GOP Bailout "Pork" List

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Lumpy » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:20 pm UTC

WIND POWER causes more deaths per kilowatt generated than nuclear.


People are somehow more willing to accept 365 deaths, one every day of the year, than 365 deaths all at once, and none for the rest of the year.

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby 22/7 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:24 pm UTC

Well yeah. One guy dying is unfortunate and may or may not make the news. 365 guys dying all at once is a tragedy and will be in the news for weeks and will be summoned forth whenever related subjects are discussed for months if not years.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby frezik » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:44 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:I'm not sure that giving hybrid vehicles to government employees would really save anything even in the long run. Most government car travel is done by highway, where hybrids show little to no fuel economy improvements over gasoline-engined cars with similar interior space. Certainly not enough to justify the added cost. Putting them on military bases, however, is an excellent idea, since those vehicles rarely get over 30 mph (if that), and that's where the vast majority of savings is found.


Perhaps. Diesels do tend to do better on the hiway than hybrids. However, part of the point isn't just saving money for the government, but in encouraging the development of a range of efficient vehicles for everyone.

mosc wrote:Look, this is important. Like it or not, you have about 200,000,000,000 watts of coal generation in the united states and there are NO even REMOTELY practical solutions for replacing that in the short term (and by short term I mean the next 25 fucking years).


I'm not so sure anymore. Superconducting power transmission cables are actually being tested in the field. Not just in the lab, but actual, practical tests. This opens up the possibility of covering the Mojave in solar reflectors and moving the energy all the way to New York with no line losses. Even with the Liquid Nitrogen needed to keep it cool, you'll still come out ahead due to elimnating losses.

The Reaper wrote:But what happens to the coal mining jobs and such?


Some will stay there. There will be coal power plants for the near term, and coal is also needed for smelting furnaces. Other jobs will open up in alternative energy (concrete for Nuclear, mirror surfacing for solar refelectors).
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby 22/7 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 5:51 pm UTC

frezik wrote:I'm not so sure anymore. Superconducting power transmission cables are actually being tested in the field. Not just in the lab, but actual, practical tests. This opens up the possibility of covering the Mojave in solar reflectors and moving the energy all the way to New York with no line losses. Even with the Liquid Nitrogen needed to keep it cool, you'll still come out ahead due to elimnating losses.
I'm going to assume you meant solar panels, and ask, at what cost? Remember that the Mojave has a bunch of life that's adapted to living in the Mojave, and putting a shitton of solar panels out there might not be too conducive to that life staying, well, alive.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby frezik » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:00 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:
frezik wrote:I'm not so sure anymore. Superconducting power transmission cables are actually being tested in the field. Not just in the lab, but actual, practical tests. This opens up the possibility of covering the Mojave in solar reflectors and moving the energy all the way to New York with no line losses. Even with the Liquid Nitrogen needed to keep it cool, you'll still come out ahead due to elimnating losses.
I'm going to assume you meant solar panels, and ask, at what cost? Remember that the Mojave has a bunch of life that's adapted to living in the Mojave, and putting a shitton of solar panels out there might not be too conducive to that life staying, well, alive.


No, I mean solar reflectors. They're both easier to manufacture and more efficient. Solar panels might be nice for putting on your roof, but they don't belong in a large scale power installation.

I've come to accept that you simply cannot provide the energy for 300 million people in the US, or 6 billion worldwide, without having some affect on the environment. The goal must be to find the solution that keeps the changes to a minimum. If you're going to use solar, it's best to put in a desert area where direct damage is limited to a relatively uninhabited environment.

I also won't fall into a trap of thinking there must be one and only one solution. I expect this to be combined with wind power in the Plains states, and tidal on the coasts.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:04 pm UTC

frezik wrote:
22/7 wrote:I also won't fall into a trap of thinking there must be one and only one solution. I expect this to be combined with wind power in the Plains states, and tidal on the coasts.


