You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 03, 2016, 09:54:13 PM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: I giggled...  (Read 2557 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: I giggled...
« Reply #50 on: December 06, 2013, 04:40:02 AM »
Yeah, right.

Wind, solar, nuclear, algaculture - all have in common the fact that they can give people a degree of independence from the cartels we're currently forced to deal with.

I'm not entirely sure what your viewpoint is, here. Some "We can't change anything so don't bother trying." degree of cynicism?

Since you mentioned solar energy, there are two avenues one can utilize - solar panels and the solar energy industry.

Solar panels are far from affordable.  You are assuming that most middle class people own their own houses, which is a declining trend, and even many of them are struggling to make their mortgage payments.  Add on the fact that the solar installation process costs $18,000 to $40,000 to purchase, and it is not even a possibility for most (unless one wants to take out yet another loan, which doesn't seem like a great idea).
http://www.sunrun.com/solar-lease/cost-of-solar/

However, there is a growing development of a solar power industry.  Basically, a company installs solar panels at your residency, and you sign a 10-20 year contract, and pay a company for your energy on a monthly basis.  While this is certainly a far more affordable model compared to self-installation, this "solar energy industry" is no different from the oil or coal industry, and does not resolve the lack of independence you mention regarding such energy cartels.  However, this definitely creates a more environmentally-friendly energy model, which is great.
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/97-of-americans-overestimate-cost-of-installing-solar/

My viewpoint is that it all comes down to money.  There are many people in this thread who are very passionate about the health of the environment, and doing things like recycling, lowering their thermostat when they are not home, etc.  But many of them would still rather maintain some of their savings rather than invest in solar panels purely for the sake of the environment.  And that's very understandable, and I am presuming you would agree that at some point, finances are an issue.  Given that understanding, it is no different for politicians or energy cartels - only the scale of money, and perhaps their level of greed.  These middle class individuals are talking about saving 100s/1000s of dollars, while big energy is talking about saving millions.

So I'm just being realistic.  If you are committed to an environmentally friendly future for Earth, the only way to win is to dramatically increase renewable energy lobby funding.  Only other option is to make lobbying illegal as a whole, which is definitely not going to happen anytime soon.  If we're taking the increasing renewable energy lobby funding route, the end result will be a cleaner and healthier Earth, but the creation of powerful alternative energy cartels (similar to current oil cartels).

It isn't cynicism, this is why there's no solution in sight for this issue.

Offline Vekseid

Re: I giggled...
« Reply #51 on: December 06, 2013, 06:47:48 AM »
I wouldn't have minded as much if the money was actually going to be used for environmental protection projects, or funding research to help find ways of reducing our dependence on heavily polluting machinery/cars/processes/whatever, but the government openly admitted that wasn't the case. They needed cash and they wanted to impress the other countries in the Kyoto protocol without actually putting any real effort in. That annoyed me.

Well the whole point of it was not to actually change greenhouse emissions directly but rather make carbon emissions more expensive for developed countries. As far as addressing the problem goes, that's a nonstarter.

Since you mentioned solar energy, there are two avenues one can utilize - solar panels and the solar energy industry.

Solar panels are far from affordable.  You are assuming that most middle class people own their own houses, which is a declining trend, and even many of them are struggling to make their mortgage payments.  Add on the fact that the solar installation process costs $18,000 to $40,000 to purchase, and it is not even a possibility for most (unless one wants to take out yet another loan, which doesn't seem like a great idea).
http://www.sunrun.com/solar-lease/cost-of-solar/

Twenty years ago it was quite a novelty. It's becoming less so each year.

Quote
However, there is a growing development of a solar power industry.  Basically, a company installs solar panels at your residency, and you sign a 10-20 year contract, and pay a company for your energy on a monthly basis.  While this is certainly a far more affordable model compared to self-installation, this "solar energy industry" is no different from the oil or coal industry, and does not resolve the lack of independence you mention regarding such energy cartels.  However, this definitely creates a more environmentally-friendly energy model, which is great.
http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/97-of-americans-overestimate-cost-of-installing-solar/

No, this was the original way. At least, when I was growing up and my father looked into installing solar, the rent plan was the only option - and it was debatable if the solar cells were even going to last the lease. The fact that outright buying your much higher-quality panels is becoming more feasible each year is what's new.

