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The Japanese Donald Trump?

#51
(2017-10-28, 4:25 am)faneca Wrote:
(2017-10-28, 1:26 am)phil321 Wrote: We know that the Trump haters would love to undo the results of the election, but how exactly would they do that?

[I didn't realized your "15 years" comment was a link to an article, so I'm removing my response since I don't want the link in my response]
Edited: 2017-10-28, 6:19 am
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#52
(2017-10-28, 2:43 am)ryuudou Wrote: The electoral college was never designed to circumvent the will of the people

And it doesn't. It just slows the will of the people, giving dangerous ideas time to be proven wrong before they are adopted.

That's why the US was able to stay relatively free and prosperous through the 20th century, while most of the world either starved to death under communism, or was killing itself through fascism and nationalistic wars.

In my opinion, it's also why the US will end up the only western nation that doesn't allow radical environmentalists to cause irreparable harm to its economy. Clinton lost this election because a handful of states who were negatively impacted by Obama's war on fossil fuels voted against her, for instance. Her loss will give the negative effects of those policies time to fully manifest in other countries, before they are adopted in the US.
Edited: 2017-10-28, 6:36 am
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#53
ryuudou Wrote:If the interests of you, your family, and your friends in the south (who are all already favored by the system) is such that their votes should be worth more than others then I think they might have the wrong idea.
The interests of most people in the South and Midwest are significantly different from the major cities such that if there was no balance added to the electoral college, those interests would never be represented by a president. It's not that either interest is worth less, they're just different.

The electoral college doesn't circumvent the will of the people, it balances it against the will of the states (differing interests in different states, which are different people). And as I pointed out already, this practice doesn't just favor states that always vote Republican.

And if you'll notice, I wasn't asking for more power, I was explaining why the current distribution is justified. The US is comprised of many separate states with different cultures and interests; failing to represent that fact in elections would place the entire country under the control of a few cities. That's perfectly democratic and, from the view of most of the country (land-wise), perfectly tyrannical.

ryuudou Wrote:treasonous [...] sex offender who scapegoat minorities
This is exactly what Splatted was referring to. Trump didn't scapegoat minorities; if anyone, he scapegoated illegals (but is it really scapegoating when they've broken the law by definition and cause huge social and legal problems in the areas they settle?).
And unless you're referring to something that was proven (as opposed to the multiple sudden accusations during the election that evaporated within weeks), he's not a sex offender.
And again with treason. That's not even on the table. Trump is only being investigated for obstruction of justice for firing Comey (which, if you ask me, won't go through). There is a ton of stuff that has to be proven before anyone can even accuse Trump of treason, which is why only the conspiracy theorists are saying it (btw, it's the dumbest potential conspiracy ever, when you think about it). Do your side a favor and keep it rational.

I'm not arguing against the parts that say he's a buffoon. I don't know anything about draft dodging, but he wouldn't be the first public figure to do so, and I really don't care about that.

And because I don't think I've said it yet: Trump isn't my ideal president, but he was preferable to Clinton. That's why I think it's possible for Trump to be a one-term president if the Democrats actually put up a decent candidate for 2020. If a decent, actually liberal, candidate had been put up for the Democratic nomination (instead of a lizard), I would have happily voted Democrat last time, and I know quite a few Trump voters that would have done the same.
His core base seems quite small, so a candidate that's willing to properly address immigration, excessive foreign involvement, the death of manufacturing economies, and similar would be able to take away the Trump votes that were only there because the Hillary campaign derided anyone who cared about that stuff.
Political party nonsense caused all of this, and we were warned against it as far back as Washington's farewell address.
Edited: 2017-10-28, 12:16 pm
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#54
(2017-10-28, 6:07 am)Stansfield123 Wrote: It's not three times as much. It's less than 20% more. Cali has 55 electoral votes, representing 39 million people. Alabama has 9 votes, representing 5 million people.
Not true. California has 55 electoral votes representing 39 million people and Idaho has 4 electoral votes representing 1.6 million.

This comes out to be your vote being worth about twice as much in Idaho which is still not 3x, but is far from "20% more".

(2017-10-28, 6:07 am)Stansfield123 Wrote: Electoral votes are basically allotted based on population numbers. The only discrepancy is that each state gets two extra votes, irrespective of size.
But they're not. I believe the discrepancy is more than just two extra votes. That would be fair and democratic, which is what people are asking for. If the share of votes were proportional to population you wouldn't have ridiculous situations where the loser of the race wins the election anyway through the electoral college.

(2017-10-28, 6:07 am)Stansfield123 Wrote: And yes, it is a check on democracy, because the founders of the US did not believe unchecked democracy was a good thing.
The electoral college was never once in United States history intended to suppress the will of the people in the sense of favoring some voters over others. That's a spin that was pushed by the conservative media to protect a decidedly undemocratic result.

Alexander Hamilton, who designed the system, wrote in the Federal Papers that the aim of the electoral college was to prevent a situation where a "charismatic tyrant" could run for election and then dismantle democracy after winning. The electoral college was intended to be a check on these situations by giving the final say to the electors who were supposed to be an educated group of people. For example if someone from the English royal family decided to run for election, or if someone good at manipulating people but utterly unqualified for the position decided to run. In otherwords it was basically created to stop Trump situations.
Edited: 2017-10-28, 3:09 pm
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#55
(2017-10-28, 2:40 pm)ryuudou Wrote:
(2017-10-28, 6:07 am)Stansfield123 Wrote: It's not three times as much. It's less than 20% more. Cali has 55 electoral votes, representing 39 million people. Alabama has 9 votes, representing 5 million people.

Electoral votes are basically allotted based on population numbers. The only discrepancy is that each state gets two extra votes, irrespective of size.
But they're not. I believe the discrepancy is more than just two extra votes.
It's a basic, verifiable fact. You should google it, and then adjust your beliefs accordingly.

