Mad Mike

I want to sue the republican party for willful denial of scientific evidence about climate change.

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twa's proposal...

1) finally after years of denial admit that global warming is occurring

2) after years of denial of human contribution toward global warming finally admit that humans are contributing

3) reject any idea that doesn't fix the whole problem in one stroke because jobs are more important than an environment in which people live, breathe, eat and drink.

4) when confronted reply with snarky and dismissive attitude that blissfully ignores the devastation that even moderate rises sea level will cause, not to mention the damage that desalination will wrought.

5) maintain status quo

 

1 I've been well aware we have been coming out of a ice age

2 the amount of contribution has always been a sticking point, for me and any other reasonable person

3 on the contrary, I have proposed and supported numerous solutions

4 trying to stop the sea is a tall order, desalination done right is beneficial....but I don't expect some to grasp those things (/snark)

5 work to transform both the energy market and economy....and clean the environment

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I don't know that cap and trade is the right way to go about "fixing it". It might be, but boy do I get the "sleazy government corruption" vibe with cap and trade. As in, the companies with all the money will actually benefit and the small businesses will be hurt by it.

 

 

That's a good point.  Almost any economist will tell you that the best way to fix the problem is a straightforward carbon tax.  However, that is politically unpalatable in this country.  

 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/09/climate-policy

Edited by Predicto

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Exactly Larry.

Hate typing on the phone so more later. I've been interested in/studying meteorology most of my life so of course I and any one who's researched will know about different pollutants but the everyday man will not.

More later

 

It is a lie that is going to be quickly called out by intelligent people on the other side (and intellectually honest people on both sides).

 

You don't have to to do much with respect CO2 emissions to clean up smog or related things like acid rain.

 

And with the web and spread of information today and even "neutral" sites like factcheck politofact it will quickly and thoroughly debunked.

 

The end result is that what you want done won't happen and you'll lose credibility to push for solutions in the future.

 

In terms of a carbon tax, this guy in the chair of economics at Harvard.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/business/a-carbon-tax-that-america-could-live-with.html?_r=0

 

He was also an economics advisor to President Bush and the Romney campaign.

 

There are prominent conservative economists that support a carbon tax.

 

(I will point out that most cap and trade plans exclude small businesses.)

Edited by PeterMP

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 don't think this is true in any real significant manner. The Republicans have talked about supporting nuclear and even passed a couple of laws, but what have they really done to advance nuclear power. 

 

Nah. R's have spoken about nuclear power for decades, but it was a political non-starter much like ANWR. Your Obama example is like R's with prescription drugs for seniors. D's were pushing that before Bush, but Bush and his Congress got that done. It was only when the Ds came along on nuclear that something had any chance of getting done. That's what you're seeing with Obama and nuclear now. If anything, R's would prefer he be much more aggressive.

 

The rise of natural gas is directly tied to the decrease usage of coal. As using coal became less economically efficient due to environmental regulations, industry has moved to the next best things, which is natural gas.

And this is a case where the Dems can't actually claim all of the credit because Bush 1 and the clean air act.

But that had essentially nothing to do with climate change via CO2 and is something that the Republicans have and are actually pushing back against in a consistent manner today.

I also think that a lot of our reduction in CO2 is tied to the increase in gas prices and the resulting increase effeciency of the US car fleet (how many Hummers do you see on the road today as compared to the 1990s?), and the general economic down turn, which is partly coupled with and to out sourcing of industry.

I'm also not a huge fan of the rise of natural gas as tied to fracking, especially in developed areas. At some level, I suspect that lowering CO2 by going to more natural gas obtained from fracking is the equivalent to biting your nose to spite your face.

 

 

Use of natural gas is also tied to new access to public and private lands. Gas is much more available and cheaper to extract. I'd guess that's the number one factor toward economic viability, but I don't know how much more expensive coal was prior to Obama, when gas really took off. 

 

R's have supported this and continue to, though I agree the reason is economic/political, not publicly about CO2. Either way, the net replacement of coal is good for lowering CO2, and it's the R's who want to do more of that.

 

Re: biting your nose to spite your face, I simply don't agree. If more CO2 is the problem, the fastest, most economically advantageous way to do that is to continue expansion of natural gas. Over the medium term, generating power from nuclear would then replace natural gas, at which point gas would transition more to other nations for power and even our automobiles, if bio/electric cars aren't ready.

 

I don't think the Republicans have affectively supported any policy with respect to preventing climate change or mitigating climate change for that purpose.

And I think the last time that it actually happened at all (affectively) was the first George Bush and one of the reasons he lost that election was issues with the right not being happy with respect to the relevant law and its a law Republicans have tried to undermine and replace since.

