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View Diary: From the Basque Country to Bangladesh: A Climate Change Solution? (23 comments)

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  •  It has been predicted for a long time (0+ / 0-)

    that renewable power innovation will mainly come from less industrialized countries, with less installed carbon fuel capacity to idle. The economic arguments for keeping coal, oil, and gas are called "sunk costs", while the arguments against are called "throwing good money after bad" and "buggy-whip manufacturers".

    The non-economic argument for our wasteful and dangerous dependence on carbon fuels was laid out over a century ago in Thorstein Veblen's The Theory of the Leisure Class. Veblen introduced the phrase "conspicuous consumption" to describe the deliberate waste by which the rich demonstrate to everybody else just how rich they are.

    It is a truism of history that the decline of a great empire or a great nation necessarily begins at the peak of its power, wealth, and influence. It is another truism, this time of human nature, that the decreasingly wealthy, powerful, and influential will deny this as long as possible.

    I don't know the correct constraint equations for evaluating the economic potential of wave power, and neither does anybody else here. I suspect that in cases like Bangladesh, where half the country may have to become a Dutch-style polder behind high dikes, the marginal cost of putting in turbines will be acceptable.

    Or it may even be that when they plan the dikes, they can put them further out and reclaim land from the sea, as the Netherlands has done, and that the productivity of the new lands may pay for the whole project. Building the dikes further out decreases the length of dike required, while requiring greater height. There are too many other factors for us to unravel here.

    Busting the Dog Whistle code.

    by Mokurai on Sun Sep 05, 2010 at 10:11:15 AM PDT

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