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Pepperkorn

Climate change debate data

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Your link still doesn't work.

 

In any event, I don't deny anthropromorphic climate change, but unfortunately the press sensationalizes the ultimate consequences.  For instance, if you read the UN reports, they phrase the consequences in terms of probability.  The worst scenarios are always given a low probability, yet those scenarios are what the press broadcasts.  Another recent example is the President's report on the connection between climate change and "extreme" weather.  That report could only say that the US has been experiencing a trend of more "extreme" weather, but could not say how much it was tied to carbon emissions or even if there was a link at all.  Most press reports either ignored that, or buried it in the story.

 

My largest bugaboo though is that if people in industrialized countries want to maintain their standard of living, and if you assume that folks in China and India would like to get to where the US and Western Europe are, carbon emissions will continue to rise even if we all switched to electric or hybrid cars.  The bulk of carbon emissions come from electricity production, which is dominated by coal, which is cheap and abundant.  (Even Germany, which is supposedly at the forefront in renewables is increasing its reliance on coal).  For wind/solar or other renewables to make even a dent in this would take a massive, massive undertaking that no one, when they actually understand the consequences, will be willing to face.   Someone with a better science background can correct me if I'm wrong, but I recall reading that in order to equal the output of a conventional power plant, you would need an array of solar panels the size of Manhattan.

 

The best plausible hope, even according to Charles Mann, is "clean" coal, or, more precisely carbon sequestration.  China is working on it with very mixed results, and it's very expensive as it is. 

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Your link still doesn't work.

Me or PK? It shows up inline in the post for me. https://www[dot]youtube.com/watch?v=cjuGCJJUGsg (replace the dot)

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Me or PK? It shows up inline in the post for me. https://www[dot]youtube.com/watch?v=cjuGCJJUGsg (replace the dot)

Yeah, it showed up after I posted.

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No major debate there Daniel.  I think that we just need to get citizens to a place where they understand money needs to go into research on alternative energy sources.

 

I'm just all about honesty -- if you (nto personally - as in that general sense)  mean "fvck 'em" then say it -- dont make yourself into an ignoramus pretending it's not real.  Claiming it's not a proven fact.  As long as you have morons claiming it's not real you'll have to have sensationalists trying to paint a picture of a possible future they claim cannot happen.    I think the situation isn't as rosy as you claim and I certainly don't think clean coal is any kind of answer -- certainly not sustainable. 

 

dammit -- I'm making this effin' nettle risotto and thinking I'm just going to get hammered on this lovely Riesling  -- someone has to barbeque the shrimp...  It's not getting creamy - what gives?  I'm using brown rice too... but it's worked before.  See I can't write like this on facebook -- Like my secret high school crush probably thinks I am THE most vapid quiz taking dill weed on the face of the earth....  why did I ever friend him.... well because I'm married and he's like... Boris Karloff -- seriously -- he talks just like it -- it's uncanny.  Always thought -- we should have done Arsenic and Old Lace he was that Karloffian... OK -I digress -- just making sure we give the topic it's proper respect here on a hockey board... climate change that is....not risotto or high school theatre.

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No major debate there Daniel. I think that we just need to get citizens to a place where they understand money needs to go into research on alternative energy sources.

I'm just all about honesty -- if you (nto personally - as in that general sense) mean "fvck 'em" then say it -- dont make yourself into an ignoramus pretending it's not real. Claiming it's not a proven fact. As long as you have morons claiming it's not real you'll have to have sensationalists trying to paint a picture of a possible future they claim cannot happen. I think the situation isn't as rosy as you claim and I certainly don't think clean coal is any kind of answer -- certainly not sustainable.

dammit -- I'm making this effin' nettle risotto and thinking I'm just going to get hammered on this lovely Riesling -- someone has to barbeque the shrimp... It's not getting creamy - what gives? I'm using brown rice too... but it's worked before. See I can't write like this on facebook -- Like my secret high school crush probably thinks I am THE most vapid quiz taking dill weed on the face of the earth.... why did I ever friend him.... well because I'm married and he's like... Boris Karloff -- seriously -- he talks just like it -- it's uncanny. Always thought -- we should have done Arsenic and Old Lace he was that Karloffian... OK -I digress -- just making sure we give the topic it's proper respect here on a hockey board... climate change that is....not risotto or high school theatre.

