Author Topic: Should the world phase out (or at least massively reduce) meat-eating?  (Read 1165 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mindme

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8761
    • http://www.yrad.com/cs
We already have a two-tiered economic system that makes many essentials unaffordable to poor people. Housing, medical care, education, etc. Why shouldn't we do the same with something that's an environmental disaster and a public health epidemic?

Not every western nation has that. The USA is not the entire of the world.
"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Korean Podcast
Michael Goudeau, Vegas Comedy Entertainer Available for Trade Shows

Online Ah.hell

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 13256
"green energy" and "sustainable" food will be what ever the politicians decide it is rather than any remotely objective standards.  There's plenty of explanations for why merely taxing the externality is better.  Mostly it amounts to letting the wisdom of the crowd find the better solution rather than dumping money on tech that may or may not pan out.

Who says the standards won't be objective? Maybe the legislation is worded in such a way as to mandate that objective standards be used. The revenues should be used to subsidize demonstrably efficient solutions, not just "dumping money on tech."

So you object to subsidizing beneficial tech because you don't trust government to make those kinds of decisions?

I don't trust the "wisdom of the crowd" for open-ended questions. That's just an idiom for free market evangelism. Decisions like which tech to subsidize need to be made by experts who don't have a financial interest in promoting one solution over another.
That's not even an idiom for central planning, which admittedly has a proven track record, so maybe I ought to consider.

Experts often have differing opinions, this leaves the political class to decide which expert opinion to subsidize. 

Offline daniel1948

  • Isn’t a
  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8580
  • I'd rather be paddling
We already have a two-tiered economic system that makes many essentials unaffordable to poor people. Housing, medical care, education, etc. Why shouldn't we do the same with something that's an environmental disaster and a public health epidemic?

Not every western nation has that. The USA is not the entire of the world.

True. I was speaking of my own country since there seem at present to be no prospects for any effective world-wide policy. Things happen at a national level, or, in the U.S., even just a state level. So I'm advocating a national policy for my country.
Daniel
----------------
"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

Offline mindme

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8761
    • http://www.yrad.com/cs
My point is that if we make it so that there is a real deterrent from eating meat, it will make it unaffordable to normal people.
If we do the same for electronic devices that use up precious metalsmith (and why wouldn't we?) It creates an unaffordable, two tiered society.
Otherwise its just a gimmick policy.

Whats the carbon footprint of lab grown meat btw? Im nkt sure that is a great solution?

Right now we tend to subsidize the cost of things we consume via government largess. Given most governments have to borrow every year to pay for their services, all what we're doing is off loading the cost to a future generation. You have a couple choices at least: pay for the full cost now and not have your social security cut or you consume as much meat now and not be able to eat it at normal prices when you're old and the government is spending money servicing the debt instead of funding social security.
"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Korean Podcast
Michael Goudeau, Vegas Comedy Entertainer Available for Trade Shows

Online stands2reason

  • Empiricist, Positivist, Militant Agnostic
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10574
It's worth pointing out that (in the US), we are already taxing meat (specifically beef): it is subsidized, which is a negative tax rate. Dairy similarly has a price floor on it. In relative terms, simply removing the subsidies would already be increasing the tax on meat to zero from a negative number. I feel that getting rid of subsidizes for meat and other animal products (and oil and all other forms of fossil fuel) would probably be enough. Maybe a small carbon tax too and that would be enough to nudge the economy.

But, arguably carbon emission isn't even the biggest issue. And that's where this discussion goes. What is the impact of agriculture: land, water, carbon emission (fossil fuel), pretty much in that order. We are basically out of arable land right now, we arguably won't have enough water for agriculture as we're doing it now in a couple decades. I don't really need to say anything about climate change, but we can make more fuel/energy if we want to, it's not a limiting factor right now.

I don't claim to have any special insight in this issue, but from what I've heard, there is plenty of screwiness in the way that water rights are contracted out to Ag companies.

If we had a planned economy, we could make drastic changes by deciding how land & water should be used. Here's a simplified model: you could first decide, as a baseline, how much grain to make, by assuming everyone is eating vegan. You would need a certain amount of grain to feed everyone. The amount of extra grain you have determines how much meat you can produce. Basically, it is a linear system. Each kind of food product requires certain inputs, water and land mostly being the scarce resources. This is also true when one product (beef) uses another product as input (grain, corn, etc.). It takes 10 calories of corn to make 1 calorie of beef, with all of the land & water use to make that corn. Then, it also takes land and more water for the actual cattle.

We could decide how much land & water we need for any particular level of consumption (i.e. what is the population, and what percentage of calories are from meat), or we could find out how much meat we could make with current resources (i.e. population goes up, or resource devoted to agriculture go down, what percentage of our calories can still come from meat). And this is the point, because meat is so much more intensive than grains/produce, a small reduction makes a big difference. One person that hypothetically eats nothing but beef is displacing enough resources to feed ten people eating vegetarian. A better way to say that is that if someone reduces the portion of their total food consumption that is meat by 10% (i.e. half of their food is meat, down to 40%), that frees up enough resources to feed another person.

Offline John Albert

  • Too Much Spare Time
  • ********
  • Posts: 6414
I recently saw a YouTube video that said that wealth distribution could be accurately modeled by the assumption that everyone started with the same amount of money and then exchanged random amounts with everyone they encountered.

It said that that our current state of wealth distribution could be accurately modeled using that method?

Offline jt512

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2491
    • jt512
I recently saw a YouTube video that said that wealth distribution could be accurately modeled by the assumption that everyone started with the same amount of money and then exchanged random amounts with everyone they encountered.


It is not at all surprising that a well-chosen random process applied to a uniform distribution has a limiting distribution that resembles the US income distribution, but what is/was the context for this?  What point is trying to be made?

« Last Edit: July 15, 2019, 01:52:55 PM by jt512 »
Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof.

 

personate-rain
personate-rain