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Thread: Oil is at a 12-year low

  1. #211
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    Suburbs are not sustainable, but there is not one European transport system, of which I am aware, that runs without subsidies (not generating losses)



    This is not taking urban transport systems and their inefficiencies that account to another 230bn in subsidies in 2010
    Unless you're paying tolls on profit-making roads - if you drive, your transportation is also being subsidized. People generally prefer tax dollars be used to subsidize their preferred modes of transit - I'd rather have my taxes pay for alternative forms of transit.

    For tax dollars spent out of general revenue on roads, there are both those who pay the bulk of road funding, based on their income, and perhaps half the population are free riders who have no income tax obligations. There are few states which meet their road-building and maintenance expenses from gasoline/diesel taxes.

    One thing to keep in mind - most wealthy suburbanites make their money in major cities. In Minneapolis I-394 was built specifically to bring the wealthy of the west suburbs directly to downtown to work as lawyers, accountants, consultants, and other "professional" careers.

    Minneapolis swells to perhaps 800,000 - 1,000,000 people by day - then the very wealthy leave with their city-earned money to go spend most of it in the west suburbs.

    Kind of like Robin Hood, but in reverse. They don't see it that way, but I do. If I make my money somewhere - I tend to spend it there as well. I spend most of my baseball vending income at a country-themed bar two blocks from the stadium after work, where I eat, drink, and make merry with fellow beer vendors, and also try to meet new people if my fellow beer vendors can't make it to the post-game festivities.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 05 May 17, at 00:04.

  2. #212
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    An effective bulk energy storage system already exists. It's called hydrogen.
    Unfortunately - we have not reached the point where hydrogen is economically viable - at least not without inputting more energy into getting hydrogen then comes out of it.

    If free hydrogen is a reality - then there must be some conspiracy theory I'm yet unaware of.

  3. #213
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    Of course it has an impact, we're part of the earth, we impact it. That doesn't mean it's either 1: evil or 2: Earth killing.
    Anthropomorphising Earth is no more valid than anthropomorphising a cat. Gaia and gaian's are just as much loonies as christians or muslims.
    I neither anthropomorphize the Earth, nor am I a Gaian. I believe the origin of life is random and due to the right cocktail of chemicals, and probably somewhat ubiquitous in the universe.

    We just happen to live on this rock and we should take good care of it, just like people take good care of a vintage car or their own home.

    I'm not sure if you were referring to me - I don't fit in the Gaian pigeonhole. I'm too practical for that non-sense.

    I'm an engineer/technician by nature, like my father and grandfather before me, and despite my double degree in political science and my minor in what is called criminology everywhere else - I always had a technocratic problem/solution mindset to these and other issues confronting our society. Which ran me into trouble when dealing with pure lib arts bureaucrats.

    I'm not sure whether the engineer in me is bleeding through enough, and perhaps I've been mistaken as some spiritual/mystical type. I'm thoroughly not, though I do enjoy the sensual company of women, at times, who are. I can barely tolerate openly and outwardly spiritual/mystical men - I don't make friends with them, they'll only ever be a more or less tolerable acquaintance, unless they keep that stuff under wraps, hide it, and shoot straight and deal plain.

    So I'm telling you straight up, so you know who/what you're dealing with, when you reply. Not a Gaian.

    One of the downsides of pure text-based communication - 95% of communication is lost, voice tone, eyes, and body language. If you talked with me in person in real-time, you'd probably think I was entirely reasonable despite our differences of opinion - but pure text, not in real-time, only 5% interpersonal communication makes it through, and it's easy to make assumptions/snap judgments. I'm guilty of it often myself, even here and now on this very thread.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 05 May 17, at 00:47.

  4. #214
    Dirty Kiwi Senior Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    So I'm telling you straight up, so you know who/what you're dealing with, when you reply. Not a Gaian.
    Cool. So I'm telling you straight up, I'm not a denier. I have spent the best part of 12 years reading every damn paper that comes my way, including reviews and critiques. Wooglin has done the same. I'm not some 'I don't know much about science but I know what I like' television 'personality' nor are my views political except from the old medical adage First Do No Harm.

    Do I want fossil fuel energy gone? Yes, but there must be a viable alternative. On the small scale electric cars are an excellent replacement with new battery storage such as LIPO, which if the promotionals are to be believed are cheaper and less toxic than the current systems. The problem of course is it pushes the energy source down the road and into someone elses back yard, because the electricity still has to be produced.

