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Fox News Claims Solar Won't Work in America Because It's Not Sunny Like German

By marcus follow marcus   2013 Feb 7, 10:23pm 12,785 views   66 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    


Fox News Claims Solar Won't Work in America Because It's Not Sunny Like Germany.

Silly Fox News. They crack me up.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/02/07/fox_news_expert_on_solar_energy_germany_gets_a_lot_more_sun_than_we_do_video.html

Joshi's jaw-dropping response: "They're a smaller country, and they've got lots of sun. Right? They've got a lot more sun than we do." In case that wasn't clear enough for some viewers, Joshi went on: "The problem is it's a cloudy day and it's raining, you're not gonna have it." Sure, California might get sun now and then, Joshi conceded, "but here on the East Coast, it's just not going to work."

Gosh, why hasn't anyone thought of that before? Wouldn't you think that some scientist, somewhere, would have noticed that the East Coast is far less sunny than Central Europe and therefore incapable of producing solar power on the same scale?

#energy

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27   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Feb 9, 6:58am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Reality says

Germans buy/install solar panels due to government policy subsidies . . . i.e. another boondoggle. Recently, they have come around to a much more feasible solar energy solution: German companies installing solar panels in Saudi Arabia, in exchange for oil shipped back to Germany. Heck, in Saudi Arabia, it might even make sense for those solar panels to generate heat and electricity to synthesize fuel.

That its might, at least more so than cloudy, snowy Germany.

28   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 9, 7:13am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

If they ever come up with radically better ways to transport energy, and store it, then all bets are off.

That's called liquid fuel, as in gasoline, diesel, and their future sythetic versions. The recent spectacular Karma electric car burn-downs and 787 fire due to lithium batteries may well mark a turning point. Gasoline and diesel are incredibly energy-dense "batteries" because they do not have to carry 70+% of the reactant by weight (Oxygen from air) and do not have to carry the result of reaction back home (water vapor and CO2)

The CO2 (and water) can be "recycled" via fuel synthesis by nuclear energy and solar/wind/geotherm etc. sources. In fact that's probably how most hydrocarbon on this planet is produced to begin with. The ultimate energy source being the radioactive elements' decay inside the earth, and the earth-moon tidal interaction generating heat inside the earth's crust.

29   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 9, 7:16am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

New Renter says

Still solar will NEVER solve the problems of night, weather, and bird poop

I don't even know whether solar panels on a roof can't solve those problems, but that's not nearly all solar is about.

If far better ways to store and transport electricity are developed, then you can have solar receptors in space and the deserts collecting all the electricity we need.

30   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 9, 7:18am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

you can have solar receptors in space and the deserts collecting all the electricity we need.

sounds like some really scary technology that the military will take advantage of first: orbitally based earthling zapper / death ray.

31   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Feb 9, 12:38pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

New Renter says

Still solar will NEVER solve the problems of night, weather, and bird poop

I don't even know whether solar panels on a roof can't solve those problems, but that's not nearly all solar is about.

If far better ways to store and transport electricity are developed, then you can have solar receptors in space and the deserts collecting all the electricity we need.

Only if you have a magic roof that is always sunny, upon which shadows never fall and the birds never poop?

You'd have to factor in the >$15k/lb cost of placing an object in even a low earth orbit. For your scheme to work the object would have to be in a geosynchronous orbit above its receiving station. Moving a satellite to such an orbit would add quite a bit more cost. This scheme also does not inherently overcome the issue of clouds.

Converting the solar radiation to radar waves might help penetrate clouds but that would dramatically increase the cost and complexity of the satellite and yes, such a device could viably seen as a weapon.

It would be far simpler and cheaper to build nuclear reactors.

32   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Feb 9, 12:41pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Reality says

marcus says

you can have solar receptors in space and the deserts collecting all the electricity we need.

sounds like some really scary technology that the military will take advantage of first: orbitally based earthling zapper / death ray.

Drones are cheaper, more reliable and far less complicated.

There's also soldiers with guns who are really, really good at what they do.

33   HeadSet   ignore (2)   2013 Feb 10, 12:19pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Solar is viable. I have seen over a dozen installs where people here in VA have working "net zero" or near net zero systems.

Ford even offers to coordinate a roof-top solar system for buyers of the all electric version of the Focus:

34   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 10, 12:44pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Reality says

Gasoline and diesel are incredibly energy-dense "batteries" because they do not have to carry 70+% of the reactant by weight (Oxygen from air) and do not have to carry the result of reaction back home (water vapor and CO2)

Yes, and they are relatively cheap.

But burning them pollutes our atmosphere and they are very limited in supply.

It's not a question of whether these will be replaced.

The question is, are we so short sighted that we insist on using them all up and polluting our world worse than we have to, just because there is so much profit potential there in the short run.

35   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Feb 10, 4:17pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

HeadSet says

Solar is viable. I have seen over a dozen installs where people here in VA have working "net zero" or near net zero systems.

Ford even offers to coordinate a roof-top solar system for buyers of the all electric version of the Focus:

Yes thanks to MASSIVE subsidies paid by everyone else. That's like saying the banks bad loans are viable because they can get a bailout.

36   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Feb 10, 4:25pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

Reality says

Gasoline and diesel are incredibly energy-dense "batteries" because they do not have to carry 70+% of the reactant by weight (Oxygen from air) and do not have to carry the result of reaction back home (water vapor and CO2)

Yes, and they are relatively cheap.

But burning them pollutes our atmosphere and they are very limited in supply.

It's not a question of whether these will be replaced.

The question is, are we so short sighted that we insist on using them all up and polluting our world worse than we have to, just because there is so much profit potential there in the short run.

The point was that liquid fuels are excellent for the storage of energy, no matter what the ultimate source.

I would however argue that the combustion of said fuels negates much of these advantages as only 10-15% of the energy makes it to the pavement.

37   New Renter   ignore (11)   2013 Feb 15, 2:12pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

John Bailo says

God that's almost as stupid as Obama-Chu-Immelt cutting all funding for hydrogen fuel cells!

Good! That money is better spent developing methane fuel cells.

38   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 15, 9:11pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

Yes, and they are relatively cheap.

But burning them pollutes our atmosphere and they are very limited in supply.

It's not a question of whether these will be replaced.

The question is, are we so short sighted that we insist on using them all up and polluting our world worse than we have to, just because there is so much profit potential there in the short run.

What I wrote earlier must have gone over your head:

The CO2 (and water) can be "recycled" via fuel synthesis by nuclear energy and solar/wind/geotherm etc. sources. In fact that's probably how most hydrocarbon on this planet is produced to begin with: the ultimate energy source being the radioactive elements' decay inside the earth, and the earth-moon tidal interaction generating heat inside the earth's crust.

39   Bap33   ignore (7)   2013 Feb 16, 7:14am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

let me help ... Gates did not need any gov help to sell his product. When solar is a great idea is when Gates (or some other enterprizing fellow) designs, markets, and sells it at a profit. And, if the gov, and the left, follow their normal process, they will attack the producer of the profitable solar product and demand that their company be reduced and demand that a gov backed psudo-competitor be made up so people have a "choice" (yes, that is what was done for crApple). Anyways, when solar is a good idea it wont have to be gov supported or mandated. (insert Obamacare here too)

40   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 8:18am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Bap33 says

Anyways, when solar is a good idea it wont have to be gov supported or mandated. (insert Obamacare here too)

Really ?

Consider this as a sort of analogy. Remember when Flat panel TVs were first being sold ? I think it cost about $4000 to buy a 42 inch (or so).

There were rich people that bought these in the early years. It took a good dozen years or so for them to scale up production and to lower costs to where a similar TV is what now ? $800 ? (dollars that are worth less than the ones for the $4000 price)

IF there had been no market whatsoever for the expensive ones, how would they have scaled it up to where they could make a profit selling them for $800 ?

Not that great an analogy, but consider energy related products.

WE have old technologies (burning oil and coal) which are still very profitable, but bad for the envirenment. We have 2 choices.

choice 1) Use up most of this fuel and only then develop competitively priced options. And maybe the consumer gets fucked over with what is charged for those then, with no competition in utility companies, which may dominate even our car fuels at that time.

choice 2) Have government serve a very basic function of subsidizing and backing development (via tax breaks etc), to help scale production up to where the technologies and the economies of scale make the pricing competitive with fossil fuels.

When it comes to energy, there is no consumer like the rich folks who were early adopters of flat panel TVs. That is unless you include government subsidized early adopters.

41   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 8:26am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

When you think about it, having the government invest in things that can make our lives and our future economies better, seems almost as good as investing in weapons and war.

42   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 8:39am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

Consider this as a sort of analogy. Remember when Flat panel TVs were first being sold ? I think it cost about $4000 to buy a 42 inch (or so).

Try $40,000, circa 1998. Somehow the market brought the price down to today's $500 in a decade and half; amazing, isn't it? You know what happened to the prices of typical medical tech products in those same years under government subsidy?

marcus says

IF there had been no market whatsoever for the expensive ones, how would they have scaled it up to where they could make a profit selling them for $800 ?

If there had been no market, you wouldn't know the price. So long as the government is subsidizing the product at $40,000, the manufacturer would have no incentive to lower price to $800 either.

marcus says

choice 1) Use up most of this fuel and only then develop competitively priced options. And maybe the consumer gets fucked over with what is charged for those then, with no competition in utility companies, which may dominate even our car fuels at that time.

As the price rise up, the switch over gradually takes place . . . just like how Kerosene replaced Whale oil for lighting fuel a little more than 100 years ago.

marcus says

choice 2) Have government serve a very basic function of subsidizing and backing development (via tax breaks etc), to help scale production up to where the technologies and the economies of scale make the pricing competitive with fossil fuels.

This is complete nonsense because the government wouldn't know what to subsidize. In fact, if the government a little over 100 years ago were as interventionist as it is now, it would most likely have subsidized efforts to domestic whales for more whale oil production (as animal domestication was by far the best understood technology compared to chemical engineering, which didn't start until the petrochemical industry came along) or encouraging peanut farmers to produce more oil for lighting instead of subsidizing the far more dangerous product called kerosene (which often had a small trace of gasoline mixed in, causing fires). Gasoline itself would have been banned altogether if not the entire petro refining industry.

43   Bap33   ignore (7)   2013 Feb 16, 8:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

robertoaribas says

Bap33 says



Anyways, when solar is a good idea it wont have to be gov supported or mandated. (insert Obamacare here too)


when car transportation is a good idea, the government won't have to build roads, and hire cops to patrol them either.


when good drinking water that isn't poisonous is a good idea, governments won't have to supply it.


when education is a good idea, I won't have to be paying taxes for it, even though I don't have kids, just to educate your kids...

roberto, we agree 100%. The Gov should not have any function or regulation in any of these. RE public roads: Speed limits are friggin stupid, and all roads would work much better as toll roads owned by individuals. RE schools: Public schools are full of liberal biased and forced to teach some very disgusting views that a private school system would never have happen - ever. Re water: Having water used for drinking is the least common use for the water in any public water system. It's about 5% that is consumed, the rest is used for bath, shower, lawn, clothes, ect ect. But, public water systems are privatly owned all over the nation, and operate just dandy. The biggest issue faced by private (or public) water systems is the constant reduction in the amount of acceptible contaminates by the EPA. The "Safe" drinking water act of the 70's has been abused into the "clean" drinking water act by some rabid eco freaks in gov.

so, we agree, gov should not be in those areas. And energy included.

