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 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 51
green energyPage 3 of 8    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
The interesting thing about Swindle is that it goes in much more depth about the workings of the weather system.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 52
green energy
Posted: 3/29/2009 4:00:34 PM

Of course, books like Environmental Racism (making the paper for which was a clear abuse of trees) would have the reader believe heedless, greedy industries prefer to pollute minority communities when they can. And a whole field of study along those lines has developed. I just wonder how many people in the racial minorities they claim to be going to bat for are buying it.


Unless I am mistaken, the impetus for the clean emissions truck requirement at the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach was neighborhood organizations led by black and Latino residents.
 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 53
green energy
Posted: 4/1/2009 11:44:56 PM
Jack

I read through the wikipedia article. So both sides are not the whole truth. Grrrrr.

The funny thing is that the question is so simple. How much does CO2 play into climate? One would think that its a simple thing to answer. For one thing the chemical properties are known.

Ok I just found something. During the Jurassic Period CO2 was 4-5 times higher in concentration. But life didnt end...

I still like the idea of multiple new sources of practical energy. I'm not sure why but the idea of sticking my finger to the Middle East has a certain ring to it.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 54
green energy
Posted: 4/2/2009 11:25:35 AM

Cap and Trade and all this BS is only having us lose focus on real issues... and causing us to not be completely open minded.


I disagree. But again, given our proven inability to do anything but react to crises, the current focus on reducing carbon footprints is having a salutory effect on raising awareness about areas in which we are wasting fuel. Even if it turns out to be BS, it is getting people to conserve and stop polluting. As fuel gets more scarce and prices inevitably rise, every investment in energy conservation that we make now will be far less expensive than the same investment made later.


But like most things, this has turned into a mob mentality... running around town and bullying.


Not really. The mob mentality hasn't changed, it's only changed direction. Until the tide shifted, the environmentalist perspective was seen as un-American. In fact, some of the posters in this thread still appear to harbor that viewpoint.
 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 55
green energy
Posted: 4/6/2009 12:25:51 PM
I agree cap and trade is a joke or some kind of money making scam.

The more I read about cap and trade the less I understand of it. I think that is the intention of those who invented it. Compare that to the simplicity of rewarding those who invent a viable green energy.

If I were the Pres I would put up about 20 to 50 billion in prize money. For example the first, lets say, ten or so companies to make green energy that competes with fossil fuels would each be awarded five billion. No money until your product is verified. Simple. The carrot and the stick. But I also believe that those who produce results should be the ones who are rewarded. Whoever makes the super-duper widget deserves to be rich.

The problem with that is that you take away the influence of the greenies. They want to be the solution and for the solution to be on their terms. One person whom I definitely agree with is the founder of Greenpeace when he said that it has turned into something more than just to "save the planet".
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 56
green energy
Posted: 4/6/2009 6:06:29 PM

If I were the Pres I would put up about 20 to 50 billion in prize money. For example the first, lets say, ten or so companies to make green energy that competes with fossil fuels would each be awarded five billion. No money until your product is verified. Simple. The carrot and the stick. But I also believe that those who produce results should be the ones who are rewarded. Whoever makes the super-duper widget deserves to be rich.


SD_Matt for President!


The problem with that is that you take away the influence of the greenies.
They want to be the solution and for the solution to be on their terms. One person whom I definitely agree with is the founder of Greenpeace when he said that it has turned into something more than just to "save the planet".


There are certainly some ideologues who would be willing to sacrifice others to further their ideology. However, most "greenies" of my acquaintance would really love to see a prize like that, and for the mainstream to get on board, and for their concerns about the environment to receive the general recognition of legitimacy that those concerns deserve.

