• Wallows
    6.2k
    Climate change is something I'm not worried about. Solar is becoming dirt cheap and will continue to plunge in price.

    See here:
    Solar-Panel-Price-Drop-Global-Solar-Installations-BNEF.jpg

    But, what makes me not worry about climate change and even embrace it, is the impetus it has created to embrace renewable and more efficient technologies. Even if the US doesn't adhere to the Paris climate accords, other countries will, and that fact will hasten the end of the fossil fuel era, due to the fact that fossils are inherently inferior to electric. The only thing holding us back is the problem of energy storage; but, that's just an engineering problem.

    It's a matter of simple economics with climate change. A cost-benefit analysis is all that is needed to persuade a politician, and solar and the wind is becoming so cheap in many regions, that people are seriously considering the switch.
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97
    Interesting point. However I don't think embracing a potentially catastrophic issue is the best way to argue for why the layman should switch to solar, regardless of its economical merit. I also think it ignores that fact that the main opposition to renewable energy is the highly influential conglomerates that profit from and control the fossil fuel industry. They will not to down without a fight and embracing climate change will only help them hold on to their influence.

    Of course, I'm sure your being hyperbolic, but language is important when discussing these issue since it can be used against you. Embrace is just the wrong word to use.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    Interesting point.SnowyChainsaw

    It's just a matter of economics. People will switch to solar or wind or whatever that becomes sufficiently cheap enough.

    Of course, I'm sure your being hyperbolic, but language is important when discussing these issue since it can be used against you. Embrace is just the wrong word to use.SnowyChainsaw

    How else can you phrase the issue? It's a boon for renewables since now it has taken a president over other matters. In other words, it's a directive that is being implemented by other countries like France, Germany, China, even India.

    Thus, one must embrace climate change to solve it.

    The only loser in all this is the failure to adapt by those very conglomerates you mention. If they can't adapt to the new situation with all their wealth, then they will be left behind in the new race towards renewable energy.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    My only concern in all this is that nuclear, which is astronomically regulated and suffers from the social stigma of radiation and such irrationalities will be left behind. Nuclear is a renewable resource, even though it's not classified as one.
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97

    Your use of the word "embrace" detracts from the severity of the issue and will aid fossil fuel based business in battling the implementation of alternative energy. It suggests that it's fine to allow climate change to get worse and the market will sort it out. "If it's fine to allow climate change to continue, then it not as big a deal as people make it out to be so isn't just easier to keep going as we are." Is what I'm sure they'll claim.
    I agree, the market will decide but let's not tempt fate by giving opponents ammunition to fight back.

    Nuclear is a renewable resource, even though it's not classified as one.Posty McPostface

    Yep, it sure is. Even funnier is that Nuclear fusion is just as, if not more, dangerous but everyone loves it.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    Your use of the word "embrace" detracts from the severity of the issue and will aid fossil fuel based business in battling the implementation of alternative energy.SnowyChainsaw

    I use the word embrace, in a stipulative manner. People will 'embrace' climate change by a cost-benefit analysis of the situation. If the market dictates (as it does base on the graph in the OP) that solar is cheaper than natural gas (as it is in some regions) then the conglomerates have no argument to make, it's the economics of the situation that will dictate or 'embrace' this change.

    Hence, I love climate change because it forces us to act, and that is seen through the working of the economy, which is pushing more and more for a positive externality.

    In other words, we are internalizing the costs of carbon emissions by switching to cheaper alternatives like solar and wind.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    Yep, it sure is. Even funnier is that Nuclear fusion is just as, if not more, dangerous but everyone loves it.SnowyChainsaw

    What do you mean by that? There has been significant progress in utilizing fusion energy, made by Canadians, Germans, and others.
  • All sight
    313
    It's all China and the US. Stop being rich assholes, stop being super powers, producing everything including all of the climate change. It's meaningless, and empty gestures from everyone else. It's also asking a lot of the super powers of the world. They're protecting us, and providing for us, but also, they're poisoning us all slowly. We must take to the woods, and become the tree people. There is no other answer.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    We must take to the woods, and become the tree people. There is no other answer.All sight

    Hmm, that sounds edifying. Though, it sounds like a really bad non sequitur.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    I want to distill my thoughts on this matter.

