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> In Trump-World they're not all insane, General Mattis declarese GW a security threat
Dingo
post May 6 2017, 01:30 PM
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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/am...l-a7630676.html

QUOTE
The US Defence Secretary, General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, has warned that climate change is already destabilising parts of the world.

In written responses to questions put during his confirmation hearings, which were not published but were obtained by the ProPublica news website, the former Marine Corps officer indicated he had very different views to other leading members of the Trump administration.

While the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency recently denied that carbon dioxide is causing global warming, an idea scientists have compared to disputing gravity, General Mattis made clear climate change was a serious problem.


Questions for discusion:

On the question of AGW who do you think will prevail in this administration?

If you have any insights into Trumps environmental views please share them.

Do you think he gets that environmentally safe energy sources like solar provide lots of jobs?

This post has been edited by Dingo: May 6 2017, 01:37 PM
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akaCG
post May 6 2017, 09:07 PM
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On the question of AGW who do you think will prevail in this administration?

It appears that the author of the cited piece and you are under the impression that Mattis' statements indicate that he subscribes to the AGW theory. That's nothing more than wishful thinking on your part. Nothing in his testimony has anything to do with the degree of human impact on global temperatures, the role of CO2, where temperatures will be in the year 2020 (let alone 2100), etc.. He is simply stating that, whatever happens to the climate, it's his job to make sure that our military is prepared for the security/defense effects thereof, whatever they are.

Do you think he gets that environmentally safe energy sources like solar provide lots of jobs?

By all accounts, he's an extremely well read, superbly intelligent man. So, I'm sure he understands the implications of the fact that it takes 79 solar industry workers to produce the same amount of electricity that one worker in the coal industry does. Heck, even someone possessing only a tiny fraction of Mattis' critical thinking skills should be able to grasp the implication of that. I can only imagine the colorful riposte one would get from Mattis in response to the following:"Sec. Mattis, if presented with 2 methods of achieving an objective - one that requires sending in 79 men/women, and one that requires only one - would you ever choose the former?"

ps:
For anyone interested, here's Mattis' full testimony on the matter:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/351...MASTERCOPY.html

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Mrs. Pigpen
post May 7 2017, 12:21 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ May 6 2017, 04:07 PM) *
He is simply stating that, whatever happens to the climate, it's his job to make sure that our military is prepared for the security/defense effects thereof, whatever they are.


I agree. And this has been the DOD's position for a long while now.


QUOTE
Do you think he gets that environmentally safe energy sources like solar provide lots of jobs?

*snip*
Heck, even someone possessing only a tiny fraction of Mattis' critical thinking skills should be able to grasp the implication of that. I can only imagine the colorful riposte one would get from Mattis in response to the following:"Sec. Mattis, if presented with 2 methods of achieving an objective - one that requires sending in 79 men/women, and one that requires only one - would you ever choose the former?"


Hm. Not sure I agree here.
Cost/benefit analysis isn't that simple.
Yes, electrical power is an objective...but longterm cost to gains advantages are also part of the equation.
If not, the railroad was a waste and so were roads for that matter. Lots of time and energy investment in that before it paid off.
We could still be indiscriminately carpet bombing to "achieve the objective" of taking out one bad guy.
But we spend a whole lot of money and invest a lot of people, time, research and resources into precision weapons so we don't have to take out half a city when we target the bad guy.
And if we invest the money into alternate energy sources we might not have to worry so much about being a position where we have to bargain with some of the worst leaders on the planet because they have resources we need. Yet another cost to that ostensibly "cheaper" way to reach "the objective".

