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Thread: 'I made a mistake': Al Gore's U-turn on corn ethanol

  1. #1 'I made a mistake': Al Gore's U-turn on corn ethanol 
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    Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was 'not a good policy', weeks before tax credits are up for renewal.
    U.S. blending tax breaks for ethanol make it profitable for refiners to use the fuel even when it is more expensive than gasoline. The credits are up for renewal on December 31.
    Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7billion last year according to the International Energy Industry
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz166PWCU3c


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    Meanwhile we contribute a paltry amount of ~$100 million a year into research for ways to use the rest of the corn and other plants that wouldn't compete with food.

    It's almost criminal.

    First generation corn ethanol saves very little on emissions.


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    Gore wrote about his changed position on ethanol in a book published last year called Our Choice.
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    Of course it is not a good policy. Do you want your gas tank competing with your stomach? Biodiesel from algae. Now there's an idea...
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    nobody's perfect

    its ok dude!...

    better luck next time

    xD
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  7. #6 Re: 'I made a mistake': Al Gore's U-turn on corn ethanol 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said support for corn-based ethanol in the United States was 'not a good policy', weeks before tax credits are up for renewal.
    U.S. blending tax breaks for ethanol make it profitable for refiners to use the fuel even when it is more expensive than gasoline. The credits are up for renewal on December 31.
    Total U.S. ethanol subsidies reached $7.7billion last year according to the International Energy Industry
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz166PWCU3c
    No worries,

    Gingrich is a believer in corn ethanol and subsidizing the industry.

    Republican Newt Gingrich, who’s exploring a presidential run in 2012, has provoked a clash within conservative ranks over his support for ethanol subsidies made from corn. The former speaker of the House says “big city” critics and “big urban newspapers” – he fingered the Wall Street Journal specifically – are against “high-paying jobs” in rural America. Listen to Gingrich speech.

    Gingrich delivered his remarks in Iowa, a leading producer of ethanol and the state that historically holds the first vote in presidential elections. His immediate audience was a trade group that supports renewable fuels, mainly ethanol, but Gingrich was probably hoping to appeal to the broader Iowa public and Midwesterners in general.
    http://blogs.marketwatch.com/electio...nol-subsidies/
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    Corn based ethanol is a loser. It costs more money and results in a net energy loss when you take into account, fertilizers, cultivation, transportation, and refinement. It, should, indeed be criminal for the U.S. government to subsidize a technology or process that costs more than it sells for, uses more energy than it produces, is bad for vehicles, and only serves to make a small percentage of the population rich.

    As a matter of fact, it is criminal. Our Constitution does not allow the government to do any such thing, and yet, somehow we have allowed unelected officials and acency directors to dictate policy without having to go through any of the checks and balances required by the Constitution../political rant

    In any case, there are viable, sustainable ethanol products. The problem is the U.S. isn't allowed to use them due to trade agreements, again made to allow a small percentage of people to become rich. If we were to release most, if not all, of our trade subsidies, import taxes, export taxes, and everything else we do to skew where we are able to purchase our resources, the U.S. could cut down on fossil fuel use by half in less than a decade.

    Sugar based ethanol is a winner. We just can't import Sugar. Nuclear Power is a winner. We just can't build new plants. Oil Shale is a winner, we just can't build refineries.

    In short, everything that we could do to fix this problem is blocked for various political purposes.

    How's that for a first post?
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Sugar based ethanol is a winner.
    I assume you meant sugar cane? Corn ethonol is sugar based.

    Oil Shale is a winner...
    At risk of changing the thread, oil shale is one of our worst options.
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    Yes, I meant sugar cane based ethanol. Sorry for the lack of clarity.

    As far as shale, I would disagree. We have the technology to refine it but we haven't built a new refinery in 30 years.

    In any case, I think all of the current options pale in comparison to nuclear power, but then again, I am a bit biased.

    Heck, there isn't really a reason we could not build a Nuclear Power Plant near a shale oil producing land mass, use the waste heat form the Plant to separate the oil, and set up pump stations to go to a refinery next door. It's really not that complicated.

    It's only when the NIMBY crowd and the environmentalists step in that these things stall and spend 20 years in the court system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    but then again, I am a bit biased.
    Gee... Thanks, Captain Obvious. I'd also like to point that you assert as fact things better described as unsubstantiated opinions, but you've only posted twice now... We'll wait and see, I guess.
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    Well, what you see as an unsubstantiated opinion, I would describe as my thoughts based on 20+ years of experience in the field we are discussing. I did not have the good fortune to go into college right out of high school. Money was tight and it just wasn't in the cards. Instead I joined the Navy, ran Nuclear Reactors on board an Air Craft Carrier, and have since obtained my degree in Nuclear and Electrical Engineering along with working at, and overseeing power generation and distribution on the civilian side.

    Again, as you pointed out, what I have offered are only my opinions. You are free to take whatever value from them you want to or challenge me on any specific unsubstantiated claims you may feel that I have made.

    As far as how many posts I have made at this forum, I fail to see how that has a bearing on this conversation, except that as you do not know my history, you are forced to judge my words and my arguments with an open mind; unless this happens to be one of those forums where the community feels that anybody who has recently joined is incapable of contributing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Yes, I meant sugar cane based ethanol. Sorry for the lack of clarity.

    As far as shale, I would disagree. We have the technology to refine it but we haven't built a new refinery in 30 years.
    Most times the shale is extracted after strip mining or open pit mining, both highly destructive.

    It's also water intensive.

    The amount of high heat makes the whole extraction process rather inefficient based on amount of Co2 versus usable energy from the oil and/or natural gas.


    In any case, I think all of the current options pale in comparison to nuclear power, but then again, I am a bit biased.
    I fully agree nuclear power is the best best option for electrical source loading, but it won't do much for our transportation system which is still entirely petroleum based.

    It's only when the environmentalists step in that these things stall and spend 20 years in the court system.
    I'm sympathetic to environmentalist for the simple reason that the US hasn't started to pursue the best strategy of all--conservation. Our homes, business buildings and vehicles are energy pigs and could easily be 25% or more efficient with very little effort.
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    One, you make the assumption that CO2 is a harmful byproduct which is not established in fact nor supported in your argument. In other words, it is an unsubstantiated opinion.

