Externalized Costs and Other Self-Interests

by mindpilot @, la Playa Buenavista, Saturday, August 19, 2023, 18:38 (106 days ago) @ Little Guy

I walk on the beach most days when I am at my home in Canada most days. I have never seen a plastic bottle on the beach. I walk on the beach in Mexico and it is strewn with plastic bottles. Why? Because where I live in Canada, plastic bottles can be returned for C$0.10 (M$1.26) each.

In Mexico, I sometimes see aluminum can litter, but it doesn’t stay there long. People collect them because they can be sold for recycling. Imagine how quickly the beaches woukd be scoured if every 100 soft drink bottles yielded M$126.

You make my point for me.

When power companies literally charge you more for using less and generate artificial shortages, who's going to put out the effort?

Nice allegation. Proof?

San Diego Gas & Electric. A few years ago they were caught sabotaging generation equipment during peak demand times, so they could buy power from other suppliers and sell in back at hugely increased rates. Tapes exist of brokers talking to each other joking about how grandma can't afford electricity. At one rate increase meeting the CEO literally said, "we have to raise rates because people are using less." Then they invented Daily Peak Pricing. If you went over a certain amount at any point during peak demand times, you went on punishment rates. Of course, just like CFE's tiers, the amount of is so low as to be absurd.

I couldn't really care less what my carbon footprint is because as long as governments and corporations refuse to deviate from their profitable status quo, nothing I do will make a damn bit of difference. I care what it costs me to live.

At least you are open about your self-interested approach to perhaps the greatest existential threat to human societies after nuclear war. Like the corporations you criticize, you are more interested in generating “unpriced externalities” for yourself.

Yes. I have come to realize that life as humans have know for past few thousand years is over. The is absolutely nothing any of us can do to mitigate climate change. The very best we can hope for is to adapt. We know governments and corporations will continue to do nothing but make individual's lives more difficult, putting the onus on individuals. 40 - 50 years ago we had a chance. But y'all didn't pay any attention, now it is way too late, past the tipping point.

My self-interest is pragmatic. I didn't put up solar panels because I want to help save the world. I did it to ease the pressure on my wallet. During the 1st Gulf War, I was standing in my kitchen, peeling the label from a soup can for recycling. I look over at the TV to see dozens of oil wells on fire, 10s of thousands of barrels of oil, burning, tons of toxic black smoke pouring into the air. I realized at that moment exactly what John Houseman's line from Rollerball meant, "the purpose of the game, Jonathan, is to demonstrate the futility of individual effort." I do what I can--it keeps my conscience clear--but do so with the understanding that I ain't gonna change a thing. At the time I was a drivability and Emission tech at Ford. It was literally my job to make cars run as clean as possible. All my work undone by one burning oil well.

So don't put all this on Joe's lifestyle. Joe is not on his knees in Sam's Club begging for a wider choice of TP. Joe would likely not be buying so much sugar water in plastic bottles if he were able to drink from the faucet, instead of buying water in freakin' plastic bottles!!

Joe doesn’t have to drink from the faucet. In fact, the idea of drinking from the faucet is preposterous for anyone who thinks about it. In the US and Canada we spend billions of dollars and use many tonnes of processing chemicals to purify water that will be used for watering lawns, cleaning cars, washing pets, flushing down toilets, etc. Consider the stupidity of purifying water to poop in.

In Mexico, a two litre bottle of water is cheaper than a two litre bottle of sugar water. In fact, a two litre bottle of Coke is more expensive than a 19 litre bottle of water.

So what's worse? Tons of chemicals used to purify water or tons of chemicals to distribute water in plastic bottles? How about the fuel used and pollutants created by la pipa? And yes, I would hope water costs less than Coke, but it was probably the very same sugar-water mega-company that bottled both.

The point being Joe did not demand these be his choices, because they are all bad.

Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread