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Thread: Obama: Science Over Ideology...NOT

  1. #1 Obama: Science Over Ideology...NOT 
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    Barack Obama has promised that his administration will not favor ideology over science.
    Obama said he will not disregard "inconvenient" scientific evidence in favor of ideological dogma, a frequent complaint leveled by scientists against the Bush administration.
    I had some hope this might be true, considering that
    Steven Chu, the federal laboratory director selected to lead the Department of Energy, signed on to a nuclear energy report whose recommendations included licensing for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, an apparent conflict with BHO’s position on the issue during the campaign. Alas,
    Obama has apparently promised Harry Reid that funding for Yucca Mountain will be severely cut or eliminated.

    Do you know how irresponsible that is? The high level nuclear waste is not going to go away because Reid and Obama refuse to deal with it. It will be left to some future administration. Meanwhile the waste will remain in over a hundred facilities around the country. Here are a few facts from the
    DOE web site on Yucca Mountain

    Nuclear waste is currently located in more than 120 locations in 39 states.
    Current storage sites are temporary and not designed to store spent fuel indefinitely.
    Most scientists around the world agree that the best place to put this radioactive material is in a facility deep underground.
    The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 requires utilities which generate electricity using nuclear power to pay a fee of one tenth of one cent ($0.001) per kilowatt-hour into the Nuclear Waste Fund.
    For each year beyond 2017 that the repository’s opening is delayed, the Department estimates that U.S. taxpayers’ potential liability to contract holders who have paid into the Nuclear Waste Fund will increase by approximately $500 million. This will be in addition to the estimated current potential liability of approximately $7.0 billion due to the Department’s not beginning removal of spent nuclear fuel in 1998 as required by contract.

    Does Harry Reid have another plan to deal with the waste? Hell no, all he cares about is that he keeps getting elected in Nevada. And it’s looking like Obama will stick to ideology over science, just like he said he wouldn’t.


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  3. #2  
    Time Lord
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    Apparently you're right. However governments are often secretive when there is bidding, to get the best deal. That's good for the public purse. So maybe they're investigating options we don't know about.


    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    I agree with your concern and it makes me think of two related topics

    1- The cost of decommissioning a nuclear powerplant (or rebuilding it) after decades is seldom considered. In some cases the cost of demolition and clean up can be surprizingly high.

    2- I read a comparison of a russian american that lived through the fall of the USSR that compares how the USSR and USA was/are prepared/able to cope with an economic collapse. His conclusion (life is better in the US but if shit hits the fan it could become worst than soviet collapse for many reasons) is not related to this topic here, but I remember that in his opinion it was better to secure radioactive and toxic waste sites as best as possible while in good times because when bad times arrive it might not be taken care of to the detriment of the population.
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  5. #4  
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    The sad thing is, the federal government has been collecting fees for this purpose for years. But once the govenrment gets hold of the money, there's no telling what they are going to do with it. Sort of like that Social Security lockbox, I guess.

    By the way, on the decommissioning question, utilities are required by regulation to establish a fund for that.
    That's explained here.
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  6. #5  
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    I agree, we should be proceding full speed ahead with Yucca Mountain, and Obama's stance is not admirable. However, there's no ideology involved - it's just pragmatic politics. Obama has his plate full, and he needs to pick his fights. He talks about looking at alternatives. Perhaps after another year or two of studying he will conclude that Yucca Mountain is the best choice after all. And by then perhaps Obama will not need Harry Reid as much as he does today.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    there's no ideology involved
    Keep telling yourself that, Bunbury. To tell the truth, I think Chu is a bit of an ideologue himself. His years in liberal academia have filled his head with dreams of green energy. He is a lab rat who made his name by freezing some molecules in a lab, or something like that. His actual experience in the energy industry is pretty slim.

    Well, at least he has some science credentials, so when he starts crunching some numbers, maybe he will come to his senses.
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  8. #7  
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    Keep telling yourself that, Bunbury.
    I'd rather have you be explicit about the particular ideological position of Obama's that led him to promise Reid a reduction in support for Yucca Mountain. To my mind it was pure politics. Every candidate who campaigned in Nevada pandered to the ant-Yucca Mountain voters, and this includes John McCain who simply made up some fantasy about an "international repository", after strongly supporting the project for years before.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    I'd rather have you be explicit about the particular ideological position of Obama's
    Not all ideologies are religious in nature. He's a liberal, and liberals believe in things like solar power, wind power, etc. Their belief does not require any feasibility studies, economic analyses, successful examples, or anything of that sort.
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  10. #9  
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    Some groups have suggested alternatives based on the argument that the Yucca mountain plan is not the best solution for disposal - frm a scientific perspective. The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research is one such group, they have proposed an alternative plans, and others exist.

    http://www.ieer.org/comments/waste/yuccaalt.html

    No doubt Mr. Obama is ideological, but it entirely possible that he will promote a solution that is soundly rational as well as based on science. If the example you have provided is the limit of his ideology as regards science, then you are at least a step ahead of where you were under your previous president, who was roundly anti-science altogether.
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Some groups
    Yes. Anti-nuclear groups. There is no serious debate among scientists. See the second article I posted.
    If the example you have provided is the limit of his ideology
    Big IF. His administration hasn't even started.
    you are at least a step ahead of where you were under your previous president
    Tu Quoque is a very common fallacy in which one attempts to defend oneself or another from criticism by turning the critique back against the accuser.
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  12. #11  
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    You were the one making the claim that this event was an indication of an ideology that is inherently anti - science. To then claim that we can't assess Obama because his administration hasn't started yet begs the question as to why you began the thread in the first place.