    Two, you discount the fact that if the electrical distribution was based off Nuclear Power instead of Natural Gas, Coal, Oil, Petroleum, etc, that it would not only reduce the costs to consumers, reduce demand of fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gasses(if they are even a factor, and I do not believe they are) and it would extend the amount of time those fossil fuels remain viable as a source for transportation.

    During this time, battery technology will improve, and we may one day see a time when an electric vehicle is actually affordable and environmentally friendly.

    In my opinion, we have ran out of options. I do believe in Peak Oil and I believe it will occur in most of our lifetimes. Right now, immediately, we need to be expanding other sources of energy generation, conserving our fossil fuels to the best of our ability, and looking to new technologies and research to get us through the next two hundred years.

    Currently, IMO, there is nothing we have developed that will allow us to continue on the path we are on now. Unless there is major innovation and a major technological discovery, in either fuel production or energy storage, we are screwed.

    A few days ago, I read an article about an algae, that in the presence of CO2, sunlight, and water, secretes a bio-diesel as a product of photosynthesis. Whether it pans out on a large scale is unknown, but those are the type of breakthroughs that are needed. Not converting food into fuel for a net energy loss.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    As far as how many posts I have made at this forum, I fail to see how that has a bearing on this conversation
    I was giving you a possible "out"... pointing out that I could be mistaken in my own initial assessment, and that I had little in the way of evidence of your position to go on since you'd had so few posts. Now that you've replied a few more times, I suspect I was, in fact, rather correct.


    Let me give something of more substance, though. You're correct that nuclear is a nice option, but it cannot do it by itself. In addition to what Lynx_Fox mentioned about our transportation and other petroleum hogs in our system, there is the problem of length of time to build (on the order of 10 years, plus time needed for approvals, etc.), the extreme cost and infrastructure investments needed, the sheer number we would need to build to handle the load, and the distribution of them (where to put them). There is also the issue of how to dispose of waste, but I think that is minor relative to some of the other challenges.

    You're suggesting it's the solution to the problems of today, but the only way it could have been is if work began in the 70s at a seriously large scale.

    It's one part of a larger solution, but hardly the solution in and of itself.
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    I don't need an out. I'm glad you have been able to form a conclusion now that I have four posts instead of two.

    In any case, your argument is the same tired one given over and over again by people who are either very short sighted or just don't want to see progress. During the McCain/Obama Election, McCain was criticized over his statements that we needed to drill more locally and build more refineries. One of the favorite arguments against that was that it could take at least 10 years to see results. Here we are, 3 years later, and we still haven't made any progress. What could have been 6-7 years away is still 10.

    It is a logical fallacy to state that because something may take several years in development that it is pointless to ever begin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    One, you make the assumption that CO2 is a harmful byproduct which is not established in fact nor supported in your argument. In other words, it is an unsubstantiated opinion.
    Established in fact, as in absolute certainty, I agree. On the other hand the evidence is overwhelming that we should reduce its emissions because it is harming the global environment--get used to that assumption when discussing around atmospheric scientist. It was easy to presume that you were familiar with the topic as well because you didn't mention coal as a continued good candidate to power our grid for many years to come.
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    For every study that you can name that says CO2 is harming our environment, I can link to another that says it is negligible.

    On one thing I hope we can both agree, CO2 produced by natural causes dwarfs the CO2 produced by mankind. Volcanoes, lightening induced forest fires, all influence our environment more than mankind. That's not to mention the big events...like meteor strikes, super volcanos, sun cycles, etc. When Yellowstone errupts again, the amout of CO2 humans have put into the atmosphere will seem like a pretty silly statistic.

    It's ironic that humans have such a self inflated sense of importance. We have had recorded history for something like a thousand years and honestly believe that our data is statistically significant? Give me a break. Out of the billions of years Earth has been here, the ice ages, the warming periods, and the repeated ice ages, it's really silly to believe that any recorded changes over the last few decades are significant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Heck, there isn't really a reason we could not build a Nuclear Power Plant near a shale oil producing land mass, use the waste heat form the Plant to separate the oil, and set up pump stations to go to a refinery next door. It's really not that complicated.
    Reasons we could not build a Nuclear Power Plant near a shale oil producing land mass, use the waste heat form the Plant to separate the oil, and set up pump stations to go to a refinery next door:

    1. Temperature needed to separate shale oil from its native rock is 700 degrees F. Temperature of waste heat from a nuclear power plant is nowhere near high enough. You have to use use the electricity generated by a power plant (nuclear or fossil) directly in electric heaters, or steam generators to melt the oil. Steamers are used in the Canadian oil sands. Shell's experimental technology uses large electric heaters buried in the ground. Shell would like to build a large coal burning power plant in western Colorado to melt the shale oil.

    2. Cooling water for a nuclear power plant is somewhat higher than for a fossil fuel plant. You need a large river or an ocean near your shale deposit.

    3. Copious amounts of water are needed for the extraction and upgrading processes in addition to the power plant requirement. In Colorado that water would come from a major tributary of the Colorado River, and the water is already leaglly owned by downstream states including California. A special case perhaps but wherever you want to build your shale production facility you need a river or an ocean.

    4. The NIMBY crowd, well, yes screw the farmers that currently use the water, and the ski areas that use it for snow making and the cities that drink it.

    It really is that complicated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Reasons we could not build a Nuclear Power Plant near a shale oil producing land mass, use the waste heat form the Plant to separate the oil, and set up pump stations to go to a refinery next door:

    1. Temperature needed to separate shale oil from its native rock is 700 degrees F. Temperature of waste heat from a nuclear power plant is nowhere near high enough. You have to use use the electricity generated by a power plant (nuclear or fossil) directly in electic heaters or steam generators to melt the oil. Steamers are used in the Canadian oil snds. Shell's experimental technology uses large electric heaters buried in the ground. Shell would like to build a large coal burning power plant in western Colorado to melt the shale oil.
    Do you know what waste heat from a Nuclear Power Plant is? I do. You are right that it is not 700 degrees, but it could be. To increase efficiency for a nuclear power plant, a lot of the waste heat is reused. If more energy could be gained by using it to separate shale oil, that heat could be diverted.
    2. Cooling water for a nuclear power plant is somewhat higher than for a fossil fuel plant. You need a large river or an ocean near your shale deposit.
    Absurd. Almost all of the water in a nuclear power plant is recycled. The water usage is relatively minor. At least it was for Nuclear Power in the Navy. Primary coolant had almost zero losses, and the secondary side was only lost due to gland seal leak off or blow downs for chemistry. Sure, you need make up water, but we had no problem distilling enough salt water for our uses. Heck, if it wasn't for the loss of steam from the boilers and catapults, we almost wouldn't need make up water.
    3. Copious amounts of water are needed for the extraction and upgrading processes in addition to the power plant requirement. In Colorado that water would come from a major tributary of the Colorado River, and the water is already leaglly owned by downstream states including California. A special case perhaps but wherever you want to build your shale production facility you need a river or an ocean.
    This is true. I have no arguments here. Shale oil production does need water and a heat source. Both are available. As far as if it would hurt the population of some random obscure bird or fish, that is a different story.
    4. The NIMBY crowd, well, yes screw the farmers that currently iuses the water, and the ski areas that use it for snow making and the cities that drink it.

