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Old 09-17-2013, 10:19 PM   #1011 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P-hack View Post
... and have you considered the side effects of the solution?
You mean that we move across to sustainable human activity a bit earlier than we would be forced to do anyway without accounting for climate change?

Climate change is just the most urgent resource limit we've hit. It isn't the only one, even now, and there will be more we run into until we change how we structure our society (globally) and our values, economic system included.

 
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:44 PM   #1012 (permalink)
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The problem is that there is no solution, yet.

Fossil fuels will remain the primary power for our world until an alternative source can meet its value. Sure we can supplement our demand with other sources like wind, solar, hydro, etc. but fossil fuels have to be a part of the plan until a viable alternative is found.

Some environmentalists lose support and public opinion because of their harsh stance against fossil fuels, when they should embrace a transition. An example of this extreme stance is Obama's energy secretary telling a room full of people that the only way alternative energy will compete is to force the price of fossil fuels up so that alternative energy looks more appealing. That hurts the economy, and with less money people cling to value, which fossil fuels have.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:23 AM   #1013 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
The problem is that there is no solution, yet.

Fossil fuels will remain the primary power for our world until an alternative source can meet its value. Sure we can supplement our demand with other sources like wind, solar, hydro, etc. but fossil fuels have to be a part of the plan until a viable alternative is found.
Like I said - even if you think it's not possible to make a full transition with the currently available technology, there is still ZERO question that we can do much, MUCH more than we are doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbaber View Post
Some environmentalists lose support and public opinion because of their harsh stance against fossil fuels, when they should embrace a transition. An example of this extreme stance is Obama's energy secretary telling a room full of people that the only way alternative energy will compete is to force the price of fossil fuels up so that alternative energy looks more appealing. That hurts the economy, and with less money people cling to value, which fossil fuels have.
I have seen NO evidence that policies against fossil fuels hurt the economy. Even under the so-called "anti-oil" policies of the President, fossil fuel profits have soared, giving lie to their assertion that any policies are responsible for high gas prices.

Remember that these companies are LEGALLY obligated to squeeze every last fraction of a cent of profit they can.

We KNOW that fossil fuel companies lie about things like safety, and there is ample evidence that they lie about economics (as I just pointed out).

Sacrificing public health and our environment for "economic health" is a losing strategy, and has never really worked. All it does is saddle us with expensive cleanup efforts, higher healthcare costs, dwindling supplies of drinkable water, and a bounty of fish that are no longer safe to eat (i.e. people can't supplement their food budget by fishing any more).

And now on top of that, we have the damage of global warming, which is also making coal power plants less reliable as sources of power.

I've yet to see a convincing argument from anybody NOT paid by fossil fuel interests that being friendly to coal and oil is good for the economy.

Yes, some people rely on fossil fuels for their livelihood, but that has NEVER been a good argument for halting progress. In moving to the present situation, we've put wainwrights, blacksmiths, street sweepers, town criers, and numerous other people out of business. I see no reason why we should make an exception for the sake of oil drillers and coal miners, especially given the damage done by the materials they extract.
 
Old 09-18-2013, 05:00 AM   #1014 (permalink)
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...I looked for the Legates et al paper, but all I've been able to find is a dead link, a couple things talking about it, and something that seems to be about linguistics. Do you have a link to something specific?
It is here

Climate Consensus and

but two problems.

1. You have to pay to get it
2. It includes Moncton as an author, which sets my alarm bells going.

It's worth reading McIntyre's post on the post-dating at STW.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:10 AM   #1015 (permalink)
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The change will indeed come, sooner or later. Trying to transition sooner might be very, very painful... but transitioning later will also be very, very painful.

So, why not transition while we still have built up wealth to burn?

I don't believe we can replace fossil fuels completely. At least we can lessen our reliance on it, so the eventual fall from the fossil fuel peak (peak cheapness) is less painful.
 
Old 09-18-2013, 05:27 AM   #1016 (permalink)
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I have seen NO evidence that policies against fossil fuels hurt the economy.
Thats kind of a straw man really, it is the policies against cheaper energy that hurt the economy.

On the other hand as the US is almost self sufficient for oil and gas just now it would hurt that economy.

EDIT - It's also worth noting that Australia has just rejected artificially high energy prices. Roll on the Euro elections here next May.
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Last edited by Arragonis; 09-18-2013 at 05:40 AM..
 