However, those "salt-of-the-earth" greenies don't make for good press and Rush can't rail against them too much. And so, this silent green majority continues to work in relative isolation and anonymity. But if you look around, you'll see them: planting gardens in underserved schools, organizing commuity gardens near apartment buildings, struggling to get their solar panel installation businesses off the ground, buying Fair Trade coffee, installing bootlegged gray-water and rainwater catchment systems (a must with the ongoing California drought), shopping at the local farmer's market, tinkering with biofuels, solar cookers, and jet stoves, insulating, tinkering with residential-scale wind generators, straw-bale, cob, and rammed earth structures, and all of them wondering when there will be economies of scale and amenable building codes that will help make all the things they really want to do affordable.
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 57
green energy
Posted: 4/6/2009 6:51:45 PM
Go to this web site, skip the intro, pick a side and watch the video with the guy who has a press jacket on. Now I know its just a game but somebody was looking ahead to come up with scenario that he portrays. The interesting part is the war in the game it is centered around the Caspian oil fields, MMMM? wonder why the Russians did a test invasion into Georgia

http://www.frontlinesgame.com/
 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 58
green energy
Posted: 4/7/2009 2:38:57 PM
Ace

The greens seem to suffer the same plight as the rest of us.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 59
green energy
Posted: 4/8/2009 8:23:31 AM
Yes, except for the fact that they are either portrayed as loons or subversives, when they are just trying to do the right thing from a longer-term perspective.

I suspect there'd be a lot less resistance to new power lines and other such projects among the Luddite fringe if they felt that the mainstream was awake, aware, and actively involved in increasing energy efficiency. As long as the mainstream remains complacent and does not demand better environmental performance from car makers, home builders, electronics manufacturers, food distributors, clothing designers, mass-market merchandisers, and politicians, why should pristine habitats be sacrificed to continue feeding what they see as a mindless, voracious beast?
 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 60
green energy
Posted: 4/8/2009 12:16:59 PM
I think the mainstream is fairly aware. It's just not proactive and thats my major **** about it.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 61
green energy
Posted: 4/8/2009 8:39:37 PM
I think that the mainstream has begun to realize that there is something to be aware of, but of what they still have a little clue. They're still wating for someone to fix it all for them, and that just isn't going to happen.
 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 62
green energy
Posted: 4/10/2009 8:29:39 PM
I'm starting to email various representatives with a question. I started with a couple Dems from Cali and some Green party candidates. I'm asking them if anyone has ever advocated the cash prize idea I was talking about a couple of posts ago.

Any suggestions on whom else I might want to contact?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 63
green energy
Posted: 4/11/2009 7:16:45 PM
Why not President Obama?
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 64
view profile
History
green energy
Posted: 4/11/2009 11:55:56 PM

Yes, except for the fact that they are either portrayed as loons or subversives, when they are just trying to do the right thing from a longer-term perspective.


I'm in favor of a lot of the same things the organized environmentalists are. And as long as they restrict themselves to the usual democratic procedure of persuading, lobbying, organizing the vote, etc. to press for legislative change, no problem. But when they cooperate with biased judges (especially appointed ones) to make law through the courts, the few end up imposing their beliefs on the many--illegitimately.

The same is true of the federal EPA, and of California agencies like EPA, Fish and Wildlife, and the Coastal Commission. They have enormous power to control how we live, but almost none of their employees are elected. Our control over their decisions, even ones that intrude sharply on our personal lives, is limited and indirect. Even the most fascistic meddlers among them are almost completely immune to being sued personally, although their agencies' regulations can be challenged.

My friends and I may know all the advantages of photovoltaic panels, gray water cisterns, recycled building materials, wetland preservation, etc.--but that doesn't give me, or them, the right to tell people who don't know about all those wonderful things how to live. Unfortunately, elitist arrogance and a dictatorial streak are all too common in the environmental movement.

I know a little about environmental planning and the law, and environmental concerns have often been used as a smokescreen to conceal racial and economic exclusion. Just trying to do the right thing isn't so admirable, when it's right mainly for yourself. It's not just by chance that racial minorities and people with low incomes are underrepresented in the major environmental organizations.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 65
green energy
Posted: 4/12/2009 12:25:59 AM

... elitist arrogance and a dictatorial streak are all too common in the environmental movement.


No, but in my experience it isn't the norm there either. I know many Conservatives who are honorable people. I also know many who wrap the flag around their calumnies. Which of those would you have me consider as the norm?


I know a little about environmental planning and the law, and environmental concerns have often been used as a smokescreen to conceal racial and economic exclusion.


