[ExI] Rationality and Irrationality

spike spike66 at att.net
Wed Dec 19 06:02:07 UTC 2007

> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Mike Dougherty
> > ...  Seldom do I see in the mainstream media a list of all the
> things
> > that will improve if we get global warming, even though it looks to me
> to
> > outweigh the negatives.
> So how much Canadian tundra farmland have you invested in?

Not Canadian, but 118 acres of Oregon farmland.  This had little to do with
the warming planet or the rising tide, but rather in anticipation of the
flood of Taxifornians fleeing the state because of its claim on one's
pension.  Oregon, Nevada and Arizona real estate looks to me to be a great
investment op.       

> ...can we rebrand the meme as a Global Warming Opportunity?

I thought we already did.  Someone commented earlier about opposition to
global warming legislation because of capitalistic greed, but I see *plenty*
of opportunities for satisfying one's capitalistic greed assuming the
passage of global warming legislation.  If one pays attention, one can
profit mercilessly regardless of whether global warming comes along or not.

Consider for instance a suggestion posted earlier regarding a tax on
guzzlebuggies, with the profits used to fund energy conservation research.
I would argue that such money is poorly spent, for the principles of energy
conservation are already well known.  More research is not necessary, for we
have known for a long time what is required.  We just don't want to do it.
It requires us to go slower in lighter vehicles.  Nothing high tech or even
particularly expensive required.  

Consider this alternate idea: we figure out a way to build roads parallel to
the existing ones that are safe for ultra-light-weight and slow vehicles,
such as bicycles, scooters and golf-cart-like electric vehicles.  People
would ride those things to work now if it could be done safely; I would.  It
might be as simple as sacrificing the currently poorly utilized carpool
lanes to make them slow high-mileage, low visibility, low protection
ape-hauler lanes.  We would need to come up with a series of overpasses to
cross the exit lanes, or somehow slow all the exit traffic to 30 mph (50
kph).  But these high mileage ape haulers could be limited to 200kg, so that
the overpasses could be light, cheap to build and practical.  If we were
clever we could come up with a very light fully enclosed (for weather
protection) electric vehicle, which could still come in under 200kg,
assuming we are willing to sacrifice top speed to about 35 mph.  We can do
this, we really can.

Gene posted an astute notion a couple months ago about how more powerful
engines require heavier structure, which in turn requires more power to
accelerate hard, and so on up the weight escalator.  We can go back down
that same escalator, if we accept a vehicle that carries only one ape, with
very little cargo capacity, that accelerates in a leisure fashion and isn't
particularly rugged.  It need not be our only ape hauler, but would be
acceptable for daily commuting, which tends to be relatively short range and
consistent in length.

Many conservationists get stuck on the idea of mass transit, but my argument
is that light slow individual vehicles are preferable by most people to
buses, at least in the states where the suburbs are too spread out to make
buses practical.  Furthermore, I still have never heard a good solution to
the problem that crazy and homeless people get on the bus and ride around
all day.  It is free for them: if they don't pay, what can you do?  Nothing,
for a homeless or crazy person is perfectly judgment proof.  They have a
nice soft climate controlled seat, all to themselves because they smell bad,
and we can shout obscenities constantly, most of the time to an empty bus.
(Oops did I say we?  I meant THEY of course.)  I know of no good way to keep
the buses and trains from becoming rolling homeless shelters and insane

But we could work a deal to set up slow lanes along the freeways and
expressways.  Many of the apes would opt for high mileage vehicles.  And if
we manage to do that, the sheer profit potential is stunning.  We don't need
to sacrifice capitalistic greed to transition to entirely renewable energy
sources.  It makes ones butt hurt just thinking of the money to be made
during the transition.


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