Solar power is cleaner and preferable to nonrenewable resources in the longterm. It is worth the investment, because we will find out a way to make it more efficient and it might even become more cost effective than going out to the mines and drilling coal in the long run. Certainly it is cleaner. Of course, it will be less feasible in places like Alaska than Arizona.
I live on a military base and they recently put solar panels in. The power goes into the grid and cuts down the cost of electricity, longterm.
DARPA has been come up with solar cells that are up to 50 percent efficiency.
They have many projects in the works.
Like everything else high tech, it will cost a lot at first and then over time it will get cheaper and improve in efficiency. A sort of Moore's law applies (Icarus' law?). smile.gif

Just looking this stuff up I found out we now have an agency called ARPA-E. Apparently it made its debut about ten years ago but I've never heard of it. This is really good news. Strangely, it was about that time I advocated here for exactly that type of program.
I'm elated to see they've done it.


This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: May 7 2017, 12:56 PM
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akaCG
post May 7 2017, 04:29 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ May 7 2017, 08:21 AM) *
...
QUOTE
Do you think he gets that environmentally safe energy sources like solar provide lots of jobs?

*snip*
Heck, even someone possessing only a tiny fraction of Mattis' critical thinking skills should be able to grasp the implication of that. I can only imagine the colorful riposte one would get from Mattis in response to the following:"Sec. Mattis, if presented with 2 methods of achieving an objective - one that requires sending in 79 men/women, and one that requires only one - would you ever choose the former?"


Hm. Not sure I agree here.
Cost/benefit analysis isn't that simple.
Yes, electrical power is an objective...but longterm cost to gains advantages are also part of the equation.
If not, the railroad was a waste and so were roads for that matter. Lots of time and energy investment in that before it paid off.
...

Roads and railroads were not built based on the hope that some technological advance(s) some day in the future would make them worth building. Horse before cart.

Solar and wind solutions, on the other hand, depend on precisely that type of hoping. Cart before horse.

The former endeavor was justifiable based on straightforward economics. The latter isn't. Instead, it is driven by politics, having to be boosted by arguments such as "Look at how many people are employed in the solar industry! Jobs, jobs, jobs!"

Brings to mind a story (almost surely apocryphal) about Milton Friedman. He was being shown around some country, and given a tour of their latest project, a canal. He noted that all the work was being done by lots and lots of workers with shovels. He asked his guide why they weren't using any heavy equipment, so that the project could be completed more efficiently/faster. Answer:"Oh, but this is a jobs project." To which Friedman replied:"Oh, I see. Well, if that's the objective, why don't you hire ten times as many workers, and given them spoons instead of shovels?".

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Mrs. Pigpen
post May 7 2017, 04:44 PM
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QUOTE(akaCG @ May 7 2017, 11:29 AM) *
Roads and railroads were not built based on the hope that some technological advance(s) some day in the future would make them worth building. Horse before cart.

Solar and wind solutions, on the other hand, depend on precisely that type of hoping. Cart before horse.

The former endeavor was justifiable based on straightforward economics. The latter isn't. Instead, it is driven by politics, having to be boosted by arguments such as "Look at how many people are employed in the solar industry! Jobs, jobs, jobs!"


Jobs, jobs, jobs are only a tangential "benefit" and have little to do with the overall point.

Did "straightforward economics" have any relationship with the space program? What about the internet? GPS? Precision weapons, ad nauseum ect.
Were those good investments, ultimately, for the economy?
We have a need, and we have a dependency on a limited non-renewable resource. We're going to have to figure this out sooner or later.
It's certainly more economically sound and "economically straightforward" to try and solve our energy problems with tech than go to the moon.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: May 7 2017, 04:45 PM
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akaCG
post May 7 2017, 06:35 PM
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QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ May 7 2017, 12:44 PM) *
QUOTE(akaCG @ May 7 2017, 11:29 AM) *
Roads and railroads were not built based on the hope that some technological advance(s) some day in the future would make them worth building. Horse before cart.

Solar and wind solutions, on the other hand, depend on precisely that type of hoping. Cart before horse.

The former endeavor was justifiable based on straightforward economics. The latter isn't. Instead, it is driven by politics, having to be boosted by arguments such as "Look at how many people are employed in the solar industry! Jobs, jobs, jobs!"


Jobs, jobs, jobs are only a tangential "benefit" and have little to do with the overall point.