I disagree. It isn't about making the citizenry believe that money has to go to research alternative energy sources. Even a lot of climate change deniers (and not merely skeptics) won't argue with that. The problem is that alternative energy is touted by people that have no understanding of physics, chemistry or economics, and usually none of them. Only a dunce like Tom Friedman can believe that there's a future for China's high speed rail system, that runs on coal and is too expensive for an average person to even use. It's why, I will always to borrow a car when I have to go up to Boston to see my in-laws, instead of the $400 for two round trip Acela tickets.

The big problem that the environmental lobby has, and it isn't unfounded, is that none of them are willing to make the actual sacrifices they claim everyone else needs to make, which means cutting personal consumption. Notice how Tom Friedman and Al Gore did not move into houses that are smaller than the ones they grew up in. They buy a Prius or a Tesla and think it gives them the right to lecture the rest of the world.

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well then let me state it this way -- if everyone admitted anthropomorphic climate change is real then all other arguments would be based on one common understanding. 

 

I'd rather have the argument be about the most effective step forward rather than about denying there is any problem at all.  I'd prefer actual steps to be taken -- but as we see many who admit climate change is real are still in that debate and justification phase - well I wont do it if he won't.  If Al Gore won't downsize why should I? I'd rather Republicans try to outdo the liberal left at there own green game. I'd like Boehner to shame Gore into downsizing.   and why does he pronounce it Bane- er?  No it's not Boner.... but it's not BANE...

 

and as I say to irritate my daughter all to hell: Bist du bei mir, geh ich mit freuden zum sterben und zu meiner ruh. Ach, wie vergnügt wär so mein ende, Es drückten deine schönen hände mir die getreuen augen zu -- then I say Reinemachfrau.  ....she used to laugh

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well then let me state it this way -- if everyone admitted anthropomorphic climate change is real then all other arguments would be based on one common understanding. 

 

I'd rather have the argument be about the most effective step forward rather than about denying there is any problem at all.  I'd prefer actual steps to be taken -- but as we see many who admit climate change is real are still in that debate and justification phase - well I wont do it if he won't.  If Al Gore won't downsize why should I? I'd rather Republicans try to outdo the liberal left at there own green game. I'd like Boehner to shame Gore into downsizing.   and why does he pronounce it Bane- er?  No it's not Boner.... but it's not BANE...

 

 

 

It works both ways.  Meaning, while some deny there is any problem at all (although most of the "skeptic" community are "lukewarmers", but that's another story) the other side really denies that a serious effort to cut emissions would mean cutting personal consumption and altering the lifestyle of middle class people dramatically.  That's why we see so much attention placed on useless gestures like solar/wind, "earth hour", electric cars, high speed rail, etc.  Al Gore and Tom Friedman becoming hermits and using rain water to shower would be a nice example to set, but it doesn't get to the heart of the matter.  The honest question to be asked of everyone is, "do you want to be poorer"?  Politicians spend most of their time arguing that their opponents are making people poorer, so good luck with that one. 

 

Ultimately, I'm reminded of what Milton Friedman said in response to Phil Donahue's claim that capitalism is all really about greed.  Friedman said, "it's always the other guy that's greedy".  Here, it's always the other guy that's not doing enough to reduce his carbon footprint.  Yeah, I'd really like to take the bus instead of my car, but the bus isn't convenient for me.  Sure, I'd take the train instead of a car, but I have too much stuff to carry, and the train is too expensive for me.  I need to keep my air conditioner on all night because I really have trouble sleeping in a warm room.  Maybe I should live in a city with mass transit, but my job is out here in the burbs and the schools are better out here. 

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Personally I think your definition of "poorer" is one created by commercialism.  You know my hue and cry well enough by now I'd expect. I'm hardly a Luddite but I really dislike luxury masquerading as necessity. 

 

My most famous rant here - I don't NEED cable TV.  Cable TV doesn't enrich my life monetarily or spiritually.  It's merely a diversion. People gladly make themselves poorer for their cable TV. Remember when TV was pretty much free? To me, voluntarily paying $130 per month for television is people happily making themselves poorer.  So don't say it can't be done.

