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Stiglitz writes: "There is an alternative: invest in our future, in ways that help us to address simultaneously the problems of global warming, global inequality and poverty, and the necessity of structural change."

With the nourishing downpours of the monsoon season down an average of 12 percent across India, farmers are on the brink of disaster. (photo: Corbis)
With the nourishing downpours of the monsoon season down an average of 12 percent across India, farmers are on the brink of disaster. (photo: Corbis)

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+10 # Activista 2013-01-08 20:40
"invest in our future, in ways that help us to address simultaneously the problems of global warming, global inequality and poverty, and the necessity of structural change."
Read more:
www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/global-warming--inequality--and-structural-change-by-joseph-e--stiglitz#IpQvvv1AH64lJZ7J.99

Seems that Stiglitz is one of a few systemic thinking economists. It is incredible how stupid we are not investing in our planet - US civilization are geeks sending drones to kill ...
 
 
+10 # brux 2013-01-08 23:19
> An economic and political system that does not deliver for most citizens is one that is not sustainable in the long run.

This is an interesting point ... but I would add this ....

- An economic and political system that does not deliver
for most citizens is one that is not sustainable in the long run.

.... "at least not if it is a democracy or a representative republic.

Who knows how long our political system, as it has mutated, can continue without caring about anyone but the rich, but the longer we do it the more destructive it is and the harder and longer it will take to rebuild.
 
 
+2 # Smokey 2013-01-09 15:04
[quote name="brux"] " An economic and political system that does not deliver for most citizens is one that is not sustainable in the long run."

SIMPLY STATED: If the system isn't equitable, it won't be sustainable for very long. At the least, there will be bread riots, and runaway slaves, and the rise of a criminal class with a "black market" economy. More and more money will be spent on prisons and security forces, in order to maintain law and order.

Alternative? Something like the big French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions.

If they're desperate, poor people will do anything to feed themselves and their families. They'll burn anything, to stay warm in winter.


Climate change? It will place enormous stress on political and economic systems. If the people have faith in their leaders, they'll accept sacrifices. However, if the 99% suspect that they're been cheated or ignored, while the rich and the protected get special favors during a major disaster, you'll see revolutions that will make the Bolsheviks look like wimps.
 
 
0 # RLF 2013-01-11 08:45
I don't think the peasants in the Bolshevik revolution were armed to the extent that the citizens in this country are...but the armies are armed much heavier as well...I think it would mean massive casualties and the end of any US predominance in the world. It would get really ugly if the 1% pushes their advantage so far.
 
 
+16 # abdullahiedward 2013-01-09 04:12
The American system of capitalism has determined that war is the most profitable venture to invest in. Consequently, what is required here is for the American government to declare war on climate change. Not by denying it but by confronting it!
 
 
+1 # RLF 2013-01-11 08:46
How about war on war like the 'greatest generation' talked about but then ignored.
 
 
+4 # Inspired Citizen 2013-01-09 06:58
"And we are far behind the curve: Because we have been so slow to respond to climate change, achieving the targeted limit of a two-degree (centigrade) rise in global temperature, will require sharp reductions in emissions in the future."

No, we are already too far over the level of carbon in the atmosphere. This means that we need technological responses to extract carbon from the atmosphere while we curb use (conservation), radically transform the fossil fuel based economy which MUST include an element of nuclear power if we're to sustain anything close to the standard of living now in place.

We can have cars that run on H2O because hydrogen is already used to power race cars, and separating H for O is not complex. This will require a massive effort to desalinate ocean water because water is in short supply in too many regions.

This will require massive public investments which, if not made, will ensure the collapse of civilization and perhaps the demise of human life on Earth. It's that dire!

The right-wing echo chamber doesn't help with the denial of climate change, one more reason to debunk the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, MRC (media watchdogs) and, of course, Fox Republican propaganda. They are all part of this problem.
 
 
-3 # handmjones 2013-01-09 07:25
No one will agree to limiting GHG nor reduced consumption unless it is forced on all other governments - thus World government.
Within wealthy countries, consumption can easily be cut by taxing away everything above a decent wage. The wealthy would all leave, taking the wealth with them as is being done in Greece, Spain and Italy today. This would need to be stopped and the money retrieved from Switzerland and the Caymans - thus World government.
Still the World population will rise to eat up anything we save unless we forcibly limit growth and then force reduction of population - thus World government.
Meanwhile as the price of everything over subsistence level consumption rises out of our reach we will look for someone to blame! We will be hungry and angry and roast politico will look enticing - and maybe environmentalists.
Seriously, 2 to 6 degrees of warming? That's not science that's a wild guess, on the basis of which I'm to cut my lifestyle in half? Are we not past the tipping point? Giving up fossil fuels will not stop the GHG's that come from agriculture, animal husbandry, rice cultivation, fish farming, forest clearing, newly exposed tundra, sea floor to say nothing of the new absorption of heat in the Arctic.
Relax - it's going to happen. It will only be reversed when the cloud cover becomes complete and reflects the energy away.
 
