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Old 12-02-2009, 05:35 PM   #196
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let's pretend for a moment, that there is no man-made global warming.

what difference should that make?
All the difference. It's the difference between renewable energy being economically feasible as opposed to be propped up with subsidies and taxes on competing forms of energy. It's the difference between using sacrifice, as opposed to the luxury of prosperity, to solve an expensive problem.

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isn't energy efficiency a good thing?
Yes, but so is energy abundance and affordability.
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isn't the pollution belched into the atmosphere a bad thing?
Yes, lead and sulfur dioxide are pollutants making up a small percentage of fossil fuel emissions. Carbon on the other hand is 75 to 90 percent. You can't call carbon a pollutant anymore than you can call oxygen and H2O pollutants because they cause rust.
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wouldn't it be a good idea to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels so we can pull out of the most insane region of the globe?
Yes, but who opposes cheaper, "shovel ready" alternatives like nuclear energy or Drillbabydrill?
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isn't conservation in and of itself a good thing?
Does that include the conservation of economic prosperity and personal freedom that cheap energy has afforded us?
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isn't it the responsible thing to do to leave as little of an footprint as possible?
As long as my footprint is smaller than Al Gore's I ain't feeling guilty. But wouldn't Third World residents benefit from a larger footprint? By what right can we deprive them of what we've enjoyed?
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isn't it a good thing to simply be responsible stewards of the earth in order to preserve our own health? isn't being wasteful and gluttonous a bad thing?
The Copenhagen treaty would require an 80% cut in Carbon emissions by 2050? Given our population in 2050, each American could have a carbon footprint no larger than an American circa 1825. Now are you prepared to say we have lived gluttonous lives since 1825?
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:45 PM   #197
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The Copenhagen treaty would require an 80% cut in Carbon emissions by 2050? Given our population in 2050, each American could have a carbon footprint no larger than an American circa 1825. Now are you prepared to say we have lived gluttonous lives since 1825?
Of course, if you switch to carbon-free sources of energy like wind, solar, and nuclear power, coupled with the carbon-free fuels that can be generated from such sources like hydrogen fuel, then it is perfectly feasible to cut carbon emissions by 80% with no loss of lifestyle; and, I dare say it, with plentiful energy unrestricted by commodities market fluctuations and the looming prospect of scarcity, the future stands to have lives that are exponentially better than today. Just imagine if we could take our electrical and fuel sources for granted as much as, say, a light bulb? We are constantly surrounded by light sources and, more importantly, the applications that are possible--such as, say, televisions and computer monitors--thanks to innovations applied to it since then. There are tremendous limitations to what we can do from here, thanks to our stubborn insistence on sticking to a 19th century approach--that is, an over-reliance on inherently limited and nonrenewable fossil fuels--to energy.

Climate change or no, the longer we insist on sticking with coal and oil, the longer we will stagnate and decline economically. And you're right...the third-world will insist on improving their lifestyles. All the more it is imperative that we immediately move beyond fossil fuels.
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Old 12-02-2009, 05:53 PM   #198
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All the difference. It's the difference between renewable energy being economically feasible as opposed to be propped up with subsidies and taxes on competing forms of energy. It's the difference between using sacrifice, as opposed to the luxury of prosperity, to solve an expensive problem.


Yes, but so is energy abundance and affordability.

Yes, lead and sulfur dioxide are pollutants making up a small percentage of fossil fuel emissions. Carbon on the other hand is 75 to 90 percent. You can't call carbon a pollutant anymore than you can call oxygen and H2O pollutants because they cause rust.

Yes, but who opposes cheaper, "shovel ready" alternatives like nuclear energy or Drillbabydrill?

Does that include the conservation of economic prosperity and personal freedom that cheap energy has afforded us?

As long as my footprint is smaller than Al Gore's I ain't feeling guilty. But wouldn't Third World residents benefit from a larger footprint? By what right can we deprive them of what we've enjoyed?


