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Comment Re:And who was the big believer in carbon credits? (Score 1) 145

What you have are statistics where countries that have lots of power plants have a certain rate of lung cancer and countries with none have a lower rate.

That's far from the only source for such statistics.

That's literally your methodology. And its fallacious.

You're still assuming, thus making an ass of yourself. It's not even a majority of the method for determining that pollution from coal power causes negative health effects.

The reality is that it is a great deal more complicated than that. The power plants obviously are not dangerous to people in and of themselves.

Never been in one, I take it? Steam explosions are a killer, though fortunately rather rare today in developed countries.

It is rather the emissions. And the emissions are only dangerous if you breath them in a given concentration over a given period of time. And even then whether or not you develop cancer at all is a probability and not a certainty.

Again, you're carefully explaining something that I already know. I'll explain it to you again: I know this and state that, because we can statistically determine that coal power increases expenses through various ways, we should internalize that expense by charging for pollution.

To expand upon this, I support charging for ALL pollution, not just that from coal power plants. Steel production would be hit some as well, as would things like paper mills. For cars, well, because monitoring the pollution from 'every' car would be impractical, we'd have to fall back to statistical methods - figure out a baseline, add that to fuel taxes. Then, depending on whether an individual vehicle is estimated to be more or less polluting per gallon of fuel burned, an appropriate differential tax would be charged. Either at purchase or registration, I'm not sure which.

As to emissions from china, its so diluted by that point that it doesn't really matter.

29% of California's air pollution 'doesn't really matter'? Wow...

As to lawn mower taxes you're comparing the bureaucratic overhead of managing a few hundred power plants to managaging the taxation on a lawn mower?


Strawman again. I was looking at one of the biggest tax systems in the country - the taxation of gasoline for the purposes of road funding. Thus, the lawn mower becomes an example. It can also be used for off-roading, standby generators, 4-wheelers, dirt bikes, and everything else other than driving on roads we do with gasoline.

Look, I suggest you stop trying to predict my positions or lines of thought because you're really bad at it. Not putting you down as a person, but I'm rather non-standard on the best of days.

As to geo engineering methods... you've apparently spent literally no time at all looking into such things. This is disappointing.

I read an awful lot, and this is the first time I've seen these proposals. People read different things. The salt crystal proposal looks very interesting, but also very preliminary. 30MW for how large of an area? For 5% reflection gain, how much is this estimated to be?

The second has a proposed effective period of 20 years, and would require 20M tons of SO2 every 1-4 years. You're not fitting that through 'garden hoses'.

As to the gas released... that was actually surfer dioxide. I know... you don't like the idea of emitting that... but the amounts required to get the effect are so low that you really can't complain about it.

For the record, as long as there's reasonable evidence that it'll stay up there until it's degraded to something less dangerous, and that the positive effects outweigh the negative, I'm not opposed to it. Shocking, isn't it?

The pork spending on this issue unheard of before this issue. Previously every time the government did some tawdry deal with business with kickbacks it would be sneered at as corruption.

Not really? The federal government has a centuries long history of subsidizing things, and considering the age of the country, that takes some work.

I mean, wool was subsidized back in the day, under the guise of ensuring it'd be available for soldier's uniforms if necessary.

Comment Re:And who was the big believer in carbon credits? (Score 1) 145

Now... lets say a man in the neighboring town gets lung cancer.

Why are you going after this strawman? I've already said that, being able to tie any one case of cancer/illness/death to any one polluter is impossible, but ultimately irrelevant. You can reasonably prove that without your powerplant there would have been 10 deaths from lung cancer, but statistically speaking, your plant is causing 1 case of ultimately fatal lung cancer a year.

Your notion is to institute some assumed damages on every bit of emissions and put this money into some kind of state fund and then when people get cancer they draw upon that fund.

Not exactly, but it's reasonably close.

So... no one is actually breaking that smoke in until it has diluted to such an extent that the ability to cause respriatory issues is no longer even remotely credible.

Impossible unless you set up on the moon or something. California is getting a decent percentage of it's air pollution from China. Also, people go all over everywhere. You can't prove that your plant's emissions aren't getting to people. Or do you shut down every time the wind shifts?