    It really is that complicated.
    And now we reach the heart of the issue. All of your other points were easily rebuked. This one is much more complicated. Ski areas that use it for snow we will disregard because it is absurd to take that into account when you are talking about global energy. But, what about the farmers and cities? Well, I would like to believe there could be a balance if we weren't so caught up in some obscure fish or bird that will probably be extinct in less than a few hundred years regardless.

    Of course there are water and land management concerns when it comes to anything that is discussed on this large of scale. But to say that it isn't viable because a few farmers who are being paid to not produce crops won't have irrigation or a few ski lodges might not be able to make snow is a pretty far stretch.
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    Waste heat from any power plant is rejected at a few degrees above the ambient or cooling wate temperature. About 2/3 of the heat produced in a nuclear power plant is wasted at a temperature that is unusable. If you have a plan for increasing the efficiency of a nuclear power plant, go for it. Please describe it here in thermodynamic and econcomic detail I won't hold my breath.

    The nuclear navy, as far as I know, tends to operate generally in large bodies of water. But I could be mistaken.

    As for the ski areas, yes I wouldn't place them above meeting the needs of the general population for energy, but you will have to deal with them to get their water rights. If you believe that is uncomplicated, well good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Waste heat from any power plant is rejected at a few degrees above the ambient or cooling wate temperature. About 2/3 of the heat produced in a nuclear power plant is wasted at a temperature that is unusable. If you have a plan for increasing the efficiency of a nuclear power plant, go for it. Please describe it here in thermodynamic and econcomic detail I won't hold my breath.

    The nuclear navy, as far as I know, tends to operate generally in large bodies of water. But I could be mistaken.

    As for the ski areas, yes I wouldn't place them above meeting the needs of the general population for energy, but you will have to deal with them to get their water rights. If you believe that is uncomplicated, well good luck.
    The Nuclear Navy, does indeed operate near, or around, large bodies of water. That water also happens to be salt water. It has to be distilled to be used. The corrosive effects of an introduction of salt water would be catastrophic to a Nuclear Ship. In any case, the water still has to be distilled, and two Nuclear Power plants can operate on much less than a 100,000 gpd. That's one, relatively small, distilling unit.

    As far as the waste heat, most of the times it is only rejected at a few degrees above ambient. Do you know why? Because those are the guidelines the EPA mandates. We could easily, with limited modifications, make our waste heat 600 degrees. We would lose some efficiency, but those mandates are to protect birds. Not because we have to.

    No, I don't think water rights from ski companies would be uncomplicated. I also don't believe it is an insurmountable obstacle. If it really is that big of a deal, build the plant downstream of the ski facility. The runoff would require less chemistry controls than straight river water. Or build near the ocean and distill the water needed. In any case, like I said, the primary side is a closed loop with little or no loss. The secondary side is open, but the steam is still condensed in condensers and recirculated. The water usage is relatively minor.
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    For every study that you can name that says CO2 is harming our environment, I can link to another that says it is negligible.
    Ha! we'll have to try that game, 99% of climate scientists understand the serious problem of global warming. One whole country is having to evacuate over the next few years because it will disappear due to rising sea levels (Kiribati), the Greenland ice sheet is showing an 8-fold increase in shifts since measurements began in the 70s, if it slides into the sea we're looking at a 5m increase in sea level. One of the natural wonders of the world, the great barrier reef is significantly bleaching due mainly to rising water temperatures.

    On one thing I hope we can both agree, CO2 produced by natural causes dwarfs the CO2 produced by mankind. Volcanoes, lightening induced forest fires, all influence our environment more than mankind.
    From the American carbon dioxide analysis centre (amoung others): 'Since the beginning of the Industrial revolution, the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 280 μmol/mol to 390 μmol/mol.'
    'The correlation coefficient between cumulative anthropogenic carbon emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is r = 0.998 (e.g., r = 1.0 represents an absolutely perfect match).'
    So no, man made emissions are a very significant percentage of CO2 in the upper atmosphere.


    That's not to mention the big events...like meteor strikes, super volcanos, sun cycles, etc. When Yellowstone errupts again, the amout of CO2 humans have put into the atmosphere will seem like a pretty silly statistic.
    Well done, and events like you mentioned tend to cause mass extinctions. Super volcanoes have been linked to runaway warming in the past.

    It's ironic that humans have such a self inflated sense of importance. We have had recorded history for something like a thousand years and honestly believe that our data is statistically significant? Give me a break.
    That is exactly what people said when the hole in the ozone layer was discovered, I hope you don't deny that as well? Because it was denialists like you who kept the world from acting to reduce CFCs until about 15 or 20 years after the problem was identified. 2 in 3 Australians will get skin cancer before they are 70, that could have been much lower.

    Out of the billions of years Earth has been here, the ice ages, the warming periods, and the repeated ice ages, it's really silly to believe that any recorded changes over the last few decades are significant.
    That doesn't seem to make any sense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    In any case, your argument is the same tired one given over and over again by people who are either very short sighted or just don't want to see progress.
    I am curious how you've come to this conclusion about "my argument." I said that nuclear is an important part of the solution, but cannot be the only part. I said that it takes too long, and has some significant challenges in terms of front end investment, approvals, and disposal.

    Never once did I say, nor even suggest, that I am against nuclear. Try listening to what people say and stop attacking the caricature about others you've been fed by ideologues.

    We're closer on this than you seem to suggest, I'm just being honest and practical about the challenges, and acknowledging that nuclear is just one leg of the proverbial stool we need to get out of our energy problems.