No doubt. But NIMBY isn't limited to environmentalists. They used to call them "restrictive covenants." Any law can be abused, and many are.


Just trying to do the right thing isn't so admirable, when it's right mainly for yourself.


Unless, of course, we're talking about the profit motive. Then it becomes magically ennobled through the blessing of the invisible hand.


It's not just by chance that racial minorities and people with low incomes are underrepresented in the major environmental organizations.


No, it's not. But that lack of participation isn't due to the cause you're implying. Racial minorities and the poor have had more direct issues to contend with, and a different perspective--which is why it has been so easy to pit environmentalists against labor to the detriment of both movements and their constituencies.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 66
view profile
History
green energy
Posted: 4/12/2009 10:28:29 AM

Unless, of course, we're talking about the profit motive. Then it becomes magically ennobled through the blessing of the invisible hand.


You're overlooking something pretty basic. I can't claim to know Wealth of Nations page by page, but I've read most of it. Smith assumed that everyone would act in his own economic self-interest. The result would be that *each* would profit most and accumulate the most wealth (which in 1776 was measured mostly in terms of land and improvements to it) he was capable of.

Smith didn't suggest that anyone should gain at someone else's expense, nor would he have approved of it. But government redistribution of wealth has caused that to happen here. Conservatives often blame FDR, but the first steps toward making the government the central redistributor of wealth came with the rise of the Progressive movement in the 1880's and '90's.

The 16th Amendment, which authorized the income tax and was one of the Progressives' proud achievements, was proposed by Congress in 1909 and became law in 1913. It allowed redistribution on a larger scale than ever before in the U.S., making possible the New Deal and the tremendous growth of federal government services that's occurred since WWII. All of this, in one way or another, is robbing Peter to pay Paul.

And that's also--with obvious exceptions--characteristic of the environmental movement. The ends look far more high-minded than they often are. I can't agree with you about the unpopularity of environmentalism with minorities. If you doubt that, read about the Mt. Laurel cases in New Jersey, or the federal suits claiming that the lack of affordable housing in certain states constituted racial exclusion. One of these suits probably helped prompt Connecticut's legislature to enact a statewide affordable housing law.

Environmental restrictions have often served some of the same purposes the restrictive covenants you mention used to. Today, they're usually imposed by government agencies through rules implementing federal and state statutes. I'd like to see most of these either repealed or rewritten, because I believe the evidence shows they do more harm than good.

But these laws create bureaucracies which have their own inertia. No matter how much the environment improves, it can never be enough. Thousands of government employees have an unwholesome incentive to intervene in ever more contrived and nit-picking ways, about ever less important details, and technical advances allow them to detect smaller and smaller effects of our activities on the environment.

Being involved with EIR's for large projects makes you realize, up close, just how intrusive and expensive environmental rules have become. Billion-dollar projects that would benefit a whole region's economy (e.g. a major airport) may never be built, all because a court believes a hired expert's claim that the arcane mathematical details of a noise testing procedure cause its EIR to understate the project's true effects on the environment.
 PirateJohn09
Joined: 1/7/2009
Msg: 67
view profile
History
green energy
Posted: 4/12/2009 12:36:27 PM
The problem with 'green" initiatives is that many of them aren't very green at all, and pointing this fact out to environmentalists is akin to questioning somebody's religious beliefs.

For example, ethanol fuel is often considered the "green' alternative to fossil fuels. The people pushing this agenda, however, fail to consider that the amount of coal and other fossil fuels burned to produce ethanol far exceeds the savings by using ethanol as fuel.

Also, how may paper recycling bins do you come across in a given day? Recycling paper does more harm than good to the environment. First of all, the chemicals used to recycle the paper are pretty nasty pollutants in themselves.

Secondly, it is a common misconception that paper consumption is in any way connected to deforestation. The trees cut down to generate paper come from tree farms, and thinking that a tree farmer is going to clear-cut his own land is no less silly than thinking a potato farmer is going to plow his own field so he can't plant for next year. In fact, the more paper is consumed, the greater the demand for more tree farms and, as a result, more trees are grown.

