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Comment Re:My Argument (Score 1) 125

If you're happy driving a bus that's great. There's something to be said for having a job that you can leave at work.

Like you I had a job where I worked ridiculous hours for a salary that seemed good until you calculated what I was making per hour. What I figured out though is that certain skills are in demand and that I could afford to be particular. There are places, even in the tech world, where going home at a reasonable hour is the norm. Initially I took a small salary hit but over time that's ticked back up.

If I had stayed at that other company I'd probably be making more but I'd also probably be divorced and dealing with all the extra expenses and emotional drama of dealing with that.

Comment Re:Deniers? (Score 1) 507

I'll go out on limb and say that virtually no one posting here is qualified on their own to come to any conclusions about whether the earth is warming or not. That's not to say they aren't smart people, just that researching long term climate patterns and their causes is not their vocation and not something they're trained for. Lots of people can regurgitate information they found somewhere else. They can also do some analysis on some subset of data and come to some conclusions which may or may not be correct.

Climate modeling is complex and at some point you have to rely on the experts. For example, let say you're not feeling well and haven't been for months. In fact, it's getting worse. You try to diagnose and treat it yourself but it's not working so you go to the doctor who sends you to a specialist. The specialist says you've got some terminal illness. There is a treatment but it's not guaranteed to work and the treatment itself is going to make you feel worse for awhile. That sucks, but doctors make mistakes right? So you get a second opinion. That doctor agrees with the first. In fact you end up seeing 100 of them and all but one agree with the diagnosis and the treatment. Which one are you going to believe?

When it comes to climate science, maybe 90 some percent of scientists world wide are on the take and just perpetuating the climate change myth in order to keep their funding sources in tact. Or just maybe, actually trying to lower CO2 emissions world wide is not trivial and there's a number of influential people who stand to lose big if we do it. It means some lucrative industries (fossil fuel production) would have to be dramatically scaled back. It might even mean lifestyle changes which are never easy and are a tough sell. There are a whole lot of built in reasons for people not wanting to believe it.

" In 1960, in a poll organised by the American Cancer Society, only a third of all US doctors agreed that cigarette smoking should be considered ‘a major cause of lung cancer’. This same poll revealed that 43% of all American doctors were still smoking cigarettes on a regular basis, with occasional users accounting for another 5%. With half of all doctors smoking, it should come as no surprise that most Americans remained unconvinced of life-threatening harms from the habit." - http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/...

So even doctors are fallible and inclined not to believe things that would suggest they need to change. Yes, the climate scientists could be just parroting each other, participating in group think, and trying to keep their funding alive. I don't believe that is what's really going on.

Comment Re:Too Late (Score 1) 237

In my experience it's usually the IT people that have religious fights over Linux vs Windows.

Management wants stuff that works and costs to be low. They may want a Windows box or Mac on their desk, but they don't care what's running on the servers in the rack.

Comment Re:In other words (Score 1) 72

I run a small IT department. We will continue to keep some services in house but frankly the same sort of incident you refer to is the kind of thing that being able to turn up services in the cloud can help deal with.

Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (Saas) each comes with their own set of risks and rewards, but so does managing all that internally. You need to have your eyes wide open. If a company can save a significant amount of time and money all while improving availability by moving something to the cloud, eventually they probably will. It would be stupid of them not to.

If you work in the IT field you need to understand that your most important skill is being able to adapt to a constantly changing technology landscape. There are folks who can make a living taking care of legacy stuff but personally that's not a position I'd like myself or anyone on my staff to be in.

Comment Re:Where is the science? (Score 1) 118

A shorter answer is that if you really want to see scientific studies and economic evaluations they are out there. I would imagine life expectancies improve with fewer emissions. As far as the shrinking middle class goes, that probably has little to do with the cost of electricity since for most people the electric bill is a small portion of their total household costs. If that weren't the case, people would be much more concerned about saving electricity than they tend to be.