Must I still pay your fee? Of course. Because while you claim to be dealing with externals, your real intent is to discourage the use of coal.

And you assume that you know what I'm thinking. Making an ass out of you and me. Anyways. As I said above, I don't see you actually managing to prevent your pollution from reaching humans, and besides, the pollution charge wouldn't just be for damage to humans, but the environment and such. So your proposed change of building the plant somewhere where the emissions don't reach humans fails, so yes, you would still have to pay the fees.

Part of the problem is, as you say, being precise with externalities like this is difficult. Road taxes on gasoline are intended to pay for the roads, but it's considered just too expensive to do things like exempt the tax for the gasoline you're buying for your lawn mower. So you end up paying tax on that gasoline as well. So yes, there's quite a bit of averaging in my proposed charge system.

On the other hand, let me tell you how you DO avoid the charges: By not emitting them in the first place. You install pollution controls so you're emitting less. Your pollution charges go down in proportion. Simple, measurable, done.

Two of them that I like:

Citations please. I want to see engineering proposals. Also, carbon monoxide is a GHG, so no, pumping it up there wouldn't help from what I remember.

And keep in mind the big corps are the ones making solar panels, wind mills, LED lights, and all the other stuff that is supposed to save you from THE END TIMES.

Big businesses are also the ones burning coal and such... Personally, I like LED lights mostly because of longevity and savings on my power bill. I'm also not highly affected by AGW, living in the middle of Alaska and all.

Comment Re:And who was the big believer in carbon credits? (Score 1) 145

You're right on precision vs accuracy. Result of 'training' to try to keep me from using complex words too much.

No, saying the link between coal power and deaths/illnessess is 'weak correlation' is like denying global warming. There's plenty of proof sufficient to say that the burning of coal for power causes pollution that lowers the quality and quantity of life for those around it. It's accurate. It's precision can be in question - which is why high end estimates are double that of the low end, but their presence is not in doubt.

As for lung cancer from coal power vs campfires, that's what statistics are for. Not 'everybody' living close to a coal powerplant loves camping. Yet they still demonstrate a higher incident rate of lung cancer which isn't explained by variances in smoking rates, economic status, etc... Hell, that's what autopsies and scientific studies are for. It's not like air tests are hard to do with the proper equipment.

You don't NEED to prove that any given case was caused by them in order to prove that the quantity of said cases is, at least by standard scientific measures (IE standards like '99% likely to explain the difference'.

As for CO2 - I wouldn't say that it isn't a problem either, and like I mentioned, by the time you clean coal up enough to be close to natural gas, much less power sources like nuclear, wind, or solar, it's more expensive than nuclear. Personally, I've seen enought evidence to believe in man-made global warming. As CO2 per kWh is pretty much the worst with coal, I'd like to see less of it from that angle as well.

Because you pount the 'correlation vs causation' thing several times, I'll rebuff that with this: The correlation is extremely strong, and we don't just have correlation. We also have labratory studies where we have shown that coal power plant emissions(yes, including the 'clean' ones), do indeed cause cancer in lab specimens.

I didn't say that I hate coal. I hate dirty coal, and from what I've seen, clean coal is no longer cheaper than the alternatives. Speaking of which, no, coal is no longer the cheapest power source. Natural Gas beats it so much that they're converting coal power plants to natural gas on a regular basis, and coal is losing market share.

As for 'cheaper', well, ask why we no longer use asbestos, lead paint, leaded gasoline, mercury switches, etc... The level of 'clean' required for power generation, especially coal, keeps going up, increasing expense.

Also, Cheap is no longer such if we end up having to abandon cities due to rising water levels because of global warming. That's just even more indirect than air and water pollution.

Comment Re:And who was the big believer in carbon credits? (Score 1) 145

Sure, but government agencies assign dollar values to lives all the time, though they do vary. DOT's value is lower, for example, than the FAA's.

You're still stuck trying for too much accuracy. Ballpark is enough for this sort of stuff, then you adjust as science clarifies or the situation changes. IE the actual damages from X could be estimated to be $8-12. Nailing it down closer is less important, at least in the short term, than the fact that charging $10 for the damage is 'fairer' then charging them $0.

As such you can't attribute a given number to coal power generation.

