmental ratings. As countries get richer they invest to tackle environmental problems that directly kill human beings (though they don’t necessarily tackle problems that despoil the natural commons).

You would never suspect, from this encyclical, that over the last decade, one of the most castigated industries has, ironically, produced some of the most important economic and environmental gains. I’m talking of course about fracking.

There was recently a vogue for polemical antifracking documentaries like “Gasland” that purport to show that fracking is causing flammable tap water and other horrors.


Vic78 said...

How did I figure Brooks wrote that bullshit before clicking the link? Did he just try to discount Gasland? From reading his writings it's obvious Brooks is bereft of an ethical core. His whole shtick is to sound reasonable defending the hands that feed him. He defines the big kids' table and anyone opposed to him and his bitch ass flunkies.

Here's what should happen to him and the rest of the MSM:

CNu said...

and yet he is a nullity when compared with Mccain and that crew of assclowns who visited Kiev this week and spouted even more fantastical policy propositions fueled by purest pixie dust...,

BigDonOne said...

Actually, there is a new 'Protected Class' on the horizon...the *Transabled*...http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/prof-doctors-should-amputate-healthy-lim The idea is: Why should folks be denied the opportunity to live their lives the way they see themselves...??

CNu said...

Or, an intelligent and pragmatic observer might simply look to the example of post-Soviet Cuba as a model of less wasteful and more sustainable collective behavior.

ken said...

Not sure I am getting you here, Cuba seems to have a great climate to produce food for its 11 million people yet it has to import 70 to 80 percent of its food supply. Venezuela had been supplying their oil at reduced rates, this is not a self sustaining economy.


Fidel doesn't think Cuba's methods are worth exporting, why should you?

"Towards the end of a long, relaxed lunch in Havana, Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for the Atlantic magazine, asked Castro if Cuba's economic system was still worth exporting. The reply left him dumbfounded. "Did the leader of the revolution just say, in essence, 'Never mind'?" Goldberg wrote on his blog."


CNu said...

I believe you are getting me here, because you've resorted to your rhetorical ritual habitual. You supplied links that have nothing whatsoever to do with your remarks, and, your remarks are not internally consistent.

Cuba has an aging electrical infrastructure that relies on external oil inputs. Upgrade/replace that electrical infrastructure, and the external reliance goes away. How much is the Cuban cancer vaccine worth on the international capitalist market?

As for the heresay remark, what is one to do? ABSTRACT: Cuba is well-known for its alternative model of agriculture
that focused on diversifying crops, increasing organic production, and
localizing the food economy. While Cuba adopted this agricultural model
out of necessity due to the massive decline of petroleum imports, their
localized, organic food system was heralded world-wide as a model of
sustainability. However, a less studied aspect of Cuban sustainability
is how limited petroleum imports affected Cuban energy use and energy
policy, and how the recent opening of the energy economy affects their
organic agriculture model. Despite investments in solar, wind, and
hydroelectric projects, Cuba’s main source of renewable energy, sugar
bagasse, declined significantly due to the economic collapse of the
1990s and subsequent crumbling of the sugar industry’s infrastructure.
Further, Cuba relies heavily on crude and liquid fuels for electricity
generation, hardly a sustainable model. This paper argues that Cuba’s
economic isolation during the early 1990s led to an environmentally
friendly agricultural model, yet this same isolation could cripple the
realization of a sustainable energy model and reduce their agricultural
sustainability. The recent economic opening of the country to foreign
investment could boost Cuba’s potential for increasing renewable
energies, but it is also leading to increased chemical fertilizer and
fossil fuel use – weakening Cuba’s sustainability.

rohan said...

David Brooks and Fr. Sirico (Acton) are highly compensated capitalist shills. What's in it for your N-1 poster boys, why are they energetically flakking for "the man" on a "peasant pundits promote profit platform"?

ken said...

I thought it was pretty common knowledge that Cuba can't feed itself without help, but just a quick link might help.

Cuba, with a population of 11 million people, imports 70 to 80% of its domestic food requirements. Its economic model is being updated to improve efficiency and sustainability, guided by the principle that no Cuban will be left unprotected. Climate hazards, poor dietary diversity and practices and low agriculture productivity represent a challenge to national food security.


or even Wikipedia talking about food rations...

