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View Diary: Chilling Discovery from Russian Caves: 1.5 °C Warming Will Melt Permafrost Unleashing Carbon Bomb (417 comments)

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  •  too big for government - unavoidable lesser evils (20+ / 0-)

    This has to be a bottom up fix if fix there is to be. People have to change their ways of living. Writing this from car culture USA feels preposterous and has felt preposterous for most of my (relatively) long life. I remember my mother, a pre hippie hippie, talking about the Pacific Ocean garbage patch almost 50 years ago.

    I'm slightly less "we're all doooooomed" about climate for various reasons (non-linear feedback loop etc ...) and am actually more near term terrified by ocean acidification but all these fears are related. We need a movement to a post-industrial world post haste. I don't think this is doable by requiring "smashing capitalism". It's an evolutionary change. The global communications network is in place. If the people lead the politicians will follow or there will be trouble. Ergo: Hopefully there will be trouble.

    The immediate way forward, as this is posting in a Democratic Party blog thread, is going to involve some very painful tradeoffs. The world isn't going no media no air travel agrarian. The US isn't going to cut our energy consumption by 1 BTU soon or ever. I lurk these parts as I'm a lesser evilest. I don't like it one bit but it's time for the thinking left to revisit nuclear power. It's ugly, dangerous, corrupt and managed right now by the same corrupt short term kleptocracy that runs the rest of our industrial luxury blanket. But ... the French safety record ... coal ... fraking ... do the math. It's ugly and I'm well aware the only response I'll get from ranting into void around here will be "we're all dooooomed" or "grow up you don't understand" and that any attempt at dialog will be ignored or descend into the usual flame war. I've been on the net since before CERN and am bored with flame wars. But as I see it - radically scale every new solar technology up with a global new deal (and there's good stuff in the pipeline ... eh ... pipeline bad word ...) AND accept that nuclear is here to stay. Or ... ?

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:20:30 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Not all nuclear energy is created equal (14+ / 0-)

      The thing is, you see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear. Dig? - The Rock Man

      by BalanceSeeker on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:37:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hardly (7+ / 0-)

      I am a pro nuclear anti carbon thinking lefty.  I think there are a lot of us who think that we can't afford not to go nuclear at speed.  Your diagnosis carries the day

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:16:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nuclear power is still massively more expensive (5+ / 0-)

        than renewable energy.

        That means that it's a losing proposition when it comes to reducing carbon output - dollars wasted on it are better spent on safe and sane alternatives, not just from the perspective of those who value human life but also as a simple matter of cents per kilowatt hour.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:46:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is no way to go nuclear at speed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Grandma Susie

        since it takes about a decade to build a nuke plant.  But nuke plants are long term crazy.  Look at Fukushima.  Do you honestly think you can stop that from happening again?   Do you think they've cleaned it up yet.  It's still spewing and leaking into the soil. If Japan gave a shit about their citizens they would be trying to evacuate Tokyo now.  

        Nobody even knows how to adequately decommission a nuke plant and store the waste (for an unlimited time period).   What happens to nuke plants during a serious war?  Would they not get bombed?  After a country goes broke, or becomes anarchic like Somalia,  who steps in to take care of the nuke plants?

        The sleep of reason brings forth monsters. --Goya

        by MadScientist on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:35:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Significant shift will (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jgnyc, northsylvania, maryabein

      only occur when the public is on board, and it becomes more profitable to sink Carbon than it is to let it escape.

      The mechanisms to make that shift have to involve global business and government and the public.

      •  Public only on board when it all goes to hell (23+ / 0-)

        I know smart people who still don't believe in Global Warming...I almost can't control myself at dinners when I hear this.....so waiting for PEOPLE who are not known for collective group long-term thinking to act is silly

        •  I think a lot of people think it's science fiction (10+ / 0-)

          they simply do not believe all the predictions of bad things that will happen due to global warming. It's too difficult for them to imagine, or they think we are exaggerating and it really won't be so bad.  They remind me of the people who had the means to do so, but didn't leave Pompeii before the end, even though there was ample warning from the volcano.

