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Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:41 pm
by Britkid
A bit tricky for the next generation to break with the current generation via schooling, when the current generations are deciding on what's being taught. Modern day textbooks and teaching are becoming steadily more progressive, but it's not realistic to expect a substantial departure from the status quo.

John makes a good point though about environmentalism and capitalism being hard to reconcile. I think environmentalism and capitalism can be reconciled however to some extent. They key is to take stronger actions at the national government level to make environmentalism profitable so it's not a choice between one or the other for companies.

I would add very high taxes to very polluting cars , and none at all to electric cars, which would have the right to sail on through all toll booths without paying and be exempt from parking charges in government run locations. Governments would use some of the money from the taxes to set up a network of charging stations for electric cars. Other parts of the money would be used to give bus and train companies tax breaks on the condition of lower fares.

Similar principle with flights. I would add huge taxes to them, as well as refusing to expand any airports or construct new runways. This one would be better with an agreement to do so between a group of major countries however, otherwise it damages your own country's tourism industry, and business. I would also tell the airlines that if they develop planes that don't pollute somehow, these taxes are immediately gone for such planes.

You also have in the UK for example some companies that sell purely green electricity (Good Energy and Ecotricity). I would give them tax breaks while increasing tax on fossil fuel energy to the point where renewable energy is the cheapest.

Of course this is going to cause the cost of living to rise slightly overall in the short term. However, some of the taxes can be paid back to the people in the form of reduced income tax, or even a once a year cheque in the mail. If every family gets say $2,000 in the post in early December in a letter from the government saying raised from green taxes, that might make the change more accepted. Alternatively the taxes could be used for specific initiatives that were so very worthy (more heating for old people, getting homeless people off the street, homes for stray dogs) that you'd be hard pressed to argue against them. You could also use some of the money for specific environmental projects like planting trees.

While some people hate the idea of such excessive government interference and taxation, it actually would create personal liberty since I would no longer need to suggest to you all to stop eating steak or driving a top of the line Mercedes or flying to Barbados 2 times a year. Such activities become guilt-free since the taxes from them are in effect used to pay for an equivalent amount of good, as well as used to reduce such activities. If the taxes are set high enough and used to support the environment, then everyone is free to do what they want.

But to make it work with current science and projections on global warming you'd need taxes to be very very high on flights and cars. Just charging $200 tax for a long haul flight or $200 per year to own a very polluting car does not change demand much. People would just pay it. So you actually have to charge something like $1000 tax for a long haul flight, or $1000 per year to own such a car. Maybe even more.

In practice, I think we shouldn't leave it all to the government though. A combination of individual responsibility and government policy would seem to be the way forward.

Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Posted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:06 pm
by Space Cat
I believe that empathy and mindfulness beat government regulations any day.

Discussion like this always focus on political systems: taxes, laws, libertarianism, socialism, etc. But they will all fail if people inside the system are ignorant, greedy, and hateful.

Also for grassroots education we can act here and now. Make someone's life better in a year. Spread it on entire planet via like-minded volunteers.

For any kind of political change we need to go and fight huge systems with incredible inertia and still have 0 effect after years of struggle. Or win in a single country from almost 200 states.

Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:35 am
by john
Space Cat wrote:
john wrote:Can you enlighten us on what you think those missing puzzle pieces are?

Again, don't know what you have in mild, but I do wish you good luck in achieving it.
There's a branch of design called "User experience design" or UX design.
The UX design of education sucks so hard. Except for Finnish schools, you can read about their amazing approaches online.

As you pointed, we're not a state to reform schools. But we're developers with experience in game design and UX design. And, by coincidence, kids love games (probably you know Minecraft boom).

Also there are tons of free educational material on the Internet but it's not like everybody knows where to search for it.

And we know how to combine it, turn it into games, and ship it on devices that will cost less than $100 per child. (Probably less than $80 at the time we're going to finish the project.)

It will be a non-profit where everyone in the world can buy devices like this for his town (or use their current PCs), install our ready-to-go open source software bundle and distribute it to local kids.

So the only question is: will we do it so good that it will go viral? We'll see.
Thanks for providing this information. Frankly, I'm not that familiar with either UX design or internet games. Sounds like you are convinced there is a market niche for your upcoming software product, and I wish you every success.

Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:15 am
by john
frozen-north wrote:
john wrote:
Space Cat wrote: What will really solve many of our problems is a better "life skills" education for kids that will improve population's understanding of many topics, including ecology.
Astute observation! However, it's a quantum leap from the "dumbed-down" approach to education in vogue today to a "life skills" based education curricula. Moreover, since such a desired state implies a sound environmental stewardship as one of its core principles, it would appear to be in irreconcilable conflict with "free Market" capitalism.
"dumbed-down" approach to education , "life skills" based education curricula ??

I am not quite sure what is meant by these terms. Should they bring back Latin? :)
In the US there is a strong anti-intellectual current aimed at lowering the level of difficulty and the intellectual content of school curriculum (presumably to be replaced by video culture and social media :roll: ). As a consequence, there is less rigorous curriculum in schools (thus "dumbed-down" approach to education). Examples are:

-lowering of math and language arts standards
-de-emphasize on geography, science and history
-elimination of civics classes
-standardized testing (promotes rote teaching to the test)

Re: Futaleufú River Dam Fight Win- Endesa surrenders

Posted: Tue Sep 13, 2016 2:24 pm
by john
This thought-provoking (albeit controversial) article on the effects of population growth expounds on Britkid's recent post. I was particularly struck by the distinction the writer makes between "making people happy and "making happy people". ... ate-change