    Wind and solar generation is useful but variable and a constant supply has to be maintained, hence fossil fuels are still required.
    The two best systems are hydro and geothermal which can be used at low demand times to generate hydrogen. Most hydro spins at idle for 20% of the time, as does geothermal. Wind and solar can generate hydrogen as well during surplus which most of the time they currently are.
    Transitioning to hydrogen generation is easy, as is it's transportation. The easiest way is to store it at site near the generators, and burn it at peak times to relieve the load during peak times. It can be easily sold to high energy users such as the US, EU and China that cannot generate enough of their own. This will switch energy supply away from current oil producers to places like NZ, Greenland and various other places blessed with high rainfall and copious geothermal areas.
    ........................................

    Warming, yes it is and has been for some time. Yes it fluctuates as there is a vast array of partial causes.

    CO2 is not a toxin and is currently at very low atmospheric levels due to the ice age we're currently in. It is not the primary driver of temperature change as postulated as all geologic/ice core data tells us it lags warming, not precedes it.
    The logarithmic nature of air temperatures response to increased CO2 levels has been known since the mid-1800's and can be expressed as 'for every doubling of CO2 there is a roughly one degree rise intemperature.
    On a made up scale this would mean
    200ppm - 10 degrees
    400ppm - 11 degrees
    800ppm - 12 degrees
    1600ppm - 13 degrees
    3200ppm - 14 degrees
    and so on. Hence the need for the claims of secondary forcings, the most popular one early on being increased cloud cover leading to increased temperature retention leading to increased temperature etc etc, a tipping point or runaway warming.

    Secondary forcing or tipping points haven't been demonstrated, in fact all the models for this have failed compared to real-world data.
    We have not got increased cloud cover despite increases in CO2 and there is no evidence of 'runaway warming'.
    The lower troposphere has not reacted in the way predicted by all IPCC models, remaining far cooler than predicted.
    The only way the temperature data has remained inside (just) the most optimistic IPCC models has been by constant manipulation of the raw temperature data upward and constant adjustment of the models downward..
    There has been not a single prediction from the IPCC or the more alarmist NGO's that has come true. The Arctic still has ice (gone by 2013) there has been no runaway temperature (original models had us two degrees warmer by now) Sea level rise is at worst moderate, the Antarctic has more ice cover not less, extreme weather events haven't increased (in fact the reverse for most) the polar bears are thriving, we still have bees and frogs, etc etc etc.

    There has been fabulous science done within the field of climatology, we have a far greater understanding of the climate in general, the major problem for people who have graduated over the last ten years has been in presenting their data in a way that doesn't get them attacked and unemployed by the warmist cult.

    Almost finally, just because a politician or media personality tells you 97% of scientists agree, or the science is settled, doesn't mean it's true.
    And finally, warming presents a number of problems, specifically around species habitats and moving human activity further away from the coastlines to minimise risk but these problems are easily dealt with with proper governance.
    Last edited by Parihaka; 05 May 17, at 02:54.
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  5. #215
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    I don't have time to go into depth with what I disagree on - I'd probably be repeating myself in a circular fashion on much of it. You've stated your opinions, and I've stated mine. I'll address what we are in agreement on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Parihaka View Post
    I'm not some 'I don't know much about science but I know what I like' television 'personality' nor are my views political except from the old medical adage First Do No Harm.
    As a libertarian leaning person, despite having transitioned from a center-right libertarian to a center-left libertarian these last 6 or 7 years (I was obviously a naive neo-conservative when the site was founded) - I also believe, "do no harm". As part of that, that is why I believe in environmentalism from a practical standpoint (keeping the rock we live on in good working order, much like a house or car but on a grand scale), but I also believe that force and coercion have no place except in the most extraordinary of circumstances. I don't believe in meddling in the affairs of other people - I don't like being meddled with, and likewise I cannot bring myself to act in a coercive or forceful manner - except hypothetically in cases of self-defense, or to force unwelcome interlopers and meddlers to back off in my personal life, at which point it isn't meddling.

    So, I don't believe we should be sending the government out to round up all the gas guzzlers, or invading people's homes to do energy efficiency inspections. It can and should be incentivized for people to voluntarily adopt these practices, but coercion, force, and intrusive meddling and interloping have no place.