Or keep repeating some childish talking point you read on a blog. I don't really care.
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#56
Stansfield123 Wrote:It's a basic, verifiable fact. You should google it, and then adjust your beliefs accordingly.

Or keep repeating some childish talking point you read on a blog. I don't really care.
I just objectively proved you wrong with the math. You seem upset. You can remain upset, or you can explain how two extra population-independent votes accounts for a near 200% difference.

(2017-10-28, 12:13 pm)sholum Wrote: The interests of most people in the South and Midwest are significantly different from the major cities such that if there was no balance added to the electoral college, those interests would never be represented by a president.

....

The electoral college doesn't circumvent the will of the people, it balances it against the will of the states (differing interests in different states, which are different people). And as I pointed out already, this practice doesn't just favor states that always vote Republican.

....

And if you'll notice, I wasn't asking for more power, I was explaining why the current distribution is justified. The US is comprised of many separate states with different cultures and interests; failing to represent that fact in elections would place the entire country under the control of a few cities. That's perfectly democratic and, from the view of most of the country (land-wise), perfectly tyrannical.
In other words, democracy?

Balance is one vote per person with every person getting an equal say and weighting in the process. The electoral college, in it's current state, unbalances it by making the opinions of some American worth more than others. The electoral college should be proportional to population. If it's not you're basically giving power to empty land which is essentially what created the perverted situation where I can move to Idaho and matter twice as much. Each person having the same say in the process is perfectly democratic as you say. The minority rule you seem to be advocating isn't, and is inherently tyrannical. Your family's opinion shouldn't be worth more than the opinion of a family in New York.

(2017-10-28, 12:13 pm)sholum Wrote: This is exactly what Splatted was referring to. Trump didn't scapegoat minorities
He did. He just did it largely through code. Stroking racial anxiety and racial resentment, as well as a yearn for the "good 'ol days", is what he used to scare people to the polls. This is the guy who was prosecuted by the DOJ in the 70s for not renting to black people.

(2017-10-28, 12:13 pm)sholum Wrote: And again with treason. That's not even on the table. Trump is only being investigated for obstruction of justice for firing Comey (which, if you ask me, won't go through). There is a ton of stuff that has to be proven before anyone can even accuse Trump of treason, which is why only the conspiracy theorists are saying it (btw, it's the dumbest potential conspiracy ever, when you think about it). Do your side a favor and keep it rational.
Firing Comey is directly linked to the Russia investigation, because Comey was fired for making progress on the investigation. Virtually every federal agency has already concluded that Russia did manipulate the election. The FBI investigation is just investigating if anyone here (domestic) was involved in or connected to that process.

You also must not be aware, but yesterday the first round of charges from Mueller's team went out.
Edited: 2017-10-28, 3:26 pm
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#57
(2017-10-28, 2:40 pm)ryuudou Wrote: The electoral college was never once in United States history intended to suppress the will of the people in the sense of favoring some voters over others.

The electoral college was put in place by the founders of the United States, some 250 years ago.

Electoral votes are (and have always been) allotted the same way as seats in Congress: each state gets two seats in the Senate (and two votes in the electoral college), and then the number of seats in the House of Representatives (and the rest of the electoral college votes) are allotted based on population numbers in each state, as per the latest Census.

Wherever you're getting this narrative that things changed recently from, it's a lie. You should stop relying on that source for information.

(2017-10-28, 3:15 pm)ryuudou Wrote: I just objectively proved you wrong with the math. You seem upset. You can remain upset, or you can explain how two extra population-independent votes accounts for a near 200% difference.

I could explain it, but I would literally be explaining why 2 + 2 = 4. The explanation involves apples, and you can find it in first grade textbooks.
Edited: 2017-10-28, 3:26 pm
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#58
ryuudou Wrote:Firing Comey is directly linked to the Russia investigation, because Comey was fired for making progress on the investigation.

You also must not be aware, but yesterday the first round of charges from Mueller's team went out and were approved by a federal grand jury in Washington.

Which wasn't being pushed as treason, but obstruction of justice. I haven't had time to read up on all the charges being pushed against his campaign manager, but there doesn't seem to be any dirt on Trump himself at the moment.

ryuudou Wrote:He did. He just did it largely through code. Stroking racial anxiety and racial resentment, as well as a yearn for the "good 'ol days", is what he used to scare people to the polls.
Did it through code... So when Bernie said that white people don't know what it's like to be poor, was that scapegoating white people as the root problem in the US through code, or just a stupid statement? When Obama's administration reinterpreted Title IX, was that them scapegoating all men as rapists not worthy of due process, or was it just a stupid move with unintended consequences?

Trump campaigned against illegal immigrants (and Muslim immigrants from certain countries, but that's an even more complicated topic), not Mexican or South American immigrants in general. There's a difference between complaining about having an illegal immigration problem so bad that there are several hundred thousand people locked up in detainment camps until their deportation can be processed and complaining about the people who went through the legal processes to get here and pay taxes.

No, racial politics is clear as day, it doesn't have to be passed through code. When you've got fringe groups on either extreme saying that only whites should live in the US or all whites need to be bred out for the US to get better (and most everybody being in the sane region of 'we don't care about that kind of thing and the weirdos at the extremes are sick in the head for thinking like that'), there's no need for secret codes.

ryuudou Wrote:The electoral college should be proportional to population.
As I've already explained twice, the electors of the electoral college are assigned as equal to the number of senators and representatives that state has. This means that every state has at least three electors, because every state has two senators and at least one House member. The number of representatives is proportional to the population size. The 'extra' voting power is down to those two votes, but it is proportional.
Edited: 2017-10-28, 8:58 pm
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#59
(2017-10-28, 3:46 pm)sholum Wrote: Did it through code...
I think the word he was looking for was "dog whistle politics," which is still basically synonymous with "speaking in code."