44   Bap33   ignore (7)   2013 Feb 16, 8:48am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

When you think about it, having the government invest in things that can make our lives and our future economies better, seems almost as good as investing in weapons and war.

not having the biggest and baddest warriors and tools is a great way to not have to worry about a future economy or a better life. American Warriors secure our freedoms, safety, and any possible future. Right?

45   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 8:48am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Reality says

This is complete nonsense because the government wouldn't know what to subsidize.

Reality says

In fact, if the government a little over 100 years ago were as interventionist as it is now, it would most likely have subsidized efforts to domestic whales for more whale oil production (as animal domestication was by far the most understood technology) or encouraging peanut farmers to produce more oil for lighting instead of subsidizing the far more dangerous product called kerosene (which often had a small trace of gasoline mixed in, causing fires). Gasoline itself would have been banned altogether if not the entire petro refining industry.

Is this your best you can do at showing how nonsensical my point was?

How do you explain all of the technology that comes from investment in military and Nasa, all government subsidized. Or the internet for that matter ?

46   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 8:50am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

When you think about it, having the government invest in things that can make our lives and our future economies better, seems almost as good as investing in weapons and war.

Do you also think having the government tell you want to eat for dinner is a good idea? How about telling you what to wear tomorrow, so you will be warm and looking good?

The government doesn't know what is the best path to our future happiness. You and I decide as consumers what's good for ourselves. Sometimes can be as subtle as: iPad good, Newton (Apple's previous attempt at hand hand computer) bad. If it were the government, they'd be building Newtons for 3 decades like NASA's space shuttle.

47   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 8:51am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

All you have is stupid assertions.

Read:

http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/american_innovation

One hundred and fifty years later, microchips, computing, and the Internet were created to guide rockets and communicate during nuclear war; today those technologies power our laptops and smartphones.

But outside of war, the United States has made decades-long investments in medicine, transportation, energy, and agriculture that resulted in blockbuster drugs, railroads and aviation, new energy technologies, and food surpluses.

America's brilliant inventors and firms played a critical role, but it is the partnerships between the state and private firms that delivered the world-changing technologies that we take for granted today.

48   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 8:55am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Bap33 says

Right?

Okay. So when I said, "almost as good," it wasn't 100% sarcasm.

49   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 8:59am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Government investment in energy related technologies would be an incredible no brainer, if it weren't for the HUGE money behind oil, gas and coal, and their impact on our somewhat corrupted govenment.

50   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 9:00am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

How do you explain all of the technology that comes from investment in military and Nasa, all government subsidized. Or the internet for that matter ?

What about the internet? It's brought to you by competition among private enterprises. Do you have any idea how much a router would cost if the government were building it? People are often confused by the name "ARPANet" No, ARPA / DARPA is not a government research lab in the sense of doing real research. It's "hedge fund" using tax dollars to ensure that the US DoD has the first dib on newly emergying technologies. Throughout its life, it has only about 100 people at any given time, spread thin over numerous technology fields. The very smart people working there are not responsible for researching or developing themselves, their job is to spot what's coming soon and use DoD money to get early access/backdoor on the new technology.

NASA and military research are probably detrimental to overall technology development for humanity as it sidetracks smart brains to R&D weapons in a bureaucratic environment full of red tapes. However, during the Cold War, it was politically deemed necessary after the Sputnik event. ARPA/DARPA was also founded to prevent another Sputnik. None of it is about bringing new technology to society, but all about making sure the home team mafia doesn't fall behind some other mafia when it comes to weapons killing people. In other words, lesser of two evils: better our boys kill their boys than the other way around. It would take the following generation of apologists to paint all that as "good" instead of "temporarily necessary evil."

51   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 9:08am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

All you have is stupid assertions.