    Do I want fossil fuel energy gone? Yes, but there must be a viable alternative. On the small scale electric cars are an excellent replacement with new battery storage such as LIPO, which if the promotionals are to be believed are cheaper and less toxic than the current systems. The problem of course is it pushes the energy source down the road and into someone elses back yard, because the electricity still has to be produced.
    The battery technology isn't there yet. The materials for lithium-ions are extraordinary toxic to mine, manufacture, and recycle. The amount of energy inputs into manufacturing EVs and stripping the Earth for rare earth minerals produces no energy savings, except to the end customer. The toxicity and pollution generated in the mining, manufacturing, and recycling of EVs is simply off-shored. Teslas with current technology make less smoggy air in Los Angeles, but it is simply the case that most of this pollution and environmental degradation is outsourced to China on both the front and back ends, and is even worse than the pollution and environmental damage mitigation that is being enjoyed, mostly in California and in northern Europe.

    In summary, current EV technology merely outsources pollution and environmental degradation, in a NIMBY manner. CO2 emissions, regardless of your beliefs or mine - cannot be outsourced - as it will distribute more or less evenly throughout the atmosphere. The CO2 emissions savings merely make northern Europe and California look good, while making China look bad, but doesn't reduce worldwide emissions at all - EVs might actually increase it.

    Wind and solar generation is useful but variable and a constant supply has to be maintained, hence fossil fuels are still required.
    The two best systems are hydro and geothermal which can be used at low demand times to generate hydrogen. Most hydro spins at idle for 20% of the time, as does geothermal. Wind and solar can generate hydrogen as well during surplus which most of the time they currently are.
    Transitioning to hydrogen generation is easy, as is it's transportation. The easiest way is to store it at site near the generators, and burn it at peak times to relieve the load during peak times. It can be easily sold to high energy users such as the US, EU and China that cannot generate enough of their own. This will switch energy supply away from current oil producers to places like NZ, Greenland and various other places blessed with high rainfall and copious geothermal areas.
    I believe most of the problems with hydrogen have to do with infrastructure - and also the gimmicky way in which clean hydrogen was produced in the 1990s by cracking natural gas to produce it - more energy inputs were required than what came out of it - the result was that there was no reduction in pollution, CO2 emissions. Using straight compressed natural gas would have been more environmentally friendly, as T. Boone Pickens was trying to promote in the 1990s/2000s. Obviously, he had a vested interest in CNG cars, as he was an owner/investor in it - but that being said - the Pickens Plans was superior to the hydrogen gimmick of the 1990s. I don't care to digress into a conversation about Pickens or CNG cars/infrastructure - I was merely making a point on how old hydrogen was a gimmick.

    I agree with your statements on hydro and geothermal. As far as hydrogen is concerned - you're referring to using naturally occurring energy transfers from the mantle/deep crust and the movement of water, using the energy generated to industrially process water electrolytically in which the "exhaust" is O2. The viability and constant rate at which these energy-generating mechanisms are capable of producing electricity at a sustained and steady rate is common knowledge to anyone with a even cursory knowledge on the subject.

    The lack of development in the geothermal in countries such as the United States is mostly due to enormous upfront costs, which takes a long time to recoup - on the order of decades. Americans are sadly too short-term of thinkers to find the political and economic will to make a transition in the manner NZ has done.

    For a country such as New Zealand, it makes perfect sense to invest in geothermal - as it is expensive to import fossil fuels to the country, and New Zealand is in an extremely vulnerable position geostrategically - if another hot-running full-on Cold War were to break out, or even a series of regional wars on a scale we haven't seen since perhaps the 1700s or 1800s - New Zealand would not be in a good position. New Zealand's relative small size, availability of energy resources relative to its population, and isolation have made geothermal and intensive hydropower generation something the nation was able to come together on to find the political will to get it done. New Zealand also frees itself from geopolitical leverage undertaken by both friends, "friends", neutrals, and enemies by pursuing a viable path to energy independence.

    In summary, New Zealand is a small nation that has its own valid self-interests in mind - it doesn't like to be meddled with, leveraged, or told what to do. Energy independence with a relatively large upfront cost was therefore something the nation was willing to get together on to get done.

    The rest of your post has statements that I disagree with. I'll address them with what I believe, at a later time, except where I'd be going in a circular manner repeating my previous statements.

    I apologize if I compared you to the delusional people in my own country that that have all these bad ideas as a result of corporate propaganda, astroturfing, lobbying, with several major news outlets and thousands of smaller ones that are used to spread their message - I had no context with which to judge where you were coming from, and your mysterious one-liners left me scratching my head. There are six years of posts I have not read - with the exception of a WWI what-if thread.

