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Comment Two solutions already being researched... (Score 4, Interesting) 47

"A German chemical company, BASF, and a US company, Novomer, are capturing CO2 from power plants or other waste sources, using novel catalysts to make polypropylene carbonate. This plastic can be used for coatings, adhesives, foams and packaging and can replace other plastics in these applications that are currently made from oil. Both companies are moving towards commercial processes. Bayer, another large German chemical company, is also advancing a process to make polyurethane foams using carbon dioxide."

"A more brute force approach is that taken by the Solar Jet programme in Switzerland, led by Dr Aldo Steinfeld of ETH-Zurich collaborating with Shell. They designed a clever reactor that generates very high temperatures from solar energy to break down carbon dioxide and water, converting them to hydrogen and carbon monoxide. From this mixture they can make kerosene for jet fuel using well-known chemical processes. This is still at an early stage – so far they have made one litre of fuel – but sometimes these high temperature processes are more straightforward to scale up than catalyst-based approaches."


Comment Re:All the proof we need (Score 1) 260

Rush Limbaugh may be one such agent. Here's what he thinks of the "Water on Mars" story: There’s so much fraud. Snerdly came in today ‘what’s this NASA news, this NASA news is all exciting.’ I said yeah they found flowing water up there. ‘No kidding! Wow! Wow!’ Snerdly said ‘flowing water!?’ I said ‘why does that excite you? What, are you going there next week? What’s the big deal about flowing water on Mars?’ ‘I don’t know man but it’s just it’s just wow!’ I said ‘you know what, when they start selling iPhones on Mars, that’s when it’ll matter to me.’ I said ‘what do you think they’re gonna do with this news?’ I said ‘look at the temperature data, that has been reported by NASA, has been made up, it’s fraudulent for however many years, there isn’t any warming, there hasn’t been for 18.5 years. And yet, they’re lying about it. They’re just making up the amount of ice in the North and South Poles, they’re making up the temperatures, they’re lying and making up false charts and so forth. So what’s to stop them from making up something that happened on Mars that will help advance their left-wing agenda on this planet?’ And Snerdly paused ‘oh oh yeah you’re right.’ You know, when I play golf with excellent golfers, I ask them ‘does it ever get boring playing well? Does it ever get boring hitting shot after shot where you want to hit it?’ And they all look at me and smile and say ‘never.’ Well folks, it never gets boring being right either. Like I am. But it doesn’t mean it is any less frustrating. Being right and being alone is a challenging existence. OK so there’s flowing water on Mars. Yip yip yip yahoo. You know me, I’m science 101, big time guy, tech advance it, you know it, I’m all in. But, NASA has been corrupted by the current regime. I want to find out what they’re going to tell us. OK, flowing water on Mars. If we’re even to believe that, what are they going to tell us that means? That’s what I’m going to wait for. Because I guarantee, let’s just wait and see, this is September 28, let’s just wait and see. Don’t know how long it’s going to take, but this news that there is flowing water on Mars is somehow going to find its way into a technique to advance the leftist agenda. I don’t know what it is, I would assume it would be something to do with global warming and you can — maybe there was once an advanced civilization. If they say they found flowing water, next they’re going to find a graveyard.

Comment Re:Exxon MADE the hard decision (Score 1) 255

No. That's called racketeering, and it is also quite illegal. The tobacco industry was caught and charged for doing the same thing. Their defense was that they"believed that their economic survival depended on their scheme to defraud," -

Comment Re: 100% Consensus among scientific organizations (Score 1) 370

They asked 18 economists who were appointed to the GAO by Democrats (remember, this is 2009)

I guess now that you know that the GAO survey was from 2007 you must realize that Bush held office at that time. You were suggesting that the GAO is just a mouthpiece for the party in power? That the survey is clearly biased towards the policies of the party (Republicans) in power ? Possibly you are right, but I prefer to believe that this was not just a partisan exercise.

Comment Re: 100% Consensus among scientific organizations (Score 1) 370

They asked 18 economists who were appointed to the GAO by Democrats

This is getting tiresome. According to the very paper that I linked (please read it through before commenting again. Better yet, pick up an econ 101 text book. There's no point in continuing to write unfounded nonsense and expecting me to continue to humour you.)

The pool of economists was selected by searching the top twenty-five economics journals over the past fifteen years and identifying all related to climate change. The roughly 300 authors of those articles were contacted and sent a survey, and more than half replied. The GAO survey is referenced, but that is from 2007. That the more recent survey is largely consistent with the findings of the Government Accountability Office is not surprising. It would be surprising If you could cite a survey of economists that found solutions based on the market were not market based solutions.

Comment Re: 100% Consensus among scientific organizations (Score 1) 370

Economists disagree with you... do you know something they don't?

"There is a strong consensus among the top economic experts that, in fact, climate change represents a real danger to important sectors of the U.S. and global economies. Moreover, most believe that the significant benefits from curbing greenhouse gas emissions would justify the costs of action." -

"91.6% preferred or strongly preferred “market-based mechanisms, such as a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system” over command-and-control regulation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." -

Comment Re: 100% Consensus among scientific organizations (Score 1) 370

If one re-defines the cost of energy to include things like the impact on the environment, the relative cost of fossil versus other fuels changes

You are exactly right. The key to allowing the market to function optimally is to include these costs. The market will find the optimal solution once the costs are included.

Regarding kick-starting emerging technologies, there is possibly a place for that, but probably not for solar or wind. These are already becoming competitive without government incentives -

Comment Re: 100% Consensus among scientific organizations (Score 1) 370

You only reach maximal efficient outcome if the government sets the Pigovian tax exactly correctly

We agree. By default the tax is set at $0. That is not the "exactly correct" value and keeps us from the "maximal efficient outcome". Anything other that $0 will probably still be incorrect, but a modest and revenue neutral tax would be less incorrect and would allow the markets to function more efficiently, even if not at maximal efficiency.

Comment Re: 100% Consensus among scientific organizations (Score 1) 370

Nonsense piled on nonsense. Markets are central to this solution. A pigovian tax allows the market to reach an efficient outcome by bridging the gap between the marginal social costs and marginal private costs. It is a solution that allows the markets to efficiently solve the problem.

The solutions that are currently being enacted in the U.S. all involve regulation. This is not an efficient solution. I am hopeful that the republican party will step up to the table with more efficient market based solutions. The current strategy seems to be to bury their heads in the sand and allow the Democrats to drive. That's not working so well for us.

Comment Re: 100% Consensus among scientific organizations (Score 1) 370

You're talking about "externalities," which are called that because they are EXTERNAL to economic considerations

Uhhh no. They are fundamental to economics. Please read James M. Buchanan and Wm. Craig Stubblebine Economica New Series, Vol. 29, No. 116 (Nov., 1962), pp. 371-384

"Don't tell me I'm burning the candle at both ends -- tell me where to get more wax!!"