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Cher Gilmore: Tax carbon, help the economy

Posted: June 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 16, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

For years, policy-makers have assumed that any program to address global warming by cutting carbon emissions would be a drag on the economy and cause massive job losses.

The issue has been repeatedly framed as an either-or choice: we can either improve the economy or save the environment.

Now a new study by Regional Economic Models Inc. has turned that notion on its head.

Regional Economic Models Inc. has provided economic impact analyses for private-sector clients as well as state and local governments, academic institutions and nonprofit research organizations for 34 years.

The REMI study found that a gradually increasing fee on carbon, with all revenues returned to households, would not only add millions of jobs, but also stimulate the economy.

More specifically, by 2025, we would add 2.2 million jobs, raise the gross domestic product by more than $80 billion annually, rebate a four-person family $3,480 per year, reduce carbon emissions by 33 percent, and save 13,000 lives a year due to improved air quality.

The study analyzed the economic impact of a gradually increasing fee or tax on the carbon content of fossil fuels, with all revenue returned to households.

The fee, assessed at the point of extraction or import, would start at $10 per ton of CO2 and increase by $10 per ton each year.

Border tariffs were factored in to keep the global playing field level for U.S. corporations. Revenue was divided into equal shares, with one share going to each adult and a half-share to each child, up to two children per household.

Returning the revenue to households would protect families from rising energy costs and ensure their support through the transition to renewable energy. That is important because popular support would be necessary to maintain the program long enough to achieve the needed reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The report shows emissions reductions would be at 52 percent of baseline by 2035 and 80 percent by mid-century.

This would keep us below the 2 degrees Celsius increase in warming that scientists say is the maximum we can safely tolerate.

British Columbia implemented a revenue-neutral carbon tax five years ago, and while per capita greenhouse gas emissions have decreased 9.9 percent, that province’s GDP has grown more than the rest of Canada’s, and 64 percent of the population supports the policy. The plan works.

If fear of economic pain has kept legislators from taking action to cut carbon emissions, the results of this study — along with British Columbia’s experience — should calm their nerves and motivate them to take another look at the carbon fee and dividend approach.

In the absence of such a solution, the Obama administration is proceeding with Environmental Protection Agency regulations to limit carbon pollution from coal-burning power plants.

Republicans in Congress are already lining up to block those rules, but the Supreme Court has issued repeated rulings recently that the EPA has both the authority and responsibility to regulate carbon as a pollutant.

Further challenges are unlikely to succeed.

There is already big-name support for the carbon fee approach in the conservative camp — for example, Former Secretary of State George Schultz and Greg Mankiw, economic advisor to President George W. Bush and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

They argue that the price of fossil fuels does not reflect the health, security and environmental costs resulting from their use. If we fix this price distortion, the market will gravitate toward cleaner energy without the need for regulations or subsidies.

Failure to dramatically reduce the greenhouse gas emissions we pump into the atmosphere daily will have consequences that could exceed our capacity to adapt.

That is the conclusion of climate studies recently released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment.

If we do little or nothing, the reports say, we’ll experience more of the extreme weather events we’ve already seen, more diseases, more damaged infrastructure, more flooding and drought, and more food and water shortages, among many other unsettling consequences.

Inaction is no longer an option.

The good news is that this study changes the whole conversation around global warming and the ways to contain it. It shows there is no economic argument against a national fee and dividend program.

This plan creates jobs, grows the economy, saves lives and makes Americans richer. And it does all this while reducing carbon emissions enough to prevent catastrophic warming.

What politician could be against those results?

If Republicans — or Democrats — want to avoid the regulatory approach, they should get on board with this market-based, win-win solution.

Cher Gilmore is a member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and lives in Santa Clarita.

 

Comments

ricketzz: Posted: June 16, 2014 6:23 a.m.

Replacing the Extraction/Burn economy with one based on Renewable Energy will be a net creator of more and better jobs. Coal miners and wildcatters get to join buggy whip manufacturers and elevator operators and get trained in something productive.


CaptGene: Posted: June 16, 2014 7:28 a.m.

I propose a KoolAid® Tax.


tech: Posted: June 16, 2014 7:31 a.m.

Ms. Gilmore avoids mentioning that a market based solution is already in place and has reduced U.S. CO2* emissions to a 20 year low. It's due to a transition from coal to natural gas power generation.