EDIT: For what its worth, I never heard Trump employ dog whistles in any of his speeches during the campaign. Dog whistles are used by politicians trying to push agendas that most people probably wouldn't be in line for. Trump always just stated what he wanted to do, no dog whistles or filters, hence why the media gobbled it all up.
Edited: 2017-10-28, 4:16 pm
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#60
(2017-10-28, 6:24 am)Stansfield123 Wrote: [...]
In my opinion, it's also why the US will end up the only western nation that doesn't allow radical environmentalists to cause irreparable harm to its economy.

I can only agree with you on the fact that radical environmentalists, as a matter of fact, do actually exist (probably like half a thousands or so, among the entire population on the planet). For the record, there are also a lot (like several orders of magnitude bigger) of non-radical environmentalist that are heavily misguided, too.

That said, the rest of this statement is bullshit. Sorry to put it this bluntly, but I need to stress it with all due force. The current situation is not that "radical environmentalists" are going to "harm economy". It's that THE ALMOST-UNANIMOUS OPINION OF THE WHOLE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IS WE ARE GOING SOUTH PRETTY FAST, PRETTY BADLY (actually, faster and faster by the minute). The only "dissident" (ha!) voices that I know of have a EXTREMELY dubious reputation, to say it in a very soft way, and are almost always tied to the fossil fuel industry.

If you think I'm nuts about this, just ask yourself, seriously, why is Trump's administration so stubborn on getting science out of the way (CNN, NYT). Ask people at NASA, EPA, or virtually any other agency tied to science what they think.

I'd like to link here every scientific paper on Earth that's related to climate, together with every single analysis that debunks climate negationism from a myriad of distinct points of view, but I'm sick of fighting this kind of humbug. I don't have the energy anymore. Also, the links (yeah, I said the "links", not the papers themselves) wouldn't fit in this server's storage space.

I'm not even 40, and since I was born half the vertebrates have disappeared, with figures as 81% of decline in freshwater populations (and let's just not talk about flying insects). I don't know about you, but I can definitely say something is wrong just by looking around me and comparing to how things used to be when I was a child, when I could see lots and lots of dragonflies and lighting bugs, or get seafood and shellfish directly from the beach to cook it and eat it (and my grandparents have always said things were already worse, back then, than when they were kids, so go figure). I almost can't do any of that, anymore.

The oceans are warmer than ever... or, at least, for the last 100 million years, according to some recent studies that reevaluate our previous calculi (easier version at Newsweek, for instance). See, it's almost November and I have a nice summer-like temperature here: I'm writing this on a t-shirt, with the window wide open, at 3 AM. Icebergs as big as no-one has ever seen are getting torn apart from Antarctica, glaciers are retreating worldwide, and permafrost (you know, congealed earth since 20000 years ago) is getting defrosted pretty fast... which by the way is a nice icing to the cake, since we are seeing now that it contains lots and lost more of methane than we initially though (btw, methane is like 200 times stronger than CO₂ in respect to its greenhouse effect power).

So, you can keep hiding from data and call me an alarmist or an extremist (based on what science, again?), but that won't change reality. And REALITY is that we're going to face the 6th mass extinction event on the planet in less than a century. As Confucius once said, "if you don't change your path, you'll end up exactly where you're headed to". We could have got out of this extreme situation with acceptable loses if we had stopped completely oil extraction and fuel burning by 2012. If we do that right now, we could get by with "only" half the human population facing killer temperatures of more than 37 Celsius (i.e. above our own body temperature) on a regular basis (between one third and one half of the year, on average) a few decades from now. I wonder what the effects would be on most of the life on this planet.

But yeah, let's make America fucktard again by retreating from the only climate pact that was ever going to make a real difference in all human history, right after signing it (if India, China, Europe, a fair amount of African countries, South America and the US, among lots of others, agreed on this, try to think how grave the situation already is). Thank you, US, for embarking us all in this unwanted suicide. That goes to show how much is your word worth (and, mind you, I really love lots of things about the US, and have some friends -as in REAL friends- both born and / or living there, and yet I'm saying all of this).

I just try not to think too much about it (because, if I do, I feel very sad, and angry, and helpless). After all, I already have lived a nice life until now and don't have any kids whose future would make me extremely worried. I'll probably be 70 or more before I'll have to face *really unbearable* conditions.

I wish you, and all your right-wing friends, good luck in your endeavor to save virtual economy at the expense or the real resources needed for life. You seem really smart for doing that. I guess you are one of those gazillionaires with a lot at stake if fossil fuels get banned (then, at least, I could understand your blindness); otherwise, you're just [REDACTED].
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#61
@faneca
Without going into all the humbug myself, there are a couple of points I'd like to remind you of.

1.) There are no 'green' energy solutions. At all. I don't care what anyone tells you, all of our current methods of energy generation require dirty technologies or those that disturb the ecosystems they're placed in. The best one is probably hydroelectric; it allows for variations in power demands as well as putting out quite a bit of electricity from one installation. However, it is expensive; it makes no money at all, because other methods are cheaper. It also requires damming rivers or otherwise creating artificial reservoirs, which destroys local ecosystems and requires extra measures to allow fish to get past the dam (my favorite being a fish cannon, but that's besides the point).

At the moment, the best use for hydroelectric is pumped storage, because of the major problem with every other 'green' power source: batteries. Batteries are nasty, nasty items that require dirty materials, a ton of mining, nasty chemicals to create, and are nasty to dispose of.

Solar is also not 'green', though it's probably our best bet until we get fusion reactors to maintain their reactions. It takes quite a bit of processing to create the silicon wafers used in solar cells (though they are cheaper/easier than creating mono-crystalline wafers). Again, though, the worst part of this is that you have to store the energy somewhere, and we use a lot of energy.

Wind simply isn't economically feasible at large scales; it's also been found to interfere with bird populations.

None of the potential replacements for oil and gas have been developed to the point that we could actually hope to switch to them totally in the next few years. Maybe we'll get lucky and a new type of battery will be developed that isn't so dirty.

