Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hard Choices, session 7

I'm taking a course at Denver University, Hard Choices in Public Policy. The instructor is former Colorado governor Richard Lamm.

Today's class was on the environment. Some of the changes that Governor Lamm has noticed over the past 35 years are as follows:

Developed CountriesEntire World
Peripheral for BusinessIntegral to Business
AestheticHealth - Survival
Few Large SourcesMultiple distributed Sources
Corporate focusIndividual focus
Make an immediate differenceLong Term solutions

Lots of companies are doing lots of good. BP, Shell

60 years to fully dissipate effects of pollution.

Tax policy, markets, bureauocracy doesn't work.

Nobody thinks long term - at least not in the general public.

Takings - 5th Amendment.

Bureaucrats never look at cost/benefit analysis.

Nanny State/Daddy State - Need two parent family!

Are population growth and rapidly expanding economies throwing earth's natural balances out of kilter?

Earth's carrying capacity? Malthus? Peak Oil?

"Two cultures" - discussed in other classes.

From 1790 through 1990, the US population has doubled 6 times.

"Climate change is more of a threat than terrorism." I've forgotten who said this, but I don't believe it at all.

I asked the question "How much of climate change is caused by mankind?" No answers yet. Answer to this may determine whether any efforts to mitigate our impact are worthwhile.

Tragedy of the commons.

Tyranny of small designs.

Fatal conceit.

Are we smarter than the market? Well, no.

Regulation is not long term.

Religious right - Bush not doing enough for God's creation.

"What is our oil doing under their sand?"

Religion - materialism is a false god.

Voting trends, polarization, no middle ground. I mentioned political maps, how I don't fit on the left-right scale, mentioned the World's Smallest Political Quiz.

Internet involvement vs real involvement. What cause would you go out and picket for? Where is the debate? Social cohesion. TV's most popular show lists are completely different for blacks and whites. No dialog.

Rocky Mountain area supposed to be the first area to be impacted by global warming.

Limits of tolerance. Too multicultural.


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