U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in early 2012 lowest since 1992

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=7350#tabs_co2emissions-1

The proposition that CO2 taxes, which would raise the cost of all food, products and services instead of just energy, would be returned to the taxpayers after running through the government sausage machine doesn't pass the laugh test.

The largest CO2 trading market has collapsed due to the reality that it only benefits rent seeking entities. The EU's CO2 emissions have risen while the U.S.'s have fallen.

ETS, RIP?
The failure to reform Europe’s carbon market will reverberate round the world

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21576388-failure-reform-europes-carbon-market-will-reverberate-round-world-ets

The logic is simple: A nation can't tax it's way to prosperity.

*The use of "carbon" is misleading and is designed to deflect from the real target, Carbon Dioxide. Taxing CO2, an essential component of life on Earth, is the route to impose a tariff on all economic activity.


Nitesho: Posted: June 16, 2014 8:17 a.m.

"I propose a KoolAid® Tax. "

I second this.


BrianBaker: Posted: June 16, 2014 8:27 a.m.

"More specifically, by 2025, we would add 2.2 million jobs, raise the gross domestic product by more than $80 billion annually, rebate a four-person family $3,480 per year, reduce carbon emissions by 33 percent, and save 13,000 lives a year due to improved air quality."


Who came up with that stuff? The same people who promised us that Obamacare was going to lower everyone's premiums by $2500 per year, and lower health costs, and be revenue-neutral?

THOSE liars?

It sure SOUNDS like the same pack of lies, repackaged and repurposed for the "climate change" Chicken Littles.


projalice11: Posted: June 16, 2014 8:48 a.m.


"Cher Gilmore: Tax carbon, help the economy"

BINGO Ms. Gilmore ..


chico: Posted: June 16, 2014 9:37 a.m.

Let's just have everybody work for the government so we can all be cronies together - talk about equality. Wooohooh I figured it out!


lars1: Posted: June 16, 2014 10:09 a.m.

What a moron!

statement: with all revenues returned to households!
answer......maybe returned as benefits to government employee unions

statement: we would add 2.2 million jobs
answer......more government jobs

statement: rebate a four-person family $3,480 per year
answer: this is after raising taxes by 10,000 year on a family.

statement: tax carbon emissions
answer...we are a carbon based life form. we breathe oxygen, and exhale carbon dioxide. We will be taxed on our carbon emissions(carbon dioxide).


therightstuff: Posted: June 16, 2014 11:38 a.m.

Look up any poll of your choosing about what issues Americans consider the most important. Global warming is consistently last on every list.


Lotus8: Posted: June 16, 2014 11:40 a.m.

You are really not presenting this in the proper light. REMI provides modeling software that is used by its paying customers (consulting firms, government agencies, universities, etc.) to assess the impact of certain actions such as a new business hiring 100 employees in a city or a new tax being implemented. REMI doesn't do the study, its customers play with the model's inputs and then come up with a set of inputs that get the model to put out a result that they then publicize. We don't really know the exact inputs used by whomever came up with these results so that we can assess how realistic those are, yet you are selling this here as some authoritative study that is concrete evidence of the genius of the proposed program.

People who create surveys can craft questions in order to get a better result that they then take public. In the same way, the validity of the inputs to the REMI model can likewise be tweaked.

Just thought it necessary to clear that up.


tech: Posted: June 16, 2014 12:37 p.m.

Thanks for the REMI insight, Lotus8.

http://www.remi.com/the-remi-model


AlwaysRight: Posted: June 16, 2014 1:38 p.m.

I downloaded the report and will look at it. However, one question does come to mind immediately; if all carbon tax revenues are returned to consumers, how does that create a force for change?

My thinking; a utility is taxed for its coal-buring plant. The utility passes on 100% of the tax increase to consumers who pay. The government (without taking out a dime to cover their costs) returns that money to the consumer. As taxes increase, so do consumer costs as well as refund checks.

Help me- how does this encourage reduction of fossil fuel use? More to come...


17trillion: Posted: June 16, 2014 1:56 p.m.

