Thursday, December 6, 2012
In an article in the SF Chronicle, taken from the NYT, there is a photo of a traffic Jam, under which, is the verbiage: "Asia is facing a worsening air pollution and likely to see more than 800,000 people in the region die each year due to exposure to bad air", which reminded me of an article about the GDP which, stating that "the economy is not the stock market", proceeded to relate an anecdote about, how, if you and your neighbor cut the lawn, it adds not a whit to GDP, but if you hire one another to perform the same task, it does (assuming you declare it, which you wouldn't, proving that sometimes, simplifying things to make a point is effective, whereas other times, doing so is deceptive. It could be further argued that both are true all the time, and runs along a continuum, so, as with most things, one must always consider the source).
The point of the NYT article is, of course, that we must cut down on the amount of air pollution, but naturally, the most salient feature about the continued production of poisonous gases in urban environmnet is not even mentioned. That feature being that health care costs are not tallied as costs, but are instead counted as part of the GDP, although, like the example above, they don't add a whit to it, and, unlike the example, on the contrary, like inflation, they subtract from it.
Which is the reason that despite all the hand-wringing and pseudo- concern about all the peoples whose lives will therby be shortenend and whose enjoyment thereof will be reduced, including, in an honest world, their economic activity, (which subtracts from GDP), nothing will be done to ameliorate said conditions.
Instead, because their illness results in a rise to GDP, there is no reason to take any steps to alleviate the problem that caused it, and in fact, there's every reason not to, because now, as we plow forward into the second decade of the 21'st century, it has become increasingly obvious that no other measure of human welfare is of any consequence whatsoever except ONE: how much wealthier does this activity make those already so wealthy, that they have neither the creativity nor ability to manage what's already under their control. So the more people that are sickened, and the greater number that are run down and maimed, the better off we are economically. Because, "we" conflate our own well-being with that of the Uber-wealthy, whom we worship like obsequious dogs, even as they destroy any chance our own children have of ever enjoying the benefits of the very economic system we defend.
1) Research by the Global Carbon Project, which releases an annual report card on global CO2 pollution, says emissions grew by over 3 percent in 2011
While the Associated Press reports:
2) All the world's nations combined pumped nearly 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, according to new international calculations on global emissions published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. That's about a billion tons more than the previous year.
3) Peugeot has been hammered by slumping demand for new cars.
The answer to number 3?
4) The company has plans to start building the vehicle early next year in Porto Real, Brazil, which has cheaper labor, less onerous environmental restrictions, and increases the CO2 production, both from the energy expended to build the plant in the first place, and then by increased shipping distances which will result in burning increasing levels of the dirtiest fuel available: bunker diesel.
5) The Committee of French Automobile Producers (CCFA) said this has been the worst year for the French car industry since 1997.
6) The French car industry is still a pillar of the economy.
So, just like the health of the economy is dependent on the number of cars produced, the health of its citizens is also dependent on it, but in an inverse proportion: the more cars produced, the less healthy a nation's citizens. But more importantly, the health of the global economy, (because France its just the example cited here, the same paradigm of an inextricable link between excess auto production and economic viability is woven into every modern economy across the globe) is just as inextricably entwined with continued escalation of the level of CO2 (and more and more with an acceleration of the level of methane) pouring into the atmosphere. It is analogously woven together: just as the better its car production, the healthier a nation's economy, and the sicker its citizens; the healthier the Global Economy, and the sicker the Globe the faster the already prodigious amounts of CO2 pours into the atmosphere,.
But since there is no other way that the "success" of an economy is measured, than by its employment and GDP numbers, which are always and everywhere related to auto production, the more you hear ANYone talk of growth, whether its the unconscionable conscience of a liberal, Rue Paul Krugface, or the most conservative of politicos, Ron Paul, the subtext you should always be familiar with is that they are advocating further acceleration of CO2 production, (not just more CO2 production, which would be bad enough, but an acceleration, always, of the rate at which its production is growing) because what they're really talking about is more automobile production, more car-nage, more premature deaths, ie more profits.
Meanwhile, LA voters supported creation of a tax-assessment district to raise as much as $85 million of the $125 million needed to build a 4-mile trolley loop. Only, of course, if they receive matching federal funds. So, once again, the public wishes to pour money into a mass transit scheme that will then be sold to private interests, who will steal it right from under them and then destroy the public's investment as has been done time and time again. But since it's good for the economy, even though it's in inverse relation to the health of the populace, it is good for the country.
Posted by Robert Lowrey at 9:50 AM