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Comment Summary implies all scientists are bad (Score 4, Informative) 609

> They often get it wrong, thanks to their inherently irrational brains that -- through overconfidence, bubbles of like-minded thinkers, or just wanting to believe their vision of the world can be true -- mislead us and misinterpret information

Yes, but
1) Most are willing to admit they are wrong when an experiment result contradicts their theories.
2) Most are looking for the right answer, not the most profitable one.

I'd take that over our current Golden Rule model every time. Just look at leaded gasoline, waste disposal, or climate change to see examples of the golden rule hurting the average person. We have gotten rid of leaded gasoline, but it took one scientist nine years to convince the government that big business was lying. We're still fighting big business for good, long-term waste disposal and to minimize climate change

The only challenge I see is that, if we ever did switch to the Science Rule model, greedy idiots will claim to be scientists and put the true scientists in the minority, which would bring us back to the Golden Rule model anyway.

(I say Most in the bullets above because I'm pretty sure folks in it for the money these days wouldn't be scientists. But I also know there are a few bad scientists, so I sure as heck won't say 100%. I have no idea of how to test a scientist to see if they are good or not, other than to have well educated folks review a scientist's previous work.)

Comment Re:If you know Elon Musk, please pass this along (Score 1) 530

> He also wants the fossil fuel industry to pay for the damage it has done to the environment.

Wrong words on my part. I should've said he wants the cost of fossil fuel products to reflect the cost they do to the environment. My previous statement makes it sound like Musk wants to get the fossil industry to pay for all past damage. While that would be nice, I think there's a larger chance of a Falcon 9 flying out of my butt.

Comment Re:If you know Elon Musk, please pass this along (Score 1) 530

I'm serious. I want to like Elon Musk, but seriously his entire business model is based on getting the government (at all levels) to help him. His cars are subsidized heavily by the government, meaning that poor people in California are helping to pay for rich people buying expensive cars. That's not right. Now he wants more governmental help to hurt his competition. He needs to simply do the right thing, and that means competing fair and square.

And don't bother telling me about the massive "subsidies" available to the fossil fuel industry. Those subsidies are tax breaks for industry in the US that are available to Tesla, also, and I guarantee that they take advantage of it all.

I don't even want to go into the fact that his cars are, for the most part, coal powered.

So, you don't care that each of us already pays to subsidize the fossil fuel industry? The waste from that industry costs us $300-$800 billion in increased health care costs per year. Poor people are being forced to pay for everyone's unneeded health care expense, and the folks who develop issues from the fossil fuel waste get the added burden of living with those ailments.

Musk is simply saying he wants to get rid of all subsidies: direct tax benefits for both Fossils and Clean energy. He also wants the fossil fuel industry to pay for the damage it has done to the environment. Yes, that increases the cost of gas and electricity for all.

Imagine if those increased health care costs were rolled into the cost of electricity via a carbon tax. A coal plant would increase the cost of the electricity they generate to cover the carbon tax. The money they receive goes to health care. Our health care costs go down, to be replaced by the increased cost of electricity.

Now that we can see the true cost of the electricity, you and I can make an informed decision about which fuel type is better. If you suddenly see your electric bill double because you get your electricity from a coal plant, wouldn't you be banging down the door of your local/state government to push for a solar or wind farm? After all, they only lost the direct tax credit subsidy, and may have raised their rate only 20%

This scenario should also be repeated for the costs of increased property damage from climate change.

Do you still think he's talking BS?


Further, it's the middle class folks who pay these taxes anyway. Over 40% of the US doesn't pay federal taxes because they don't make enough money. It's more along the lines of going from "everyone pays 28% on whatever they earned over $40K" to "everyone pays 29% on whatever they earned over $40K, but folks doing things to help the environment and reduce health care costs get to pay 26%." The rich folks still have their tax havens, so they pay 0%.

Comment Re:Not thought through. (Score 1) 530

Should've included this in the above: folks buying an EV for environmental reasons shouldn't buy one if their power is generated by a coal plant, for exactly the reason you mentioned. The money would be better spent on solar panels. If that's not an option, find some other way to reduce our negative impact on the environment.

Comment Re:Not thought through. (Score 3) 530

No, he's trying to make incentives to have people replace coal or natural gas power plants with solar, wind, and maybe even nuclear. People say switching to renewable is too expensive. One of the reasons for that is the fossil fuel industry's freedom to pollute. IF the cost of that pollution were included in the sale price of the electricity or gasoline, people would have more accurate data when making the decision of renewable vs. fossil fuel. As an example, if we switched entirely to renewables, we'd save $300-800 billion a year on reduced health costs:

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_en...

And that doesn't include property damage from harsher storms or rising sea levels.

Comment Re:Nuclear should be killed (Score 1) 351

Still better then fossil fuels, which have done a great job of poisoning the environment.

"Although natural gas burning emits less fatal pollution and GHGs than coal burning, it is far deadlier than nuclear power, causing about 40 times more deaths per unit electric energy produced."
http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2...
Or just search for "deaths from nuclear or fossil fuel waste".

Heck, it's bad enough that people are getting heavy metal poisoning just from eating too much fish.
http://www.consumerreports.org...
"eat fish heavy metal poisoning"

Comment Re:Risk (Score 1) 446

Or we could spend "$trillions" on renewable (your wild-assed guess) and save $600 Billion per year on health care costs alone (an actual estimate from experts). Spend $3 Trillion once to save $600 Billion a year for say 20 years? You should be able to do that math.

I'll also back my numbers up with a citation:

"The aggregate national economic impact associated with these health impacts of fossil fuels is between $361.7 and $886.5 billion, or between 2.5 percent and 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)."

http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_en...

Comment Re:Commit to puchasing 100% green energy when buyi (Score 1) 188

To be responsible for your actions and for the condition in which you leave the world. To me, letting CO2 (and other pollutants) out unnecessarily is similar to raking your leaves onto your neighbor's yard. It's solving your problem by making it someone else's, someone who might not actually be able to overcome the problem, such as residents of a disappearing small island or sealife being poisoned.

I'm looking at switching to a heat pump. An air source heat pump might be $13K. A ground source heat pump is $40K before subsidies/grants. The ASHP uses more electricity, but saves almost the same amount of CO2 as the GSHP. (Yes, both would be powered from green electricity.) Since society could buy 3 ASHPs for the cost of 1 GSHP, the ASHP is more effective with respect to pollution savings.

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