Harper’s Index

I read this in the new December Harper’s Magazine:

Percentage of Americans and Chinese, respectively, who think action on warming is worth it even if prices rise as a result: 41, 88

What conclusions can you draw from that?  Maybe this: we have our priorities wrong.  They don’t.


2 thoughts on “Harper’s Index

  1. My conclusion is that it is a stupid question, designed to mislead people.

    it’s like asking “is believing in god worth it… even if you have to go to church?”

    You have to believe in God before you are willing to pay the price.

    Not everyone in America believes in global warming.

    What if they had asked the question:

    “Regardless of Global Warming, do you think we should reduce pollution and green house gasses, even if price increases are a result?”

    Who doesn’t agree that pollution is bad?

    And the cool thing is that America already HAS taken this step! people in America PAY for recycling – at least the people on my street do.

    American tax dollars… taxes ALL AMERICANS PAY go to pay for water purification facilities.

    China’s water pollution is at extreme levels. They are currently having water shortage issues… in areas that have water! but it is so polluted they cant use it for anything. The have very few water purification plants. Their factories produce pollution unchecked.

    America is leaps and bounds ahead of china in terms of pollution control, and what we have already payed to reduce it. So of course when asking a question like that to two different countries who are at very different stages of development — you are going to get two very different answers.

    What action should we take? why should prices have to rise?

    To the Chinese, action might be cleaning the human shit out of their water so they can drink it. Of course they are willing to pay for that… I would be too!!

    What action do we take in america?

    Reduce carbon emissions? Move to a city and use public transportation or ride a bike. No need to increases prices for that.

    When they say increase prices… is that code for “raise taxes”?

  2. Here’s the problem, Chad:

    Rush Limbaugh:
    “When I talk to people who believe in this global warming crap… it’s fake science. They may have educations and degrees that say they are scientists, but they’re not. They’re political hacks and leftists.”
    —December 11, 2009

    We have morons with power telling lies.

    You do, however make a couple of valid points. I agree that the question is potentially stupid, in that it lacks context. Also, you ask “What action should we take? why should prices have to rise?”

    Good questions – which need answers. Prices would rise quite naturally, for example, if we decided that we were going to reduce the long distance transporting of food, and stop the environmentally indefensible practices currently at work in the cattle industry – cheap cattle at the cost of increased animal suffering, increased environmental degradation, and increased food safety risks. If the answers were well presented, and the solutions involved higher taxes, I would gladly pay. I don’t have a thing against taxes. I would be happy to subsidize small scale local farming, for example, if I could clearly see the results.

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