It doesn't Always. It's a scam. It's another liberal fairy tale that blissfully naïve people like Cher buy hook, line, and sinker. Remember when Obamacare was going to save money? Remember when the economy would take off if we only spent a trillion on "stimulus"? Remember when we're told there is no liberal bias in the media? Remember when we're told that being against aborting a 7 month old fetus meant we're at war with women? Remember, and this is a good one, when we were told we would be out of oil by now? How about that the Artic would be ice free? Remember when we're told "you didn't build that"? How about the border being secured? We were told that if we just went to light bulbs that were 10 times more expensive that our energy costs would go down. If we built more solar farms and had windmills and danced our way to Candyland, then our electricity bills would go down. Paying more in taxes would SAVE us money! The list is endless but the really sad part is that there are millions of pathetic people just like Cher who actually believe this BS.


AlwaysRight: Posted: June 16, 2014 4:41 p.m.

I hear you, 17t. Its just, I'd like someone from the left to explain it. Seriously. I can't fathom the thinking.

Cher- if you are reading this, please tell us how this plan works. Don't just cite the "benefits". Tell us why and how.


lars1: Posted: June 16, 2014 8:34 p.m.

AlwaysRight, the state of California is finding more ways to tax the citizens.
First it was the rain tax from the stormwater people. Now its the pee tax from the sanitation people. cher wants California to tax the citizens for breathing in air, and exhaling carbon dioxide. pension costs are going up!


BrianBaker: Posted: June 17, 2014 9:20 p.m.

Yeah, Obama was babbling about CO2 in his speechifying yesterday.

Every time I hear that bullsheep about CO2, all I keep thinking is: "more plants". After all, CO2 is necessary for photosynthesis.

Gotta be good for agriculture, right?


ricketzz: Posted: June 17, 2014 6:22 a.m.

The bubble is very impenetrable. Hopefully it floats.

17Trillion is a perfect example of someone who has bought the propaganda and now lives comfortably wrong in the bubble. I can tell by his list of out of context hilarious right wing talking points.

Global Warming is killing more plants than it's helping. At least animals can move a little higher, a little farther from the tropics. Plants are stuck in suddenly hostile environments and they are not thriving.

"Photsynthesis" is being studied for clues to carbon sequestration, BTW.

I suggest you peruse an issue of "Home Power" magazine before you make your blanket decisions. Decentralized and distributed generation and storage, versus a big hulking fire-breather power plant, is the way the future is going. An industrial facility builds its own utilities, possibly with state help; having ratepayers subsidize peak capacity that they rarely use, to benefit a commercial entity, is not going to fly.


Nitesho: Posted: June 17, 2014 7:57 a.m.

"Global Warming is killing more plants than it's helping"

Source?


AlwaysRight: Posted: June 17, 2014 9:10 a.m.

OK, ricketzz. I will ask you.
Can you explain to me how this carbon tax system works?
I have read all of the news reports but still do not see
how it encourages a reduction of CO2 production.

BB- do you understand this proposal?


ricketzz: Posted: June 18, 2014 6:36 a.m.

"If you want less of something, tax it more." -Stephen Moore

Burning stuff produces co2, which is almost twice the historical average concentration, and which is causing our planet's average temperatures to climb higher for longer than any time in human history. The burner gets charged a fee based on the amount of carbon gas released by the burning process. The fee makes the carbon fuel less attractive v renewable fuels and starts the process of making fossil fuel companies clean up after themselves.

Every day we delay is a day off the back end, a day our grandkids will spend in a man-made hellscape if they survive at all. This is the Sixth Great Extinction and it is underway.


Nitesho: Posted: June 18, 2014 8:25 a.m.

"This is the Sixth Great Extinction and it is underway."

Source?


Indy: Posted: June 18, 2014 11:40 a.m.

Tech wrote: Ms. Gilmore avoids mentioning that a market based solution is already in place and has reduced U.S. CO2* emissions to a 20 year low. It's due to a transition from coal to natural gas power generation.

U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions in early 2012 lowest since 1992

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=7350#tabs_co2emissions-1

Indy: The US gets around 50% of its daily electricity from coal . . . and while natural gas helps in the ‘short run’, but consider that natural gas reserves are only good for about 13 years at ‘current consumption’: http://www.eia.gov/countries/country-data.cfm?fips=US&trk=m#ng

Tech wrote: The proposition that CO2 taxes, which would raise the cost of all food, products and services instead of just energy, would be returned to the taxpayers after running through the government sausage machine doesn't pass the laugh test.

Indy: The assumption that we cannot deal with CO2 due to the economic consequences ignores the same consequences from climate change. The poster ‘forgot’ to include that simple fact.