          •  Remind me of Easter Islanders (13+ / 0-)

            All we need to do is build more statues (fracking wells, refineries, etc.) and the gods (the markets) will forgive us.

          •  They see step by step... the big picture thinkers (4+ / 0-)

            are shitting themselves.

            There are so many disparate dots to connect. It's a wide and deep problem. The step by step processing of this problem borders on the pedantic - can't help but not believe.

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:32:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  What really adds to the problem though..... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cliss, jgnyc

            Is that there has been plenty of exaggeration and "Chicken Little" stuff going around in recent years. Do you remember a paper from the "Arctic Methane Emergency Group" that was released this summer, claiming that we'd all be going extinct by 2050 or so?

            It created a lot of buzz on DU, and even some of the resident "Inevitable Climate Apocalypse" proponents weren't buying it...(and they're normally a gullible & stubborn lot, about as bad as your average climate denier, in fact)

            This is a major part of the reason why people haven't quite woken up yet. No sane person is going to want to listen to doomsday predictions over and over again.....

            •  I'm not so sure they were wrong (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cliss

              there's a real chance that we could face abrupt temperature jumps, which would be phenomenally disruptive to agriculture.  Ask people what they'll eat when the grocery stores can get food from farms gone bust.  

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:26:57 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  "Abrupt" temperature jumps? (0+ / 0-)

                I'd like to know what you meant by that, before saying anything else.

                •  Oh (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RosyFinch, billlaurelMD

                  There's some evidence That there have been changes on a local scale on the order of several degrees over a decadal time scale and possibly an 8C jump on the scale of a couple years during the younger Dryas.  Although those were local rather than global shifts, the earth seems capable of pretty disjunct changes over short periods.   Only time will tell what we will see

                  Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                  by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:15:10 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I've read up on the Younger Dryas period myself. (0+ / 0-)

                    While it is indeed true that a major temperature shift did occur, globally, after the end of the Ice Age, the temperature shift actually occurred over about a century, or century and a half or so; it's generally believed that the total rise was about 10*C(which might perhaps have possibly taken us above today's levels, actually), and about 7*C of that occurred in about a half century. The truth is, though, the pace of warming then involved some special circumstances, some of which probably could not be replicated today(thankfully).

                    Though a 4*C warming by 2100 is rapid enough by most standards, I'd suspect.....

                    •  One hopes (0+ / 0-)

                      I'm glad you have a sense of the record.   What worries me is precisely that the discontinuity that have rise to such rapid changes are in fact replicable and we are about to. We don't know what really caused those changes, but we are constantly finding processes and trends that are more severe than we thought.   This may be reporting bias but I suspect not.    

                      What worries me is that the last 4,000 years have been very stable.  This coincides with the rise of agriculture, which raises the question of whether large scale agriculture will be feasible if the climate in jumping around unstably.

                      The fact that our understanding is so limited makes me very fearful about how this will turn out

                      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                      by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 09:29:12 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Definitely reporting bias to an extent. (0+ / 0-)

                        No offense meant, btw, but there's been a LOT of that kind of thing going around lately. The truth is, while there have indeed been a few things that really have been substantially worse than predicted, such as Arctic ice melt and such, most everything else has actually fallen within the average range of predictions; and in fact, there's an increasing amount of evidence starting to come out that climate sensitivity may actually be a little lower than thought a few years ago.

            •  I've been hearing that since 1970 (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Steve Canella

              The greens are the boy who cried wolf. It starts to look like we're just pushing an agenda. I mean, what if we're wrong, that the ecosystem has built in feedback loops which can handle the extra carbon, and we build a much better world for nothing?

              If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

              by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:45:50 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Sympathies (5+ / 0-)
          I almost can't control myself at dinners when I hear this.
          Oh my, been there. I've restrained myself from aiming rubber chicken at someone's water glass fairly often.

