A question for the Europeans on the Lisbon Treaty.



  • So for a bit of an off-topic subject - politics.

    As some of you might be aware, Ireland is being asked, for the second time, to vote on the Lisbon Treaty and I'm wonder what are the opinions on this matter from other EU members here, particularly now that it seems most of the 'NO!' campaigns here are run by political groups from other EU member states. If you had the option to vote, what would you vote? Or are you even aware of much of the changes that the Lisbon Treary will bring?

    I'm getting ready now for the second time to vote 'NO!'. While I do understand that an EU Government and an EU Constitution is neccessary for the future of the EU, I believe the path that the Lisbon Treaty is taking is not the right one and I find the proposed structure of government to be severely flawed.



  • I get the impression that Ireland will continue to have this referendum until they come up with the 'right' answer.



  • Well I have a lot of reservations about it. But for the most part I am all for a more unified european union. So while I worry about the effects of giving more power to a political body that is relatively far removed from the public, in the end I think it will have a positive effect, both economic and for the people in the EU. Because the EU seems (at least to me) to be much less influinced by populist politics and knee jerk reactions, then national politics.



  • This is a tough one with no clear-cut answers to be sure.  I do have a decidedly United States biased opinion though - but this is indeed all opinion as there is not really any kind of meaningful objective measure for this type of thing.

    Here's my take on the concept of a centralized metagovernment - either the EU or the US Federal government would fall into what I mean by "centralized metagovernment."

    I personally find the concept of a central metagovernment to only be useful in a few specific arenas: defense and mediating interactions between states.  I personally very much dislike the fact that, in the US, the federal government is trying to come up with national rules to cover the very disparate viewpoints, economic status, and lifestyles of people in very different states, say, California versus Michigan versus South Carolina versus Vermont.  The question I ask myself and I'd encourage you to consider is:  does the central government honor the sovreignty of the states to respect the fact that people in different geographic locations have different ideologies?  Does the central government support the concept that one solution does not, in fact, fit all?

     When the central government starts making rules that dictate the ideals of the constituent states - be it France, Ireland, Belgium, etc. or Oregon, New York, and Alabama, I start to have problems.

    Any time you put yourself under the authority of some entity this reduces freedom; you've given the responsibility of decision up to that other party.

    So those are the issues you have to weigh before you vote: would you, and your country/state, be gaining enough benefit from joining the union that the accompanying loss of freedom* would be worth it?

     

    *Freedom, as I define it, is being free to pursue any activity as well as being subject to the consequences of that activity. This is opposed to being actively prevented from some activity, or punished for some activity conducted without "approval." Note that the exception here is truly criminal behavior: theft, assault/murder, and intentional destruction of other people's property.



  • @too_many_usernames said:

    <much goodness>

     

    While I agree with your principals, your idea of a central metagovernment has not existed in the United States since the Civil War when we changed from "these united states" to "The United States."   I personally think that having a unified government over all 50 states is good and I prefer it that everyone considers themselves an "American" before they consider themselves a "Missourian" or a "Masshole."

    One thing I think we agree on is that the individual states in the USA are not actually "sovereign" (although most of them claim to be).   A sovereign entity answers to no higher authority and does not allow a another authority to make laws pertaining to it's territory and citizens without it's permission.  The US Federal government obviously does both.  

     



  • @tster said:

    One thing I think we agree on is that the individual states in the USA are not actually "sovereign" (although most of them claim to be).   A sovereign entity answers to no higher authority and does not allow a another authority to make laws pertaining to it's territory and citizens without it's permission.  The US Federal government obviously does both.
     

    A crucial difference between USA and Europe. USA has a single constitution, a single culture, and everybody is American. There are different regulations per state, but it concerns details, mostly.

    Europe is many countries working together. The relationship between EU nations is not really comparable to US states, but it is similar, if not the same, as the relationship between the US and Canada and Mexico. US states are a step between country and province.

    I voted No on the European "constitution" for the very reason that Europe is far too culturally divided to put such a fundament in place. In time, perhaps, but that time is not now.