    I'm glad, at least, you came forward with something deep and substantive, and what seems to be a considered position that is the product of careful thought. I feel there might be some cherry picking on some things you've already made up your mind on, but I'm glad to have read something more than the one-liners. Even if I disagree with some of it - but there are some things we are in agreement and have common ground on.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 05 May 17, at 06:57.

  6. #216
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Unless you're paying tolls on profit-making roads - if you drive, your transportation is also being subsidized. People generally prefer tax dollars be used to subsidize their preferred modes of transit - I'd rather have my taxes pay for alternative forms of transit.

    For tax dollars spent out of general revenue on roads, there are both those who pay the bulk of road funding, based on their income, and perhaps half the population are free riders who have no income tax obligations. There are few states which meet their road-building and maintenance expenses from gasoline/diesel taxes.

    One thing to keep in mind - most wealthy suburbanites make their money in major cities. In Minneapolis I-394 was built specifically to bring the wealthy of the west suburbs directly to downtown to work as lawyers, accountants, consultants, and other "professional" careers.

    Minneapolis swells to perhaps 800,000 - 1,000,000 people by day - then the very wealthy leave with their city-earned money to go spend most of it in the west suburbs.

    Kind of like Robin Hood, but in reverse. They don't see it that way, but I do. If I make my money somewhere - I tend to spend it there as well. I spend most of my baseball vending income at a country-themed bar two blocks from the stadium after work, where I eat, drink, and make merry with fellow beer vendors, and also try to meet new people if my fellow beer vendors can't make it to the post-game festivities.
    So, you don't need taxes for that. Let those who make the money down town pay for them.

    Since the topic is oil and the impact, what happens to the environmental impact once you reorganize? Will it be a good thing? Why?
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

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    Meanwhile yesterday oil prices fell to a new low since the OPEC agreement to cut production with Brent reaching $47pb yesterday before rising again today to $48.34. This blows a $750m odd hole in the Muscovite budget for this year and that, in my humble view, is not a bad thing.

  8. #218
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    Meanwhile yesterday oil prices fell to a new low since the OPEC agreement to cut production with Brent reaching $47pb yesterday before rising again today to $48.34. This blows a $750m odd hole in the Muscovite budget for this year and that, in my humble view, is not a bad thing.
    Yep, they've already had to reduce their projected defense expenditure for next year by 25% and more cuts may follow. So it looks like a lot of those lovely pictures you see on news sites and current affairs journals of new high tech Russian carriers, MBTs, stealth fighters and hyper-sonic cruise missiles etc will remain just that for quite a while - pictures. Getting any one of those systems into mass production (let alone all the other fancy new gear they keep boasting about) will be a tall ask. Getting ALL of them? - IMO not happening anytime soon.

  9. #219
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Pari, their are very good reasons apart from global warming to move away from a a fossil fuel based economy. The most important of which would be a significant reduction in urban air, soil & water pollution. Moving away from oil/gas and coal also has significant Geo-political consequences such as diminishing the influence of those governments/regimes that depend on oil & gas exports as a means of staying in power domestically or as leverage for political advantage externally. A more level playing field in power production would be a good thing for the global economy.

    You are also correct about the difficulty of accurately modelling the impacts of increased CO2 emissions on climate and therefore our ability to project those impacts forward in time with any degree of accuracy. we have the same problem with modelling any complex system e.g. in economics. However our ability to measure virtually any climate variable has improved exponentially over the past few decades and continues to improve. That means our data on CO2 and other anthropomorphic contributions to the environment is very accurate - and those measurements show a steady upward trend in CO2 emissions.

    Since changing the chemical composition of any input into a system (even a highly complex system like the earths atmosphere) always leads to changes in its behavior or outputs there is every reason to take concerns about the potential impacts of global warming seriously - and taking reasoned and measured steps to deal with them. (And they have to be reasoned, measured and long term because the same science also tells us GW is not the kind of 'ocean liner' you can spin on a dime.)

    So arguing that steps need to be taken is not the same thing saying rising CO2 emissions = the end of civilization as we know it, or 'the sky is falling, everybody panic' message which many environmental groups seem to preach, even those that should know better.

  10. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    30-50 years is too late... we could easily cross a threshold and a tipping point if more short-term action isn't taken.
    Crushing the global economy and throwing billions in to poverty would push us past a different tipping point.

    Fusion has been a vapor project just around the corner for decades now. It may emerge in 30-50 years, it may not.
    ITER, a 500mw demonstration reactor is already under construction. It will begin powering up the reactor in 2021, and hopefuly reach design power outputs in 2035. If it is successful the tech will spread rapidly and so by 2045-50 the first of the commercially viable fusion plants will begin to come on line.