Read:

http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/american_innovation

One hundred and fifty years later, microchips, computing, and the Internet were created to guide rockets and communicate during nuclear war; today those technologies power our laptops and smartphones.

But outside of war, the United States has made decades-long investments in medicine, transportation, energy, and agriculture that resulted in blockbuster drugs, railroads and aviation, new energy technologies, and food surpluses.

America's brilliant inventors and firms played a critical role, but it is the partnerships between the state and private firms that delivered the world-changing technologies that we take for granted today.

You know what "partnership between the state and private firms" is also called? Fascism!

Numerous countries have tried Fascism and failed. Americans have been more innovative and more productive because historically we have less of that sort of nonsense (relative to the size of the economy) compared to other countries.

52   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 9:10am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

You can view the world through that prim if you wish.

I'm not going to dig up the evidence to show prove to you how much our government has invested in very indirect ways in universities Math and Science departments, all for reasons having to do with defense, weaponry, missile guidance and in general indirect speculative advances that might help defense.

If you think we would have had anything close to the technology advances of the last 60 years without government investment, and that it was mostly consumer driven, then you are an idiot.

(that's my blind assertion)

53   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 9:14am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

Government investment in energy related technologies would be an incredible no brainer, if it weren't for the HUGE money behind oil, gas and coal, and their impact on our somewhat corrupted govenment.

Only if you don't have enough brain to realize that, given the huge influence of the oil/gas/coal industry, any government funded investment in energy technology is far more likely to be designed for failure than success replacing oil/gas/coal. We only have finite number of smart brains in each generation. The oil/gas/coal industry can hire away a portion of them. If the government hires away the rest to research AGW and other nonsense or detour energy research, then there's less competition to oil/gas/coal industry.

54   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 9:19am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

I'm not going to dig up the evidence to show prove to you how much . . .

Because you can't. You would have to assume that without government, all the smart people would just slept their lives away.

If you think we would have had anything close to the technology advances of the last 60 years without government investment, and that it was mostly consumer driven, then you are an idiot.

The idiocy is in your own ideology. The 60 years, or even 100 years prior to the last 60 saw technological breakthroughs that had far greater impact on human society than what we have had in the last 60 years. The internet is only the modern equivalent of telegraph/telephone. In the last 60 years we haven't had anything like the invention of automobile, the invention of heavier than air flight, and the invention of railroad itself! (BTW, this contrast was most recently drawn by none other than Paul Krugman, although I had been making that point for some time)

55   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 9:30am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

robertoaribas says

Reality says

You know what "partnership between the state and private firms" is also called? Fascism!

that isn't what fascism is at all, but thanks for playing!

That's the very core economic policy of Fascism. Seeing its popularity among average folks today, it should be no surporse that Mussolini was really popular with Americans before WWII.

Here's the problem with Fascist economics: government doesn't know new emerging companies; government officials have built up networks with the old oligarchs instead. If it were up to the government to fund computer research in the 1980's, it would have supported IBM mainframes instead of Apple, Intel, Compaq and Microsoft. That's actually precisely what the Japanese government did with their huge R&D funds: building world's most advanced mainframes! Which turned out to be a complete waste of money. Government bureaucrats are usually the last to know what's new and where the best return on investment is . . . Just like in housing, government bureaucrats investing in housing leads to waste and homelessness. Bureaucrats are not entreprenuers like you or me because they don't have their own money on the line: if they do well with a particular policy change, they do not benefit much personally like we do; if the policy change ends up not so well, that's the end of their career unlike we can absorb the loss and try better next time. That's why they are change-averse. That's the worst kind to be in charge of innovations. That's why the NASA Space Shuttles kept flying for 30+ years with onboard main control computer weighing a ton yet having only computational power comparable to the original PC, when each pound of weight cost something like $18k at each Shuttle launch!

56   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 9:39am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Reality says

You would have to assume that without government, all the smart people would just slept their lives away.

Smart people have to make a living too.