 
-6 # egbegb 2013-01-09 10:21
Why does Professor Stiglitz think "the most serious is global warming"? On what basis does he make that assertion?
 
 
+6 # Regina 2013-01-09 14:04
He makes that assertion on the basis of FACTS that conniving profiteers deny and denounce, as if we have a political choice. They will have to find a way to take their profits with them to where we're all going, sooner or later -- that's what fuels their ignorance.
 
 
+2 # kindergreener 2013-01-09 10:37
handmjones is correct that giving up fossil fuels will not stop the GHGs that come from livestock and forest clearing. 



For this reason, more and more people are coming to realize that the key player in reversing climate change—at least in the next four years—is the food industry.

Replacing at least 25% of today's livestock products with better alternatives, combined with large-scale regeneration of forest, may be the one pragmatic way left to reverse climate change before it's too late, according to environmental-r isk specialists.


(http://www.chompingclimatechange.org/blog.html)
 
 
+2 # Activista 2013-01-09 15:01
Look at numbers - fossil fuels are like 90% responsible.
Ocean is acidified - Coral Reefs in Crisis - Learn about coral reefs at risk.
www.biologicaldiversity.org/
Protect corals from global warming.
Most of the beauty and diversity of coral reef is DEAD - right now.
Human over-population and fossil burning cars are responsible. Scrap your car - protect environment.
 
 
+1 # RLF 2013-01-11 08:47
scrap your plans to have children too!
 
 
+1 # handmjones 2013-01-09 21:55
and we should be doing large scale tests of ocean seeding.
 
 
-1 # Smokey 2013-01-09 15:14
"economic disparity is at the root of so much social and political conflict in the world...."

Who do these guys think that they are? (Occupy activists?) We're talking about global warming, right?

The official line is supposed to go something like this: All of humanity is responsible for global pollution. All of us - the street kids in Mumbai, the billionaires in Aspen, and all of the rest - have contributed to the global mess. If poor people will stop having babies, and if the poor will eat less and use less energy, everything will be swell on Mother Earth.

Yeah, sure.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2013-01-09 18:24
Quoting Smokey:
"economic disparity is at the root of so much social and political conflict in the world...."

We're talking about global warming, right?

The official line is supposed to go something like this: All of humanity is responsible for global pollution. All of us - the street kids in Mumbai, the billionaires in Aspen, and all of the rest - have contributed to the global mess....Yeah, sure.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita
except fat American on average consumes (7164) per capita compared to Bangladesh (208) = 35x MORE? We could cut the consumption at least by half - to get our fat behinds out of the car.
 
 
+1 # X Dane 2013-01-09 19:01
Smokey.

You ARE being sarcastic...I hope?? Yes the poor.....all should have fewer children, but it is the wealthy, who eat more, and use a whole lot more energy and the rest of our resources.

Also, we sure need to get ALL other countries involved, for there will NOT be any place to flee to with your money.
The PLANET will be affected, not just SOME countries.

Many in our country hate having to work with other countries. They prefer to TELL them what to do. But that is NOT up for discussion, for unless we work together we will perish together,...for sure.
 
 
+4 # X Dane 2013-01-09 21:50
I just saw a weather map of Australia.It was deep read, signifying that the temperatures were about 120 degrees....I think in the summer. In the middle of the country, they had introduced another color...purple. ..indicating temperatures OVER 120 degrees??

I think there may soon be an exodus from Australia. They have had some horrible years. I think it was 3-4 years ago, they had floods covering more land than France and Germany combined. The last disaster was enormous wild fires!! Burning for a long time, since there was no water to put them out Which will no doubt happen again with those high temperatures.

WE have our own disasters here, floods and hurricanes. Much more violent and more frequent than in previous years.
Our cornfield were destroyed by drought.
and who knows what will happen next year?

It is incredible that so many people STILL do not believe that Climate change is happening.
 
 
+4 # DavidThree 2013-01-09 16:17
Great to see the focus on climate change. I hope there is a part II to this article with specific recommendations - we need more of this kind of clear, broad thinking - we sure are not getting it from Washington, D. C.!
 
 
+3 # Smokey 2013-01-10 09:32
[quote name="DavidThre e"]"Great to see the focus on climate change. I hope there is a part II to this article with specific recommendations - we need more of this kind of clear, broad thinking - we sure are not getting it from Washington, D. C!"

We agree.... In order to solve the major environmental problems in the
world, there's a need to address the problems of economic injustice, climate change, and government structure and operations.

Some groups may be interested in one or two of these concerns. The conservationist s, for example, have a lot to say about climate change. However: There aren't very many groups that are working on all three of the concerns noted.

Result? Discussions about environmental problems are making very little progress in the world. When unemployment figures rise, people say, "We can't talk about the environment. We need to build a healthy economy." People like Al Gore shrug their shoulders and say, "The public isn't interested in climate change. What can we do?"

Can we develop new strategies? Maybe the Occupy groups will take the lead. As DavidThree notes, "We sure are not getting ( effective leadership) from Washington, DC."
 