So if you want to be green, then buying recycled paper is actually more harmful to the environment than wasting paper is.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 68
green energy
Posted: 4/12/2009 3:54:21 PM
Smith didn't suggest that anyone should gain at someone else's expense, nor would he have approved of it. But government redistribution of wealth has caused that to happen here.


I would venture a guess that a lot more gain at the expense of others has occurred as a result of power differences between larger and smaller interests than could ever be attributed to government interference. Madoff is just one such situation.

I agree with you that Smith would not have approved of many unscrupulous moves that are done in the name of "free market competition." But that doesn't stop the ones who pull them to cite him for justification.

Appropriate regulation is what it is ... appropriate. Adjusting the tax burden to obtain an optimal distribution of discretionary investment capital throughout the economy is sound macroeconomic policy--call it what you will.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 69
green energy
Posted: 4/13/2009 9:25:06 AM

The problem with 'green" initiatives is that many of them aren't very green at all, and pointing this fact out to environmentalists is akin to questioning somebody's religious beliefs.


This is, sadly, often all too true. Just as is questioning the religious beleif in free market capitalism and its infallible invisible hand.


For example, ethanol fuel is often considered the "green' alternative to fossil fuels. The people pushing this agenda, however, fail to consider that the amount of coal and other fossil fuels burned to produce ethanol far exceeds the savings by using ethanol as fuel.


Actually, this is not a good example. Environmentalists were the first to point this out and most "green" organizations have pulled their endorsement of ethanol. Many have also turned sour on biodiesel as well, for similar reasons as well as the use of GMO soy for the oil. As it turns out, the biggest impact a person can make to reduce their carbon footprint today is simply to stop eating beef.


Also, how may paper recycling bins do you come across in a given day? Recycling paper does more harm than good to the environment. First of all, the chemicals used to recycle the paper are pretty nasty pollutants in themselves.


There is some truth to this, when the paper is remanufactured. However, most recycled paper is being diverted to the production of insulating materials, packaging, and other uses that require little or no reprocessing.


Secondly, it is a common misconception that paper consumption is in any way connected to deforestation. The trees cut down to generate paper come from tree farms, and thinking that a tree farmer is going to clear-cut his own land is no less silly than thinking a potato farmer is going to plow his own field so he can't plant for next year. In fact, the more paper is consumed, the greater the demand for more tree farms and, as a result, more trees are grown.


This is false and you really should do a bit more homework. Kimberly Clark is still cutting virgin forests in Canada to make Kleenex tissues. And as far as clear-cutting goes, read up on the Maxxam corporation to see what can happen to managed forests.

Also, look at what is going on in the South American and South Asian forests. While the major thrust of Japanese and other timber interests is tropical hardwoods, they still make a lot of money milling paper from the other trees they cut down to get at those choice hardwoods.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 70
view profile
History
green energy
Posted: 4/13/2009 1:04:24 PM
[quote[the biggest impact a person can make to reduce their carbon footprint today is simply to stop eating beef.

You know, there's a rumor going around that Congress is considering legislation to address this problem. Some people think it's a little drastic, since it apparently would prohibit the sale or transport of any "normally edible beef meat product." It seems McDonald's management is up in arms, and so is the Beef Council. Of course, so far this new bill's just talk. But personally, I hope it ends up as federal law.

Sure, it'd be hard on people like me who like a nice rib steak once in a while. But I'm also confident that my government knows what's best for all of us--better than we do ourselves. Yeah, I've heard all that powdered-wig philosophy about who, in a society, should have any greater right to decide what you want than you yourself. Adam Jones, Tad Pain, George Jefferson, and all that religious-nut DWM crowd. Rush's heros. But he!!, I don't vote anyway, and besides, I'm too busy to think about all these details. We've got smart people in Washington, and they know more about this stuff than me. They're the experts, and *they* should decide what's the best way for us all to live, for the sake of the Planet.

Oh, I almost forgot. The guy I heard this rumor from said it looks like it won't include hides--you know, leather. That's why the "*normally* edible" phrase. Something about Obama's wife having an old Princetown friend on the American Shoemakers Syndicate. The trouble is, even if you marinate leather and stew it, it's still pretty chewy. And it's WAY too thin to barbecue.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 71
green energy
Posted: 4/13/2009 2:28:06 PM
We've got smart people in Washington, and they know more about this stuff than me. They're the experts, and *they* should decide what's the best way for us all to live, for the sake of the Planet.