And nuclear. It's a big one, and unfortunately ahs a bad rep even though modern technology all but eliminates any danger. I'd really like to see pork beefing up nuclear power.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Brooklynxman » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:12 pm UTC

The GOP is falling apart. Which is sad because they represent the only other party in our 2 party system. I dont want a one party government.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:33 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:What? You mean like the Civic which bumps from between 29-36 up to 45? Ok, so the US government probably won't ever buy one of these wonderfully engineered vehicles, opting instead for an Aura (bump of 1 mpg highway), but still. They're out there! They exist!

The EPA ratings are 26/34 mpg highway for a base Civic and 40/45 for a hybrid. Let's assume the government buys at MSRP. It costs $8150 to get a hybrid model over a base model. Let's assume they're used 20k miles per year (12k "average" plus additional for official travel). Let's estimate that 80% of that will be highway since the only workers getting government cars are ones who travel a lot. So, the base will use 624 gallons a year, and the hybrid 456. Even at $5 gallon, the hybrid only save $845 per year, meaning it will take over 9 years to break even. At current gas prices, let's say $2/gallon, it's more like 24 years. I don't know for sure, but I don't think government cars are kept that long. If their time of service anything like police cars, it's something like 5 years or 100k miles, whichever happens first.

It's worth noting that MPG isn't really a good indicator of economy. The inverse (or some derivative - Europe tends to use L/100 km) is far more useful and a better indicator of what you actually *save* with a hybrid. In this case, it's more like 2.22 gallons per 100 miles for the hybrid and 2.94 for the base. It's not as big a jump as it seems when looking at mpg.

None of this even takes into account the cost of replacing the batteries when necessary (not often, but it does happen).

Of course, I'm sure a large part of this is decreasing greenhouse gasses and such, but is it worth the cost?

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby william » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:35 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:
frezik wrote:
22/7 wrote:I also won't fall into a trap of thinking there must be one and only one solution. I expect this to be combined with wind power in the Plains states, and tidal on the coasts.


And nuclear. It's a big one, and unfortunately ahs a bad rep even though modern technology all but eliminates any danger. I'd really like to see pork beefing up nuclear power.

The biggest problem with nuclear IMHO is economic. The last nuclear power plant to be built in the US took 20 years to finish.

And it annoys me that the GOP has gone completely insane even though I'm a staunch liberal because I'd prefer my neighbor not be an axe murderer even if it means he's a tougher business competitor.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby frezik » Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:53 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:It's worth noting that MPG isn't really a good indicator of economy. The inverse (or some derivative - Europe tends to use L/100 km) is far more useful and a better indicator of what you actually *save* with a hybrid. In this case, it's more like 2.22 gallons per 100 miles for the hybrid and 2.94 for the base. It's not as big a jump as it seems when looking at mpg.


Yes, and when you break it down that way, it becomes apparent that you get further by getting rid of stunningly inefficient vehicles (e.g. SUVs) and replacing them with something smaller, rather than moving from already reasonably-efficient sedans to hybrids. Even SUV to SUV hybrid gets you a lot more.

I'm not sure what the breakdown between SUVs and sedans in government-owned vehicles looks like, though.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:23 pm UTC

william wrote:
SummerGlauFan wrote:
frezik wrote:
22/7 wrote:I also won't fall into a trap of thinking there must be one and only one solution. I expect this to be combined with wind power in the Plains states, and tidal on the coasts.


And nuclear. It's a big one, and unfortunately ahs a bad rep even though modern technology all but eliminates any danger. I'd really like to see pork beefing up nuclear power.

The biggest problem with nuclear IMHO is economic. The last nuclear power plant to be built in the US took 20 years to finish.

And it annoys me that the GOP has gone completely insane even though I'm a staunch liberal because I'd prefer my neighbor not be an axe murderer even if it means he's a tougher business competitor.


Yes, it does take awhile to build. But, so does any other large-scale power plant. Anybody have any sources on how long it has taken other countries, say France, to build nuclear power plants?

frezik wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:It's worth noting that MPG isn't really a good indicator of economy. The inverse (or some derivative - Europe tends to use L/100 km) is far more useful and a better indicator of what you actually *save* with a hybrid. In this case, it's more like 2.22 gallons per 100 miles for the hybrid and 2.94 for the base. It's not as big a jump as it seems when looking at mpg.