    What we need now is a "space race" in battery technology. Just as the real space race gifted us much of the technology that makes modern life possible, from microwave ovens to WD-40 to GPS - taxation on fossil fuels and grants for battery research, scholarships and grants for STEM students, and granting visas to engineers and scientists who specialize in this technology - I believe this would be an apt strategy. If we could have batteries that hold 10x more power, are 10x safer, cause 10x less environmental degradation in the mining of the materials they are manufactured with - that is a noble goal worth funding via my previously stated means. We won't get their overnight - but we can get there faster than we are now.
    I'm still not willing to crush rural America for an urban battery powered utopia.

    And for anybody who says there should be no intervention - let the market decide - the market did not decide on suburbs, or near-universal automobile transit - our entire society of suburbs and cars is a post-1945 government stimulus package itself. We need to stop investing in the old post-war stimulus package and re-dedicate the monies toward other types of stimulus that are sustainable outcomes. And it can be done in such a manner that the shock is not too great.
    Be cheaper to just nuke the cities. Hundreds of millions less people using scarce resources, lots of new clouds blocking sunlight leading to a much cooler earth, small towns could remain left alone. I don't think you get just how bad things get when you force rural dwellers into the cities. Famine, war, genocide... look at Syria. Real rural and small town dwellers are different. They do not and cannot thrive in the middle of a sea of humanity.
    Last edited by zraver; 06 May 17, at 06:40.

  11. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Yep, they've already had to reduce their projected defense expenditure for next year by 25% and more cuts may follow. So it looks like a lot of those lovely pictures you see on news sites and current affairs journals of new high tech Russian carriers, MBTs, stealth fighters and hyper-sonic cruise missiles etc will remain just that for quite a while - pictures. Getting any one of those systems into mass production (let alone all the other fancy new gear they keep boasting about) will be a tall ask. Getting ALL of them? - IMO not happening anytime soon.
    It is certainly rumoured that the 'Armata' tank program has been substantially reduced but that has been since the last two yrs. There are very few voices in Moscow one can trust.

  12. #222
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    Crushing the global economy and throwing billions in to poverty would push us past a different tipping point.



    ITER, a 500mw demonstration reactor is already under construction. It will begin powering up the reactor in 2021, and hopefuly reach design power outputs in 2035. If it is successful the tech will spread rapidly and so by 2045-50 the first of the commercially viable fusion plants will begin to come on line.



    I'm still not willing to crush rural America for an urban battery powered utopia.



    Be cheaper to just nuke the cities. Hundreds of millions less people using scarce resources, lots of new clouds blocking sunlight leading to a much cooler earth, small towns could remain left alone. I don't think you get just how bad things get when you force rural dwellers into the cities. Famine, war, genocide... look at Syria. Real rural and small town dwellers are different. They do not and cannot thrive in the middle of a sea of humanity.
    Z,

    I've had scant little to say about rural residents, much less "forcing" them into cities.

    If I have said something along the lines of what you're describing, uprooting/forcing rural residents into cities - please post the quotes. I think you've extrapolated my attitude and beliefs regarding the economically inefficient, post-war suburban lifestyle/infrastructure to include rural residents.

    I've spoken about consolidating metropolitan areas into a series of highly interconnected urban cores, with a hub and spoke model connecting urban cores to suburban cores within their respective metros.

    The only real reference I've made to rural residents is giving them a full refundable tax credit for enough gasoline to commute 30-45 minutes a day as a stopgap measure, while suburban/urban customers pay the full tax to the tune of $5-6/gallon.

    I'm of partial rural origin myself - I actually view rural residents as a vital source of human capital - they generally have a broad range of highly practical, mechanical skills, and are generalists who can adapt to changing circumstances seguing from one skill set into another to survive. I wouldn't be the practical, mechanical person I am, with advanced to expert skills in several technical/mechanical areas if it weren't from my partial rural origin. I've had to make do with my owns wits regarding a great many skill sets because of the time I've spent living rurally - which I view as the most important asset I have in life.

    Rural residents are something our nation needs to have at least as many of as we have now. I think there are ways incentivize energy efficiency and environmental stewardship among rural residents, in ways that improves their standard of living, income, and quality of life, while changing nothing else about what they do, how they live, how many of them there are, or forcing them to uproot, etc., while not forcing them to do anything, or even being meddlesome/bothersome/interferent in their lives. Carrots, but no stick.