It's a fact that many professors in Mathematics and Science at US universities, had the jobs (1960 - ? ) that they did have because of government investment.

This was the evidence that I was referring to (that I wasn't going to dig up for), but I was told this directly by a Mathematics professor, and it's easy to verify.

As for ideology, you're the one that's stretching so hard with assertions that back your ideology.

I'm not arguing against free markets or capitalism. I'm only arguing that goverment investment in research and technology is obviously sometimes very successful.

57   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 9:45am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Another whacko right wing authoritarian extremist.

It's a slippery slope. Government backs research in to promising technologies, or subsidizes consumer utilization by early adopters, and the next thing you know were talking fascist takeover of the entire economy.

OH NO !!!

58   Bap33   ignore (7)   2013 Feb 16, 9:46am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

roberto, how is it I can agree with you and you still disagree with me? That seems odd.

59   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 9:53am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Reality says

That's why the NASA Space Shuttles kept flying for 30+ years with onboard main control computer weighing a ton yet having only computational power comparable to the original PC, when each pound of weight cost something like $18k at each Shuttle launch!

Yes, they should have developed an entirely and different new shuttle, although that might have cost something too.

"when each pound of weight cost something like $18k at each Shuttle launch!"

Why do I have a feeling that such a number is just the cost of the launch divided by the weight ? (not the actual cost differential of each additional pound).

I'm done here, but knock yourself out.

60   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 9:53am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

Smart people have to make a living too.

It's a fact that many professors in Mathematics and Science at US universities, had the jobs (1960 - ? ) that they did have because of government investment.

First of all, university professors in math and sciences were mushrooming even before the 1960's. Math and science students started to out-number divinity students in the 19th century because of the private sector job offers (industrial revolution underway) started to outbid the previous #1 and #2 employers of college graduates: the Church and the Government. A divinity degree was plenty sufficient for Church and government jobs.

Secondly, to the extent that smart math and science brains were diverted to work on bombs and other weapons, our society is worse off because of it.

Thirdly, it's interesting to note that Albert Einstein developed his entire theory of relativity before becoming a professor . . . and didn't put forth anything new after becoming a university professor.

This was the evidence that I was referring to (that I wasn't going to dig up for), but I was told this directly by a Mathematics professor, and it's easy to verify.

What evidence would that be? that the prof prefer the government giving him a job guarantee? No kidding. I'm sure the banksters also prefer job guarantee from the government. Everyone does. That's why civilizations eventually grinds to a halt: everyone wants to suckle on the big cheese in the sky at someone else' expense.

As for ideology, you're the one that's stretching so hard with assertions that back your ideology.

You don't need to believe in any ideology to follow what I'm writing. All you need to do is assuming that other people are not stupid.

I'm not arguing against free markets or capitalism. I'm only arguing that goverment investment in research and technology is obviously sometimes very successful.

Just like sometimes the soviet bureaucrats could successfully put some food on the store shelves. Do you really think the food got on the shelves because of the soviet bureaucrats or despite of them? Well, the soviet textbooks and schools definitely taught their pupils that food on the shelves would have been impossible without the bureaucrats, and especially the top bureaucrat.

61   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 9:55am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

It's a slippery slope. Government backs research in to promising technologies, or subsidizes consumer utilization by early adopters, and the next thing you know were talking fascist takeover of the entire economy.

Government bureaucrats don't have a magic crystal ball to tell them what's a truly promising technology. To the extent that they take resources away from other R&D effort via taxation to fund what they subjectively believe to be promising, they slow down the overall pace of technological advance. Don't forget bureaucrats themselves incurr cost.

62   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 9:58am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

Why do I have a feeling that such a number is just the cost of the launch divided by the weight ? (not the actual cost differential of each additional pound).

That was the going rate for commercial cargo lift into space (NASA's actual cost might have been even higher). Every pound that they could shave off that dead weight door stopper of a computer, they could have sold for income . . . but they never did.

