The hypocrisy of governments

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The hypocrisy of governments

Postby DAVEf » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:01 pm

The Australian government is being sued by Phillip Morris over proposed changes to cigarette packaging:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15815311

Quote: "Australia's Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said while the tobacco industry was "fighting to protect its profits, we are fighting to protect lives.

The single easiest way to "protect lives" would be to ban the sale and use of tobacco products. But no government will because they are protecting the profits they make from taxing the sale and use of tobacco products.

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Re: The hypocrisy of governments

Postby Esox Lucius » Mon Nov 21, 2011 2:14 pm

DAVEf wrote:The Australian government is being sued by Phillip Morris over proposed changes to cigarette packaging:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15815311

Quote: "Australia's Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said while the tobacco industry was "fighting to protect its profits, we are fighting to protect lives.

The single easiest way to "protect lives" would be to ban the sale and use of tobacco products. But no government will because they are protecting the profits they make from taxing the sale and use of tobacco products.


Surely they will have taken into account that the drive to enforce this law will naturally bring down sales AND revenue but I am hoping that it is planning for less to be spent on cancer care and other related illnesses like emphysema?
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Re: The hypocrisy of governments

Postby DAVEf » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:44 pm

Esox Lucius wrote:
DAVEf wrote:The Australian government is being sued by Phillip Morris over proposed changes to cigarette packaging:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15815311

Quote: "Australia's Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon said while the tobacco industry was "fighting to protect its profits, we are fighting to protect lives.

The single easiest way to "protect lives" would be to ban the sale and use of tobacco products. But no government will because they are protecting the profits they make from taxing the sale and use of tobacco products.


Surely they will have taken into account that the drive to enforce this law will naturally bring down sales AND revenue but I am hoping that it is planning for less to be spent on cancer care and other related illnesses like emphysema?



Despite various bans etc and a drop in usage and sales, our government, through the clever use of tax rises has managed to keep income from Tobacco at the same level for 20 years. Clever eh.

If they could be sensible with legalising and taxing other killer drugs they could save money on anti-drug border controls and, by releasing Police from all the anti-drug stuff they have to do, maybe even, despite the cutbacks, see more Police doing some of the other Police work that currently goes undone.

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Postby WA Hoop » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:57 am

Smoking related treatment is thought to cost the NHS GBP 2 billion per annum. With a tobacco tax revenue of around GBP 11 billion per annum, the exchequer would seem to make quite a tidy profit.

Not forgetting the savings to be had on pensions, benefits etc. when smokers die prematurely.
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Postby dm » Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:26 pm

I know I'm highjacking but, I thought it might be of interest to note that the same tactics that were used by the tobacco industry to obscure the connection between tobacco and lung cancer are being used by the oil industry to obscure the connection between carbon emissions and global warming.

Not a lot of people know that.

Or even care.
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Postby RLHOOP » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:29 pm

I say legalise everything and those stupid enough to use excessively both pay the price through tax and also their health. If weed alone was legalised it would bring the cash into the government and out of Brixton bedsits.

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Postby BiscuitRanger » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:31 pm

dm wrote:I know I'm highjacking but, I thought it might be of interest to note that the same tactics that were used by the tobacco industry to obscure the connection between tobacco and lung cancer are being used by the oil industry to obscure the connection between carbon emissions and global warming.

Not a lot of people know that.

Or even care.


dm, I see that you have an interest in matters of global warming. I've always felt that the impact of CO2 levels in the atmosphere was secondary to significant global warming. The way I see it is that if there were no humans on the planet the earth would still be going through a warming period and atmospheric CO2 would rise as massive quantities are released from the sea. Undoubtedly this CO2 further contributes to global warming (greenhouse effect)

For me, the biggest effects on global warming are the sun activity, our relative position to it (Milankovitch cycles), and the amount of the main greenhouse gas (Water vapour) in the atmosphere (mostly as clouds). The argument is made, spuriously in my opinion, that man has caused this global warming, and perversely, man can fix it by trading carbon credits and reducing emissions. I am not denying that man-made atmospheric CO2 does contribute, to an extent, to global warming but don't think there is thing we can do about it.

