Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Moving to Montana Soon?

Expand Messages
  • Bemmzim@aol.com
    In a message dated 8/2/2006 1:31:04 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, brighto@zo.com writes: Montana s problems are somewhat interesting. We can understand and
    Message 1 of 12 , Aug 2 6:04 PM
    • 0 Attachment
      In a message dated 8/2/2006 1:31:04 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
      brighto@... writes:

      Montana's problems are somewhat interesting. We can understand and
      empathize with them because we face many of the same kinds of problems.
      In comparison with the disaster that occurred on Easter Island described
      in Chapter Two: Twilight at Easter, however, the problems our country
      faces (at least the short term ones) seem like small potatoes.
      Fascinating! Read on.



      What struck me was the absence of any easy answers. There are people of good
      will but they cannot agree. The issue of the long term effects of mining of
      non-renewable resources is more difficult and profound than I realized. I see
      no solution other than to hold the companies responsible at least in part.
      _______________________________________________
      http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
    • Doug Pensinger
      ... In fact, in the long run, environmentalism makes good business sense. The problem is that so many businesses in this country don t take the long run into
      Message 2 of 12 , Aug 2 7:47 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        Jim wrote:


        > I have a bit of a problem with this idea that environmentalism and
        > economics are mortal enemies. There has to be some middle ground.

        In fact, in the long run, environmentalism makes good business sense. The
        problem is that so many businesses in this country don't take the long run
        into account - next week, next month, maybe next year, but five years from
        now? WTF cares.

        > We face them all over. I'll give you an example. My wife's relatives
        > get together for a family reunion in Barnegat, NJ every year, at a
        > modest ranch on the lagoon. People are buying up those houses on
        > those small lots, tearing them down and putting up *HUGE* McMansions
        > in their place, filling up the property to the point of bursting.
        > Frankly, I can't see how the local infrastructure can handle it. And
        > they'll be the first ones to bitch when the weather goes south on
        > them, or when someone builds something bigger across the street,
        > ruining "their" view.

        Yea, we get the same kind of thing around here. In Palo Alto, with some
        of the most expensive real estate in the country, they've had to pass an
        ordinance to keep people from building mansions on postage stamp sized
        lots that used to have cottages on them. And the tiny lots they put new
        houses on are ridiculous.

        > I think it's just human nature to have myopic tunnel vision. We all
        > do it, to some extent.

        Indeed we do.

        --
        Doug
        _______________________________________________
        http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
      • Doug Pensinger
        ... No. Montana is one of sevenor eight states I ve never set foot in. ... I haven t been to Ketchikan, but I visited Sitka for several days a couple years
        Message 3 of 12 , Aug 2 7:50 PM
        • 0 Attachment
          Brother John wrote:

          > Have you ever driven through the Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula,
          > Montana?

          No. Montana is one of sevenor eight states I've never set foot in.

          > I have done it only once, but I was deeply impressed with the beauty of
          > it, and the size of the huge wood frame houses along the way. They were
          > enormous, not particularly fancy but very large. I think that Missoula
          > is one of most beautifully situated cities in the world, right along the
          > spine of the continent.
          >
          > Of course, it isn't any prettier than Ketchikan, Alaska where I live.
          > But then a perfect 10 is a perfect 10.

          I haven't been to Ketchikan, but I visited Sitka for several days a couple
          years back. Very nice.

          --
          Doug
          _______________________________________________
          http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
        • Doug Pensinger
          ... Mine Asteroids? -- Doug _______________________________________________ http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
          Message 4 of 12 , Aug 2 7:55 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            Bob wrote:

            > What struck me was the absence of any easy answers. There are people of
            > good will but they cannot agree. The issue of the long term effects of
            > mining of non-renewable resources is more difficult and profound than I
            > realized. I see no solution other than to hold the companies
            > responsible at least in part.

            Mine Asteroids?

            --
            Doug
            _______________________________________________
            http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
          • bemmzim@aol.com
            ... In fact, in the long run, environmentalism makes good business sense. The problem is that so many businesses in this country don t take the long run into
            Message 5 of 12 , Aug 3 12:48 PM
            • 0 Attachment
              Jim wrote:

              > I have a bit of a problem with this idea that environmentalism and
              > economics are mortal enemies. There has to be some middle ground.

              In fact, in the long run, environmentalism makes good business sense. The problem is that so many businesses in this country don't take the long run into account - next week, next month, maybe next year, but five years from now? WTF cares.

