Politics

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Re: Politics

Postby Taite » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:05 am

trythil wrote:If that's your stance, then you can be in favor of Obama's energy platform, too, as he is also promising that result. No candidate is crazy (or realistic) enough to say "I'm going to gradually increase our reliance on domestic energy generation, but it'll be about a couple decades of hard work before we can totally do that". Both candidates promise regulatory reform: Romney for oil, natural gas, and nuclear power plants; Obama for fast-tracking offshore wind farms. (And probably others). In a sense, they're really pretty similar policies in the sense that they both

1. promise to achieve greater energy independence
2. likely won't do shit

I could technically be in favor of many candidates and past candidate's energy platform. I want energy independence to be one of our top priorities, however. Romney has said that this is number one on his 4 step plan to taking back America, or whatever the hell it was. Is he full of shit? Hmmm, could say he is and probably be safe. But I'm not going to pretend to be able to predict the future. Romney always seems to be telling half-truths, but no one knows if he'll deliver or not, he's not in office yet.

The main difference between the two however is that Romney makes energy an economic issue, and Obama, though claiming the same, twins it with the environment. Though Romney supports alternative, greener methods of energy, he places the economy before the environment. I'm not going to completely rule out the environment, but I'm in favor of a stronger economy, and that means utilizing domestic sources of non-renewable energy as well as renewable.

I would like to know if he sees any merit in providing federal funds and regulatory assistance to solar and wind installers with a proven track record of success. Such a loan system could work like the ATVM loan program, in which applicants had to demonstrate financial viability without the loan.

I'd be interested in that as well. Where I live, about 90% of all homes have solar panels. Albeit, it's a small town, and very liberal, but it works. In the winter however, they have to switch to other forms of energy, and that's a good 4 months out of the year. However, there are other alternatives to solar and wind. Nuclear seems to me to be the most efficient of all green energy, and Romney (as well as Obama) has shown support for it.


As a general resource, this site has outlined the candidates' (as well as many other politicians') take on energy, but also every other issue. It's missing a lot of sources, but it makes it easy to track their record.
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Re: Politics

Postby MimS » Mon Sep 03, 2012 3:37 am

Nuclear : green energy?! Wtf?
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Re: Politics

Postby Taite » Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:05 pm

Sorry, faux pas. It's much cleaner than fossil fuels and has the smallest environmental impact, but it's not "green". However, compared to other non-renewable resources (although nuclear has been considered renewable as well. just another debate), it's the most environmentally friendly, so it's often coupled with more greener alternatives like solar and wind. Some forms of nuclear are considered green, but they're not widely used. Otherwise, it's not considered green only because of the risk of accidents and radioactive waste.
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Re: Politics

Postby EvaFan » Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:13 am

trythil wrote:sounds like you're ignoring production-level deployments of renewable energy generation sources. Yes, they are early stage production deployments, but they work. The next thing to do is to scale up production, to drive costs down, and you don't achieve that with small-scale research prototypes. You achieve it by optimizing production processes in tandem with further basic research.

For example, there are solar cells (in research stage) that show 40% efficiency, a four-fold increase over typical production cells. That's pretty awesome. Meanwhile, we have installers like SolarCity that have developed business models (sustainable business, it seems) around this sort of thing, even with the comparatively inefficient cells we currently have access to. In time I'm sure they'll upgrade their product offerings to use better cells as they become available. It's just like any other industry.

I would like to know why Romney's plan seems to just ignore cases like SolarCity; I would like to know why he seems to have skipped over the possibility of federal assistance (note: not even necessarily money, because I don't think they need more money; it could just be streamlining regulation) for corporations like them. They're not the only one in the US.

If you aren't ignoring those cases and you still think that, I would like you to point out why you think they're not ready for prime time. Otherwise, your opinion is without factual basis, which is one of the biggest problems we have in politics.


Maybe we see things differently here, but to me a few small successes doesn't mean something is ready for commercialization and mass production. I'm not ignoring them but I'm not ready to throw caution into the wind and proceed on a large scale. As you've already pointed out they are still in early stages. The production processes include metals, sometimes harmful chemicals (greenhouse gases), I'm not sure if they still contain lead anymore but the older variants do and are currently large and bulky requiring alot of space. The cost of solar equipment right now is also a concern as it is technically only a commodity for middle to upper class who can afford it especially when government subsidies are gone. In some states with severe weather it is another concern since they are outside, Kansas in particular (I've lived there) had hail atleast 1 time almost every year. Not always large but potent enough to damage. I'm not sure about snow and ice storms effects on them but I'm sure it can't be good. Another point of interest is that the benefits will not be the same for every state (there are a few maps circulating that vary but here's one anyway):
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I was born and mostly raised in Ohio, and it was almost ALWAYS cloudy there (depressing) so we moved to kansas. When its cloudy the amount of solar energy generated is significantly less. Another concern is that most of the energy generated in the USA is used by believe it or not large office buildings which are cluttered and sometimes have little roof space. Most businesses don't invest in something unless the cost is insignificant and the benefits are very significant. Something like this would be easilly commerializable and could very easily be laminated to every window in a building, it would be an insignificant cost and a very significant benefit in energy savings:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xsp9kw ... solar_tech