    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    It is a logical fallacy to state that because something may take several years in development that it is pointless to ever begin.
    I tend to agree, which is why it's so good I didn't say that, nor anything even resembling that. Did you know that it's also a logical fallacy to misrepresent your opponents position and then to attack that misrepresentation? It's called a strawman.




    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Do you know what waste heat from a Nuclear Power Plant is? I do.
    I'm gonna give you a nickel's worth of free advise, pal. You really need to get this chip off your shoulder, and you need to do it soon. I don't know where else you post, or what other crowds you run with, but when you post here you're no longer the smartest or most well informed person in the room... simply one among many.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    The Nuclear Navy, does indeed operate near, or around, large bodies of water. That water also happens to be salt water. It has to be distilled to be used. The corrosive effects of an introduction of salt water would be catastrophic to a Nuclear Ship. In any case, the water still has to be distilled, and two Nuclear Power plants can operate on much less than a 100,000 gpd. That's one, relatively small, distilling unit.
    Are you seriously suggesting that nuclear ships don't use seawater in the steam condensers? This discussion is pointless, but please take a quick look at slide number 37. (SW stands for seawater.)

    http://www.swartzcreek.org/cpettit/N...esentation.ppt
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    In any case, your argument is the same tired one given over and over again by people who are either very short sighted or just don't want to see progress.
    I am curious how you've come to this conclusion about "my argument." I said that nuclear is an important part of the solution, but cannot be the only part. I said that it takes too long, and has some significant challenges in terms of front end investment, approvals, and disposal.

    Never once did I say, nor even suggest, that I am against nuclear. Try listening to what people say and stop attacking the caricature about others you've been fed by ideologues.

    We're closer on this than you seem to suggest, I'm just being honest and practical about the challenges, and acknowledging that nuclear is just one leg of the proverbial stool we need to get out of our energy problems.


    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    It is a logical fallacy to state that because something may take several years in development that it is pointless to ever begin.
    I tend to agree, which is why it's so good I didn't say that, nor anything even resembling that. Did you know that it's also a logical fallacy to misrepresent your opponents position and then to attack that misrepresentation? It's called a strawman.




    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Do you know what waste heat from a Nuclear Power Plant is? I do.
    I'm gonna give you a nickel's worth of free advise, pal. You really need to get this chip off your shoulder, and you need to do it soon. I don't know where else you post, or what other crowds you run with, but when you post here you're no longer the smartest or most well informed person in the room... simply one among many.
    No chip. And thanks for the advice. Honestly, I am new around this forum and the people. Sometimes I have a habit of oversimplifying things in order to make sure things are understood. I also, have a habit of skipping steps in my reasoning and merely jumping from step 1 to step 4 because I feel steps 1-3 are obvious. I normally try to balance those two items but it seems I have failed in this case.

    I'll try to be more cautious about that. Honestly, you have me pegged. I am used to being the most informed or smartest guy in the room. This forum may take some getting used to. Thanks for the heads up.

    In any case, what I was responding to was your statement of,
    "You're suggesting it's the solution to the problems of today, but the only way it could have been is if work began in the 70s at a seriously large scale."
    To say that it isn't the solution of the problems of today because it wasn't begun decades ago is what I took issue with. We have to start sometime. Yes, yesterday would have been better than today, but in the 70's we were still dealing with Chernobyl and 3 mile island; two incidents that will live in the public's mind forever.
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    My apologies for the lack of clarity. I was trying to convey that it is one piece in a larger puzzle of solutions, not a solution in and of itself (which is how I closed that last post), and part of this is because it takes so long to scale and is so cost prohibitive. I hope that helps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    The Nuclear Navy, does indeed operate near, or around, large bodies of water. That water also happens to be salt water. It has to be distilled to be used. The corrosive effects of an introduction of salt water would be catastrophic to a Nuclear Ship. In any case, the water still has to be distilled, and two Nuclear Power plants can operate on much less than a 100,000 gpd. That's one, relatively small, distilling unit.
    Are you seriously suggesting that nuclear ships don't use seawater in the steam condensers? This discussion is pointless, but please take a quick look at slide number 37. (SW stands for seawater.)

    http://www.swartzcreek.org/cpettit/N...esentation.ppt
    That is a tertiary system. The primary system is pumped through the reactor to the steam generators and back through the reactor at high pressure with no water loss and never leaves a liquid state. The secondary side absorbs heat energy from the steam generator, boils, creates steam, and is used to turn the turbines. That steam/water mixture then leaves the turbines and goes to condensers where it returns to a water state and is pumped back to the steam generators. The heat sink for those condensers in Naval Nuclear Power is sea water.

    My point is, that heat could be exchanged to a different medium, like the ground for extracting shale oil...which was my original point.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    My apologies for the lack of clarity. I was trying to convey that it is one piece in a larger puzzle of solutions, not a solution in and of itself (which is how I closed that last post), and part of this is because it takes so long to scale and is so cost prohibitive. I hope that helps.
    It does, and I hope my explanation also helps us understand each other a little better.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    For every study that you can name that says CO2 is harming our environment, I can link to another that says it is negligible.
    You are wrong. Numerous surveys of scientific papers exist on this topic--there's virtually no scientific support that sharp increased in Co2 won't lead to significant warming--enough to cause lots of environmental damage. (
    The most recent is here and concludes:

    "Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers. "
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107

    This is why nearly every scientific agency that has anything to do with climate research has put out strong statements associating the risk continued high Co2 emissions and significant global warming.

    (their results are consistent with my own observation as I try to read dozens of abstracts a month in several major climate journals--a labor of love for nearly 30 years)


    On one thing I hope we can both agree, CO2 produced by natural causes dwarfs the CO2 produced by mankind.
    A poor argument. The amount man is producing is on top of the amount nature releases and that amount is exceeding natures ability to absorb Co2 as evidenced by the climbing Keeling curve and increasing acidity of the oceans.


    That's not to mention the big events...like meteor strikes, super volcanos, sun cycles, etc. When Yellowstone errupts again, the amout of CO2 humans have put into the atmosphere will seem like a pretty silly statistic.
    Comparing catastrophes is rather silly. The natural ones are for new impossible to prevent, a man-made equivalent is something we should try to avoid.

