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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Some kind of progress, I guess...

   
Author Topic: Some kind of progress, I guess...
King of Men
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Wow. OSC is actually admitting that CO2 causes warming, now. Surely the end is near.
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Samprimary
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quote:
In other words, we have been through three decades of massive wolf-crying about a nonexistent wolf,
you mean gay marriage being a threat to civiliz...

oh

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Samprimary
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wait a minute did osc ever specifically deny that co2 warms the climate, or .. that more co2 is part of what warms the climate, or like, what
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umberhulk
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His arguments were always based on the idea that global warming was natural and cyclical, with pollution effecting only on a marginal scale.

It's kind of a boring debate to me, because I think alternative energy is a huge deal even if you remove that specific issue.

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
His arguments were always based on the idea that global warming was natural and cyclical, with pollution effecting only on a marginal scale.

It's kind of a boring debate to me, because I think alternative energy is a huge deal even if you remove that specific issue.

Exactly.

But the argument is really about what to do re: oil and the Middle East, anyway.

conservatives: We must keep using oil!! The oil companies can't just be left in the dust!! If the Arabs terrorists attack again, we'll throw more money at the military and beat them down teh hardz!!!!1!1! LOL military rulez!!1!!!!

liberals: The oil companies are rapacious and greedy, and drilling is not so great for the environment, at least in the short term. Additionally, it makes more sense to simply stop giving money to the terrorists, than to keep giving them money, then have to spend even MORE money fighting them. They'll be too occupied with feeding themselves to plot against us, if we stop paying them.

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Blayne Bradley
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The issue has just so many good reasons to switch to green and alternative sources of energy that its unbelievable that a scifi writer like Orson Scott Card, whose job is to write speculative fiction and keep an open mind about incoming new technology would be so against laws, regulations and subsidies that would help speed it along.

After all I'm doubtful he's against the 38% of the procurement budget being wasted on a single terribad airframe that's gonna get shot out of the sky in a real war.

Yes I mean the Joint Strike Fighter.

Heck non-idiots are also perfectly happy with nuclear which aren't what seem like gut feeling finicky boondoogles like wind plants to those people.

Switching away from coal and oil would make the US more independent of OPEC and tin pot banana republic dictatorship interests (though maybe more indebted to Chinese interests as they provide something upwards of 50% of the rare earths needed), it would help improve the trade deficit and make the US Dollar less susceptible to price shocks.

Over time I imagine the average consumer would be spending less money at the pump, which doesn't go into the economy efficiently but more on other goods that more efficiently improve circulation of capital.

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
His arguments were always based on the idea that global warming was natural and cyclical, with pollution effecting only on a marginal scale.

It's kind of a boring debate to me, because I think alternative energy is a huge deal even if you remove that specific issue.

Exactly.

But the argument is really about what to do re: oil and the Middle East, anyway.

conservatives: We must keep using oil!! The oil companies can't just be left in the dust!! If the Arabs terrorists attack again, we'll throw more money at the military and beat them down teh hardz!!!!1!1! LOL military rulez!!1!!!!

liberals: The oil companies are rapacious and greedy, and drilling is not so great for the environment, at least in the short term. Additionally, it makes more sense to simply stop giving money to the terrorists, than to keep giving them money, then have to spend even MORE money fighting them. They'll be too occupied with feeding themselves to plot against us, if we stop paying them.

Hey I can play that game too.

Liberals: Oil is so evil! We need to stop using it immediately! I don't care if it completely tanks our economy or whatever other consequences there are! We must stop all the oils! Save the earth, mother nature will shine down upon us and bath us in warm and fuzzy sunshine when we bow down to her!

Conservatives: Yeah it would be pretty cool to not have a dependency on oil, but the technology just isn't quite there yet. When it gets there we'll have cheaper more reliable and sustainable options. We don't have much of a choice until we get there though.

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Orincoro
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I feel like OSC is just messing with us now.

I mean, this article literally contains, and I'm not kidding, an explanation that releasing CO2 into the atmosphere is *good* because the atmosphere is where carbon was sequestered from in the first place.

And the way it's written, it reads like he's mocking the idea... but it's a little hard to see where he's coming from here, having fought tooth and nail against the idea of climate change for so long. My only read on this whole thing is: "seriously? I mean... are you just ****ing with us?"

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:



Conservatives: Yeah it would be pretty cool to not have a dependency on oil, but the technology just isn't quite there yet. When it gets there we'll have cheaper more reliable and sustainable options. We don't have much of a choice until we get there though.

Whic would sound reasonable except we don't "get there" by magic. We can't wait to "get there"; we have to actively go there which we can't do while the conservatives are digging in their heels.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by steven:
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
His arguments were always based on the idea that global warming was natural and cyclical, with pollution effecting only on a marginal scale.