 

 

I don't disagree with this as a rationale for R policy, but the truth is that R policies would have helped mitigate our current and mid-term problems and it's frequently the D's who don't support. I also acknowledge that the D's have supported what they consider better alternatives, like solar. It's important to acknowledge their rationale in all of this, which I do (try to, at least).

 

**EDIT**

With respect to national security, the all of the above approach makes sense.

 

But with respect to preventing climate change, it isn't likely to get the job done.  Given the huge historical advantages that fossil fuels have in terms of infrastructure and government it isn't likely going to get the job done.

 

Alt. energy approaches are getting better and in some cases and in some areas of the US they are really close if not there with respect to being economically effecient to fossil fuels.

 

But that isn't enough in terms of them being adapted even in those area's of the country.

 

With respect to climate change, you have to do something to shift the economics (e.g. cap and trade) to prevent climate change, or you should be talking about mitigating the effects. 

 

 

I think a lot of things are done far from perfectly, but I don't think throwing out moderate improvements while waiting for better ones is very smart, particularly considering that new energy sources will likely add costs and the rest of the world won't simply accept those costs in the short run.

 

If you think that solar, bio, etc., are about to be economically viable, I might change my position. However, I think the lead time on those is still long (infrastructure will follow science by a decade or more in most of the world), and an incremental approach is probably smarter to mitigate the problem in the short/medium term. 

 

This is particularly true if you think that climate models are at or under selling the problem. After all, while moderate changes will mitigate the problem, it would still exist and be observable, so the world will theoretically still be compelled to act in the next 20-30 years, even with a less bad problem.

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That's a good point.  Almost any economist will tell you that the best way to fix the problem is a straightforward carbon tax.  However, that is politically unpalatable in this country.  

 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2011/09/climate-policy

 

I've wished many times for a straightforward carbon tax....I enjoy a good riot.

 

if people knew the true costs/impacts of policies we would have more of them

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I also chimed in, explaining why "all of above" is basically a way to avoid acknowledging that fossil fuels have long term costs that are not being paid right now.

Subsidies that we currently have for fossil fuels need to stop. Government needs to take action and begin the drive to factor in long term costs of fossil fuels.

GOP uses two approaches to fight this

1) deflect the conversation with "all of the above"

2) if the conversation starts, engage in fear and tax mongering

 

One common argument given by republicans is that the government has no business subsidizing alternative fuels but the truth is that they area expecting alternative fuels to beat the cost of traditional fuels that are subsidized already through massive tax breaks.

www.taxpayer.net/images/uploads/downloads/TCS_ETR_Report.pdf

 

 

According to their financial statements, 20 of the largest oil and gas companies reported a total of $133.3 billion in U.S. pre-tax income from 2009 through 2013. These companies reported total federal income taxes during this period of $32.1 billion, giving them a federal effective tax rate (ETR) of 24.0 percent. Special provisions in the U.S. tax code allowed these companies to defer payment of more than half of this tax bill. This group of companies actually paid $15.6 billion in income taxes to the federal government during the last five years, equal to 11.7 percent of their U.S. pre-tax income. This measure, the amount of U.S. income tax paid regularly every tax period (i.e. not deferred), is known as the “current” tax rate.

 

Four of the companies in this study ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Occidental, and Chevron account for 84 percent of all the income and paid 85 percent of all the taxes for the entire group. These four had an ETR of 24.4 percent and a current ETR of only

 

13.3 percent. The smaller firms paid an even smaller share of their tax liability on a current basis. When the top four

companies and those with losses are excluded from the analysis, the remaining companies reported a 28.9 percent ETR on U.S. income, but only a 3.7 percent current rate. They deferred over 87 percent of their tax liability. 

 

GOP blocks tax hikes for oil companies - USATODAY.com

 

 

The massive tax measure marked a sharp turn from longtime congressional support of the oil industry to promoting alternative energy development and moving toward energy sources that would help deal with the growing concerns over global warming.

 

But Republicans complained that it was too harsh on the oil industry and could lead to oil companies reducing investments in new oil refineries and production. They also said that it could lead to higher prices for consumers.

"When you put a tax on a business it gets passed on to consumers," argued Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz. "Instead of reducing gasoline prices, this bill is going to add to the cost of gasoline."

Edited by Mad Mike

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Nah. R's have spoken about nuclear power for decades, but it was a political non-starter much like ANWR. Your Obama example is like R's with prescription drugs for seniors. D's were pushing that before Bush, but Bush and his Congress got that done. It was only when the Ds came along on nuclear that something had any chance of getting done. That's what you're seeing with Obama and nuclear now. If anything, R's would prefer he be much more aggressive.