 

Basically America needs to stop comparing itself to the new think global economy and get back to it's ingenuity.  Of course I have plenty of chemist friends -- so many have started their alternative fuel biotechs. It's not as ineffective as you claim wind, sun, biofuels -- but in case you hadn't noticed I'm not going to have that debate.  Things start off with a lot of expense and a lot of unknowns -- that's the whole freaking point of advancement - to not even take the first step ..

 

 

Yeah -- Daniel, the point - the first and really only point I want to be taken from this thread is anthropogenic climate change is real. 

 

From there it is a given that the search for alternative energy sources is necessary.  If we all acknowledge the reality of the situation then you must conclude something has to be done.  That's why no one will give on that one point. No one wants to willfully make the wrong choice.  To admit anthropogenic climate change is real is to admit there is a problem to be solved.  Doing nothing is not the proper response.  From where you stand, you're ONLY bottom line reponse is "yeah - but I dont give a sh!t."  and everyone knows that's the wrong answer.  All the justification from there on out is the people who don't want to be "poorer" talk talk talking to alleviate the discomfort of making the wrong choice.

 

Technological advancement never made anyone poorer in the long run.  It makes people more rich in fact.  We are where we are because of technological advancement.  There are always winners and losers in life.  Advancement is the only path to long-term win.  So the argument is but we want to win in the here and now - It's the wrong response, logically and morally.  yet people still have that cigarette or that cheese cake.... human nature?  Yeah - stupid human nature - unsuccessful people think like that.  thats the point.  We can track back and get lost somewhere in the middle claiming we cannot convince people to be "poorer" -- that's just smoke and mirrors. I'm not going to have that discussion.

 

(Sorry if this is disjointed -- I really don't have time to sit down at one time and think it all through - you get my point. If it helps any I'm fine stating for the record: I'm not smart enough to do this here  :P )

Edited by Pepperkorn

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Personally I think your definition of "poorer" is one created by commercialism.  You know my hue and cry well enough by now I'd expect. I'm hardly a Luddite but I really dislike luxury masquerading as necessity. 

 

My most famous rant here - I don't NEED cable TV.  Cable TV does enrich my life monetarily or spiritually.  It's merely a diversion. People gladly make themselves poorer for their cable TV. Remember when TV was pretty much free? To me, voluntarily paying $130 per month for television is people happily making themselves poorer.  So don't say it can't be done.

 

Basically America needs to stop comparing itself to the new think global economy and get back to it's ingenuity.  Of course I have plenty of chemist friends -- so many have started their alternative fuel biotechs. It's not as in effective as you claim wind, sun, biofuels -- but in case you hadn't noticed I'm not going to have that debate.  Things start off with a lot of expense and a lot of unknowns -- that's the whole freaking point of advancement - to not even take the first step ..

 

 

Yeah -- Daniel, the point - the first and really only point I want to be taken from this thread is anthropogenic climate change is real. 

 

From there it is a given that the search for alternative energy sources is necessary.  If we all acknowledge the reality of the situation then you must conclude something has to be done.  That's why no one will give on that one point. No one wants to willfully make the wrong choice.  To admit anthropogenic climate change is real is to admit there is a problem to be solved.  Doing nothing is not the proper response.  From where you stand, you're ONLY bottom line reponse is "yeah - but I dont give a sh!t."  and everyone knows that's the wrong answer.  All the justification from there on out is the people who don't want to be "poorer" talk talk talking to alleviate the discomfort of making the wrong choice.

 

Technological advancement never made anyone poorer in the long run.  It makes people more rich in fact.  We are where we are because of technological advancement.  There are always winners and losers in life.  Advancement is the only path to long-term win.  So the argument is but we want to win in the here and now - It's the wrong response, logically and morally.  yet people still have that cigarette or that cheese cake.... human nature?  Yeah - stupid human nature - unsuccessful people think like that.  thats the point.  We can track back and get lost somewhere in the middle claiming we cannot convince people to be "poorer" -- that's just smoke and mirrors. I'm not going to have that discussion.

