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Forced Responses: Dec 2018

Filed under: — group @ 2 December 2018

A bimonthly thread for discussions on solutions and responses to climate change. For climate science topics, please comment on the Unforced Variations thread.

697 Responses to “Forced Responses: Dec 2018”

  1. 301
    zebra says:

    Kevin McKinney, multiple comments,

    Kevin, you are not up to your usual standards in these comments.

    When I bring up population, you fall back on the argument that it cannot happen quickly enough to affect the output of CO2. But here you are, hemming and hawing about how the racists are dying off, and the red states could be changing… no, sorry, the facts and the numbers and the Constitution as currently set up make that a very slow and not hopeful process.

    Because we have 2 senators for each state, and an electoral college, and too few representatives for the total population, it is very difficult to achieve sufficient power to make radical changes.

    The point about racism and gas prices and “rebate checks” is that those voters who voted for Trump will be more, not less, likely to toe the party line, as they see their numbers diminish.

    And, it is all about the party line, not the reality of the policies. If you run for office on a carbon-tax platform that gives people $2K a year, your opponent will tell them that the “others” are going to get $4K. And it will work. Not even because they really believe it, but because…here I will quote someone whose expertise cannot be questioned:

    “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

    LBJ, Southern boy who became President.

    Which isn’t just about US racism, but the characteristic of humans raised in an Authoritarian milieu– what matters is not status relative to those above, but having someone, anyone, below. Could be women, as well as minorities of various kinds. (“White” women apparently exhibit more gender bias against other women in voting than men, interestingly enough.)

    OK, I’ve written more than I like, so I will point out that your numbers about EV are similar in their over-optimism. The new mileage requirements that the current administration are trying to overturn, and the existing incentives, will work, but without the honest, willing, cooperation of the majors, the transition will take time. I can go into this some more if you like.

  2. 302
    mike says:

    AB at 294: I think the maintenance on shared vehicles and the wear and tear on the engines is a big issue. I drive my cars at the bottom of the engine’s power curve whenever possible to reduce wear on the moving parts. I generally drive in a manner that requires that I use the brakes as little as possible. That means I don’t accelerate or decelerate quickly. I have taught more than a dozen people to drive with an emphasis on this practice. I watch most people drive around town or on the highway, gunning the engines til they are tailgating someone or screaming up to a stoplight or curve, then hitting the brakes and I have two thoughts: these are very bad drivers and I think they are going to wear out their cars and not understand why the cars break down.

    I think the shared car issue does raise issues of wear and tear on the vehicles. There are technical fixes to these issues, like acceleration governors, speed limiters, etc. but most of the fleet on the roads today that could be moved to a shared transportation system do not have these technical fixes.

    Cheers

    Mike

  3. 303
    mike says:

    Nigel at 293: You seem to be worried about the government committing to large funding for things like green infrastrucure and many people share your concerns. To you and to any who share your concern, I will just mention that the Pentagon is a black hole for government funding and the trillions of dollars that have not been tracked/audited are much larger than the “huge, gobsmackingly huge, infrastructure plan” being proposed.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/pentagon-audit-budget-fraud/

    When reasonable plans that would address the challenge of global warming are presented in the way that your did in this instance, it can only be used to reduce our response to the problem, it is not possible to use that presentation to suggest that the proposal is reasonable given our situation or to suggest that actually, more might need to be done.

    Are you deliberately serving a conservative political agenda with your posts here? I think you are not seeing the big picture, but maybe you are working on a conservative political agenda?

    You seem mostly sincere in your posts, but sometimes I am not sure if you are really sincere and posting your incrementalist concerns in good faith or if you are pushing a conservative agenda under the guise of some good faith questions.

    I don’t mean to offend or attack you, but I need to make a decision about your sincerity and whether it makes sense to point these kind of things out to you.

    One other question: are you a US voter? (I am a US voter)

    Cheers

    Mike

  4. 304
    zebra says:

    #15 Gordon Shephard,

    This is a very important distinction to make. Unfortunately, despite the request of the moderators, people seem unable to restrain themselves from posting off-topic stuff on UV. I’m going to reply to you on Forced Responses.

    Again, the distinction you make is a very important one to clarify.

  5. 305
    nigelj says:

    Gordon Shephard @15

    I agree it’s certainly about definitions, and lack of mutual understanding on definitions is a huge part of humanities problems. But capitalism is normally defined as a combination of private ownership of goods (and capital)and the profit motive, and something that emerged in the 16th – 17th centuries. Competition is normally a factor, but doesn’t have to be, for example an economy full of monopolies.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_capitalism

    I think your definition would mean early farmers and even hunter gatherers sometimes practiced capitalism, which is stretching things for me. Or perhaps we can say this was a ‘precursor’ form of true capitalism!

    Anyway I’m certainly not suggesting capitalism doesn’t exacerbate inequality, (and environmental problems) just that the roots of inequality go way back, such that attempts to dismantle capitalism would not necessarily provide a solution to inequality.

    Clearly capitalism is a significant factor in inequality. But I think half of the reason for inequality is the system we have where rewards are based on skills and educational qualifications all within the context of a free flowing market. I have no problem with that as a general rules, but clearly when someone earns hundreds of times the average wage it doesn’t feel right especially if there is poverty in the society. The only real solution to this if it gets out of control is some degree of income redistribution, and this can then clearly happen within a capitalist structure, or other structures. I don’t think perfect equality would make sense.

    Certainly the origins of inequality are with skilled people that provide a surplus of goods, and this became most obvious during the development of farming 12,000 years BC as per the research I posted. My guess is small groups often shared the surplus because everyone knew everyone but once human population started to grow people don’t like giving things to strangers. But like the research says, its also a lot about institutions and leadership and how they decide how goods are distributed. As populations grew these institutions became more complex and separate from the activities of day to day people, and thus easier for elites to manipulate to their benefit.

  6. 306
    zebra says:

    This is Gordon Shephard’s comment from UV,

    nigelj@11, kind of depends on how you define “capitalism,” doesn’t it? If “capitalism” depends on the conversion of resources to some form of indestructible surrogate (e.g. money), then okay. But I’d suggest a broader definition, whereby “capital” is anything in excess of what you need, today, to continue living. If it is in excess of what you need, today, you can trade it (or the labor you don’t need to use to produce it) for something that might improve your life tomorrow – in other words, an investment. In that sense, “ownership” of anything becomes a form of capitalism.

    Besides, is money really indestructible?

    Indeed.

    -There is a difference between owning a house to live in and owning a coal mine.
    -There is a difference between saving part of your wages and using it to start a business, or lending it to your friend to start a business, and owning a coal mine.

    If you don’t have “capitalism” in the sense of turning labor into money, which can then be used to support labor which in itself is not immediately productive, you can’t have science and technology, or art and music and literature, and so on.

    Money is “indestructible” as long as the social contract defining it holds. This is where people complaining about “capitalists” go astray; society makes the accumulation of monetary wealth possible because, when reasonably regulated, it benefits everyone.

    It is necessary to distinguish the “ownership” of money or artifacts from the “ownership” of resources– the coal mine, the farmland, the forest. That’s because one cannot create resources, and they are only “owned” if one can forcibly deny their extraction by others.

    This falls under a different kind of “social contract”, which is characterized by the idea we have of National Sovereignty and international interactions.

    Elon Musk and the Koch Brothers are not the same, even though they are both filthy rich.

  7. 307
    nigelj says:

    Zebra says “And, it is all about the party line, not the reality of the policies. If you run for office on a carbon-tax platform that gives people $2K a year, your opponent will tell them that the “others” are going to get $4K. And it will work. Not even because they really believe it, but because…here I will quote someone whose expertise cannot be questioned:”

    Yes true, and imho there will be plenty of lies and scaremongering about a carbon tax. And Trumps supporters are gullible and easy to manipulate.

    Just as there will be resistance to any policies to decrease population growth, because a sector of society will see any such thing as social engineering!

    So what is your point Zebra?

