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Old 02-15-2011, 10:09 PM   #616
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I have never agreed that we can just trash the planet.

My question has been about the scare tactics being used by the doom day prophets of "Climate Change."

Are we heretics if we question their science or opinion?
I can agree with this. Some people are taking it too far to fit an agenda. But this happens on both sides: extreme environmentalists who are divorced from reality, and climate change skeptics who are, well, divorced from reality.

The issue with climate change is one of communication. Generally speaking, the media does a poor job of reporting the facts and too often ends up mixing science and politics.

An interesting initiative from Google was announced today in this regard:

Google Science Communication Fellows
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:14 PM   #617
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Errrrrr...no.

I've heard Inhofe's take on global warming (and other various issues). He's an idiot.

Angela
Have fun with the tax increases! And when the climate continues to naturally change you'll have to scratch your head as to what was accomplished.

BTW I assure you there are many intelligent people on both sides of the debate that would not look at him as an idiot. I sware Democrats must be drooling to start a depression. There should be some basic economics courses taught in high school that explain how economic growth works. Energy taxes will be passed on to the consumer lowering their disposable income. Tell me does that increase the pace of the growth in the economy or decrease it? And what is the U6 U.S. unemployment rate before an energy tax is implemented?



No I don't think he's an idiot. In order to actually stop the human increase of CO2 in the world atmosphere you would have to shutdown all coal plants now and stop driving cars and stop taking vacations with plane travel. Where are the travel agents going to work? A smaller green tax will hurt but not enough to stop the use of fossil fuels (because they will still be cheaper than wind and solar) so what's the point? What are we playing with 1 to 2 degrees of warming (assuming the models are correct)? The IPCC predictions of 6 degrees increase is total BS. There is no realistic technology coming to replace fossil fuel for decades if not more. Government should be funding prototypes and when they are ready for primetime there will be venture capitalists who will want to take that on.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:44 AM   #618
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Thank God for Senator Inhofe! See Republicans are looking out for the next generation. They are going to prevent more lost jobs from higher energy prices so that there will be a future. That will include jobs for Democrats who can't get a "green" job.
Higher energy prices are inevitable. Our growing population is using too many resources, particularly of the fossil fuel kind, to keep prices low. We would do well to conserve and cut back simply to manage supply, nevermind what burning those energy stores may be doing to the environment.

Jobs?
Good luck finding and keeping a job when people on the coasts are forced to move inland due to rising sea levels.
The U.S. could barely deal with the displacement of people caused by New Orleans being flooded.

Again, we had better hope climate change is mostly human caused so that we can effect a change. If these simply are Nature's forces at work, we are fucked.
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Old 02-16-2011, 05:42 PM   #619
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Have you guys heard about Tesla Motors and Elon Musk?

It's an electric car manufacturer that is going to revolutionize the electric car industry with some upcoming models. They are developing the technology each day that even GM and Nissan have already launched the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf respectively.

Tesla Motors | Premium Electric Vehicles
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:42 PM   #620
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Tesla's been around for a while now. The roadster, while a pretty significant statement technically and environmentally, has pretty much been a novelty for the rich so far. I think the real test will be their gorgeous (and impressively spec'd) upcoming sedan. If that can gain them some legitimate interest (and, more importantly, meaningful marketshare) in the luxury crowd, and if the Volt lives up to the hype, then we should hopefully see the rest of the automakers take electric cars seriously.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:23 PM   #621
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Have fun with the tax increases! And when the climate continues to naturally change you'll have to scratch your head as to what was accomplished.
How much will it cost to adapt to climate change? A view held by many is that the costs of adaptation considerably outweigh the costs of mitigation. This is obviously a difficult and debatable analysis since it requires us to quantify the value of life, political stability, and a host of highly complex systems over long periods of time.

That raises one problem with this whole issue: it will be very difficult to quantify success. Arguing that things would have been much worse if we had not acted properly may be valid but will probably not be of much comfort for most people, I'm afraid.


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I sware Democrats must be drooling to start a depression.
Come on.

