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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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Author Topic: Nothing is going to change, get used to it.  (Read 1595 times)
True Federalist
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« Reply #25 on: August 10, 2012, 11:47:21 pm »
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This is why we need to do a complete world phase out of fossil fuels, and be 100% renewable by 2040. It can be done. It's affordable, there's more than enough energy to do it, and plus, we have a cleaner world. We can even do it without nuclear OR biomass. Wind, water, solar, and geothermal would be enough. Also, wind water solar and geothermal energy is spread out throughout the world, so there isn't the problem of it all being in one place.

Care to provide a cite for your utopian fantasy? 
Yes, in fact.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-path-to-sustainable-energy-by-2030
http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/100-renewable-energy-by-2050-is-possible-heres-how-we-can-do-it.html


The massive handwaving of the economics involved that both those articles indulge in means I stand by my original assessment, utopian fantasy.To make the economics work, they assume that the future costs of clean technologies will come down to the level needed to make them economic.  They also posit a transfer of technology to the developing world that somehow doesn't run afoul of local corruption and that doesn't cause an increased demand for energy because of the accompanying increased standard of living.
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« Reply #26 on: August 11, 2012, 10:42:35 pm »
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This is why we need to do a complete world phase out of fossil fuels, and be 100% renewable by 2040. It can be done. It's affordable, there's more than enough energy to do it, and plus, we have a cleaner world. We can even do it without nuclear OR biomass. Wind, water, solar, and geothermal would be enough. Also, wind water solar and geothermal energy is spread out throughout the world, so there isn't the problem of it all being in one place.

Care to provide a cite for your utopian fantasy? 
Yes, in fact.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-path-to-sustainable-energy-by-2030
http://www.treehugger.com/renewable-energy/100-renewable-energy-by-2050-is-possible-heres-how-we-can-do-it.html


The massive handwaving of the economics involved that both those articles indulge in means I stand by my original assessment, utopian fantasy.To make the economics work, they assume that the future costs of clean technologies will come down to the level needed to make them economic.  They also posit a transfer of technology to the developing world that somehow doesn't run afoul of local corruption and that doesn't cause an increased demand for energy because of the accompanying increased standard of living.
Well, what do you propose?
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« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2012, 08:44:53 am »
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Regardless of whether we can reverse or even stop anthropogenic climate change (and I don't think that this is plausible), there are undoubtedly things that we can do to anticipate it. We should accept that droughts, sea level rise, extreme weather events, and rising temperatures are reality and adapt accordingly.
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Quote
Dentures, for instance, is something Medicaid recipients could live without, Astorino suggested in the interview.

When asked how someone without dentures could eat, Astorino flippantly replied with a laugh, “Soup is good.”
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« Reply #28 on: August 13, 2012, 09:09:35 am »
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The question is not how to stop climate change: that's impossible at this point. The actual debate is if we want an affordable climate change or a catastrophe. In the first scenary, with a global warming below or equal to 2ºC, adaptation is plausible. With a global warming above 2ºC you better rent a spaceship or something. On the other hand, do you know cheap solutions to great challenges? Aren't bailouts prohibitively expensive? Tecnologies will be cheaper in the future but it's needed a great investment at the beginning, that's unescapable. One of these days this issue will occupy the central place in the political agenda, but maybe too late. Then we will be really screwed.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 06:21:31 pm by Gobernador Velasco »Logged

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« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2012, 05:14:56 pm »
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Why do people always focus on how many people it will put out of work and how expensive it will be when we can just as easily focus on how many more technicians, laborers, designers and researchers we will need to hire. Maybe the economy needs some sort of massive Keynesian jolt that it used to get through the mass mobilization caused by war. I mean, even if there was no Global Warming and even if we could believe every word of what those rich smelly guys in cowboy hats and Carnharts say about what they do to the world, it is still a great idea to think infrastructure.
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the result is a sense that we were told to attend a lavish dinner party that was going to be wonderful and by the time we got there, all the lobster and steak had been eaten, a fight had broken out, the police had been called and all that was left was warm beer and chips.
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« Reply #30 on: August 13, 2012, 07:42:39 pm »
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I honestly haven't informed myself about this issue nearly as much as I should have by now.  If anyone can recommend good primers, I'm certainly interested.

In any case, in a debate that seems to feature poles of catastrophic alarmism and myopic resistance, intuitively it's the myopic attitude that concerns me more.  We seem to get bogged down in "metaphysical" debates about climate change, what proportions of it are man-made vs. environmentally cyclical, what parameter of degrees by which the temperature is likely to rise in the next century, identifying, based on current research and technology, exactly what needs to or even can be done, and so on.  Absent unanimous certainty about all these questions, we don't want to act and cause economic disruption.

If we adopted this kind of attitude about our individual physical health, it seems to me, we'd surely put ourselves at greater risk.  We don't necessarily know if smoking, eating cheeseburgers and drinking too much will ruin any given individual's health and greatly shorten their lifespan.  But we do know enough about the heightened risks to make recommendations about how that person can avoid possible major illnesses.  And we would probably think that a person who paid no heed to any of this was probably being fairly imprudent and perhaps irresponsible to their own dependent family members.  By analogy, we may not know with any certainty, especially given current data and research, whether increased greenhouse gas emissions will cause widespread and species-threatening damage to the planet in the next century or two or whether the effects from actions already done can be significantly reversed.  But we do seem to know enough about the greenhouse effect, the duration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, and the consequences to which they may progressively lead to realize that we may well be running some risks to proximate future generations.  If we pay no heed to these increased risks, by not backing increased research into alternative energies, taking at least some measures to reduce emissions and encourage such measures on an international scale, that strikes me as just imprudent and perhaps quite irresponsible to future generations.  There are also possible economic benefits, including employment benefits, to such research and measures, not merely downsides.

