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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2731

PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
Yes, there have been notable "disasters" in the green industry...mostly financial.

Finance is what we are talking about..........government's current emphasis in it's financing of energy production. Introducing 20 year old oil spills and a history of nuclear waste disposal into the discussion is completely off the point.

coboardhead wrote:
Arguably, even a larger subsidy of fossil fuels is what we spend in our defense of our oil interests overseas.

If we assume that is true, we have a realistic opportunity to eliminate that cost and our considerable exposure........and it is not by focusing the preponderance of our limited resources on windmills.

As for indirect costs, presumably you would also wish to capture the cost to clean up the toxic cesspool from, and to compensate the thousands of workers sickened by the mining the rare earth used in wind turbines and Prius batteries. How about compensating small engine owners for the damage caused by ethanol? Or calculating the cost of higher concentrations of ozone from burning ethanol? I'm sure the Audubon Society would be interested in making a claim on behalf of all the birds killed by windmills.....and on and on.

As you stated earlier, energy production is frequently a messy business. That includes so-called green energy. We have to make choices and, in my view, a 20 - 1 funding bias in favor of renewables is a poor choice in our current fiscal mess. We'll have to agree to disagree.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1367

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr Gybes points are valid, especially with regard to what may well turn out to be misguided initiatives. We too are having ethanol introduced into our fuel despite the fact that it may damage millions of our less recent vehicles, is known to be less efficient with regard to fuel consumption, and could possibly have a knock on effect on food production.

One of the oddities of our human nature is that addiction to a cause (faith over reason) can sometimes blind intelligent people to facts. I have a long standing friend who is dedicated to green issues, and she adopts just such a stance.

in dismissing the fact that as yet we have no viable alternative but to continue using fossil fuels to run our industry and way of life, she is adamant that if we banned them all by force of law 'they' (the scientists), would pretty soon come up with a new discovery for supplying ample sustainable power. (Necessity being the mother of invention.)

No reason can shake her of this belief, and this attitude appears to be rapidly spreading among the young, many of them being pro green. It's possible that she (and they) may just be right, and that some new discovery may lay ahead, but can that degree of optimism be allowed to become mainstream poilicy? Discovery and solution must come first (hence subsidies and research, and some inevitable costly failures) before blind faith.
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keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3468

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The dumb ineffecient things done in support of solar power and recycling have led to a present world where such things are affordable and commonplace.
Allowing women to vote and use birth control, even worldwide democracy itself were foolish and useless pursuits of dreamers in my grandfathers time.
Natural gas was dismissed as a future fuel so recently that many still don't know it may make the US independent of imported oil.

When we began with our third world high school with an empty lot and four months before school started a gov. Commission came out to forbid us from even trying.
My fav quote " Someone should have told you that it takes at least five years to start a school, and would take amateurs like you forever"
One of the Commissioners applied for a job with us after they heard me out in bar after the meeting.

Partisan losers have their eyes only on Solyndra while I mostly see the acres of solar cells in Maui. So do the Chinese. Those who think alt energy is a waste would do well to study Chinese. If they prevail they may need it when the US becomes a third world country.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1960

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrgybe wrote:
coboardhead wrote:
Yes, there have been notable "disasters" in the green industry...mostly financial.

Finance is what we are talking about..........government's current emphasis in it's financing of energy production. Introducing 20 year old oil spills and a history of nuclear waste disposal into the discussion is completely off the point.

coboardhead wrote:
Arguably, even a larger subsidy of fossil fuels is what we spend in our defense of our oil interests overseas.

If we assume that is true, we have a realistic opportunity to eliminate that cost and our considerable exposure........and it is not by focusing the preponderance of our limited resources on windmills.

As for indirect costs, presumably you would also wish to capture the cost to clean up the toxic cesspool from, and to compensate the thousands of workers sickened by the mining the rare earth used in wind turbines and Prius batteries. How about compensating small engine owners for the damage caused by ethanol? Or calculating the cost of higher concentrations of ozone from burning ethanol? I'm sure the Audubon Society would be interested in making a claim on behalf of all the birds killed by windmills.....and on and on.

As you stated earlier, energy production is frequently a messy business. That includes so-called green energy. We have to make choices and, in my view, a 20 - 1 funding bias in favor of renewables is a poor choice in our current fiscal mess. We'll have to agree to disagree.


Yes, I agree we should attach all of the costs to any product. I am not a fan of ethanol...it does not accomplish a primary goal of substantially reducing greenhouse gases.

Deaths of hundreds of thousands of birds is, definitely, a problem with windmills. Newer technologies are reducing the carnage. Remember that BILLIONS of birds are killed every year by cars, windows and cats. Not to mention entire species that are very sensitive to mercury poisoning and global warming.

Subsidies for renewable energy have run about 1/3 of 1% of the Federal Budget. At a time, when our economy has needed a boost in jobs, I believe, overall, it was money well spent. As Mac pointed out, the subsidies should not last forever.

We will have to agree to disagree. But, I would like to ask couple of questions. Do you also disagree with Federal funding provided to power plant efficiency and gas conversions...ie direct subsidies to fossil fuels as listed in my source? Should the Federal government have provided tax credits for natural gas autos, distribution and filling stations?
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1960

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT

I may be a starry eyed idealist to believe that renewable energy has a place in our energy network. But, I only have to look at the roof of my garage where solar panels produced 75% of my electricity last year to see the potential.