Comment Re:Where is the science? (Score 1) 118

What I'm saying is that implementing energy efficiency measures plus replacing coal with wind and gas turbines hasn't negatively impacted how Minnesota ranks nationally in terms of what it pays for electricity. In 1999, Minnesota paid more for it's electricity than did other states (on average). Now it pays less in spite of being a leader in cutting emissions from electricity generation. I suppose it could be paying 5 c/kWh if Minneapolis didn't mind looking like Shanghai, but that would have required removing controls that were already in place and replacing nuclear plants with coal plants.

Forget CO2 for a minute and just look up the term "externalities". There are lots of studies on the costs to society of generating electricity by various means. If you want one in particular, here's one from Harvard that says that the true cost of electricity generation from coal is 500 Billion annually. http://cleantechnica.com/2011/...

Other potential solutions haven't seen serious consideration and funding because so far there's not enough evidence that they are more practical than the approaches already being pursued. Perhaps if the Koch brothers quit funding campaigns to discredit climate scientists and instead poured money into geoengineering research, it would be farther along.

Comment Re:Where is the science? (Score 1) 118

Look up "Geoengineering" to see a few examples of other research that's going on.

The fear mongering that's gone on related to dealing with climate change is that fixing things will be too expensive and will drive energy prices sky high. Minnesota is well on its ways to meeting its emissions goals for electrical power generation yet electricity costs in Minnesota are relatively low. The national average is 10.45 cents per kWh. The cost in Minnesota is 9.63 cents. So no, the emissions goals are not holding back the economy.

You also have to realize that there are economic consequences for allowing to climate change to continue unabated.

It is rather surprising to me that there is so much angst over whether or not this problem really exists and whether or not it should be tackled. We have a pretty recent example of a potential global crisis that was averted. A ton of money was spent doing so and yet the world economy boomed. I'm talking about Y2K. Companies spent a fortune updating their hardware and software to avoid the problem. It worked. And the economy didn't tank. In fact, just the opposite. The difference then was that it was the companies themselves that would suffer the consequences for not addressing the problem rather than some poor folks living in coastal areas. That's why they just sucked it up and did what they needed to do.

As far as things being implemented on an unscientific basis, I don't think that's entirely true. Obviously however, getting 200 countries to agree to do anything is absolutely going to be a very political process and to a certain extent the science of any solution will suffer to some degree as a result. There is no way around that.

Comment Re:Yet more lies (Score 1) 118

It's not just NOAA who thinks that we have a problem and it isn't something made up by the Obama administration. Climate scientists across the world have come to the same conclusion.

Besides, look who is behind the funding of judicialwatch.org and I think you'll know how seriously to take their accusations.

Comment Re:Of course it's zero growth! (Score 2) 223

The worker enters the agreement because they need to get paid. The company only needs so many workers so there is almost always more potential workers than jobs. There are 7 billion people in the world after all.

It's a level playing field for only a relatively few specialized occupations and those who are in industries where the workers have organized. Unions are in decline in this country and not so coincidentally so is the middle class.

Comment Re:Coal powered cars (Score 1) 313

Demand peak doesn't start at sunset. It starts in the heat of the afternoon while businesses are still operating and A/C loads are the highest. The "Duck" problem is real but often exaggerated and solvable. Excess production can be exported and relatively clean solutions like storage or Natural Gas turbines can be used to cover when solar production is low.

Comment Re:Not a totally bad idea (Score 1) 313

The percent of electricity in the US generated from coal has dropped from 50% to 39% in about a decade. Almost 3/4 of the coal plants in the US are 30 years old or more. 40 years is the average life span. A lot of coal plants are going to be replaced in the next 10 to 15 years, - most likely with something other than new coal plants. Especially when you take the EPA's clean power plan into consideration.

Comment Re:excess strain on CA grid (Score 5, Informative) 313

I imagine cars would be charged mostly over night where there is low demand anyway (non peak). Heavy electrical users are often give price breaks on electricity use during non-peak hours, - sometimes residential users can get those discounts too.

Utilities are all about reducing demand use so they don't have to build and operate as many power plants. We get a break on our summer electric bill because we allow the local utility to cycle our A/C compressor on and off during peak load times. In the 10 years or so since we did that, we've never noticed a difference. So if car charges were a real problem, utilities could offer the same price break and just cycle the chargers on and off.

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