Cuba imports up to 80% of the food it rations to the public. Despite the Embargo, as of circa 1990, the majority of these imports comes from the United States [60] After coming to power, Raúl Castro, Fidel Castro's brother, has ridiculed the bureaucracy that shackles the agriculture sector.[60] Before 1959, Cuba boasted as many cattle as people. Today meat is so scarce that it is a crime to kill and eat a cow without government permission.[61] Cuban people even suffered from starvation during the Special Period.

ken said...


Constructive_Feedback said...

I visited Cuba back in 2009 (IIRC).

Summary: Love the people, love the environment - hate the system.

SO NO I do not believe that Cuba is an example of "Sustainable Behavior". They had a Sugar Daddy in the Soviet Union and then Venezuela with its oil proceeds. When these sources collapsed the nation dwindled as well.

To the credit of my socialist friend who I traveled with - I agree that Cuba, being disconnected from the world of IMF, WorldBank - never became a "Consumer Capitalistic state" and thus the people's overall standard of living was built up on smoke and mirrors.

Think of it this way - IF the same Americans who fear losing their vote to their right-wing enemies in American can look to Cuba and render PRAISE for the SOCIAL JUSTICE SERVICES that the island supposedly provides to everyone - then we should conclude that "THE VOTE" is merely a means to an end (both the choice in voting and the CLAIMED "Civil Rights Threats" to voting that tricks people from focusing on the failures of those they have voted for).

It is THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ENTITLEMENTS that they have their eyes fixed upon.

BUT RARELY do you hear them tying the mandate for quality education and economic sharing among themselves with the attainment of that which they right now seek through government power.

CNu said...

I thought it was pretty common knowledge that Cuba can't feed itself without help, but just a quick link might help.

Pretty sure you've never given any thought to Cuba, so cutting the crap is probably in order.

Cuba, with a population of 11 million 80% urban, has been exploited for generations as an agricultural monoculture, i.e., sugar for exports. Now, I'm certain you'd be elated to see them return to their pre-revolutionary sugar plantation system and all that that entailed including the racial caste system. But once we establish the context in which agricultural monoculture depletes and erodes the soil, whether the colonial resource extraction goes to enrich Cuban-American plantation owners or Russian petroleum suppliers makes little difference. Once you lose petrochemical inputs and mechanization in an agricultural monoculture, well, problems are bound to ensue.


Over the past 20 years, Cuba has had to make significant adjustments to begin restoring agricultural diversity and sustainability. Those adjustments have been highly successful and Cuba now imports ~60% of its foodstuffs. If in 1959, Cuba had so many cattle, it's only because they imported all the feed-grain, because like every other colonized carribean island, they didn't, couldn't, and never have cultivated feed grains. Let us insofar be honest with ourselves.

To the extent that Cuba is able to trade without further interference from the U.S., and, given its interesting deep-water oil reserves, I believe that Cuban culture is far better positioned than say black american culture (which is simply poor american culture) - to take prompt advantage of post-industrial 21st century technology, nano, geno, and other which depends very heavily on how well educated a people have become. http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/cuba_statistics.html

You can keep morbidly obese, inflammatory autoimmune, and sexually transmitted diseased Americans with a culture of vacuous conspicuous consumption, because this culture is definitely not ready for primetime. There is, after all, a reason why the scientifically-minded Jesuit in the Vatican tugged the sleeve of the Hon.Bro.Afro-Saxon in the White House to make peace with Cuba once and for all....,

CNu said...

Once we step away from the fictitious belief system(s) in which you've embedded yourself, we can get down to the brass tacks of exactly whose systems are sustainable and thus superior.