Tech wrote: The largest CO2 trading market has collapsed due to the reality that it only benefits rent seeking entities. The EU's CO2 emissions have risen while the U.S.'s have fallen.

Indy: False comparison . . . due to the ‘limits’ of future natural gas in the US.


Tech wrote: The failure to reform Europe’s carbon market will reverberate round the world

http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21576388-failure-reform-europes-carbon-market-will-reverberate-round-world-ets

Indy: Indeed the consequences of climate change from burning carbon based fuels is simply ‘IGNORED’ by this poster . . . in any event, the ‘marketing’ of carbon pollution through credits allows the market to remove the most costly forms of carbon pollution first.

And we must address the ‘external’ costs of carbon pollution . . . something the ‘free market’ without such guidance will not do in the short run . . .

Tech wrote: The logic is simple: A nation can't tax it's way to prosperity.

Indy: This is perhaps the most cited RNC slogan that was ever created although it’s misleading and put forth to mislead on this topic.


Indy: Posted: June 18, 2014 11:42 a.m.

Tech wrote: *The use of "carbon" is misleading and is designed to deflect from the real target, Carbon Dioxide. Taxing CO2, an essential component of life on Earth, is the route to impose a tariff on all economic activity.

Indy: Here is why I wanted to know the educational background of this poster . . . which I’ve got narrowed down to a few disciplines with a ‘legal’ background in the top three. Why is this important to know about this poster?

It addresses his ignorance when it comes to understanding the basic ecology of our planet including the ‘carbon cycle’ but more importantly, when various chemicals, in this case, carbon dioxide, are not understood in context.

In any event, for a brief recap of climate science, here you go:


Indy: Posted: June 18, 2014 11:42 a.m.

What I find fascinating is that some Americans believe climate change is simply based on one’s ‘beliefs’ and not science.

We all know about earth’s history including the ‘fact’ that CO2 is a greenhouse gas that does trap solar radiation that keeps this planet warm. Without this, we'd be living on a ice ball in space . . .

The problem is that we’re increasing the CO2 very very quickly.

But first, the simple chemistry:

C + O2 = CO2

When we burn fossil fuels, we are taking carbon from the carbon chains in the fuel, combusting it with oxygen in the air, using the heat and exhausting the combustion products that include CO2.

How much of the CO2 is being emitted to the atmosphere?

Consider the following just for the USA:

- we burn about 1.1 BILLION tons of coal each year (about 3 tons per American)

- we burn about 7 BILLION barrels of oil each year (about 23 barrels per American)

- we burn about 23 TRILLION cubic feet of natural gas (75,000 cubic feet per American)

All of this carbon is being ‘dug out of the ground’ and reintroduced to the atmosphere. This is causing the concentration of CO2 to raise from preindustrial levels of about 280 ppm (parts per million) to now going into the 390 ppm range.

This has caused the mean thermal temperature of the earth to raise about 1.5 degree Fahrenheit (read global warming).

So the science is well understood and we can see that ‘humans’ are burning more and more carbon raising the concentration.

The question is what will all of this mean?

Well, more energy on the planet will create changing weather patterns (aka ‘climate change’) as the heat absorbed raises both the air and water temperature.

Higher air temperature causes the air to hold more water and thus rain output will increase the magnitude of rainfall in some areas.

Higher ocean temperatures will cause storms of greater magnitude.

What these will be and their aftereffects we’re just starting to understand. But these changes are happening . . . and their consequences could be significant.

So there’s little doubt that the burning of fossil fuels is having an ‘effect’ and we’re going to have to try to understand what that means long term.

For links to the rising temperature due to climate change introduction of more CO2:
But we can see the rising global mean temperatures: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs_v3/

And we can also see the rising concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere as we burn more and more fossil fuels:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Mauna_Loa_Carbon_Dioxide-en.svg


Here’s a good link that clearly explains in the burning chemistry equations of coal and natural gas:

http://telstar.ote.cmu.edu/environ/m3/s3/09fossil.shtml

This is something you can again ‘see’ for yourself.

Interestingly, they start off using my basic equation . . . .