They're the experts, and *they* should decide what's the best way for us all to live, for the sake of National Security.

Excuses for not thinking cut both ways, I'm afraid. And BTW, it isn't environmentalists who are pushing HR 875--which looks an awful lot like the approach you are lambasting. It also looks like it will go a long way toward putting local farmers out of business, particularly unconventional ones like those dreaded organic wackos. Who cares if organics is the fastest growing and most highly profitable segment of the fresh food market?

You know, M, I love it when you nail me on the facts. Not so keen on the hyperbole though, but as long as you're having fun, no worries!

Let me make you a deal. If you'll switch to grass fed beef whenever you savor one of those rib eyes, I won't bug you about it. Not quite as tender, perhaps--though I couldn't tell any difference--and the flavor is so much better. Plus, you won't ever have to worry about the risk of eating a "downer" carcass or contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Your call. But between you and me, I like your brain the way it is.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 72
green energy
Posted: 4/15/2009 11:33:33 AM
The Army and Alternative Energy



Monday 13 April 2009

by: Steve Vogel article original @ The Washington Post

For the Defense Department, the largest consumer of energy in the United States, addiction to fuel has greater costs than the roughly $18 billion the agency spent on it last year.

By some estimates, about half of the U.S. military casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan are related to attacks with improvised explosive devices on convoys, many of which are carrying fuel. As of March 20, 3,426 service members had been killed by hostile fire in Iraq, 1,823 of them victims of IEDs.

"Every time you bring a gallon of fuel forward, you have to send a convoy," said Alan R. Shaffer, director of defense research and engineering at the Pentagon. "That puts people's lives at risk."

Spurred by this grim reality, the Pentagon, which traditionally has not made saving energy much of a priority, has launched initiatives to find alternative fuel sources. The goals include saving money, preserving dwindling natural resources and lessening U.S. dependence on foreign sources.

"The honest-to-God truth, the most compelling reason to do it is it saves lives," said Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson, director of operations and logistics for the Army. "It takes drivers off the road."

Other than fueling jet engines, the largest drain on U.S. military fuel supplies comes from running generators at forward operating bases. The Pentagon says that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have required more fuel on a daily basis than any other war in history. Since the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq began in 2001 and 2003, respectively, the amount of oil consumption at forward bases has increased from 50 million gallons to 500 million gallons a year.

To help reduce consumption, the Pentagon is using $300 million of the $7.4 billion it received from the economic stimulus package to accelerate existing programs for developing alternative fuels and saving energy.

"In the overall scheme of the stimulus, it sounds small," Shaffer said. But he added that the relatively modest sum is being strategically targeted to make the most of it. "For $300 million, we have a lot of things that could be found."

Garbage, for example, is a commodity never in short supply when the Army goes to the field. A battalion-size forward operating base generates a ton of trash a day. The Pentagon is developing mobile units - small enough to fit on a five-ton flatbed trailer - that use an anaerobic microbial process to convert garbage into oil.

Two prototypes - known as the Tactical Garbage to Energy Refinery - were deployed to Iraq in the summer and were initially successful, converting field waste - paper, plastic, cardboard and food slop - into biofuel to power a 60-kilowatt generator. "We were able to get oil out of trash," Shaffer said.

But the units were not particularly hardy and soon broke down. The stimulus money includes $7.5 million to develop a more rugged model.

The Pentagon is also investing $15 million of the stimulus money into developing lightweight, flexible photovoltaic mats that could be rolled up like a rug and used at forward bases to draw solar power for operating equipment.

"We think $15 million will let us build, develop and test one of these roll-out mats," Shaffer said.

About $6 million is aimed at improving a program run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to convert algae into jet propulsion fuel 8, or JP-8, that could power Navy and Air Force aircraft.

Other initiatives include $27 million to develop a hybrid engine the Army could use in tactical vehicles and $2 million to develop highly efficient portable fuel cells that could reduce the battery load carried by infantry soldiers.