 

(Sorry if this is disjointed -- I really don't have time to sit down at one time and think it all through - you get my point. If it helps any I'm fine stating for the record: I'm not smart enough to do this here  :P )

 

Initially, it's a message board devoted to a hockey team, so no issue with disjointed thoughts. 

 

Of course technological advancement makes us all richer in the long run, but the question one has to ask is whether certain technological advancements are at all practical.  An extreme example to make the point is harnassing nuclear fusion to deliver usable energy.  If this were ever mastered, it would cut everyone's energy bill dramatically to the point that energy would virtually cease to be a scarce resource.  It isn't oil company meanies or James Inhofe that are standing in the way of this.  It's just that, based on the understanding of physics of the world's brightest minds, nuclear fusion may never be a practical option no matter how hard we try.  Or, as a more extreme example, it would be a waste of everyone's time to devote resources to mastering cold fusion.  Now, even though I am not a scientist, I suppose it's possible that technological advancement could make solar panels and wind turbines much much more efficient to the point that they're something more than feel good complimentary sources of energy.  I'll take the word of non-denier climate scientists not to bet on it. 

 

Do I give a sh!t?  I'll be as honest as I can and say more likely no.  Meaning, I'll take the word of the UN reports that the most dire scenarios that will manifest themselves long after I'm dead are of a relative low probability.  I suppose more "extreme" weather events are things that might affect me.  However, even the President's recent report said that no one can really say whether extreme weather is linked to APC.  It also doesn't help that the reliance on extreme weather is something that can't really be falsified and is a vague metric to begin with.  

 

Ultimately, I try to reduce my energy consumption by turning off the lights and other electronics, only using my AC when I need it, etc.  And although I don't own a car now, I suppose I'd buy something like an electric car if they become affordable and practical for my needs, or wants, if you like.  (I'm even willing to just shrug my shoulders in knowing that the taxpayer is helping to finance rich people buying Teslas).  But no, I'm not going to invest my own money in speculative alternative energy unless there is some enormous subsidy from the government, which will benefit rich guys like T. Boone Pickens, Al Gore and Elon Musk, a lot more than it will me.  And if I ever have kids, I'm not going to live in the city and subject them to the pathologies that exist in NYC public schools, pathologies that will exist no matter how money from rich people that Bill DeBlasio wants to throw at them, for reasons that I don't want to get into.  I will also not spend $400 to take a trip that I can do for $70 in the name of reducing my carbon footprint ever so slightly.   I wouldn't expect anything different from the rest of the world, and certainly not under the compulsion of law. 

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Good discussion, I'm fascinated reading. If you don't mind me asking, what are those pathologies you don't want to get into?

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Good discussion, I'm fascinated reading. If you don't mind me asking, what are those pathologies you don't want to get into?

It has more to do with the student body, and the environments they grow up in. It has very little to do with teachers unions or even "bad" teachers, which is evidenced by the fact that charter schools do about as well as public schools.

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It has more to do with the student body, and the environments they grow up in. It has very little to do with teachers unions or even "bad" teachers, which is evidenced by the fact that charter schools do about as well as public schools.

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Such as socioeconomic status? I took basic environmental science a couple semesters ago and was surprised at the conditions. Ie, schools being polluted because they are built too close to the road, zinc from tires being too high and causing kids to develop asthma. Is this along the lines of what you're getting at?

Or do you mean the mindset they are raised with towards the environment?

Edited by Devils Pride 26

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Such as socioeconomic status? I took basic environmental science a couple semesters ago and was surprised at the conditions. Ie, schools being polluted because they are built too close to the road, zinc from tires being too high and causing kids to develop asthma. Is this along the lines of what you're getting at?

Or do you mean the mindset they are raised with towards the environment?

Meaning the fact that you have schools filled with students that don't know their fathers, if they're not in jail. Mothers who were teenagers when they were born. Basically no meaningful value system instilled at home. The school to prison pipeline that Holder is complaining about is not a result of "white privilege" or undercover racists lurking in the shadows. There's a reason why no one in Congress or the President himself would ever, ever send their child to a DC public school. It isn't funding, since expenditures per pupil are close to $30,000. By contrast, my public high school, which ranked in the upper echelon of state and even national rankings spent about half of that per pupil.