          "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

          by northsylvania on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:17:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I have a simple question I ask (5+ / 0-)

          "we know from basic science that CO2 traps heat like a blanket.  If increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere by 50% isn't warming the planet, then where's the heat going? Wouldn't you expect that if you put on extra blankets on a cold night that you get warmer?"

          Sometimes it helps.  I also show the arctic ice records, which people seem to find compelling when they grasp that the north pole (cold! icy!) would be entirely without ice like the Pacific it's a big deal.

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:25:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If they choose to "believe" rather than to think (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy, aliasalias, maryabein

          they aren't smart people.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:46:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  my semi-coherent comment was public shifts first (5+ / 0-)

        Unless solar scales really fast and the market takes over there isn't going to be any movement from the powers unless it's forced from bellow. Too much damn money involved.

        Solar might, it's hot right now ... so to speak ... but global wake up is the only long term solution to all this industrial vs ecology nastiness.
         

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:39:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  solar + wind + efficiency buys us time (7+ / 0-)

          reorganizing urban organization, transportation infrastructure and agriculture (both mechanized and subsistence) gets us the rest of the way.

          there's tons in easy efficiency gains to be had, both in terms of requiring strict energy efficient appliances and insulation standards, as well as shifts in patterns of living towards things that don't consume any energy like hanging up laundry instead of putting it in the dryer.

          •  exactly but I don't think that happens top down (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wu ming

            I think the ... ahem ... people have to lead and eventually the politicians have to be forced to help get the corporate internationals out of the way.

            Retaking the $#@ing House of Reps in 2014 would be a good way to buy some time.

            If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

            by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:48:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  it has to happen at all levels (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jgnyc

              state legislatures and local/municipal/county governments where non-crazies have a majority are other places to get a toehold, but the changes have to happen everywhere as much as we can manage.

              but yeah, taking congress in '14 and ditching the motherfucking filibuster once and for all removes a key obstacle.

        •  It's not always just about greed; some of them (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LI Mike, BusyinCA

          do know, and in that case, it's a cynical move.

          I had a business lunch with an Intel manager (years ago already), for example, that said it was likely going to be a catastrophe of global proportions, which is why it was important for him to be rich and for inequality to remain in place—when billions die, those at the top of the economic food chain will survive, including he and his family.

          The logic was that if we try to do something about it, and if we level the economic playing field, an aware public will fight amongst themselves as the squeeze happens, endangering everyone.

          But if it takes the world by relative "surprise," then the die-off will be clean and less painful, and those at the top (including him) will have a better chance of surviving not just the climate change, but also the political instability and resource battles and planting the flag for a new post-climate-change era of humanity.

          It was purely a selfish argument—I got mine, and plan to keep it and rig the system to my advantage—but it wasn't denial and it wasn't all about living a life of luxury in disbelief of the changes about to happen.

          Social Darwinism at its finest.

          -9.63, 0.00
          "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

          by nobody at all on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:17:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  he was just posing (0+ / 0-)

            I mean it only sort of makes sense. But a rich intel rep vs really well armed hungry populace? All those survivalist types with or without money get rolled just as fast by desperate normals who wack them and take their guns away.

            Don't get me wrong, I'd rather have money in general. But for eco breakdown the merely rich won't buy themselves much time and the super rich will have a scared, if maybe slightly longer average life expectancy. It's if society doesn't break down that rich is the ball game.

            If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

            by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:52:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't buy that at all (15+ / 0-)
      The world isn't going no media no air travel agrarian.
      Especially the "no air travel agrarian" part.  There is a looming price point for fuel that will rapidly bring the "warehouse on wheels/air/ocean" to a halt.  The entire industrial food system is dependent on cheap oil and oh, did I mention, good weather.  The cost of food is already going through the roof.  You will soon see our stupid lawns converted to gardens.  

      Furthermore, the "machinery" that we use to manage those gardens will have to run on what we ate for breakfast.  Not nukes.

      •  disagree entirely. we shall see EOM (0+ / 0-)

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:20:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In the future, we're not going to be able to have (14+ / 0-)

        an aviation industry that is anywhere near it's present or past size and/or intensity.

