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Comment I read the article (Score 0) 613

And it's as good a story of how sexism plays out in real life as anything, so the comments here are just appalling. The sexism denialism on Slashdot rivals climate denialism in the Republican Party. You don't have to be sexist toward women to contribute toward the problem, just like you don't have to love fossil fuels to contribute to climate change, folks. But if you don't act deliberately, you're just part of the problem. I'll grant you this, it's not necessarily JUST sexism that keeps women out of STEM, but if you think it doesn't play a role, you're better off staying in mama's basement.

Comment Re:One small problem (Score 2) 509

Yes, believe it or not, black people can be racist, too. It's a socially pervasive attitude that affects nearly everyone. Look at the Freakonomics analysis of our attitude toward black sounding names, for example. It's convenient to dismiss the notion because of the mistaken belief that "black people wouldn't be racist to themselves," but there's an awful lot of data to suggest otherwise.

Comment Re:Article ignores variability (Score 1) 610

Baseload is concept of a 20th century grid run by monopoly utilities with a vested financial interest in operating certain inflexible power plants at maximum output. If I have a paid-off coal or nuclear power plant, of course I want it to run at max output 24/7! And because I'm the monopoly utility (true in 30 U.S. states), I get to prioritize output from my power plant. Winner winner chicken dinner!

In truth, our power system already has a helluva lot of capacity built to accommodate variability from energy USERS (supply = demand at all times or system crashes), and it can also be used to manage variability from energy PRODUCERS, like wind. It's not an extra cost, it's built in until the level of variability far exceeds current situations (except in isolated geographic areas of the grid, or island power networks).

In the long run, we will need a power system with more flexible sources of generation or storage to manage higher levels of variability associated with wind and solar power. But for now, on most power grids? Not even close.

And guess what, fossil fuels aren't without variability, either? What if you can't get a coal train to a coal power plant? http://www.marketplace.org/top...

Submission + - To Save the Internet We Need To Own The Means Of Distribution->

indros13 writes: Net neutrality took a hit when the FCC gave its blessing to "internet fast lanes" last week and one commentator believes that the solution is simple: public ownership of the hardware.

Owning the means of distribution is a traditional function of local government. We call our roads and bridges and water and sewer pipe networks public infrastructure for a reason. In the 19th century local and state governments concluded that the transportation of people and goods was so essential to a modern economy that the key distribution system must be publicly owned. In the 21st century the transportation of information is equally essential.

Is the internet essential infrastructure? Should local governments step in to preserve equality of access?
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Manipulative headline (Score 1) 102

The title may be manipulative, but it's also right. Even with plenty of coal-fired power still on the grid, electric vehicles offer lower greenhouse gas emissions than natural gas vehicles, and the grid continues to get cleaner as more renewable energy is added to it. EVs are a great complement, too, because their batteries allow for energy storage of variable wind and solar. And even the 1st generation EV batteries have enough storage to power 60% of daily vehicle trips in the U.S. From a climate perspective, we have no business trying to increase extraction of fossil fuels. From an infrastructure perspective, we have no business trying to build another fossil fuel fueling network when we already have electricity everywhere to power electric vehicles.

Comment No, because they are not compatible (Score 2, Interesting) 551

Wind and solar have variable output, so they need to be partnered with flexible power generation. Nuclear is fundamentally inflexible because you can't quickly ramp up or down electricity output from a nuclear power plant. See this short video for a nice explanation of the incompatibility: http://www.ilsr.org/coal-nucle...
Power

Submission + - Interactive Map Shows When Solar Gets Competitive in U.S.->

indros13 writes: "A new interactive map illustrates how much solar photovoltaic power could be installed at prices competitive with retail electricity (without subsidies) over the next decade in all 50 U.S. states. Move the slider to see the impact of falling solar prices, as well as the huge impact of current tax incentives.

Full disclosure: I did the research behind the map and I think it's a very useful tool for planning our energy future."

Link to Original Source

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