The Pentagon is also testing the use of solar and geothermal energy to provide power at installations. The Army, for example, is partnering with a private firm to build an enormous, 500-megawatt solar farm at Fort Irwin, Calif. The farm would supply the 30 to 35 megawatts needed to operate the installation, with the remaining available for sale to the California electrical grid.

Fort Irwin's desert location is particularly well suited for solar energy, but the concept of using buffer land for energy production could be applied at many installations, said Keith Eastin, assistant secretary of the Army for installations and environment.

"This buffer land could be used for solar farms, wind farms, whatever," Eastin said. "This would require almost no investment by the Army. This is a new way of thinking in the Army, to take advantage of the assets we have."

For all the emphasis on new technologies at the Pentagon, one of the most successful initiatives involves decades-old technology: insulating thousands of tents in Iraq and Afghanistan with a two-inch layer of foam. The foam is sprayed like shaving cream from 55-gallon drums and hardens in about 20 minutes.

A $95 million program to spray-foam tents in Iraq has dramatically reduced the amount of fuel needed for heating and cooling, saving $2 million in energy costs per day, Anderson said. It is also reducing the Army's logistical footprint, which includes roughly 900 trucks per day moving in and out of Iraq, he said.

"We've already taken 12 trucks off a day," said Anderson, who previously served as deputy chief of staff for resources and sustainment for the multinational force in Iraq. "That may not seem like a lot, but it adds up pretty ... quickly. Those are some of the most dangerous roads in the world. I'm confident it has saved lives."

A $29 million contract has been signed to insulate tents in Afghanistan, where vulnerable land supply routes pose serious challenges as the United States attempts to build up its forces.

"If we're going to be in Afghanistan for a while, it behooves us to foam as many structures as we can," Anderson said.
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 73
green energy
Posted: 4/17/2009 12:48:30 PM
Our government has long been big and stupid, and with the pending government-sponsored revolution in the energy sector, it’s getting even bigger and stupider.


For example, there is an “alternative energy” subsidy that was recently created that has now blown up into a major taxpayer liability, become an unwelcome wildcard factor in the market, threatens to spark a international trade dispute, and has led to greater fossil fuel consumption.


Congress passed a highway bill in 2005 that included a 50-cents-a-gallon tax credit for blending "alternative" fuels with traditional fossil fuels. The law was specific to some types of businesses and was limited the use of fuel in motor vehicles. Then, some congresspersons started screwing with it to favor their homeboy constituencies located in their states. (Influence for sale.) They allowed the credit to apply to other “alternative” fuels and to "non-mobile" things other than motor vehicles.


So Alaskan fish-processing facilities started claiming the credit since they power their boilers with fish oil. Then the paper industry started claiming the credit for what is called black liquor—a by-product of the paper-making process that is--since this new subsidy--now an alternative fuel. This by-product makes paper mills almost self-sufficient, and has been used for decades. So the paper industry is now suddenly receiving billions of taxpayer provided subsidies, and their stock prices are jumping.


But now foreign paper producers are screaming that the subsidy is unfairly propping up the U.S. industry, and is spurring increased supply (which will lower paper prices and hurt them) just to get the subsidy payments that they cannot get. Canadian forestry companies are already demanding their government file a trade complaint against our paper industry. (Canada is our biggest trading partner).


Also, to qualify for the subsidy credit, alternative fuel must be mixed with a taxable one (of course, so the government doesn’t lose it gas-tax revenue.) So the paper industry must mix some diesel with its black liquor, which has understandably set off the environmentalists. Now the industry burns fossil fuel that it never used to!


Back to Congress, they estimated an extension of the credit through this year would cost taxpayers $333 million, but now realizes it will cost more than $3 billion! Wall Street analysts are claiming that $6 billion is the real truth!


Every government intervention in the energy markets has produced similar Keystone Kops results. Remember the chaos in the 1970’s caused by energy price controls, regulations and subsidies? Or the dunder-headed recent ethanol mandate that produced mere break-even results in fuel savings but jumped up our food prices since it siphoned corn products away from the food producing industry.


