Meanwhile, in Paris: Gilets Jaunes


#1

Popped in to see what the far left’s take is on the massive protests against the Macron govt’s attempt to curb carbon emissions by imposing more fuel taxes. Apparently, huge numbers of French people don’t like it.

In another thread, McGrumpy and I were discussing what measure we think may be required to rein in manmade climate change: [quote=“MrGrumpy, post:4210, topic:128260”]
That’s not required. Reducing fossil fuel consumption (and changing eating habits, i.e. consuming less meat and dairy) will go a long way toward mitigating temperature rise. In the short to medium term, energy costs will rise, but all that really does is price in externalities (which currently are not.) Most economist agree a carbon tax is probably the best solution to achieve that goal.
[/quote]

I still contend that it is going to take real effort and a lot of sacrifice to reverse climate change. And these protests seem to be a bad sign. It’s one thing to say we’re all ready to rally around the effort, it’s another when it costs you real money and crimps your lifestyle.


#2

There’s always going to be people against fuel taxes. Specifically drivers. More specifically commuters. I also think it’s interesting that you think this board is far left. Unless of course that’s another word for “sane”.


#3

Also, it’s France. When are there not protests in France?


#4

It is, and the problem is the longer we go without doing anything, the higher the price is going to be. One way or the other, it’s going to cause a lot of unrest.

I’m not really sure what you’re looking for here, though. The French people are famed for their protests, so I’m not seeing what “the far left” 🙄 is supposed to say about it? Yes, dealing with climate change is going to suck. It’s going to suck a lot more than a gasoline tax and – barring a feasible scientific breakthrough – will result in painful changes in lifestyle. Unfortunately, so do massive droughts, famines, rise of sea levels, etc.


#5

It’s not a problem that human wiring is well equipped to handle.

Of course, if we all collectively pool our resources so as to mitigate the negative effects of carbon reduction on the least of us, in a humane and rational way, we just might

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

oh, I kill me.


#6


#7

The far left’s take is to use monetary sovereignty to induce the usage of resources in a socially benefiting way, such as directly creating (public) renewable energy generators and affordable electrical (public) mass transit.
It would not be letting a housing bubble force workers into the suburbs while increasing taxes for their much needed increased commute for the few areas that are most profitable for the private sector, which isn’t going to do shit for the climate since not working is not an option.

But it’s not a legal option do do anything in the Euroland, so you get some rabies in your dog eat dog economy.


#8

Not everyone buys into the behavioral economics approach. The failure to pass the carbon tax in Washington state seems to indicate the difficulty. At my layman’s level of understanding, behavioral economics seems best as a counterpoint to the “traditional” economics model of entirely rational actors making rational decisions, but still has problems with signaling.


#9

What we need to do is just get this guy to come into the big decision-making rooms in every government. Over and over, every day. The U.N. could just create a whole agency and hire a few thousand people to do it. Wouldn’t cost more than, say, 100 mil a year, could make a difference. But during their training, these agents would have to be made to understand it is absolutely critical that they elbow someone aside in the corridor.


#10

I was surprised to see nothing was being said about Gilets Jaunes here, is this kind of French protest really business as usual? I imagine before this unpopular tax, many of the protesters have been tsk-tsking the US for pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement… pause for irony. It’s easy to be vocal about saving the planet.

I agree, dealing with climate change is going to suck, and will not be as easy as people suppose. Let me add the disclaimer, I’m not a scientist and I don’t have anything to back up my beliefs other than what I’ve read from experts.But like I said in the other thread, I’m inclined to follow the party line than man’s growing industrial activity is accelerating what may be a natural cycle. We could be looking at very severe effects and it may take a lot more effort than we want or are prepared to give. It just seems obvious, with the world’s 7.7 billion people and growing, it’s really going to take a firm foot on the brakes.


#11

They are unusually violent, but in terms of number of people protesting they are somewhat mild.

There was a lot of noise made by the far right before the first protests, propping them up, and probably the violent elements are close to those parties (with no doubt not insubstantial far left elements too to confuse things even more).

But the numbers of (non-violent) demonstrators are average as these things go (although they are persistent). I think that’s why it caught the government unprepared. It’s not a massive protest by French standards, but it is a crazy virulent one.


#12

It’s a, pretty common in France, poujadist movement (which is basically about protesting against paying taxes, while at the same time asking the motherstate to give monies. yup.).
To tie the protest to the carbon tax is totally misleading. The movement’s claims are actually all over the place now (ranging from asking for a 1000 euros check to overthrowing the Republic. I am not kidding, sadly.)
The local governement could actually have easily went back on this puny tax at the time, if not for its usual display of contempt. Which is definitely not the way you want to address such an antiparlementarist movement.


#13

No doubt, the extreme right and anarchists are most likely using these demonstrations to cause destruction and chaos. It would be very interesting to see if the French police arrested the people who defaced the Arch, and what their fate will be. There’s no reason to deface historical artifacts.


#14

Some tried to burn the Bourse de Paris (which might have been relevant 20 years ago, when it was still the Paris trade exchange) and some others began to vandalize… the “salle du jeu de paume” which is basically where the parliament was symbolically born during the Frecnh revolution.
So, anarchist, anti-capitalist and… royalist?


#15

Your original prescription seemed a little different:

My contention was that going back to pre-electric technology isn’t a requirement to mitigate climate change. Behavior change though is necessary, including diet and driving (although personally I don’t see switching to a Mediterranean diet as much of a sacrifice;the food tastes better and is also healthier, but much of human behavior is unfathomable to me, so what do I know.) That said, humans continue to demonstrate that they are fundamentally selfish, so in that regard future generations are likely to face a lot of the predicted dire consequences of climate change.

As for the topic at hand, a carbon tax usually coincides with some sort of tax relief or even straight up gov’t payment in return, so I’m not really sure why this faction in France are protesting.


#16

Maybe someone is taking the protests against the petit Napoleon a little too literally. A shame, of course, there’s always a few chaotic twats on any protest.
I must be missing some bit of news, I fail to see how by itself a hefty tax increase on a necessity has anything to do with with a behavior tax (i.e. are there any transit alternatives or decentralization of work opportunities?); commuters still need to commute, although not eating thanks to unemployment is certainly green.


#17

The far left will always quote experts who use models say the world will end if we don’t impose massive taxes, but they won’t ever quote economic experts who will tell you the effect of those taxes. Impoverishing the world, starving the poor, causing a global economic meltdown – are those risks? Who cares!


#18

Do you want a polite response? How about kindly shut the fuck up?


#19

What is wrong with you people. Is this a discussion board or a far left pep rally strokefest?


#20

Nothing to see here. Just right-wing agitators and a typical Paris demonstration.