    I haven't read the Lisbon treaty, and never even heard of it until now, but if all it does is further streamline and synchronize international policies of member states, I'm for it. Unfortunately, such treaties have more in common with, to take an apt metaphor, writing a clunky patch-it communications layer between wildly different systems, instead of a good refactoring of old code. :<br>



  •  It might not be relevant any more as the referendum in Ireland has long past, but in my view the Lisbon treaty is a good thing, even if it doesn't go far enough. The major point is that it gives the European Parlaiment a lot more power, at the expense of the councils of ministers. So backroom deals by unclear groups of people get replaced by an open discussion in a body elected by the public.

     This has nothing to do with which topics the EU has legislative or regulatory power, unlike the earlier "constitution" the Lisbon treaty basically does not change things in this regard. Most of those in the "No" camps confused these two issues, as the transfer of sovereignty of some parts of policy from the member states to the EU is not something there has been any refernda on.

     My opinion is that no matter where you stand on the discussion of what powers should be national or super-national, the Lisbon treaty is a good thing, as it makes the whole EU more democratic and less controlled from the backrooms, where lobbyists, secret services, and who knows what has influences we don't see. Not that I'm saying that the compromise we've gotten now is perfect, or that the elected EU parlaimentaries are all perfect representatives, but I do think it's a big improvement.



  • @RogerWilco said:

     the Lisbon treaty is a good thing, as it makes the whole EU more democratic and less controlled from the backrooms, where lobbyists, secret services, and who knows what has influences we don't see.

     

    Wait... are you saying that parliaments aren't controlled by backroom deals and lobbyists?   If you really think that then you are in for a shock.



  •  



  • @RogerWilco said:

    It might not be relevant any more as the referendum in Ireland has long past, but in my view the Lisbon treaty is a good thing, even if it doesn't go far enough. The major point is that it gives the European Parlaiment a lot more power, at the expense of the councils of ministers. So backroom deals by unclear groups of people get replaced by an open discussion in a body elected by the public.

     This has nothing to do with which topics the EU has legislative or regulatory power, unlike the earlier "constitution" the Lisbon treaty basically does not change things in this regard. Most of those in the "No" camps confused these two issues, as the transfer of sovereignty of some parts of policy from the member states to the EU is not something there has been any refernda on.

    The Lisbon Treaty is the exact same as the earlier "constitution", it is simply refactored with some minor changes. In reality the EU Parliament do not gain any extra powers, all the new powers are given to an EU Commission which is a small group of people not elected by the people but elected buy the individual governments. Only the EU Commission have have power to initiate legislation and as such are the go-to people if you need to lobby/bribe for specific laws. The treaty actually makes it the system much easier to be controlled from the backrooms, where lobbyists, secret services, and who knows what has influences we don't see, particularly since ALL discussions are held behind closed doors and the public do not get to even hear about individual peaces of legislation until a FINAL decision is made by the parliament.



  • Disclaimer: this is my opinion as a citizen of the United States of America.

     

    My opinion is that it is merely the next step in establishing the largest single nation in Europe since the Roman Empire. Remember that in the Roman Empire, the Romans held power over a wide variety of people and cultures, and anyone who wasn't a native Roman was pretty much considered dirt. I think the same will happen soon with the EU. Sovereign power will be taken from the individual nations, and the people will have no manner of protecting themselves from foreign oppression. The EU will turn into a tyrannical government, maybe without an Emperor as the head of government, but with the same central iron fist.

    The Europeans already trample on individual liberties with their carbon emissions caps, and many nations either already have harsh laws in place to control "copyright infringement" on the internet, or have seriously discussed putting such laws into place. They will not stop there. The Europeans have known authoritarian government for the better part of the last 2000 years. It's been less than twenty years since communism oppressed most people in easter  Europe, and threated western Europe with the same oppression, and already the Europeans are forgetting the threat that strong central governments pose to liberty. It's good that at least the Irish realize that the EU is a threat to individual liberties.

     The best we in the United States can hope for is that this authoritarian virus will be eliminated, or at least greatly reduced, in the next few election cycles. If we can beat it back here, the Europeans have a damn good chance of beating it back too.