Did "straightforward economics" have any relationship with the space program? What about the internet? GPS? Precision weapons, ad nauseum ect.
Were those good investments, ultimately, for the economy?


None of the industries/businesses that are based on the afore-mentioned scientific endeavors came into existence, let alone grew, until they made straighforward economic (as opposed to military/political) sense. That is, until they were ready for the “prime time” of, as a macro-economist would put it, providing various more efficient ways to allocate the economy’s resources (capital, labor, etc.).

Solar and wind haven’t reached that “prime time”, and there’s no telling when (note I didn’t say “if”) they will. At this point, and until their most fundamental problem (storage) is resolved, pushing for more solar and wind adoption not only makes no economic sense, but it is economically destructive. The experiences of Spain and Germany, and more recently the state of South Australia, are cautionary tales. “Clean renewable energy” intentions have paved the road to hell for millions of their citizens:

http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/anal...newable-energy/

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/...it-to-the-poor/

http://joannenova.com.au/2017/03/aemo-repo...ronous-inertia/


QUOTE(Mrs. Pigpen @ May 7 2017, 12:44 PM) *
...
We have a need, and we have a dependency on a limited non-renewable resource. We're going to have to figure this out sooner or later.

A wonderful solution, one that is even more efficient at generating electricity than coal and natural gas, let alone solar and wind, already exists: nuclear power.

Example:
QUOTE
...
October 19, 2016
SPRING CITY, Tenn. ― The nation’s first new nuclear generation in 20 years has officially entered commercial operation after the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar Unit 2 successfully completed an extensive series of power ascension tests and reliably operated at full power for more than three weeks.
...
Watts Bar Unit 2 has already provided consumers across the Valley with more than 500 million kilowatt/hours of carbon-free energy during testing. It now joins six other operating TVA nuclear units to supply more than one third of the region’s generating capacity, and meeting the electric needs of more than 4.5 million homes.
...

Link: https://www.tva.gov/Newsroom/Press-Releases...rcial-Operation

Also:
QUOTE
...
The 1,150 MWe Watts Bar 2 reactor provides clean electricity for 650,000 homes & businesses.

Watts Bar 2 alone will produce as much electricity as 1/3rd of America’s wind turbines.

A wind farm generating as much power as Watts Bar 2 would require 600-800 square miles of land. Solar would require an area as large as Chattanooga.
...

Link: https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/246803/

This post has been edited by akaCG: May 7 2017, 06:37 PM
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AuthorMusician
post May 8 2017, 01:10 PM
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On the question of AGW who do you think will prevail in this administration?

Looks to me that Republican disdain for regulation is winning. While it's nice that the US military has known for some time that a failing environment isn't all that great for its missions, the bottom line will win out always while Republicans are in control, and it's not the bottom line of soldier/citizens or anyone else but the top echelons.

If you have any insights into Trumps environmental views please share them.

Trump's mind is a mess. He has no views that make any sense, unless one keeps firmly in mind the answer to the first question above.

Do you think he gets that environmentally safe energy sources like solar provide lots of jobs?

I recently heard that these jobs don't pay as much as coal miners', but the figure quoted was 80k/yr for the miners. Sounds awfully high to me. If so, promising coal jobs means Trump can count on the votes/support because these workers lack the skills/mentality (attitude/education, not capacity) to make that kind of money anywhere but in the coal mines. If he were to offer future jobs in alternative energy, the votes/support wouldn't be as reliable.

He might understand that, but it's very hard to tell. I lean toward him getting it, as it's a very old and effective way to manipulate people -- appeal to emotion, and in this case, fear for the future.

I suppose environmental concerns are also about fear for the future, but maybe not so blatant a manipulation when top military people are afraid too. Another similarity is that the coal miners will lose their fat wages (if true) anyway, since mining is one of those jobs that are relatively easy to automate and disappear when the desired material gives out or gets replaced by, ah-hum, plastics.

Or other materials, such as sunlight.