        The sooner we get started building a system of high speed, electrified intercity passenger trains as good or better than what Europe and Japan have and are doing, the better.

        The current predominance of the long-haul trucking industry is also going to have to go.

        •  I look forward to your future (6+ / 0-)

          of clipper ships, zeppelins, horse drawn streetcars and barge canals.  

          "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

          by Orinoco on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:48:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Those high speed rail lines, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cynndara

          even the ordinary trains (in the UK at least), are enormously expensive to use.
          To my way of thinking, telecommuting and online shopping with home delivery of almost everything will be necessary. Any kind of travel will be a luxury that only the very wealthy will be able to afford.

          "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

          by northsylvania on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:22:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Public transit & biking are CHEAPER than driving (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FishOutofWater

            That's why poor people use public transportation & ride bikes more than rich people do. A green future isn't one where we are all stuck in our houses all day.

            I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

            by Futuristic Dreamer on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 08:17:40 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I wish. (0+ / 0-)

              Going 150 miles to London for one person, the cheapest for one person is the bus (takes three hours) then a car (two and a half). For two people, it's about even so you have to take into account timing, parking fees, etc. The train is wonderful, takes two hours, but is beyond expensive for anyone who doesn't have some kind of discount and is willing to travel late in the day and come back early. Petrol here is £1.49 per litre too, so it's not as if car travel here is cheap.

              "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

              by northsylvania on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 02:45:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Agree on trucks, trains. Disagree on aviation (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zett

          All of the above. Trains are a huge part. Aviation will change. It will shrink for a while as costs rise.

          To me the biggest near term issue is stopping coal, oil and fraking. But none of that will be full stop.

          If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

          by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:37:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why does aviation get a pass on needed CO2 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FishOutofWater, cynndara

            cutbacks?

            •  it's not a question of "getting a pass" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ozsea1

              The weird thing about the left is we're all for freedom until we want to decree or abolish something. A move to post industrialism won't be a revolution, it'll be an evolution. Air travel is one of the wonders of the modern world. Everything else mentioned up thread I posit as being replaced by something that replaces its function. Just because someone's decided that meat eating is too water intensive doesn't mean they can decree a vegetarian lifestyle for anyone except themselves.

              You can go into the corners with this argument about the EPA if you want to get all cartoon libertarian which I don't respect.

              If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

              by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:52:27 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Aviation (7+ / 0-)

            is going to shrink dramatically in the "near" future.  By near I mean the next couple of decades, not next week.  But the merger of US Air and American means that we're going to be back down to four major carriers in this country WITHOUT REGULATION to maintain prices either high enough to assure their survival or low enough to allow casual travel.  Prices are going to go up significantly, and that's going to curtail a LOT.  same with air freight -- next-day and second-day deliveries are going to become a long-ago dream.  We'll gradually go back to Christmas-shopping in October and pre-planning all significant purchases because local stores have already stopped stocking all but the most common items and everything nice is going to be special delivery again.  Truck farming, i.e. growing the majority of produce within a half-day's drive of the target market, will come back into fashion as the comparative costs for food transported from a rapidly drying California Valley skyrocket.  So a lot of the necessary changes will be fairly swift market adjustments to the reality of ever-increasing gas prices and reduction of government subsidies that the government can no longer afford.

            •  agreed. especially about air freight (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Cliss, ozsea1

              The prices are going up. Unless technological fixes come along a lot of the (stupid) global supply chain stuff is going away - as it should. Global air travel will be for passengers and the age of relatively cheap has passed and will be a distant memory.

              Actually I knew it at the time when I would occasionally get preposterously cheap air tickets over the years.

              If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

              by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:52:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  There have been some phenomenal (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jgnyc

                breakthroughs by our military and the private sector in airship technology in the past couple years. Think airships that can travel at 90 mph, fly great circle routes, carry great deals of tonnage, and operate using solar collectors on the top of the envelope. The DOD was developing drone and piloted versions of the airships to operate as supply ships for carrier groups that are out at sea.