However its efficiency is still being improved. Since they are inside the building they are also easily maintained, replaced, safe from weather, etc... They don't even have to be ON the window, they can be inside the building near a window and generating energy for small electronics.

Wind energy may possibly be ready for large scale commercialization but I don't know as much about it as I'd like to comment on it. I would think it's maintenance around salt water would be even higher.

Hydropower generation is by far (well atleast in my opinion) the most efficient and beneficial green energy currently though it has the problem of limitation since only areas around a large source of water could even use it.

The idea is to mass fund research for all of the different kinds of energies and possibly discover hybrids that can even utilize green waste to create energy and are fully recyclable of necessary. In the past couple of years we've done what would have otherwise taken decades of research and funding (yay for obama doing something right atleast). An example of hybridization would be say a wind farm coated with a newly developed spray on solar to increase its efficiency even further or coating the kentucky dam with solar cells. I'm sure there are other possibilities out there like the photosynthesis from plant cells for solar energy that with time may even be of use for hybridization.

From the way you worded your post you seem to think I support Romney when in fact I'm still interested in neither candidates (again) and likely to vote for the one I agree with the most even if minimal.

TL;DR - We've come a long way but we still have a bit of a ways to go before the common man can afford and reap the benefits of green energy commercially. Possibly we see differently here as well tythril, I'm guessing you would rather have the government supply and invest in it for the common man but I would much rather see the common man buy something themselves that is cheap, efficient, and easy to use then have the government do it. That and our rising debt has had me worried for the longest time.
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Re: Politics

Postby Fire_Starter » Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:15 pm

Nuclear is one of those things where the mere word is surrounded by a crap-ton of FUD, mainly because "OMG teh Chernobyl and teh Fukushima!!!1!!!!11!

Without trivializing either event, I'll just say that nuclear power is going to have to play a larger role at some point. Everyone is going to have to move away from their collective pants-wetting anytime the idea of splitting atoms to create power is brought up. Fossil fuels aren't going to last forever, and they're dirty. But right now, they're the only viable option. We need to put a LOT more research into newer and safer forms of nuclear energy production if we're going to keep up with demand in the long term. The newer designs are orders of magnitude safer than, say, Chernobyl, but they can always be improved.

I read a couple years back that Toshiba and a few other companies were developing self-contained pebble bed reactors that could be used to meet the energy requirements of large buildings or small towns. The design is meant to be inherently safe, in that the reaction is self regulating. The more out of spec things get, the less energy the reaction produces, thus lowering temps back into spec. The idea is that something like this could be buried in the ground and sealed off to prevent tampering, and replaced after 50 years or so. My opinion is that's one of the directions we need to head toward.

Another thing we should do is amend the Partial Test Ban Treaty. Before the "nookyular weapons are BAD!!!!" crowd chimes in, here me out. The US and Russia still have MASSIVE stockpiles of aging, and often outdated nuclear warheads. These aren't (and won't be) doing anything other than acting as a dick waving contest, so they need to be put to constructive use. This is where things like Project Orion (the original one, not the Apollo wannabe) come in. While other projects such as fusion rockets are still a long way off, Orion was envisioned to be possible in the late 60's with existing technology. Economical trips around the solar system, and even a feasible trip to Alpha Centauri (albiet likely one-way or a multigenerational crew) were envisioned. The main reason the project was shelved is widely regarded to be the restrictions on above-ground nuclear detonations present in the PTBT. There would still be technical hurdles to overcome, but it would be a lot more feasible today than in the 60's if the treaty would allow it, and people would accept the challenge.

And finally, my main stance on one candidate vs another:

Spoiler :
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Re: Politics

Postby Mr Pilkington » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:06 pm

Lewis Black wrote:I don't know if you noticed, but our two-party system is a bowl of s*** looking in the mirror at itself.

That pretty much sums it all up. And unfortunately, that's not intended as a troll. It really sucks that bad lately
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Re: Politics

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:31 pm

Fall_Child42 wrote:I have a question about this political compass.