    We can only but try to promote good policy, make a case for it, and hope to prevail.

    Clearly America has a problem that low population rural states which tend to be red states that command the same number of senators as high population urban states ( or something like this). This situation is inequitable so democrats now have a majority in congress, so at least they could ‘try’ and change it.

    Zebras comments on electric cars simply do not make any sense to me.

  8. 308

    zebra, #299–

    But here you are, hemming and hawing about how the racists are dying off, and the red states could be changing… no, sorry, the facts and the numbers and the Constitution as currently set up make that a very slow and not hopeful process.

    I don’t think I’m ‘hemming and hawing’; I think I’m making cogent points. First among them is that, IM-respectful-O, you are not understanding the political reality correctly. Trump didn’t win on the just the basis of his hardcore fan base. He won in part by capturing disaffected middle Americans, especially in the Midwest, many of whom had in fact previously voted for Obama.

    I think the comparison [between Obama and Trump] just doesn’t compute for ideologically consistent voters on a left-right scale. But that’s not how many voters think about elections. And Trump had the same pitch to white working-class voters in Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Ohio, wherever, as Obama: He would fight for the working class over special interests, and his opponent is bought by Wall Street and would advance the forces of globalization.

    Democrats have to grapple with the fact that they lost this election because millions of white working-class voters across the United States voted for Obama and then switched to Trump.

    The point being, there is much less baked-in support than you seem to think, either for Trump, or for the GOP, for whom Trump has been an ideological and organizational disaster. Especially since T has blatantly betrayed his promises to take care of those same folks. Yes, the hard core will stick. Millions of swing voters, not so much.

    Second, the demographic changes aren’t all that slow in this instance, for multiple reasons. One reason is the rapid growth of the Hispanic vote; the US-born cohort contemporary with the Dreamers is coming of age, fast. Since 2000, the non-Hispanic vote share has dropped from ~81% to ~73.5. The trend looks to be about a percentage point a year.

    http://www.electproject.org/home/voter-turnout/demographics

    Another is that Millenials are also taking over fast: for one milestone, 2019 is expected to be the year they surpass us Boomers.

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/01/millennials-overtake-baby-boomers/

    They are, of course, strongly Democratic as a group.

    There’s more, like the growing participation by increasingly well-educated black voters, but you get the idea.

    And there’s a big final reason: the political effectiveness of demographic shifts isn’t primarily relative to the absolute numbers, but to the margins. That means this stuff is more volatile than one might think.

    Here’s an interesting pair of snapshots:

    http://www.people-press.org/2015/04/30/a-different-look-at-generations-and-partisanship/

    The ‘greatest generation’ is pretty much out of it today, and the ‘silent generation’ is rapidly declining, with us Boomers on the brink. But equally interesting is the shift within generations over time: while the Silent Generation went from Democratic +5 in 1994 to a -4 in 2014, both Boomers and GenXers shifted the opposite way–8 and 16 (!) points, respectively.

    Another factor here is that even among Republicans, opposition to sane climate policy tends to concentrate with the older members; Republican GenXers, for instance, are much more likely to favor climate action than the ‘Silents’ are.

    My bottom line: I think political change often is not incremental in nature. You are right that the GOP has done everything they could to create institutional barriers against the demographic tide they saw coming. (And some were already inherent in the status quo.) But in a way, that’s the good news: “everything they could” has now been more or less exhausted, which means the tide is now metaphorically overtopping the wall.

    As for my alleged EV “optimism”, shall we look at this at this time next year and see what you think of my forecasts? It was this year that we saw 1 million EVs on American roads–and by this time next year, I say we’ll be more than halfway to a second million, barring a recession that slows the whole economy. (A real possibility with our own Dear Leader in full-on chaos mode, admittedly. But perhaps his attention, such as it is, will be taken up with legal matters.)

  9. 309

    #298, hank, and al’s previous–

    I must admit to a little skepticism about al’s point, too. While ICE taxis may reach 500,000 service miles–and part of that longevity is presumably based on more consistent utilization than for a private car–it’s my understanding that that doesn’t obviate maintenance costs by any means. Indeed, I’ve been of the impression that consistent, professional maintenance is part of the reason for the relative longevity of taxis.

    An interesting case in point:

    https://www.tesloop.com/blog/2017/8/30/tesla-model-s-hits-300k-miles-with-less-than-11k-maintenance-costs

    During the first 300,000 miles the total combined maintenance and fuel costs of the Tesla Model S were $10,492, with a total of 12 days in the shop. Of these costs, $6,900 was scheduled maintenance and $3500 was headlight damage due to driving through deep water. Had this been an Mercedes S class, the scheduled routine maintenance and fuel would have been $86,000 ($52,000 maintenance and $36,000* fuel) with 112 days of servicing, or for a Lincoln Town Car $70k,000 ($28,000 maintenance and $42,000** fuel) with around 100 days of servicing.

    The first time I read that, I wondered whether the comparison was apples-to-apples; perhaps, I thought, the Mercedes and Lincoln numbers reflected private, not taxi use? But rereading, I realized that the ICE numbers included only *scheduled* maintenance–not actual R & R that would surely have been needed in real-world cases. So the comparison is actually biased *against* the Model S–backing out the broken headlights, you’d have the apples-to-apples number of $6,900 for the Tesla.

    Though of course, the service guidelines used for the ICE cars will still be formulated for the private use case. Presumably taxi usage could reduce the numbers some, as al suggests. But how much? Good numbers, anyone?

  10. 310
    nigelj says:

    mike @301

    No I’m not serving some conservative agenda! I think you are getting a bit paranoid Mike. I lean moderately liberal / centre left fwiw. This should be pretty obvious in various comments.

    I struggle with the conservative world view, but its patently absurd to think every conservative concern is wrong, and we need to build bridges, not start a civil war over it all.

    This is important so I will amplify it. Just because I sometimes criticise liberal “tenets” or beliefs does not mean I’m conservative. Again this should be self evident. I think the trouble is both liberals and conservatives tend to live in bubbles at times, where everyone just agrees with everyone, and where rational questioning of beliefs is regarded as traitorous to the cause. We all have to stop this, liberals and conservatives alike.

    So on the infrastructure plan. We have a variety of possible approaches to solving the climate problem, so a huge government paid infrastructure plan, or a carbon tax, or cap and trade etc. While “some” of these can be combined, they simply cannot all be combined because it just wouldn’t make sense. The infrastructure plan proposed does not sit so well with a carbon tax for example.

    Of course we need a government plan “of some sort” – this is obvious. It could probably include addressing some social concerns like better minimum wages I certainly don’t oppose such things. But my point was more with the infrastructure side of the democrats plan, where does the money come from? I think I prefer carbon tax and dividend and simpler subsidies as I outlined. But I’m totally open to persuasion either way.

    Its also better to discuss issues than personalities and peoples ideologies. Isn’t it?

  11. 311
    nigelj says:

    Mike @310, just adding to my other response, no I’m not a a US voter.

  12. 312

    mike, #301–

    “One other question: [nigel,] are you a US voter?”

    Probably nigel missed the question, or he already would have answered that. But he’s been quite clear in the past on this, so I’ll venture to answer for him–no. He’s a New Zealander.

    Does it really matter?

  13. 313
    Mr. Know It All says:

    300 – mike
    “I think the shared car issue does raise issues of wear and tear on the vehicles. ”

    Agreed – one problem with shared cars will be that since you don’t own it you have no incentive to take care of it. Just the latest experiment in socialism that will reveal this flaw. Many don’t realize that the US started out as a socialist experiment in the first Pilgrim settlement. Most were never taught this. Didn’t take long to realize that doesn’t work. The story can be heard here from ~ 9:30 to 17:20.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjF7bK7cNMo

    302 – zebra
    “It is necessary to distinguish the “ownership” of money or artifacts from the “ownership” of resources– the coal mine, the farmland, the forest. That’s because one cannot create resources,…”

    Coal mines and farmland are not “resources”. They are constructs of man. A man or company risks money to develop mines and farms, hoping to provide a product we need and in return make a profit.