              And yet Diamond has written about oil or gas exploration in his beloved New Guinea (either in Collapse or an Op Ed piece can't remember) about one of the companies being very cognizant of environmental issues (had to do with how they built the roads to and from the mining sites I think amoung other things). He contrasted this to another company with more traditional approach; the environmentally aware company did better - sorry that I can't remember the details. The conclusion was that environmentally sensitive actions were not more expensive. One way use the market to insure environmental protection is to insure that the costs of doing business include the environmental costs (e.g how much will cost to clean up a site after it is mined out). We have a better handle on this now. If the true cots are figured in a corporation will have to make a market driven choice as to how much it is worth to do something to the environment since it will have to pay those costs.
              ________________________________________________________________________
              Check out AOL.com today. Breaking news, video search, pictures, email and IM. All on demand. Always Free.
              _______________________________________________
              http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
            • jdiebremse
              This first chapter is also of particular interest to me, as I traveled extensively through the State of Montana two years ago while retracing the Lewis and
              Message 6 of 12 , Aug 11 4:46 AM
              • 0 Attachment
                This first chapter is also of particular interest to me, as I traveled
                extensively through the State of Montana two years ago while retracing
                the Lewis and Clark Trail - and I'll additionally find myself in the
                town of Big Sky, MT next week on business for work. The chapter
                certainly held my interest, and was a good read, but the more I reflect
                on it, the more it has left me unsatisifed. In fairness, we probably
                shouldn't expect a steak in the first chapter of a 500-or-so page book,
                but I'll see if I can express some of these iniital thoughts.


                --- In brin-l@yahoogroups.com, Doug Pensinger <brighto@...> wrote:
                > A similarity to my home town of Morgan Hill, Ca. to the Bitterroot
                Valley
                > is the contrast in attitudes of the old timers; farmers and ranchers
                with
                > sizeable land holdings and upper-middle class to upper class
                professionals
                > with a fondness for the small town atmosphere in close proximity to a
                > major metropolitan area. Morgan Hill has a slow-growth policy that
                allows
                > a limited number of new housing units per year. This is frustrating to
                > landowners because there is a huge demand for housing in the area.


                It seems to me that this policy is a boon for existing landholders in
                Morgan Hill, due to the artificially limited supply of housing. The
                big losers are anyone who wants to move to Morgan Hill, as they will
                find the price of housing there artificially inflated.


                > One interesting conundrum he discusses is the conflict between
                businesses
                > that exist to make money and "moral obligations" to clean up after
                > themselves. Is this a good argument against the preeminence of a free
                > market economy or can we have both a strong economy and a clean
                > environment?


                I don't think so.

                First, I think that Diamond unwittingly expresses some bias by using
                business as his primary example. I think a strong case could be made
                that it is simply a human tendency to avoid wanting to clean up after
                onesself. For example, one need only drive through West Virginia and
                see the instances of household trash being dumped on public lands by
                those who don't want to have to pay for trash removal. Likewise,
                Diamond's examples of householders who are unwilling to pay for the
                removal of decrepit dams located on their property also indicates that
                this phenomenon is hardly limited to businesses.

                Secondly, I think it is important to distinguish from a laissez-faire
                economy and a free market economy. Only the most strident
                anarcho-libertarians truly believe that government should have no role
                in the economy. Instead, I would say that at a minimum, most believers
                in the free market believe that the government has a role in enforcing
                property rights in the free market. In particular, this would include
                either prohibiting persons and businesses from dumping waste in a way
                that negatively affects the property of others, or at least requiring
                persons and businesses who do so to compesnate those who are affected
                for those negative effects.


                > Another interesting point that he raises is the fact that while native
                > Montanan's are extremely suspicious of government and especially
                > Washington, they are heavily subsidized by the federal government; "If
                > Montana were an isolated island, as Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean
                was
                > in Polynesian times before European arrival, its present first world
                > economy would already have collapsed, nor could it have developed that
                > economy in the first place." Is it hypocritical of Montana’s
                people to be
                > unsupportive of the Federal Government while they have their hand in
                the
                > till?


                This was one of the bigger objections I had to this chapter. Although
                I don't recall the exact quote you have cited, this is certainly a theme
                of the chapter. In the setion on forest fires, for example, he
                contrasts Montanans desiring the US Forest Service to put out any fire
                that threatens any home - or even any view from a home with some
                Montanan's "rabidly anti-government attitudes that don't want to pay
                taxes towards the cost of fire-fighting."