Indy: Posted: June 18, 2014 11:50 a.m.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_extinction
The Holocene extinction, sometimes called the Sixth Extinction, is a name proposed to describe the extinction event of species that has occurred during the present Holocene epoch (since around 10,000 BCE) mainly due to human activity. The large number of extinctions span numerous families of plants and animals including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and arthropods. Although 875 extinctions occurring between 1500 and 2009 have been documented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources,[1] the vast majority are undocumented[citation needed]. According to the species-area theory and based on upper-bound estimating, the present rate of extinction may be up to 140,000 species per year.[2]
The Holocene extinction includes the disappearance of large mammals known as megafauna, starting between 9,000 and 13,000 years ago, the end of the last Ice Age. This may have been due to the extinction of the mammoth that had maintained grasslands that became birch forests without the mammoths.[3] The new forest and the resulting forest fires may have induced climate change.[3] Such disappearances might be the result of the proliferation of modern humans which led to climate change. These extinctions, occurring near the Pleistocene–Holocene boundary, are sometimes referred to as the Quaternary extinction event. The Holocene extinction continues into the 21st century.
There is no general agreement on whether to consider this as merely part of the Quaternary extinction event, or just a result of human caused changes.[3][4] Only during these most recent parts of the extinction have plants also suffered large losses. Overall, the Holocene extinction can be characterized by humanity's presence.

Indy: Another more extensive documentation of the extinction issues is found in this book: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert (Feb 11, 2014)

Indy: In any event, unsustainable economic growth based on consumption that reduce plant and animal habitat creates extinctions due to the ‘crowding’ out of resources consumed by humans.

Now many conservatives see this trade off as ‘acceptable’ . . . even citing ancient biblical scripture . . . and going as far to assert that humans have no ‘limits’ even though we live on a ‘fixed rock in space’.

Ignoring reality is great in the short run but we all lose in the long run by following blindly this type of thinking . . .


Indy: Posted: June 18, 2014 11:57 a.m.

Many Americans are still being misinformed by the ‘simple minded logic’ that adding massive amounts of CO2, something ‘needed for plants and for keeping the earth from being a ‘frozen ice ball’ naturally, isn’t having other consequences including the acidification of the oceans.

In any event, if you can get beyond viewing only conservative media sources that exclude this type of knowledge, you’ll find that the sloganized misinterpretation of adding CO2 beyond natural processes is indeed creating extinction level realities as we see here:

Oyster farmers and ocean acidification from The Story Group Plus :
“The ocean is so acidic that it is dissolving the shells of our baby oysters,” says Diani Taylor of Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton, Washington. She and her cousin Brittany are fifth-generation oyster farmers, and are grappling with ocean waters that are more acidic and corrosive than their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers knew.
This “ocean acidification” is one planetary response to humans’ burning of fossil fuels, which releases carbon dioxide that is absorbed by the oceans. According to the National Climate Assessment, oceans currently absorb about a quarter of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, leading to ocean acidification that will alter marine ecosystems in dramatic yet uncertain ways.
To learn more about ocean acidification, go to NCA2014.globalchange.gov


Indy: Posted: June 18, 2014 11:58 a.m.

Indy: For more information, go to: Ocean acidification
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification

"Ocean acidification is the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO
2) from the atmosphere.[2] An estimated 30–40% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere dissolves into oceans, rivers and lakes.[3][4] To achieve chemical equilibrium, some of it reacts with the water to form carbonic acid. Some of these extra carbonic acid molecules react with a water molecule to give a bicarbonate ion and a hydronium ion, thus increasing ocean "acidity" (H+ ion concentration). Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from approximately 8.25 to 8.14,[5] representing an increase of almost 30% in H+ ion concentration in the world's oceans.[6][7] Earth System Models project that within the last decade ocean acidity exceeded historical analogs [8] and in combination with other ocean biogeochemical changes could undermine the functioning of marine ecosystems and many ocean goods and services.[9]

Increasing acidity is thought to have a range of possibly harmful consequences, such as depressing metabolic rate and immune response in some organisms, and causing coral bleaching.

Other chemical reactions are triggered which result in a net decrease in the amount of carbonate ions available. This makes it more difficult for marine calcifying organisms, such as coral and some plankton, to form biogenic calcium carbonate, and such structures become vulnerable to dissolution.[10] Ongoing acidification of the oceans threatens food chains connected with the oceans.[11][12] As members of the InterAcademy Panel, 105 science academies have issued a statement on ocean acidification recommending that by 2050, global CO
2 emissions be reduced by at least 50% compared to the 1990 level.[13]


tech: Posted: June 18, 2014 1:30 p.m.