    303 – nigelj
    “And Trumps supporters are gullible and easy to manipulate.”

    Are you sure?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfFrzMOMkR8

    305 – Kevin
    “Had this been an Mercedes S class,…. $86,000 ($52,000 maintenance and $36,000* fuel) …….or for a Lincoln Town Car $70k,000 ($28,000 maintenance and $42,000** fuel) …….”

    Most of us aren’t drivng expensive Mercedes or Lincolns. Make the comparison with an Accord or Camry. I have no doubt that the EV will require less maintenance than the ICE but most know to avoid the exotic brands if you don’t want to pay thru the nose for maintenance. How long can a typical driver expect the batteries in the Tesla to last? I’ve heard 100K or so for most of the other EVs before the range drops considerably. Some EV battery packs are very expensive. One other point – ICE and EVs are not equivalent – the ICE has fuel available everywhere, can operate in extreme hot or cold weather with no range issues, etc – not so for EVs. I’m not knocking EVs for those who can live with their limitations, but most prefer ICE so far – EVs are gaining popularity though.

  14. 314
    zebra says:

    #304 Kevin McKinney,

    EV:

    https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/policyinformation/statistics/2015/mv1.cfm

    https://cleantechnica.com/2019/01/02/compliance-cars-in-usa-vs-europe-china-a-deep-dive/

    Over 250 million ICE vehicles to deal with– heck, we have almost as many of those as we have guns, who knew?

    I supplied us with that population calculator; why don’t you provide a little math on how we are going to get to zero emissions by 2030 selling a million or two EV a year?

    Not only do the manufacturers (and their unions where extant) and dealers hate the thought of EV, but at the state level all the mechanics, and transmission shops, and muffler shops, and oil changers, and so on, will lend support to efforts to block Tesla from selling their cars. And nationally, if China copies Tesla’s technology, there are always tariffs and regulations to slow things down.

    It’s a long war.

    Voters:

    Due respect to Nate, but some exit polling and speculation from two years ago is hardly definitive compared to actual research done since, as well as what has been ongoing sociological/psychological research.

    And the demographic trends are great, however, they only matter if the demographics actually change at the local level. But that’s not how it works; most of those who are open to change and diversity, or are “diverse” themselves, move to mostly coastal cities, because they are unwelcome, and because they seek opportunity. And those who stay still get two senators, and at least one representative, eh?

    It’s a long war.

  15. 315
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Equality/Inequality–I think that the idea that the only alternative to the current inequality is perfect equality. Perfect equality is not achievable, and it would be unsustainable in any case. Moreover, fairness is probably not a reasonable way to decide on distribution of income/wealth.

    However, there does come a point where inequality becomes so marked that it distorts the ability of the economy to supply the needs of the majority of people, and I would argue that we are seeing that now. In recent years, inflation in terms of food, energy and common staples has been all but nonexistent, while demand for luxury goods, high-end collectibles, etc. has driven prices ever higher. You won’t find this reflected in the CPI, but a brief perusal of stock prices, the art market, gemstones…confirms this trend.

    Moreover, you’ve seen repeated attempts by bargain stores (Walmart, Target…) to move up market because that is where the money is. Grocery stores are also trying to stock more high-end goods, driving low-cost staples off of shelves. Locations in poor areas (rural and inner city) are closing, while competition for space in wealthy areas is increasing. You see similar trends in housing.

    The inequality of wealth and income in the US has reached the point where the economy is ceasing to work for the majority of citizens. That is a problem not just for the economy and for politics, but also for the environment. More money at the upper end of the income spectrum means more energy consumption and higher environmental impact.

    If you don’t see this as a problem, then you probably get your news from Faux News.

  16. 316

    #313, KIA–

    …one problem with shared cars will be that since you don’t own it you have no incentive to take care of it. Just the latest experiment in socialism that will reveal this flaw.

    Um, are you missing the fact that car sharing is being implemented by private companies? Or that the cars involved are owned by people/organizations with strong motivations to take care of them?

  17. 317
    zebra says:

    #313 KIA,

    Coal mines and farmland are not “resources”. They are constructs of man. A man or company risks money to develop mines and farms, hoping to provide a product we need and in return make a profit.

    The land and the coal seam are exactly “resources”. If someone wishes to invest money to extract food or fuel from them, they are welcome to contract with the entity which has sovereignty over them. In colloquial usage, “rent” or “lease”.

    But, the land and the coal are “owned” by the sovereign (nation-state, typically), because only the sovereign can deny that extraction– by virtue of their superior ability to exert force.

    The idea of “private ownership” of such resources creates market distortions and inefficiencies, which are against the interest of the society, which is not the case with “private ownership” of a tractor or excavator used to extract food or fuel.

  18. 318

    #314, zebra–

    Gosh, you really seem determined to miss my point when you say:

    how we are going to get to zero emissions by 2030 selling a million or two EV a year?

    The answer is that that’s not how we get there. (Actually, we aren’t going to get to zero emissions by 2030, no matter what. We’ll be doing well to get to net zero by 2050.)

    We get ‘there’–i.e., to low-carbon mobility–by exponentially increasing rates of EV adoption–which, as indicated in my comment, are what we are currently observing. It took 10 years to get to a million EVs on the road in America (and Europe, too, actually.) As I pointed out, I expect we’ll be well on the way to doubling that by this time next year.

    True, that isn’t a rate that we will sustain; it results primarily from the implementation of the Model 3 production ramp. But Tesla, in 2019-2020 will become much more global, with Gigafactories in both China and Europe coming online, and the number of EV offerings from competitors will continue to ramp up on a global basis. I think every indication is that growth will continue to be exponential.

    So illustratively, in 2021, we’ll be seeing above two million units sold globally. In 2025, maybe four. By 2030, eight or more. You can do the math; such a doubling rate would get us to 100% EV market share comfortably before 2050. (From memory, yearly global sales are currently ~100 million units; one forecast of global sales trends to 2025, by region, is here.)

    Are there areas of resistance due to economic interest? Of course. Will the Trump Administration attempt to hunker down in an economic Fortress America? Pretty sure they will continue to do so, and indeed ramp up their (losing) strategy.

    Is that going to stop the EV tide?

    No. Why not? Because such forces have existed for all such technological transitions in the past, and they have generally failed if the new way of doing things is compelling enough. I think that is going to be the case in this instance, too.

    Why?

    Monkey behavior. There is too much potential advantage for too many people. YMMV, of course, but that’s how I see it.

  19. 319
    Killian says:

    Re #298 Gordon Shephard said “ownership” of anything becomes a form of capitalism.

    Yes. Ignore nigelj’s nonsense. Capitalism is quite simply defined, as you have here: Private ownership. Extended: “Capitalism is an economic system where private entities own the factors of production. The four factors are entrepreneurship, capital goods, natural resources, and labor.” https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b&q=capitalism+definition

    Ignore his other nonsense that since capitalism started somewhere, H-G’s are to blame, too, not just capitalism. No, really. That’s the sort of nonsense you get from him. –> “So while hunter gatherer society was clearly mainly more equal than ours, significant inequality goes way back well before capitalism emerged. So blaming capitalism is somewhat simplistic.”

    Now, follow here: He’s saying that since some H-G’s moved to capitalism, the inequality didn’t *really* come from capitalism.

    From what, then? Fairy dust? He literally quoted a bit saying capitalism started and thus came inequality, then says that it’s not capitalism that causes inequality…

    Good god…

    One reason I think nigel and so many get confused about these things is they don’t see the key point: It’s about control of resources, selfishly. They see labels of systems and think these systems they refuse to let go of are Important Things, with one better than another, thus Good Things. In fact, all economics systems that are not egalitarian should be seen as a form of capitalism. Dem Socialism, Communism, Marxism, Totalitarianism… doesn’t matter. They all should be understood as under the umbrella of Capitalism because all have some form of ownership – even if by the state. An egalitarian system has none, by anyone. As Helga Ingeborg Vierich points out, even the Big Man of H-G communities is more of a resource manager than a chief. They don’t own what they keep, they are keeping it *for* the village. They are trusted, not powerful nor power-full.