    And let me correct you on another thing. The last time Yellowstone popped was some 640,000 years ago. We can take an educated guess about its Co2 output because it ejected roughly 1000 times more than Pinotubo 1991 eruption. Pinotubo put out an estimated 40-50 million tons of Co2. The massive Yellowstone super-eruption 640,000 years ago put out something like 50 billion tons...aka less than two years of mans yearly emissions. (last year was about 30 billion tons).

    On a year to year basis volcanoes put out less than 1% of the Co2 that man's putting out.

    http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volc...e_effects.html

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    It's ironic that humans have such a self inflated sense of importance.
    It has nothing to do with a self-inflated sense of importance. It has everything to do with science. This being a science forum that should be the foundation of our discussions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGlad
    For every study that you can name that says CO2 is harming our environment, I can link to another that says it is negligible.
    Ha! we'll have to try that game, 99% of climate scientists understand the serious problem of global warming. One whole country is having to evacuate over the next few years because it will disappear due to rising sea levels (Kiribati), the Greenland ice sheet is showing an 8-fold increase in shifts since measurements began in the 70s, if it slides into the sea we're looking at a 5m increase in sea level. One of the natural wonders of the world, the great barrier reef is significantly bleaching due mainly to rising water temperatures.

    On one thing I hope we can both agree, CO2 produced by natural causes dwarfs the CO2 produced by mankind. Volcanoes, lightening induced forest fires, all influence our environment more than mankind.
    From the American carbon dioxide analysis centre (amoung others): 'Since the beginning of the Industrial revolution, the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 280 μmol/mol to 390 μmol/mol.'
    'The correlation coefficient between cumulative anthropogenic carbon emissions and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration is r = 0.998 (e.g., r = 1.0 represents an absolutely perfect match).'
    So no, man made emissions are a very significant percentage of CO2 in the upper atmosphere.


    That's not to mention the big events...like meteor strikes, super volcanos, sun cycles, etc. When Yellowstone errupts again, the amout of CO2 humans have put into the atmosphere will seem like a pretty silly statistic.
    Well done, and events like you mentioned tend to cause mass extinctions. Super volcanoes have been linked to runaway warming in the past.

    It's ironic that humans have such a self inflated sense of importance. We have had recorded history for something like a thousand years and honestly believe that our data is statistically significant? Give me a break.
    That is exactly what people said when the hole in the ozone layer was discovered, I hope you don't deny that as well? Because it was denialists like you who kept the world from acting to reduce CFCs until about 15 or 20 years after the problem was identified. 2 in 3 Australians will get skin cancer before they are 70, that could have been much lower.

    Out of the billions of years Earth has been here, the ice ages, the warming periods, and the repeated ice ages, it's really silly to believe that any recorded changes over the last few decades are significant.
    That doesn't seem to make any sense.
    Would you admit that looking at it from a longer term perspective than a few decades that we are coming out of an ice age and should expect warming? Would you further admit that at some point in time, we will go into another ice age?

    That has been happening for billions of years. Why do you think mankind will be able to stop it?

    There is historical data that most landmasses have at one time been underwater or dry. Simply put, everything changes. Are there some countries, like you mentioned, that may need to evacuate based on rising water levels? Probably. Was that same land mass underwater 30,000 years ago?

    If we both agree that temperatures have been changing for 5 billion years or so, and we both agree that they will continue to change, I fail to see how, even assuming man made CO2 is accelerating those changes is such a big deal. Either way, we will warm. Either way, we will enter another ice age. Either way, we will have another species ending event, such as a super volcano or meteor strike. To honestly say that using a little less fuel will save the Earth, a certain species, or mankind is a lie. We may be able to delay the inevitable at great cost to human kind, but we cannot prevent it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    For every study that you can name that says CO2 is harming our environment, I can link to another that says it is negligible.
    You are wrong. Numerous surveys of scientific papers exist on this topic--there's virtually no scientific support that sharp increased in Co2 won't lead to significant warming--enough to cause lots of environmental damage. (
    The most recent is here and concludes:

    "Here, we use an extensive dataset of 1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers. "
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/06/04/1003187107

    (their results are consistent with my own observation as I try to read dozens of abstracts a month in several major climate journals.)


    On one thing I hope we can both agree, CO2 produced by natural causes dwarfs the CO2 produced by mankind.
    A poor argument. The amount man is producing is on top of the amount nature releases and that amount is exceeding natures ability to absorb Co2 as evidenced by the climbing Keeling curve and increasing acidity of the oceans.


    That's not to mention the big events...like meteor strikes, super volcanos, sun cycles, etc. When Yellowstone errupts again, the amout of CO2 humans have put into the atmosphere will seem like a pretty silly statistic.
    Comparing catastrophes is rather silly. The natural ones are for new impossible to prevent, a man-made equivalent is something we should try to avoid.

    And let me correct you on another thing. The last time Yellowstone popped was some 640,000 years ago. We can take an educated guess about its Co2 output because it ejected roughly 1000 times more than Pinotubo 1991 eruption. Pinotubo put out an estimated 40-50 million tons of Co2. The massive Yellowstone super-eruption 640,000 years ago put out something like 50 billion tons...aka less than two years of mans yearly emissions. (last year was about 30 billion tons).

    On a year to year basis volcanoes put out less than 1% of the Co2 that man's putting out.

    http://www.geology.sdsu.edu/how_volc...e_effects.html

    --
    It's ironic that humans have such a self inflated sense of importance.
    It has nothing to do with a self-inflated sense of importance. It has everything to do with science. This being a science forum that should be the foundation of our discussions.
    My same response that I just typed applies equally as well. Earth has been going in and out of ice ages for billions of years. There have been events leading to extinctions and nothing mankind does will stop that fact.

    As far as your 'data', and I use the term loosely, natural events contribute far more to green house gasses than man made events. As far as green house gasses are concerned in the first place, CO2 is a relatively minor contributor. 95+% of green house gasses consist of water vapor. CO2, and especially, man-made CO2 is such a minor aspect of climate change as to, IMO, be negligible over the long term.

    Unless you can somehow explain to me how Mammoths driving SUV's led to the melting of the last ice age?
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt

    Would you admit that looking at it from a longer term perspective than a few decades that we are coming out of an ice age and should expect warming?
    Wrong. We should be very slowly cooling.

    Would you further admit that at some point in time, we will go into another ice age?
    Based on the astronomical forcing the next severe ice age will be in about 50,000 years.

