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Re: E-M:/ re: E-M: new energy efficiency code proposed

Enviro-Mich message from JerrodM@aol.com

Hi, Jim. I enjoyed your closing comment. Let's disagree, perhaps, but keep
that sense of humor intact.

In a message dated 98-02-25 06:50:02 EST, Jim Ackert writes:

"It is nice to dream of free market forces working efficiently in the energy
arena. Unfortunately, subsidies, lobbyists, and powerful entities with vested
interests have manipulated and controlled the market in all areas to such an
extent that it is distorted beyond any recognition of a "natural"or free

Reply: Yup. And always with government complicity [because that's the only way
in which a market can be manipulated]. We agree!

"  Some examples that readily come to mind are the nuclear power industry
which was all but destroyed by it's own focus on the external economic and
technological influence of the nuclear weapon industry..."

Repley: You must have been watching a different nke industry than I. It was
the peaceniks and their friends who equated nuclear power with nuclear weapons
that did it. France and many other countries don't seem to have that problem.
Wonder why?

"Where would the Big Three be now if they had LISTENED to the folks who argued
that gas wasn't always going to cost a quarter a gallon, and that people
wouldn't want to drive cars when they couldn't breath their air because of

Reply: Oh, come on, now, Jim. Please let's not live in fantasy worlds. The Big
Three argued all along (as they do today) that the consumer is king. If you
really think that the Congress is a better judge of what people want than are
the companies that fight tooth and nail for every tenth of a percent
penetration, then we really must have a serious talk. Your preceding comment
is unadulterated garbage, sir. I know, because I was there.  Vere vas you,

"A ten to twenty year jump on the market, instead of a ten to twenty year
slip, would have been an incredible market advantage.  (But did they learn?
Reply: Oh, Jim. It's so sad that the people whose business is trying to figure
out consumer wants are so inept compared to you and your friends. By the way,
seen any Yugos lately?

 "Absurdly artificially cheap energy ...

Reply: Ah ... Jim knows how much energy should cost. Too bad that the rest of
us don't appreciate that Jim is smarter than anyone ... indeed, smarter than

"...in the US has distorted  the market so much that we waste unbelievable
amounts of it, in spite of the many opportunities to be more efficient AND
more comfortable and with less long term environmental degradation!   I don't
think standards should dictate how many windows a guy should have... but
window manufacturers should be required to make GOOD windows that save energy
so we can have our cake and eat it too!  And home builders should be required
to make even low cost homes well insulated so they pay back their additional
cost and return on investment faster than a 1998 mutual fund."

Reply: Yes indeed. And The Big Rock Candy Mountain should be available for
all. And may I inquire as to the legal justification for your pronouncements?
Eleventh commandment? Hey, I have an idea ... let's REQUIRE that shoe
manufacturers make only shoes that will last for ten years! [Alternate but
logically equivalent formulation: Let's make it illegal for Jim to buy shoes
that don't pass the Shoe Gestapo's muster. Sound different now that it's on
Jim''s foot?]

" I fear that the "next energy crisis" is being delayed artificially for so
long that when it breaks its bonds, we will have a hard time recovering from
the backlash.  Free market only works if information and resources are
equitably distributed."

Your last sentence parses, but that's about it. Markets are <about>
distribution of goods. Information? YES! [Everybody knows about transaction
costs.] "Equitably distributed?" I just don't understand what that is supposed
to mean. Maybe it's me?

"I would argue that the free availability of information is the greatest force
for good in this century... and that knowledge is more powerful than money, in
the long run.  People WILL do the right thing if they know the facts. "

Me: Ya know something? I would like to agree that people will do "the right
thing." I have two problems with that proposition, though: (1) Who decides
what's "right?" (2) People do what they see as being in their own interest.
[Maybe a marriage of (1) and (2) is not out of the question, eh?]

"Unfortunately, those in power tend to distort the truth to remain in power
when natural or market forces would remove them.  Fortunately,
environmentalists are learning fast how to see the lies, find out and reveal
the truth and play the regulation and standards game which was created long
before we were forced to use it."

Reply:Hey, guess what? When environmentalists exercise power they are no
different from those they despise. If you think otherwise, you are betraying
your youth, idealism and inexperience.
 "The cost of freedom is eternal vigilance"  and, I would add, eternal

Reply: Oh, dear God. Eternal activists. Is there no peace?

Ah has spoken. Ah am listening.

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