Further, that agreement meant absolutely nothing. It was basically 'yeah, we'll try to look at this maybe if we have the ability'. Pulling out of it was a political move that has no impact on any energy developments.

2.) Destruction of sea life and insect populations has far more to do with the convenience of large scale food production than fossil fuels. Land life has to do with destruction of ecosystems to accommodate farming and housing, since for some reason, people like to live right on top of each other, without any trees in between. You're not going to help matters by covering many square miles of land with solar panels, which can't have any plant life around them.

Look up the effects drag nets have on sea life. They catch and kill far more than what is legal to catch, and it is illegal to sell the fish that have been caught illegally, so they are mostly just dumped. Further, people's love of large predators that repopulate slowly has lead to the destruction of those species (and everything that gets caught in the net with them). These fish can't be farmed well, because they can't naturally survive in small areas together. (Honestly, I prefer the fishy taste of smaller fish anyway.)
If you want to help the oceans, quit eating tuna and similar fish. Eat small fish that reproduce quickly, like brisling.

Mass use of pesticides in both agricultural and residential areas have both benefited us and killed far more than the pests they were meant to. They have even damaged bee populations, which is probably the only reason the chemicals used are being brought under review. But yeah, a lot of residential areas have fleets to fog the air and spray the ditches to control mosquito populations.
On the side: I saw I pretty interesting article about the potential of controlling mosquito populations by introducing males infected such that they can't produce viable offspring; since the males don't bite, you can introduce millions of them into an area without health risks, but decimate the population as a result (IIRC, actually decimate. Down to a tenth of the usual population).

So yeah, we're working on it. It doesn't matter what the Trump administration does, because improving energy technology to remove our dependence on oil will bring someone massive profits. Finding better pest control methods will bring someone massive profits.
And no, some paper some leaders signed saying 'yeah, we'll try to do better, but not really anything beyond what we're already doing' doesn't matter, because that doesn't apply to anything other than politics, which is just a bunch of bs that gets in the way.


Ended up being longer than I expected, but hopefully I've said enough that you understand there are good reasons for not jumping on the 'green' train. Mainly that it's a dream from a world where energy storage is free. Nothing else can meet the demands that oil and gas can (has to do with load variance, you have to adjust power output depending on how many people decided to make toast or turn on the TV), except for nuclear, and people don't like that for some reason.
Environmental activists do more good helping baby turtles out to sea than whining about oil, because one of those actually does something.
Edited: 2017-10-28, 11:13 pm
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#62
(2017-10-28, 3:21 pm)Stansfield123 Wrote: The electoral college was put in place by the founders of the United States, some 250 years ago.

Electoral votes are (and have always been) allotted the same way as seats in Congress: each state gets two seats in the Senate (and two votes in the electoral college), and then the number of seats in the House of Representatives (and the rest of the electoral college votes) are allotted based on population numbers in each state, as per the latest Census.

Wherever you're getting this narrative that things changed recently from, it's a lie. You should stop relying on that source for information.
I never said it changed. The electoral college was designed 250 which is exactly why it wasn't designed for the environment of the day, and is exactly why it's being used in a way contrary to it's original intentions.

(2017-10-28, 3:21 pm)Stansfield123 Wrote: I could explain it, but I would literally be explaining why 2 + 2 = 4. The explanation involves apples, and you can find it in first grade textbooks.
Divide the populations of both Idaho and California by the amount of votes they get, and then do it again without the platform independent votes.

(2017-10-28, 3:46 pm)sholum Wrote: Which wasn't being pushed as treason, but obstruction of justice. I haven't had time to read up on all the charges being pushed against his campaign manager, but there doesn't seem to be any dirt on Trump himself at the moment.
Obstructing justice to cover his team's treason is still partaking in that treason. You're playing with semantics. And that's with the very conservative assumption that he didn't participate at all and had no idea about anything illegal that was going on which is most likely false, because his son is involved in it and because Trump has been in debt to Russia for many years before he even ran.

(2017-10-28, 3:46 pm)sholum Wrote: Did it through code... So when Bernie said that white people don't know what it's like to be poor
False equivalency.

1) Bernie wasn't speaking in any code there.

2) That was taken out of context on purpose. He was answering a detailed question and was talking about the very real fact most ghettos in the United States are overwhelmingly minority, and that even white people in poverty tend to have significantly more wealth than black people in poverty. In the context of America "white poor" and "black poor" statistically mean very two different things.

The same people who will take that statement out of context and act enraged are the same people who tune into Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson ranting about black people being poor and on welfare, and then nod and agree with everything which is of course a huge contradiction.

(2017-10-28, 3:46 pm)sholum Wrote: When Obama's administration reinterpreted Title IX, was that them scapegoating all men as rapists not worthy of due process, or was it just a stupid move with unintended consequences?
I'm a man. The Obama administrations decisions were pretty good ones and it had nothing to do with scapegoating anyone. You're basically just throwing out random false equivalencies now because you know that defending Trump directly is a much more difficult prospect.

(2017-10-28, 3:46 pm)sholum Wrote: Trump campaigned against illegal immigrants (and Muslim immigrants from certain countries, but that's an even more complicated topic), not Mexican or South American immigrants in general. There's a difference between complaining about having an illegal immigration problem so bad that there are several hundred thousand people locked up in detainment camps until their deportation can be processed and complaining about the people who went through the legal processes to get here and pay taxes.
Everyone on the Republican platform campaigned against illegal immigrants. The only difference is that Trump, in addition to that though dogwhistles and code, essentially built an entire campaign around stroking white anxiety and racial resentment among those racist types who constantly worry about demographics. Hardcore Trump supporters aren't concerned about illegal immigrants. They're concerned about maintaining an ethnostate. And giving Steve Bannon a high ranking white house position was a giant message very intentional message to the American white supremacist community from the Trump administration.