How does this bottom left corner even make any sense?

How can somebody be against government involvement but pro social programs?

A strong government influence is needed in order to have social programs at all. Somebody with libertarian ideals should not be willing to accept anything like healthcare, having roads built for them, or free education. So in order to be left economically you would have to lean at least somewhat authoritarian.

Two reasons:
1) Externalities like human greed don't enter into ideological mappings.
2) Communal social pressures and threats. It's not the government holding the gun to your head, so it's not authoritarian.

The fringes can't exist in reality without support of various degrees of significant percentages of the population. Dictatorships require less of the population be of the same opinion than communal utopias do.
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Re: Politics

Postby Fall_Child42 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:00 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:1) Externalities like human greed don't enter into ideological mappings.



Well this is just wrong.

wealth acquisition, wealth distribution, greed, the desire for things, or the lack of that desire, is the basis for an incredible amount of ideologies.

Economics are not externalities, especially in this particular context.
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Re: Politics

Postby Emong » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:28 pm

BasharOfTheAges wrote:1) Externalities like human greed don't enter into ideological mappings.

This precisely does enter ideology from both sides, right and left.

From the left we get the usual bashing of greed as the main cause of economic crisis. We know all the narratives: Millions of people live in poverty because of corporate greed, financial capital ran out of control because of the greed of private investors, and so on. My problem with the focusing on greed is two-fold: First, private companies and individual investors aren't driven by greed but the imperative of competition and production of surplus value. From this we get to the second point: let's not psychologize the very systemic problems we're facing. We're not going to get rid of economic slumps by moral tinkering but by transforming social systems.

From the right we get the market utopia, which is based precisely on the premise of egotistic human agents operating in an economic environment to maximize their own wellbeing. Let's not forget that utopians are not by definition people who believe in the empathy and good will of human beings but those who believe that they have found a universal mechanism and if we just applied this mechanism we could somehow guarantee the harmonious functioning of the society. The invisible hand of the market is precisely such a utopia: it assumes that the market will somehow transform conflicting private egotistic interests into a collective harmony. Now of course we know that this is neither the psychological reality of the human psyche (people are much more social and irrational than the "homo economicus" of mainstream economics) nor is it the actual reality of the economy, which periodically goes through crises and is far from what you could call a stable sustainable system.

Human greed is an extremely ideological concept.
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Re: Politics

Postby BasharOfTheAges » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:25 pm

Fall_Child42 wrote:
BasharOfTheAges wrote:1) Externalities like human greed don't enter into ideological mappings.



Well this is just wrong.

wealth acquisition, wealth distribution, greed, the desire for things, or the lack of that desire, is the basis for an incredible amount of ideologies.

Economics are not externalities, especially in this particular context.

I think my last point was the more salient one and kinda gets more to the crux of the issue. The feasibility of each corner case require different amounts of buy-in from the populous at large. By greed, I meant power hungry and control hungry, not money hungry. There's probably a much better word for it than greed, but I feel like shit and the Nyquil is making it difficult to think straight right now. Some combinations along that map can only exist if those power hungry people aren't allowed in the system or aren't allowed to gain control of it. They're unstable if you don't have an ideologically homogenous population.
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Re: Politics

Postby lloyd9988 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:41 am

I think I just watched a video that instantly turned me into a republican. . . Maybe its too soon to say but its quite eye opening for me and fits strongly with my moral beliefs :shock:
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Re: Politics

Postby Amaterasu » Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:56 am

Politics thread eh... Normally I would post here, but I'd rather not go into detail about my political views. I will say that I oppose both the democratic and republican party.

My views are best defined as anarcho-syndicalist, which could also be referred to as libertarian communism. In short, I'm against the concept of the wage system and the capitalist ownership of the means of production.
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Re: Politics

Postby Athena » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:05 am

Amaterasu,

Your political views are you founded Japan, your grandson was the first Emperor, Jimmu, you gave the people rice and silk to feed and clothe themselves, and the current Emperor is your direct descendent.

This political philosophy is called kokutai, and traditionally, you created it. :awesome:

...this is my academic area of expertise, so excuse me being silly.
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Re: Politics

Postby Amaterasu » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:07 am

Kionon wrote:Amaterasu,

Your political views are you founded Japan, your grandson was the first Emperor, Jimmu, you gave the people rice and silk to feed and clothe themselves, and the current Emperor is your direct descendent.

This political philosophy is called kokutai, and traditionally, you created it. :awesome:

...this is my academic area of expertise, so excuse me being silly.


Holy shit I did!
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Re: Politics

Postby Seijin_Dinger » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:11 am

all hail Lady Sun
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