  • @bob171123 said:

    The Europeans already trample on individual liberties with their carbon emissions caps
    Those individuals trample on our collective ability to breathe clean air.
    @bob171123 said:
    many nations either already have harsh laws in place to control "copyright infringement" on the internet, or have seriously discussed putting such laws into place
    That's mostly from pressure from another oligarchy.



  • @Lingerance said:

    @bob171123 said:
    The Europeans already trample on individual liberties with their carbon emissions caps
    Those individuals trample on our collective ability to breathe clean air.

    Wow, you must be new to planet Earth.  Carbon caps have never, ever been about "breathing clean air".  I don't know of anyone who is claiming toxicity from CO2 emissions.

     

    @Lingerance said:

    @bob171123 said:
    many nations either already have harsh laws in place to control "copyright infringement" on the internet, or have seriously discussed putting such laws into place
    That's mostly from pressure from another oligarchy.

    It's a bad example, but it's fundamentally correct.  If your government can impose ridiculous copyright law (even if it is as the behest of another nation) then what else can it do?  Mergers of state and corporate power are dangerous and Europe has a long history of overbearing statism.  Better examples probably would have been the tendency toward suppressing free speech that is considered "hateful" or "dangerous", the reckless mass-immigration of Muslims or cutting deals with countries like Russia or Iran.  I doubt the EU will succumb to internal statism before it gets squeezed by Russia, especially with the lack of suitable national defense in the EU and the United States' waning interest in protecting the EU.  I exclude the UK from that as it's quite clear they are becoming a police state, with the force necessary to impose it and hold off foreign powers.



  • Given the way the European parliament elections tend to work, and the actual influence each elected member have I got to disagree RogerWilco.

     the only real consequence is that the influence that i as a citizen wield is diminished, to take a practical example, Denmark has 13 seats in the Parliament, and 5.5 million citizen, the election participation was around 50% but it does not take a rocket scientist to see just how diluted the democracy is given the parliament has 736 members at present especially considering the huge influence that the EU wields on both cross border but also internal state matters. (Legislation on the maximum curvature of a banana ? (Thankfully that gem was abolished a few years back, after being enforced for 15 years or so))

    more to the point the EU has a long tradition as a political "gravy train" and a place people who create too much fuzz on the local level gets tossed to for a period, the EU as such is not a bad idea and not one i am opposed to but its present form is too bloated and has too much influence with too little accountability for my taste, and the point of the Lisbon treaty was more to entrench the role of the current system and move forward towards the European superstate that really, nobody but the elected politicians see a point in as well as actually weakening the role of the Parliament a bit as Hitsuji outlined, as it stands the commission decides what's on the table and the Parliament is a big discussion club of sorts, admittedly with veto rights.

     

     Bob171123 : see any black helicopters with a EU badge on recently ?

    its been a long time since i have seen drivel like that produced. 🙂

    firstly there are safeguards in place as part of the union that any change that gives up national sovereignty must be passed by national referendum, now i dont know if this covers the union as a whole (i suspect it does) but most of the old EU nations especially its a hotly debated topic whenever such a issue arises, even to the point where it becomes laughable because the difference between proposed national legislation and EU legislation is so minute that it makes no difference.

    secondly emission policies make sense, just like the green hysteria makes sense. while we can debate global warming and its impact from here and until the sun swallows up the earth the simple fact is that fossil fuel is a finite recourse and our generation has no right to use it all here and now "because we can" and regarding copyright legislation and the like, to quote my old man "sweep in front of your own door before you tell others to sweep in front of theirs" i completely agree that things are getting out of hand in some cases but dont kid yourself and say its only "over there" its a growing issue in all "1st world" countries. (and on a unrelated note http://www.rsf.org/en-classement1003-2009.html )

    however the whole "The Europeans have known authoritarian government for the better part of the last 2000 years" smacks of ignorance to me, the whole electoral college and two party system seems completely pointless and damaging to the democratic process but i don't go out of the way to claim the US is a puppet democracy or the like, different countries different ways of doing things. and believe me people here believe in the ideal of personal freedom every bit as much as every US Citizen i have met so far. 