(2017-10-28, 3:46 pm)sholum Wrote: No, racial politics is clear as day, it doesn't have to be passed through code.
It does, because unfortunately for the alt-right, racism is still socially unacceptable. Dogwhistle politics have been a tactic of the Republican party since Nixon adopted it as a (successful) campaign strategy. Lee Atwater's quote comes to mind.

(2017-10-28, 3:46 pm)sholum Wrote: As I've already explained twice, the electors of the electoral college are assigned as equal to the number of senators and representatives that state has. This means that every state has at least three electors, because every state has two senators and at least one House member. The number of representatives is proportional to the population size. The 'extra' voting power is down to those two votes, but it is proportional.
Even if you remove the population independent electors, the distribution isn't proportional.
Edited: 2017-10-29, 3:42 am
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#63
(2017-10-28, 11:11 pm)sholum Wrote: 1.) There are no 'green' energy solutions. At all. I don't care what anyone tells you, all of our current methods of energy generation require dirty technologies or those that disturb the ecosystems they're placed in.

I've always considered green/renewable energy sources as simply reduced carbon footprint solutions. This doesn't necessarily mean they can't or won't have some potential side effect on some other part of the environment. For example, rare earth mining for solar, which results in potential pollutants in local rivers or ground water. The main thing that's trying to be avoided or reduced is just less CO2 over the lifetime of the energy capture source. The impact of Earth turning into a Mini-Venus is worse in the long run than some of these other cases, and some of them might be avoidable.

That said, the groups in opposition to "green" that still support fossil fuels, don't usually argue using those points. The basis of the argument I've heard in recent years basically follows something like this: "At this point many think that we can't stop the runaway CO2 issue and that Earth is going warm regardless of the actions we take. Switching to renewable resources will only tax the current economies more for little pay off, so we should continue to use fossil fuels until renewable catches up." Other arguments I've heard also comment that India and China aren't involved enough to warrant going strong on these initiatives because it negatively impacts us.

My personal feeling on the matter is that the accords and restrictions help spur the industries to action. Without any pressure, they won't bother trying to innovate or improve on the current situation. Consider the oil price issue that plagued us about a decade ago. The high cost of oil drove companies to invest in shale oil extraction, a process, which for a long time, was ignored because it was costly and not worth exploring. If sit and wait for renewables to fit into a ROI curve naturally, we might be waiting a long time.
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#64
Re: no 100% green energy solutions...

There's no way to swim without getting wet or drowning if you overdo it, so you might as well skydive into the middle of the ocean right? /s
Edited: 2017-10-29, 4:59 am
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#65
@ryuudou
If you want to complain about the electoral college, you should go complain about the House:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Sta...House_size
(sorry for the wikipedia link, but it's the most compact way to show this).

What you're talking about isn't a problem with the electoral college, but what it is based off of: Congress.


Zgarbas Wrote:There's no way to swim without getting wet or drowning if you overdo it, so you might as well skydive into the middle of the ocean right? /s
In the same way, there's no reason to jump headfirst into a world that doesn't exist yet. I'm all for reducing reliance on fossil fuels, but it simply isn't feasible at the moment to eliminate them, so targets that have us switching to mostly renewables in just a few years are unrealistic and would actually destroy the economy if they were carried out (massive increases in power costs would remove huge amounts of consumers).

vix86 Wrote:That said, the groups in opposition to "green" that still support fossil fuels, don't usually argue using those points.
And the groups in favor of 'green' rarely seem to acknowledge the lack of storage technology we have available, which is why I wanted to point that out.
The hard opposition generally ignores that too, in favor of the economic impacts.
I figured I'd try to be the guy in the middle that points out the actual technological problems instead of pushing a narrative either way.


Power storage:
Just to give an idea of the requirements, the US alone uses approximately 10.7 TWh of energy per day (from Wikipedia, so lean heavily on the 'estimate' side; I'm too lazy to go through actual sources right now).
Using the chart here:
https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=830
We'll estimate that total night time demands are ~2/3 of daytime demands. Therefore, 2/5 of the daily energy demands need to be supplied at night, which is ~4.3 TWh/night.

Now let's be incredibly stupid and try to supply all of that through solar (while ignoring the current generating capabilities of solar, which wouldn't be able to supply this amount of energy in a day); we now have 4.3 TWh of energy storage requirements. Let's assume we want to store all of that in batteries (don't feel like finding out the potential capacity of pumped storage, but considering how little hydroelectric the US uses, I can't imagine it'd make much difference). Our best batteries are Li-ion, which, at its current upper range (under perfect conditions), has about a 90% charge efficiency and can store ~690Wh/L. This means we need 6.2GL of batteries, weighing 16E9 kg (16mil metric tons).
Further, it would require 4.8TWh of energy put in to get 4.3TWh out
Further further, those batteries have, at best, 1200 cycle lifespans, so, at best, the entire storage system would have to be replaced every three years. And that's not accounting for the fact that batteries deteriorate with use (as anyone with a cellphone knows by now), so it'd actually require more batteries to offset the weakening batteries that aren't dead, but I don't have a method to estimate that on hand.

Now compared to production amounts. Bloomberg Finance has an article claiming that global production of Li-ion batteries will be at 280GWh/year by 2021 (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/...afactories). Let's pretend that's the case. In 2021, we'd be able to supply about 6% of our estimated (current) 3-year storage needs for the US per year; so we'll simplify that to saying we only have about 18% of our annual storage needs for one country supplied per year in 2021. From that Wikipedia thing before, the US is 18% of the world's electricity demands, so that's about 3.2% of the world's current annual storage needs supplied in 2021.