  20. 320

    KIA, #313(b)–

    EVs get a lot of negative notice, prompted not only by actual current shortcomings (like the purchase price premium) or recent ones (like insufficient range), but also by folks associated in one way or another with the ‘resistance’ that zebra alluded to who are essentially doing a prolonged negative sales pitch–and like good debaters, using a good bit of spin in the process.

    Less generally visible in media is acknowledgement of their advantages–acceleration, maintenance cost, energy efficiency and hence ‘fuel’ cost, quiet operation and hence less driver (or rider) fatigue, the convenience of doing most ‘fillups’ at home, and even inherent advantages in designing for handling and safety (these result from the battery packs giving a lower CG than can easily be achieved in ICE vehicles). But users notice–or so I am told, anyway. I’m eagerly awaiting the chance to find out ‘first person.’ (I’ll be in Atlanta in March, maybe I’ll swing by the Tesla showroom while I’m there.)

    Getting specific:

    Most of us aren’t drivng expensive Mercedes or Lincolns. Make the comparison with an Accord or Camry.

    The comparison was made with luxury vehicles because the Model S is itself a luxury vehicle.

    I have no doubt that the EV will require less maintenance than the ICE but most know to avoid the exotic brands if you don’t want to pay thru the nose for maintenance.

    Unless, of course, you buy a Tesla. Perhaps it’s worth putting up with the admittedly less-consistent panel gaps?

    How long can a typical driver expect the batteries in the Tesla to last? I’ve heard 100K or so for most of the other EVs before the range drops considerably.

    We’re in the process of finding out, aren’t we? But the ‘ecoHawk’ battery pack is doing fine at 300k, and Tesla warranties batteries for 8 years. The Model 3 warranties are for 100,000 or 120,000 miles depending on version; Models S & X feature unlimited mileages. (More on this below.)

    Some EV battery packs are very expensive.

    EV battery packs are, in cost terms, the functional equivalent of ICE engines–i.e., the major cost driver on the drivetrain side. Here’s what the UCS has to say:

    When the first mass-market EVs were introduced in 2010, their battery packs cost an estimated $1,000 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Today, Tesla’s Model 3 battery pack costs $190 per kWh, and General Motors’ 2017 Chevrolet Bolt battery pack is estimated to cost about $205 per kWh. That’s a drop of more than 70% in the price per kWh in 6 years!

    EVs are forecast to cost the same or less than a comparable gasoline-powered vehicle when the price of battery packs falls to between $125 and $150 per kWh. Analysts have forecast that this price parity can be achieved as soon as 2020, while other studies have forecast the price of a lithium-ion battery pack to drop to as little as $73 / kWh by 2030.

    There’s fierce competition to reduce those costs; since that UCS post was written, Tesla claims to have gotten below $100/kWh, and GM expects to do so within the next few years.

    One other point – ICE and EVs are not equivalent – the ICE has fuel available everywhere, can operate in extreme hot or cold weather with no range issues, etc – not so for EVs.

    Not “everywhere!” Very few ICE drivers can fill up at home–unlike the majority of EV drivers. And of course the advantage of ubiquitous fuel ‘on the road’ is probably a transient condition, one which Tesla has been very aggressive in addressing with the build-out of their Supercharger network. Third-party companies are jumping in, too.

    On the issue of operating in temperature extremes, this is a real thing, but in practice is apparently not that much of a problem. On the cold temperature side, one can point to the fact that the highest national market penetration of EVs is currently in Norway, where ~1/3 of all recent registrations were EVs (thanks to generous government incentive programs); on the hot side, the biggest EV market in this country is southern California. In both cases, drivers seem to cope fine when range is affected (some) by temperature. After all, ICE mileages vary by conditions, too.

    (It’s worth noting in this connection that battery pack temps are actively managed in most EVs today–and that one of the popular EVs relatively prone to battery issues, the Nissan Leaf, has been knocked for its failure to move beyond air-cooling of its battery packs. In general, packs require cooling, so the hot-weather case is probably the more challenging of the two.)

    I’m not knocking EVs for those who can live with their limitations, but most prefer ICE so far – EVs are gaining popularity though.

    That’s a pretty good description of the ‘early adopter’ phase, which is what we are still in–but, IMO, just barely. The second phase, in which adoption begins to move into the mass market, is becoming visible. It tends to see very rapid expansion because there’s a feedback loop between dropping costs and rising adoption; each one drives the other.

  21. 321
    mike says:

    nigel, you say at 310: “Of course we need a government plan “of some sort” – this is obvious. It could probably include addressing some social concerns like better minimum wages I certainly don’t oppose such things. But my point was more with the infrastructure side of the democrats plan, where does the money come from? I think I prefer carbon tax and dividend and simpler subsidies as I outlined. But I’m totally open to persuasion either way.”

    I don’t think you responded to my point that the money for green infrastructure comes from the same place that the Pentagon received unaccounted for funding of 15 trillion dollars. The money comes from our collective will and political decisions to do something about a problem that we face.

    If you think that a large infrastructure expenditure, say 5 trillion USD, is going to cause large problems for inflation, etc., can you show that such a thing occurred with the 15 trillion dollars that the Pentagon is unable to account for?

    The simple answer to the question, where the money comes from?, is: it’s deficit spending, that’s where the money comes from. The US prints money, sells bonds based on some part of the debt. Sometimes the US government ships pallets of stacks of $100 bills to foreign countries for nebulous national security reasons and loses track of the pallets. You are right to think it’s mysterious, but it’s not a secret. It is deficit spending. We do it when we think it’s important.

    I will continue, for now, to take you at your word that you are a liberal and not doing some concern troll-like activity, but either way, if you lack the will or imagination to think beyond your fiscally conservative, incrementalist approach to climate change and the challenge it poses to our species, then I will likely decide it makes no sense to spend time in dialogue with you.

    I don’t bother to engage with Victor or Mr. KIA because I have better things to do with my time. It may turn out to be the same with you. No big deal. If I make that decision, I will just skim over your comments as I do with theirs. There are plenty of cordial, intelligent and imaginative folks on this website to communicate with. I am trying to decide if you are one of them.

    No big deal either way. Hope things are good in NZ for you and yours

    Spiky day if we step on the CO2 scale:

    Daily CO2

    January 3, 2019: 409.99 ppm
    January 3, 2018: 406.64 ppm

    It’s a very noisy number. It’s like weighing in 3 times a day during a diet.
    Could be worse. We could weigh in 410. That’s a big number.

    Cheers

    Mike

  22. 322
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @23 (on the UV thread)

    “Do you think “equality” is normal or desirable? If so, why? What would it look like? We all have different talents, work ethics, motivations, opportunities, etc. I guess the old USSR had equality to some degree for the peasants; they were mostly broke-ass po, right? ”

    Fair questions, but please will you read what I have already said as follows: I said (paraphrasing)that inequality is partly a natural and acceptable outcome of different people having different skills, partly due to more insidious reasons, but if it gets too high it can be problematic, and we should aim to keep it within some sensible band.

    I specifically said “I don’t think perfect equality would make sense.”

    In NZ we have decent minimum wages and significant government income support for poor people which helps a lot and doesn’t actually cost the tax payer that much. As a result we dont have people living in tent cities. To me its commonsense and pragmatism. I have read philosophy, but prefer to take a more down to earth approach to solving problems.

    So no of course equality in the perfect sense of the word isn’t normal or desirable or even achievable. But excessive inequality is problematic. I think Ray Ladbury has covered some of the economic reasons, and I think that while I agree its not an issue of fairness, intuitively high inequality simply isn’t ethically good.