Yes, and when you break it down that way, it becomes apparent that you get further by getting rid of stunningly inefficient vehicles (e.g. SUVs) and replacing them with something smaller, rather than moving from already reasonably-efficient sedans to hybrids. Even SUV to SUV hybrid gets you a lot more.

I'm not sure what the breakdown between SUVs and sedans in government-owned vehicles looks like, though.


Well, the other plus is that you create jobs because the car company has to build the hybrids to sell to the government. New jobs = best economic stimulus possible.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby segmentation fault » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:24 pm UTC

Brooklynxman wrote:The GOP is falling apart. Which is sad because they represent the only other party in our 2 party system. I dont want a one party government.


the GOP let people like rush limbaugh and joe the plumber lead them. they only have themselves to blame. dont worry, another party will rise up as the gop sinks into 3rd party mediocrity. hopefully its something less malignant than something like the constitution party.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Chfan » Wed Feb 04, 2009 7:57 pm UTC

What? That just isn't true. Nuclear seriously can't be the only easily findable, renewable source of energy.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby SummerGlauFan » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:25 pm UTC

I never said it was. It IS, however, available, safe (especially with current technology), and can provide long-term grid power with no emmissions. I also support individual-scale wind and solar power, geothermal, etc., which would make for a sweet addition to any spending bill. I would like to see fuel cells, too, but at least car companies are making token progress on electric cars.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Telchar » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:32 pm UTC

One of the big reasons for not having nuclear power plants is we don't have a way that anyone can agree on to transport waste. No one wants a traincar full of nuclear waste running through there town. Yes, we have a place to store it despite what Harry Reid will tell you.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby mosc » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:35 pm UTC

Chfan wrote:What? That just isn't true. Nuclear seriously can't be the only easily findable, renewable source of energy.

It matters on what scale you are talking about. On a 1000 MW scale, sure. There are lots and lots of options. On a 500,000 MW scale, no. There are no other options besides coal,natural gas (to some extent), and nuclear.

People do not correctly understand the scale of the power grid and the generation on it. Nuclear already accounts for about 20% of our power in the US and that comes from about 80 reactors. The oldest of which are about half the size of a more current design. Anyway, those 80 some plants exist usually in multiples. You're talking about a small collection of sites that power a huge chunk of the country.

The other big "renewable" scale wise is water. The Hoover Dam and Niagara Falls are massive plants (bigger even than a nuclear reactor in terms of power output) and the few we have are very productive. Problem is this is a very limited resource.

Look, I'm not saying you can't get huge chunks of power from Solar thermal plants. I think that's a great technology. I also think these new power lines are nice but you got to remember, the power grid is a multi-trillion dollar piece of infrastructure. Drastic changes like bringing power from the Mohave desert to New York City are pipe dreams. Laughable. Bottom line is you need steam type generation and you need lots of it. You can make steam from a boiler (coal/gas) or from a reactor (nuclear) but you're going to need hundreds of thousands of megawatts of steam to keep people's lights on and you have very few choices.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby 22/7 » Wed Feb 04, 2009 8:39 pm UTC

I don't want to be a downer here, but also remember that there is a lot of infrastructure, a lot of jobs and a lot of equipment tied up in coal and oil and that any large-scale changes in those departments (like to wind, solar, nuclear, etc.) will either remove the necessity for those jobs/equipment/infrastructure or will necessitate a major if not complete overhaul of those three. Jobs will be lost and the ones that remain will have to completely retrain and infrastructure and equipment will become outdated and either have to be updated or replaced. Granted, this isn't an overnight kind of deal, nor is the cost prohibitive especially when compared to the cost of not switching, but it's still an issue that will have to be dealt with if these changes are to be made.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Endless Mike » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:09 pm UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:
frezik wrote:
Endless Mike wrote:It's worth noting that MPG isn't really a good indicator of economy. The inverse (or some derivative - Europe tends to use L/100 km) is far more useful and a better indicator of what you actually *save* with a hybrid. In this case, it's more like 2.22 gallons per 100 miles for the hybrid and 2.94 for the base. It's not as big a jump as it seems when looking at mpg.