Indy, despite your voluminous outgassing in multiple repetitive posts, you failed to refute a single point I made in my original rebuttal to Ms. Gilmore's assertions. --edited.


AlwaysRight: Posted: June 18, 2014 3:13 p.m.

Outgassing. The formula;

Indy + Bad thinking + Boredom --> Outgassing + Long Posts + Funny retorts


tech: Posted: June 18, 2014 7:19 p.m.

An excellent summation of the basic chemistry, AR!


CaptGene: Posted: June 18, 2014 8:42 p.m.

I think you missed a step AR:

Indy Nile + Bad thinking + Boredom + getting his Internet priviledges back = Outgassing


ricketzz: Posted: June 19, 2014 7:29 a.m.

Ocean acidification causes shortages of krill and other small animals that make up the base of the oceans' food chain. Plankton are not found where expected and the oceans may well be dying off before our eyes.

https://duckduckgo.com/?t=lm&q=sixth+great+extinction


Indy: Posted: June 19, 2014 6:52 p.m.

Tech wrote: Indy, despite your voluminous outgassing in multiple repetitive posts, you failed to refute a single point I made in my original rebuttal to Ms. Gilmore's assertions.

Indy: Sadly, I don’t think you can understand what is put before you . . . just one more reason to reveal your educational background so I can better help you . . .


tech: Posted: June 20, 2014 9:58 p.m.

Fact: Your problem is that I understand that you failed to rebut a single point I made, Indy.

You can't help anyone but yourself. But it's a choice to ground yourself in reality instead of delusion driven by ideological fervor. Until you change, your outgassing contributes nothing beyond entertainment to this forum.


ricketzz: Posted: June 20, 2014 7:03 a.m.

Cap and Trade was first proposed by the GOP. In any event there is no cap and trade scheme currently being proposed. Now it's just Cap or Die.


tech: Posted: June 20, 2014 2:34 p.m.

Irrelevant if factual, ricketzz. The columnist is proposing to tax CO2, i.e. all economic activity.


Indy: Posted: June 21, 2014 7:58 p.m.

Tech wrote: Fact: Your problem is that I understand that you failed to rebut a single point I made, Indy.

Indy: Sadly, what I see is that you suffer from the same malady from the author you recommended me to . . .

He likes and indeed understands the ‘technology’ but not the big picture.

Having technology extract resources ‘faster’ does not make them last longer.

Likewise, he ignores the depletion issue with resources ignoring the basic concept that energy engineers use to determine of it’s practical to extract energy or even resources: EROEI.

Do you understand why using natural gas over coal reduces CO2 by half?

And do you grasp that even natural gas isn’t ‘limitless’ . . . as we see with its reserves . . .

Sadly, some of this stuff you simply refuse to acknowledge and thus we get the statements like ‘you failed to rebut a single point I made’.

You need to look at the bigger context . . . same recommendation I gave to AR . . . and get away from your libertarian ideology perspective . . . it’s not helping you at all . . . and is misleading people.

Tech wrote: You can't help anyone but yourself. But it's a choice to ground yourself in reality instead of delusion driven by ideological fervor. Until you change, your outgassing contributes nothing beyond entertainment to this forum.

Indy: You get points for creatively in writing this paragraph but it doesn’t hide your technical ignorance or ability to see statistics in context.

Again, being repetitive, let me know your educational background . . . to better focus my responses to your posts.


tech: Posted: June 22, 2014 10:47 p.m.

Your thinking and worldview are static, Indy. Human ingenuity and adaptation are dynamic.

Free your mind.


ricketzz: Posted: June 22, 2014 7:57 a.m.

Natural gas is no cleaner than coal. We leak way more than the oil companies are willing to admit. An economy based on fossil fuel going forward will seriously imperil everyone. The planet can easily be powered by solar and wind. It is just a matter of will. Big Oil needs to be gracefully put to sleep, like an old hound dog.


tech: Posted: June 22, 2014 10:38 a.m.

"The planet can easily be powered by solar and wind." - ricketzz

Prove it.


Indy: Posted: June 22, 2014 3:17 p.m.

Tech wrote: Your thinking and worldview are static, Indy. Human ingenuity and adaptation are dynamic. Free your mind.

Indy: Notice the poster completely ‘IGNORED’ the reality and just immediately gets back to his ideology . . .