    Anyway, its good economics to keep inequality moderately low. Some Scandinavian countries keep salaries within a band with a ratio of 100 :1 between highest and lowest. In America the ratio is about 1000 : 1 and growing.

  23. 323
    nigelj says:

    Killian @319

    I just don’t think the definition of capitalism you quote is accurate or sufficient. It’s not a dictionary definition, its just one persons view . Modern capitalism is normally defined as a more sophisticated thing that combines private ownership , the profit motive, the use of money and the lending of money and funding of large enterprises through shares etc. This differentiates capitalism from precursor forms of some private ownership, and some trading of surplus production in older societies.

    Zebras definition of capitalism is on the right track, as well as the material in the wikipedia article I linked on the history of capitalism. Cambridge dictionary: “an economic, political, and social system in which property, business, and industry are privately owned, directed towards making the greatest possible profits for successful organizations and people”.

    I think you are talking more about private ownership versus other forms.

    ” An egalitarian system has none, by anyone. As Helga Ingeborg Vierich points out, even the Big Man of H-G communities is more of a resource manager than a chief. They don’t own what they keep, they are keeping it *for* the village. They are trusted, not powerful nor power-full.”

    This has worked for some hunter gatherer societies, because they only had a very few possessions to consider, and mainly just the issue of looking after the natural world. And its admirable, I’m not knocking it.

    The issue is modern humans have farms and industry, and the evidence suggests that if they are collectively owned in some form, nobody will bother to actually look after them very well. If ‘nobody’ owns them I think it would be even worse.

    Of course its important not to let natural resources like minerals and the water supply become monopolised by some private interest. Fortunately the state usually essentially owns mineral resources, and leases extraction rights. You could argue that in a sense nobody owns those particular things, and the state just decides who has access to them. Whether the head person of some new age sharing community would do a better job would be debatable.

  24. 324

    Mike, “We could weigh in 410.”

    Coming soon to a tropical island not so near you…

  25. 325
    nigelj says:

    mike @321

    The reason I didn’t comment on the pentagon issue is there are only so many hours in the day! But here goes briefly. Yes they waste money, but that is not a terribly convincing argument for a climate infrastructure plan. And yes some of their spending is deficit financed, but deficit financing leads to trillions in government debt which is not a good thing. Look at Reagon and that is when federal debt first exploded.

    You have to watch the inflation concern with ‘some’ of the proposed measures to tackle climate change. This is not fiscal conservatism: its commonsense. But if the infrastructure plan can be shown to be financially viable I would support it.

    Carbon fee and dividend looks a whole lot more financially solid, and more likely to get political support. Although as I stated we would need other measures as well, its not quite a stand alone scheme to fight climate change. I think it looks like hard work getting a huge infrastructure plan through congress and the senate.

    I outlined the basis of an intelligent plan to tackle climate change, and one that has some realistic chance of getting through the political maze, namely carbon fee and dividend, some robust subsidies for infrastructure, negative emissions strategies, population strategies and personal consumption strategies, and yes because we have been so slow, all these things need to be implemented fast and robustly.

    I didn’t mean incremental in that sense as in slow and small steps. It was a typo. I meant that we need to combination of steps as I outlined.

  26. 326
    Killian says:

    Re EVs: People, clue in here: Unsustainable is unsustainable. Worse, replacing a **working ICE vehicle** with an EV creates a *bigger* overall footprint than keeping the ICE. The ONLY time buying an EV makes sense is if your current vehicle truly is no longer viable.

    From the time of buying the EV the comparison is not lifetime, it is replacement. The bulk of the impact of a vehicle comes from production. The ICE you have now is now embedded energy. The remaining effect is from use and repair, not production, while the EVs entire lifecycle must be included.

    If you are buying an EV while your current ICE vehicle still runs, you are *not* saving the planet, you are killing it.

    Please, get better at ecological analysis.

    Re: #321 mike said I will continue, for now, to take you at your word that you are a liberal and not doing some concern troll-like activity, but either way, if you lack the will or imagination to think beyond your fiscally conservative, incrementalist approach to climate change and the challenge it poses to our species, then I will likely decide it makes no sense to spend time in dialogue with you.

    Bingo. There are several types of denialists, and the concern troll type is the trickiest.

    I don’t bother to engage with Victor or Mr. KIA because I have better things to do with my time. It may turn out to be the same with you.

    Bingo, Part II. It is not worth anyone’s time to talk to someone who says nothing but, “But, the economy!! We can’t survive because it would wreck the economy! Suicide is painless, and will save the economy!” The whole Capitalism started long ago, so it’s not Capitalism… sheesh… Concern trolling at its best.

    Meh… Enough.

    January 3, 2019: 409.99 ppm
    January 3, 2018: 406.64 ppm

    I am not currently following CO2 on a daily basis, but seems there have been a few too many 2.5 to 3ppm higher days the last few months…

    Re #323 nigelj said Killian @319

    I just don’t think the definition of capitalism you quote is accurate or sufficient. It’s not a dictionary definition, its just one persons view.

    Be quiet. You say too much stupid shit, like the above. I didn’t write the definition, genius.

    Here’s dictionary, and it is in no way materially different:

    an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

    Everyone, except you, knows the definition. What I did do is take the definition literally. It makes no sense to say state or State ownership is any different because it is still a small number of people controlling a huge majority economically. If it’s not a Commons, it just another form of ownership and *should be* consider variations on the theme of Capitalism.

    But, hey, people think economics is real, not voodoo, so…

  27. 327
    Killian says:

    Re #315 Ray Ladbury said Equality/Inequality–I think that the idea that the only alternative to the current inequality is perfect equality. Perfect equality is not achievable, and it would be unsustainable in any case. Moreover, fairness is probably not a reasonable way to decide on distribution of income/wealth.

    nigeljesque.

    Perfect equality is not achievable

    Says whom? You? Sadly for you, it *still* exists. Always has. A bizarre claim.

    it would be unsustainable in any case.

    Even though it has been for @ 300k years. Ok. Because you say so.

    fairness is probably not a reasonable way to decide on distribution of income/wealth.

    Agreed, though I am certain our reasons are different. Good thing most egalitarian communities focus on meeting needs, not fairness. What’s the point of, say, feeding someone who isn’t hungry? Giving a new set of clothes to someone whose clothes have not worn out? Etc.

    However, there does come a point where inequality becomes so marked that it distorts the ability of the economy to supply the needs of the majority of people

    What, the minority can just starve? What do you mean here?

    The inequality of wealth and income in the US has reached the point where the economy is ceasing to work for the majority of citizens.

    Is it not supposed to work for all? It’s frightening people accept there should be deprivation for some portion of the population.

  28. 328
    mike says:

    to nigel at 325: The issue with the Pentagon budget is not that it is wasteful, maybe it is and maybe it is not, but again (per wittgenstein’s suggestion that we speak of things about which we can speak clearly: the issue is that the Pentagon’s unaccounted/unallocated spending of 15 trillion dollars is much larger than the Dems’s proposal for infrastructure and yet there is no indication that the deficit spending of 15 trillion dollars has not crashed the economy. If you are a new zealander, then I am not sure you should care if the spending in the Dem proposal should looks viable to you. If New Zealand committed to huge deficit spending to reach carbon net zero by 2025, I would only say, Wow, thank you very much for taking responsibility and providing leadership.

    at 293 you said: “The Democrats have some out with this huge, gobsmackingly huge, infrastructure plan to fight climate change as below:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/29/green-new-deal-plans-proposal-ocasio-cortez-sunrise-movement

    What do people think?”

    I went back and looked through the Guardian article and I just saw that the green new deal proposal is probably as ambitious and politically difficult as the huge, gobsmackingly huge, totality of the incremental steps that you proposed at 293. Your plan (“I would think its better to go with a combination of incremental sorts of things: renewable energy, carbon tax and dividend, maybe some selective subsidies, some reduced per capita energy use, but at realistic levels, and slower population growth ( a lot slower). This seems technically the correct plan and has some realistic chance of being adopted. Slim but possible.”) actually has a significant amount of overlap with the Green New Deal. Either would be fine with me. Both involve some very heavy lifting in the political arena and I am not sure how you would implement “reduced per capita energy use” or “slower, a lot slower, population growth. You can flesh out those details if you have time.