Obviously, there's a lot of hand waving, assumptions, and estimations going on here, but I'm writing a forum post, not a research paper.
Point being, even five years from now we won't even be close to having the storage capacity required to stop using fossil fuels (and nuclear, but again, I'm ignoring that because most people that don't like fossil fuels don't like nuclear either, but it's currently our only good method that doesn't use oil or gas). There is a huge amount of technology that needs to be invented and put into mass production before we can even start to transition to only renewables.
And again, I assumed we'd even have the ability to produce that much energy from renewables; that itself is still a big hurdle, though solar is steadily improving (none of the others are, though, which is one reason I assumed we'd be effectively using solar only).
Edited: 2017-10-29, 3:39 pm
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#66
(2017-10-29, 3:30 pm)sholum Wrote: @ryuudou
If you want to complain about the electoral college, you should go complain about the House:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Sta...House_size
(sorry for the wikipedia link, but it's the most compact way to show this).

What you're talking about isn't a problem with the electoral college, but what it is based off of: Congress.


Zgarbas Wrote:There's no way to swim without getting wet or drowning if you overdo it, so you might as well skydive into the middle of the ocean right? /s
In the same way, there's no reason to jump headfirst into a world that doesn't exist yet. I'm all for reducing reliance on fossil fuels, but it simply isn't feasible at the moment to eliminate them, so targets that have us switching to mostly renewables in just a few years are unrealistic and would actually destroy the economy if they were carried out (massive increases in power costs would remove huge amounts of consumers).

vix86 Wrote:That said, the groups in opposition to "green" that still support fossil fuels, don't usually argue using those points.
And the groups in favor of 'green' rarely seem to acknowledge the lack of storage technology we have available, which is why I wanted to point that out.
The hard opposition generally ignores that too, in favor of the economic impacts.
I figured I'd try to be the guy in the middle that points out the actual technological problems instead of pushing a narrative either way.


Power storage:
Just to give an idea of the requirements, the US alone uses approximately 10.7 TWh of energy per day (from Wikipedia, so lean heavily on the 'estimate' side; I'm too lazy to go through actual sources right now).
Using the chart here:
https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=830
We'll estimate that total night time demands are ~2/3 of daytime demands. Therefore, 2/5 of the daily energy demands need to be supplied at night, which is ~4.3 TWh/night.

Now let's be incredibly stupid and try to supply all of that through solar (while ignoring the current generating capabilities of solar, which wouldn't be able to supply this amount of energy in a day); we now have 4.3 TWh of energy storage requirements. Let's assume we want to store all of that in batteries (don't feel like finding out the potential capacity of pumped storage, but considering how little hydroelectric the US uses, I can't imagine it'd make much difference). Our best batteries are Li-ion, which, at its current upper range (under perfect conditions), has about a 90% charge efficiency and can store ~690Wh/L. This means we need 6.2GL of batteries, weighing 16E9 kg (16mil metric tons).
Further, it would require 4.8TWh of energy put in to get 4.3TWh out
Further further, those batteries have, at best, 1200 cycle lifespans, so, at best, the entire storage system would have to be replaced every three years. And that's not accounting for the fact that batteries deteriorate with use (as anyone with a cellphone knows by now), so it'd actually require more batteries to offset the weakening batteries that aren't dead, but I don't have a method to estimate that on hand.

Now compared to production amounts. Bloomberg Finance has an article claiming that global production of Li-ion batteries will be at 280GWh/year by 2021 (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/...afactories). Let's pretend that's the case. In 2021, we'd be able to supply about 6% of our estimated (current) 3-year storage needs for the US per year; so we'll simplify that to saying we only have about 18% of our annual storage needs for one country supplied per year in 2021. From that Wikipedia thing before, the US is 18% of the world's electricity demands, so that's about 3.2% of the world's current annual storage needs supplied in 2021.

Obviously, there's a lot of hand waving, assumptions, and estimations going on here, but I'm writing a forum post, not a research paper.
Point being, even five years from now we won't even be close to having the storage capacity required to stop using fossil fuels (and nuclear, but again, I'm ignoring that because most people that don't like fossil fuels don't like nuclear either, but it's currently our only good method that doesn't use oil or gas). There is a huge amount of technology that needs to be invented and put into mass production before we can even start to transition to only renewables.
And again, I assumed we'd even have the ability to produce that much energy from renewables; that itself is still a big hurdle, though solar is steadily improving (none of the others are, though, which is one reason I assumed we'd be effectively using solar only).

It's not a 100% issue of technology, and given how the damage to the environment is cumulative, literally any amount that goes against the current decreases it.

You can see decrese in energy consumption that does not negatively affect lifestyle without necessarily rebuilding the entire economy (Japan had a 5% energy use decrease this year. It's really not that bad to keep AC in public buildings at 27C).

People in the US have 2-3 times the per capita Co2 emissions compared to other Western countries. Did Europe go bankrupt implementing these changes in lifestyle in the past? There are many factors that weigh in on energy consumption and CO2 emission, at different levels of society. Focusing on the short-term economic losses of a hypothetical complete transformation in a minimum amount of time is a rather radical position. There are technological barriers to this kind of hypothetical solution, but utopic hypotheses tend to be fraught with barriers.

And maybe, maybe, if discussing climate change wouldn't be controversial we could also talk about the real benefits of nuclear power instead of just letting it sort of float there as an idea for people's ignorance to make up facts on why it's necessary. If the official political stance is to not discuss or fund climate change research and prevention technology, and is against public awareness, you get all sorts of conspiracy theorists who think nuclear energy is like having a homemade atomic bomb in the room, that solar power steals the sun, and that wind turbines push typhoons in their general direction.
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#67
(2017-10-29, 3:30 pm)sholum Wrote: Power storage:
I think power storage will be a combination of things that are doable based on location. Some places might be able to use hydro, but that's likely to be a small fraction. Baring some kind of insane breakthrough in battery chemistry or super capacitors, I don't think these would be viable 100% solutions either. I don't think I saw you mention molten salts or other heat based solutions in any of your posts, but those might good. I'd imagine the storage solution will probably be a combination of multiple things.