What we should be doing is modeling the climate to determine what the planet will look like after significant change and working out how we can avoid wide-scale starvation, drought, civil wars, and all the other potential scenarios of a new ice age.

Just my view, but COP, IPCC, and all the other bodies are focusing on the wrong thing and it amounts to little more than pissing in the wind.
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Postby Esox Lucius » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:17 pm

BiscuitRanger wrote:
dm wrote:I know I'm highjacking but, I thought it might be of interest to note that the same tactics that were used by the tobacco industry to obscure the connection between tobacco and lung cancer are being used by the oil industry to obscure the connection between carbon emissions and global warming.

Not a lot of people know that.

Or even care.


dm, I see that you have an interest in matters of global warming. I've always felt that the impact of CO2 levels in the atmosphere was secondary to significant global warming. The way I see it is that if there were no humans on the planet the earth would still be going through a warming period and atmospheric CO2 would rise as massive quantities are released from the sea. Undoubtedly this CO2 further contributes to global warming (greenhouse effect)

For me, the biggest effects on global warming are the sun activity, our relative position to it (Milankovitch cycles), and the amount of the main greenhouse gas (Water vapour) in the atmosphere (mostly as clouds). The argument is made, spuriously in my opinion, that man has caused this global warming, and perversely, man can fix it by trading carbon credits and reducing emissions. I am not denying that man-made atmospheric CO2 does contribute, to an extent, to global warming but don't think there is thing we can do about it.

What we should be doing is modeling the climate to determine what the planet will look like after significant change and working out how we can avoid wide-scale starvation, drought, civil wars, and all the other potential scenarios of a new ice age.

Just my view, but COP, IPCC, and all the other bodies are focusing on the wrong thing and it amounts to little more than pissing in the wind.


This ^^^ I have long been of the mind that the Earth is transitioning towards another Ice Age and what mankind has contributed or done will have have no real effect on that happening; one may as well believe in the fountain of youth as an alternative to the normal 3 score years and 10
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Postby dm » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:48 pm

The overwhelming majority of scientists working in climate related disciplines agree that human activity since the industrial revolution has significantly increased the concentration of atmospheric C02 which is leading to global warming.

By an overwhelming majority of scientists I mean over 95%. This includes the most respected scientific bodies including the Royal Society and the American Geophysical Union plus a very large number of national and academic bodies working in related fields. So it is not COP or the IPPC driving an agenda. It's science itself making a statement.

BR - the issues of solar and water vapour effects have been well researched and found not to be causing the increase in temperatures the world is experiencing. The research is documented if you haven't read it.

EL - there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that the earth is moving into another ice age. The evidence shows that the world is warming. Even those who oppose anthropic climate change now accept this.

It is strange to me almost all people accept scientific evidence as something that is real and true for most things except this issue of human induced climate change. It's strange because the consequences of being wrong on this are catastrophic.
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Postby BiscuitRanger » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:10 am

dm wrote:The overwhelming majority of scientists working in climate related disciplines agree that human activity since the industrial revolution has significantly increased the concentration of atmospheric C02 which is leading to global warming.
By an overwhelming majority of scientists I mean over 95%. This includes the most respected scientific bodies including the Royal Society and the American Geophysical Union plus a very large number of national and academic bodies working in related fields. So it is not COP or the IPPC driving an agenda. It's science itself making a statement.

BR - the issues of solar and water vapour effects have been well researched and found not to be causing the increase in temperatures the world is experiencing. The research is documented if you haven't read it.

EL - there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that the earth is moving into another ice age. The evidence shows that the world is warming. Even those who oppose anthropic climate change now accept this.

