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MartinW

2014, hottest year on record!

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1,700 jets..... that will help the carbon in the atmosphere then.  Was this a summit on global warming or a summit to cause global warming? 

 

I see your point chaps. But since when have politicians taken global warming seriously, I mean really seriously. Sure they talk big, but do nowhere near enough to mitigate the issues. There  has been summit after summit after summit, and all they do is procrastinate. But of course they procrastinate, the medicine doesn't taste good and politicians who rely on the voter to keep them in office are only truly concerned about the short term, getting re-elected. If it means feeding society with a nasty tasting medicine that will mess up their re-election plans they will avoid it if they can. A politicians goal is to stay in power and continue to amass wealth for themselves and their wealthy backers. They don't care about the planet, they don't care about your children, they don't care about your grandchildren or their children's children.

 

Don't forget, frequently the IPCC are pressurised to tone down the climate change predictions in case they upset politicians. Remember George Bush, and how his climate change advisor was about to make a scientifically valid statement, and Bush quickly stepped in and stopped him from doing so?

 

So yes, politicians will jet around in business jets still, and yes, they will still drive around in their limousines. Politicians aren't trustworthy, I'm sure I don't have to remind you of that, so in regard to this subject... listen to the experts, the scientists.

 

I should offer something in their defence though I suppose, for balance. large numbers of politicians have to get to these conferences, safely and securely. Could they all jump on a commercial flight, no probably not, the security implications would be a nightmare. could they jump on a ship, no, politicians have busy schedules, they would be at sea for weeks. So yes, maybe business jets are the safest and fastest method.

And if by some miracle they do come to an agreement, and the planet sees a reasonable reduction in emissions, then maybe the CO2 pumped out by the jets to the conference will be worth it... don't bet on it.

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Was this a summit on global warming or a summit to cause global warming?

 

 

In my opinion, it's a summit to cause global re-distribution of wealth, not-so-cleverly disguised as a summit on global warming - - - oops, pardon me, climate change.

 

John

 

 

 

 

Not true, but if it were, we could most definitely do with a redistribution of wealth.

 

We are on course for the wealthiest 1% to be richer than the other 99%.

 

If that isn't a societal disaster what is?

 

At this very moment, the wealthiest own 48% of all global wealth, Next year it will be 50%.

 

Global wealth is becoming concentrated among a small global elite. If anyone sees this as no big deal thy are living in a fantasy land. Potentially it's a disaster for society. The scale of global inequality is quite frankly staggering.

 

Vote Conservative if you like, vote Liberal Democrat if you like, vote for the loony UKIP idiots if you like... but it won't make any difference at all, the system is broken and we are heading for disaster if we don't find a better way.

 

What is that way? I have no idea.

 

 

 

 

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We are on course for the wealthiest 1% to be richer than the other 99%....

 

...At this very moment, the wealthiest own 48% of all global wealth, Next year it will be 50%.

I can see how a couple thousand coddled execs, business magnates and senior policy makers gathering at a luxury resort will help with that.

 

And raising energy prices on us all, particularly the lower and middle classes, by subsidizing green sources or over-regulating and taxing economical ones up to price parity with the inefficient, insignificant "renewables"  helps that how?

 

http://www.breitbart.com/london/2014/11/22/renewable-energy-so-useless-that-even-greenie-google-gave-up-on-it/

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I can see how a couple thousand coddled execs, business magnates and senior policy makers gathering at a luxury resort will help with that.

 

Why would it have to help it, they are two separate issues? It's a climate change conference. It was you that constructed the notion that it's something else. That "something else" that  conspiracy to re-distribute wealth, I thus addressed as a separate topic.

 

It won't help it, but climate conferences have to convene "somewhere".

 

And raising energy prices on us all, particularly the lower and middle classes, by subsidizing green sources or over-regulating and taxing economical ones up to price parity with the inefficient, insignificant "renewables" helps that how?

 

 

 

As I implied above, in my previous post, tackling climate change is economically painful, it will require sacrifice. But we have no choice, climate change is real,  the effects sooner or later will be significant, procrastinating, denying, and generally burying our heads in the sand will have disastrous consequences long term.

 

However... in regard to the separate topic you introduced, namely the re-distribution of wealth, we do have a choice. We can choose not to favour a doomed to failure system where the ultra rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.  We can choose not to support politicians like David Cameron, who while campaigning in Brussels to protect bankers obscene bonuses was simultaneously cutting benefits for the most needy.  We can choose not to support a system whereby there are literally millions of families in Britain below the breadline, while simultaneously, greedy billionaires are grabbing wealth and not paying taxes. We can choose not to support obscene concepts like TTIP. We can choose to modify our economic systems so that an obscene amount of wealth isn't grabbed by a greedy minority of predatory billionaires at the expense of everyone else.