Quote:Point being, even five years from now we won't even be close to having the storage capacity required to stop using fossil fuels (and nuclear, but again, I'm ignoring that because most people that don't like fossil fuels don't like nuclear either, but it's currently our only good method that doesn't use oil or gas)
I like nuclear actually and dislike the fact that it hasn't been explored further (I hear a lot of people preaching about Thorium reactors but have no idea if its crazy talk or an actual thing). The tech has received poor coverage in the media due to accidents, over the decades, but what is never really covered is that most accidents happen because of old reactor designs that are prone to catastrophic failures when they do fail. We have new designs that are safer and if nuclear wasn't spurned so horribly in the public, then there might be more money going into researching waste storage and waste cleanup (ie: plant decommissioning).

As Zgarbas pointed out though, even switching to having 50% of the country covered by renewable energy sources, even if that meant only during the [sunny] days, is still a massive impact on the CO2 output.
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#68
@sholum: Thank you (and everyone else involved, actually)  for keeping the debate sane by bringing such a high quantity of high quality points, even when I merely outbursted after Stansfield123's post caught me at a very bad time (and even kind of hijacked the thread).
I cannot help but agree with a vast majority of the things you said. Furthermore, you correctly point out I've made a mess of different environmental problems with no clear point (besides, maybe, that both global warming and wild life impoverishment, among others, are the consequences of our current tendency to perform the irrational but perfectly aware overexploitation of every single -by definition, limited- resource we have at hand).

I've spent the last two hours of insomnia writing and editing a proper reply, but I'm still very dissatisfied with the result. It touches a lot of different topics in a jumpy way and it's unbearably lengthy, among other problems. I've saved it as a draft for the time being, but I'm wondering if it'll ever see the light. The thought that this forum isn't remotely the place to express all of that is steadily gaining force.
And while I was at it, Zgarbas did a way better job ;-).

In the end, what I wanted to convey in my previous post, summarizing way beyond any reasonable safety margin (thus doing a disservice to my own discourse nonetheless), is that statements like "the US will end up the only western nation that doesn't allow radical environmentalists to cause irreparable harm to its economy" are just FUD, with several fallacies imbued. We are facing the worst problem ever in all human history (together, perhaps, with the menace of nuclear weapons during the Cold War), and trying to dismiss it as radical environmentalists' propaganda is just irresponsible. We are at an extremely critic point (most people wouldn't believe how critic it is despite all the evidences) and every minute we don't act (not to speak about every time we put an obstacle to science) is making the few options we are left more and more drastic.
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#69
Zgarbas Wrote:It's not a 100% issue of technology, and given how the damage to the environment is cumulative, literally any amount that goes against the current decreases it.
Which is why I mentioned sustainable fishing earlier. That will make far more impact on fish populations than wishing fossil fuels away without technology to replace it.

However, energy production, which is what we were discussing (I thought) is 99% technology 1% policy (sourced from my rear). Government isn't a magic thing that can will non-existent technologies into existence and produce vast quantities of them in a short time span.

Zgarbas Wrote:You can see decrese in energy consumption that does not negatively affect lifestyle without necessarily rebuilding the entire economy (Japan had a 5% energy use decrease this year. It's really not that bad to keep AC in public buildings at 27C).
I'm sorry, but that's not even close to equivalent to what is being asked. I'm all for using the AC less though, I get cold easily and think it's a waste.
Residential and commercial energy consumption is also down in the US compared to the past two years (residential is so far only 93% of 2015; commercial is about the same as last year, and 97% of 2015 over the same time scale).
https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/mon...onsumption

But if you'd take a look, most of the energy demands are not residential or commercial, they're manufacturing and transportation (the above link is concerned with all energy sources). This is where the economy falters if you restrict energy production too suddenly. Obviously the consumers have less to purchase with, but the manufacturing and transportation costs would increase, which would increase the price of end products.

But I wasn't trying to make the economic argument, so onward!

Zgarbas Wrote:People in the US have 2-3 times the per capita Co2 emissions compared to other Western countries.
People in the US also have to travel a significant amount more than people in other Western countries. More importantly, goods have to be transported a significantly longer distance than in other Western countries. Am I saying we don't use more otherwise? No, because I don't know, but numbers like that don't control for other factors. I think the fact that Canadaland has comparable per-capita data to the US and that Japan has a greater per-capita count than the entirety of the EU gives a good indication that those numbers aren't sufficient for any kind of real comparison.

Zgarbas Wrote:Focusing on the short-term economic losses of a hypothetical complete transformation in a minimum amount of time is a rather radical position.

Looking at the situation with the Paris Agreement (via Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement
Current goals apparently aren't sufficient to maintain the targets set by the agreement. Without any actual way to determine how much less emissions need to be to maintain 2C above pre-industrial temperatures, and current efforts being 'not enough', the only conclusion is that action taken immediately needs to be drastic. How drastic? Who knows. But it's clearly beyond our current technology.

Zgarbas Wrote:And maybe, maybe, if discussing climate change wouldn't be controversial we could also talk about the real benefits of nuclear power instead of just letting it sort of float there as an idea for people's ignorance to make up facts on why it's necessary. If the official political stance is to not discuss or fund climate change research and prevention technology, and is against public awareness, you get all sorts of conspiracy theorists who think nuclear energy is like having a homemade atomic bomb in the room, that solar power steals the sun, and that wind turbines push typhoons in their general direction.
When did I say anything to the contrary?
I'm not making that argument. I'm making the technological argument that so many people don't seem to understand that our current world doesn't run on smiles and rainbows. That so many people don't understand where the things they use every day come from is the main public obstacle to running our societies more efficiently (look up food waste), not government policy. We can't magically make everyone into an efficiency nut though, so we have to find a way to meet demands. Currently, the only way to meet them is to use fossil fuels. I'm not against people pointing out where we waste a bunch of things though; even better, you can spin that as a way to save money (change your food buying habits in order to prevent wasting the food and the money you bought it with), so it doesn't come off as some weird religion (which most environmentalists come off as). That's still not going to remove fossil fuels, though, it'll just make energy demands easier to meet with other methods eventually.

