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Thread: The US fragile democracy Exposed

  1. #481
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    You don't have to be very far out of date to be totally wrong in this area. Ten years, or so, back, there were articles in...either Scientific American or Popular Science, about how this level of wind generation would take several decades, and might not be realistic this century.

    Predicting the future is difficult.
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  2. #482
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    I so I have read some of the report you posted and what you have managed to do is take 1 graph out of context.
    Er, that's exactly what you have done. I showed the total energy production from low-carbon sources while you cherrypicked.

    An economy does not run on electricity alone. The UK remans a big smokestack.

  3. #483
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    I don't really have an ox to gore any more, and very little axe to grind.

    Now that it has become clear that the die has been cast, and the fact that I've been retired nearly 10 years, politics is dying down to the drone of a mosquito somewhere in the room. I just won't be around in another 40 years when neoliberalism rises up again.

    If there is any doubt about the course we are on, just look around you. Even people in places like India are pushing back:



    So feel free to live in denial while it lasts. But when change finally bursts your bubble just remember you were given a glimpse of the future.

  4. #484
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    If your predictions come to pass, I'll console myself by reviewing your predictions about the demise of .NET with each new version of VS, and realize that your crystal ball was no better than that of anybody else.
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  5. #485
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Hmm? I admitted I've been wrong. I've ceased worrying about the damage Biden can do, at least the scale of that damage.

  6. #486
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Er, that's exactly what you have done. I showed the total energy production from low-carbon sources while you cherrypicked.

    An economy does not run on electricity alone. The UK remains a big smokestack.
    Err wow your negativity knows no bounds, as does your ability to ignore reality and ignore trends.

    Low carbon power sources are new and have faced fierce opposition from vested interest, it is only really in the last few years as they evolved enough that power produced by wind for instance is now cheaper to add to the grid than coal or gas that there is a big push to add real capacity to the grid.

    Within the next 10 years we will see a big shift again, especially as more and more countries ban the production of new petrol cars.
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  7. #487
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    The sun was in your eyes, the ground was wet, the gods were angry, Russia did it, etc. But you actually won if you squint just so and besides you'll get 'em next season!

  8. #488
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    It all could change radically. Energy storage is probably the biggest problem facing the sector these days, but it is a problem that has a variety of solutions on the horizon, some better some worse. Batteries are the obvious one, but they probably have a larger negative impact (due to the mining and manufacturing required to make them) than some of the others. Pumped hydro is relatively benign, but can only be used in certain places. The same is true with pumped air. More interesting options are being developed, such as hot sand and perhaps flywheels. We'll see.

    There are also new technologies that are on the horizon. Solar cells are not terribly efficient, and have stayed that way for a long time. In the case of fusion, it may always be ten years out because it isn't clear that it ever COULD work in a contained area, but in the case of solar, it is abundantly clear that more efficient solar collecting is possible. Partly, it is clear because it has been thoroughly demonstrated, and not just in laboratories. Plants are more efficient and thoroughly biodegradable, so our solar cells are certainly not the pinnacle of development. What happens going forwards? We'll see.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Tesla Supercharger:


  10. #490

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    It seems like a no brainer to me. Energy sources like gas and coal are going to run out, so renewable energy source have to be developed. These types of things take many years so to we can't just wait to the bitter end of the gas/coal supply. It would cause a complete collapse, frightening to even think it. So to me the fact that at this time renewable energy is probably more expensive is just and investment for the future. The great thing about starting the conversion now is we have gas/coal in abundant enough supply that we wont have to worry about shortages or horrendous price hikes during the conversion. Plus we can do it in such a way is to improve the environmental effects.

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Long-term projections predict that the growth rate of the human population of this planet will continue to decline, and that by the end of the 21st Century, will reach zero.
    Population decline

  12. #492

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Population growth RATE is declining, not the population. World population is still growing. But what's your point anyway.

  13. #493
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Weirdly, population decline would actually be beneficial at this point.
    The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter - Winston Churchill

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    Population growth RATE is declining, not the population. World population is still growing. But what's your point anyway.
    Our problems are less easily managed by making wishes than by making a smaller dent in the available resources. Without getting population growth in hand we'd be in a serious death spiral.