Quote
My viewpoint is that it all comes down to money.  There are many people in this thread who are very passionate about the health of the environment, and doing things like recycling, lowering their thermostat when they are not home, etc.  But many of them would still rather maintain some of their savings rather than invest in solar panels purely for the sake of the environment.  And that's very understandable, and I am presuming you would agree that at some point, finances are an issue.  Given that understanding, it is no different for politicians or energy cartels - only the scale of money, and perhaps their level of greed.  These middle class individuals are talking about saving 100s/1000s of dollars, while big energy is talking about saving millions.

So I'm just being realistic.  If you are committed to an environmentally friendly future for Earth, the only way to win is to dramatically increase renewable energy lobby funding.  Only other option is to make lobbying illegal as a whole, which is definitely not going to happen anytime soon.  If we're taking the increasing renewable energy lobby funding route, the end result will be a cleaner and healthier Earth, but the creation of powerful alternative energy cartels (similar to current oil cartels).

It isn't cynicism, this is why there's no solution in sight for this issue.

Yes, it's cynicism. Patents only last twenty years. Oil wells don't move very fast. Industry is wherever you allow it to be.

Online Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: I giggled...
« Reply #52 on: December 06, 2013, 06:54:04 AM »
Someone mentioned affordable solar panels?  Have a look at these.  There's a similar design for water heaters.

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: I giggled...
« Reply #53 on: December 06, 2013, 08:18:46 AM »
Someone mentioned affordable solar panels?  Have a look at these.  There's a similar design for water heaters.

These are great ideas, but it's an enormous risk.  You'll need to register it, and obtain any necessary local/state permits, and then get it regularly inspected.  If you have something extensive like this in your home, and it isn't properly approved (which will be difficult as a DIY project lacking professional safety standards), it's a great way for your homeowner's insurance to be totally voided in the event of an unrelated damage to something else in your home.   Most likely nothing like that will happen with invasive DIY projects, but is that a risk you're willing to take?  The costs add up real quick.

No, this was the original way. At least, when I was growing up and my father looked into installing solar, the rent plan was the only option - and it was debatable if the solar cells were even going to last the lease. The fact that outright buying your much higher-quality panels is becoming more feasible each year is what's new.

Yes, it's cynicism. Patents only last twenty years. Oil wells don't move very fast. Industry is wherever you allow it to be.

I agree with you that solar/wind technology is more than likely the direction things will be moving in over time.  But it is this concept of renewable energy being a beacon of self-sufficiency and anti-industry which I consider a utopian dream, and one not based on any precedent. 

Emerging industries usually start out organic and pure, as you describe.  Usually things are free, unregulated, and open until investors begin to take note of the growing industry.  Big money begins to pour into the industry, and business conglomerates begin to form, as they start to buy out start-ups.  Then comes regulation, new job specialities being created for oversight of the industry by these conglomerates, etc.

Just look at the internet itself.  It started out pure and organic, but as investors took notice, tighter regulation by private enterprise (and government) began to increase.  Marketers see our shopping habits and other personal data as valuable marketing tools, our real life identities are increasingly attempting to be merged with our online identities, government sees it fit to openly consider data streaming taxes, internet companies themselves are colluding with one another in a manner not unlike the oil industry. 

Perhaps solar and wind are self-sufficient methods now, or at least in the slight near future, but certainly not over the long-term.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 08:20:00 AM by ValthazarElite »

Offline Rogue

  • The Bratling ~ her Mx ~ they/them unless other pronouns/gender are specified please~
  • Champion
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Nov 2012
  • Location: delens solem lunam facti sunt ei
  • ~Edenmon Master~ ~GenderFluid~
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: I giggled...
« Reply #54 on: December 06, 2013, 03:18:35 PM »
*Pipes in* If you consider the amount of money that big oil companies make a day, $375 million, is it hard to imagine what they could do with it if they actually decided to care about anything other than the bottom line.

With that much profit, they could afford to spend money getting into "clean" gas and more energy efficient vehicles, as well as a bunch of other things that would make everyone's lives easier. However, they don't. So instead, they try to find more sources of gas and focus on building more drills.

Unfortunately, all 5 of these oil companies work together and have decided the most important thing is the bottom line and lining their pockets with gold so to speak. I personally find that this oligarchy is as bad as a monopoly. If they did anything with their profit to benefit the world, it would be one thing, but they don't because it would end up making them less money.

They could help make it more affordable for people to get solar panels or make their own wind farms (I mean a kid in Africa managed to do it).

But the main problem is that the government won't do anything to fix it because they make money from these financial giants (one way or another) and I'm pretty sure between these five companies they could afford the military and pay it better... there's a problem here and I don't think it's the government.