    Representative Cortez is reported as saying that an increase in top tax rate to the 70% top tier (what we had after JFK cut Eisenhower era top tax rate of more than 90%) is one means to fund the Green New Deal. So that addresses the inflation concern of deficit spending. For those that think that economic activity is throttled by a steeply progressive tax scheme, I suggest you look at the post WWII tax rates and economic growth in the US.

    Here’s a link to the funding newstory: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/04/ocasio-cortez-70-percent-tax-1080874

    again, per wittgenstein, I have no idea what to make of your term: huge, gobsmakingly huge. It’s just seems like a republican talking point when it is used as you used it to describe the Green New Deal.

    I used it to describe your incremental plan in the hope that you might see it seems like a political tactic to make a plan seem outlandish.

    but hey, everybody is entitled to an opinion and the internet is a place where you can air them out.

    Cheers

    Mike

  29. 329
    nigelj says:

    Mike @328

    I googled the pentagons trillions in suspicious spending. It doesnt appear to be a deficit spending issue, more some sort of huge accounting mess.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-audit-army/u-s-army-fudged-its-accounts-by-trillions-of-dollars-auditor-finds-idUSKCN10U1IG

    Deficit spending has its proper place, for example Obama borrowed to get through the 2008 financial crash. But too much deficit spending ultimately causes problems, just look at Greece, and you would be adding deficit spending to a lot of existing deficit spending. This is why I get nervous about that element of the Green New Deal. We have had similar debates in NZ about our deficit.

    I note that Nancy Pelosi, is not pushing the plan, and she is not exactly a conservative.

    Regarding the inflation issue. Remember the New Deal of the 1930’s operated in a deflationary environment, and things are different now. If you understand economics you will understand this, but I can amplify if you want.

    Anyway you are right my scheme overlaps with much of the Green New Deal, and my scheme is gobsmackingly huge, but more simply in scope. The components do not require the same level of deficit spending, and I think have slightly better political prospects. Refer my comment at 325.

    BUT if the Green New Deal was funded through an increased tax on high income earners, this is different, and a far more responsible way of doing it. I would support this. Even if it was partly funded this way.

    I will come back to appropriate population policies later. This is probably more of an issue for developing countries rather than America which has low population growth.

  30. 330
    nigelj says:

    Killian @326 says “Re EVs: People, clue in here: Unsustainable is unsustainable. Worse, replacing a **working ICE vehicle** with an EV creates a *bigger* overall footprint than keeping the ICE. The ONLY time buying an EV makes sense is if your current vehicle truly is no longer viable.”

    No. ” Based on modeling of the two most popular BEVs available today and the regions where they are currently being sold, excess manufacturing emissions are offset within 6 to 16 months of driving.”

    https://blog.ucsusa.org/rachael-nealer/gasoline-vs-electric-global-warming-emissions-953

    So it doesnt make sense to hold onto an ICE car for a long time until it dies on you. You could sell it any time after its done about 20,000 kms, and buy an electric car and you are reducing emissions.

  31. 331
    zebra says:

    #318 Kevin McKinney,

    Kevin, I have been an EV fanboy since way before Tesla woke the rest of the world, and I have pointed out over and over all the stuff you have, showing that EV are simply a better car than traditional ICE.

    But your comparison with past technological transitions is not correct. They are still just automobiles, not a transformational jump like cells v landlines, or PC v mainframes.

    So the rate of transition is very much controlled by the manufacturers. They could, tomorrow, produce and put lots of plug-in hybrid (at least) “trucks” and “SUV” on the market, and actually market them, and then things might change at the rates you are looking for.

    But there’s every incentive not to do that. People buy cars with absolutely no interest in the drive-train; most have never even popped the hood. So, look at the advertising now. It’s all about the gadgets; that’s their way to suggest they are producing “new technology”. They get to keep doing what they know how to do with ICE, which is good business for them.

    It’s a long war.

  32. 332
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Killian, I realize that it is galling for you that some of us choose to share our time between the real world and the world that might be achievable rather than dwelling exclusively in your fantasy world, but some of us would like to be relevant.

    But, by all means, continue to be a caricature of what the right thinks a leftist is.

  33. 333

    mike, #328–

    If you are a new zealander, then I am not sure you should care if the spending in the Dem proposal should looks viable to you.

    IMO, that’s a mis-framing. The point of free speech is not purely individualistic; it’s also to facilitate the best possible quality of public discourse. That’s why the Constitution doesn’t limit free speech rights to citizens.

    In the present context, it well may be that nigel need not care. (But if he does, it’s not up to us to say he’s wrong.) However, if he makes a good point, we do potentially stand to benefit.

  34. 334

    #331, zebra–

    I would suggest that your paragraphs 1 and 3 are rather at odds with one another–and that 3 is not correct. People may not care about the drivetrain per se, but they will notice the quiet, the acceleration, the convenience of charging at home, etc.

    Yes, car companies will certainly tout their ‘technology’ (though to my mind that’s getting pretty threadbare now that just about everybody, literally including makers of skin lotion and laundry soap, do the same). But there are limits to the marketing potential of selling sizzle, if the steak sucks.

    And yes, it *is*–and will be–a long war. (But that doesn’t mean that there can’t be rapid turns of events as it goes along.) In my view, decarbonizing the existing economy is just phase one. Get it done, more or less, and we still face the deeper problems of creating a much more sustainable economy. (And no, I’m not suggesting that the ‘second phase’ should be ignored in the meantime, which is why I continue to be interested both in what you say, and what Killian says, to name just two frequent commenters on ‘the long game.’)

  35. 335
    nigelj says:

    Killian @326

    “Everyone, except you, knows the definition. What I did do is take the definition literally. ”

    No. Your original quotation defined capitalism as just private ownership, and I simply pointed out no its about private ownership and profit and a range of other things, and you now seem to agree. So its absurd to suggest ancient peoples practiced some form of capitalism. Therefore inequality predates capitalism because it existed well before capitalism.

    “It makes no sense to say state or State ownership is any different because it is still a small number of people controlling a huge majority economically. If it’s not a Commons, it just another form of ownership and *should be* consider variations on the theme of Capitalism.”

    Well the federal government are at least voted into power. Do you really think the leader of some new age smaller scale sharing community would be much better? Have you ever had to deal with small scale local government officials? The heads of smaller organisations? Quality is variable. Why would the system you propose be fundamentally different?

    Yet you want to let some Shaman, some “wise person” determine what people can own and much more besides. I have seem communities of this nature turn into cults and do terrible things.

    Everyone hates capitalism, because it causes toxic effects, and blames capitalism. I have often done the same, but the real problem is toxic people who abuse the capitalist system, and those same people often find their ways into alternative communities. They certainly will if you expect everyone to live that way.

  36. 336
    nigelj says:

    Zebra @331, there is some truth in your claims that manufacturers aren’t doing much to market electric cars and are probably not looking forward to having to retrain workers to make and service them, but you neglect the demand side of the equation. Come on Mr maths genius!

    Despite lack of enthusiasm by the manufacturers, please notice that electric cars have got little cheaper in cost, quicker recharging, etc. Once it hits a point that’s really attractive to the public, demand will increase and manufacturers will have to respond to that demand. It’s just a matter of time.

  37. 337
    mike says:

    We bought our first full electric car yesterday. We picked up a 2007 Zenn Towncar with a top speed of 35 mph and a range of about 20 miles (I hope). It’s a very funny car, but it means we can leave our gas guzzling prius parked when we are out for groceries. I was looking at used Leafs, but found this Zenn and got it for very small cash outlay, so here we go. First electric car. Hope to never again buy a vehicle with a spark plug. Time will tell.