    That has been happening for billions of years. Why do you think mankind will be able to stop it?
    Pretty much irrelevant when you're trying to avoid dramatic change over the course of a century.

    Either way, we will have another species ending event, such as a super volcano or meteor strike. To honestly say that using a little less fuel will save the Earth, a certain species, or mankind is a lie. We may be able to delay the inevitable at great cost to human kind, but we cannot prevent it.
    It's hard for anyone to take you serious if a cornerstone of your argument is that we'll be replaced anyhow.
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    Would you admit that looking at it from a longer term perspective than a few decades that we are coming out of an ice age and should expect warming?
    No, we aren't coming out of an ice age, we already came out of one a long time ago.

    Would you further admit that at some point in time, we will go into another ice age?
    Almost certainly, in maybe 100,000 years

    That has been happening for billions of years. Why do you think mankind will be able to stop it?
    Why put words into my mouth?

    Are there some countries, like you mentioned, that may need to evacuate based on rising water levels? Probably.
    No, definitely. Kiribati.

    Was that same land mass underwater 30,000 years ago?
    I don't know but almost certainly not, since that was lower temperature so lower sea levels.

    If we both agree that temperatures have been changing for 5 billion years or so
    The earth is only 4.6 billion years old

    I fail to see how, even assuming man made CO2 is accelerating those changes is such a big deal. Either way, we will warm. Either way, we will enter another ice age. Either way, we will have another species ending event, such as a super volcano or meteor strike.
    The 'why bother' arguement.
    You might as well say, why bother buying a nice house for your children to grow up in, after all, there are always ups and downs, a family line will sometimes be in poverty and a few generations later be wealthy. Ups and downs happen, so I needn't bother.

    Don't you think that we have some sort of responsibility to leave the planet in a decent state for our children and grand children?
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    Perhaps, the 'why bother' approach wasn't the best made argument, but since I didn't ask it directly, how about we try now? Why bother?

    Let's assume CO2 emissions do effect climate change, even though, as I pointed out, 95% of green house gasses consist of water vapor and a large portion of the remainder consists of events outside of mankind's control.

    Let's also assume, the U.S. committed to be a net zero carbon country by April.

    1. How would that effect the U.S. economy?
    2. How would that effect the global economy?
    3. How would it effect the average Citizens quality of life?
    4. Statistically, would it matter considering China and several other developing countries would not make the same concession?
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    As far as your 'data', and I use the term loosely,
    Since you seem to be a student of logical fallacies, I thought I'd take a moment here to point out that you've just tried to poison the well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_the_well



    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Perhaps, the 'why bother' approach wasn't the best made argument, but since I didn't ask it directly, how about we try now? Why bother?
    For the same reasons we stopped putting lead in our gasoline and paint. For the same reasons we removed CFCs from our aerosols. For the same reason we don't allow toxic sewage to be dumped into our streams and rivers.

    We should "bother" for a multitude of reasons, and if you're unwilling to entertain any, then there is truly no reason to continue discussion.


    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Let's assume CO2 emissions do effect climate change, even though, as I pointed out, 95% of green house gasses consist of water vapor and a large portion of the remainder consists of events outside of mankind's control.
    We do not need to "assume" CO2 effects climate change since the data overwhelmingly shows the factuality of this position. Further, water vapor only stays in the system for roughly 10 to 14 days, and then is naturally removed in a neat phenomenon you have heard of... it's called "rain." CO2 dug from the ground, burned, and emitted into the atmosphere stays there for centuries.

    As for every other nonsense argument you've put forth, each has already been roundly demolished here... seriously... every one you've made.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php




    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Let's also assume, the U.S. committed to be a net zero carbon country by April.

    1. How would that effect the U.S. economy?
    2. How would that effect the global economy?
    3. How would it effect the average Citizens quality of life?
    4. Statistically, would it matter considering China and several other developing countries would not make the same concession?
    Now you are moving the goal posts. Interesting how you've chosen to do this instead of addressing the criticisms and rebuttals of your points. I wish I could say that this is the first time a climate change denier has engaged in such tactics, but I'd be mistaken if I said that.

    You first tried to attack the legitimacy of the science itself. Once you were shown mistaken on practically every point you made, you switched instead here now to a tactic of trying to use economic arguments to show why nothing should be done. These are different domains, and the possible economic impact has absolutely zero relevance (zilch, nada, squat) when discussing the science of CO2s impact on the climate, and humans role in releasing CO2 back into the atmosphere.

    With that said... In response to your economic challenge, all one can say is that it depends entirely on how the regulations are designed and implemented. For example, decisions on net zero CO2 requirements will be good for manufacturing in the green energy sector, good for those who create fuel using net zero options, and also good for the services which support them... and all of the vendors who feed and supply those services... and all of the food joints where they eat... and all of the people who rent or mortgage homes to those engaged in those jobs... ad infinitum.

    Such actions will help the global economy in some ways and hurt in others, just like any other change we make (such as fuel efficiency standards enacted through the years). It's not a white and black world we live in, despite your suggestion to the contrary. Also, for what it's worth China is FAR ahead of us in the US in terms of green energy investment and strategy, and it's important to acknowledge this. I'm not arguing they are perfect environmental role models, so don't go misrepresenting my position again. I'm saying they are very deeply engaged in solar and other alternative energy sources to supply their quickly growing and economically viable population. I'll also note that their decision to invest in green energy manufacturing has helped boost the growth of their economy, and could very well do the same if we enacted similar regulations and programs here in the US.

    Finally, the quality of life bit you've put forth above is just silly. Yes, there will be some distress in the short-term for some percentage of the population, but your near-sighted approach misses the suffering we'll see in the long-term among much larger swaths of the population if nothing is done now to address these issues which have been largely understood since the 1970s. Yours is the same argument blacksmiths and equestrians made when the car was introduced, and it's just stupid. Sorry to be so blunt, but it is, as are most of the rest of the arguments you've presented thus far.