((While I know I said I'm more for the cyclic theory, I also know that the amount of poison we're releasing into the air is bad and wish to correct this, regardless of the effects on global warming. It has a visable negative impact now.))

Offline Vekseid

Re: I giggled...
« Reply #55 on: December 06, 2013, 04:37:19 PM »
I agree with you that solar/wind technology is more than likely the direction things will be moving in over time.  But it is this concept of renewable energy being a beacon of self-sufficiency and anti-industry which I consider a utopian dream, and one not based on any precedent. 

Emerging industries usually start out organic and pure, as you describe.  Usually things are free, unregulated, and open until investors begin to take note of the growing industry.  Big money begins to pour into the industry, and business conglomerates begin to form, as they start to buy out start-ups.  Then comes regulation, new job specialities being created for oversight of the industry by these conglomerates, etc.

Just look at the internet itself.  It started out pure and organic, but as investors took notice, tighter regulation by private enterprise (and government) began to increase.  Marketers see our shopping habits and other personal data as valuable marketing tools, our real life identities are increasingly attempting to be merged with our online identities, government sees it fit to openly consider data streaming taxes, internet companies themselves are colluding with one another in a manner not unlike the oil industry. 

Perhaps solar and wind are self-sufficient methods now, or at least in the slight near future, but certainly not over the long-term.

I find it interesting that you're arguing with me, of everyone on this forum, regarding regulatory attempts on emerging industries. As if 1) all regulation is bad, 2) all bad regulation is unopposable, and 3) all bad regulation in place is enforceable.

I would have taken your statement a lot more seriously just after the DMCA was passed. That was fifteen years ago - when the technocratic voice was generally associated with 'nerds' and we didn't have a whole lot of power. I'm sure there are a lot of fights ahead, but it is not a given that 'big industry' is going to win.

Offline Valthazar

  • Writer ͏͏● Educator ● Gamer ● Roleplayer ● Debater ● Tech Connoisseur ● Gym Rat ● Procrastinator ● As they say, "A simple PM may lead to lifelong friendship" ▬▬▬▬
  • Suspended
  • Seducer
  • *
  • Join Date: Mar 2013
  • Location: United States
  • Gender: Male
  • Proceed and be bold. Embrace your insecurities.
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: I giggled...
« Reply #56 on: December 06, 2013, 05:18:49 PM »
I fin interesting that you're arguing with me, of everyone on this forum, regarding regulatory attempts on emerging industries. As if 1) all regulation is bad, 2) all bad regulation is unopposable, and 3) all bad regulation in place is enforceable.

I would have taken your statement a lot more seriously just after the DMCA was passed. That was fifteen years ago - when the technocratic voice was generally associated with 'nerds' and we didn't have a whole lot of power. I'm sure there are a lot of fights ahead, but it is not a given that 'big industry' is going to win.

Never said all regulation was bad - online cyberbullying laws and even DMCA being great examples of good regulation.  However, regulation creates greater avenues for litigation.  For better or for worse, this means getting started in the industry requires attorney consultation, contract writing, etc.  It basically keeps the common man out - as I described earlier with what is already happening with DIY solar panels. 

You're right, a lot of people are risk takers and brazenly do what they want without contracts or attorneys.  But all it takes is one tiny issue for the system to crack down and ruin their life financially.

Offline ladia2287

Re: I giggled...
« Reply #57 on: December 06, 2013, 08:48:23 PM »
Never said all regulation was bad - online cyberbullying laws and even DMCA being great examples of good regulation.  However, regulation creates greater avenues for litigation.  For better or for worse, this means getting started in the industry requires attorney consultation, contract writing, etc.  It basically keeps the common man out - as I described earlier with what is already happening with DIY solar panels. 

You're right, a lot of people are risk takers and brazenly do what they want without contracts or attorneys.  But all it takes is one tiny issue for the system to crack down and ruin their life financially.

Unfortunately or otherwise, regulation really is required, for a number of reasons. One is that not everyone is sufficiently skilled or qualified to do things like this themselves, but that won't stop people from attempting to do such things. Regulation exists to protect society from such people, whether it is the home handiman trying to make an extra buck doing electrical work without a license, or the drug manufacturer who reaches for a bottle of toilet cleaner to mix into a home-made batch of pills, or even a legitimate company trying to dodge basic consumer rights or safety requirements.