It is strange to me almost all people accept scientific evidence as something that is real and true for most things except this issue of human induced climate change. It's strange because the consequences of being wrong on this are catastrophic.



Thanks dm.

Just to clarify my position/understanding, yes global temperatures are increasing, and yes CO2 as a result of mans activity is increasing, and yes CO2 is a greenhouse gas and does contribute to global warming. I don't think many people, when faced with the scientific evidence, would think otherwise.

What I am suggesting that whilst man-made CO2 has an effect on global warming, it's not a game changer. I don't think it is having a catalytic effect, merely adding to that being released by the oceans as their temperature rises. It seems very difficult to prove one way or the other.

I have read scientific reports/papers that do indeed suggest that solar activity is impacting on global temperatures. I guess it depends on what you read. I have also read about periods of global warming occuring "immediately" before an ice age. Various theories have been postulated. More atmospheric moisture (clouds) obscuring the sun thus reducing solar heating of the planet's surface, catastrophic fires that reduce the rain forest (carbon sink) to a fraction of it's average size, but perhaps the more compelling was the change in ocean currents (yeah, I know, The Day After Tomorrow and all that Hollywood nonsense) resulting in a shift in the gulf stream.

I struggle to accept that global climate modeling can be anything other than best-guess. I spoke to a meterologist on a plane back from Atlanta some 20 years ago who was getting exicited about the new program to improve the coverage of weather stations across the US, and mobile ones in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He felt that it would provide invaluable data which would modify their modeling to the extent that he could see accurate 10 day forecasts. In my experience we are still a long way short of this.

The Earth's climate is incredibly complex. I wonder what the uncertainty of these climate models are? Naturally, this uncertainty would increase as you project further forward into the future. I shall look into it some more.

As I think of man's latest efforts to impact the environment (positively, by controlling CO2 emissions) I am reminded of King Canute. The focus and all the effort will have the same outcome, unless you subscribe to the butterfly effect or tipping point theories.

BTW I am a Ph.D. scientist and whilst this does not qualify me to have an authoritative view on the subject, it has taught me scientific method and robustness and helps me to challenge conventional wisdom (which despite current popular thinking, is correct most of the time! - (Oh, proper irony at last))

My views are no more valid than the next man's but based on my present understanding I think focussing on CO2 is misplaced effort.
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Postby dm » Mon Nov 28, 2011 5:12 pm

That's an interesting take on the issue, Biscuit - if I might call you by your first name :wink:

My understanding of the temperature rise in the oceans is that it's a result of climate change and not driving it. That's the conclusion of studies into climate change's effect on the seas, for example one by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last year.

My understanding of solar activity is that the sun's activity has been roughly level since the 60s and actually cooler than usual since 2003. Over this period the global temperatures have risen so that seems to rule out the sun as the culprit.

I know little of past ice ages coming after a period of warming, though I suspect there'd be an argument that would say the difference is today we have man made C02 in the atmosphere and so a different scenario to ones in past.

I don't quite get your thoughts on climate modeling. Your example seemed to be about weather forecasting rather than trends in the climate. Surely two different things?

I understand the King Canute comparison and certainly the response of the West looks like that - pathetic. However, if the science is correct the future scenarios for the world are truly horrendous and particularly for the two thirds world and therefore a serious, concerted and urgent action by those who are most responsible for C02 emissions is needed.

My interest in this issue is because I work for an international development NGO. I've seen in Kenya first had the results of the drought made far worse by climate change. That will be just a forteste of what's to come if the world doesn't get it's act together and quickly.
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Postby WA Hoop » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:28 am

dm wrote:That's an interesting take on the issue, Biscuit - if I might call you by your first name :wink:

My understanding of the temperature rise in the oceans is that it's a result of climate change and not driving it. That's the conclusion of studies into climate change's effect on the seas, for example one by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration last year.

My understanding of solar activity is that the sun's activity has been roughly level since the 60s and actually cooler than usual since 2003. Over this period the global temperatures have risen so that seems to rule out the sun as the culprit.