Sure I can!
5.7-11.7 euro cents per kWh, for the dirtiest plants.
MN estimates it at 1.8 cents per kWh

When did I mentioned that the pollution damage was from CO2? Oh, I didn't? Then why bring it up that way? I've very clearly said pollution, not CO2.

To my knowledge, if you removed both those from the coal emissions which modern coal plants can do... then the health issues you're citing vanish.

They don't remove them completely, and no, they don't vanish. Become an order of magnitude less, that you get. Even 2, but at that point a nuclear plant is cheaper, and still cleaner(on average, including pollution from TMI, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, but excluding nuclear weapons stuff). No, 'filtered coal' is not cheaper. I've seen what it takes to get a modern coal plant up and running (Healy clean coal plant).

Comment Re:All bullshit (Score 4, Informative) 251

What is interesting is a few years earlier they could legally have sex. Then for a couple of years it's a felony. Then it's legal again.

Incorrect, barring any recent legal changes in the State of New Hampshire.

Felonious Sexual Assault: II. Engages in sexual penetration with a person, other than his legal spouse, who is 13 years of age or older and under 16 years of age where the age difference between the actor and the other person is 4 years or more; or
If he was 17 and her 15, that's only two years, well within NH's 4 year 'R&J' exemption. Indeed, by the way the statute is constructed, once legal they're always legal.

Though the second article says 18 and 15, but even at 3 years and change it shouldn't have triggered statutory rape charges by the letter of NH law.

Lacking statutory rape, they'd have go go for 'actual' rape charges, IE it was against her will, and browsing news articles, that's what they did. They simply failed to make that case.

Comment Felonies in general need to be tightened. (Score 1) 251

Personally, I think that the term 'felony' has lost too much of it's meaning. Back in the day, it was used to describe a crime where the death penalty could be used.

Today, it's generally used to describe anything that could be punished by a year or more in prison. Not that you are, just that you could me.

Personally, I'd change it up slightly. It wouldn't be a felony UNLESS you are actually sentenced and serve a complete year in prison for it.

I thought about having a fine equivalent - something like $12k, but then thought, no, I don't want to give the courts the incentive to fine people $12k simply to put them in the felony category.

Keep in mind that part of this desire to restrict the felon status is because it comes with a relatively large amount of restrictions on your rights.

On the other hand, I'm not against considering you a felon if you manage to stack up a year of imprisonment non-sequentially. A month here, 2 months there, half a year for X, 3 months for Y, and you're a felon. Though, again, it would have to be for 'non-bullshit' reasons. Bullshit reasons include 'didn't pay court mandated fees because they tossed you in jail long enough to lose your job, then gave your unemployed self 30 days to come up with $3k'.

Should the computer thing be a felony? Probably not. We have plenty of felony level things we can sentence people for in the course of 'sexual misbehavior' without making 'used a computer in the commission of' one of them.

Comment Sure it can (Score 1) 84

First, Stingray is now a 'generic' term for these sorts of devices. So I'd be careful about claiming they all have the same functionality, or lack of it.

Second, operating as a bridge is actually the primary usage mode when operating in 'active' mode - where it 'forces' phones to connect to it instead of the normal tower.

Third, from what I remember, at least the first ones were built off of standard mobile cell tower systems, just with extra intercepts and data recording equipment.

Comment Re:Wordsmithing - actually important. (Score 1) 179

I wonder if they created this to add another charge because if you blow up an IED (or something else) then they will charge you for any deaths, attempted deaths, and destruction of property.

That's my take on it. I really dislike it because bomb-making is generally illegal anyways, they can hit you sufficiently hard there.

But you get silly things like charging a woman who's bomb-efforts extended to giving a rash to her target with 'making a WMD' because, by golly, she was attempting to make a chemical weapon! if you use the police definition, which waters down the definition to the point that the military would consider it useless. Tank round? WMD Willy Pete grenades used to create smoke screens? WMD Artillery round? WMD. Everything the Air Force fires? WMD. Etc....

Comment Drone use (Score 1) 179

Keep in mind that we're talking about North Dakota here. I lived in Minot for some time - their second largest community. It still wasn't that large.