 

Energy prices will rise, the financial burden of combating climate change will effect us all, that's inevitable... so lets not make it worse by continuing to enable ultra greedy billionaires, who are fast becoming an extremely powerful elite. If we don't, expect civil unrest like you've never seen it before.

 

Already we have reached the point where the politicians are less in control, it's the ultra powerful financial backers that hold the real power. Has a US presidential campaign ever been one by the guy with the least money? I don't recall it has. Money wins, democracy loses.

 

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Why would it have to help it, they are two separate issues?

 

 

I guess that we're expected to believe that 1700+ (many are probably not travelling alone) privileged individuals eating caviar and canapes for a week at a luxury resort on our dime will help global warming?  I'm just illustrating the hypocrisy of the ruling class on this issue.  They know best where our money must be given away and they want us to cough up more of it in support of saving the planet from global warming.  Nothing self-serving there.

 

 

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Why would it have to help it, they are two separate issues?

 

 

I guess that we're expected to believe that 1700+ (many are probably not travelling alone) privileged individuals eating caviar and canapes for a week at a luxury resort on our dime will help global warming?  I'm just illustrating the hypocrisy of the ruling class on this issue.  They know best where our money must be given away and they want us to cough up more of it in support of saving the planet from global warming.  Nothing self-serving there.

 

 

 

As I sad... no don't believe that. As usual at these conferences nothing will be decided, no progress will be made. Politicians, and their ultra wealthy backers will do nothing. It's not in their personal interest to do so. Not unless they are forced to, and then it will be just a token affair.

 

Politicians are always self-serving. That's why we should listen to the scientists. As usual we will leave it till the last minute and then panic when it's too late.

 

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....  And raising energy prices on us all, particularly the lower and middle classes, ......

 

 

I expect the price of petrol (Gas) in the UK would scare the whatsits out of you John!!  

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I expect the price of petrol (Gas) in the UK would scare the whatsits out of you John!!  

 

 

I'm aware of what it was there a while back, nearly twice ours on a per volume basis and of course the difference is mainly taxes. Have your petrol prices come down in response to oil going from $103 to ~ $48 per barrel in recent months?  If not, you folks should be asking why not, in a very loud voice.
 
Thanks primarily to shale oil extraction and fracking, there's a glut of oil on the market right now.  Gasoline prices here have fallen from almost $4 per gallon to $2.05 in about six months.  Prince Alaweed, the maverick Saudi  businessman who doesn't always toe his government's line, says we will, "...never again see $100 a barrel oil."  I'm not sure he's right but I hope that he is. There will be a market shakeout at those prices.  Many production units cannot operate at those prices.  Some will close down.  Some will be bought out.  In any case, the technology works and as oil prices rise again, more and more of them will become feasible. 
 
The OPEC countries have refused to reduce production, adding downward pressure on prices, out of fear of permanently losing their market share.  Hardest hit are Russia, Iran and Venezuela, who are all feeling the pain very acutely, which I'm having a hard time categorizing as bad news.
 
Of course most governments don't WANT oil (nor any other kind of energy) to be cheap and will raise the taxes some more.  They're already talking about it here.  I believe some states have already done it.

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Prices have dropped by about 30P a litre over the past 6 months. I filled up with diesel for 115.9p a litre yesterday that's cheap, but it is still almost $8 a gallon.

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Diesel here is about $2.50 a gallon and up from there, so about a third what it is there.  It cannot cost any more for to produce or import the product there in a commodities market, so the difference pretty much has to be taxes.

 

John

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At this very moment, the wealthiest own 48% of all global wealth...

 

 

 
On the surface, this is sounding a lot like an algore-ish claim, however, accepting what is alleged at face value at the moment and reserving the right to throw the BS flag later if warranted, a couple of things occur to me...
 
1) 1% is still 1% but in real terms that's about 71 MILLION people.
 
2) I wonder how those asserting this are accounting for institutionally held wealth, i.e governments, public land, churches, non-profits, etc. in that figure?  The amount of institutionally held wealth must be tremendous, possibly dwarfing that owned by individuals.  One could argue that governmental/public wealth is owned in equal measure by the citizens of the political entity holding the wealth. If nothing else, it certainly muddies up the statistical waters for the 1% claim.
 
John
 
EDIT:  Debt, private and public, should also be factored in for this to be meaningful.  Did they use net worth, or simply assets held?  Some governments are probably in the red, e.g. Greece, Venezuela, Argentina, Egypt, to name a few.  For corporations, did they ignore them entirely, simply use market capitalization as the value to assign to the shareholders as wealth, or take corporate debt/liabilities into account?  It could all make a huge difference in the statistic.  
 