But those are just my intuitions.  As noted, I'm not very well-informed yet about the science and so can claim little authority for those intuitions.
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« Reply #31 on: August 15, 2012, 03:19:37 pm »
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Why do people always focus on how many people it will put out of work and how expensive it will be when we can just as easily focus on how many more technicians, laborers, designers and researchers we will need to hire. Maybe the economy needs some sort of massive Keynesian jolt that it used to get through the mass mobilization caused by war. I mean, even if there was no Global Warming and even if we could believe every word of what those rich smelly guys in cowboy hats and Carnharts say about what they do to the world, it is still a great idea to think infrastructure.

     If the costs make the project in question impossible, then I think they need to be addressed. Ponying up three times the GDP of the entire world would probably take more than a few bake sales, after all.
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« Reply #32 on: August 15, 2012, 06:43:06 pm »
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Why do people always focus on how many people it will put out of work and how expensive it will be when we can just as easily focus on how many more technicians, laborers, designers and researchers we will need to hire. Maybe the economy needs some sort of massive Keynesian jolt that it used to get through the mass mobilization caused by war. I mean, even if there was no Global Warming and even if we could believe every word of what those rich smelly guys in cowboy hats and Carnharts say about what they do to the world, it is still a great idea to think infrastructure.

     If the costs make the project in question impossible, then I think they need to be addressed. Ponying up three times the GDP of the entire world would probably take more than a few bake sales, after all.
Then again, why do we focus on just the costs as if no benefits would come before the entire cost is paid. Perhaps an actuarial assesment needs to be made based on the risks, costs and benefits instead of just throwing out numbers and saying "its impossible" or "its too hard". Maybe it is and there is a reasonable estimation that we can make to make it reasonably certain that there is nothing we can do about greenhouse gases but it would appear that simply dismissing any analysis based on what we can already tell would just be bad policy. ...and of course, if we get to make the decision you are talking about, we are then at the question of what can we still do if suffering significant to radical climate change is unavoidable. Is there a role for the state or is dealing with this situation a personal matter?
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the result is a sense that we were told to attend a lavish dinner party that was going to be wonderful and by the time we got there, all the lobster and steak had been eaten, a fight had broken out, the police had been called and all that was left was warm beer and chips.
[/quot
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« Reply #33 on: August 16, 2012, 12:17:44 am »
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Why do people always focus on how many people it will put out of work and how expensive it will be when we can just as easily focus on how many more technicians, laborers, designers and researchers we will need to hire. Maybe the economy needs some sort of massive Keynesian jolt that it used to get through the mass mobilization caused by war. I mean, even if there was no Global Warming and even if we could believe every word of what those rich smelly guys in cowboy hats and Carnharts say about what they do to the world, it is still a great idea to think infrastructure.

     If the costs make the project in question impossible, then I think they need to be addressed. Ponying up three times the GDP of the entire world would probably take more than a few bake sales, after all.
Then again, why do we focus on just the costs as if no benefits would come before the entire cost is paid. Perhaps an actuarial assesment needs to be made based on the risks, costs and benefits instead of just throwing out numbers and saying "its impossible" or "its too hard". Maybe it is and there is a reasonable estimation that we can make to make it reasonably certain that there is nothing we can do about greenhouse gases but it would appear that simply dismissing any analysis based on what we can already tell would just be bad policy. ...and of course, if we get to make the decision you are talking about, we are then at the question of what can we still do if suffering significant to radical climate change is unavoidable. Is there a role for the state or is dealing with this situation a personal matter?

     Well, I saw the costs issue as an allusion to my post. Certainly, this issue could be tackled by continuing to phase in renewable resources as sources of energy. Then there is a question of how quickly we can make transitions while maintaining a feasible budget and how much effect our efforts will have. The important thing is not getting derailed by overambition and wishful thinking.
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« Reply #34 on: August 16, 2012, 10:41:07 am »
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...and how much, right now, is Global Warming being caused by political corruption and an economy based on millions of workers and several states being the clientelle of such corruption. Of course, what I am talking about is subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. How can we fight Global Warming by cancelling these subsidies and either replacing these subsidies with renewable subsidies or giving these subsidies back to the people in the form of progressive tax cuts?
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the result is a sense that we were told to attend a lavish dinner party that was going to be wonderful and by the time we got there, all the lobster and steak had been eaten, a fight had broken out, the police had been called and all that was left was warm beer and chips.
[/quot
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« Reply #35 on: August 16, 2012, 01:04:52 pm »
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     Well, developing countries are adding lots of new coal plants, which are adding greatly to the rate of global warming. While political corruption plays a role, there is also the issue that their energy needs are growing rapidly and coal is a cheap way to meet them. I imagine that addressing corruption that leads to subsidizing fossil fuels would probably help, but you also need to help countries like China and India produce energy in a less polluting fashion in order to curb warming in the long run.
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« Reply #36 on: August 16, 2012, 01:34:06 pm »
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     Well, developing countries are adding lots of new coal plants, which are adding greatly to the rate of global warming. While political corruption plays a role, there is also the issue that their energy needs are growing rapidly and coal is a cheap way to meet them. I imagine that addressing corruption that leads to subsidizing fossil fuels would probably help, but you also need to help countries like China and India produce energy in a less polluting fashion in order to curb warming in the long run.

Perhaps they could buy our technology or training....they are already buying our military secrets and my roommates at UW are Indian.
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the result is a sense that we were told to attend a lavish dinner party that was going to be wonderful and by the time we got there, all the lobster and steak had been eaten, a fight had broken out, the police had been called and all that was left was warm beer and chips.
[/quot
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