I understand that the system does not work when every roof in the grid is on solar, as I am. But, strategic placement of these energy sources into the grid has significant potential to reduce carbon fuel consumption.

BTW, I will be building a new home in a couple years. I am budgetting solar, regardless of any subsidies available. They will add less than 4% to my project cost. Right now, solar electric installations in Colo return some 75% of installed costs in increased value.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14335

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
I only have to look at the roof of my garage where solar panels produced 75% of my electricity last year to see the potential.

I understand that the system does not work when every roof in the grid is on solar, as I am.

I will be building a new home in a couple years. I am budgetting solar, regardless of any subsidies available.

Do you have any IDEA how elitist it sounds to tell us so often that because you got there ahead of most of the poor saps whose hard-earned money is being taken by force of government to pay for your power, you:
1. Lamented last year that they aren't paying for 100% of your power?
2. Repeatedly admit your subsidies reward only the first comers, a la Ponzi and MLM schemes?
3. Will again gladly accept money taken from others at gunpoint to help fund your nearly-half-million-dollar home (from arithmetic based on recollection of your solar system cost)?
4. Expect now and hope that in the future others will subsidize your lifestyle despite your top one-percenter annual income and your not having actually earned any of that green money?

No one can (legitimately) blame others for accepting legitimate offers of free money, any more than they can blame Exxon or Buffett for taking legitimate tax breaks, but taking it from one's immediate neighbors just sounds more crass, IMO, and like something that belongs in green energy's "minus" column. The veterans so many here whine about at least earned their pensions as part of their compensation for protecting their nation, only those who are permanently ≥50% disabled (lower threshold in many combat injury cases) receive disability pay from taxpayers for their injuries, and means testing biases such compensation towards those who need it rather than to the first comers or the wealthier who just wannit and can afford to take advantage of it.
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mrgybe



Joined: 01 Jul 2008
Posts: 2731

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

coboardhead wrote:
I may be a starry eyed idealist to believe that renewable energy has a place in our energy network.

No-one here has suggested that renewables do not have a place in our energy network. Of course they do. However, many governments are relentlessly plowing ahead with, for example, wind farms as a primary energy solution regardless of the very disappointing and expensive output, and, in many places, the despoiling of large swaths of formerly attractive countryside. Wind and solar are fine in the right place........it seems your roof is one of those places. But it is my view that these will never be anything more than a niche market, supplying a relatively small part of the world's energy needs, unless we are prepared to cover every open space with windmills and solar panels.

It is a question of focus. Government policy, particularly in tough economic times, should focus on those things that will generate the highest return within the bounds of reasonable risk, while simultaneously encouraging the development of long term alternatives. Right now that is not happening. Unrealistic targets are being established for mandatory use of unreliable renewables, while those energy sources that will actually provide for our needs are being treated with disdain.
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pueno



Joined: 03 Mar 2007
Posts: 2708

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mikey wrote:

Do you have any IDEA how elitist it sounds to...

No one can (legitimately) blame others for accepting legitimate offers of free money...

Holy SH*T!!

Did Mikey just say that?

Did the guy who rails against the "takers" in society just shake his right fist at Obama the pinko Commie while he holds out his left hand for his free money from Obama?

Tsk, tsk, Mikey. You're too easy.
.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5386

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There you go again, mrygybe, attacking ethanol as a global warming solution and blaming it all on enviros. The truth--inconvenient--is very different. Ethanol is an oxygenate, and its support for broader use in fuels came largely from farm state legislators--many of them Republicans and so called conservatives--who were more interested in farming agricultural subsidies than competing in the market.

Oxygenates were developed to reduce the public health risk of crankcase emissions--most notably benzene. As usual, big oil transferred the cost of these public health risks to the public, and resisted both regulation and paying for the costs of clean-up. Before oxygenates (ethanol and MTBE) were introduced, the largest air-borne public cancer risk after smoking was crankcase emissions. Scarily high. Afterwards, it virtually disappered--to be replaced by diesel particulaters. In an amazing repeat of history, big oil resists lower particulate emitting diesel formulations.

Beware of those who constantly spin their energy stories and omit the public health concerns. I share the concern that some have expressed for so-called "green solutions" that have higher carbon footprints, unintended consequences, or won't ever scale to acceptance in the economy without permanent subsidies. The most efficient way to resolve these things is to reflect the cost of the externalities of all energy sources in their price--not to believe another round of lies from the greeding lying bastards. Particularly as they select anecdotes and spin them to try to continue to evade the consequences of the toxicity of their products.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5906

PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm beside myself with utter disbelief that huge companies like Exxon that selflessly provide for our energy needs are being treated with disdain by the US government. Why should the government unfairly favor spending taxpayer dollars on questionable alternate energy boondoggles that despoil attractive countrysides and can't realistically come close to providing for our ever expanding energy needs? Why isn't the government eagerly pushing for opening up federal lands for pennies on the dollar so that our struggling fossil fuel corporations have a fair chance to grow and prosper for the good of the nation? Good God, where are our priorities? Why doesn't the Obama Administration get the picture?
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