     

    P.S. is it me, or is this forum system rather... crummy ?



  • @Shrike said:

     Bob171123 : see any black helicopters with a EU badge on recently ?

    Yeah, when's the last time Europeans have suffered under soul-crushing totalitarianism?  It's been, like, 20 years, at least.

     

    @Shrike said:

    secondly emission policies make sense, just like the green hysteria makes sense. while we can debate global warming and its impact from here and until the sun swallows up the earth the simple fact is that fossil fuel is a finite recourse and our generation has no right to use it all here and now "because we can" and regarding copyright legislation and the like, to quote my old man "sweep in front of your own door before you tell others to sweep in front of theirs" i completely agree that things are getting out of hand in some cases but dont kid yourself and say its only "over there" its a growing issue in all "1st world" countries. (and on a unrelated note http://www.rsf.org/en-classement1003-2009.html )

    I guess nobody has introduced the concept of "sentences" to Europe.  Or coherency, for that matter.

     

    @Shrike said:

    however the whole "The Europeans have known authoritarian government for the better part of the last 2000 years" smacks of ignorance to me

    Uh...  Prior to WWII, most of Europe was under authoritarian regimes.

     

    @Shrike said:

    the whole electoral college and two party system seems completely pointless and damaging to the democratic process

    Yes, two of the foundations of the democratic process are damaging to it.  Uh-huh.

     

    @Shrike said:

    but i don't go out of the way to claim the US is a puppet democracy or the like

    Your reading comprehension sucks balls.  Nobody said the EU is a "puppet democracy", but it's certainly capable of turning into that.  Given the proud European traditions of Feudalism, Fascism, Nazism and Communism, it's kind of hard to argue that Europe isn't prone to totalitarianism.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Yeah, when's the last time Europeans have suffered under soul-crushing totalitarianism?  It's been, like, 20 years, at least.

    youre lumping europe together as a big bunch, rather than a collection of individual countries and cultures.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I guess nobody has introduced the concept of "sentences" to Europe.  Or coherency, for that matter.

    regarding my english, im not a native speaker here and i admit my grammar and sentence structure need some work, and so what ? you seem to be able to understand it well enough. it would be nice to stay on the topic.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Yes, two of the foundations of the democratic process are damaging to it.  Uh-huh.

    its a matter of perspective that, and that was the whole point, i have "grown up" with a political system based on consensus democracy and from that point of view things look rather different.

     @morbiuswilters said:

    Your reading comprehension sucks balls.  Nobody said the EU is a
    "puppet democracy", but it's certainly capable of turning into that. 
    Given the proud European traditions of Feudalism, Fascism, Nazism and
    Communism, it's kind of hard to argue that Europe isn't prone to totalitarianism.

    nice troll there.



  • @Shrike said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Yeah, when's the last time Europeans have suffered under soul-crushing totalitarianism?  It's been, like, 20 years, at least.

    youre lumping europe together as a big bunch, rather than a collection of individual countries and cultures.

    You're right: only a lunatic would bind together disparate countries and cultures under a single banner.  Sorry, don't know what I was thinking there.

     

    @Shrike said:

    its a matter of perspective that, and that was the whole point, i have "grown up" with a political system based on consensus democracy and from that point of view things look rather different

    Which is fine for you.  But trying to make the jump from "America has slightly different systems of democracy" (which have functioned successfully for quite a long time, mind you) to "America is more prone to totalitarianism than Europe" is retarded.

     

    @Shrike said:

    nice troll there.

    So... it's trolling to point out the truth?  Europe was a nightmare for centuries.  Hell, America wasn't great for awhile, either, but we got our shit together and managed to maintain an independent and strong democracy while Europe was still licking the boots of some hereditary dictator.  You guys practically annihilated yourselves in the first half of the twentieth century (and took the rest of the world with you) and if it hadn't been for the United States and Pax Americana you'd be in a Soviet labor camp right now, instead of enjoying six decades of peace and the highest standard of living.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    You're right: only a lunatic would bind together disparate countries and cultures under a single banner.  Sorry, don't know what I was thinking there.

