Posted by: L | July 19, 2007

Debt and dependence

“You can’t break a man that don’t borrow.”
– Will Rogers


  1. For more than three decades I argued with my closest friend and former professor about the critical role that compound interest played in he continually expanding economy. My friend had embraced and reified that overpopulation was the determining variable in the growth mania.

    Like the rest of us he was blindsided by global heating caused by fossil fuel burning and CO2 pollution of the entire planet. Too many people just like me having too good of a time at the expense of everybody else.

    Here is the classic statement to illustrate; My friend was wailing on about too many babies cornholing the world. So. I suggested that his desire for the highest interest rates might be a significant part of the problem.
    My friend and former mentor responded, “But if you don’t your money won’t grow.”

  2. I remember when the doomsayers were worrying about the “population bomb”…when was that, the 1970s?

    Then there was global cooling around the same time. Now, there is global warming. I don’t deny that it exists…as some people do. But we have to be careful whenever we extrapolate from computer models into the future.

    It reminds me of all those quants at LTCM who thought it could never blow up…and it did. Or the geniuses who tell us they’re in full control of the derivative market and now we have the Bear Stearns funds imploding..with more to come in all likelihood

    Credit and debt sustain many things and have their uses. The question is what quality and level.

    Robbing savers and creditors in favor of speculators and debtors by letting the currency depreciate is an old game with governments. Too bad, we’ve fallen for it.

  3. It is categorically false to claim that the predictions of dramatic climate change are based only on computer models. This falsehood has been fostered on the public in the same fashion as the paid flacks who preached that there wasn’t any global heating. The “science” behind global heating caused by human fossil fuel burning is empirical – meaning that it is based on precise observations and experiment as well as computer models.
    Scientific method, scientific evidence, and the predictive power of science are under vicious attack because there is no other peeyar avenue to attack now that so much evidence has been presented.

  4. I don’t doubt that climate change is real and probably extensive – have you read about some of the kinds of weapons testing done? – how could it not affect the atmosphere.

    My question is only why such hype suddenly in the past few years? It’s been known for some time? Similarly, I certainly do believe in the existence of a real terrorist threat, and real Islamic groups with Caliphate claims – unlike some in the antiwar crowd. The question is to what use are these threats being put?

    A lot of this has to do with the resurgence of PR from the nuclear industry in the last few years.

    So something may be true, but not true in the way or to the extent industry lobbyists portray it as being. That is what concerns me.

    I am not enough of a scientist to evaluate the claims on both sides independently. But I am enough of a student of the media to know how these claims arise – and to know that peer review is not what the public thinks it is.

    That is all.

    And I doubt if most of the people arguing on either side confidently know the science either.

    I am sceptical and I think with good reason.
    The burden of proof should always be on the state to make its claim.

  5. With all the foul propaganda everywhere, including the net, your skepticism is laudabler. However, there is a wealth of g solid science about how perilous our planetary future has become. James Hansen’s most predictive statement about the acceleration of global heating and its consequences is here –

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