    So sure, maybe we'll develop better answers for energy acquisition, waste disposal, food production, etc. but one thing that seems to be going our way is a cap on requirements by slowing our growth. We can also aid the process through conservation. Buy less crap, demand long-lived repairable goods with minimal packaging, waste less fuel and electricity, produce foods locally using cleaner methods, etc.

  15. #495
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by wes4dbt View Post
    Population growth RATE is declining, not the population. World population is still growing. But what's your point anyway.
    That sort of true, and sort of not true. Population growth rate has to be above replacement (about 2.1 or 2.2 children/woman) for the population to keep increasing. The growth rate is below replacement in an increasing number of countries. Population is still increasing, for now, but unless something changes drastically, population will begin to fall, as well, pretty soon.
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  16. #496
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    It all could change radically.
    It is changing radically right now, but changes in energy production is a relatively slow-moving process it takes years for these new sources of generations to overtake the old ones.
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  17. #497
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    I agree that it's changing radically but I do fear that we're too late. I don't think any of us can know until we REALLY know so I don' t see that as an excuse for doing nothing. As far as I'm concerned "It might already be too late so lets do nothing" is no better an argument than "It's not real so let's do nothing" and I can't help noticing that a lot of the people who who are now pushing the former argument are the same ones who were pushing the latter argument 20 years ago (I don't think that applies to Dil, I can't remember what he was pushing 20 years ago).

    I will say that I don't think any amount of protesting and campaigning s going to make an inch of difference on this issue. Environmentalism has been a main stream issue since the 80s (or earlier depending on your definitions) and our social practices have just got worse over that time. Social change will not fix this. The answer needs to come from science and I'm glad to say that it is. Carbon recapture has made coal based power much cleaner, huge advances are being made in renewables, heating and insulation in our homes is becoming hugely more efficient and I'm pretty sure that transport (discounting international travel) is going to be 100% electric within the next 20 years.

    Whether we've got enough time before we pass some tipping point remains to be seen but I don't see that as a reason to give up and tap dance in the shadow of Vesuvius.
    Last edited by FunkyDexter; Yesterday at 05:02 AM.
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  18. #498
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Environmentalism has been a main stream issue since the 80s (or earlier depending on your definitions)
    My definition would be the early seventies starting with earth day.
    Please remember next time...elections matter!

  19. #499
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    I wouldn't disagree with that. I think you could even go back to the twenties and find people starting to talk about it. I picked the 80s because I think the hole in the ozone layer really thrust it into the mainstream but it was a pretty arbitrary choice. My point was: it's not like we haven't been talking about it for a while now and we haven't changed our behaviour.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Has America turned into socialist state yet? I'd heard rumours that it was just about to happen... Will there be a big noise when the switch-over occurs?

    I saw a picture of Russell Brand earlier in this thread. Just hoping you lot do know to ignore him completely. He seems to have grown famous in America for some reason, you appear to like our dead wood. He is a well-known twerp, just don't listen to any view he espouses, be it right or left.

  21. #501
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Well, Biden's raising the minimum wage so I'd say full blown communist totalitarianism. He'll probably invade Finland any day now.
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  22. #502
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    I don't think that applies to Dil, I can't remember what he was pushing 20 years ago.
    That Microsoft was evil for abandoning VB6, no doubt.

  23. #503
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by FunkyDexter View Post
    Well, Biden's raising the minimum wage so I'd say full blown communist totalitarianism.
    Well I'm not aware of the details. Any idea how it would work?

    When Convenience Store Chad gets his bump from $7.50 to $15... does Bed Pan Beth currently working as a nursing aid for $15 get something besides a kick in the teeth? How about Fixed Income Fred scraping by on his small pension?

  24. #504
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Well I'm not aware of the details. Any idea how it would work?

    When Convenience Store Chad gets his bump from $7.50 to $15... does Bed Pan Beth currently working as a nursing aid for $15 get something besides a kick in the teeth? How about Fixed Income Fred scraping by on his small pension?
    I have to agree with you here. Any solution to any problem that doesn't fix every other problem should not even be considered.

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by dilettante View Post
    Well I'm not aware of the details. Any idea how it would work?
    Well, attacking via the Mannerheim Isthmus has proven to be a bad idea so I suggest they will move in from the North.

  26. #506
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Any idea how it would work?
    Well, the minimum wage would go up. And it wouldn't be communism. But the hyperbolic right wing medium would call it that.