     

    From what I've skimmed, half of this thread is about the fact that the EU is a loose confederation of nations and not a state with a single culture or history. And never claimed to be either. So yeah, QFT. Though I don't quite get what this has to do with totalitarianism. Please explain that to me again.



  • @PSWorx said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    You're right: only a lunatic would bind together disparate countries and cultures under a single banner.  Sorry, don't know what I was thinking there.

     

    From what I've skimmed, half of this thread is about the fact that the EU is a loose confederation of nations and not a state with a single culture or history. And never claimed to be either. So yeah, QFT. Though I don't quite get what this has to do with totalitarianism. Please explain that to me again.

    Of course, that's not the state of the EU now, I don't think anyone was claiming that.  However, if the EU does grow into more of a federal arrangement, it's certainly a possibility.



  • Oh liberals have been rooting for a united states of europe forquite some time now. But with the current surge of right wing nationalists in various countries, I don't see that happening any time soon.

    About the whole democracy thing. Democracy sucks, it lets complete idiots decide who should be in power. However, apart from a dictatorship in which the dictator in question is a very agreeable person, there is no better system. Personally I prefer a multi-party system to a two-party system, but at least the US has an actual trias-politica instead of whatever it is what we have here. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Which is fine for you.  But trying to make the jump from "America has
    slightly different systems of democracy" (which have functioned
    successfully for quite a long time, mind you) to "America is more prone
    to totalitarianism than Europe" is retarded.
    i did ? it was certainly not the intention.

    @morbiuswilters said:

    Of course, that's not the state of the EU now, I don't think anyone was
    claiming that.  However, if the EU does grow into more of a federal
    arrangement, it's certainly a possibility.
    its thankfully fairly unlikely to happen within the next 10-15 years, the Lisbon treaty cost a few governments their mandate and it certainly did not come "cheap" outside eastern europe either, but that has little effect on the national level sadly the recent debacle regarding minaret's in Switzerland comes to mind, while its a democratic decision its still a expression of growing intolerance and there's certainly the political will to use that as a distraction to pass rather draconian laws. (7 days in jail for forgetting to remove your leatherman when leaving work is a world class legislative WTF in my book)

     @stratos said:

    Oh liberals have been rooting for a united states of europe forquite some time now. But with the current surge of right wing nationalists in various countries, I don't see that happening any time soon.
    dont kid yourself man, the right wing nationalist parties are just attempting to get votes on the whole "out with the muslims!" thing its just as bad as the development that pulls towards the pan European police state, the local version here is even worse in that regard.



  • @Shrike said:

    7 days in jail for forgetting to remove your leatherman when leaving work is a world class legislative WTF in my book
     

    What?

    How does the verb "remove" apply to a leatherman, unless it is "slotted" in someone's belly, like a ritual USB stick?



  • @Shrike said:

    7 days in jail for forgetting to remove your leatherman when leaving work is a world class legislative WTF in my book
    Cite please. Not that I don't believe that such a rule got passed, but I'm slightly surprised by the short sentence given that it did.



  • it did, im technically breaking the law while travelling between wORK and home due to the length of the blade and the locking mechanism on my leatherman, and most people keep them in a case in the belt or the like dhromed 🙂

    im sorry about the terrible source PHJ, but its essentially a national issue that has been going on the last year or so, people are getting seven days in jail for having say a hobby knife in the car during a routine traffic pullover, due to the way the legal framework is constructed (there are fairly strict limits on what size of knife you are allowed to posses unless you got a justifiable reason to own one, and given that the blade is the measured component...) transport to and from ones home, or even between work locations are not covered. and the whole point of the tighter legislation was to make the point that knives and other weapons like them are not acceptable when going out in the evening.

    even if the effect is that a huge segment of the population are now criminals, but hey considering consequences is for suckers!



  • @Shrike said:

    @stratos said:
    Oh liberals have been rooting for a united states of europe forquite some time now. But with the current surge of right wing nationalists in various countries, I don't see that happening any time soon.
    dont kid yourself man, the right wing nationalist parties are just attempting to get votes on the whole "out with the muslims!" thing its just as bad as the development that pulls towards the pan European police state, the local version here is even worse in that regard.
     