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There should be some basic economics courses taught in high school that explain how economic growth works. Energy taxes will be passed on to the consumer lowering their disposable income. Tell me does that increase the pace of the growth in the economy or decrease it? And what is the U6 U.S. unemployment rate before an energy tax is implemented?
What you're forgetting are all the externalities related to life-cycle use of fossil energy. While their wholesale / retail price is quite low, their overall cost is much larger. This failure to properly set the price of the commodity keeps prices artificially low and does us no service.

In any case, energy prices will increase. Fossil fuel reserves are limited - oil especially - and demand is increasing at a breakneck speed. The recession put a stop to the rise in oil and commodity prices, but it is likely that this will only prove to be temporary. Then what will we do? As energy prices increase, alternative sources will become more attractive and will be developed. A price on carbon could help speed up this transition; but regardless, it is inevitable. Countries that were prime movers in these new markets will sustain strong growth and job creation. The link between innovation and growth should also be taught in school...


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No I don't think he's an idiot. In order to actually stop the human increase of CO2 in the world atmosphere you would have to shutdown all coal plants now and stop driving cars and stop taking vacations with plane travel. Where are the travel agents going to work? A smaller green tax will hurt but not enough to stop the use of fossil fuels (because they will still be cheaper than wind and solar) so what's the point?
I'd like to see your numbers on those last points. In many cases, conservation and efficiency measures are already cheaper than fossil fuels. Solar is still ways out; wind is catching up and in some regions viable. But these guys are just the usual suspects, there is much more to mitigation than wind and solar. Here again, it will become important to consider the total cost of energy, not just the wholesale / retail price of the fuel itself.

That being said, a step change would indeed be required to achieve the 1-2C targets. This won't happen, we won't stop travelling or driving. But this doesn't mean that we shouldn't do anything and keep our energy model - it is becoming increasingly clear that it is not sustainable, whether because of environmental stresses, geopolitical issues, or supply / demand considerations. Gradual changes are most definitely possible, and scores of innovations are just waiting for the right price signal to emerge.

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What are we playing with 1 to 2 degrees of warming (assuming the models are correct)? The IPCC predictions of 6 degrees increase is total BS. There is no realistic technology coming to replace fossil fuel for decades if not more. Government should be funding prototypes and when they are ready for primetime there will be venture capitalists who will want to take that on.
Interesting to see you suggest that government should invest in select technologies - pretty far from your free-market ideals. In any case, this can be a good step, but it is often inefficient, while putting a price on carbon helps the market innovate where it is most cost efficient.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:58 PM   #622
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In any case, energy prices will increase. Fossil fuel reserves are limited - oil especially - and demand is increasing at a breakneck speed. The recession put a stop to the rise in oil and commodity prices, but it is likely that this will only prove to be temporary. Then what will we do? As energy prices increase, alternative sources will become more attractive and will be developed. A price on carbon could help speed up this transition; but regardless, it is inevitable. Countries that were prime movers in these new markets will sustain strong growth and job creation. The link between innovation and growth should also be taught in school...
There is speculation from the Wikileaks documents about Saudi Arabia's oil that we already may have hit peak oil.
Regardless of when we hit peak oil, we should be saving petroleum for its use in other things. Our modern lives can use something else to power our engines, but it is far more difficult to replace oil in plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers.

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I'd like to see your numbers on those last points. In many cases, conservation and efficiency measures are already cheaper than fossil fuels. Solar is still ways out; wind is catching up and in some regions viable. But these guys are just the usual suspects, there is more to mitigation than wind and solar. Here again, it will become important to consider the total cost of energy, not just the wholesale / retail price of the fuel itself.
New, efficiently-sited wind farms have the same kW/h cost as new coal plants. That is a no-brainer.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:04 PM   #623
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Tesla's been around for a while now. The roadster, while a pretty significant statement technically and environmentally, has pretty much been a novelty for the rich so far. I think the real test will be their gorgeous (and impressively spec'd) upcoming sedan. If that can gain them some legitimate interest (and, more importantly, meaningful marketshare) in the luxury crowd, and if the Volt lives up to the hype, then we should hopefully see the rest of the automakers take electric cars seriously.
Honda's plug-in hybrid and electric Fit will roll out for the 2012 model year.
I'm sure they won't be cheap, but reliable? Oh hell yeah Honda.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:23 PM   #624
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There is speculation from the Wikileaks documents about Saudi Arabia's oil that we already may have hit peak oil.
Regardless of when we hit peak oil, we should be saving petroleum for its use in other things. Our modern lives can use something else to power our engines, but it is far more difficult to replace oil in plastics, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers.
I read those wikileaks cables - quite interesting. It's getting hard to trust reserve estimates, since there is just so much at stake.