I don't think this is true.

Obama has asked for more money to be budgeted for loan guarantees in several of his budgets and that has not been approved by Congress, including the House.

The Republicans are for nuclear in the context that industry will build the nuclear power plants by themselves, but that isn't gong to happen due to the expense of building nuclear power plants and them only becoming cost effective over long periods of times (essentially building a nuclear power plant only makes sense if you assume the costs of electricity isn't going to fall dramatically in the next 20 years or so).

 

Republicans like to talk about France when they talk about nuclear, but the nuclear "industry" in France is actually the French government.

How about this, I can find you healthcare plans supported by prominent Democrats that pre-date and were essentially contemporary with Bush that were more extensive then then the prescription drug bill.

Can you find me a current prominent Republican that actually has an actual plan to advance nuclear energy in this country that goes beyond what Obama wants (more money for loan guarantees)?

 

Use of natural gas is also tied to new access to public and private lands. Gas is much more available and cheaper to extract. I'd guess that's the number one factor toward economic viability, but I don't know how much more expensive coal was prior to Obama, when gas really took off. 

 

R's have supported this and continue to, though I agree the reason is economic/political, not publicly about CO2. Either way, the net replacement of coal is good for lowering CO2, and it's the R's who want to do more of that.

Private and even state land (where a lot of fracking is going on in PA) is completely independent of the federal government.

 

I don't think much of the increase in natural gas is tied to the opening of more federal lands. I think it is tied to the price of coal, the costs generating electricity from coal (e.g. new mercury standards go into affect in 2015, which would require even old coal plants to buy and install new technology) and the fear of what (near) future costs are going to be (e.g. what are the waste water requirements going to be), and the development of new (fracking) technology/practices.

 

Re: biting your nose to spite your face, I simply don't agree. If more CO2 is the problem, the fastest, most economically advantageous way to do that is to continue expansion of natural gas. Over the medium term, generating power from nuclear would then replace natural gas, at which point gas would transition more to other nations for power and even our automobiles, if bio/electric cars aren't ready.

Because CO2 driven climate change isn't the ONLY problem that we have.

And if your solution to global warming doesn't really fix the problem AND apparently at least in some cases causes earthquakes and ground water contamination in developed areas, then I'm not sure the trade off is really that great.

 

I don't disagree with this as a rationale for R policy, but the truth is that R policies would have helped mitigate our current and mid-term problems and it's frequently the D's who don't support. I also acknowledge that the D's have supported what they consider better alternatives, like solar. It's important to acknowledge their rationale in all of this, which I do (try to, at least).

 

 

I think a lot of things are done far from perfectly, but I don't think throwing out moderate improvements while waiting for better ones is very smart, particularly considering that new energy sources will likely add costs and the rest of the world won't simply accept those costs in the short run.

 

If you think that solar, bio, etc., are about to be economically viable, I might change my position. However, I think the lead time on those is still long (infrastructure will follow science by a decade or more in most of the world), and an incremental approach is probably smarter to mitigate the problem in the short/medium term. 

 

This is particularly true if you think that climate models are at or under selling the problem. After all, while moderate changes will mitigate the problem, it would still exist and be observable, so the world will theoretically still be compelled to act in the next 20-30 years, even with a less bad problem.

I don't think anybody is claiming from a climate change perspective we should throw out natural gas, but fracking at least in some areas appears to have its own set of problems.

(And there are actually questions with respect to climate change how much of an advantage is natural gas from fracking because of issues related to fracking itself (things like methane leakage).)

If we were talking about natural gas (expansion) without fracking, it would be a different story, but we aren't.

So the question becomes what is the advantage vs. what is the disadvantage.

How much time (if any) have you actually bought yourself and at what (other) costs?

And I'm not even saying we should stop fracking. I've said here several times in multiple threads, it should have probably been done more slowly with more work to understand the long(er) term impacts and implications.

(I'll point out that I'm not actually very pro-nuclear partly because of the issue I've raised above about the costs only being recouped over long periods of time, and the consequences when something goes wrong (even in TMI, they have a nuclear reactor sitting there that they don't do anything with.). I think it is likely we missed the boat on nuclear in terms of an economically efficient way to produce energy over the life time of the plant (especially accounting for the time to build them). I don't strongly oppose it, but I doubt it is the best decision. TMI happened at the worse point in time from that perspective.)

Edited by PeterMP

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I think it is likely we missed the boat on nuclear in terms of an economically efficient way to produce energy over the life time of the plant (especially accounting for the time to build them). I don't strongly oppose it, but I doubt it is the best decision. TMI happened at the worse point in time from that perspective.)

