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Comment: Simply not true. (Score 5, Informative) 225

by microbox (#49608551) Attached to: Tesla's Household Battery: Costs, Prices, and Tradeoffs
As of 2015, the total levelized cost of coal is in the ballpark of solar/wind. (Levelized cost includes capital costs, but does not include pollution costs -- consider how cheap coal is that we count the cost of medical bills, let alone AGW.) In a few decades, it will be cheaper to use renewables than mine coal to run an existing coal plant. Notice how fast Kodak went out of business? That is what the coal industry is staring down.

Comment: Re:Can he win? (Score 1) 374

by microbox (#49603951) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic
The financial crisis in 2008 was due to a bipartisan legislative agenda that reaches back to Reagan. Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers are on the same team. Bush did a *lot* wrong with the economy -- his treasury secretary resigned over his attitude towards debt. Main stream economists did not, and do not believe in the fantasy that the Bush tax cuts would spur much growth. And then there was all of those military expenses too. Both the dotcom bubble and the 2008 financial crisis were more complicated than just one presidents doing -- *but* thanks to Bush's insanity, the government wasn't in the position to do the right thing when the time came.

Comment: Re:Can he win? (Score 1) 374

by microbox (#49603937) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic
As I recall, there was an attempt at a grand bargain in 2011. The aim was to reform taxes and spending and _not_ merely kick the can down the road. As I recall, one party refused to countenance any tax increases no matter the amount of cuts -- and no matter what professional economists have to say on the issue. Other policies, such as the ACA, also affect debt. I'd say the president does have some measure of control over the debt -- though your main point is correct, that it is really congress and the senate that decide how much money to spend, and how much to raise in taxes.

Comment: Re:Help me out here a little... (Score 1) 533

by microbox (#49507167) Attached to: Utilities Battle Homeowners Over Solar Power

Unfortunately, the power company is still expected to make sure that the power comes in at the right voltage and frequency. And with control on only part of the inputs, that's a lot harder. The fewer inputs they control, the harder...

Sounds like an R&D project, and something easily solvable. (We are already solving it in the midwest with wind, and short-term weather forecasting.) Lack of high-voltage capacity is the real obstacle to more renewable -- other than those trying to write their old business models into the law. High voltage capacity would be easy to build except for the nimby crowd.

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 320

by microbox (#49498305) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal
Society is run by interest groups. Money creates its own interest groups (e.g., Monsanto), but not every interest group is some type of money. For example, the people who got the UN to ban land-mines -- was just a bunch of average Joes. (Personally I think this is a mistake, because landmine technology has come a long way.) The scientists against Oz are just a bunch of average Joe scientists.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by microbox (#49498245) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal
Wow, this is puerile and ill-thought out even for slashdot. It's like you never heard of crankery, and think all opinions are equally valid. Ya know what? There's a teapot orbiting the sun between earth and mars, and I also have fairies living in my backyard.

Comment: Re:Lobbying and Contributions (Score 3, Interesting) 441

by microbox (#49466963) Attached to: Republicans Introduce a Bill To Overturn Net Neutrality

t's gets silly these days to think of congresscritters as "Democrat" or "Republican" on issues like this. Who represents Comcast? Who represents Google? For damn sure none of them represent voters.

This is true; however, it seems the net neutrality is going to become a partisan issue, because Comcast et al can use GOP economic rhetoric (baseless or not), and the GOP leadership think the money is worth the political risk.

Once anything becomes a partisan issue, then tribalism replaces sanity. Expect some GOP faithful computer geeks to slowly edge towards the party line.

Comment: Re:No mention of sulfur (Score 1) 417

Current volcanoes are putting out carbon as well.

If you have questions, then you should find credible sources with information. You can follow the references to actual peer reviewed original research on the subject. If you really want to understand, then you'll need to do a graduate degree on it.

Today's scientific question is: What in the world is electricity? And where does it go after it leaves the toaster? -- Dave Barry, "What is Electricity?"