  38. 338
    nigelj says:

    Ray Ladbury @332, well quite right, and I’m glad someone else thinks the same way I do. I was starting to think I was in a minority of one.

  39. 339
    mike says:

    Hey Doc,

    my concern with Nigel’s interest in the dem green new deal proposal is that he is speaking in republican talking points that make it less likely that the US will take appropriate steps to address global warming.

    I think this was what the IPCC report had to say: “The global economy will have to undergo a green industrial revolution that is “unprecedented” in its scale and scope in the space of just three decades if temperature increases are to be limited to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.”

    source: https://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/3064052/ipcc-limiting-warming-to-15c-requires-a-net-zero-global-economy-by-2050

    the “huge, gobsmackingly huge” green new deal proposal might actually be a significant step toward the green industrial revolution that the IPCC called for. Nigel comes up with some alternate proposal to the Green New Deal that incorporates carbon fee and dividend, population growth (in developing world, mind you) and more and suggests that his incremental plan is more likely to become policy in the US.

    Well, that just seems like an unsophisticated analysis to me. Or it is disingenous. I can’t tell which. So many of the luke warmers these days bring up the application of “common sense” when they act or speak in ways that undermine our species’ ability to respond appropriately to global warming. I get what you are saying in general, as per free speech, I am however reluctant to let the common sense of republican talking points have a free pass.

    That changes if I decide that Nigel is actually just a less obvious manifestation of the posters here who are clearly working on a political ideology and argue in bad faith.

    But, hey, maybe I am dead wrong. Maybe Nigel will explain how/why US legislative alternatives to something like the green new deal will fly and pass carbon fee and dividend, slow population growth in the developing world, etc.

    Some folks, nigel included, may think I am too pessimistic in my outlook. Maybe? I don’t know, I think I am just working a little reality into the discussion. I think there was a british leader in the last century who talked with the british people in a very stark manner about an existential crisis that the country faced. I think that guy told the british voters that all he had to offer them was blood, toil, tears and sweat. That’s not very uplifting. Is that a good way to motivate a people to address an existential threat?

    Some people think it makes sense.

    ymmv

    Cheers

    Mike

  40. 340
    Mr. Know It All says:

    293 – nigelj
    ““The Democrats have some out with this huge, gobsmackingly huge, infrastructure plan to fight climate change as below:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/29/green-new-deal-plans-proposal-ocasio-cortez-sunrise-movement

    What do people think?” ”

    I read every word of that article and I will tell you what I think about the Green New Deal. Let me preface by saying I am not anti-renewable; I’d love to be on my remote parcel with 100% solar, off grid, with peace and quiet – it’s my dream; but I know living that dream and lifestyle is nothing like the average US lifestyle today – people will not do it unless they are forced to do it. AND they will be – eventually – by economic forces. But they aren’t going willingly – see the reaction in France to an absolutely insignificant effort to cut carbon use; we ain’t France – it will be 10X harder in the USA.

    Quote from the article:
    “The Sunrise Movement’s Green New Deal would eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from electricity, transportation, manufacturing, agriculture and other sectors within 10 years.”

    That statement is laughable. In 10 years with 10 times the WWII level of effort, you might make significant cuts to emissions from electricity and manufacturing. You will make small cuts to transport and agriculture – the technology isn’t there to run airliners and combines. Don’t bother showing me the experimental ultra-lights and 18 wheelers – they’re experimental – we have 400,000,000 people to feed every day of the year in THIS country alone, and we are adding 2,000,000 immigrants per year that they ADMIT to. People are not going to put up with keeping their homes at 40 degrees in the winter – sorry ain’t happening and even that might not eliminate the need for FF heating in the winter. This ain’t NZ – it gets cold here in much of the country.

    From the article: “The entire economy is built around fossil fuels. The same economy that creates rampant poverty and wage stagnation is the economy that’s built around fossil fuels.””

    What a load of it. Those FFs, profit-incentive markets, and capitalism, have enabled the creation of the most prosperous economy in history for many nations. Most or all nations not using FFs are in abject poverty.

    From the article: “Turning to all-renewable power would require large amounts of battery storage, for when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. The technology is not available but it is advancing.”

    What?! They are demanding we go all-renewable in 10 years, and admit IN THEIR OWN ARTICLE that the technology isn’t available!? Pretty much sums up the level of thinking power they have put on display for us to laugh at. It is scary that we have elected officials this dumb; but the most scary thing is that so many people voted for them!

  41. 341
    Mr. Know It All says:

    337 – mike
    Article on the Zenn:
    https://autoweek.com/article/junkyard-treasures/junkyard-treasure-2007-zenn-electric-car

    Congratulations on the EV. At first glance it looked somewhat like a Honda Element.

    Here in the PNW USA, EVs are popular, as are hybrids. They’re growing in popularity, but still a small chunk of the car market. Should be some good used ones around for a fair price. It helps that most of the time our temperatures are mild.

    Seems like electric motorcycles and bicycles would be more popular, but it can be rainy here; also traffic is so bad that few people would feel safe on a 2 wheeler.

  42. 342
    Mr. Know It All says:

    The solution to climate change has been discovered by a mad scientist!

    Parts 1 – 4:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPimi4Mjdr8&list=PL0Mhp4EXPqtEkUwsqdo6JR6AT_PsYbmci&index=3

    :)

  43. 343
    nigelj says:

    Mike @339

    I didn’t rubbish the Green New Deal. It’s good in very broad terms, in the sense that we need to do a lot of different things quickly. Calling it huge is a statement of fact.

    Go back to my original statement. Paraphrasing I simply suggested the infrastructure spend component requires considerable financing from the public purse that appeared to be based either on deficit financing (borrowing) or the federal reserve creating credit, it wasnt 100% clear, but the point is neither are highly desirable economically.

    I think you are a good guy but perhaps just don’t know much economics. I dont know what you mean by republican talking points. I dont live in the USA but I would be unlikely to vote for them.

    I have since read the Democrats are not hugely behind the plan, so what are they, closet conservatives?

    What seems more likely politically in the house and senate? A carbon tax and dividend that adds nothing to debt? Population policies encouraging lower birth rates? Or a large deficit financed infrastructure spend when America already has 13 trillion of federal debt, over 90% of gdp, regarded as extremely high in global terms. You dont need to be an economist to know debt eventually gets too high. It’s obvious.

    As I said if its financed by increased taxes that makes much more sense. Its a “different ball game”.

    Instead of talking about the scheme, and why you think its better, you have largely attacked me personally with all sorts of ridiculous allegations and statements.

  44. 344
    nigelj says:

    Mr. Know It All @341, thanks for your pontifications. As you can probably guess I’m not overly persuaded by a lot of them.

    Ten years is probably a time frame just to focus peoples minds on the urgency. Its going to take a bit longer. However its not totally unrealistic either. The increase in economic output in just 5 years of WW2 was staggering, and despite resources directed at the war effort consumer spending went up as well.

    https://prospect.org/article/way-we-won-americas-economic-breakthrough-during-world-war-ii

    Its about politics, and right now the GOP stands in the way of every and any possible solution like trucelent, stubborn, donkey. Always making excuses for why nothing should be done.

    But the financing has to be right, as I pointed out to Mike.

    Some problems require government input. Climate change just happens to be one of them. Most other things are best dealt with by the private sector, and free markets.

  45. 345
    zebra says:

    #333 Kevin McKInney,

    I think you must have misread my third paragraph.

    I said that manufacturers have every incentive not to produce large enough quantities of EV to speed up the transition.

    Consumers will not “notice” anything positive about EV if there is no advertising to that effect, and if they are steered away from the one or two samples that may exist on the lots of a few dealers.

    ICE generate more profit than EV by far, and there are large assets that would have to be written off if the paradigm changes. You seem to expect that these people are going to happily put themselves out of business.

    You’re a good writer; come up with an advertisement for EV that doesn’t act as an advertisement against ICE. That’s what they would have to do, to maintain profits while increasing EV production and sales.

    You really do seem to be suffering from denial on this point and on the politics that impede progress.