Yes, and when you break it down that way, it becomes apparent that you get further by getting rid of stunningly inefficient vehicles (e.g. SUVs) and replacing them with something smaller, rather than moving from already reasonably-efficient sedans to hybrids. Even SUV to SUV hybrid gets you a lot more.

I'm not sure what the breakdown between SUVs and sedans in government-owned vehicles looks like, though.


Well, the other plus is that you create jobs because the car company has to build the hybrids to sell to the government. New jobs = best economic stimulus possible.

The federal fleet is being constantly updated and replaced. Like I said, a police cruiser's lifespan is typically 5 years/100k miles. I really doubt they'll just up and replace everyone's cars all at once, so those jobs aren't really being created, just maintained.

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby frezik » Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:10 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Look, I'm not saying you can't get huge chunks of power from Solar thermal plants. I think that's a great technology. I also think these new power lines are nice but you got to remember, the power grid is a multi-trillion dollar piece of infrastructure. Drastic changes like bringing power from the Mohave desert to New York City are pipe dreams. Laughable.


The Mohave to New York situation was an example to demonstrate the distances superconductors allow, rather than a serious proposal. New York City's power will probably come from where it comes now, Niagra Falls, plus tidal and some clever rooftop wind turbines.

Bottom line is you need steam type generation and you need lots of it. You can make steam from a boiler (coal/gas) or from a reactor (nuclear) but you're going to need hundreds of thousands of megawatts of steam to keep people's lights on and you have very few choices.


Nuclear is not a quick fix (there isn't one). The amount of concrete needed for the containment building is huge, and releases a lot of CO2 during its production (although it gets reabsorbed over the lifetime of the plant). There are large timespans involved in the construction, so you're not going to see a signficant percentage increase in Nuclear's output for a few decades.

What you get with solar, wind, and tidal is a few bumps in percentage points each year, using technology that's much simpler than Nuclear. The problem is indeed large, but not unsolveable. Nuclear certainly has a role in the solution, but it's unnecessary that it should take all or even most of the 80% that it isn't already producing.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Hawknc » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:30 pm UTC

Endless Mike wrote:The federal fleet is being constantly updated and replaced. Like I said, a police cruiser's lifespan is typically 5 years/100k miles. I really doubt they'll just up and replace everyone's cars all at once, so those jobs aren't really being created, just maintained.

The jobs aren't there presently - hybrid lines in the US are actually shutting down because of the shift in demand away from...well, cars. That said, I don't approve of hybrids specifically being targeted, and this is from someone who sees EVs as the medium-term future of the automotive industry. I'd love to see the government put its money where its mouth is and ensure that its fleet meets or exceeds the 35mpg CAFE requirement for producers. Even with American-made cars today, it's pretty feasible - the new Fusion hybrid gets 41mpg city (36mpg hwy), a Chevy Cobalt gets 37mpg hwy. Simply downsizing government vehicles to sensible sizes can make a huge difference.

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby scwizard » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:47 pm UTC

mosc wrote:This is important because it can be deployed to existing coal plants.

It really can't, it's just too expensive and impractical.

Also if we're going to deploy this stuff to other plants, fine lets do that. But why build a new coal power plant when we could build a new nuclear power plant?

22/7 wrote:
frezik wrote:I'm not so sure anymore. Superconducting power transmission cables are actually being tested in the field. Not just in the lab, but actual, practical tests. This opens up the possibility of covering the Mojave in solar reflectors and moving the energy all the way to New York with no line losses. Even with the Liquid Nitrogen needed to keep it cool, you'll still come out ahead due to elimnating losses.
I'm going to assume you meant solar panels, and ask, at what cost? Remember that the Mojave has a bunch of life that's adapted to living in the Mojave, and putting a shitton of solar panels out there might not be too conducive to that life staying, well, alive.