The U.S. has ~4 hectares per capita but consumes at a rate of ~7 hectares per capita - clearly overshot and desperately dependent on mechanization, substantial petrochemical inputs, and food imports http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/trends/united_states_of_america/

China, the paper-tiger of economics, used to be roughly self sufficient at 1 hectare per person (which they still have) but they're now economically overshot to 2.5 hectares per person of consumption propped up by artificial means like the U.S. - not colonized or exploited, China did itself in via conspicuous consumption and the new culture of greed http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/trends/china/

Cuba is the only one of the three trending correctly. With ~1 hectare per person it's overshot a mere 1.5 hectares per person, a very modest degree of overshoot given its current trendline. That's HUGE IMPROVEMENT over the past 20 years, on its own, and without any killing, stealing, or any of the other imperial sin stain required by either China or the U.S. http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/trends/cuba/

Now, I'm not the one to hold my breath and pretend either of you deluded fellers have any prospect of understanding, acknowledging, or catching up with what has been presented this afternoon. Just remember, as you wander away with a high pitched buzzing sound in your ears, and a tightness and sharp pain in your foreheads, that contrary to anything you might ever delusionally wander in here thinking, Subrealism is school for you!!!

accept no substitutes.....,

ken said...

Everyone knows if you're dead you aren't going to have a footprint. Or if you produce little and have little to give to others your footprint should be small. Those who want to measure goodness in terms of how close to death and first level survival we can force everyone to live at is nothing I think we should be striving for.

Vic78 said...

Do you drive or fly? Do you shop at grocery stores? Do you or your family eat fast food? Assuming you have children, did you buy pampers and bottles? How much TV do you watch? Do you buy your clothes?

Multiply everything I just asked about by 300 million and you'll see how bad American consumption is. I haven't even brought up Japan, China, the EU, and emerging countries. They all want to live like you're living now. We don't have the resources for everyone in the world to consume like Americans.

CNu said...

Awww..., didn't take much to blow your fairy tale fiat economics story all to pieces. Cuba is objectively MUCH closer to sustainable self-sufficiency than either the U.S. or China which each convert epoch amounts of irreplaceable natural material resources into pure garbage and create externalities damaging to the entire biosphere. Instead of dealing with the methodically measured facts on the ground, your flimsy rhetoric has tilted toward histrionics.

Cuba is not only full of life, it has an average per capita life expectancy far beyond that of either the bloated and failing empire and the bloated and soon to be failing imperial wannabe. Beyond this, it has 100% education and literacy rates. Its people are a unitary cultural block, the equivalent of an intentional community. When U.S. bioweapons labs in Africa release Ebola, Cuban doctors were heroically on the front lines helping to combat the epidemic.

Cuba has an effective vaccine for cancer http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2015/06/us-to-cuba-like-caitlyn-jenner-licking.html

Cuba has oil and allies http://subrealism.blogspot.com/2010/10/cuba-ready-to-drill-for-oil-deeper-than.html

You need to wake up and smell the coffee Ken. The U.S. is dragging its bloated, pale, and smelly carcass in the direction of Cuba like the Jenner science project might drag its degenerate science-project carcass in the direction of a strapping pool boy.

I had no idea that the belief in which you "center your life" has more in common with the utterly vile "prosperity" pulpit-pimping than just the truly vile evangelical protestantianity. But I guess that explains all the neocon chickenhawking you did for all those years pursuant to the invasion and failed attempt to appropriate Iraqi oil.

CNu said...

In magic buybull world "we" do..., plenty of pie, hot and fresh from the sky, served to all, by-and-by...., that's the self-same idiocratic belief centering that little short-armed Sen. Mccain was burbling out the side of his mouth about, i.e., selling oil and gas to Ukraine from the financial bubble manuever of frakking. You really can't make that level of stupid and deluded (or just outright lying) up.

ken said...

I fly and drive, I shop at grocery stores, we have eaten fast foods, my kids have used pampers, we have a TV and it uses electricity, and I wear clothes.

Now please show me as the world has used more resources which resources are now scarce and are scarce because of the demand and not the system to deliver the resource.

ken said...

Sorry, I guess I lost interest when you thought it was a big deal that 77% of Cuba's population is urban and 23 rural, or 80/20 as you estimated it and somehow that was supposed to make us all nod our heads and understand the reason they needed urban gardens to supplement the food shipped to them.