 

Part of this is because of the Cold War.  We chose the line of nuclear energy technology that would also help us most in making nuclear weapons.  My understanding is that molten salt or molten thorium reactors would be safer, more efficient and vastly less expensive, but we have not invested in the technology.  

 

I'm no expert, but that is what I have read, anyway.  

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Part of this is because of the Cold War.  We chose the line of nuclear energy technology that would also help us most in making nuclear weapons.  My understanding is that molten salt or molten thorium reactors would be safer, more efficient and vastly less expensive, but we have not invested in the technology.  

 

I'm no expert, but that is what I have read, anyway.  

 

This is a bit beyond me too, but my understanding is that thorium reactors (and therefore their real costs and efficiency) are only theoretical in nature.

 

China is "ramping" up their research programs with hopes of being able to construct one in 10 years.

 

If you go back to 1950 and you can make these types of decisions, then things might be different, but in terms of energy now or in the relevant future, I'm dubious that thorium reactors are going to be relevant.

 

http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/Energy-Voices/2014/0328/Thorium-a-safer-nuclear-power

 

(Though, I think it is clear in 20-20 hindsight that Reagan made the wrong decisions in 1980 in terms of military/energy spending/pressure.)

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Thorium may be theoretical, but we and the Russians both made operational molten salt reactors over 50 years ago.  

 

And then abandoned them because light water fission makes all the nice byproducts for all the nice bombs. 

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Thorium may be theoretical, but we and the Russians both made operational molten salt reactors over 50 years ago.  

 

And then abandoned them because light water fission makes all the nice byproducts for all the nice bombs. 

 

they have rather unique safety/maintenance problems that many seem to gloss over like corrosion of the containment vessel.

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they have rather unique safety/maintenance problems that many seem to gloss over like corrosion of the containment vessel.

 

Absolutely true.   I tend to think that kind of problem is not unsolveable given the composite materials we have available to us in 2014, but no one has been working on the molten salt design since the 1960s, so there are no guarantees.

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Absolutely true.   I tend to think that kind of problem is not unsolveable given the composite materials we have available to us in 2014, but no one has been working on the molten salt design since the 1960s, so there are no guarantees.

 

They(including us) have been working on the problems with it,but more keep cropping up, they expect a new working experimental model by 2020.(I expect more issues with it though)

the weapons aspect is one shared with MSR's and not exclusive to our present choices.

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They(including us) have been working on the problems with it,but more keep cropping up, they expect a new working experimental model by 2020.(I expect more issues with it though)

the weapons aspect is one shared with MSR's and not exclusive to our present choices.

 

Yes, in theory an MSR can be used to obtain weapons grade material, but it is much more difficult than it is with traditional reactors.  Or so I have been told.  You appear to know a lot more about this subject than I do, so I will defer to you.  

 

And it's good to hear that we are working on developing MSRs.   I was not aware of that.

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Yes! I also agree that group think can be dangerous!

But the thread is about groupstupid.

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Yes! I also agree that group think can be dangerous!

 I disagree.

 

Dammit.

 

I can't get this stuff right.

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Having spent a little time in the nuclear industry, I'm convinced that there are reactor designs and waste management solutions that make nuclear power a winning choice technically.The question is whether humans can be trusted to operate these completely safe technologies in a sensible way. And the answer time and time again has been proven no.  :(

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they can't operate a motor vehicle either

 

It's a good comparison but the difference is that the worst consequences of an auto accident are rarely more than a handful of casualties and cleanup doesn't cost $100 billion.

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they can't operate a motor vehicle either

 

bang.jpg

Edited by Bang
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Anyway, simple solution to the problem of getting people to do what needs to be done - Take out the 'climate change' part. Keep it simple. We should NOT be trying to prevent climate change anyway as the ONLY way to do so would be to stop the rotation of the Earth.

Back when the focus was on pollution prevention (as the focus without a doubt should be) you had the Acts passed...stuff got done. Why would you switch the focus to something even more divisive? You have plenty of examples (Ohio's water, any city in China's air) of reasons for needing to change without invoking climate change or global warming, so why do it?

 

No, that's not right. You are changing the definition of "climate change."  When people say we need to prevent "climate change," what they mean is we need to prevent man from causing unnatural variations in the earth's climate.  They are not saying we need to prevent climates from naturally cycling.

 

As far as water pollution problems... its a total mess.  UN estimates we have enough freshwater for 7 billion people on earth.  We are surpassing that, but the fresh water is not distributed evenly.  We are just seeing the beginning of this problem though.  

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