Why should we care about a bunch of desert life? Which is more important to you? Desert life or taking steps against global warming?

Lumpy wrote:
WIND POWER causes more deaths per kilowatt generated than nuclear.


People are somehow more willing to accept 365 deaths, one every day of the year, than 365 deaths all at once, and none for the rest of the year.

This is true, see The Joker's whole spiel about stuff going as planned etc for the reason why.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Marquee Moon » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:41 am UTC

Garm wrote:
Telchar wrote:
Jahoclave wrote:Money spent, jobs created, stimulus happens. Other things besides tax cuts do that stimulating thing.


A terrible definition. What jobs does this create?

If your going to define "economic stimulus" as "government spending money" then the term becomes meaningless.

You need spending in here that stimulates the economy better than x. There has to be a reasonable rate of return and THAT doesn't have it. If you wanna pass it, then great, pass it. But calling it "economic stimulus" is disengenous because, unless somone can show me otherwise, that money could be spent elsewhere to more effect.


So you're saying that spending money won't help stimulate the economy? I'm confused here. Essentially, by definition, the stimulus bill is a spending bill.


What he's saying is that the stimulus bill should only have things in it that are specifically targeted at stimulating the economy, creating jobs, etc. It's a bill just for stuff that we do when the economy is in the shitter. Yes, most government spending does stimulate the economy, but that doesn't mean we should put all government spending into one bill. Regular government spending should go in the Regular Government Shit Bill, or the Regular Government Shit Related To Smoking Cessation Bill or whatever.

I think putting everything in this ginormosaurus bill and trying to rush it through was a mistake. Why not just take care of the really critical, fast acting, less contentious stuff now and take care of the less pressing stuff later. Most of these public works projects won't be up and running till 2010/2011 anyway. Though, I must say, I know very little about the nitty gritty details of congress and passing laws.

22/7 wrote:Additionally (was this mentioned earlier?) things like public transportation infrastructure will not only create jobs to build booths, lay track, build buses, etc., but will also create jobs because people will need to operate that infrastructure. The best part? After they're done building it, if it's well designed and managed, it has the potential to make money back for the government, which will reduce the tax burden on the rest of us since the program will be mostly self-sufficient if not profitable.


But with everyone switching from cars to buses or trains or whatever, car demand would plummet and heaps of workers in the car industry would lose their jobs. Not saying I'm against public transport, but it's not all rainbows and daffodils.

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Garm » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:03 am UTC

Marquee Moon wrote:What he's saying is that the stimulus bill should only have things in it that are specifically targeted at stimulating the economy, creating jobs, etc. It's a bill just for stuff that we do when the economy is in the shitter. Yes, most government spending does stimulate the economy, but that doesn't mean we should put all government spending into one bill. Regular government spending should go in the Regular Government Shit Bill, or the Regular Government Shit Related To Smoking Cessation Bill or whatever.

I think putting everything in this ginormosaurus bill and trying to rush it through was a mistake. Why not just take care of the really critical, fast acting, less contentious stuff now and take care of the less pressing stuff later. Most of these public works projects won't be up and running till 2010/2011 anyway. Though, I must say, I know very little about the nitty gritty details of congress and passing laws.


That's fair I guess. You have to consider the states budgets tho' and in that context giving aid to states helps the economy go.

McCain's economic adviser predicts that unemployment will rise 2% each month without stimulus. That's a pretty staggering figure. So the bill has to be done quickly. Done well would be good too but then it's going to be expensive. That's just the way of things.

The vast majority of the stimulus bill will be out in the economy within 18 months. So it will do it's job. That is if it passes. It's a sad reality that the republicans have essentially staked the future of their party of the failure of Obama and this stimulus.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby SummerGlauFan » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:24 am UTC

scwizard wrote:It really can't, it's just too expensive and impractical.