No discussion about ‘limitless’ natural gas or even any idea what EROEI means yet the poster keep asserting he has a clue . . .


tech: Posted: June 22, 2014 6:07 p.m.

I've already addressed reality with sourced references that you decline to accept, Indy.

Energy reserves are dynamic and there are easily 150-200 years of fossil fuel supply for humanity to invent what's next.

Stop panicking. Your generation won't be part of the solution. You'll be retired and continue to benefit from cheap energy.


ricketzz: Posted: June 23, 2014 7:55 a.m.

tech; you are supposed to be the great scientific mind. Calculate the total energy being used at a given time. Calculate the solar energy striking the earth at the same time and you'd see we have thousands of times more free energy than we will ever need, even after accounting for inefficiencies in production, transport, and storage. Wind was a quick foot in the door but CSP and PV are the obvious choice going forward.

Every pound of fossil fuel we leave in the ground is more time on the back end. We can't burn that stuff any longer than we absolutely have to. Stop defending the indefensible. Wakey wakey.


tech: Posted: June 23, 2014 10:29 a.m.

As you touched on, the total solar energy striking the Earth doesn't equate to the following being "easy":

• Capture
• Conversion to useable energy
• Storage
• Transmission to point of use

I'd encourage you to research the existing energy density of solar and wind. Then calculate the land required to displace fossil fuel use. Nothing available today approaches the energy density of fossil and nuclear fuel. Hydroelectric and geothermal power generation are location dependent as well.

Solar and wind can supplement the grid but can't supply reliable base grid power. Solar does present opportunities for dual land use via distributed power generation.

Calculation to quantify what you assert:

“Between 1985 and 2012, global electricity production increased by about 450 terawatt-hours per year. That’s the equivalent of adding about one Brazil (which used 554 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2012) to the global electricity sector every year. And the International Energy Agency expects global electricity use to continue growing by about one Brazil per year through 2035.

What would it take to just keep up with the growth in global electricity demand—450 terawatt-hours per year—by using solar? We can answer that question by looking at Germany, which has more installed solar-energy capacity than any other country, about 33,000 megawatts. In 2012, Germany’s solar facilities produced 28 terawatt-hours of electricity. Thus, just to keep pace with the growth in global electricity demand, the world would have to install 16 times as much photovoltaic capacity as Germany’s entire installed base, and it would have to do so every year.”

Excerpt From: Robert Bryce. “Smaller Faster Lighter Denser Cheaper.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/VFtEV.l

Human ingenuity will continue to invent energy generating technology. However, asserting that total conversion to solar and wind power is easy isn't factual.


Indy: Posted: June 23, 2014 5:21 p.m.

Tech wrote: I've already addressed reality with sourced references that you decline to accept, Indy.

Indy: Yes, I decline since they don’t address the issues.

Tech wrote: Energy reserves are dynamic and there are easily 150-200 years of fossil fuel supply for humanity to invent what's next.

Indy: There’s lots to discuss in that statement but suffice it to say, it’s pushing the ‘tough decisions’ way into the future and we’re going to see the consequences of that a lot sooner.

As world oil is peaking, a lot of the folks like you make these projections at ‘current consumption’ . . . not even addressing the global population expansion still at about 70 million net per year . . . that will exhaust resources much faster than your referred author noted or even addressed.

But a lot more to come . . . stay tuned . .

Tech wrote: Stop panicking. Your generation won't be part of the solution. You'll be retired and continue to benefit from cheap energy.

Indy: I’m not sure why people like you use such terms as ‘panicking’ for people like me that take the time to analyze things . . . it’s akin to the religious conservatives that like to use the word ‘hate’ every time you disagree with them.

In any event, we see that burning fossil fuels isn’t ‘cheap’ when you figure in the externalities . . . more to come on that as well.


tech: Posted: June 23, 2014 8:19 p.m.

The preponderance of climate alarmist rhetoric is designed to induce a panicky emotional response to energy policy rather than a rational one. You really ought to read the strategy documents of the environmental lobby and their rent-seeking allies.

The American electorate can delineate between political rhetoric and sound economic policy based on scientific reality.

Humanity will move forward as I've outlined rather than regress. That's not "hate". It's reason.

Enjoy your retirement and witness continuous innovation unfold. :-)


ricketzz: Posted: June 24, 2014 6:02 a.m.