                Modern airships are far more cost effective than Hwy freight trucking and a great deal greener.

                •  tech is changing (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fuzzyguy

                  There's a lot of stuff coming online which could start changing the game. It's why my good friends amongst the "dark greens" can get annoying with the "we're all dooooomed" drone. I'm a "bright green", cautiously optimistic that we can make a game of it over the next 50 years (and cautiously optimistic I'll be around for more than some of that)

                  If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                  by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:42:08 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, me too. (0+ / 0-)

                    Although I do hope the tipping point towards finally weaning us off of oil, gas and coal starts sooner, rather than later.....

                    (P.S., I agree on the "dark greens".....last thing we need is to get all depressed and end up giving in.....)

      •  That is the thing that most people can't grasp... (9+ / 0-)

        10,000 mile supply chains for the basics of life is just not sustainable without cheap ubiquitous energy.

        Nuclear fusion, where are you?

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:34:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's lots of cheap and ubiquitous energy (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy

          available.  

          It just moves stuff a lot more slowly.

          10,000 mile supply chains are thousands of years old, and long predate widespread use of fossil fuels.

          It's the pace that's tough to match.  But when we wind up paying human beings to man sails instead of paying transnational corporations for fuel oil, I kinda think that doesn't suck.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:55:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There you go... (4+ / 0-)

            But the 10000 mile supply chains were not for the basics of life. The grain and meat that Europeans ate daily didn't come from East Asia.

            But you are spot on with the pace comment. 3 days of food isn't a long time.

            And don't even get me started about the water issue in SoCal and the SW in general...

            peace~

            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

            by k9disc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:20:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The last 40-50 years of windjammers, grain (0+ / 0-)

              was one of the prime commodities carried.

              Grain can easily be loaded and off-loaded with chutes and vacuum.  What sucks is trying to ship manufactured goods. Modern shipping containers aren't going to mix with masts.

               

              income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

              by JesseCW on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:47:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  True, Very True... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      k9disc, Gorette

      jgnyc wrote: "The US isn't going to cut our energy consumption by 1 BTU soon or ever."

      This is so true. As matter of fact recent reports described how the explosion of mobile devices is causing a dramatic rise in world wide energy consumption as all of these devices require frequent re-charging. Just think of the massive continuous power drain as millions of mobile phones, tablets, and net books all take their turn sucking up a needed recharge at the energy spigots around the world.

      •  Recharging a mobile device (7+ / 0-)

        costs less energy than a trip to the grocery.

        "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

        by northsylvania on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:23:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not only that, but if we were running some DC (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          northsylvania

          power, it would be a tiny drop in the bucket... right?

          Serious question,"Right?"

          Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

          by k9disc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:35:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm not sure what you're asking. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blackjackal

            Tesla's model of a DC power grid was overridden by Edison's AC one. Are you referring to this or to investing in decentralised DC power like home based solar or wind?

            "We are monkeys with money and guns". Tom Waits

            by northsylvania on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:29:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You've got that inverted. Tesla was the proponent (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ozsea1, fuzzyguy, NYFM, jgnyc

              of AC, Edison of DC.

              Back then, DC didn't travel far without huge transmission loses.

              income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

              by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:56:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Funny that nobody seemed to want to reduce (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pgm 01, northsylvania, billlaurelMD

                the transmission distance, isn't it?

                Centralized power and control over vital resources is the stuff that kings are made of.

                Peace~

                Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                by k9disc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:17:51 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It is also an outgrowth of capitalism (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  k9disc

                  Power production is all about centralizing resources to save money.  100 small plants and the staff to maintain them is going to cost more than having one monster plant particularly when you are looking at fossil fuels.  Energy companies still think like this, which is why they would rather find somewhere they can have 100 wind turbines instead of having 100 turbines scattered throughout a region.  However decentralized wind and solar can and will work, they are no where near as labor intensive to maintain as a traditional plant.  I expect we will see a mix of both, for example rooftop solar voltaic and massive concentrated solar power plants in areas that can support them.