    Let's implement more nuclear and more solar and more other energy forms. We can agree there. Let's not ignore reality on the rest of these issues, though, okay?
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt

    Two, you discount the fact that if the electrical distribution was based off Nuclear Power instead of Natural Gas, Coal, Oil, Petroleum, etc, that it would not only reduce the costs to consumers, reduce demand of fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gasses(if they are even a factor, and I do not believe they are) and it would extend the amount of time those fossil fuels remain viable as a source for transportation.
    Besides that, if use more nuclear plants to power our homes, we will therefore use less petroleum to power our homes. If we use less petroleum to power our homes, then demand for petroleum goes down, and it's cheaper to fill our gas tanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    It's only when the environmentalists step in that these things stall and spend 20 years in the court system.
    I'm sympathetic to environmentalist for the simple reason that the US hasn't started to pursue the best strategy of all--conservation. Our homes, business buildings and vehicles are energy pigs and could easily be 25% or more efficient with very little effort.
    These two arguments (whoisjohngalt's and yours) lead to the same conclusions. Both involve using less petroleum for our homes.

    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    As far as how many posts I have made at this forum, I fail to see how that has a bearing on this conversation
    Let me give something of more substance, though. You're correct that nuclear is a nice option, but it cannot do it by itself. In addition to what Lynx_Fox mentioned about our transportation and other petroleum hogs in our system, there is the problem of length of time to build (on the order of 10 years, plus time needed for approvals, etc.), the extreme cost and infrastructure investments needed, the sheer number we would need to build to handle the load, and the distribution of them (where to put them). There is also the issue of how to dispose of waste, but I think that is minor relative to some of the other challenges.
    I wouldn't worry too much about the waste. That's just political hand waving. If we haven't devised a reliable way to jettison spent nuclear fuel into space by the end of 500 years, I would be very much amazed.
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  38. #37  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    As far as how many posts I have made at this forum, I fail to see how that has a bearing on this conversation
    Let me give something of more substance, though. You're correct that nuclear is a nice option, but it cannot do it by itself. In addition to what Lynx_Fox mentioned about our transportation and other petroleum hogs in our system, there is the problem of length of time to build (on the order of 10 years, plus time needed for approvals, etc.), the extreme cost and infrastructure investments needed, the sheer number we would need to build to handle the load, and the distribution of them (where to put them). There is also the issue of how to dispose of waste, but I think that is minor relative to some of the other challenges.
    I wouldn't worry too much about the waste. That's just political hand waving. If we haven't devised a reliable way to jettison spent nuclear fuel into space by the end of 500 years, I would be very much amazed.
    I'm not sure why you left whoisjohngalt's quote, but removed the part of my post which addressed it...

    Here it is:

    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    As far as how many posts I have made at this forum, I fail to see how that has a bearing on this conversation
    I was giving you a possible "out"... pointing out that I could be mistaken in my own initial assessment, and that I had little in the way of evidence of your position to go on since you'd had so few posts. Now that you've replied a few more times, I suspect I was, in fact, rather correct.

    Now, in response to your comment... NIMBY is very much in effect with this issue.
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    @inow

    I did not move the goal posts, and I found it pointless to continue to argue with you about 'man made climate change'. You have your ideas, which I don't believe are supported in reality. I have my ideas, which you don't believe are supported in reality.

    It is obvious we are not going to come to an agreement. I think a lot of the scientific 'data' is skewed to get the results the scientists wanted or due to negligent data collection. You think it is accurate. I can remember a time when the 'scientific community' agreed that we were all in danger of drastic global cooling leading to an ice age. 10 years ago the same 'scientifc community' agreed that we were all in danger of drastic global warming leading water level increases and nicer weather in Alaska. Now, after strike two, the same 'scientific community' has now coined the phrase, "Global Climate Change". Well, they picked a winner this time. No matter what happens, they can claim to be correct. That's not science. It's propaganda.

    The only people I am aware of who think man is directly responsible for the weather are those who; a) profit from it or b) blindly listen to those who profit from it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    @inow

    I did not move the goal posts,
    Okay. Fine, but you DID fail to respond to the criticisms of your claims, or to address their rebuttals.



    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    I can remember a time when the 'scientific community' agreed that we were all in danger of drastic global cooling leading to an ice age.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-...s-in-1970s.htm

    The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming.




    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    That's not science. It's propaganda.
    Your premises have been shown false over and over again, so it's rather difficult to accept this particular conclusion as valid.


    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    The only people I am aware of who think man is directly responsible for the weather are those who; a) profit from it or b) blindly listen to those who profit from it.
    Your lack of awareness is appalling... Not to mention how you are here now again using the logical fallacy of strawman. Man is not "directly responsible for weather," nor is that anyone's particular claim. Our behaviors, however, DO have an impact on climate.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scienti...climate_change
    National and international science academies and scientific societies have assessed the current scientific opinion, in particular on recent global warming. These assessments have largely followed or endorsed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) position of January 2001 which states:

    An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes in the climate system... There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.
    No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion.

    More here where you can see the marginalization of your personal stance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_...climate_change
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    Sorry, I don't recognize skepticalscience or wikipedia as a reliable source regarding this issue. You might as well start quoting snopes.com

    Man made global warming is a myth. Here is my source. http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/...reenhouse.html

    See how pointless that was? We both stated our opinions. We both gave sources from a blog. Neither of us are convinced.

    The thing I find interesting is that even if one believes man is contributing to Global Climate Change, which I freely admit, he is(it is the extent that we disagree on), what do you think we should do about it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Sorry, I don't recognize skepticalscience or wikipedia as a reliable source regarding this issue. You might as well start quoting snopes.com
    I propose you consider looking at the 139 citations in the References section, then. Also, skepticalscience sources ALL claims. So yeah... You apparently don't recognize reality.


    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    See how pointless that was? We both stated our opinions. We both gave sources from a blog. Neither of us are convinced.
    Actually, I shared science and references. You shared opinion.

    We're done here.
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  43. #42  
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt

    That has been happening for billions of years. Why do you think mankind will be able to stop it?
    Why shouldn't we think we can stop it?



    There is historical data that most landmasses have at one time been underwater or dry. Simply put, everything changes. Are there some countries, like you mentioned, that may need to evacuate based on rising water levels? Probably. Was that same land mass underwater 30,000 years ago?

    If we both agree that temperatures have been changing for 5 billion years or so, and we both agree that they will continue to change, I fail to see how, even assuming man made CO2 is accelerating those changes is such a big deal. Either way, we will warm. Either way, we will enter another ice age. Either way, we will have another species ending event, such as a super volcano or meteor strike. To honestly say that using a little less fuel will save the Earth, a certain species, or mankind is a lie. We may be able to delay the inevitable at great cost to human kind, but we cannot prevent it.
    There's also a natural cycle of release and capture of CO2. In the dinosaurs' day, probably most of the CO2 was in the form of lush vegetation all over the place. In our day, the lush vegetation has somehow managed to become oil and coal. Fine: either way it is trapped out of the air.