    Your either seriously delusional or trolling. 



  • @stratos said:

    @Shrike said:
    @stratos said:
    Oh liberals have been rooting for a united states of europe forquite some time now. But with the current surge of right wing nationalists in various countries, I don't see that happening any time soon.
    dont kid yourself man, the right wing nationalist parties are just attempting to get votes on the whole "out with the muslims!" thing its just as bad as the development that pulls towards the pan European police state, the local version here is even worse in that regard.
     

    Your either seriously delusional or trolling.

    or from a country where the euro sceptic parties wear red stars or swastikas. Oh allright, its hyperbole but its closer to reality than it seems at first glance, its rather striking to think that out of ten parties in the parliament only two are sceptics and both are so far off the deep end its not even funny. (one is a coalition of small "far left" and "green" parties who would, if they ever came to power utterly ruin denmark as a nation and the other changes direction with public perception and have a "program" consisting of equal measures of "think of the children!" "think of the elderly!" and "its the Muslims fault!")

    🙂



  • @Shrike said:

    but that has little effect on the national level sadly the recent debacle regarding minaret's in Switzerland comes to mind, while its a democratic decision its still a expression of growing intolerance and there's certainly the political will to use that as a distraction to pass rather draconian laws.

    Soo...  Europe gets to choose between Islamofascism or real Fascism.

     

    How are you not making my point about the dangerous course Europe is on?



  •  @morbiuswilters said:

    @Shrike said:
    but that has little effect on the national level sadly the recent debacle regarding minaret's in Switzerland comes to mind, while its a democratic decision its still a expression of growing intolerance and there's certainly the political will to use that as a distraction to pass rather draconian laws.

    Soo...  Europe gets to choose between Islamofascism or real Fascism.

     

    How are you not making my point about the dangerous course Europe is on?

    Well morbius i dont disagree that things are heading in that direction, but rather that the Union is to blame for it, the individual goverments are where the blame should be placed, not at the Brussels gravy train.(plenty of things to blame them for tho,no mistaking that)



  • @Shrike said:

     @morbiuswilters said:

    @Shrike said:
    but that has little effect on the national level sadly the recent debacle regarding minaret's in Switzerland comes to mind, while its a democratic decision its still a expression of growing intolerance and there's certainly the political will to use that as a distraction to pass rather draconian laws.

    Soo...  Europe gets to choose between Islamofascism or real Fascism.

     

    How are you not making my point about the dangerous course Europe is on?

    Well morbius i dont disagree that things are heading in that direction, but rather that the Union is to blame for it, the individual goverments are where the blame should be placed, not at the Brussels gravy train.(plenty of things to blame them for tho,no mistaking that)

    Right, but why would a relatively sane country want to throw its lot in with dysfunctional governments?  I understand that the EU is fairly limited in its power right now, but recognizing that its power could expand significantly (which is almost guaranteed: governments tend to only get bigger and with things like AGW, Russia and Iran to deal with, as well as the decline in Pax Americana, I don't see a powerful EU as unlikely) and considering the political consequences of a federated Europe, it hardly seems like "trolling" to make the point that Europe has had plenty of totalitarianism in its past and is on a course which could possibly lead to more.  Of course, anything is possible, and I'm not saying Europe is seriously on the brink of brutal authoritarianism, but Europe is more prone to these things than the US.  And, hell, I'm even concerned about the direction of the US, although I consider it the country least likely to fall into despotism.



  • @Shrike said:

    the whole electoral college and two party system seems completely pointless and damaging to the democratic process

    Then later...

    @Shrike said:

    or from a country where the euro sceptic parties wear red stars or swastikas. Oh allright, its hyperbole but its closer to reality than it seems at first glance, its rather striking to think that out of ten parties in the parliament only two are sceptics and both are so far off the deep end its not even funny. (one is a coalition of small "far left" and "green" parties who would, if they ever came to power utterly ruin denmark as a nation and the other changes direction with public perception and have a "program" consisting of equal measures of "think of the children!" "think of the elderly!" and "its the Muslims fault!")
     