On the bright side, Trump may not hold power for much longer. He'll either get booted out or lose Congress in 2018. I'm basing this on the behavior of the Republican Congress, his innate lack of political skills beyond selling real estate, and the lack of effect Russia had on the French election.

Tides, they are a-turning. Trump is an anomaly, not a trend. I'm not sure what the Republican Congress is, maybe an anachronism? Maybe a shot in the dark? Slo-mo freeway pileup in the fog? Reminds me a little of the Colorado state legislature just before it went to the Demos -- lots of right-wing crazies running around being whacked out. The behavior has high adhesion in the electorate's mind.
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net2007
post May 9 2017, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ May 6 2017, 09:30 AM) *
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/am...l-a7630676.html

QUOTE
The US Defence Secretary, General James Mad Dog Mattis, has warned that climate change is already destabilising parts of the world.

In written responses to questions put during his confirmation hearings, which were not published but were obtained by the ProPublica news website, the former Marine Corps officer indicated he had very different views to other leading members of the Trump administration.

While the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency recently denied that carbon dioxide is causing global warming, an idea scientists have compared to disputing gravity, General Mattis made clear climate change was a serious problem.


Questions for discusion:

On the question of AGW who do you think will prevail in this administration?

If you have any insights into Trumps environmental views please share them.

Do you think he gets that environmentally safe energy sources like solar provide lots of jobs?


In large part, I'm discouraged by the conservative approach on issues of climate change and renewable energy. Trump probably understands that renewable energy can provide jobs but he wants to stick with supporting his base and what he views as a sure thing (fossil fuels). Additionally, it's possible he's been educated about certain things by conservative advisors. Things like how fossil fuels outperform solar energy as far as energy density goes. It's a concentrated form of energy that makes things like automobiles more practical (for now). He's also probably aware that renewable energy isn't established enough provide our nation with enough energy. Those are common considerations on the minds of conservatives.

In my mind, that's not a reason to reject renewable energy, it's a reason to support the researchers who are working to make those technologies more viable. From the perspective of a moderate, I don't like regulations but I'd take the position of directly funding researchers and aid the development renewable energy wherever possible.

So you have a few discouraging facts about renewable energy that conservatives are aware of but that comes in combination with the fact that renewable energy and climate change are issues that have been politicized and that's the worst thing that could have happened. Trump and other prominent Republicans would have to ignore their base and side with those who have insulted and resisted them on everything. Not everyone is going to agree that humans are having an impact on the environment and when environmentalists suggest they're stupid because of it, that doesn't do anything to convince them, if anything it pushes them in the other direction. What I think can be done is to share information with them and we can fight hard for these new technologies but in a civil and respectful way.

As for me, I don't have any doubt that renewable energy sources can provide jobs. I also believe that we're having an impact on the environment although I think the planet is more resilient than some let on. The time lines that some of the more extreme environmentalists are giving are a little rushed and this can be demonstrated by prior predictions which fell short. That's a good thing but unfortunately, it also means that many people won't take this seriously if climate change isn't affecting them personally and that takes incentive away from supporting renewable energy.

Stick with it though Dingo, you share some useful information here, just remember and spread the word that conservatives generally aren't crazy or stupid, (with some exceptions).
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Blackstone
post May 14 2017, 04:22 PM
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Do you think he gets that environmentally safe energy sources like solar provide lots of jobs?

Does anyone "get" something that's so far from certain? This is from the Executive Summary (PDF) of a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency, an intergovernmental agency designed to promote renewable energy:

QUOTE(IRENA)
Caution is needed in relying on existing data. The data on renewable energy jobs is generally weak and many studies rely on the same sources. The sample of countries is also low and may not necessarily be comparable for all economies. Moreover, many estimates are derived from countries with large-scale deployment and successful manufacturing industries. More information is needed on the net job impact of increased renewable energy deployment, but this can be expensive and highly sensitive to modelling assumptions.

Doesn't quite sound to me like "settled science" of "lots of jobs".
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