    Some day - if I make it that long - I want to build own cabin up along the Hudson Bay, and live out the rest of my life as a man with a few dogs, a small farm, a garden, some fruit trees, and hunt/fish/gather. I can't be anti-rural if I have partial rural origin, and my endgame in life is a completely rural life. I just live an urban lifestyle here in the middlegame of life.

    "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help" - I don't support this attitude. I'm a libertarian. However, we have a problem with trillions of dollars having funded the suburbs as an economic stimulus program from 1945 to this very day - that is causing great economic pain and instability in the economy today, because it's a house of cards. Ideally, there would be as little government intervention as possible - but I see the suburbs as this monster we've created that is destroying the world, and that incentives to mitigate this effect is needed.

    And no, nuking the metros, or such nonsense as lighting SUVs on fire at car dealerships is not the answer. And I've only advocated moderate, gradual, relatively steady-paced measures - what defines a radical is the pace at which change occurs. I've never advocated any radical, disruptive changes, at least in my opinion.

    Putting forward an idea of 100% gasoline tax credit for rural residents for a 30-45 minute daily commute, and increasing the price of a gallon of gasoline for everyone else to $6 over a decade isn't radical. Investing tax revenues in mass transit instead of subsidizing freeways and roads isn't radical.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 08 May 17, at 18:14.

  13. #223
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Z,

    I've had scant little to say about rural residents, much less "forcing" them into cities.

    If I have said something along the lines of what you're describing, uprooting/forcing rural residents into cities - please post the quotes. I think you've extrapolated my attitude and beliefs regarding the economically inefficient, post-war suburban lifestyle/infrastructure to include rural residents.

    I've spoken about consolidating metropolitan areas into a series of highly interconnected urban cores, with a hub and spoke model connecting urban cores to suburban cores within their respective metros.

    The only real reference I've made to rural residents is giving them a full refundable tax credit for enough gasoline to commute 30-45 minutes a day as a stopgap measure, while suburban/urban customers pay the full tax to the tune of $5-6/gallon.

    I'm of partial rural origin myself - I actually view rural residents as a vital source of human capital - they generally have a broad range of highly practical, mechanical skills, and are generalists who can adapt to changing circumstances seguing from one skill set into another to survive. I wouldn't be the practical, mechanical person I am, with advanced to expert skills in several technical/mechanical areas if it weren't from my partial rural origin. I've had to make do with my owns wits regarding a great many skill sets because of the time I've spent living rurally - which I view as the most important asset I have in life.

    Rural residents are something our nation needs to have at least as many of as we have now. I think there are ways incentivize energy efficiency and environmental stewardship among rural residents, in ways that improves their standard of living, income, and quality of life, while changing nothing else about what they do, how they live, how many of them there are, or forcing them to uproot, etc., while not forcing them to do anything, or even being meddlesome/bothersome/interferent in their lives. Carrots, but no stick.

    Some day - if I make it that long - I want to build own cabin up along the Hudson Bay, and live out the rest of my life as a man with a few dogs, a small farm, a garden, some fruit trees, and hunt/fish/gather. I can't be anti-rural if I have partial rural origin, and my endgame in life is a completely rural life. I just live an urban lifestyle here in the middlegame of life.

    "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help" - I don't support this attitude. I'm a libertarian. However, we have a problem with trillions of dollars having funded the suburbs as an economic stimulus program from 1945 to this very day - that is causing great economic pain and instability in the economy today, because it's a house of cards. Ideally, there would be as little government intervention as possible - but I see the suburbs as this monster we've created that is destroying the world, and that incentives to mitigate this effect is needed.

    And no, nuking the metros, or such nonsense as lighting SUVs on fire at car dealerships is not the answer. And I've only advocated moderate, gradual, relatively steady-paced measures - what defines a radical is the pace at which change occurs. I've never advocated any radical, disruptive changes, at least in my opinion.

    Putting forward an idea of 100% gasoline tax credit for rural residents for a 30-45 minute daily commute, and increasing the price of a gallon of gasoline for everyone else to $6 over a decade isn't radical. Investing tax revenues in mass transit instead of subsidizing freeways and roads isn't radical.
    If I understand this correctly, you advocate to add tax and to tax some people more, due to their geography in order to subsidize everyone more. How is that efficient? The Europeans you've mentioned, just increase subsidies in public transport. How is that efficient?

