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Houston, Bangladesh, and Global Warming


Houston, Bangladesh, and Global Warming

Dean Baker

We are seeing many terrible pictures from Houston as a result of Hurricane Harvey. People with young children and pets are wading through high water in the hope of being rescued by boat or helicopter. Elderly people in nursing homes are sitting in waist high water waiting to be rescued. It's a pretty horrible story.


Yes Dean, and happy to see you write about climate change and carbon emissions.

But please dig deeper into your own economic ideology, and recognize that Keynesian stimulus to promote consumption (which you regularly promote) is not a tenable economic solution. It only aggravates ecological destruction, and the Earth and humanity cannot afford continued accelerating ecological destruction.

You seriously need a deep rethink of your whole economic paradigm, to place ecology first.


Bangladesh is in serious trouble if there a few feet of sea level rise. A large portion of the populatoin lives only slightly above sea level. Of course, many other areas around the world would severely affected including some in the US. Unless there is a remarkable turnaround and the CO2 level is reduced below 350 ppm sea level will continue to rise for hundreds of years and if greenhouse gas levels increase enough for thousands of years. Much of what is now habitable land will be under water. This type of information should lead to a certain predicted outcome in elections but in the US where alternative facts seem to outpace real facts and fake news seems to outpace real news this predicted outcome is not occurring.


This IS the future, and soon, not an “if” scenario.


No shit.
Lrx can’t seem to figure that out.




Take a look at the citizensclimatelobby.org


Keynesian economics done properly would be very effective in countering global warming. During the 30s Keynesian economics led to the formation of the CCC which planted 3 billion trees in 9 years. It also supported small farmers to not plow their soil and plant crops. That program has been taken over by industrial agriculture that contributes more to carbon in the air than petroleum. Tilling the soil exposes carbon based organisms in the soil to sun and wind that essentially burns them and blows them away or allows them to be washed away.
It is the production side of the equation with externalized costs that produces global warming, not the econsumption side. A better educated public could help create a market that includes currently externalized costs that would change pricing and preferences but the corporations that benefit from the current system control much of the information and divert attention and knowledge from the well known solutions.
Capitalists/oligarchs like Trump desire control and monopoly. Competition is anathema and they only pay lip service to it when it serves their purposes. Watch this video. It is fascinating and entertaining.


What’s feminism have to do with this? Everything. It helps me to understand why you don’t get how patronizing your words re: Ms. Klein’s work were. Oh, of course, you know better than she what she should be doing so that her work can “really make a difference.”

It doesn’t occur to you that there could be multiple levels on which one could make a difference. The circle in which you are an authority is the only one that REALLY matters.

The kind of difference Ms. Klein wants to make and likely feels she is making is irrelevant, for you, Daddy, surely know better than she does…

So feminism is definitely relevant here, because feminism is not a theory. Feminism is a paradigm (in the sense Thomas Kuhn uses the word) from within which the global denigration/dehumanization of women and concomitant desecration of the body and the wild is painfully apparent, nearly ubiquitous, and a big problem for all life.

Yes, I know it doesn’t look that way to you. That’s what paradigm incommensurability is, that’s how it works.

You can’t sense that your certainty that academic circles matter greatly is dependent upon a patriarchal/intellectual elitism, founded on and maintained by subjugating/dissociating from (as opposed to integrating and transcending) older forms of intelligence (physical, emotional) and excluding from decision-making power anyone who refuses to dissect themselves accordingly.

You can’t sense that your mode of argument–not just the content, but also its tone and cadence–has been been deployed to silence female speakers (as well as poor folks, people of color, indigenous people, children) for many generations. It is as familiar to those of us who have been targeted by this covert weapon as the sound of distant bombers is to those who have lived in a physical war zone.

Just because you can’t sense it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, or doesn’t matter.

But those habituated to social/cultural domination always tend to believe otherwise.


Great comment, but did the comment you replied to get deleted? Or is this from another thread? i don’t see any references to Klein in anyone’s comments here.


In the long and short run, the solution has been staring us in the face but no one wants to face it. It’s too controversal. Each problem can be followed back to one underlying issue. Excessive consumption, CO2 & methane rises, resource depletion (water, soil)… simply stated, “too many people”. If we choose to be proactive about limiting our reproductive numbers we can move back into a balance that is ecologically sustainable.

If we choose to continue down the path we are on, nature will indeed solve the problem for us.