     You do realize that the 2 party system is the reason that the United States has never had any nationaly elected politician who is that far out of the mainstream. As for the electoral college, there are a list of pros and cons 100 pages long about the electoral college, and I'm certainly not going to get into an argument about it in this thread, but before you dismiss it so casually, you owe it to yourself to look into the matter more carefully.  Let me just put it this way, the electoral college is definitely not pointless or damaging to the democratic process.  That doesn't mean thatit is better than a standard popular election, but it certainly does have it's benefits.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    And, hell, I'm even concerned about the direction of the US, although I consider it the country least likely to fall into despotism.

     

    Well, we can only hope. Too many things have happened this year that most people wouldn't dream could happen in the United States: "czars" dictating domestic policy without congressional oversight, the Treasury buying GM and mismanaging an unprecedented amount of money in a few months, a 90% retroactive tax on private sector employees, the list goes on. The 2010 elections will show how whether we are willing to fight for our rights, or give them away to a faceless bureaucrat for security from "risk."



  • @bob171123 said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    And, hell, I'm even concerned about the direction of the US, although I consider it the country least likely to fall into despotism.

     

    Well, we can only hope. Too many things have happened this year that most people wouldn't dream could happen in the United States: "czars" dictating domestic policy without congressional oversight, the Treasury buying GM and mismanaging an unprecedented amount of money in a few months, a 90% retroactive tax on private sector employees, the list goes on. The 2010 elections will show how whether we are willing to fight for our rights, or give them away to a faceless bureaucrat for security from "risk."

    Hey, I dislike Obama's policies pretty intensely, but I'd hardly call his presidency unprecedented.  Think about FDR outlawing private ownership of gold, having a 90% upper tax rate or stuffing the Supreme Court with judges sympathetic to him so he could pass unconstitutional laws.  Think about the price and wage controls under Nixon.   Obama may be hell-bent on pursuing "feel-good" policies that cripple the economy, but in the 70s we saw massive recessions, double-digit inflation, gas shortages and a resurgent USSR playing games with nuclear weapons.  And compared to the USSR, Islamofascism and Iran are laughable.  You gotta keep perspective: we've got a solid economic foundation, access to more information than any populace has ever before, hundreds of millions of guns in private hands, a powerful middle class that is sick of corrupt politicians (as evidenced by Obama's cratering polls) and we are the world's dominant military power, using that strength to guarantee the peace and safety of billions.  It's never happened before in human history and although we are in a tough spot now and should not underestimate the damage that left-wing policies can do to the nation, we are hardly in decline or doomed.



  • @Shrike said:

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Danish-knife-laws-and-their-unexpected-consequenses
    OK, so that's a Danish law, not something imposed because they're a member of the EU.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    I don't know of anyone who is claiming toxicity from CO2 emissions.
     

    Wikipedia does:

     CO2 is toxic in higher concentrations: 1% (10,000 ppm) will make some people feel drowsy.[2]
    Concentrations of 7% to 10% cause dizziness, headache, visual and
    hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an
    hour.[3]



  • @ammoQ said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I don't know of anyone who is claiming toxicity from CO2 emissions.
     

    Wikipedia does:

     CO2 is toxic in higher concentrations: 1% (10,000 ppm) will make some people feel drowsy.[2]
    Concentrations of 7% to 10% cause dizziness, headache, visual and
    hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an
    hour.[3]

    That's toxicity of CO2, not normal CO2 emissions.  I don't know of any serious source that thinks we are pumping out too much CO2 because it's going to make us all want a nap.  The general environmentalist concern is over long-term climate change, not short-term toxicity.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @ammoQ said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    I don't know of anyone who is claiming toxicity from CO2 emissions.
     

    Wikipedia does:

     CO2 is toxic in higher concentrations: 1% (10,000 ppm) will make some people feel drowsy.[2]
    Concentrations of 7% to 10% cause dizziness, headache, visual and
    hearing dysfunction, and unconsciousness within a few minutes to an
    hour.[3]

    That's toxicity of CO2, not normal CO2 emissions.  I don't know of any serious source that thinks we are pumping out too much CO2 because it's going to make us all want a nap.  The general environmentalist concern is over long-term climate change, not short-term toxicity.