    But carry on.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    I'd rather have you be explicit about the particular ideological position of Obama's
    Not all ideologies are religious in nature. He's a liberal, and liberals believe in things like solar power, wind power, etc. Their belief does not require any feasibility studies, economic analyses, successful examples, or anything of that sort.
    First, how does Obama's "belief" in alternative energy sources deal with the storage of existing nuclear waste. Your response is a non sequitur.

    Second solar power and wind power are proven technologies with hundreds of demonstrated successful examples. Our local utility in Colorado is currently opening bidding for the construction of an additional 600 MW of solar generation. I'm not claiming this is the answer and in fact I believe, like you, that nuclear will be part of the future mix. I just find your whole stance that Obama is anti-science to be laughable considering the past eight years we have suffered through.

    That's all I have to say on this topic.
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    Bunbury, if you take a look at the web site of IEER, which free radical mentioned as pushing the alternative to Yucca Mtn, you will see that they are anti-nuclear power. They exaggerate the dangers of transporting radioactive waste. They would like to add to the expense and uncertainty, so no more nuclear plants will be built. If a permanent solution is found, they will no longer be able to claim that the problem is not solved, and that is one of their main arguments against nuclear power.

    The election is over. There is no point in campaigning against George Bush any more. I am not campaigning against Obama. I am just trying to hold him to his own words.

    We've already discussed Colorado and the subsidies and mandates that are forcing utilities to go that direction. These technologies are somewhat feasible as long as they only represent a small percentage of the generating capacity on the grid.
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  15. #14  
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    Just an update. Looks like they are going ahead with the plan to kill off Yucca Mtn. They have no alternative, and it will cost the US billions in damages to the utilities. They don't care.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...4ao&refer=home
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  16. #15  
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    Relax, kids, this car ain't going no place.

    These Obama kids are hippies;
    and the sun and the moon and the universe
    and the wind and the sea and the stars.

    What a waste, what trajedy. And that bitch was right... the beat goes on.

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  17. #16  
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    Harold, I think you may have misinterpreted one of the articles you posted when you wrote "There is no serious debate among scientists. See the second article I posted."

    This is a quote from that article:

    He (Cohen) said, for instance, that the recommendation to continue licensing for Yucca Mountain was not so much an endorsement of the Nevada site as a desire for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to identify and work out kinks in the license process "so you know it can be done and you have the right regulations."

    The laboratory officials "are not here to pass judgment as to whether Yucca Mountain is good, bad or indifferent," Cohen said. "It is really science based. It never says outright we agree that Yucca Mountain is the best thing since sliced bread."
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    Harold, I think you may have misinterpreted one of the articles you posted when you wrote "There is no serious debate among scientists. See the second article I posted."

    This is a quote from that article:

    He (Cohen) said, for instance, that the recommendation to continue licensing for Yucca Mountain was not so much an endorsement of the Nevada site as a desire for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to identify and work out kinks in the license process "so you know it can be done and you have the right regulations."

    The laboratory officials "are not here to pass judgment as to whether Yucca Mountain is good, bad or indifferent," Cohen said. "It is really science based. It never says outright we agree that Yucca Mountain is the best thing since sliced bread."
    There was a report signed by the directors of 10 national science laboratories. It recommended a continuation of the Yucca Mtn licensing process. Is that what the Obama administration is doing? No.
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  19. #18  
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    No, and I'm not defending Obama's decision. I'm merely pointing out that there are alternative science-based views, and that the licensing process, as described in the article you posted, does not necessarily result in the project continuing. The scientists appear to be saying there is value in completing the licensing process so that whatever is next will go easier. They are not saying Yucca Mountain is or is not the best solution.

    I think you are putting a non-objective spin on what these scietists are saying.
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  20. #19  
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    The human race has been strong in many categories, and weak in many others. In responsibility, the human race has been both good and bad. But this is a trend we must eliminate. It cannot be up to a future administration, it cannot be up to a future generation, to solve the problems that the people of today don't seem to care about, but it is. This is something we as a race must eliminate. The Obama administration in my opinion has been both fiscally irresponsible, and logically disappointing.

    Aside from their scientific failures, has anyone heard of the NAFTA superhighway which is being constructed currently, and will run 10,000 miles of road, across the United States, primarily as a trade route to stimulate free trade between Canada and Mexico. Sounds like a conspiracy to me, of course there's no empirical evidence for it, because the fact it's being built and the bad reputation of NAFTA are not enough to automatically make it conspirital. However, in my opinion, the Obama administration overall is not faring well for its aspirations on the campaign trail, and as you said Harold, already they are breaking campaign promises. But do the high school kids who are obsessed with him in occultist fashion know or care about it? No. He's too "cool", that's exactly the way they want to keep the sheeple.
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