JDA

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Can you see the Trend?

 

"Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations. We will soon live in a world where equality of opportunity is just a dream. In too many countries economic growth already amounts to little more than a 'winner takes all' windfall for the richest."

Working-for-the-Few---Oxf-009.jpg Source: F. Alvaredo, A. B. Atkinson, T. Piketty and E. Saez, (2013) ‘The World Top Incomes Database’, http://topincomes.g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/Only includes countries with data in 1980 and later than 2008. Photograph: Oxfam

 

The Oxfam report found that over the past few decades, the rich have successfully wielded political influence to skew policies in their favour on issues ranging from financial deregulation, tax havens, anti-competitive business practices to lower tax rates on high incomes and cuts in public services for the majority. Since the late 1970s, tax rates for the richest have fallen in 29 out of 30 countries for which data are available, said the 

It's quite clear from the graph above, that the ultra rich are becoming richer at an unprecedented rate, and the poor are becoming poorer. There is a finite amount of wealth around, and if it keeps going to the mega rich who don't need it, then someone has to pay the price.

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Unfortunately this is nothing to do with the topic I started and I sense Mr Mutley won't be happy but...

 

 

Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world

 

The world's wealthiest people aren't known for travelling by bus, but if they fancied a change of scene then the richest 85 people on the globe – who between them control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together – could squeeze onto a single double-decker.

The extent to which so much global wealth has become corralled by a virtual handful of the so-called 'global elite' is exposed in a new report from Oxfam on Monday. It warned that those richest 85 people across the globe share a combined wealth of £1tn, as much as the poorest 3.5 billion of the world's population.

 

The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110tn (£60.88tn), or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world, added the development charity, which fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

It's a chilling reminder of the depths of wealth inequality as political leaders and top business people head to the snowy peaks of Davos for this week's World Economic Forum. Few, if any, will be arriving on anything as common as a bus, with private jets and helicopters pressed into service as many of the world's most powerful people convene to discuss the state of the global economy over four hectic days of meetings, seminars and parties in the exclusive ski resort.

Winnie Byanyima, the Oxfam executive director who will attend the Davos meetings, said: "It is staggering that in the 21st Century, half of the world's population – that's three and a half billion people – own no more than a tiny elite whose numbers could all fit comfortably on a double-decker bus."

Oxfam also argues that this is no accident either, saying growing inequality has been driven by a "power grab" by wealthy elites, who have co-opted the political process to rig the rules of the economic system in their favor.

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world

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Diesel here is about $2.50 a gallon and up from there, so about a third what it is there.  It cannot cost any more for to produce or import the product there in a commodities market, so the difference pretty much has to be taxes.

 

John

 

That's about the size of it John.Welcome to rip--off Britain!

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1% is still 1% but in real terms that's about 71 MILLION people.

 

Irrelevant, now calculate how many people the 99% equates too! we are talking about the "distribution" of wealth, not the numbers. I'm sure you wouldn't want a chunk of that 99% running down the streets smashing windows and burning cars, as a result of the growing number of individuals in my own country, your country and all over the world that are below the breadline. While simultaneously, the obscenely greedy 1%, that I suspect you don't have a problem with, are getting richer and richer and richer.

 

2) I wonder how those asserting this are accounting for institutionally held wealth, i.e governments, public land, churches, non-profits, etc. in that figure? The amount of institutionally held wealth must be tremendous, possibly dwarfing that owned by individuals. One could argue that governmental/public wealth is owned in equal measure by the citizens of the political entity holding the wealth. If nothing else, it certainly muddies up the statistical waters for the 1% claim.

 

 

 

I haven't heard that the Vatican has sold of its assets lately and given it to the poor. Haven't heard about anybody selling off a prodigious amount of public land to help those below the breadline. It's not accessible wealth, not accessible to those that need it so

irrelevant.

 

Perhaps you should consider that pretty much your entire country's assets have been sold off to corporations. I recall Bush even privatised part of your own armed forces didn't he? NSA, most of its work farmed out to private contractors. However, I'm sure you have a stake in your public library, but the guys you voted for stole the rest from you and never gave you a penny.

 

You mention some countries in the red, forgetting that the USA is in the debt to the tune of around $18 trillion, more than all the countries you named combined. You as an individual are technically in debt by $56,000 I believe.

 

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Phew...did you hear?

The US senate has decided that mankind is not responsible for Climate Change!

Man, I bet that allays the concerns of 9 out of 10 climate scientists...and vindicates the 1 out of 10 deniers.

I think I might just go buy me a monster truck and take advantage of all this cheep fracking gasoline. :(

 

Morons...fracking morons.

 

One of the wealthiest countries in the world pays the stupidest, most self-centered, power mad morons to Lead a country by making decisions about things they know Nothing about.