Old 09-18-2013, 06:50 AM   #1017 (permalink)
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The problem is that there is no solution, yet.
To which problem? Everyone who currently does so can certainly live their comfortable lifestyle using renewable sources of energy right now. If we chose to do so we could do it within a few decades (if we had that much time). The economic cost would not, to all intents and purposes, be even noticeable.

Can we continue to grow the global economy indefinitely? At least in a material sense, I trust that it's obvious we cannot. It is that problem which is harder to solve because it means changing the whole basis of our current economic system.

Quote:
Fossil fuels will remain the primary power for our world until an alternative source can meet its value. Sure we can supplement our demand with other sources like wind, solar, hydro, etc. but fossil fuels have to be a part of the plan until a viable alternative is found.
Except that the direct "value" of fossil fuels (they're not the only cause of global warming either) is an accounting trick. When you include the external costs of using fossil fuels, renewables (and nuclear) have higher economic value.

That becomes an ideological argument over the belief that the current economic system is a perfect determinant of human value - rather than seeing the evidence that it's not.

Quote:
Some environmentalists lose support and public opinion because of their harsh stance against fossil fuels, when they should embrace a transition. An example of this extreme stance is Obama's energy secretary telling a room full of people that the only way alternative energy will compete is to force the price of fossil fuels up so that alternative energy looks more appealing. That hurts the economy, and with less money people cling to value, which fossil fuels have.
It's not forcing the price of fossil fuels up, it's a means of properly accounting for the full cost of their use.

It's too late for an easy transition. Had we started seriously even 20 years ago, then that would be an option. That we've had an extra 20 (maybe 30) years of emissions and the current rapid economic development of large population countries means that an "easy" transition isn't going to make it happen fast enough.

If you do look at what the science is indicating about how much CO2 (for one) that we can leave in the atmosphere, the fossil fuel industries should already be finished with. Of course they are not so it's going to be difficult and we're going to have to spend extra to re-sequester what should not have been allowed to be put into the atmosphere in the first place. Who pays for that?

We're also going to have to hope that it isn't already too late and it is not beyond our control anymore. (Maybe SO2 generators, acid rain and perpetually pink skies until the CO2 can be brought back down? That's a scary prospect.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arragonis View Post
Thats kind of a straw man really, it is the policies against cheaper energy that hurt the economy.

On the other hand as the US is almost self sufficient for oil and gas just now it would hurt that economy..
As per full cost accounting above.


Quote:
EDIT - It's also worth noting that Australia has just rejected artificially high energy prices. Roll on the Euro elections here next May.
I think you will find that there was more than just that single (non) issue that people voted on.
 
Old 09-18-2013, 08:48 AM   #1018 (permalink)
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As per full cost accounting above.
Surely you are not relying on the pie in the sky thinking that is Sternonomics ?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Occasionally6 View Post
I think you will find that there was more than just that single (non) issue that people voted on.
I think you are being economical with the actualité to call it a "(non) issue", even the defeated party "gets it":

Quote:
FORMER ACTU secretary Bill Kelty has accused Labor of underestimating Tony Abbott for years, declaring the party's breach of trust with voters over the carbon tax was a bigger cause of its defeat than the disunity cited by senior ALP figures.
and the new government is already starting to dismantle the climate bureaucracy - the Climate Commission is about to be axed and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation has been told to stop issuing any new loans.

Tony Abbott sworn in, turns against climate programs : Renew Economy
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:50 AM   #1019 (permalink)
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In related news - this might be a renewable technology which actually works :

BBC News - Pentland Firth tidal turbine project given consent

Quote:
Work is to begin on the largest tidal turbine energy project in Europe after the Scottish government approved it.

MeyGen is to install the tidal array in stages in the Pentland Firth, between Orkney and the Scottish mainland.

It will begin with a 9MW demonstration project of up to six turbines, with construction expected to take place on a phased basis until 2020.

When fully operational, the 86MW array could generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 42,000 homes.
Obviously that is capacity and not output. Hopefully the two will be closer than they are for windmills.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #1020 (permalink)
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What are the real costs of fossil fuels? Oil and coal is cheap only because they are able to dump all their waste into the environments that we all share. They are subsidized because the lobbyists are lining the pockets of the politicians, and with our military, they could not continue to profit from this amazing resource.

Tar sands and deep water drilling and fracking are symptoms of peak fossil fuels.

The radicals are those who think that dumping all this pollution is okay.

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