    Are you arguing against a minimum wage or JAQing? It's not clear.
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    So not only would a lot of small business have to close or severely reduce staffing and hours, making it harder to compete will turn even more of the economy over to large corporate interests, and its inequality would breed a lot of resentment among the people in the next lowest tier of income.

    Yes, there are serious problems trying to live on minimum wage. But that's why it is a minimum.

    People need more opportunity to move into better jobs.

  28. #508
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcilhinney View Post
    That Microsoft was evil for abandoning VB6, no doubt.
    Yeah. Gotta love that thriving Windows Phone market, eh? Oh wait, that isn't a thing, is it?

    Too bad they trashed their lead and went .Net and shot themselves firmly in both feet.

  29. #509
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    So you are anti a minimum wage. OK, here's the argument for it:-

    Can Convenience Store Chad live on the wage he receives? Can he afford to rent a home, feed his family and afford health care (or insurance in your model) when they are sick. If the answer is yes, then fine, you're minimum wage is adequate. That's really not the case in the US (or the UK, for that matter) though, low paying jobs do not pay a living wage.

    As long as your minimum wage is lower than a living wage you have two choices: 1. leave people to starve or live on the street (I don't imagine you're advocating this so I'll assume you would advocate for option 2...) 2. top up Chads wages through the welfare state. If you're advocating option 2 it's important to note that Chad is not the beneficiary of an increase in the minimum wage, his income does not change. The beneficiary is his employer who can cut their wage bill and have government fill the gap. An inadequate minimum wage actually represents a corporate subsidy by the state.

    So not only would a lot of small business have to close or severely reduce staffing and hours...
    This is the most commonly deployed argument in opposition to a statutory living wage but it really doesn't hold water, it's a fallacious appeal to emotion. By invoking small business you attempt to portray mom and pop shops as the primary beneficiaries of an inadequate minimum wage which is inaccurate. The biggest beneficiaries are McDonalds, Amazon and Walmart.

    If your concern is to support small business than don't try to do it indirectly via an inadequate minimum wage, the benefit of which will flow disproportionately to big corporates. Instead do it directly via subsidies, tax breaks etc which explicitly target small businesses. It will be a zero sum game because, of course, you simply redirect the money that you're currently paying to subsidise big business in the form of in work welfare.

    In arguing for an inadequate minimum wage you are not actually arguing in favour of small businesses. You are arguing (inadvertently, I think) in favour of big business at the expense of both small businesses and the state.

    People need more opportunity to move into better jobs.
    I agree.
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  30. #510
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    The problem I have with that minimum wage is that it is one size fits all. You likely can't live in New York City on $15/hour, yet that is also the median wage in the state of Mississippi (my mother told me that the rest of the states should be thankful for Mississippi so that they are not last on any list). Dil is possibly right for Mississippi, but pretty much wrong for NYC. The thing is, first you need people to already be at minimum wage. What I don't know is how many people are. If they are already above minimum wage, as they may well be in NYC, then perhaps raising the minimum wage to $15/hour would have zero impact, since it wouldn't apply to anybody. However, it might strongly impact a place like Mississippi, though I don't know.
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  31. #511

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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Yeah, it does seem like something that needs to be fine tuned more on a local level. In California it's $13 - $14. But even that is not a living wage. A crappy 2 bedroom apartment here in Modesto will cost you $1,300 and Modesto is much cheaper than Southern Cal or San Fran. $13 x 160hrs = $2080 - 25% for Fed/State/SSA taxes = $1,560 That leaves $260 for food and all other bills.

    Even in Mississippi I don't think $7.25hr is a living wage (just guessing). If it is, then I need to move there, I could live in luxury. lol But I hate humidity, that's a deal breaker.

  32. #512
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    Re: The US fragile democracy Exposed

    Low skilled, low end, temporary and part-time high schooler joblets were never meant to provide a living wage. What you seem to be after is some Slacker's Paradise at the expense of every one else.

    If you have decided you lack the ambition to do more than punch colored icons at the McTill that's fine, but don't ask everyone else to bend over to reward your sloth. Maybe get off the booze and dope and finish school.

    The problem is the of lack of good jobs, skills, and work ethics - not pity for the slob. I feel bad for those trapped in such jobs, but the answer is more jobs that can pay more. Create more opportunity for those willing enough to take advantage of it.

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