It's kind of a boring debate to me, because I think alternative energy is a huge deal even if you remove that specific issue.

Exactly.

But the argument is really about what to do re: oil and the Middle East, anyway.

conservatives: We must keep using oil!! The oil companies can't just be left in the dust!! If the Arabs terrorists attack again, we'll throw more money at the military and beat them down teh hardz!!!!1!1! LOL military rulez!!1!!!!

liberals: The oil companies are rapacious and greedy, and drilling is not so great for the environment, at least in the short term. Additionally, it makes more sense to simply stop giving money to the terrorists, than to keep giving them money, then have to spend even MORE money fighting them. They'll be too occupied with feeding themselves to plot against us, if we stop paying them.

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2g3zpEP2S1r83ei3o1_500.png
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Dan_Frank
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I laughed, Sam.
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steven
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yeah, I Mary Sue'd that one a bit.

In other news, I bet I could turn Sam into a Republican if I preached against it enough.

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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by steven:
quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
His arguments were always based on the idea that global warming was natural and cyclical, with pollution effecting only on a marginal scale.

It's kind of a boring debate to me, because I think alternative energy is a huge deal even if you remove that specific issue.

Exactly.

But the argument is really about what to do re: oil and the Middle East, anyway.

conservatives: We must keep using oil!! The oil companies can't just be left in the dust!! If the Arabs terrorists attack again, we'll throw more money at the military and beat them down teh hardz!!!!1!1! LOL military rulez!!1!!!!

liberals: The oil companies are rapacious and greedy, and drilling is not so great for the environment, at least in the short term. Additionally, it makes more sense to simply stop giving money to the terrorists, than to keep giving them money, then have to spend even MORE money fighting them. They'll be too occupied with feeding themselves to plot against us, if we stop paying them.

Hey I can play that game too.

Liberals: Oil is so evil! We need to stop using it immediately! I don't care if it completely tanks our economy or whatever other consequences there are! We must stop all the oils! Save the earth, mother nature will shine down upon us and bath us in warm and fuzzy sunshine when we bow down to her!

Conservatives: Yeah it would be pretty cool to not have a dependency on oil, but the technology just isn't quite there yet. When it gets there we'll have cheaper more reliable and sustainable options. We don't have much of a choice until we get there though.

Well, if we can reduce our need for oil, then the demand for oil will go down, which will reduce the PRICE. this, in turn, will save us money, while also putting a crimp in the terrorists' plans.

But yes, there are crazies on both sides of the equation.

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Blayne Bradley
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stilesbn do you agree with the conservative position in your war on straw post?
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
stilesbn do you agree with the conservative position in your war on straw post?

You'll have to bear with me here. Are you saying my war on Stephen's straw man post or a straw man in my post or something else?

As for my position? Well I think new and clean energy sources would be really cool and we need to get there. I don't really know what the best way to get there would be. On one hand the technology doesn't seem to be moving fast enough on it's own from the free market. So gov't solutions seems to be what everyone turns to. Do we need to fund direct research? Subsidize more companies? Set up an incentive scheme? Tax oil more. I can see pros and cons to all of them.

A direct gov't research lab seems like the cost of entry would be too big.

Subsidizing start up companies is tough. How do you choose which win and which lose. And you're bound to end up with more like Solyndra than successful ones. It seems like ending subsidies to oil companies would be a better place. But then from what I understand most the outrage over those subsidies is over blown.

Incentive schemes usually have unintended consequences that can sometimes be worse than the benefit. I believe Freakonomics calls it the Cobra Effect.

Taxing oil more might speed things up a little bit, but the elasticity of demand for gas seems very vertical. So it would take a very large price hike to make a difference and that's not only a very difficult thing to do politically, but also a huge burden on the poor.

Despite the Cobra effect I think an incentive model might be the best way to go.

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Lyrhawn
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Most venture capitalists interviewed about the Energy Department's loan program from ARRA are shocked at the success rate. Venture capitalists expect a much much lower rate of success than we got with ARRA, and in fact several Solyndra-sized failures were expected from the program, because that's just how it works, but they knew that the success would ultimately outweigh the losses. Similarly, ARPA-E money was largely spent on long term moonshot ideas, rather than ready to produce stuff. They knew that if even one or two out of hundreds actually worked, it could literally change the world.

