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Old 07-31-2012, 03:49 PM   #41
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I'm a little leery up putting a large quantity of sulfuric acid into our atmosphere. They hope that if you put it up that high you won't get a lot of acid rain, but there is that potential.

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So maybe this SO2 technology is what we should watch, and maybe invest in? Also, the SO2 technology is controllable - need more, add more; got enough, you can slow it down.

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Old 07-31-2012, 04:13 PM   #42
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I read articles about La Nina and El Nino effects but am too uninformed to know what to think.
La Nina ended back in April, So we are not in anything at the moment. Here in Peru (where the patterns originate) we are anticipating an El Nino to begin in September or October, You could probably look up the year of the last big one (1990'S) and see what the effects were on your region.

One positive effect of climate change is here on the Pacific coast where Winters have grey skies (but no rain) we have had sunshine and 70 degree weather at least 80% of the time.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:22 PM   #43
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A little more on this statement... I've said it before, but I don't think subsidies speed up development or the cost curve at all. In fact, I think they do the opposite.

A subsidy is put in place to make a product that can't compete in the market 'artificially' attractive. So if a company can sell a sub-optimal product at a profit, their incentive to improve that product has been reduced. You are essentially subsidizing inefficiency. No Thanks.
As you say, subsidies make a field that is not yet commercially viable attractive to entrepreneurs. They jump in the fray and start working their magic. Solar panels only made sense for the last couple of decades because of energy credits. But they are now cheap enough that they are commercially viable or will be in short order. That happened sooner with subsidies than it would have without. There are certainly arguments as to whether that was a good thing -- maybe not. But the subsidies certainly sped up the development. It doesn't make sense to subsidize things for which we don't see a need for a push (e.g. flat screen technology) but in areas we think we need help in the jury is out. If we had subsidized research on how to deal with horse poop we might have wasted a lot of money or we might have jump started better waste treatment. [mod edit].
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:25 PM   #44
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This is an interesting discussion, hopefully it stays on track.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:32 PM   #45
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This is an interesting discussion, hopefully it stays on track.
Sorry, had to toss that bon mot in.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:36 PM   #46
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Sorry, had to toss that bon mot in.
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Old 07-31-2012, 05:44 PM   #47
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As you say, subsidies make a field that is not yet commercially viable attractive to entrepreneurs.
That's not what I said, but there may be some truth to it. Whether that is good in the long run or not is debatable - as we said, this might set the entrepreneurs off and working on the wrong path, ignoring better paths that aren't subsidized. That could very well be a negative overall for the consumer.

my bold:
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They jump in the fray and start working their magic. Solar panels only made sense for the last couple of decades because of energy credits. But they are now cheap enough that they are commercially viable or will be in short order. That happened sooner with subsidies than it would have without.
Evidence for the bolded statement? OK, evidence may be hard to come by, but a reasonable explanation as to how this would be the case? Consider all the successful products that were not subsidized.

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Old 07-31-2012, 05:48 PM   #48
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I don't know if global warming is man-made or not. But if I were to build a new house, and if I had a lot that's suitable for optimal solar orientation, my house would look like this.



It looks like a smaller house of perhaps 1,200 sq.ft., which is just right for empty-nester geezers. It has 7x8=56 solar panels, which would have a theoretical production of more than 10KW peak, if they are of the high-efficiency monocrystalline type. That is enough to run an AC, and still have spare power to surf Web, play Paco de Lucia music, keep the beer and the prosciutto cold in the fridge, etc... All the things that a retiree's heart cares for.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:21 PM   #49
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As you say, subsidies make a field that is not yet commercially viable attractive to entrepreneurs. They jump in the fray and start working their magic.
But why the pinpoint focus on solar (in this case)? We shouldn't get down to that level. If we have a failure of the market to provide the "proper" incentives to achieve the desired result (e.g. reduced greenhouse gases, etc), then just tax the thing we want less of (greenhouse gases) or subsidize the thing we want more of (e.g. home ownership--uggh). Let the market (i.e. us) determine the lowest-cost way to get there. We should realize that any deliberate thumb on this scale to incentivize/disincentivize particular behavior is going to increase the cost of things and put us at a competitive disadvantage overall (since, in a properly working market, goods and services are already being produced in the way that minimizes costs).

[mod edit]
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Old 07-31-2012, 07:53 PM   #50
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The inability of members to refrain from political/ideological comments has resulted in the closing of this thread.

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