Anyway, getting a little off topic, so I'll try and leave it at that.

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Meaning the fact that you have schools filled with students that don't know their fathers, if they're not in jail. Mothers who were teenagers when they were born. Basically no meaningful value system instilled at home. The school to prison pipeline that Holder is complaining about is not a result of "white privilege" or undercover racists lurking in the shadows. There's a reason why no one in Congress or the President himself would ever, ever send their child to a DC public school. It isn't funding, since expenditures per pupil are close to $30,000. By contrast, my public high school, which ranked in the upper echelon of state and even national rankings spent about half of that per pupil.

Anyway, getting a little off topic, so I'll try and leave it at that.

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Fully agree. It makes poverty perpetual.

More welfare is not the answer, less is.

Edited by Devils Pride 26

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haha... well -- that's why I'm in NJ instead of NYC.  We even have the free apartment on the lower east side.  But I just couldn't subject my daughter to that. ALl my friends kids are interviewing/auditioning to get into a PS dummfeck even,  not like it's Brooklyn Tech or Laguardia or something.  Fact is we can't isolate my daughter from things anywhere not in NYC or here in Jerz. But as you said, we won't get into that. There are more inconvenient truths than one can shake a stick at :D so we'll just stick with Al Gore's simple minded safe zone.

anyhow.... back to energy

 

Basically - the research has to start some time.  These aren't renewable resources and it's going to be someone's headache.  The fact no one is chiming in here is a good thing too.  We're where I think we should be en masse in the debate.  People with access to internet and fans of hockey are having a discussion like this,  that starts with "Yeah -- something has to be done but who's really going to do anything" is SOOOOOOO much better than "It's a myth" where we started a few years back.  Maybe in a few more years we'll move closer still...

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Basically - the research has to start some time.  These aren't renewable resources and it's going to be someone's headache.  The fact no one is chiming in here is a good thing too.  We're where I think we should be en masse in the debate.  People with access to internet and fans of hockey are having a discussion like this,  that starts with "Yeah -- something has to be done but who's really going to do anything" is SOOOOOOO much better than "It's a myth" where we started a few years back.  Maybe in a few more years we'll move closer still...

 

There is plenty of research into renewables that has been going on for some time now.  Uncle Sam and state governments are picking up part of that bill either directly or indirectly through things like tax incentives, or renewable energy "credits" to businesses that use renewables.  There's also plenty being done by the private sector all over the world.  (There's a lot of money to be made in selling solar panels).  And as I said, even deniers think renewables are a good idea, even if they think the need for them is not as urgent, or if they have some philosophical opposition to the government picking winners and losers and giving taxpayer dollars to the President's buddies.  But over all, they're really not standing in the way of it in any meaningful sense.

 

A rational conclusion to make is that, whether we like it or not, fossil fuels are going to make up the majority of the world's energy production at least for the rest of my lifetime.  It's not for lack of trying, it's just that the laws of physics and chemistry are a bitch. 

 

Because society's material wealth, i.e. the wealth that we can measure to some extent and what most of the world really cares about, correlates very nicely with energy use, if we want to continue to get wealthier, emissions are going to go up.  If you want to cut emissions, on average we're going to be poorer.  Unless of course you want to tie anything that goes wrong in the world to climate change.  I kid you not, supposedly serious publications have linked Boku Harum, Darfur, and al Qaeda to global warming.  And that's just what I can think of off the top of my head. 

 

So in other words, yeah, maybe cutting emissions will have serious economic consequences, but at least we'll have a world where there is no "extreme" weather, wars, murder and our children will somehow be better educated.  (I'm exaggerating here, but you get the idea).

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I disagree -- the research going on is dabbling.  I see no serious effort being made. You can't give it a year -- that's what's going on -- you get a year to see results -- that's not chemistry making you her bitch, that's people not giving a sh!t.  Throwing a couple hundred thousand here and there to see if anyone has a quick promising result isn't sincere effort -- it's actually a big waste of money.  Anyhow -- like you said, you're not a scientist and you're not equipped  to think outside of the existing layman's paradigm. (There must be some sort of Godwin's Law when people bring up cold fusion in a renewable energy discussion)

 

I'm not trying to take away your jade here but it's kind of stating the obvious that there won't be any serious push for alternative energy sources as long as there's money to be made in fossil fuels.  I think my daughter generation will take it more seriously

 

and making people richer or poorer?  We're getting wealthier -- guess it's my turn to wax all jaded now.  I'll spare us :)    I'll just say money does not lead to social or technological advancement.  Technological advancement in fact leads to social advancement and more money for everyone. 