Also if we're going to deploy this stuff to other plants, fine lets do that. But why build a new coal power plant when we could build a new nuclear power plant?[/endquote]

Exactly. Besides, there is no way that the carbon from making a bunch of concrete, even as much as is in the largest nuclear plant, is at all equal to the emmissions of a coal plant in a year, let alone it's life.

Plus, as I have stated before, current technologies and practices around the world can significantly reduce or eliminate the downsides of nuclear plants. For example, fuel recycling allows us to re-use 95% of the fuel of a plant. The 5% waste is not just much less massive, it is also less radioactive because it is not accompanying the 95% pure chunk.


[


Do not fall into this mindset. We have seen time and again that screwing with ecosystems comes back to bite us in the arse. Even something as "useless" seeming as a desert can prove to be vital. Every time we harm an ecosystem, we suffer for it. Rain forests, oceans, grassland, swamps, etc, it doesn't matter. It is all vital.

Not to mention, I believe all life is precious, but I realize that not everyone holds that specific view.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:51 am UTC

I think it is still a fair point to make that when it comes to the current environmental situation, having to choose between sacrificing the Mohave and the Amazon the Mohave is the better choice. With six+ billion people, your options are limited.

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby scwizard » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:38 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:Do not fall into this mindset. We have seen time and again that screwing with ecosystems comes back to bite us in the arse. Even something as "useless" seeming as a desert can prove to be vital. Every time we harm an ecosystem, we suffer for it. Rain forests, oceans, grassland, swamps, etc, it doesn't matter. It is all vital.

Not to mention, I believe all life is precious, but I realize that not everyone holds that specific view.

Ok, lets assume that life is precious. That this could mess with our ecosystem in bad ways.
It will kill a lot less life, and mess with our ecosystem much less, when compared to something like, lets say, GLOBAL WARMING.

Sometimes you need to compromise, line this desert with solar panels so that these rainforests can survive for a bit longer.

The all life is precious model is incredibly hypocritical and contradiction riddled though, so I shouldn't be too surprised that it would consider desert lizards more important than decreasing our carbon emissions through some antilogical voodoo.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby SummerGlauFan » Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:15 am UTC

scwizard wrote:
SummerGlauFan wrote:Do not fall into this mindset. We have seen time and again that screwing with ecosystems comes back to bite us in the arse. Even something as "useless" seeming as a desert can prove to be vital. Every time we harm an ecosystem, we suffer for it. Rain forests, oceans, grassland, swamps, etc, it doesn't matter. It is all vital.

Not to mention, I believe all life is precious, but I realize that not everyone holds that specific view.

Ok, lets assume that life is precious. That this could mess with our ecosystem in bad ways.
It will kill a lot less life, and mess with our ecosystem much less, when compared to something like, lets say, GLOBAL WARMING.

Sometimes you need to compromise, line this desert with solar panels so that these rainforests can survive for a bit longer.

The all life is precious model is incredibly hypocritical and contradiction riddled though, so I shouldn't be too surprised that it would consider desert lizards more important than decreasing our carbon emissions through some antilogical voodoo.


Hmm. You seem to have overlooked the entire paragraph above my "life is precious" comment. When we screw around with ecosystems, it has not once been without negative reprocussions for us. Basically, our planet is so complicated that you cannot mess around with an entire system without effecting EVERYTHING. The same thing is true about deserts. They may seem like vast expanses of mostly lifeless and useless sand and grit, but they do serve a vital function. Every system on the planet is interlinked, and causing such a massive disruption, even with the best of intentions, can snowball out of control.

