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Comment Re:Do the right thing - stand against Trump's bigo (Score 1) 952

This is the "Skittles" argument. If you're not familiar with why this is a poor metaphor for immigration or refugee programs... I'm reminded of teaching pigs to sing and horses that don't drink.

Irrational fears and logical fallacies aside, this is the land of the free and home of the brave, as we proudly proclaim. I'm brave enough to accept the risk that I might be living next to a psychopath because I like the neighborhood - this assumes my neighbor is a psychopath, a poor assumption taken purely on its merits. And I want others to have the same freedoms that I have - because altruism isn't just something cute to observe on nature programs.

Wanting freedom for others is patriotism. Only wanting freedom for those fortunate enough to be born in our country is something else entirely.

Comment Re:But .. but but but. Bullshit. (Score 1) 504

Thanks for the reply.

> How long does it take an investment in a solar plant to catch up to an investment in a natural gas plant for a given region with current solar and natural gas costs? If you support the answer to that question, I will have more confidence in your opionion.

I wonder if time to investment parity is the best indicator of each industry's trajectory. Might it be better to look at the lifetime profit of comparable capital investment, after interest, risk, expenses, and maintenance?

I'd be interested in seeing some spreadsheets on this, but it's notoriously hard to come by unbiased data.

In any event though, the supply-and-demand curve for pricing NG is invariably up (as supply is exhausted), and solar is down (as manufacturing improves and pays down capital), so even if we're not at the point where solar investments are less profitable than NG, notwithstanding a complete societal collapse, that point is inevitably marching towards us.

Comment Re:But .. but but but. Bullshit. (Score 1) 504

Reading your conclusion that solar is more subsidized than NG I feel it's partly because of market distortions in the USA. (This bias may, or may not be, related to the pre-existence of gas plants i.e. the absence of capital cost).

Once one looks outside the USA solar appears to be a clear leader in at least certain areas. Take Dubai, where solar beats out both coal and gas plants by a substantial margin:

Another illuminating post is from the Economist:

In any case, some thoughts below.

> What is your definition of "highly subsidized"?

The ordinary definition is something like "a benefit made by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive."

In the case of natural gas, it's a combination of:

1. ultra-low interest rates; and
2. so-called "dumb money" (including, perhaps especially, public pension funds) debt-financing of shale companies.

(I'm aware that one could argue that these are not strictly subsidies, but that doesn't deflate the point that NG is surviving on cheap credit and not competitive advantage).

Once these factors dissipate, natural gas might be substantially more expensive â" and quite a bit more expensive than solar.

Of course one could argue that solar similarly benefits from low interest rates. The key difference is that NG is a resource industry (usage decreases supply, thereby increasing cost), and solar is a manufacturing industry (benefitting from economy of scale, etc, where costs go down as more is manufactured).

Comment Re:But .. but but but. Bullshit. (Score 1) 504

> I learned about Zero Henge [sic] in 2009 when they guaranteed that the US financial system was about to have a "complete economic collapse". Needless to say, this never happened. But the article scared me for a couple years, until I realized that it, and the site as a whole, are full of shit. It's time you realized this too.

This is ad hominien i.e. directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

ZH certainly seems histrionic at times. This has no bearing on the article at instance.

We don't dismiss all mainstream media because they touted the "WMD" line.

There are certainly facts ZH has reported that have turned out to be quite astute, including:

1. offshore oil inventories
2. OPEC failing to stick to a deal
3. pension fund collapses (particularly the Dallas FF pension fund)
4. GDP predictions
5. Interest rate hikes (or lack thereof)

There are also a slew of topics on which it appears to be entirely in outer-space.

One must therefore weight each topic on its individual merits i.e. review carefully and think critically.

On economic collapse, I feel that ZH correctly estimates the present downward pressure, but fail to account for the capacity of existing economic institutions to absorb that pressure.

All to say, dismissing the report because it comes from ZH is a logical fallacy that bears no persuasive weight whatsoever, and in any case ZH has a history of being right on some topics.

One beauty of the natural gas topic is that it is falsifiable - we'll see a collapse / consolidation of the industry, or not (unless it stays on life-support indefinitely, I suppose).

Comment Re:But .. but but but. Bullshit. (Score 4, Informative) 504

> Nat Gas is the cheapest.

Natural gas is highly subsidized, and even still no company has pulled a profit on natural gas since 2008.

Plus the costs, which can be huge, are externalized onto taxpayers and landowners.

Take Pennsylvania, which made $204 million on taxing shale, but road damage from nat. gas was over $3.5 bn. That's just one state.

Plus, many natural gas companies have stopped paying landowners en masse. What happens when their class action lawsuits start to come through?

Natural gas being cheap is a short term aberration.

For reference:

Comment Re:Over/under: Invasion of sovereign nation or tru (Score 2, Insightful) 821

> Two years ago, Russia invaded a sovereign country, Ukraine, and occupied it.

In 2003, the United State of American invaded two sovereign countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, and occupied them.

As a reminder, the response of the world was basically wagging their finger at the USA, saying "bad Americans, bad boys" - no concrete action.

The Bush administration set the precedent for the international ambivalence to invasions by Russia of Georgia and the Ukraine.

So the USA may not be in a position to criticize Russia on the military actions taken on behalf of its energy sector.

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