The Copenhagen treaty would require an 80% cut in Carbon emissions by 2050? Given our population in 2050, each American could have a carbon footprint no larger than an American circa 1825. Now are you prepared to say we have lived gluttonous lives since 1825?


so, really you're just being contrarian in order to remain loyal to your chosen political side?

also, i find it funny when people say that alternative energy is "propped-up" and "subsidized" -- as if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Gulf Wars 1 and 2 oil isn't.
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:01 PM   #199
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Of course, if you switch to carbon-free sources of energy like wind, solar, and nuclear power, coupled with the carbon-free fuels that can be generated from such sources like hydrogen fuel, then it is perfectly feasible to cut carbon emissions by 80% with no loss of lifestyle, and, I dare say it, with plentiful energy unrestricted by commodities market fluctuations and the looming prospect of scarcity, the future stands to have lives that are exponentially better than today. Just imagine if we could take our electrical and fuel sources for granted as much as, say, a light bulb? We are constantly surrounded by light sources and, more importantly, the applications that are possible--such as, say, televisions and computer monitors--thanks to innovations applied to it since then. There are tremendous limitations to what we can do from here, thanks to our stubborn insistence on sticking to a 19th century approach--that is, an over-reliance on inherently limited and nonrenewable fossil fuels--to energy.

Climate change or no, the longer we insist on sticking with coal and oil, the longer we will stagnate and decline economically. And you're right...the third-world will insist on improving their lifestyles. All the more it is imperative that we immediately move beyond fossil fuels.
Again, who has the STOP sign out on nuclear power?

I would hope we have alternatives by 2050 but are we more likely to make the technological gains necessary by squeezing off economic growth or with a robust, albeit for now fossil fuel driven, economy? Are not the cleanest countries also the most prosperous?
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:03 PM   #200
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Again, who has the STOP sign out on nuclear power?

at $10bn a plant? that's a lot of socialism. think of all the wars we could fight with that money.


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I would hope we have alternatives by 2050 but are we more likely to make the technological gains necessary by squeezing off economic growth or with a robust, albeit for now fossil fuel driven, economy? Are not the cleanest countries also the most prosperous?

gas tax! gas tax! $1 a gallon!
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Old 12-02-2009, 06:09 PM   #201
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i don't feel like reading through this whole thread.

so....is Global Warming still real? was Dennis Quaid right?
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Old 12-02-2009, 07:25 PM   #202
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On Nov. 2, The Wall Street Journal's Jeffrey Ball reported some inconvenient data. Soon after the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—it shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the Thinking Man's Thinking Man—reported that global warming is "unequivocal," there came evidence that the planet's temperature is beginning to cool. "That," Ball writes, "has led to one point of agreement: The models are imperfect."

Meanwhile, however, the crusade against warming will brook no interference from information. With the Waxman-Markey bill, the House of Representatives has endorsed reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to 83 per-cent below 2005 levels by 2050. This is surely the most preposterous legislation ever hatched in the House. Using Energy Department historical statistics, Kenneth P. Green and Steven F. Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute have calculated this:

Waxman-Markey's goal is just slightly more than 1 billion tons of greenhouse-gas emissions in 2050. The last time this nation had that small an amount was 1910, when there were only 92 million Americans, 328 million fewer than the 420 million projected for 2050. To meet the 83 percent reduction target in a nation of 420 million, per capita carbon-dioxide emissions would have to be no more than 2.4 tons per person, which is one quarter the per capita emissions of 1910, a level probably last seen when the population was 45 million—in 1875.
George Will: The Truth About Global Warming | Newsweek George F. Will | Newsweek.com
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:19 PM   #203
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oh, 1875 rather than 1825, but preposterous certainly sums it up.

Hitch-up your wagon America.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:30 PM   #204
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oh, 1875 rather than 1825, but preposterous certainly sums it up.

Hitch-up your wagon America.
Let's see how "advanced" the U.S. will be with $200+/bbl oil and third-world nations no longer contented to be mere producers and exporters of goods to feed the voracious American appetite for consumption. That's precisely what you'll get by doing nothing at all.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:35 PM   #205
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Again, who has the STOP sign out on nuclear power?