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New, efficiently-sited wind farms have the same kW/h cost as new coal plants. That is a no-brainer.
This is good progress. Hopefully prices keep moving in this direction.

But coal plants still have strong advantages: steady, reliable power output; much larger capacity per project; few siting constraints; good financing opportunities (at the moment). These buggers are tough to take out.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:42 PM   #625
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Higher energy prices are inevitable. Our growing population is using too many resources, particularly of the fossil fuel kind, to keep prices low. We would do well to conserve and cut back simply to manage supply, nevermind what burning those energy stores may be doing to the environment.
Most hikes have more to do with moratoriums on drilling, futures gamblers and an oil cartel. The irony is that even with energy taxes it's still cheaper than nuclear.

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Jobs?
Good luck finding and keeping a job when people on the coasts are forced to move inland due to rising sea levels.
The U.S. could barely deal with the displacement of people caused by New Orleans being flooded.
Only alarmists talk this way. Sea level has been rising since the little ice age. Was that all industry? It also moves up and down over time as opposed to a steady increase:

Sea level may drop in 2010 | Watts Up With That?

All the wild propaganda of quick floods (like James Hansen's prediction New York would be flooded by the year 2000) is just that, agitation/propaganda.

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One fact is certain. A drop in sea level for 2 of the past 5 years is a strong indicator that a changing sea level is not a great concern. In order for the IPCC prediction to be correct of a 1m increase in sea level by 2100, the rate must be almost 11 mm/yr every year for the next 89 years. Since the rate is dropping, it makes the prediction increasingly unlikely. Not even once in the past 20 years has that rate ever been achieved. The average rate of 2.7 mm/yr is only 25% of the rate needed for the IPCC prediction to be correct.

This is yet another serious blow the accuracy of the official IPCC predictions for the coming century. The fact that CO2 levels have been higher in the last 5 years that have the lowest rate of rise than the years with lower CO2 levels is a strong indicator that the claims of CO2 are grossly exaggerated.
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Again, we had better hope climate change is mostly human caused so that we can effect a change. If these simply are Nature's forces at work, we are fucked.
Sorry but man doesn't have that much power (though we all like to think we do, especially politicians).
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:50 PM   #626
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Sorry but man doesn't have that much power (though we all like to think we do, especially politicians).
No, we don't. The hydrocarbons that we burn for energy do.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:32 PM   #627
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How much will it cost to adapt to climate change? A view held by many is that the costs of adaptation considerably outweigh the costs of mitigation. This is obviously a difficult and debatable analysis since it requires us to quantify the value of life, political stability, and a host of highly complex systems over long periods of time.
And with the Copenhagen Consensus you have the opposite view. The third world wants our standard of living and it would be hypocritical to be pro Bono's philanthropy but prevent the third world from growing. Wind and solar is not going to hack it. Since there is no technology that can replace fossil fuels we would have to wait until someone like Craig Venter can create enough bacteria to convert CO2 into octane in large enough quantities, or new nuclear fusion technologies move from prototype to something safe and viable.

Fusion power - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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That raises one problem with this whole issue: it will be very difficult to quantify success. Arguing that things would have been much worse if we had not acted properly may be valid but will probably not be of much comfort for most people, I'm afraid.
The major problem is what is natural and what is man made. That hasn't been even close to be proven:



Aren't we supposed to have more storms now? Is Global Warming/Climate Change supposed to have less winter or more winter? No matter what happens the AGW types say they predicted it. It also becomes fishy when you have supposed scientists using El Nino and La Nina variations as proof of AGW.

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Come on.
Go tell that to the Spanish. Even they ditched their solar subsidies. At 20% unemployment and a horrible budget, economic realities appear. The U.S. isn't immune to the same story. If I wanted a depression I would follow the same course of action. Whether it's intended or not it hurts. Though I should qualify my words because SOME Democrats are against wiping out coal because they have constituents that would vote them out if they did.