The dirty little secret is our population is just a little more urban than Cuba:

The urban areas of the United States for the 2010 Census contain 249,253,271 people, representing 80.7% of the population, and rural areas contain 59,492,276 people, or 19.3% of the population. And its not like its close in the quantity of food produced, the US produces 30% or the agriculture of the world and Cuba has to import 60 to 80% of its food and still ration it besides.

And then we start talking about irreplaceable natural resources. What are the resources that are irreplaceable in your eyes and what resources are we running out of? Name some resources that have been all used up and don't exist anymore in the world. And explain what resource is on deck and show me how you know, and give me the graph showing the downward spiral of the resource soon to be depleted and used up.

The clear truth is Cuba is not sustaining themselves, they are 200 calories short on average a day, and that's with food being shipped to them.

As for the rest of your "I had no idea" blah, blah, blah...is a lie, all you have done is accuse me of the very thing you claim you have no idea about. And at the time I considered the overthrow of Sadaam to be the right thing to do. He killed over 500,000 of his own citizens, he purposely wanted all other countries to believe he had a nuclear weapons program and weapons of mass destruction, even with out that, the idea of overthrowing Sadaam when we let Iraqis die in the first gulf war when the anti Sadaam groups tried to overthrow him them, was the right move.

Hind sight however has me reconsidering, if we can elect the next leader to undo everything and break our promises to all the Sunnis who allied with us to make the gains we did and the security that was accomplished, I think it would be better to assume anything our country now does is only done in terms of politics and power domestically. I really feel horrible that we just moved our military out when we promised those Sunnis we would protect them, and just let them get slaughtered and their families turned into slaves. Our motives and purpose was right, but I can now see our country has no commitment, and should not be counted on by anybody, and any decision made militarily or any foreign commitments should be made with the understanding whatever commitment you thought you had means nothing when the next elected official comes in.

As for your numbers, Americans did not kill 1 million Iraqis, we are not responsible for terrorist killing Iraqi citizens, anymore than we're responsible for the killing happening in Iraq and Syria now. Iraqis really wanted Sadaam gone, most Iraqis really wanted to have a secure government. A little more time and a military presence from the United States might have made a big difference today.

Obama was going to take full credit for Iraq's success...


CNu said...

rotflmbao.., you "lost interest" when you got handed your ass about Cuban economy, ecology, and sustainability. That's why we're now "energetically" demanding peak resource lists you can search on this site or google for yourself, coupled with partisan chicken hawking about the most disastrous failure in U.S. military history.

Vic78 said...

You be safe, dude.

ken said...

I have no idea what thread you are looking at when you believe somehow you were able to convince the casual reader here Cuba is sustaining themselves. Was it when you said the intelligent pragmatic person would look to Cuba for an example of self sustainability? Or was it when you quoted someone that said Cuba is well known for its agriculture...Or was it when you explained Cuba is 20 rural and 80% urban, and now they only import 60% of their food to ration to the population. Maybe it was when you leveled charge I never thought about Cuba, and in the same post said I wanted to return them back to pre-revolutionary days when they were manipulated to only exporting a sugar crop. Really huge strong points there.

Those points just blow out of the water that the leader of the country says his system doesn't work, or that the population is on average 200 calories short of having proper nutrition each day, or that you simply aren't producing the food in the government system the country is locked in while having ample water, and long growing seasons.

Here is the interesting rub, when you went into the good points of: To the extent that Cuba is able to trade without further interference from the U.S., and, given its interesting deep-water oil reserves, I believe that Cuban culture is far better positioned than say black american culture (which is simply poor american culture) - to take prompt advantage of post-industrial 21st century technology, nano, geno, and other which depends very heavily on how well educated a people have become. ---and add the medical benefits, all this would make Cuba able to provide for themselves under a capitalist system---the system you and Jay want to leave, to embrace the system Cuba needs to rid themselves of.

CNu said...

when you believe somehow you were able to convince the casual reader

School is not for the congenitally fact-resistant. As I've explained to both my children for whom this blog is maintained, "the Captain Save-a-Ho" business is always and everywhere a losing proposition. The cull will take care of that problem

the system Cuba needs to rid themselves of

Is culturally and morally superior to your market and greed worshipping idol and has yielded a longer and higher quality of life no longer wholly dependent on status-seeking and conspicuous consumption.