Meanwhile, in Paris: Gilets Jaunes


fixed that for you.


Oh, I was wondering why everyone was suddenly so interested in Paris.

Carry on…


RIP HoraceMann225 12/2/2018 - 12/3/2018.




Yeah, as someone to the right of most of this forum I roll my eyes a bit when I see “A Green New Deal will pay for itself”, but mostly because I think about half of the money spent on a green new deal will go on distorting the market for green energy rather than promoting the research and development of green energy.

Green energy is a very reasonable smart bet for long-term investments, and given the obvious positive externalities I am supremely relaxed about left-wingers claiming “a Green New Deal will pay for itself”


The government spokesperson, Benjamin Grivaux, tried to win support from the environmentalist left by denouncing “those who smoke cigarettes and drive with diesel.” But even in the environmentalist electorate, the increase in taxes did not meet a favourable echo and the contemptuous haughtiness of the government has not impressed.
The fundamental reason for this is that all the policies of the government as of its predecessors ignore the ecological imperatives of the hour: after favouring all-car and diesel, nothing is done to develop public transport, in rural areas and in the periphery of large cities, while the working classes must travel ever greater distances from their workplaces and urban centres. There is an unbearable government arrogance in charging more to people who will not be able to change their mode of travel or vehicle! With the attacks on the SNCF, the government intends to remove more than 11,000 kms of railways and rail freight has been largely sacrificed for the benefit of the road. At the same time, Total is exempt from any tax contribution and has a free hand to continue mining exploration. In addition, the debates on the 2019 finance law have revealed that more than 500 million euros from the fuel tax will serve, not ecological transition, but to replenish the deficit of the 2019 budget, to compensate for the abolition of the wealth tax.

(emphasis mine)
It’s for the climate, my ass.


Whoa - that is scummy. Regressive to the max.


Thanks for linking that.

Pretty obvious now why Macron’s environment minister quit.


Ok, I don’t see what you mean, my original prescription changed? I said real effort+lots of sacrifice = going back to electric technology. Which would require force, either from the govt or from declining environmental conditions.

When I say go back to pre-electric technology, I mean to some degree, maybe not totally. But more than most people realize. Cars, buses, trains, planes; replaced by walking, bicycles, and more walking. Maybe horses but with our cities population density, that would be messy. But certainly flying around for leisure would be over. People would have to live closer to their jobs. I’m used to driving 30 miles each way to work, have been for years, and so are most everyone. That would be a luxury we could not afford, all that unnecessary driving adds up. There are so many activities we take for granted that contribute to the accelerating climate change.

I could be mistaken, maybe the impact of 7.7 billion people on the planet could be reversed with some moderately painless changes, more hybrid cars, and a few more windmill farms. But I doubt it, if the problem is as massive and urgent as it is described, then fixing it won’d be easy to achieve.

That sums up my point, I guess. If people are demanding something be done but won’t sacrifice what is needed,nothing will get done and the climate shift will continue.

And if we are waiting for declining environmental conditions to motivate us, it’s possible it is already too late (also possible we have 100 years, that’s debatable); I have this feeling that it’s a lot like spending a day on the beach… by the time you start to think maybe you’ve gotten too much sun, it’s too late, the sunburn effect will grow worse even if contact with the sun’s rays is stopped immediately.

Alternate analogy: we’re riding together in a car, going 80 mph and we reach the edge of a cliff. You say, hey, we need to reverse this. I say, oh boy, we’re in trouble, the front wheels just left the road.


I’m sure you don’t intend this, but you’re leaving me with the impression that our choices are either this:

Or this:

To me, it seems there is a lot of room between those two alternatives.


Ok, thanks for clarifying the “pre-electric” technology phrase. Living closer to work, rethinking cities, suburbs and exurbs and consumer behavior in general (consume less, essentially) then I agree with you.

A poll in Canada showed that the majority of Canadians are not willing to change their behavior to combat climate change (in large part a function of age.) This is Canada, mind you, where the Fox-news affect is far less.

So yeah, things are not looking good.


Short term pain is never popular.


Macron has backed down. Six month suspension of the increase.


I mean, this is 100% the issue I bring up with addressing climate change all of the time.

We can’t expect middle to lower class people to bear financial responsibility to combat climate change. It won’t work, and increasingly as the temperatures begin to rise, the poor and working class with be effected more greatly than the wealthy.

Gas taxes are regressive taxes on the rural, and working class populations. They seem nice, like an obvious 1:1 solution of “increase gas prices, lower consumption, lower emissions” Over time this method can work to change consumer preferences, but in the short term, it means Pierre spends 100 euros more a month on gas to commute to his job.

It is even more glaring that it looks like this gas tax increase is largely going to be paying for a wealthy tax cut that was made. This is robbing peter to pay paul.

This isn’t how progress is made, it is just another tax on being poor.

And again, governments need to understand that the only meaningful way to combat climate change starts at the top of the economy, not the bottom. Forcing regular working class folks to add another burden to their lives is not how change is made, it is how resentment is made.


So… You are asking for the wealthy to give up something for the good of society?



Confronting “multinationalism” with “nationalism” really is the problem of our time.

What do you do when you tell a company to abide by your rules, and they shrug their shoulders, close their offices and move somewhere else, to another country that has less taxes/rules/restrictions? Do you run everything as a national corporation in market competition with private producers?

The Gordian knot of the 21st Century is that in a globalized economy with globalized finance and globalized corporations the LCD is the most permissive Western-ish country acceptable to corporate requirements.

What does the “means of production” mean when the means of production is credit?


Cars, buses and trains can and are being replaced with replaced with electrical ones, which can be powered by renewables and scary nuclear. Not that more biking and walking aren’t a good idea, but they’re not enough to keep civilization going.

It can’t be reversed for a long while without science fiction. The growth can be stopped, but it will only stop a few years after we do our thing.

Conflating patriotism with nationalism is the great hoax. We can have capital controls and minor, selective trade barriers (not steel…) and whatnot again without closing the economy.
On this subject, there is no lack of producers who are willing to create greener products according to whatever standards we wish for the unending supply of digital bits the state creates (isn’t China already doing that anyway? And going, slowly, greener than most?). There are limits, but it isn’t money.


Speaking of, I found this article on China’s rush to electrify its buses (and thereby become the dominant manufacturer of electric mass transit) fascinating




Shield Wall!

On another note, it seems my description way above is neither new nor original… Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders are already campaigning for it. Details are a bit hidden near the end (PDF) because it’s not about a complete solution, it’s about what makes sense at local levels. A “complete” policy would need with long term investments (and jobs) as well.