     

    Environmentalists also conveniently forget that water vapor is a much more effective greenhouse gas than CO2, and water vapor already exists in much higher concentrations in the atmosphere than CO2.



  • @bob171123 said:

    Environmentalists also conveniently forget that water vapor is a much more effective greenhouse gas than CO2, and water vapor already exists in much higher concentrations in the atmosphere than CO2.

    Also: hydrogen fuel cells create lots of water vapor, making them useless for combatting AGW.



  • Well scientists mostly talk about greenhouse gases, unless they mean co2 specifically. Listening to what environmentalists talk about is absolutely pointless as well as the sceptics, these people mistake science for something they can pick up in half a afternoon.

    Also, in the short-mid range in time, co2 absorbed by water makes the water more acidic, which could have a mayor effect on the sea ecology.



  • @stratos said:

    Well scientists mostly talk about greenhouse gases, unless they mean co2 specifically.

    No, scientists used to mostly talk about greenhouse gasses, nowadays it's specifically about CO2 because a direct corelation has been discovered  between CO2 levels in the atmostphere and world climate/temperatures of the past. And of course the problem is is that they do not know which is the cause and which is the effect. Whether, high temperatures during normal global warming in the past caused the increase in atmostpheric CO2 levels or increasing CO2 levels caused global warming in the past. Many scientist now believe that known greenhouse gasses have a negligible effect on global temperatures and that CO2 may be the sole contributing factor to global warming. Green house gasses have been put to the side at the moment, as they seem to contribute to other issues that we have more control over, such as ozone depletion, which may be recovered as early as 2075.



  •  Then i stand corrected. But my points was more that all the talk by amateur scientists should more or less be ignored in favour of what actual scientists say, and especially what the current concensus is. 

    It annoys me to no end that people are basing their opinions on simplified ideas about the scientific discussion, pointing towards quotes and graphs which may or may not prove anything. Like with the recent CRU mails, where the big bad mail turned out to be about tree ring data from the 60's or something. I find there is a reason why this stuff is handled by scientists, they've had the education and studied the subject. 



  • @Hitsuji said:

    No, scientists used to mostly talk about greenhouse gasses, nowadays it's specifically about CO2 because a direct corelation has been discovered ("homogenized") between CO2 levels in the atmostphere and world climate/temperatures of the past (taken from a single, possibly-faulty historical record massaged by scientists who know their funding will be cut if they don't show a correlation).

    FTFY.

     

    @Hitsuji said:

    And of course the problem is is that they do not know which is the cause and which is the effect.

    And of course, that doesn't stop them from advocating costly policies that are predicated entirely on CO2 being the cause.  Also, just because there is a correlation doesn't mean that there must be any causal relationship between CO2 and temperature.

     

    @Hitsuji said:

    Green house gasses have been put to the side at the moment, as they seem to contribute to other issues that we have more control over, such as ozone depletion, which may be recovered as early as 2075.

    And now there are suspicions that the "healing" of the ozone hole may be contributing to global warming.  Whoops.  But we should totally trust them when it comes to CO2!



  • @stratos said:

     Then i stand corrected. But my points was more that all the talk by amateur scientists should more or less be ignored in favour of what actual scientists say, and especially what the current concensus is. 

    Because "actual scientists" have never been grossly wrong about anything, ever.

     

    @stratos said:

    It annoys me to no end that people are basing their opinions on simplified ideas about the scientific discussion, pointing towards quotes and graphs which may or may not prove anything. Like with the recent CRU mails, where the big bad mail turned out to be about tree ring data from the 60's or something. I find there is a reason why this stuff is handled by scientists, they've had the education and studied the subject.

    What's troubling about the CRU emails isn't any single issue.  Instead, it's the attitude of the scientists that has been laid bare.  They seem more interested in defending "their" theory against "enemies" and maintaining funding than the search for truth.  Blind faith in scientists is religion, but without the cool shit like rivers of blood (well, at least until I get my career in hemopotamology off the ground).  If you think scientists aren't as greedy and corruptible as everyone else, you are a fool.


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