Look, I believe solar power, wind, and other renewable resources are a vital part of our energy future. It just seems to be that you and I disagree over the form they should take. Ideally, it should be what I like to call the "large small scale;" basically, individual homes and building use small solar collectors and wind turbines to generate their own power, drawing as little as possible from the grid. Other power sources, say nuclear for the near future, can take up any slack that remains. Heck, buildings as large as Jay Leno's garage generate all the power they need to fully function with just a couple of small turbines and some solar cells. That's it. To try and herd this conversation at least a little bit back on track, I would LOVE to see the government subsidize that.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby cycoden » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:13 am UTC

Nougatrocity wrote:WIND POWER causes more deaths per kilowatt generated than nuclear.
I'd really like to read your citation for that. And I'm assuming you are talking about human deaths, right? (A common claim about wind power is that they kill birds at rates greater than, say, buildings.)
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Habz » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:47 am UTC

SummerGlauFan wrote:Yes, it does take awhile to build. But, so does any other large-scale power plant. Anybody have any sources on how long it has taken other countries, say France, to build nuclear power plants?


Finland's 5th reactor (construction started in august 2005) being constructed by a french company Areva, should have gone online during this year according to the original plans, but is now running miserably late due to multiple, literally shitloads of reasons. The estimated time of completion was recently moved to 2012.

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby 22/7 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:24 pm UTC

scwizard wrote:The all life is precious model is incredibly hypocritical and contradiction riddled though, so I shouldn't be too surprised that it would consider desert lizards more important than decreasing our carbon emissions through some antilogical voodoo.
No one is saying that we hold the life of a lizard above decreasing carbon emissions. The "all life is precious" model would see that doing whatever we can to reduce our global impact, which includes slowing global warming, would save the most possible life. What SGF and I were saying and what you completely skipped over so that you could use the not-a-word "antilogical" was that plans like "put a shitton of solar reflectors in the desert" aren't as cut and dry as some people would have you believe. Yes, it will solve some problems, but it will also lead to other problems. We're just reinforcing that there is no easy solution.
Marquee Moon wrote:But with everyone switching from cars to buses or trains or whatever, car demand would plummet and heaps of workers in the car industry would lose their jobs. Not saying I'm against public transport, but it's not all rainbows and daffodils.
Who said anything about everyone? It's completely impractical for the vast majority of Americans to get rid of their cars altogether, and public transportation will only be a viable day-to-day option in large cities which aren't too ridiculously sprawled. And yes, some jobs would probably be lost in the car manufacturing sector, but those jobs would be at least partially replaced by jobs driving buses, operating trains, doing maintenance on those systems, building more buses and trains, etc. Additionally, it's a move that needs to be made sooner rather than later, for environmental reasons.

Edited for civility.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Garm » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:38 pm UTC

22/7 wrote:Who said anything about everyone? It's completely impractical for the vast majority of Americans to get rid of their cars altogether, and public transportation will only be a viable day-to-day option in large cities which aren't too ridiculously sprawled. And yes, some jobs would probably be lost in the car manufacturing sector, but those jobs would be at least partially replaced by jobs driving buses, operating trains, doing maintenance on those systems, building more buses and trains, etc. Additionally, it's a move that needs to be made sooner rather than later, for environmental reasons.


Not just environmental reasons but for common sense. Less traffic is a good thing. Soon there won't be any more land to build highways and bypasses on in large cities. Planning trains now would cut down on traffic and the need for more roads.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Belial » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:51 pm UTC

Garm wrote:
22/7 wrote:Who said anything about everyone? It's completely impractical for the vast majority of Americans to get rid of their cars altogether, and public transportation will only be a viable day-to-day option in large cities which aren't too ridiculously sprawled. And yes, some jobs would probably be lost in the car manufacturing sector, but those jobs would be at least partially replaced by jobs driving buses, operating trains, doing maintenance on those systems, building more buses and trains, etc. Additionally, it's a move that needs to be made sooner rather than later, for environmental reasons.


Not just environmental reasons but for common sense. Less traffic is a good thing. Soon there won't be any more land to build highways and bypasses on in large cities. Planning trains now would cut down on traffic and the need for more roads.


Which is, environmentally speaking, a *very good thing*.