    Hence, what I mean to say with 'embrace' is that climate change has presented a problem to the market. The answer is being made possible by the 'invisible hand'. We (collectively) are pursuing the matter in a good form as seen by the progress being made. The powers that be are just trying to produce more energy through fossil fuels, which also is a boon for the economy.

    My point is that the market is responding effectively, and all that is left is to embrace the market's solution, through a directive on the part of governing parties.
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97


    Yeah, sorry I'm just being argumentative for arguments sake.

    When fusion is working, it's great. But if it goes wrong, the potential for catastrophe ranges from the creation of black holes to the instantaneous destruction of reality, according to a few hypotheses. Point is we don't really know how bad it could be, only that it will be bad, just like fission.
  • All sight
    313


    What, don't want to become one with the forest? To be of the prestigious tree people? Highly trained in tree related disciplines, and puns?

    Well the only alternative that I can see is shutting up and taking your poison.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    Yeah, sorry I'm just being argumentative for arguments sake.SnowyChainsaw

    That's fine.

    When fusion is working, it's great. But if it goes wrong, the potential for catastrophe ranges from the creation of black holes to the instantaneous destruction of reality, according to a few hypotheses. Point is we don't really know how bad it could be, only that it will be bad, just like fission.SnowyChainsaw

    I have a lot of hope for fission and fusion. Some really really smart people are working on solutions to the collective problem of climate change.

    Check out these guys:

    http://generalfusion.com/
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    What, don't want to become one with the forest? To be of the prestigious tree people? Highly trained in tree related disciplines, and puns?All sight

    Sounds pretty boring. Climate change by the very definition of "change" is exciting. It provides an impetus to strive for something better. Tree people just wallow in mud and hope for rain. What if climate change endangers your habitat, then what?
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97


    Cool, I'll have a look.

    I have a lot of hope for fission and fusion.Posty McPostface

    "Traditional" Nuclear power plants use nuclear fission to generate energy. Fission and fusion are the two primary processes that are responsible for the existence of suns. It stands to reason that if something goes wrong with either bad things happen. We have already witnessed the destruction of fission, but it remains to be seen what happens when we lose control of fusion.

    I personally support research into fusion energy. We just need to be really, really careful.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    I personally support research into fusion energy. We just need to be really, really careful.SnowyChainsaw

    I understand that. But, your fear is not based on rational analysis. The market is the answer.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    The world is currently producing about 18 terawatts of power. Solar had better get busy.

    1 Terawatt Hour: Electrical energy consumption rate equivalent to a trillion watts consumed in one hour.
  • SnowyChainsaw
    97


    What? No. My fear is perfectly rational. Nuclear reaction, of both kinds, are objectively some of the most destructive forces in nature. Messing about with them is dangerous. Sure, no risk no reward and all that but we can't rush this.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    I use the word embrace, in a stipulative manner.Posty McPostface

    Everybody likes a hug, so I don't have a problem with embrace. Maybe we should have sex with climate change. You could say "Acknowledge" instead of embrace, or "take climate change into their consideration".
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    Highly trained in tree related disciplines, and punsAll sight

    Posty wants to be one with the forest, but he is barking up the wrong tree.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    the social stigma of radiationPosty McPostface

    Ask the people who lived in Chernobyl and Pripyat about "social stigma".

    The trouble with fusion is that getting it to work on a controlled basis has proved to be damned difficult -- more difficult than we have so far been able to overcome.
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    Posty wants to be one with the forest, but he is barking up the wrong tree.Bitter Crank

    *meow*
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    Ask the people who lived in Chernobyl and Pripyat about "social stigma".Bitter Crank

    Actually, if you do some research, the prevalence of cancer and other fears about radiation are unfounded by science.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.8k
    Actually, if you do some research, the prevalence of cancer and other fears about radiation are unfounded by science.Posty McPostface

    Yes.