                •  No long distance transmission, no hydropower. (0+ / 0-)

                  income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

                  by JesseCW on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:44:44 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I'm asking if they would not be more efficient if (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              northsylvania

              they were being charged with straight DC power.

              Without the inversion and the power loss due to distance of AC power, I would think a phone would be quite easy on power. Sure seems like it...

              Every home a powerplant. That would mean DC power and not that long transmission smart spy grid they're pimping either.

              Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

              by k9disc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:16:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know, a top down without corporate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jgnyc, Steve Canella

      influence is really the fastest way to a solution.

      But there is no "Top down without corporate" these days...

      Heavy comment, jg...

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:29:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah it is - but corporate will fight all the way (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Steve Canella, cynndara, Cliss, k9disc

        so there would need to be a huge majority getting loud.
        Green Keynsian New Deal II. We need the House.

        But even without consensus about radical changes in the political power structures way-of-life changes can start locally. And we have to build a movement locally to get the ossified corporate control out of national.

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:46:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't be so sure (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cliss, JesseCW, ozsea1, jgnyc
      The US isn't going to cut our energy consumption by 1 BTU soon or ever.
      There's a ton of money to be saved through efficiency.  if the rest of the country were as efficient as California, we'd save billions of dollars.  We might do more, while reducing energy use if population doesn't overtake us.

      Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

      by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:30:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Trying to make the changes we must make (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zett, Cliss, jgnyc

      through government isn't going to work.  This will have to be grass roots to be successful.  If we are going to have any chance at all, we need to start talking to each other.

      The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

      by helfenburg on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:35:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's time for the thinking Left to keep on (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, aliasalias, out of left field

      thinking, instead of falling for propaganda from an industry that has spent 60 years promising "Too cheap to meter" but which has only delivered "Too dangerous to privately insure".

      Nuclear Power costs more than both wind and solar, and that's even with staggering subsidies in the form of low interest loans, insurance guarantees, and all the real research having already been funded by taxpayers.

      It's deadly, it's overpriced, it's not carbon neutral, and its adherents are no more suscpetible to reason than the RKBA crowd is.

      "Solving" global warming with nuclear power is like "solving" a crime problem with wide spread concealed carry.  The "solution" makes some people very, very rich - but it sure as fuck doesn't address the issues it claims to address.

      income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

      by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 06:42:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nuclear future? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01, jgnyc

      Nuclear power plants in the U.S. currently generate about 20 percent of our electricity.  In order for nuclear to make a significant difference in our carbon emmissions, that percentage would have to go up radically.  We currently have about 100 operating nuclear power plants.  We would have to double or triple that number in a short time (the next 10 years or so).

      It's not going to happen.  Building nuclear power plants is very expensive--far more so than investing in wind, solar, geo-thermal, etc.  If we are serious about reducing our carbon footprint, our resources should not be spent building hundreds of nuclear power plants.  Further, could we do such a thing in the relatively short time required?  Do we even have enough nuclear fuel to power such a dramatic expansion of the technology?  Meanwhile, the sun keeps shining, the wind keeps blowing, ocean waves keep swelling and underground heat sources keep heating.  And none of these technologies has the problems of waste disposal and potentially catastrophic accidents that come with the nuclear genie.

      •  if solar ramps up ? (0+ / 0-)

        There are breakthroughs weekly it seems in basic solar tech. The optimist in me says a big jump is coming and the market, either ground up under the corporations in the west or police state capitalism in China, will ramp up production so fast we'll all actually see it happen. A change comparable to the landscape changes of the late 19th early 20th centuries. If that's around the corner, and it might be, then big nuclear is toast (okay toast might not be the right word).

        But make no mistake, it's a power hungry world and the appetite is growing and will explode as soon as battery tech brings electric vehicles up to scale - which is going to happen soon. One way or another we have to move away from coal and big oil. Actually we should jail big oil but that's a different thread and pretty high on the unreasonable politically utopian scale.

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:49:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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