    “Rapid turns of events” happen for concrete reasons like a spike in oil prices. But there again, the opposition has considerable control, and we see that production has been maintained by Russia and Saudi interest in supporting Trump and making gas-guzzling vehicles acceptable.

  46. 346

    zebra, #345–

    ICE generate more profit than EV by far…

    And traditional news operations used to generate far more profit than do online news operations now… which hasn’t enabled the former, in general, to compete with great success against the rise of the latter.

    The fact that Tesla is profitably making EV sedans now when that’s an endeavor that Ford is phasing out altogether suggests that perhaps your statement is a little too all-inclusive.

    You really do seem to be suffering from denial on this point and on the politics that impede progress.

    I don’t think so; I’ve explicitly acknowledged the political forces that are arrayed against sane policy on numerous occasions. I just don’t think that they are as all-powerful as you perceive them to be. We’ll find out who’s right. As long as we both keep working hard for useful change, I think that’s perfectly OK.

    And, just to remind you of the reasons for my optimism, remember, those BEV adoption growth rates are not figments of my imagination: they come from real sales reports. Yes, the projections I drew from them are reasonably termed ‘optimistic’–but it’s not unreasonable to think that an exponential growth rate may well continue for some time as is currently observed. Why would it change? For instance, how much cheaper can gas get? I remember gas going above $2 a gallon in the late 80s or early 90s; I thought, well, that’s the last time I’ll fill up at a number starting with “1”. Yet here we are–and still more and more people are buying BEVs, which are themselves cheaper, more available, and more capable.

  47. 347
    zebra says:

    #339 Mike,

    Mike, since you are getting into Godwin territory, let’s examine some points about war– note in my dialogue with Kevin that I have said “it’s a long war” multiple times, so war is how I see it.

    1. We have lots of evidence that one of the ways that Russia influenced the US election outcome was by promoting dissatisfaction with incremental progress, getting people to vote for Jill Stein, or stay home, because HRC was a “tool of 1% and wall street” and Obama “didn’t do enough” on the environment.

    So, based on that reality, you and others here could just as easily be working for the Republicans and FF interests, trying to sow dissension and disaffection among those concerned with climate, with your characterization of some things as “Republican talking points.” I agree there are such things, but they are about getting votes, and the discussion needs to be more nuanced. You can’t have it both ways.

    2. In real war, slogans like “blood, sweat, and tears” are very nice, but the reality has very little to do with noble sentiments. It involves putting aside “morality”, “ethics”, “fairness”, “equality”… it’s about the mission. That can mean sacrificing young soldiers under your command, it can mean firebombing Dresden and Tokyo, it can mean teaming up with really nasty Russian czars like Stalin, and so on.

    So, if you think it is so important to deal with climate change, why are you cluttering up the discussion with all the righteous indignation about all the other stuff?

  48. 348
    mike says:

    to nigel at 343: I think you are right. I know very little about economics. I think voodoo economics as a term is redundant. On economics, I believe Bucky Fuller was correct when he said that we can afford to do anything we have to do. As per wittgenstein again, calling it huge is not a fact. Put a number on it. That is factual. Ask questions about how that number would be funding, that is asking for factual information and raising factual questions. Huge, gobsmackingly huge, is exactly the sort of description that the politicians who are owned by the fossil fuel industry will use when talking about the green new deal. Move to facts. Numbers are facts. If you want to talk about things as huge, then you have to slap a number on those things, and then we can compare those numbers to the economic damages that will occur in the next few decades and next half century to get a proper perspective on whether the proposals are out of scale.

    I think you don’t understand the nuances of US politics (if anything this dysfunctional could be said to have nuances).

    To describe the Green New Deal in the terms you used:
    “huge, gobsmackingly huge” and to criticize a decent current proposal in US politics that has some traction, is to undermine the political movement in the US to do something/anything significant about the buildup of CO2 in the oceans and atmosphere.

    As to your question about what kind of proposal might move forward in Congress, the answer is, no legislative proposal has any reasonable chance of being passed into law in the current political environment. Carbon cap and trade tied Congress in knots in 2010 and contributed to the republican sweep back into power that started in 2012 and existed through this last election. The Green New Deal is a call to organize and move toward better public policy in a number of realms. The same can be said of the Medicare for Everyone campaign. None of these things will be enacted anytime soon, but they are the framework for organization and movement toward better public policy. In any case, any of these progressive campaigns would require a shift in tax policy in the US. The Rs have owned tax policy since the Reagan years and their work has led to income and wealth inequality at huge, gobsmackingly huge levels. To put a number on that, read about the GINI coefficient for the United States over time.

    “Here’s a finding that would have made for great occupy sign last year: American income inequality may be more severe today than it was way back in 1774 — even if you factor in slavery.” https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/us-income-inequality-its-worse-today-than-it-was-in-1774/262537/

    The Lindert study underlying that news article is here:
    https://www.nber.org/papers/w18396

    When you reflect on the economics of responding to global warming, I think the correct frame of reference should be to look at how powerful economics discussions and concerns were to a country like Great Britain in 1940

    I think today, we are all Great Britain and the threat we face if global warming.

    Also, can you find anything in the IPCC reports that suggest how to factor our responses to global warming by the economic questions that you seem to be stuck on? Has the IPCC said anywhere, well, we really need to get to net zero carbon by 2050 to stay on the 1.5 degree path, but not if we can’t work out the funding and economic questions?

    I think again that you are probably not trolling, so will continue to engage a bit, but probably going to taper off at this point. Economic concerns simply don’t arise for me with the issue of global warming and the sixth great extinction. I love my grandkids too much to be that easily dissuaded that we have to do something/anything large and soon.

    Cheers, buddy. Hope things are good for the Kiwis!

    Mike

  49. 349
    nigelj says:

    My plan to mitigate climate change:

    1). Covert the world to renewable energy. Right now the best and most politically feasible approach seems to be a carbon tax and dividend. Taxes have a proven track record of altering consumption patterns, it avoids creating government debt and hands money back to consumers.

    The problem with the government simply building and paying for infrastructure is this really does start to add considerably to government spending, money they dont have. However some targeted government subsidies would be manageable and a logical part of any green new deal type of plan.

    2) Negative emissions technologies (whether natural or direct air capture, we will probably need both). We require these because renewable energy is simply not going to solve every problem. This can be feasibly financed with government subsidies funded by the tax payer or out of the dividend from a carbon tax.

    3) Try to reduce per capita energy use. Again because we are not going fast enough with 1) and 2) and because we simply have ultimate limits of the resources needed to build infrastructure.

    4) Get rates of population growth right down. This costs nothing but some lobbying and passing appropriate government policies. It will not help much with the Paris goals, but has huge longer term benefits in reducing emissions especially if we miss the Paris goals.

    Four points that have some functional sense and political possibility. Nothing else makes sense to me.

  50. 350
    nigelj says:

    Mr Kia @340 @342

    A couple of other things. Firstly your epistle argued that solar power and electric cars etcetera are good things, and inevitable eventually and at the same time argues fossil fuels are necessary. Now please enlighten me on why this isn’t a contradiction.

    You said people wont reduce their use of heating and air conditioning. Now fair enough, I largely agree for most people anyway. I try to explain this to Killian, to no avail, but there is enormous potential to just use energy more efficiently. For example buying fuel efficient cars, substituting heat pumps for fan heaters, better home insulation, upgrading lighting systems and so on. Dont underestimate just how much a difference this can make, and the net result can potentially be less energy use.

    I watched the video. Pity someone doesn’t shoot you with a ray gun and turn you into a snow man:) But no, geoengineering isnt a good way to mitigate climate change. Although I’m not a climate scientist, I have done some basic climate studies and we would be asking for trouble with geoengineering.

    I tell you what amuses me. The denialists incorrectly claim we dont know enough about the climate to reach conclusions, yet seem confident that geoengineering would be a safe way of fixing things. Ha ha, another contradiction. Not smart.