                The problem here is that Diamond is mixing anecdotal and statistical
                evidence. For example, in the 2004 Presidential election, John Kerry
                still received nearly 40% of the vote in the State. I'd argue that
                this is evidence that it is entirely possible for separate significant
                groups of Montanans to hold all of the views that Diamond described -
                without there necessarily being a group of Montanans that hold
                paradoxical or hypocritical views.

                Thinking more about the quote you provide from Diamond, I'm not sure
                that Diamond really does establish that Montanan civilization would
                never have developed without subsidy from the federal government, nor
                that Montanan civilization would collapse if this subsidy was removed.
                Certainly, if Montana were an isolated island, it might never have
                developed its current civilization - but given that we don't really
                understand what produces economic development in the first place, that
                is hardly surprising.

                At the end of the day, this chapter seems like a laundry list of
                environmental problems facing Montana. That's all well and good, but a
                similar list of problems could probably be produced for almost any
                location you care to name. What doesn't happen is that this list of
                problems isn't really connected to collapse. I think it would be more
                surprising if any civilization did not have any problems, but the
                existence of imperfection hardly implies potential collapse.

                JDG




                _______________________________________________
                http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
              • Richard Baker
                ... My reading of the entire book is that humans have had a substantial environmental impact wherever and whenever they ve settled, and whether societies
                Message 7 of 12 , Aug 11 4:55 AM
                • 0 Attachment
                  JDG said:

                  > At the end of the day, this chapter seems like a laundry list of
                  > environmental problems facing Montana. That's all well and good, but a
                  > similar list of problems could probably be produced for almost any
                  > location you care to name. What doesn't happen is that this list of
                  > problems isn't really connected to collapse. I think it would be more
                  > surprising if any civilization did not have any problems, but the
                  > existence of imperfection hardly implies potential collapse.

                  My reading of the entire book is that humans have had a substantial
                  environmental impact wherever and whenever they've settled, and whether
                  societies thrive or fail comes down in large part to whether they detect
                  such problems and how (or even if) they try to solve them. I think the
                  analogy that he was aiming for was between our globalised civilisation
                  and any of his model cases, rather than merely between a local part of
                  our civilisation - such as Montana or Australia - and one of those
                  earlier models.

                  What really surprised me was how optimistic the book was in the face of
                  the many problems that Diamond outlines.

                  Rich
                  _______________________________________________
                  http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
                • Deborah Harrell
                  I m still on the waiting list for this book, but doggonit, I m going to jump in anyway (after all, not having read the book hasn t stopped me from joining the
                  Message 8 of 12 , Aug 17 4:42 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    I'm still on the waiting list for this book, but
                    doggonit, I'm going to jump in anyway (after all, not
                    having read the book hasn't stopped me from joining
                    the discussions at my book club!).

                    > bemmzim@... wrote:
                    > > Jim wrote:
                    >
                    > > I have a bit of a problem with this idea that
                    > environmentalism and
                    > > economics are mortal enemies. There has to be some
                    > middle ground.
                    >
                    > In fact, in the long run, environmentalism makes
                    > good business sense. The problem is that so many
                    > businesses in this country don't take the long run
                    > into account - next week, next month, maybe next
                    > year, but five years from now? WTF cares.
                    >
                    > And yet Diamond has written about oil or gas
                    > exploration in his beloved New Guinea (either in
                    > Collapse or an Op Ed piece can't remember) about one
                    > of the companies being very cognizant of
                    > environmental issues (had to do with how they built
                    > the roads to and from the mining sites I think
                    > amoung other things). He contrasted this to another
                    > company with more traditional approach; the
                    > environmentally aware company did better - sorry
                    > that I can't remember the details. The conclusion
                    > was that environmentally sensitive actions were not
                    > more expensive. One way use the market to insure
                    > environmental protection is to insure that the costs
                    > of doing business include the environmental costs
                    > (e.g how much will cost to clean up a site after it
                    > is mined out). We have a better handle on this now.
                    > If the true cots are figured in a corporation will
                    > have to make a market driven choice as to how much
                    > it is worth to do something to the environment since
                    > it will have to pay those costs.

                    Similarly, people are frequently willing to pay more
                    for organic or 'fair trade' products, such as milk or
                    coffee/tea. When educated about benefits to the
                    environment or local populace, folks often choose to
                    support those goals; of course, one has to have the
                    income to back up one's desires.

                    Debbi
                    who had a boyfriend from Missoula, at one point, and
                    has hiked in the Bitterroots

                    __________________________________________________
                    Do You Yahoo!?
                    Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                    http://mail.yahoo.com
                    _______________________________________________
                    http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.