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Comment Re:Pragmatic choice (Score 1) 229 229

As you say, that's probably fast enough for most purposes...

For most present-day purposes, perhaps. If 100Mb/s+ broadband is ubiquitous in a few years, along with whatever other technology is coming along, no-one knows today what opportunities will be created.

Comment Re:Don't they have an fiber to the node cable netw (Score 3, Informative) 229 229

No. Most people don't have cable, but instead have ADSL over copper phone lines from the interchange to the home. Pay TV is not ubiquitous, and AFAIK is mostly served via satellite. I live in a fairly typical suburb and the interchange is a few kilometres away, so max download speed is around 4-5 Kb/s.

Comment Re:Cost is important! (Score 1) 589 589

In Australia, with rebates, Renewable Energy Certificates etc, you can get a 3KW system for under $10,000. With the feed-in tariff and conservative energy use my system will pay for itself in 4-5 years (it is currently providing about $1500/year in income); if I missed the tariff cutoff it would be more like 10 years. And solar panels do add a similar amount to the value of your home when it comes to selling. If the system you're looking at is $30K, maybe it is bigger than what you need.
 
We also rug up in winter. You're right: sweaters/jumpers are cheaper than heating.

Comment Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (Score 1) 284 284

"Throwing money at something" worked for Australia, which didn't even go into recession during the GFC*. Yes, we had other things going for us too, but spending billions on building programs and cash handouts did help keep the Australian economy ticking. Cost cutting would have just meant more unemployment, which happens to generate... more unemployment. Sometimes when business lacks confidence, it helps for government to take up the slack.

Your experience of poor fiscal management does not prove that all government spending is evil.

Comment Re:This is ridiculous (Score 1) 385 385

Yes, a PETA member can refuse to sell you meat, if they own the butcher shop, just as a newsagent can refuse to stock pr0n. The butcher might go out of business, but that doesn't mean they can't do it. Shopkeepers are not under compulsion to stock products they disagree with.

I'm not advocating for judgementalism, but an important aspect of freedom is the ability to stick to your personal convictions in the course of your trade. Your customers also have the freedom to go elsewhere if you refuse to supply what they want.

Comment Re:So (Score 1) 1105 1105

Because Europe started with an ETS and it achieved nothing for the first few years. Essentially it is an ETS, (the 'Tax' thing is a red herring that the government should have squashed quickly). The fixed price means it can be phased in in a controlled and predictable way (incremented each year), rather than having too many/too few permits in the first few years.

(Too many = low price, ineffective: see European ETS experience. Too few = high cost of permits, big hit to the economy, everyone suffers).

Comment Re:So (Score 1) 1105 1105

The cost of "everything" won't go up. The costs of products made using high emissions will go up. That which is produced with less emissions will become more competitive. It is a matter of taking the externalised costs (pollution) and internalising them to the producer, which is how it should be, period.

Coal fired electricity will get more expensive. Wind power (relatively) will not. Wind power will become more competitive.

Externalised costs mean you, me, the environment, our grandchildren and our health (now - look into the effects of coal smog) suffer. Internalising them (via emissions trading) means someone has to pay cold hard cash for those costs, now. Which means those companies who don't externalise the costs can now compete - which is fairer outcome for everyone. It might mean the cost of living goes up in the short term, but as a wealthy nation we can afford it. If it bites hard, interest rates will drop accordingly. Or people can skip a few coffees each week.

Comment Re:So (Score 1) 1105 1105

Anti-greenies seem to forget that what keeps an economy going is not the act of making stuff, but of moving money around. If you are spending money on making your cars/roads/factories/public transit/whatever more efficient, you are creating jobs, which means money is going into bank accounts and out again into coffee shops or tax coffers or farmers or whatever, and from there on into the next place and so on and so on. When money flows, people have jobs.

Getting a massage doesn't use (much) stuff but it keeps the economy moving.

Getting someone to mow your lawn doesn't use any more stuff than if you did it yourself but it keeps the economy moving.

Building a wind farm doesn't put another widget in your hand but it keeps the economy moving (and as fossil fuel costs continue to rise, it will save you money in the long term, not to mention the huge health benefits over coal smog).

War is good for the economy (if you can afford it). Apply the same principle to your dirty infrastructure, in a way that saves you money long term, and your economy be much better for it.

The reward of a thing well done is to have done it. -- Emerson

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