As for the financial burden faced by people who try to skip the basic requirements for getting into any given industry, my sympathy is limited. Those rules exist for a reason. We may not like them. We may think life would be so much easier without them (speaking as a business manager, I am legally required to fill out a mountain of paperwork for any workplace injury, for example. Even a papercut. I find it incredibly tedious, and in some cases pointless, but it has to be done and I know the reason behind it), but if we choose not to follow them, we have to accept the consequences and if that includes taking a huge chunk out of our hard-earned money to give to the authorities, then so be it.

Offline Retribution

  • Lord
  • Addict
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Location: First star to the right straight on till morning
  • Gender: Male
  • When I'm good I'm good when I'm bad I'm better
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 0
Re: I giggled...
« Reply #58 on: December 10, 2013, 10:13:39 AM »
Let me offer you guys some perspective from a fellow who has been with his state EPA for 24 years.  I have more than a passing bit of knowledge because well it puts food on my table. I am a biologist by trade and do not work with emissions, but it is one of those things where one has to know a bit about a broad range of things because environmental is a wide ranging category. The current understanding in the scientific community is cloudy.  The reason it is referred to now as climate change in the press as opposed to global warming is there is not scientific proof it is human caused. Global warming implies human cause. Note I said “proof” scientifically speaking there is a vast difference between theory and proof. So right now it is up in the air if there is a natural cause, human cause, or a combination of the two.  If I had to make a guess I would say combination, but it is undeniable that human kind is having a vast effect on the planet. Probably worse in developing countries because they worry more about where their next meal is coming from than they do about things like environmental awareness.

Not being an expert in climate change I would however like to offer an overview of environmental affairs.  The short version is do not believe all that you read. I run into many things professionally that the opposing sides make something that is really complicated seem really simple by cherry picking facts to suit their own agenda.  When you are someone like me that has a professional reputation at stake and is not just trying to solicit donations or push an agenda you do not have that luxury.

Over the course of my career I have seen environmental conditions improve drastically.  For example at the start of my career in 1990 I spent 85% of my time doing cleanup to remediate problems that were already there and 15% of my time doing regulation to try and ensure further problems did not develop. Now my time allocation is flipped.  My office used to handle around 300 complaints of environmental issues a year. We now field about 90 a year because there just are not as many things out there that grab the attention of people. Also of those complaints many are just plain fabricated in a feud between neighbors or my favorite a dispute between management and employees.  Because of confidentiality I obviously cannot supply hard sources for these numbers but trust me they are accurate.

I think solar power, wind power, and the various other alternative energy sources are a good thing. But as I have seen with each developing environmental field there are growing pains.  First off you have all the get rich quick people who have hair brained schemes that they sell as cutting edge.  These schemes cannot and will not ever work in the real world because the environment with things like weather just is and what might work under ideal conditions simply will not work there.  As the field becomes more developed you have folks who have a legitimate idea but the economics is prohibitive. In other words until the field becomes more developed and the price comes down the average family or business simply cannot afford it even if it is green. Next there is a phase when the economics catch up and not only is the product what have you green, but there is also a real cost benefit of going green.  And usually by this time the get rich quick scam artists have been weeded out. In my opinion where we are on alternate power sources is a space between two and three at present.  We are getting there but it is still not quite there. An analogy might be made with when personal computers became affordable for everyone.

We all have a standard of living we would like to maintain and I do not think anyone wants to go back to living in a cave, heating with fire, and using the hole out back to relieve themselves. It is just a matter of the fluid nature of things to catch up so the process is both clean and feasible.  There are a lot of growing pains. But in another say decade I could see many homes in the US having their own wind mill to generate power.  Also, having said that I dislike corporate welfare and the like and the way large companies are given way too much influence on regulations as a “stake holder.” But I have to give the devil his due in that large companies are much less of a professional problem for me than the small mom and pop operations or private individuals. It was not always that way but at this point in time big companies know they have deep pockets.  They also know there are guys like me out there who make a living catching them with their fingers in the cookie jar and that I will get deep into those deep pockets when I do. So with enlightened self-interest they take great pains to make sure they go above and beyond.  Not to mention the large companies discover they save money when they generate less waste and often the process is more efficient so they use less raw material.  Of course they would have never gotten there if regulation had not made them go there. The system is flawed and it makes me crazy as often as not, but I have to admit over the decades I have seen it work.

Of course guys like me generally do not dive into discussions like this because until you have been in the field you cannot appreciate all the intricacies. So when asked what I do I am generally cagey and say something like “I’m a biologist” or “I work for the government.” But my reply to all of you would be there is a kernel of truth in each of your arguments.  It just takes time to develop because Rome was not built in a day.