    The rate of genetic defects among the animals that live in the forest around Chernobyl are apparently quite low. There are some genetic defects -- for instance, a bird species there that now tends to have a crossed beak (it doesn't align properly). The wolves, top predators, seem to be doing OK. One thing that was noted is that not very many animals live in the zone underneath the new thick forest litter and above the uncontaminated soil. How rodents living in the contaminated soil zone are faring, don't know. Of course by now some of the contaminants have decayed considerably.) A number of species are apparently living shorter lives.

    Bear in mind, that humans were evacuated fairly quickly. Not quickly enough, probably, but their exposure was limited by the evacuations. Also, thyroid cancer can be prevented by administering potassium iodide after exposure. The non-radioactive PI saturates the thyroid, preventing the uptake of radioactive iodine.

    Seems to me the death rate among workers trying to contain the mess (in the hours and days after the explosion) didn't fare too well.

    The other thing to remember is that the Soviets had reason to downplay the disaster's health effects and post-collapse Russia was a largely disorganized mess. How well cases have been followed, I don't know.
  • andrewk
    1.6k
    My point is that the market is responding effectively — Posty
    I don't think it's doing that unbidden. It's doing that because governments in Europe have made laws that try to internalise the externalities of fossil fuel power generation. It is that government action that has lead new coal-fired plants anywhere except in developing countries to be unfundable, because of the investment uncertainty that brings.

    If it were not for government action in Europe, and the prospect that other developed countries like Canada, US and Australia may some day come to their senses and also internalise the externalities, new coal-fired plants would still be being built, and it would still be seen as the 'cheapest' solution (since we don't price the externalities).

    I don't share your optimism by the way, but it is conceivable that you will be right, and I earnestly hope you are.

    Be careful with saying you're not worried about climate change though. If things unfold as you suggest, affluent people in developed countries will generally be fine. But even with the warming currently regarded as inevitable - about 2 degrees C - people in Bangladesh and Pacific islands will still lose their homes to rising sea levels, enormous numbers of people in Africa will still die of drought-induced famine, and many will die from the advance of tropical diseases into sub-tropical areas. So we rich whiteys will be fine, even though we caused the problem, but poor people in developed countries will still pay the price for our greed.
  • Wallows
    6.2k


    Well, yes. The whole premise of this thread is that some form of guided influence is required to instantiate a solution for the problem. It's an interesting perspective that a top-down governance is required to fulfill the solution to the problem. So, I'm quite befuddled that Trump is doubling down on coal. But, that's to be expected from a country that now exports gas, oil, and other fossil fuel intermediates. It's quite amazing economically that the US has turned to a net positive exporter of gas and oil. But, it's quite obvious that the fossil fuel industry is a conglomerate of an oligopoly. I don't think they will cooperate much longer given the dramatic shift in public perception about the state of affairs of climate change.

    I have hope that people will realize that sinking the Netherlands over our greed is an idiocy.
  • Wallows
    6.2k


    As for internalizing the externalities, that's a tough question. How do you calculate (quantify) the externality of something that is prone to factors like the butterfly effect or chaos theory?
  • Wallows
    6.2k
    In essence, the market has already provided the answer. The only thing lacking is implementing the solution to the problem.

    I hope that doesn't sound too neo-liberal.
  • andrewk
    1.6k
    Most of the effects are not chaotic. Some are. The creation of an individual hurricane is a chaotic effect but the increase in the expected number of hurricanes per year given one degree of warming is not.
    Just internalising the non-chaotic effects should be enough to create a financial incentive towards renewables that is strong enough to ensure things don't get too bad. But I fear it may have been left too late.
  • Wallows
    6.2k


    I think you're neglecting individual efforts and private enterprise venture capitalists. I've witnessed something amazing. About 20 some private initiatives to create nuclear fusion, LENR, and fission projects. Bill Gates is betting on fusion.

    https://lppfusion.com
    http://brillouinenergy.com/
    http://generalfusion.com/
    https://deneum.com
    https://brilliantlightpower.com/ (questionable)
    and so many others...
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