Now the latest president and latest congress are announcing bold new government interventionist initiatives (uninformed government programs paid for by taxpayers) to jumpstart the green-energy revolution, despite the government constantly proving decade after decade that their tinkering in the energy markets has caused so many more problems than it ever solved.


Yet over half of those hapless taxpayers--who continually take more money out of their pockets to pay for energy costs that end up being higher than necessary—are still dancing in the streets over the Change You Can Believe In. The foxes are running the henhouse, and the chickens couldn't be happier.


The change that I believe in is that the Government should go borrow a sixth-graders civics class text, then try reading the Constitution. Then they will actually know what their duties and powers are supposed to be. Then I believe they should STICK TO THAT and butt out of power-tripping on the productive members and sectors of society who pay the freight and make this country happen. And I don't understand why the environmentalists--from the sensible ones to the kook extremists--would trust the government to change a light bulb.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 74
green energy
Posted: 4/17/2009 1:39:08 PM
Now the latest president and latest congress are announcing bold new government interventionist initiatives (uninformed government programs paid for by taxpayers) to jumpstart the green-energy revolution, despite the government constantly proving decade after decade that their tinkering in the energy markets has caused so many more problems than it ever solved.


There is a difference between jiggering an already-rigged market and making a market for new technology. Was the Space Race something that we should have left to private investment?

The spin-offs from that GOVERNMENT venture virtually define our economy today. There is nothing wrong with government-sponsored primary research into the feasibility of sustainable technologies. As I have mentioned before, long-range planning and investment in primary research are activities that the market cannot afford to undertake. If we want to have a future, we have to coordinate appropriate investment in that future via some collective agency or other. Call it what you like.

If there is one main reason why we are behind the 8-ball today with respect to energy, it is because Ronald Reagan virtually eliminated the Office of Appropriate Technology Research. And if you don't believe that, then perhaps you can explain why the NASA spin-offs have such a huge influence on us now, while the progress of our efforts to become more energy efficient have utterly stalled since the '70s. After all, without that government agency in place to coordinate primary research, we did what Conservatives constantly claim will work better. We left the development of energy-efficient technology up to the private sector. The result? The inevitable collapse of GM and Chrysler, Ford on shaky ground, and a domino effect on their suppliers.

In short, there is a right way for governments to advance the goals of The People, and there is a wrong way. We know how to do it the right way, and we know how to do it the wrong way. So, when it comes to green energy, let's stop doing it the wrong way and start doing it right. OK?
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 75
green energy
Posted: 4/17/2009 5:38:06 PM

If there is one main reason why we are behind the 8-ball today with respect to energy, it is because Ronald Reagan virtually eliminated the Office of Appropriate Technology Research. And if you don't believe that, then perhaps you can explain why the NASA spin-offs have such a huge influence on us now, while the progress of our efforts to become more energy efficient have utterly stalled since the '70s. After all, without that government agency in place to coordinate primary research, we did what Conservatives constantly claim will work better. We left the development of energy-efficient technology up to the private sector. The result? The inevitable collapse of GM and Chrysler, Ford on shaky ground, and a domino effect on their suppliers.


Ace, my man, this is such an amorphous passage that I don’t know where to begin my response...

First of all, you mention NASA spin-offs, then that Ronald Reagan cut back an apparently vital government bureaucracy, then you say our energy efficiency efforts have been stalled since the 1970s.

Well, the NASA spin-offs were invented in the 1960s and early 70s—well before the first energy crisis that was circa 1975. And that Conservative, Republican Ronald Reagan did not become President until the 1980s—well after our energy efficiency efforts were already “utterly stalled” and going nowhere fast. How is his eliminating a bureaucracy that obviously wasn’t unstalling anything a bad thing to do at that point?

