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Comment: Re:Someone has an agenda to push (Score 1) 180

says that the most efficient and non-market distorting way to get the users to pay the cost of the externalities is to impose a carbon tax.

Hmm... please consider this statement carefully.

Lets assume that these two things are true:

(A) Carbon emissions has an "external cost" associated with it, and that this cost is born by the people of earth.

(B) A Carbon tax can be levied that is approximately equal to the "external cost" of (A)

Your statement is still not correct. Paying a tax to the government is not at all the same as paying the external cost born by people, even if the tax is exactly equal the cost.

Your argument is essentially the same as if I accidentally burned down my neighbors house, that instead of buying him a new house I have to hand over an equivalent amount of money to the government and then he gets whatever the government decides that he will get.

Do you feel that if I do pay the government an amount equal to a new home for my neighbor that I have paid my neighbors costs? Really? yeah, I didnt think so.

The problem here is that "external cost" is a nebulous thing which allows you to be equally nebulous with your thinking about what "paying external costs" actually means.

Carbon taxes do not pay the external costs of carbon emissions. Full stop.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 1) 180

Taxes are down

Our corporate tax rates are the highest in the world, and that only happened recently (Japan's used to be higher, but they wised up.)

Now I'm sure you will retort that companies don't pay the actual tax rates - they get tax exemptions, subsidies, and so forth. This is true only if they are chosen to get those exemptions or subsidies. Plenty of businesses arent getting any of either. Plenty of businesses in the United States pay the highest corporate tax rates in the world with no exemptions or subsidies to easy the harm done to them.

Now, while you were reaching for the exemption and subsidy card did you notice that you skipped over part of the problem? There are two problems. One of them is those exemptions and subsidies, and the other is that without them its the highest corporate tax rates in the world. The industries that can capitalize on those exemptions and subsidies can compete in the global market, whereas the industries that are unable to capitalize on them are not only at a disadvantage on a global level but also on the local level because foreign competitors can easily drive them into oblivion.

It is the complete ignorance of whats going on that is part of the problem. We have this debate about taxes and regulation and some fool going off saying that taxes are down. Taxes arent down at all. You would know not to say such ignorant things if you werent so ignorant that you didnt know that America has the highest corporate tax rates in the world. A problem of course is that the statement "taxes are down" can later be justified by reaching for actual truths, but you arent knowledgeable enough to have led off with the truth itself. You just know that somehow there is a grain of truth to the statement.

You cannot rationally debate about the consequences of inaction nor can you debate about the consequences of proposed solutions if you arent leading off with the truth itself. You need to discuss whats actually happening, rather than bullshit hyperbole like "taxes are down", in order to discuss these things rationally.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 1) 180

Looking at the latest tax returns of ExxonMobil, Chevron, Texaco, it looks like they make about 7% return. I wouldn't call that insanely profitable at all...

Let me quote Hillary Clinton on the subject: "windfall profits"

When you say 7% it doesnt sound like much, but when you say "windfall profits" those evil oil companies are instead robber barons.

If you want to see real windfall profits, look at coffee retailers like Starbucks.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 1) 180

We NEED green jobs and a greener economy.

You keep saying it, but the fact that you are saying "green" instead of "efficient" tells us that you think that the word "green" is justification enough.

Its not.

The debate ends here unless the "green" side is willing to offer up more than that word. Its your choice if you wish to end the debate with what is quite obviously not a justification to anyone that isnt feeling you.

Comment: Wrong audience (Score 1) 20

Poetry isn't for left-brained types. It is the province of free-thinkers, of artists, it's not really intended for anyone else. The low number of comments on this article is evidence enough nobody cares.

"Poetry is nobody's business except the poet's," wrote Philip Larkin, "and everybody else can fuck off."

Comment: Re: name and location tweeted... (Score 1) 503

I'm wondering a little differently. I wonder how plugged in that gate representative must of been to find and successfully identify the source of the tweet and call the family off the plane before it left.

I say this because I don't see some SWA social media monitoring department demanding the tweet be removed in that fashion. I figure it was the 'dissed' gate rep herself that did it.

Comment: Re:Proportionate response? (Score 1) 227

by phantomfive (#47528217) Attached to: Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate
All the farmers in California are digging deeper/bigger wells. So they feel ok for the next few years. Of course it drains the aquifer, but no one seems to care about that, for some reason.

I kind of feel like every story is sensationalized so much, whether a celebrity tweet or a war in Iraq, that people have trouble remembering what a true crisis is like. It's just another story, I need to water my lawn and the water still comes out of the hose.

Comment: Scope creep (Score 1) 180

prohibit scientists at the Energy Department from doing precisely what Congress should mandate them to do—namely perform the best possible scientific research to illuminate, for policymakers, the likelihood and possible consequences of climate change.

I'm in favor of more research, but we already have several different departments that are researching that. The DoE is a department that has suffered from scope creep, they are in charge of unrelated things like genomics research. I'm in favor of genomics research, but once again, it's not really something you'd expect to see in the DoE.

You can bring any calculator you like to the midterm, as long as it doesn't dim the lights when you turn it on. -- Hepler, Systems Design 182

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