    What would be efficient IMV is to let the market mature via competition and if you think you should switch from fossil to another source of energy, due to clean air or some other benefits, create one time funds to help them develop/enhance the "tools".
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  14. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironduke View Post
    Z,

    I've had scant little to say about rural residents, much less "forcing" them into cities.

    If I have said something along the lines of what you're describing, uprooting/forcing rural residents into cities - please post the quotes. I think you've extrapolated my attitude and beliefs regarding the economically inefficient, post-war suburban lifestyle/infrastructure to include rural residents.

    I've spoken about consolidating metropolitan areas into a series of highly interconnected urban cores, with a hub and spoke model connecting urban cores to suburban cores within their respective metros.

    The only real reference I've made to rural residents is giving them a full refundable tax credit for enough gasoline to commute 30-45 minutes a day as a stopgap measure, while suburban/urban customers pay the full tax to the tune of $5-6/gallon.
    That might work for bedroom communities, but what about those of us who live and work is small town America. The economic model you are suggesting only works with a highly urbanized population.


    Rural residents are something our nation needs to have at least as many of as we have now. I think there are ways incentivize energy efficiency and environmental stewardship among rural residents, in ways that improves their standard of living, income, and quality of life, while changing nothing else about what they do, how they live, how many of them there are, or forcing them to uproot, etc., while not forcing them to do anything, or even being meddlesome/bothersome/interferent in their lives. Carrots, but no stick.
    Rural and small town America are adopting green power generation faster than urban dwellers, especially as market forces not tax incentives drive costs down. But power lights in our home is not the same as moving from A to B. Oil is the fuel of locomotion. You can get much better power to weight with an electric motor, but you have a hell of time storing enough energy to move really heavy things very far.



    "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help" - I don't support this attitude. I'm a libertarian. However, we have a problem with trillions of dollars having funded the suburbs as an economic stimulus program from 1945 to this very day - that is causing great economic pain and instability in the economy today, because it's a house of cards. Ideally, there would be as little government intervention as possible - but I see the suburbs as this monster we've created that is destroying the world, and that incentives to mitigate this effect is needed.
    The suburbs will fix themselves with time if we stop building new roads and start fixing the old ones. We prioritize new over repaired. That simply change would fix urban sprawl over time.

    [/quote]And no, nuking the metros, or such nonsense as lighting SUVs on fire at car dealerships is not the answer. And I've only advocated moderate, gradual, relatively steady-paced measures - what defines a radical is the pace at which change occurs. I've never advocated any radical, disruptive changes, at least in my opinion. [/quote]

    Economy crushing taxes are pretty radical. You want to triple the cost of moving a pound of goods 1 mile.

    Putting forward an idea of 100% gasoline tax credit for rural residents for a 30-45 minute daily commute, and increasing the price of a gallon of gasoline for everyone else to $6 over a decade isn't radical. Investing tax revenues in mass transit instead of subsidizing freeways and roads isn't radical.
    The US is more than 2x the size of the EU. Cost increaes with distance so we would need far more than double the mass transit budget of the EU to begin to approach its level of service. Not to mention they've been building for 5 decades, and you'd have us make a run of it in 10 years. Covering 2x the area in 1/5th the time.....

  15. #225
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zraver View Post
    That might work for bedroom communities, but what about those of us who live and work is small town America. The economic model you are suggesting only works with a highly urbanized population.
    I've spoken about this at length in the Brexit thread - about how there are these growing economies of scales in certain metropolitan areas, and diseconomies of scale in rural areas, small and mid-sized towns, and smaller metro areas that are primarily mono-industrial. I see this as a symptom of the continuing wave of de-industrializiation, increasing automation, and ever-increasing size of farms with progressively more efficient mechanization. This is not just an issue in the US - it's also an issue across much of the world.

    I was born in a mono-industrial backwater area (iron mining). I travel there several times a year and spent the first five years of my childhood living there, the first three years of my adulthood, and a total of two years of the rest of my adult life there. Some of my family moved away due to lack of opportunity and the downturn in the 1980s, others remained and have alternated between unemployment and low-paying employment, others have done OK in spite of the massive economic problems facing the region.

    Myself, I always had a goal to go to university in a major city, even while I lived from ages 14-22 in rural/small town areas. I had a goal, I moved, and I adapted to and thoroughly enjoy urban life. I can survive in either an urban or a rural area, or even live off the land itself, but it is not my time to go back to the land yet.