There is nothing wrong with trying to move into more readily available sources, but the idea that it can be forced to happen in a short time frame (and the Paris Agreement demands a short time frame in order to meet its goals, I didn't just pull that out of my rear) is ridiculous and shows that the whole thing is a bunch of uneducated political posturing ("We're the good guys, we want to save the planet! We don't know how, but these are the things we're going to accomplish! Also, there's nothing binding about this deal at all, so we all get to look like good guys even if we don't do anything different than we would have without it!").
Trump pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement was just as much a bunch of political posturing; it means nothing to the further development of alternative energy sources.


EDIT:
@faneca @vix86
Apparently I've been typing the above reply for over an hour and didn't see your replies. Too burned out on this topic to respond properly, but for a bit on nuclear:
I hear that thorium reactors are just a hype train though. Nuclear is a big topic of its own that's really interesting. Immediate problems are the startup costs and construction time (look up the V.C. Summer expansion project in South Carolina for an idea of the economic risks taken to build one), which is one reason it hasn't been expanding much (the other major factor being the public distrust of nuclear power).
Edited: 2017-10-30, 12:23 am
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#70
The government *does* create non-existent technology (albeit not out if its rear). Government funding on technology development (or better said, the lack of it, as seen in active attempts to discourage green energy development and climate change studies in the US) is what makes it possible.

And yes, the economy would be set back from forced restrictions on corporate energy use and carbon emissions, but they're a necessity at this point.

I wasn't implying that you were a conspiracy theorist who doesn't understand technology, you simply referenced how a lot of people are against nuclear energy, and frankly i think it's all due to misunderstandings of how nuclear energy works, as well as lack of publicity about how green it is. When you can't promote a source of energy, especially one that sounds scary, people are going to intuitively reject it. I don't think nuclear wnergy is for everyone (not a big fan of it in Japan for several reasons), but an area that's void of natural disasters and that gets the funding and surveillance not using nuclear energy is an incresible waste: and I think a lot of it is due to lack of education about what a great resource it isand why we need it.
Edited: 2017-10-30, 1:03 am
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#71
(2017-10-29, 9:56 pm)Zgarbas Wrote: [quote pid='247675' dateline='1509309054']

People in the US have 2-3 times the per capita Co2 emissions compared to other Western countries.


Even if that's true, keep in mind that Americans pretty much create all the useful inventions the rest of the world uses.  I therefore wouldn't begrudge them if it's true they create more emissions compared to other countries.
Edited: 2017-10-30, 3:29 am
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#72
(2017-10-30, 3:28 am)phil321 Wrote: Even if that's true, keep in mind that Americans pretty much create all the useful inventions the rest of the world uses.  I therefore wouldn't begrudge them if it's true they create more emissions compared to other countries.
Can you really tally good deeds up to offset bad ones? If fictional John Malcom invents the cure for all cancer, do you just look the other way when he murders 3 people because he wanted to?
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#73
(2017-10-30, 3:56 am)vix86 Wrote:
(2017-10-30, 3:28 am)phil321 Wrote: Even if that's true, keep in mind that Americans pretty much create all the useful inventions the rest of the world uses.  I therefore wouldn't begrudge them if it's true they create more emissions compared to other countries.
Can you really tally good deeds up to offset bad ones? If fictional John Malcom invents the cure for all cancer, do you just look the other way when he murders 3 people because he wanted to?

You're making a false equivalency here.
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#74
(2017-10-29, 10:53 pm)vix86 Wrote: I like nuclear actually and dislike the fact that it hasn't been explored further (I hear a lot of people preaching about Thorium reactors but have no idea if its crazy talk or an actual thing). The tech has received poor coverage in the media due to accidents, over the decades, but what is never really covered is that most accidents happen because of old reactor designs that are prone to catastrophic failures when they do fail. We have new designs that are safer and if nuclear wasn't spurned so horribly in the public, then there might be more money going into researching waste storage and waste cleanup (ie: plant decommissioning).
We have fairly new but proven designs, much safer than the old power plants, which the world could be building hundreds of right now. But because of the bad publicity, it's too difficult politically to build a lot of new nuclear plants at the moment. So in the end, maybe the green lobby will be responsible for destroying the environment.

There are also newer designs which can generate power using the "waste" from the old designs, leaving a much smaller amount of actual waste. They work already, but maybe aren't quite ready for mass rollout. China is making some serious investment in this area. Anyway, nuclear waste storage isn't going to be a problem on anywhere near the scale that popular opinion would suggest.

(2017-10-28, 2:40 pm)ryuudou Wrote: If the share of votes were proportional to population you wouldn't have ridiculous situations where the loser of the race wins the election anyway through the electoral college.
If by "the race" you mean the popular vote, then this can still happen, because most states use a winner-take-all system. So to win, you just need to get a little more than half the votes in a little more than half the country, even if the other person won by a huge margin in the rest of the country.

(There's been some argument here about how your vote can be worth N times more based on the number of electors in your state relative to population. But if you live in a winner-takes-all state which is heavily Democrat or heavily Republican, then your vote is worth nothing.)
Edited: 2017-10-30, 6:41 am
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#75
(2017-10-30, 3:28 am)phil321 Wrote:
(2017-10-29, 9:56 pm)Zgarbas Wrote: [quote pid='247675' dateline='1509309054']

People in the US have 2-3 times the per capita Co2 emissions compared to other Western countries.


Even if that's true, keep in mind that Americans pretty much create all the useful inventions the rest of the world uses.  I therefore wouldn't begrudge them if it's true they create more emissions compared to other countries.

Do you have a source for that by any chance? That's a pretty big statement to make. I'm American too, but I don't really see how the US is more inventive than other countries. I could be wrong though.


BTW, thanks to everyone who wrote such in-depth, civil replies! I'm not knowledgeable enough on climate change to join in, but it is something that I'm very concerned about, so I plan to keep watching this thread.
Edited: 2017-10-30, 7:11 am
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