Roads are incredibly bad for...everything, really. Water sources especially, though. Nothing fucks up a watershed like having a bunch of flat, non-absorbent surfaces intermittently covered by pollutants nearby.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Garm » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:58 pm UTC

Belial wrote:
Garm wrote:
22/7 wrote:Who said anything about everyone? It's completely impractical for the vast majority of Americans to get rid of their cars altogether, and public transportation will only be a viable day-to-day option in large cities which aren't too ridiculously sprawled. And yes, some jobs would probably be lost in the car manufacturing sector, but those jobs would be at least partially replaced by jobs driving buses, operating trains, doing maintenance on those systems, building more buses and trains, etc. Additionally, it's a move that needs to be made sooner rather than later, for environmental reasons.


Not just environmental reasons but for common sense. Less traffic is a good thing. Soon there won't be any more land to build highways and bypasses on in large cities. Planning trains now would cut down on traffic and the need for more roads.


Which is, environmentally speaking, a *very good thing*.

Roads are incredibly bad for...everything, really. Water sources especially, though. Nothing fucks up a watershed like having a bunch of flat, non-absorbent surfaces intermittently covered by pollutants nearby.


Right. I guess the point that I was trying, and failing, to make is that as populations grow and we further urbanize (I think by necessity) the transportation infrastructure will no longer support an unsustainable driving model. Large cities like New York, Paris or Moscow have subway networks in order to get millions of people from one place to another (obviously). I think it would behoove us to start planning for trains and such not just because it's a great idea from an environmental stand point but also because it makes sense fiscally. Workers who are chronically late to work and are stressed from the traffic aren't going to be as productive and such.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby frezik » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:14 pm UTC

scwizard wrote:Ok, lets assume that life is precious. That this could mess with our ecosystem in bad ways.
It will kill a lot less life, and mess with our ecosystem much less, when compared to something like, lets say, GLOBAL WARMING.

Sometimes you need to compromise, line this desert with solar panels so that these rainforests can survive for a bit longer.


Getting all our power from desert-based solar would affect the worldwide ecosystem in ways we don't understand. So would wind, and so would tidal. That's why you don't aim to get all your power from one and only one source. Combining multiple approaches smooths out the drawbacks inherent in each individual approach. In particular, combining these methods minimizes the affects on the surrounding environment to a level the ecosystem is more likely to be able to handle.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby Marbas » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:23 pm UTC

• $2 billion earmark to re-start FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant in Illinois that the Department of Energy defunded last year because it said the project was inefficient.


Coal power? They're trying to make coal power environmentally friendly.

*Head explodes*
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby mosc » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:54 pm UTC

You turn the entire mohave desert into a solar plant. Great. How does that help you keep the heat on in the winter nights? It doesn't. It's completely impractical to look at solar as a baseline unit. Solar could never contribute more than about 25% of your total power. Even that would be absurd because a cloudy day would drastically reduce capacity.

You guys have to understand people need electricity at all times of day on all days of the year. That means steam. Get over it.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby 22/7 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:17 pm UTC

Did batteries suddenly stop existing?

*unplugs laptop*

Nope, still working.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby mosc » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:46 pm UTC

Ah yes, the famous 100,000,000,000 watt battery. BRILLIANT!

See, if you take 30 million of those laptops and tie em together... you're not even fucking CLOSE to what you'd need.
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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby 22/7 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:04 pm UTC

mosc wrote:Ah yes, the famous 100,000,000,000 watt battery. BRILLIANT!

See, if you take 30 million of those laptops and tie em together... you're not even fucking CLOSE to what you'd need.
mosc, you're not even trying. The more realistic version of this (lots of smaller batteries) is painfully obvious at even the most cursory of glances.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: GOP Bailout "Pork" List

Postby mosc » Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:16 pm UTC

You have no understanding at all of the scale we're talking about. You're saying basically you intend to store lightning with a AA battery and then tell me I'm crazy.

100,000,000,000 watts for 12 hours. How many D cell batteries is that? A D cell puts out ~20 amps for an hour at 1.5 volts. That's 30 watts for an hour. That's 2.5 watts over 12 hours. That means we'd need 40 BILLION D cell batteries. If you stacked these batteries end to end, they'd travel from the moon and back more than 3 times! 100,000 MW is a small load really. It could be a lot higher.
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