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What you're forgetting are all the externalities related to life-cycle use of fossil energy. While their wholesale / retail price is quite low, their overall cost is much larger. This failure to properly set the price of the commodity keeps prices artificially low and does us no service.

In any case, energy prices will increase. Fossil fuel reserves are limited - oil especially - and demand is increasing at a breakneck speed. The recession put a stop to the rise in oil and commodity prices, but it is likely that this will only prove to be temporary. Then what will we do? As energy prices increase, alternative sources will become more attractive and will be developed. A price on carbon could help speed up this transition; but regardless, it is inevitable. Countries that were prime movers in these new markets will sustain strong growth and job creation. The link between innovation and growth should also be taught in school...
Are we in the middle ages with "just prices" that Aquinas supported? There is no clairvoyance to special knowledge to allow bureaucrats to set the price. The artificial price would be after cap and trade. Even the current prices are somewhat artificial because of regulation and a cartel. You totally ignore the European experience. Green jobs cost jobs overall. Higher energy prices means you will have less money in your pocket to buy and save, meaning lost jobs. If green jobs could gain jobs they would have to be not only better than nuclear is right now but be close to fossil fuels. In which case we would be celebrating because lots of people would want to invest in cheaper energy sources.

Our move to green energy is going to be much slower than you want because of economics. This is already happening in Spain and Germany. They stuggle with just the most basic targets to meet.

We do teach about innovation in school but the problem here is that the AGW supporters want growth without the innovation.

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I'd like to see your numbers on those last points. In many cases, conservation and efficiency measures are already cheaper than fossil fuels. Solar is still ways out; wind is catching up and in some regions viable. But these guys are just the usual suspects, there is much more to mitigation than wind and solar. Here again, it will become important to consider the total cost of energy, not just the wholesale / retail price of the fuel itself.
You just answered it. Solar and wind can't replace it so what technology related to your point of "In many cases" are you talking about? At best nuclear can replace coal but we don't want all countries to have nuclear because many would like to use it for more nefarious reasons than energy. If the U.S. did it there would have to be some decades to build it and we still would use oil and natural gas as well. I would love to see Obama actually pushing for nuclear instead of just talking about it.

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That being said, a step change would indeed be required to achieve the 1-2C targets. This won't happen, we won't stop travelling or driving. But this doesn't mean that we shouldn't do anything and keep our energy model - it is becoming increasingly clear that it is not sustainable, whether because of environmental stresses, geopolitical issues, or supply / demand considerations. Gradual changes are most definitely possible, and scores of innovations are just waiting for the right price signal to emerge.
Yes it will be gradual and the market will exploit cheap energy sources whether they are green or not. BTW we don't have any scientific smoking gun that can actually predict with models exactly our progress of 1-2C when nature has more variability than that.



CO2 is hardly the main climate driver. The climate models are too reductive to predict well. When the natural climate wants to go into an ice age 10 times the CO2 doesn't affect it. CO2 creates marginal warming. Once the blanket is set adding more is not going to kill the planet. We would have to run out of fossil fuels to actually try and aim for the Cambrian period. Doubling CO2 will have little effect.

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Interesting to see you suggest that government should invest in select technologies - pretty far from your free-market ideals. In any case, this can be a good step, but it is often inefficient, while putting a price on carbon helps the market innovate where it is most cost efficient.
I don't have "pure" free market ideals. What does that mean? Should I be against all government? Should NASA never go into space? Government needs to be limited because the private sector can only pay so much one generation at a time. The U.S.'s current budget will send the country into a debt crisis. We can't afford billions of dollars of green taxes. I'd rather have prototypes created that prove themselves before we foist them on the general public.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:33 PM   #628
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No, we don't. The hydrocarbons that we burn for energy do.
No because we will still have natural cyclical variations that will do more damage to us than burning hydrocarbons.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:52 PM   #629
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The major problem is what is natural and what is man made. That hasn't been even close to be proven:

Graph Tip #1: Always label your axes. Otherwise I'm going to have to assume that graph is indicating the melting ice caps.
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:06 AM   #630
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So we'll stop polluting when we run out of fossil fuels? Cool. Because honestly, the difference will be like ten years.

Peak oil is closing in.
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