And all the money spend on energy from ARRA is still only half the year subsidies oil and gas companies get. Imagine the dividends we would reap if we spent twice as much on a yearly basis.

quote:
Subsidizing start up companies is tough. How do you choose which win and which lose.
If you look at how they decided which grants to approve and which loans to approve, they actually created a team of venture capitalists, people within the industry, CEOs and research specialists in the field in question to decide based on merit which technologies were the most viable and made the most sense to support. In many cases, Solyndra being a big example, they didn't approve DoE loans until the company came up with matching private sector VC funds first to prove viability. In other words, they weren't picking names out of a hat, it was to a large degree market driven. The main reason Solyndra went out of business wasn't because of malpractice, bad technology or a screw up, it was because China dumped billions of dollars of heavily subsidized cheap silicon on the US market INTENTIONALLY to kill companies in the US doing alternative solar panel work. And it worked beautifully in part because the US yanked support from the solar industry.

People tend to forget that subsidizing oil and gas to the tune of billions but pulling tax credits from solar is a form of, as the GOP likes to call it, "picking winners and losers."

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Blayne Bradley
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Also many countries regularly pick winners and losers, its been a prerogative of national interest since the Romans that government will pick winners and losers. Not picking is its own way of picking.

Its simple, we want coal and oil to eventually lose because of several well established reasons that go beyond simple emissions and we want green and alternatives to eventually win. Largely because the cost of energy produced from Green energy, when considering the aggregate whole (pollution, human suffering, space, and then profit) is better than that of fossil fuels.

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Most venture capitalists interviewed about the Energy Department's loan program from ARRA are shocked at the success rate. Venture capitalists expect a much much lower rate of success than we got with ARRA...

This doesn't tell me much about what the success rate is and how it relates to other success rates in venture capitalism. It just tells me that the rate is higher than what those interviewed expected. I would imagine that the expectation of these venture capitalists was abismally low, but that's just conjecture on my part.

If it has such a high return rate then we could expect the investment in the industry to react at which point we wouldn't need gov't assistance. Since I'm pretty sure you think the gov't needs to step in (If I am wrong it is unintentional I don't mean to misrepresent anything you've said) then I question the amazing success of such companies.

quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Also many countries regularly pick winners and losers, its been a prerogative of national interest since the Romans that government will pick winners and losers. Not picking is its own way of picking.

There are lots of things many countries regularly do and have done historically. I'm pretty sure you would agree that isn't a good argument for or against anything. Manually managing an economy has costs. There is, has been, and will be deadweight loss in manipulating the economy this way. Most of you on here think that the cost will be optomistically small and insignificant, or at least the benefit will out weigh the loss in the end. Most who disagree think the cost will be much bigger. Or on either side people just don't know or understand the issue.

It seems the approach that has been taken at least has the current state of the economy in mind. I have come across people who seem to think that the economy be damned we need to get clean energy at all costs even if it means sending the economy into total chaos and destruction. I have a hard time thinking that in such a situation anyone would care about green energy if it came to that point. I haven't seen anyone on here argue to that point so I guess I'm just blowing air here, but I have noticed that people here take the image of an extreme rightist and paste it onto the person they are arguing with if that person isn't as far left on an issue even if they don't consider themselves conservative.

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Blayne Bradley
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Uhm no, we can infer that government interest has over time shown to largely be the correct course for enhancing prosperity because precisely its because its something states have always done as if it wasn't something states were good at statecraft would've been a dead end a long time ago.
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King of Men
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"We have always done this, therefore it has always worked and will always continue to work".
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Uhm no, we can infer that government interest has over time shown to largely be the correct course for enhancing prosperity because precisely its because its something states have always done as if it wasn't something states were good at statecraft would've been a dead end a long time ago.

I'm guessing this logic only applies to this argument. You wouldn't want to apply it to something like conventional marriage vs gay marriage would you? And would you like to increase the scale of your argument to say complete state craft would be better?
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Blayne Bradley
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Your counter argument does not apply because we're talking about a course of action that is good for prosperity, so your comparison wouldn't make sense in that context. If you tried to adjust it to for example "conventional marriage is better because there was always been conventional marriage" it contradicts itself because we know q, being "there has ALWAYS been conventional marriage" is false as there have been various forms of marriage throughout history with none being particularly more compelling than traditional marriage.

On the other hand there has been no other form of organization large numbers of people within complex societies except for the nation-state* organized under a government of some form that directly or indirectly intervenes within the economic and political sphere.

And while some of these interventions can be historically and empirically proven to have been the incorrect gambles on the other hand none of these gambles have ever seriously undermined the notion of the nation-state or its perogatives to intervene within the economic, domestic or political interactions of the nation.

In fact its essentially the most unquestioned premise of the Political Sciences that government exists to intervene in managing the interactions of differing interest groups within the state throughout all history, which includes but not exhaustively so; trade unions, churches, corporations, guilds, ministries, political parties, clans, social classes, lobbyists, and et cetera and have always done so; and as a result have always picked a winner and a loser in managing these disputes, even in compromise situations.