    If it goes back into the air, and raises the overall temperature just a tiny, tiny bit, that increase will cause water vapor to become more abundant, which creates a feedback effect. Fortunately the feedback effect terminates before the Earth is boiling, but we still end up with a hotter planet than we started with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    I don't need an out. I'm glad you have been able to form a conclusion now that I have four posts instead of two.

    In any case, your argument is the same tired one given over and over again by people who are either very short sighted or just don't want to see progress. During the McCain/Obama Election, McCain was criticized over his statements that we needed to drill more locally and build more refineries. One of the favorite arguments against that was that it could take at least 10 years to see results. Here we are, 3 years later, and we still haven't made any progress. What could have been 6-7 years away is still 10.

    It is a logical fallacy to state that because something may take several years in development that it is pointless to ever begin.
    Well, fact is, we can import oil right now relatively cheaply anyway so, don't you think it's best that we do that for now while we look for ways to reduce usage and find alternatives?

    We'll be reliant on oil for many decades to come and, I think the longer we can stall extraction of our own resuorces, the more secure we'll be. There will come a time when we won't be able to import oil like we have been....if ous is used up, then what?

    Our oil reserves are like money in the bank....why spend it now when we can leave it alone to gain interest.....a barrel of oil wil be worth 500 bucks one day....that would be a better time to pump it dontcha think?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind
    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    I don't need an out. I'm glad you have been able to form a conclusion now that I have four posts instead of two.

    In any case, your argument is the same tired one given over and over again by people who are either very short sighted or just don't want to see progress. During the McCain/Obama Election, McCain was criticized over his statements that we needed to drill more locally and build more refineries. One of the favorite arguments against that was that it could take at least 10 years to see results. Here we are, 3 years later, and we still haven't made any progress. What could have been 6-7 years away is still 10.

    It is a logical fallacy to state that because something may take several years in development that it is pointless to ever begin.
    Well, fact is, we can import oil right now relatively cheaply anyway so, don't you think it's best that we do that for now while we look for ways to reduce usage and find alternatives?

    We'll be reliant on oil for many decades to come and, I think the longer we can stall extraction of our own resuorces, the more secure we'll be. There will come a time when we won't be able to import oil like we have been....if ous is used up, then what?

    Our oil reserves are like money in the bank....why spend it now when we can leave it alone to gain interest.....a barrel of oil wil be worth 500 bucks one day....that would be a better time to pump it dontcha think?
    A different argument entirely, but one I agree with. I do believe Peak Oil will occur within our lifetime, and at that time, having reserves that are ready to drill will be crucial for our success as a nation. Until that time, we need to be ramping up on alternative sources. We should, however, stay away from those sources that lose money and energy in the process and are only subsidized because of political favors.
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  46. #45  
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    I do believe Peak Oil will occur within our lifetime, and at that time, having reserves that are ready to drill will be crucial for our success as a nation. Until that time, we need to be ramping up on alternative sources. We should, however, stay away from those sources that lose money and energy in the process and are only subsidized because of political favors.
    What... You mean like we do for oil?


    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/business/04bptax.html
    an examination of the American tax code indicates that oil production is among the most heavily subsidized businesses, with tax breaks available at virtually every stage of the exploration and extraction process.

    According to the most recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, released in 2005, capital investments like oil field leases and drilling equipment are taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent, significantly lower than the overall rate of 25 percent for businesses in general and lower than virtually any other industry.

    And for many small and midsize oil companies, the tax on capital investments is so low that it is more than eliminated by var-ious credits. These companies’ returns on those investments are often higher after taxes than before.

    “The flow of revenues to oil companies is like the gusher at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico: heavy and constant,” said Senator Robert Menendez.

    <...>

    An economist for the Treasury Department said in 2009 that a study had found that oil prices and potential profits were so high that eliminating the subsidies would decrease American output by less than half of one percent.
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    I am against all subsidies, including those for oil. But, one thing that is slightly disinginuous about taxes on oil production, it leaves out the fact that it is taxed at every stage of production and has special taxes added to it at the sale to the consumer. The Gas Tax is on average around 50 cents per gallon. Rest assured, the government is getting more than their fair share out of the whole process.
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    Totally irrelevant to my point. You were railing against using subsidies to help green energy get off the ground. You were basically saying they should get nothing, and only survive against oil if they can compete against oil. I then pointed out that oil gets massive subsidies, and you responded by saying, "well sure, I don't like those either, but yeah... that's okay when applied to oil."

    Give me a break.
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  49. #48  
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    It is completely relevent. I also don't define a tax break as a subsidy. As an owner of a small business, I can, and do, write off some costs of doing business. That is not a subsidy.

    In 2009, the government directly gave $3,975,606,299 to the corn industry for susbidies. There is a big difference between a lower marginal tax rate and paying 4 billion dollars directly to a company or interest.

    reference: http://farm.ewg.org/progdetail.php?f...&progcode=corn
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    So, is your point limited to corn, or would you also have a problem with subsidizing (or lowering taxes for... I'm not playing semantics here) solar, wind, geothermal, and others?
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    Quote Originally Posted by whoisjohngalt
    Rest assured, the government is getting more than their fair share out of the whole process.
    I doubt that. Just the money put into security of our oil sources, to keep people like me in uniform in the Middle East with the latest technology cost huge amounts of money--a level of hidden cost that by some figuring is costing all of us at least an extra $2 beyond what we pay at the pump.

    I do believe Peak Oil will occur within our lifetime
    We're probably already past it.
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  52. #51  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    I do believe Peak Oil will occur within our lifetime
    We're probably already past it.
    Indeed. I'd thought about mentioning this, too, but felt I'd already engaged our fair Randian poster without valid rebuttals from him on enough other fronts already without flanking him with this one, too.
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  53. #52  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suspiciousmind

    Well, fact is, we can import oil right now relatively cheaply anyway so, don't you think it's best that we do that for now while we look for ways to reduce usage and find alternatives?
    When you consider the degree to which the value of the USD depreciates from sending so many dollars over to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC states, I think it's costing us a lot more that it looks like on its face.

    You have to factor in the devaluation of everyone's savings accounts as being part of the cost.
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