 

This is why I live on a sail boat. Always read to head out on the clean air before the shit hits the fan.

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I rounded down to be conservative...conservative is the new fashion after all.

Welll...not "conservative" but  "Conservative"...there is a difference. The former is moderate, circumspect, considerate, and responsible....the later is extreme, brash, bullheaded, and reckless.

 

Semantics and Marketing.

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You mention some countries in the red, forgetting that the USA is in the debt to the tune of around $18 trillion, more than all the countries you named combined. 

 

 

In the red means liabilities/debt exceeds assets.  Yes, US public debt is about $18 Trillion.  No, we're not in the red.

 

You as an individual are technically in debt by $56,000 I believe.

 

 

I guess you mean that's my share of the public debt?  My assets exceed that - I'm not in the red either.

 

 

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Irrelevant, now calculate how many people the 99% equates too! we are talking about the "distribution" of wealth, not the numbers. I'm sure you wouldn't want a chunk of that 99% running down the streets smashing windows and burning cars, as a result of the growing number of individuals in my own country, your country and all over the world that are below the breadline. While simultaneously, the obscenely greedy 1%, that I suspect you don't have a problem with, are getting richer and richer and richer.

 

 

 
I understand the math, Martin, and the raw number is no less relevant than the percentage - both represent the same statistical entity.  I just pointed out that the one percent equates to around 71 million people, something that probably does not immediately occur to most people when they see a statistic like 1%.
 
Just for the record, I haven't defended that alleged situation, at least not yet.  I'd appreciate it if you didn't put words in my mouth.   At the moment, I'm more inclined to think the statistic itself might be a bit contrived - or maybe it's not.
 
 
 
 
 

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Martin W Post #42

 

It's not accessible wealth, not accessible to those that need it so

irrelevant.

 

 

Strange, it seems you thought it relevant when you said this...

 

Martin W Post #27

 

At this very moment, the wealthiest own 48% of all global wealth...

 

 

All kinds of things are inaccessible; trusts; Certificates of Deposit; bonds with maturity dates; pension funds; future annuity payments; future payments on debt held. Do those things constitute wealth?   The definition of "all global wealth" is pretty slippery and I'd be interested in how those who developed your 1% statistic crafted it.

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Perhaps you should consider that pretty much your entire country's assets have been sold off to corporations.

 

 

 
Not exactly.  The Federal Government owns a total of 654,885,389 acres of land in the United States, (approximately 1,025,000 sq. miles - that's greater than the total area of the UK). That does not, of course, include public lands held by states, counties, cities and townships.  It seems we haven't sold all of it just yet.
 
 

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I recall Bush even privatised part of your own armed forces didn't he? 

 

 

 
I guess that's one way you could interpret what happened.
 
I found an old article, written between the two Gulf Wars, part of which seems to explain that pretty well.
 
"In recent months, private military companies have also played a key role in preparing for a war with Iraq. They supply essential support to military bases throughout the Persian Gulf, from operating mess halls to furnishing security. They provide armed guards at a U.S. Army base in Qatar, and they use live ammunition to train soldiers at Camp Doha in Kuwait, where a contractor, whose company ran a computer system that tracks soldiers in the field, was killed by terrorists last January. They also maintain an array of weapons systems vital to an invasion of Iraq, including the B-2 bomber, F-117 stealth fighter, Apache helicopter, KC-10 refueling tanker, U-2 reconnaissance plane, and the unmanned Global Hawk reconnaissance unit. In an all-out war against Saddam Hussein, the military was expected to use as many as 20,000 private contractors in the Persian Gulf. That would be 1 civilian for every 10 soldiers -- a 10-fold increase over the first Gulf War.
 
Indeed, the Bush administration's push to privatize war is swiftly turning the military-industrial complex of old into something even more far-reaching: a complex of military industries that do everything but fire weapons. For-profit military companies now enjoy an estimated $100 billion in business worldwide each year, with much of the money going to Fortune 500 firms like Halliburton, DynCorp, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon. Secretary of the Army Thomas White, a former vice chairman of Enron, "has really put a mark on the wall for getting government employees out of certain functions in the military," says retired Colonel Tom Sweeney, professor of strategic logistics at the U.S. Army War College. "It allows you to focus your manpower on the battlefield kinds of missions."
 
By the way, the stated "$100 billion in business worldwide each year..." even if all was from the US (it wasn't), amounts to about 25% of US defense spending in the year of the article, so the disbursement of defense money to contractors, which I think may be what you assume is negative about this, is not all that much in the grand scheme of things.
 
The bottom line is, the Geneva Convention forbids mercenaries, so contractors cannot replace soldiers in combat.  They can replace soldiers in non-combat duties and that's probably not such a bad thing.

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