Since 'they have always done so' may seem unconvincing in of itself its modified by the important distinction of "and never through its bad decisions undermined this notion" thus we conclude it makes the right decisions often enough through the political process that there is zero reason to ever question whether we should allow government to "pick winners and losers" as akin to questioning gravity because you can't see it. As there isn't anything substantial behind the question.

Since your argument cannot be said to be "I am okay with government intervention so long as there's sufficient oversight and deliberation" which is entirely an irrelevant practical matter that no doubt it will do the best it can when it can; but more likely a more intellectual claim of "government should not intervene in the economy to pick winners and losers" something which I have constructed to be false, Q.E.F.

I am going to require something more substantial than an attempt at equivalence and/or contradiction but an convincing argument in support of your original assertion.

*Yes I know PoliSci 101 has a more stricter definition of nation-state, and I mean something more like "country" but whatevs yo.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
This doesn't tell me much about what the success rate is and how it relates to other success rates in venture capitalism. It just tells me that the rate is higher than what those interviewed expected. I would imagine that the expectation of these venture capitalists was abismally low, but that's just conjecture on my part.

If it has such a high return rate then we could expect the investment in the industry to react at which point we wouldn't need gov't assistance. Since I'm pretty sure you think the gov't needs to step in (If I am wrong it is unintentional I don't mean to misrepresent anything you've said) then I question the amazing success of such companies.

The impression I've gotten from what I've read is that the loan program was by and large successful given what its purpose was, which was stimulus. The intent was to inject money into the economy, and perhaps in the process also promote something the government saw a long term interest in promoting. Based on that sole purpose, the program was a smashing success. Adding a second purpose, the ultimate success of the loans themselves, the DoE assumed as much as two or three Solyndra sized failures, which I think was 20% of the program. Thus far only like 5% have defaulted, I believe (I could be wrong there). Venture capital funds expect failure rates well above 50% and consider that to be highly successful, because the money they make off the half that succeeds more than makes up for the loss.

As for the grants, well, time will tell. They were meant to be longer term investments that have yet to pay dividends, but if you look at the value per research dollar of past government grants, I'm really not worried about value.

Regardless, the money the DoE invested is a drop in the bucket of total expenditures on energy in the United States as a whole. We're talking nine billion dollars out of a multi trillion dollar pie. You don't move heaven and earth with that, but you might shift a couple mountains.

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stilesbn
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This changes your argument substantially from "gov'ts have always done so therefore it must be good." Your new argument it's much more substantial. Where do you think the line of too much gov't intervention lies? One could go for complete social planning. While I don't think communism is guaranteed to fail, it is guaranteed to not reach the most efficient economic outcome.

To answer a possible counter argument with your possible flip side question, "Do you think there should be no gov't intervention, if not where do you draw the line?"

There are many cases where free market fails, the most notable example being where externalities exist. The gov't's job is to correct those externalities to the best of its ability which will almost certainly not be a perfect correction.

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Blayne Bradley
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Not true my original point and my clarification have always been the same, I quote from my original post:

quote:

its something states have always done as if it wasn't something states were good at statecraft would've been a dead end a long time ago.

Which I merely restated and is the same overall point.

quote:

One could go for complete social planning. While I don't think communism is guaranteed to fail, it is guaranteed to not reach the most efficient economic outcome.

I am okay with Workers Councils seizing the means of production through democratic means to achieve social equality. Efficiency is never the goal, but net utility.

quote:

To answer a possible counter argument with your possible flip side question, "Do you think there should be no gov't intervention, if not where do you draw the line?"

Is this supposed to be the converse? See above, government could stand to do a lot more intervening especially in the United States.

quote:

There are many cases where free market fails, the most notable example being where externalities exist. The gov't's job is to correct those externalities to the best of its ability which will almost certainly not be a perfect correction

Under Interventionist Capitalism yes, but that is only one view point and the one that is in my opinion the bearest minimum. For instance the military-industrial complex cannot survive without constant government intervention, should government just let them fail? Obviously not, in fact the US has been negligent in its duties by allowing for so many mergers between the major arms manufacturers which has resulted in major cost increases with the current lack of market competition.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Is this supposed to be the converse? See above, government could stand to do a lot more intervening especially in the United States.

My question to you was, "At what point is there too much gov't intervention and where do you draw that line?"

Since I anticipated that you might just shoot back and ask me where I thought the line was I tried to give my answer and back it up with a single example but not the only one.

I don't think you addressed the question though apart from saying "more than the United States."

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Blayne Bradley
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I believe I answered that question, I am okay with the workers lead by the vanguard intelligentsia seizing the means of production and establishing workers councils; preferably through democratic means and consensus building. Essentially the 'State' having near total control or say is fine by me.
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Rakeesh
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Time tested!
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Blayne Bradley
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Moreso than Libertarianism.
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