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Comment Re:Commit to puchasing 100% green energy when buyi (Score 1) 188

To be responsible for your actions and for the condition in which you leave the world. To me, letting CO2 (and other pollutants) out unnecessarily is similar to raking your leaves onto your neighbor's yard. It's solving your problem by making it someone else's, someone who might not actually be able to overcome the problem, such as residents of a disappearing small island or sealife being poisoned.

I'm looking at switching to a heat pump. An air source heat pump might be $13K. A ground source heat pump is $40K before subsidies/grants. The ASHP uses more electricity, but saves almost the same amount of CO2 as the GSHP. (Yes, both would be powered from green electricity.) Since society could buy 3 ASHPs for the cost of 1 GSHP, the ASHP is more effective with respect to pollution savings.

Comment Re:Gas, CO2, and heat pumps (Score 1) 688

A link regarding that 1% number. Yes, in a year, humans emit about 0.5% of the CO2 compared to the CO2 emitted by non-human processes. The problem is we've been doing that for over 100 years, with nothing absorbing that extra CO2. Assuming that was a linear increase from 0%, you end up with humans contributing 25%.

I'll let you provide citations for the rest of your numbers.

For clarity, the numbers in my original post were from the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies calculator. I am not a climatologist. My "otherwise, we're hosed" comment is personal opinion, based on
A) articles I've read on climate change and
B) the number of people like the AC above who won't trust climatologists until the planet is beyond hope.

Basically, if you don't trust climatologists, you shouldn't trust doctors, engineers, ... well pretty much any expert. After all, they're just in it for the money, right?

Comment Gas, CO2, and heat pumps (Score 2) 688

Until gasoline includes a fee to cleanup the CO2 released, EVs will be more expensive. But then, any environmental cleanup effort is going to cost money. I don't expect everyone to be able to afford this. I *hope* that anyone with extra cash does something to fight climate change, especially the fossil fuel industry since they've made billions (trillions?) putting us in our current situation. Otherwise, we're hosed.

That being said, I'm not sure the battery technology is good enough. It sounds as if in 3-5 years we would see significantly better batteries. Outside of that, an EV would fit my life (and 10 mile commute) fairly well.

I'm currently looking into replacing my gas furnace with a heat pump, powered by a combination of solar-, wind-, and hydro-generated electricity. This will cost less than half the price of a Volt/Prius/etc and will probably reduce my CO2 emissions by 3 tons, as opposed to the 2 tons I would save if I bought an EV. Other benefits: no battery and less CO2 released during manufacturing. The negative is that my winter heating costs will double.

Comment Yep. I'd pay money. (Score 3, Interesting) 236

I'd pay money for a Facebook or GMail that didn't sell/give my info to others. I can probably solve the second by running my own mail server, but I don't have the knowledge yet.

But, of course, if someone were to try to make Cashbook, they'd end up having the community split between themselves and Facebook. And who knows, Facebook might sue over a patent.

Comment A Baseball Pitcher throws a fastball (Score 2) 525

The pitcher is 100ft away from you. The ball is travelling 100mph (160km/h) and appears to be heading for your head. You have a split second to make a decision. What do you do?

Are you going to wait until you know your model is 100% accurate? After all, a gust of wind can blow the ball off course. A bird could swoop or a meteorite could fall and deflect the ball. Those possibilities wouldn't be realized (or not) until they happen or the ball hits your head. What do you do?

Me? I'd dodge. The risk isn't worth the cost of dodging.

And yes, I am dodging. I've done the stuff that saves me money: efficient appliances and solar panels. I *hope* that everyone tries to do at least that.

I have starting doing stuff that doesn't save me money: planting trees, conserving forests, changing home heating systems, etc. These help the climate change and health problems, but result in a net loss in my financial account. I *don't* expect everyone to do this, just those that can do it, especially those who have made millions or billions from burning fossil fuels. You would expect people around you to clean up after themselves, right? Not solve their problems by dumping them on your yard?

Comment Then Remove All Subsidies (Score 1) 488

I wouldn't mind paying the net metering fee, IF the subsidies for fossil fuels were removed as well.

An article at Forbes reports that coal increases health care costs by 19 to 45 cents a kwh. Oil increases the costs by 8 to 19 c/kwh, and natural gas by 1 to 2 c/kwh. Then there's the estimated cost of climate change, assuming we beat it. (Yes, I trust a near-unanimous group of subject matter experts. Heck, I bet those 97% would really like to be wrong, so we wouldn't need to do something about the issue.)

Summing up, I'd rather pay $168 a year for a connection, as opposed to paying an extra $1000/year for fossil fuel electricity. (5000 kwh * 20 cents/kwh). Actually, aren't we already paying that extra $1000/year in extra health care costs, property insurance, and natural disaster relief?

Comment Re:Here we go again (Score 1) 517

I agree with using renewables first. It bypasses the "subsidies" that the fossil fuel industry receive.

An article at Forbes reports that coal increases health care costs by 19 to 45 cents a kwh. Oil increases the costs by 8 to 19 c/kwh, and natural gas by 1 to 2 c/kwh. Mercury in fish is getting bad enough that Consumer Reports had an article on it last month. I'm pretty sure fish aren't mining mercury. Then there's the climate change issue.

Any one of those reasons, from three different sources, is good enough for me to prefer renewables over fossil fuels. For nuclear, I haven't decided yet, but I'm leaning in the direction of it being sold at the same time as renewable, not after all renewable supply is consumed.

Comment Re:Wrong decision (Score 1) 484

Yes, Netflix is public transmitting, but from a licensed archive. Aereo is only transmitting the channel that the customer has requested be transmitted. A customer who joined Aereo this year could not request the 2010 Fall Broadcast Season Premieres, since those premieres (probably) haven't been broadcast this year. Netflix has many of those premieres available to customers who sign up today. Aereo is one antenna, one customer, while Netflix is one copy, many customers.

If Aereo were to edit out the commercials in the broadcasts, then I would side with the plaintiffs.

Comment Re:SciFi come to life (Score 1) 270

Because when it began, the internet was not a necessity for the general public and economy, and it didn't have ISPs double-dipping or getting states/towns to sign exclusive contracts. Now, when the Internet is almost as necessary as electricity/shelter/food/water, and when ISPs are preventing competition, many people see the ISP industry as being broken and are trying to get it fixed.

Comment Re:We've gone beyond bad science (Score 4, Insightful) 703

Parroting is the only thing that most of us can do. Both of you are doing it, unless one of you is an actual climate scientist with appropriate degrees and experiences, who has performed his/her own experiments and data collections to research how the earth's environment has behaved in the past.

97 out of 100 scientists are certain that the climate is going to become detrimental to our current society. That's enough for me.

If I didn't trust scientists, my next computer or cell phone purchase would involve the following: redevelop physics from scratch, including semiconductor, RF comms, and information theory. Build a 22nm lithography process. Test it. Otherwise, how do I know I'm not falling for a hoax?

Just because I don't understand something, doesn't mean that something doesn't exist. Yes, on the flip side, if one person tells me something, that person isn't automatically correct. That's where peer review comes in.

For the computer purchase example, I could test a new computer. That's a great solution for that scenario. But from where do we get a second earth to test Climate Change?

Yes, shutting down coal plants overnight is bad: it would cause massive chaos. That's exactly what climatologists are trying to avoid. However, we can work towards getting those plants offline, and work towards zero emission vehicles. On the off-chance all those scientists are wrong about climate change, at least our cities would have better air.

It's not hard to admit errors that are [only] cosmetically wrong. -- J.K. Galbraith