Edited by Pepperkorn

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Haha -- I just looked for a Godwin's Law + cold fusion and some guy on a message board said what I did but in more hilarious fashion!  He said "when someone lobs the cold fusion gambit"  AWESOMENESS!!!  :rofl:  Triumph would come up with that -- or you yourself Daniel!

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I disagree -- the research going on is dabbling. I see no serious effort being made. You can't give it a year -- that's what's going on -- you get a year to see results -- that's not chemistry making you her bitch, that's people not giving a sh!t. Throwing a couple hundred thousand here and there to see if anyone has a quick promising result isn't sincere effort -- it's actually a big waste of money. Anyhow -- like you said, you're not a scientist and you're not equipped to think outside of the existing layman's paradigm. (There must be some sort of Godwin's Law when people bring up cold fusion in a renewable energy discussion)

I'm not trying to take away your jade here but it's kind of stating the obvious that there won't be any serious push for alternative energy sources as long as there's money to be made in fossil fuels. I think my daughter generation will take it more seriously

and making people richer or poorer? We're getting wealthier -- guess it's my turn to wax all jaded now. I'll spare us :) I'll just say money does not lead to social or technological advancement. Technological advancement in fact leads to social advancement and more money for everyone.

World investment in renewables last year was $244 billion, and I'm not sure whether that includes both government and private spending. Under no definition is that dabbling.

http://fs-unep-centre.org/publications/global-trends-renewable-energy-investment-2013

Otherwise I'm calling a reverse Godwin's law on you saying when you're invoking Godwin's law you're deflecting.

Or I'm thinking of a Manhattan Project law, which means if you say we need a Manhattan Project for this or that you usually don't know what you're talking about. Or perhaps it should be the Tom Friedman rule.

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I didn't mean to be invoking Godwin's law.  I have no problem with what you wrote -- it's what you think based upon what's put out there to the masses.  Neither of us delves that deeply into chemistry or the laws of physics.  Cold fusion is wet dream -- it's very 1970s.  I mean even I know that.  My dad used to talk about how cool it would be IF, when I was a kid.  Lots of people do stroke themselves - but it's just non-viable.  With that in mind it's goofy to hold it up as REAL alternative.  It's a goofy thing to put out there no matter which side you are on.  And BOTH sides give it a shot.  That's why it's comical -- not because you pulled some idiotic lame move.  Sorry if it seemed like I was trying to insult your intelligence or cam of patronizing.

 

 

NOW -- I do think 244 billion worlds wide is indeed dabbling when you consider forcasted Oil industry profits...$7,783 billion in 2017 -- and that's not taking into account ALL non-renewables

 

http://www.reportlinker.com/p01023616/Global-Oil-and-Gas-Refining-and-Marketing-Industry-Trend-Profit-and-Forecast-Analysis.html

 

Oh yeah -- and I AM just pulling googled links out of my ass because throwing stupid numbers out is lame and deflecting away from the point. 

 

Here here's more  2012 Oil and gas research investment:  "Total worldwide capital expenditures for the companies in the study were US$541.0b in 2012."  That's not 541 billion GLOBAL expenditure -- that's just from the companies in the study... there's lots more --  LOTS MORE being invested  -- and again -- were just talking oil & gas.

 

http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Newsroom/News-releases/News_Global-oil-and-gas-capital-expenditures-rise-despite-decline-in-profits#.U339OS9RarQ

 

Yes. As described in that bit in your link even I do consider 244 billion dabbling.  :)

Edited by Pepperkorn

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Also -- the point is still -- I'm so excited we get to move into a different arena -- we can move into the economic arena and that broadens the thinking...  someone is now free to broach the subject of investing in research.  Sure it may seem a losing battle at this early stage but its' nto ON THE TABLE IN A USA HOCKEY MESSAGE BOARD.  Sure a game show host can still grab headlines claiming climate alarmist are unpatriotic racist pigs -- but there is still an conversation going on at what amounts to the water cooler, going in the right, logical, educated direction.  That's such a victory to me.