I would hope we have alternatives by 2050 but are we more likely to make the technological gains necessary by squeezing off economic growth or with a robust, albeit for now fossil fuel driven, economy? Are not the cleanest countries also the most prosperous?
Infrastructure requires long-term vision and investment--neither of which is possible when corporations are more interested in meeting quarterly profit targets. What did California's utility companies do once they went private? Did they magically increase production? No, they cut it and raised prices. This kind of short-term thinking by corporate America will do nothing to advance progress when it is far more profitable to cut production and raise prices on products with few real competitors and fairly inelastic demand like electricity.

When we wanted to build the Internet, land on the moon, or even create the atomic bomb, it required both the vision and long-term R&D that generally only government is willing to do. I find it doubtful that our superficially "magnanimous" private sector will suddenly change their behaviours and actually accomplish these key national security goals without being compelled to.
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:40 PM   #206
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oh, 1875 rather than 1825, but preposterous certainly sums it up.

Hitch-up your wagon America.

Hitch up to what?

A Chevy Tahoe...

...Or a donkey (83 percent reduction of carbon!!!)
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:17 PM   #207
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Infrastructure requires long-term vision and investment--neither of which is possible when corporations are more interested in meeting quarterly profit targets.
They are hindered by overburdening regulations and an uncertain political environment as well.

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What did California's utility companies do once they went private? Did they magically increase production? No, they cut it and raised prices. This kind of short-term thinking by corporate America will do nothing to advance progress when it is far more profitable to cut production and raise prices on products with few real competitors and fairly inelastic demand like electricity.

When we wanted to build the Internet, land on the moon, or even create the atomic bomb, it required both the vision and long-term R&D that generally only government is willing to do. I find it doubtful that our superficially "magnanimous" private sector will suddenly change their behaviours and actually accomplish these key national security goals without being compelled to.
Large, single goal projects no doubt require the resources of government but I give you the example of the phone as proof that competition and profit can change the behavior of private enterprise. We went from phones remaining unchanged under a monopoly for 30 years to phones that are now obsolete before their warranty can even run out.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:32 PM   #208
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Large, single goal projects no doubt require the resources of government but I give you the example of the phone as proof that competition and profit can change the behavior of private enterprise. We went from phones remaining unchanged under a monopoly for 30 years to phones that are now obsolete before their warranty can even run out.
Of course, this was after decades of regulation and universal service requirements. Undoubtedly, there is such a thing as outdated regulations, and it is good that AT&T was forcibly broken up in the name of competition.

Nonetheless, look at what these same companies have done with the internet. With no universal service requirements, they're content to pick and choose where they want to roll out high-speed internet, and they are nowhere near as fast or cheap as, say, South Korea and Japan, where the broadband rollout was mandated. And competition, in all but the largest of markets, is as elusive as ever.

I'd say that the lesson worth learning here is that we need ambitious vision and regulation to build the infrastructure, but once enough time has passed, many of the regulations can be lessened, as long-term ambitions can give way to short-sighted profiteering.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:40 PM   #209
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Let's see how "advanced" the U.S. will be with $200+/bbl oil and third-world nations no longer contented to be mere producers and exporters of goods to feed the voracious American appetite for consumption. That's precisely what you'll get by doing nothing at all.
Cap and Trade schemes would only make matters worse as our industries would only "outsource" work to countries with cheaper energy and no burden of a carbon cap. We would no longer import crude for example but also refined gasoline as domestic refineries closed (taking jobs with them) in this country.

For economic reasons (no other source can compete with the energy density of fossil fuels) and because of their nature (the supply of renewable energies rarely corresponds with energy demand), carbon based energy is not going away anytime soon. And to hasten its demise on the basis of speculative, politically-polluted science hardly seems prudent.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:51 PM   #210
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Nonetheless, look at what these same companies have done with the internet. With no universal service requirements, they're content to pick and choose where they want to roll out high-speed internet, and they are nowhere near as fast or cheap as, say, South Korea and Japan, where the broadband rollout was mandated. And competition, in all but the largest of markets, is as elusive as ever.
Well, a bit out of my causal knowledge base here, but it would be interesting to know if those other countries didn't pay handsomely for the benefits you describe indirectly through taxes or partial nationalization of telecommunication companies. Again, I don't know. But I do know the United States is a hell of a lot larger than those two countries, with 50 separate sets of regulations to boot, which can only slow and add costs to such rollouts.
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