I know little of past ice ages coming after a period of warming, though I suspect there'd be an argument that would say the difference is today we have man made C02 in the atmosphere and so a different scenario to ones in past.

I don't quite get your thoughts on climate modeling. Your example seemed to be about weather forecasting rather than trends in the climate. Surely two different things?

I understand the King Canute comparison and certainly the response of the West looks like that - pathetic. However, if the science is correct the future scenarios for the world are truly horrendous and particularly for the two thirds world and therefore a serious, concerted and urgent action by those who are most responsible for C02 emissions is needed.

My interest in this issue is because I work for an international development NGO. I've seen in Kenya first had the results of the drought made far worse by climate change. That will be just a forteste of what's to come if the world doesn't get it's act together and quickly.


China & U.S. are in a league of their own.

Russia, India, Japan, Germany, Canada and the UK are a long way behind but collectively deliver the same impact as the U.S.

Irrespective of individual positions on climate change, the whole concept of growth (and with it capitalism) will need to be roundly rejected before any genuine progress can be made. Suffice to say, I won't be holding my breath.

Meanwhile, Australia's rather embarrassing (and rather Welsh) PM goes it alone, inflicting the blunt instrument that is a carbon tax, on the World's 15th highest CO2 emitter! :roll:
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Postby Esox Lucius » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:28 am

WA Hoop wrote:China & U.S. are in a league of their own.

Russia, India, Japan, Germany, Canada and the UK are a long way behind but collectively deliver the same impact as the U.S.

Irrespective of individual positions on climate change, the whole concept of growth (and with it capitalism) will need to be roundly rejected before any genuine progress can be made. Suffice to say, I won't be holding my breath.

Meanwhile, Australia's rather embarrassing (and rather Welsh) PM goes it alone, inflicting the blunt instrument that is a carbon tax, on the World's 15th highest CO2 emitter! :roll:


And that right there is where I feel all this concern about Global Warming is centred; a means of introducing another stealth tax to fund the economy. Regarding Ice Ages, there is only an Ice Age and an Interglacial Period, no "Hot Age" so no matter what we are told or asked to do it will have no long term bearing on any climatic change. Don't forget that the term Global Warming was invented by an economist.
IMO a problem far greater than climate change is the worlds population growth, it is unsustainable and is reducing mankinds resources far more drastically than the use of fossil fuels.
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Postby dm » Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:25 am

WA Hoop - I agree capitalism, growth and I'd add, consumerism, are at the root of the problem. As ever, its the rich and powerful nations, businesses and individuals who hold the key to the problem.

ES - I think I understand your point regarding no "Hot Age". The big difference between today and the past is that humans have been releasing huge quantities of C02 into the atmosphere so that concentrations are at its highest for at least 650,000 years, and as you know, atmospheric C02 is like a blanket warming the globe. This has never happened before. I agree population is a huge concern, but it's not as urgent as global warming. If the world does not make the necessary changes quickly, it will be too late because of 'feedbacks' like methane being released from areas of melting permafrost and warming seas.
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Postby Esox Lucius » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:31 am

dm wrote:EL - I think I understand your point regarding no "Hot Age". The big difference between today and the past is that humans have been releasing huge quantities of C02 into the atmosphere so that concentrations are at its highest for at least 650,000 years, and as you know, atmospheric C02 is like a blanket warming the globe. This has never happened before. I agree population is a huge concern, but it's not as urgent as global warming. If the world does not make the necessary changes quickly, it will be too late because of 'feedbacks' like methane being released from areas of melting permafrost and warming seas.


A slightly spurious fact as we(mankind) have only been capable of releasing CO2 for approximately 150 years so any release will be an increase over the last 650.000 years. A lot of this discharge is fuelled by a need to supply an ever increasing population and therefore IMO the need is to control population growth before we can plan and strategise for emission control. I still believe it is a political ruse to increase stealth taxation.
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