As to the auto industry, you assign the failure of GM, Chrysler and Ford to the political Conservatives and their alleged preference of private sector versus government coordination as to developing energy efficiency. I haven’t seen such a stretch since I saw a clown making Dachshunds out of toy balloons at a kid’s birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese last week. Do you actually believe that the fleetwide average MPG score of Detroit’s cars, or Detroit’s slow development of hybrid and/or electric car technology, is the reason these companies are going down? How about multiple layers of arrogant management that was so out of touch with the American consumers’ tastes that year after year they continued to build mediocre quality cars that Americans didn’t want compared to what the Asian manufacturers were offering? How about overpaying their labor unions and racking up labor costs that exceeded the value of that labor? How about $30 million dollar per year bosses who bet the company by concentrating on building heavy trucks despite the experience of the first energy crisis in the mid-70s demonstrating that politically-sensitive gasoline prices can skyrocket suddenly and with little or no warning? What happened to Detroit building economy cars? I would gladly buy a fuel-efficient micro car if they quit allowing the building of 5000 lb. Hummers that would kill me in what would amount to a mere fender-bender for them. Where is the lawmaker's sense when they legislate? They should allow any size car, but restrict the weight for safety and efficiency, then they could innovate lightweight materials if the market still wanted cars that were big in size.

As to government programs being the answer, the President and Congress showed their incompetence around 1977 by not establishing what you suggest now. Competent government leadership would have established an Atomic Energy Commission-style project for finding economical alternatives to oil. If this had been done 30-some years ago, we would have clean, cheap energy by now to enhance ongoing prosperity--and the world now be a much safer place politically and militarily.

By missing that window of opportunity long ago to establish a government entity to lead the effort, we now face very deeply-entrenched Big Oil/Big Money interests that have undue influence over now-partially corrupt government institutions, such as Congress. If the powers that be didn't act back then, why would they act now. I strongly suspect that the current mountain of problems we face is being used as an excuse for government expansion... Do we really want to rely on them for answers? (Okay, I feel better now, replying to your posts allows me to indulge my Inner Logical Child. Thanks! Um, yes... I've met mine...)

Wind and solar could be viable very soon, but those who have the billions to build the necessary infrastructure are those who have an interest NOT in RENEWABLE SOURCE energy, but in RECURRING DEMAND + DWINDLING SOURCE energy (such as fossil fuel customers). Companies like Shell Oil own the exploration (tract leases), the drilling, the extraction, some of the transport, the refining, and the retail product distribution (gas stations). Not only do these companies control the energy source almost from A-Z, they collude with each other on price and availability of the refined products. OPEC is recognized and thought of as a production cartel, but the other big name “friendly” oil companies are very much a cartel, too, that specialize in being full spectrum monopolies.

To have access to the needed billions, the international finance and credit markets come into play. Energy/Finance… Oil/Money… Call it what you want, but energy and finance are two sides to the same coin, and they dominate the world’s economy since fossil fuels are the world’s leading commodity. That ties energy to finance. No wonder we are still needlessly anchored to fossil fuels—the Big Money in the world is making more money at the expense of us compliant citizen/consumers/taxpayers.

So, we give billions in our bail-out taxpayer dollars to the Morgan Stanleys, who own pieces of the Halliburtons, and we fail to notice when they invest most of it in fossil fuel development in Iraq (via Dubai front companies and banks) instead of solar and wind in Texas or California. Congress is the cat house and is in on it so they look the other way. Didn’t Shell recently end their wind and solar projects saying they did not pay off?

A network of locally-situated, “portable” energy generating infrastructure--such as solar installations—dispersed throughout poor, developing regions would allow for the de-coupling of any increasing of economic activity bringing the concurrent increasing of emissions and pollution. Prosperity produces pollution under fossil fuel usage. We can break that lockstep relationship IF we get away from oil and coal.

But even the green energy/global warming crowd doesn’t seem to be watching as the World Bank lends $4 billion for a pipeline between Chad and Cameroon, but won’t spend that much on alternate sources of energy production that are clean, renewable, and would empower the local region economically and politically.

Oil turns into a] gasoline for our personal mobility and transporting goods throughout our economy, and b] electricity to power literally everything. But oil also turns into power, and into political, economic, and personal control over us as individuals. It is getting much easier to mistrust the government and it's true constituents. I would just mandate that all energy producers and distributors must have 20% green sourced product by 2013 or so, then add a point or three per year. Limit the government to that decree, then let the private sector do what they do best--make money by letting THEM choose how to best allocate resources.
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