63   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 10:05am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

Another whacko right wing authoritarian extremist.

That's a funny accusation. You are the one advocating authoritarianism for R&D resources.

64   marcus   ignore (10)   2013 Feb 16, 10:13am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Reality says

Government bureaucrats don't have a magic crystal ball to tell them what's a truly promising technology.

MAybe promising was the wrong word.

I'll get get concise and summarize my point.

There is a gap (in time and investment and scaling up to production and use), between when a desirable technology becomes more than just theoretically possible, and when it is in full scale usage.

Sometimes, maybe even usually, this investment and scaling up will be done by private entities, looking to profit later. (this is true regardless of whether the original research was funded mostly by the government and universities or not).

But other times, for fairly obvious reasons, such as defense, having government expedite the process is very beneficial.

In the case of alternative energy sources, I consider government investment sensible because we have somewhat cheap sources now (not cheap enough), that is fossil fuels, with very powerful interests behind them, that prevents "the market" from doing now, what it would eventually have to do.

Governments need to help expedite the development of alternatives, because, for example, the "profit motive" doesn't help us avoid the consequences of peak oil. In fact, if oil were to get scarce, before good alternatives existed, I'm guessing that there are those who would cash in on this big time.

65   thomaswong.1986   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 10:28am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Marcus.. you want Govt researched cheap source of renewable energy...

its called Nuclear... but im sure you keep wanting some other nonsense...

66   Reality   ignore (5)   2013 Feb 16, 10:38am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

marcus says

There is a gap (in time and investment and scaling up to production and use), between when a technology becomes more than just theoretically possible, and when it is in full scale usage.

Sometimes, maybe even usually, this investment and scaling up will be done by private entities, looking to profit later.

Agree with you on "usually." The market place is excellent at anticipating future profit and making present investment accordingly.

marcus says

But other times, for fairly obvious reasons, such as defense, having government expedite the process is very beneficial.

Agree in one aspect: the private sector would not likely have found the murderous incentive to develop the atomic bomb or the ICBM. The question is what kind of "very beneficial" is the government stepping in and making these weapons?

Heck, if not for the US continuing after Germans gave up, and eventually successfully developing the atomic bomb, the soviets probably wouldn't be able to develop it without copying from the US, hence nobody else has it either (copying from the US or from the soviets, i.e. indirectly copying form the US).

marcus says

In the case of alternative energy sources, I consider government investment sensible because we have somewhat cheap sources now (not cheap enough), that is fossil fuels, with very powerful interests behind them, that prevents "the market" from doing now, what it would eventually have to do.

Governments need to help expedite the development of alternatives, because, for example, the "profit motive" doesn't help us avoid the consequences of peak oil. In fact, if oil were to get scarce, before good alternatives existed, I'm guessing that there are those who would cash in on this big time.

1. There is no peak oil. That theory is an oil/gas industry propaganda to make their products more valuable. They have been doing that since the 1870's, yes 1870's, not just 1970's. WWII was started based on the theory that the world was running out of oil.

2. Government involvement is highly inadvisable if you care for alternative energy. Do not think government politicians and bureaucrats are robots doing your biddings. They have their own self-interest. Since you already know the powerful influence that the big oil companies wield, if you were a big oil executive, how would you like to treat alternative energy development? Controlling it and diverting it to dead-end pursuits. That's exactly the government "help" for alternative energy has done: ask yourself, why a president with strong oil industry background would promote mandatory ethanol fuel? Why all the nuclear power plants are still using very dangerous Uranium process instead of the much safer Thorium process? When government gets to fund research, as soon as the research shows good results like the Thorium liquid fuel reactor did 4 decades ago, the government can shut it down! The government takes the brains and resources away from private sector, so there's none left to do the research. That's how the big-oil prevents the rise of any meaningful alternative fuel solution . . . by getting the government involved in it!

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