 
+3 # fhunter 2013-01-09 17:21
We have the greatest Economic scientist in this country: Stieglitz and Krugman. Moreover, they proved themselves by clearly foreseeing the fiscal crisis. Why does the President follow the advise of all those jackasses and not our best minds???
 
 
+6 # Kathymoi 2013-01-09 17:37
This sounds like what OWS groups have been saying since day one, in september 2011---adopt solutions that simultaneously address global warming, economic inequality, and the need for major structural change in our government.
 
 
+2 # Smokey 2013-01-09 22:58
Quoting Kathymoi:
This sounds like what OWS groups have been saying since day one, in september 2011---adopt solutions that simultaneously address global warming, economic inequality, and the need for major structural change in our government.


Sounds good to me.... If we've got a strategy that only focuses on one of the three problems, we won't succeed.

The big conservation groups don't want to talk about economic inequality and they're a bit hazy when they talk about structural changes in government.

Result? The big conservation groups aren't making much progress in climate change discussions. It's time for new leadership.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2013-01-09 18:29
Read this.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20956421
 
 
+2 # tclose 2013-01-09 21:50
Stieglitz gives a good broad brush treatment the underlying structural problems of the economy, but I agree with DavidThree that we need specific recommendations as well. This is too general to be very useful.
 
 
+1 # Activista 2013-01-09 22:55
Quoting tclose:
Stieglitz gives a good broad brush treatment the underlying structural problems of the economy, but I agree with DavidThree that we need specific recommendations as well. This is too general to be very useful.

I interpreted Stieglitz article as setting framework for systemic changes to out economic-politi cal system. Status quo is not acceptable.
 
 
+1 # Nominae 2013-01-10 18:52
Yeah. Here it comes. To quote Stigliz above:

"Just as the Great Depression arose in part from the difficulties in moving from a rural, agrarian economy to an urban, manufacturing one, so today’s problems arise partly from the need to move from manufacturing to services."

Are we supposed to assume that this "need to move from manufacturing to services" was some kind of an Act Of Nature ?

Are we assumed to be SO stupid as to forget that the Great Offshoring of American Manufacturing to Mexico and overseas was the *DIRECT* result of Stigliz/Clinton promoted NAFTA and CAFTA legislation ?

Overlook the fact that the *same people* who CAUSED the problem are now writing about how we all need to "gut up, shut up, and DEAL with it" ?

Yeah, Doggie !

And here we thought that the feakin' bailed out financial industry (the ONLY major "industry" this country has *left* following the ravages of NAFTA/CAFTA) were the guys who INVENTED creating the crisis in order to "sell the public" on their recommend "FIX" ?

Stigliz/Clinton were the *fathers* of that scam in America.
It has been producing offspring ever since.

Nothing surprising, however, to those who have read Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine".

Stigliz and Slick Willie didn't "invent" the idea, they just brought it home to roost after this country had been using it abroad since the end of WWII.

Karma is indeed a bitch.
 
 
0 # Group 4 2013-01-15 15:04
Large scale investment in sustainable development and retrofitting the global economy will certainly create opportunity for economic growth. The inescapable truth is that in order to do so the investment will have to be reassigned from other present expenditures. Assuming that we don't want to see that money come from schools or social programs it will come from the military. If the argument is going to be made that it is partially in the name of economic sustainability? He is potentially right in the long term, but in the short term damaging an economy supported by military spending will result in a weakened economy. It is metaphorically amputating a leg and fitting a better leg. In the short term it will take a lot of limping before we can run.
 
 
0 # UOCP Team 2013-01-15 15:20
This issue cannot be seen as a simple one. It's extremely hard to connect different fields (social, environmental, economic) and find an "ultimate solution".

He mentions aggregate demand is too low, that it needs to be raised and it's true. Consumers are not confident and are afraid to spend. The imbalance and gap between demand and consumption needs to be closed, that first step would take us a long way.

A big shift needs to occur, and it needs to begin with the government becoming a facilitator of this change. Overspending in select sectors, such as defense, cause inequalities across the fields mentioned above. This needs to change now.
 
 
0 # consumerpoliticsgroup3 2013-01-15 15:38
Stiglitz compares the need to move from rural to manufacturing during the Great Depression to our current need to move from manufacturing products to services. To create this transition requires us as citizens to stand up and influence the government to enforce new regulations that would promote this new type of infrastructure to be created. Focusing on the short term fiscal cliff and attempting to fix just that problem is not going to create a solution that would benefit the world in the long term. Just because we are in a financial crisis doesn't mean we should put global warming second. Focusing on ecological and environmental sustainable practices will in turn fix our financial crisis in the long run.

To create this new type of infrastructure, mindset, and sustainable policies, we as a nation need to create a demand for the governmental to implement them, or we as a nation need to create them ourselves. Turning from manufacturing products to creating social services that benefit people of all social statuses will lower the inequality gap, create jobs, and decrease our overall carbon footprint.
 

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