As such, they're unlikely to exploit the 'less lethal armed drone' legality. Just not enough call, not enough money. You might see a cooperative test project with a manufacturer, but that's about it.

Meanwhile drones are probably more interesting to the counties - where it might be 30 minutes to get a deputy to an accident scene from driving distance alone.

I find the possibility of them being used for S&R purposes to be much more common than law enforcement.

And yes, the legislator is already stating that he'll be pushing to ban non-lethals in 2 years anyways. Knowing that, again, I don't see much beyond 'research deployment' where the developer has to provide the armed drone, for free. Not worth the capital cost otherwise.

Comment Wordsmithing - actually important. (Score 3, Informative) 179

Except that 'Wordsmithing', in most of your examples is actually useful in professional terms. Let me break it down:

Lethal Force - Force that death is a reasonable, even 'usual' result from. Standard firearms, fragmentary explosives, etc...

Nonlethal - The use of this term is actually depreciated in the force-continuum. It's a sad fact that humans can be both incredibly resilient and incredibly fragile. A disabler that works on a guy able to cut his own arm off that's trapped by a boulder and apply a tourniquet before hiking 26 miles to get to medical care is probably going to be lethal to a 90 year old diabetic great-grandmother. Worse, it's not always apparent who's 'fragile' and who's not.

Less-lethal - The replacement term. It's still potentially lethal, so care should be employed in it's deployment, but as long as you follow the directions, your department shouldn't kill anybody with it any given year.

WMD: Weapon of Mass Destruction. Now, I'm old school with this one, and demand that it be NBC - Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical. And the last is iffy as well. In order for me to count it as a WMD, it needs to be able to destroy city blocks of people, or at least kill more people than any individual practical conventional bomb. I dislike calling a pressure cooker bomb a 'WMD'. So I'd say on a 'killzone' requirement to be a WMD: Several blocks radius OR 'significant' primary duration in time. IE, as a direct intended effect from the bomb, it will keep killing people who enter the area for a significant amount of time after deployment, not just from hazards like structurally compromised buildings.

IED: Improvised Explosive Device. As opposed to a non-improvised one. A very important distinction during my time in the military. Standard munitions have standard means of disarming and disposal. EOD(Explosive Ordinance Disposal) rolls up on a Mark 82 500 pound bomb(or it's Russian equivalent), they know how to make it safe. All that goes out the window when it's an IED. Think of it like a paperwork thing - for a car you put make & model. For a bomb you'd do the same, but IED = 'home built'/unknown/unlisted. So your going 'It's a BOMB' is like saying 'It's a CAR' when I say that a Honda Civic was in an accident.

Comment Re:"Less than Lethal"...How Reassuring (Score 1) 179

--does that count as "lethal force"?

Depends on the size of the drone and the vertical distance before impact.

Also, not all police drones will be prop driven. Something like a Global Hawk you'd be able to make a powered impact with.

Then again, in a place like North Dakota, if the local police force is willing to 'use up' an expensive drone that they're not going to automatically get funding to replace, odds are that the target would 'deserve' and 'require' it.

Comment Re:And who was the big believer in carbon credits? (Score 1) 145

The "externals" can't be accurately counted or evaluated. And they don't show up on accounting sheets.

It depends. How accurate do you demand it be?
deaths per TWH by energy source
Health effects

And they show up in accounting sheets - just not those of the originator. They show up in the accounting sheets of healthcare organizations. Life Insurance organizations. Building maintenance(back when acid rain was even dissolving them). Etc...

The term "externals" is what you say when you want something to be more expensive but can't actually cite any of it with any clarity.

No, it's more like I don't want to write a book. I can, using completely open sources, peg an average 'per mWh' external expense to coal. It might not be accurate down to the mill(1/10 of one cent), but I can do it. It's true that you can't really attribute any given death to a specific plant, much less a specific unit of power. But you can certainly do so in the aggregate. If it was any less diffuse people would be able to successfully sue for their illnesses.

It might be somewhat 'unfair', but it does mean that you can 'get it in the ballpark' with regards to internalizing the cost by doing something like charging for the pollution. The USA currently mostly does it by the EPA and fines, but I support a more straight-forward system.

Marriage is the sole cause of divorce.