Tell Elon Musk what he's doing won't work! Building 16 times the installed PV base of Germany every year sounds like a growth industry to me. Why do you hate capitalism?


tech: Posted: June 24, 2014 9:44 a.m.

I suggest you join the current White House Council of Economic Advisors, ricketzz. Your hyperbole skills would be a perfect fit!


tech: Posted: June 24, 2014 12:06 p.m.

Tesla Is No Success Story
Tesla is only profitable thanks to politics and tax subsidies.

Along with the federal loan, Tesla also relies on support from politicians through a complex series of federal and state subsidies. For each purchase of a new Tesla acquired for personal use, the federal government offers a $7,500 federal tax credit. In addition, various states offer additional income-tax credits, including $6,000 in Colorado and $7,500 in West Virginia.

These subsidies have become so central to Tesla's business model that it advertises them to customers as a way to cover the cost of a down payment. And for states that do not yet offer subsidies for electric cars? Tesla's website provides links to help consumers encourage state and local legislators to subsidize the purchase of such vehicles. The company's site even goes so far as to recommend consulting a tax professional.

Even with the support of federal and state politicians, Tesla would still be reporting losses were it not for its ability to profit off of other auto manufacturers in California. In the first quarter of 2013, Tesla reported its first-ever quarterly profit by using special credits from California's Air Resources Board, which rewards auto manufacturers for the production of "zero-emission" vehicles. So far this year, Tesla was able to turn what would have been a $57 million loss into an $11 million gain by selling $68 million worth of these credits to other auto manufacturers in California.

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2013/06/03/teslas-success-is-the-result-of-political-favoritism


tech: Posted: June 24, 2014 12:10 p.m.

Elon Musk's rocket company gets subsidies from U.S. and France

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk justifies U.S. subsidies for his rocket company by pointing to French subsidies for his competitors. The problem: Musk's company also profits from those same French subsidies.

It’s a standard tale of corporatism: Governments engage in an economic arms race, while the corporations profit from the attention.

Musk is a true entrepreneur of the 21st century. He heads three companies: Tesla, which makes high-end plug-in electric cars; SolarCity, which installs solar panels on homes and office buildings; and SpaceX, which makes rockets and spacecraft.

Musk is also the model businessman in the age of Obama: His businesses thrive on mandates, regulations and subsidies. Tesla received a federal loan guarantee to make its plug-in cars, which are also subsidized through tax credits for buyers. SolarCity's suppliers are subsidized solar panel makers, and its customers get tax credits for getting the panels installed. SpaceX is largely a government contractor.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/elon-musks-rocket-company-gets-subsidies-from-u.s.-and-france/article/2547874


ricketzz: Posted: June 25, 2014 6:13 a.m.

Bitter, much? Do you know how much money we save by using the Dragon to deliver cargo to the ISS? Do you know how much Russia charges for a round trip? Have you seen how roomy the human version is?

If you'd like to go over the aerospace industry's reliance on govt subsidies, contracts and angel lawmakers I welcome an in-depth examination. Don't pick on the one shining star we have.


tech: Posted: June 25, 2014 11:10 a.m.

While you rail continually against corporatism, I found it exceedingly curious that you held up Elon Musk as an example when all of the corporations he leads receive and depend on government subsidies. Your "principles" have exceptions, eh?

I don't envy Musk's success nor dispute his brilliance. He's taking advantage of government intervention in the free market. Right now, he's shopping the location of a battery plant and a factor will be state taxpayer subsidies.

I support the privatization of launch vehicles and realize that a transition phase from a 100% Federal controlled model to a non-subsidized commercial one requires a transitional period. The SpaceX and Orbital Sciences commercial and government launch contracts are examples of private industry innovation.

I'm rather well informed about the aerospace industry and do know the answers to your inquiries. Competition brings value. The USA has more than "one shining star" in the aerospace industry in general and the launch vehicle business in particular.

I'm bullish on eliminating the nation state monopoly in space. Here's a great primer on the possibilities for the lay person:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h_d6YVA1Kg


ricketzz: Posted: June 28, 2014 7:07 a.m.

I admire billionaires like Musk and Shuttleworth and Branson, who spend money almost as fast as they make it; more rich people should do this, instead of trying to pretend they are above "all that". Oh yeah, the Red Bull guy and the GoPro guy. "You can't take it with you"!

Sting just announced he'll start his kids off without the fortune (probably just a couple million in foldin' money).



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