Edited by Pepperkorn

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Also -- the point is still -- I'm so excited we get to move into a different arena -- we can move into the economic arena and that broadens the thinking...  someone is now free to broach the subject of investing in research.  Sure it may seem a losing battle at this early stage but its' nto ON THE TABLE IN A USA HOCKEY MESSAGE BOARD.  Sure a game show host can still grab headlines claiming climate alarmist are unpatriotic racist pigs -- but there is still an conversation going on at what amounts to the water cooler, going in the right, logical, educated direction.  That's such a victory to me.

 

The conversation about moving away from fossil fuels and into renewables has been going on for a long time.  I actually really can't stand how "we need to have an honest conversation about X" has entered into the political lexicon.  (It's almost as bad as using demagogue as a verb).  I find that when someone says an honest conversation is needed, it means they actually really want to avoid the issue and are honesty becomes a euphemism for I'm correct.

 

From my standpoint, there are a few issues with the climate change debate, which I've alluded to before.  Initially, it's the exaggerated claims from the main stream press.  Basically, you can't have a hurricane, a flood, a tornado, a drought, an unusually hot day, an unusually cold day without some television news producer or Op-Ed writer that studied political science or womyn's studies linking it to global warming.  The Atlantic is particularly terrible when it comes to this.  It's a claim that cannot be falsified.

 

But otherwise, and it can't be said enough, is that any realistic attempt to cut emissions will mainly come from cutting personal consumption, i.e. economic growth, even with renewables.  To make the point, here's some very rough math as it relates to solar.  (The numbers are according to wikipedia and someone can please correct my math if I'm wrong).

 

A solar panel running at 20 percent efficiency (pretty standard these days) in relatively ideal conditions, gets you 440 kwh per year (according to wikipedia).  Let's make that solar 100 percent efficient, which gets you to 2,200 kwh per year.  Looking around the interwebs, it seems like one solar panel that goes in your home costs $300, lets say there's technological advancement and economies of scale that can bring that cost down to $200. 

 

A ton of coal gets you 1,842 kwh at a cost of $60 per ton on the spot market, or that's what I've read.  That's about 1.2 tons of coal, or $72 per year.  So in other words, even with unheard of technological advancement it would take your Average Joe a few years to recoup the investment in a solar panel relative to coal, and that's even assuming that the solar panel lasts a lifetime, that it doesn't cost anything to maintain, and they cost nothing to install.  Guess what, for our lifetimes, coal is going to beat solar every single time.  No amount of extreme weather events is going to change that.

 

Now (again assuming my math is correct) THAT is an honest conversation about renewables and climate change. 

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Ivory tusks raise a sh!t load of money.  fvck the elephants - make money!

 

Most people aren't that comfortable being honest about that outlook.  There are other constructive options and you're choosing the destructive one.  It's not a wise maximum gain choice as you're kind of implying. It's more of an unapologetic instant gratification maximum high kind of choice even as you describe it. So that's the new challenge helping people really comprehend the impact of their choices, on an individual basis, as well as a grand scheme.  BTW - despite my example, I do not think it's morally reprehensible a la the elephants, I think based on what the public really knows of the subject, it's just being short-sighted for convenience sake.

 

Right now, it's such a highly subjective thing we can't really get into it.  My grabbing google insta-facts all slap-dash while you're doing the same isn't going to convince anyone of anything except perhaps that my grandfather passed down some serious arguing talent so that I - a generation removed from a professional - can still hold my own with a first line trained lawyer.  :uni:  I totally agree with much of what you say except I think your current forgone conclusion is wrong - so that means the word getting out there needs to be honed more now.

 

Also - just an FYI - I don't follow mainstream media or blogs or any of that. I don't follow global warming alarmist sights or publications. I pretty much listen to NPR on my work commute, watch nature programs on PBS, read Scientific American and American Scientist as well as receive Science and Nature which is pretty much over my head half the time.  Oh and I can't leave out my "friend" barrage of really weak gibberings on facebook posts.

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