    With all that being said, I don't have any answers for you. This problem is beyond me. It seems like an unstoppable wave and all efforts so far to stem the problem have been lipstick on a pig. Call centers, temporary shot-in-the-arm road construction projects funded by money earmarked in Congress, educational programs that give people degrees but with no job availability, I've seen it all. I left it behind (I was only passing through in the first place). I do send back city-earned money to help relatives from time to time, and travel up there to help them. That's about all I have the ability to do.

    It seems you're invested heavily in where you live, you probably own property, have most of your social capital there, and that the lifestyle you live is an integral part of your identity. I can't deny your perspectives regarding lifestyle and where you choose to live, yours are as equally valid for you as mine are for me, both of us making free choices within the constrains of the resources and means we have at our disposal.

    Rural and small town America are adopting green power generation faster than urban dwellers, especially as market forces not tax incentives drive costs down. But power lights in our home is not the same as moving from A to B. Oil is the fuel of locomotion. You can get much better power to weight with an electric motor, but you have a hell of time storing enough energy to move really heavy things very far.
    That's why, like I previously posted about - I'd like to see a "space race" in battery technology. Lithium-ions are too bulky, toxic, and hazardous. There are exciting new battery technologies on the horizon, but lithium-ions are at best a stopgap technology until we get there.

    The suburbs will fix themselves with time if we stop building new roads and start fixing the old ones. We prioritize new over repaired. That simply change would fix urban sprawl over time.

    The US is more than 2x the size of the EU. Cost increaes with distance so we would need far more than double the mass transit budget of the EU to begin to approach its level of service. Not to mention they've been building for 5 decades, and you'd have us make a run of it in 10 years. Covering 2x the area in 1/5th the time.....
    It would be even better if proper traffic laws were passed and enforced. Americans have never learned how to drive on freeways properly. The Germans were the originators of the interstate system we have today, and are probably the most skilled drivers in the world. In the United States, it's not a lack of capacity that is the issue, it's a lack of skill where everybody is out for themselves, causing a tragedy of the commons on our freeways and roads, and cascading failures occur during rush hours where one car or a handful of cars back up traffic for several miles, or even tens of miles.

    We don't have a lack of roads, we have a lack of skill and conscientiousness whilst driving, on a near-universal basis. When most people in a rush hour are only looking out for themselves, what's best for them while driving, "me, me, me", the collective result across a metro that we see play out every rush hour is something that is tragically unnecessary. It doesn't have to be like that.

    Economy crushing taxes are pretty radical. You want to triple the cost of moving a pound of goods 1 mile.
    There are more efficient ways to move goods than tractor trailer. We used to use trains for the most part, but in the post-1945 Age of the Automobile and the Suburb, and when oil was dirt cheap, we decided to ditch train transportation for the most part and use tractor trailer to move goods. The railroads were allowed to fall heavily into disrepair, they went bankrupt, and at the same time railroads were folding left and right due to loss of customers and revenue, the oil prices started going up. We should have never disinvested in rail.

    It was a short-sighted measure predicated on 1950s oil prices.

    Even in major American cities, the tram lines were torn up, and paved over and replaced by buses manufactured in Detroit. The city I live in at the moment used to have at least 50 lines, covering every part of the city, and even reaching into the suburbs that existed at the time. American cities used to look like European cities to a great extent, at least with regards to mass transit. The cities were absolutely gutted out in the post-1945 stimulus program of cars and suburbs. We decided to build a house of cards predicated on cheap oil, and our country suffers as a result.

    When my grandpa joined the Navy in 1945, he was the ONLY enlisted man on the flagship of the Mediterranean Fleet who knew how to drive, as he was the son of a cattle rancher from the Midwest. Imagine that - being the ONLY enlisted man who could drive, on an entire ship with hundreds of men on it. That's 1945 America for you. Unimaginable today - yet somehow we assume and delude ourselves into believing our country has always been the way it has been. I'm not referring to you, but anyone who actually believes that 1945 America was anything like 1960 or 1980 or 2017 - it is a pure retroactive continuity, a fantasy, and not based in reality.

    The way our country is currently structured is not the result of the free market, it is a result of bad policy that was allowed to go on for 70 years+. What transpired after 1945 was not set in stone, it was not our destiny, it was not inevitable. Where we are today would not have been the future if not for government intervention. The United States was not by nature vastly different with regards to transit, railroads, automobiles, freeways, miles driven, and so on than Europe. It is this way as a result of short-sighted post-war government intervention, and for decades we've been throwing good money after bad.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 09 May 17, at 09:43.

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