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U of A honorary degree to David Suzuki

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Highlander II View Post
    It actually sounds like he's talking about something other than all economists. There are libertarian/capitalist pop-economists that think like he accused economists of thinking. Maybe it's a quote that needs more context?
    That could very well be. I have to admit I haven't heard of read the comments under discussion.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by overoceans View Post
      I'm just kind of making a whimsical point about the U Of A Business faculty's functioning brain capacity, or lack thereof, in reply to the point that they might be offended by people slighting it.

      FWIW, I don't find Suzuki's blanket dismissal of all economists particularly convincing. That's the sort of anti-intetellecualism that people engage in when they can't come up with any other response.
      Economics is just one part of the School of Business, so I would think it is a stretch to extend a comment about all (or is it just some?) economists to the entire School.

      In any event, personally I thought my economics courses and instructors at the U of A were quite good and definitely not brain damaged. I don't think economics is advocating for some of the things Suzuki is so against, as much as trying to explain why they happen. I think either Suzuki does not have a good understanding of economics or his comments have been somewhat misinterpreted, perhaps some of both.

      If everyone who ever said something silly was barred from getting Honorary Degrees, we could probably stop giving them out.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Highlander II View Post
        It actually sounds like he's talking about something other than all economists. There are libertarian/capitalist pop-economists that think like he accused economists of thinking. Maybe it's a quote that needs more context?
        What about his fear mongering about Fukushima? Is there more context needed there as well?

        http://skeptoid.com/blog/2013/11/25/...ukushima-fear/

        https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/g...bout-fukushima

        And real nuclear physicists (which, full disclosure, I am not) disagree strongly with Suzuki. Many believe he is deliberately exaggerating the risks of the fuel rod removal in particular and the entire Fukushima situation in general. They believe the idea of Japan being obliterated and the US needing evacuation is ridiculous and totally implausible. This skepticism toward fearmongering has been the trend over and over in fields that directly intersect with the Fukushima disaster – nuclear power, radiation, oceanography, medical research. Most of the people who research this stuff for a living believe that the fear being pushed on us about Fukushima has little or no basis in reality.
        Granted, he later walked back his comments, but how much attention do you think that got vs. his original highly inflammatory ones? As someone who's primarily recognized for being a "communicator", he has a responsibility to be careful in what he communicates. And he's repeatedly failed to do so.
        Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 03-05-2018, 12:14 PM.

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        • #34
          Dave wrote:

          "In any event, personally I thought my economics courses and instructors at the U of A were quite good and definitely not brain damaged. I don't think economics is advocating for some of the things Suzuki is so against, as much as trying to explain why they happen. I think either Suzuki does not have a good understanding of economics or his comments have been somewhat misinterpreted, perhaps some of both." END QUOTE

          Yeah, in the video I watched a few hours ago, he seemed to be saying that because economists treat the environment as an "externality", it means they think we should just abuse it all to hell.

          Whereas, I think that what they mean is simply that the environment isn't a direct part of the economic system. But that doesn't mean they're passing a judgement about what we should do with it; rather they're just explaining what the economic results will be.

          As a comparison, if I say "It would be better for you from an economic perspective to skip your mother's funeral and work that extra shift at the factory", I'm not saying that you should do that. Just that, insofar as we are talking about your economic benefit, that's the optimal course of action. Whether you value your mother's memory more than the extra cash is entirely a matter of your value system.

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          • #35
            Actually Suzuki has stated a lot of very dismissive statements about anybody who disagrees with him, that was the first I can find.

            You can find out more of what Suzuki said here;
            https://omny.fm/shows/charles-adler-...uki-deserve-an

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            • #36
              Kermit the frog got an honorary degree, why not David Suzuki?
              "Without feedbacks, a doubling of CO2 would result in 1 °C global warming, which is undisputed." Climate sensitivity, Wikipedia

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              • #37
                http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/davi...cessary-debate
                http://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/c...ee-controversy

                Although I'm just one of 13 people receiving honorary degrees in June, my award has stirred up controversy. As flattering as it is to be made the fulcrum of debate surrounding fossil fuels, climate change and humanity's future, this isn't about me. After all, what I say about economics, planetary boundaries, and the need to shift priorities is no different than what economists, scientists, philosophers and numerous other experts around the world have been saying for years.

                If nothing else, it's good that a healthy debate about corporate influence over academic institutions and issues around climate-disrupting energy sources has emerged from it.
                “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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