The Green New Deal, explained

Posted by: NW Ponderer

The Green New Deal, explained - 01/08/19 04:21 AM

The Green New Deal, explained (Vox). This is a lengthy piece, but really explains the genesis and guts of the "Green New Deal". The short form: 1) The plan must decarbonize the economy; 2) The plan must include a federal jobs guarantee and large-scale public investments; and, 3) The plan must include a just transition.

Of course, the first objection always is, "we can't afford it" which is based upon a false premise. I
Quote:
The first and most persistent question facing any social reform in the US is how it will pay for itself. The right has spent more than half a century in the US waging a propaganda campaign intended to convince Americans of a few key things: 1) the federal budget must be balanced, with every dollar spent “paid for” with a dollar of revenue raised, lest inflation destroy us all; 2) taxes are high and burdensome and any effort to raise taxes is, de facto, bad; 3) government is incompetent and its spending is always wasteful; and 4) America is broke, in debt, with crippling liabilities coming due soon.

To be clear, all four are false. They are pernicious myths, motivated by the desire to prevent progressive social reform. They are, to use a technical term, bullshit.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/08/19 09:48 AM

Quote:
There is immense potential energy in the GND, a concentration of social attention and intensity. But converting that heat to power — to real results on the ground — will involve a great deal of political and policy engineering, almost all of which lies ahead.

We are putting real results on the ground. The challenge is to get the GND activists to recognize it. I have seen this pattern too many times where neophytes, full of passion but lacking in knowledge and experience, lead right on past the solutions that they seek.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/08/19 11:26 AM

The main thing the Green New Deal gets right is giving a pithy, easy to understand label to a set of ideas. People (voters) need easy to understand concepts to get behind (like "me too", "black lives matter", or "the wall"). What GND does is provide, I think, an umbrella to fit these concepts under. The difficulty will be translating big ideas into concrete policies, much as Occupy failed to do. It's an evolution, not a revolution, but the power behind it IS revolutionary.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/08/19 03:25 PM

Another article from the Stone interviewing a co-founder of the 'Sunrise Movement'. I like the fact that the groups co-founder is able to speak for themselves on who they are and where they've come from.
I'm suprised Logs that you would be pessimistic about this uptick in enthusiasm and support coming from a new emergent political force. The IPCC report seemed to be a call to the ramparts and these kids are responding to this as well as previous reports outlining the deadly seriousness of their futures. I would think you'd welcome their political energy and raising the issues in the public conscience. They may be neophytes but they are very much invested in the outcomes of the looming impacts and how it will effect their lives. I think that alone buy's them a seat at the table, or should. One thing's for sure, the entombed older generation and their political representatives are not moving a what would sem to be the speed necessary to meet this challenge. And why should they? It won't hit them (Pelosi, Steney Hoyer, etc..) and offends their donors.
Stone Interview
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/08/19 08:02 PM

I do like their enthusiasm and political energy, my concern is how to get them to understand that lots of people are working on this stuff - the solutions are on the shelf. But invariably, all the support goes to things like new technologies for energy production and "sexy" things. Conservation and a change of culture are what is most needed. Conversion of liabilities into assets.

I am hoping to capitalize on the burst of energy to get my Congressional delegation to back our established but nascent solutions that are actually in the demo/pilot stage and not go off chasing rainbows.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/09/19 01:41 PM

I thought the referenced Vox article described their being a committee to 'corral' all the available evidence and scientific testimony. I don't think this is 'sexy stuff' approach Logs.
On the other hand what has the party elders done recently? Vaguely committed to rejoining the noncommittal Paris Treaty. Appointing a coal Democrat to Energy committee. Appoint a real estate funded developer backed congresswoman from Florida on a neutered congressional subcommittee.
Which would you rather make your bio-char efficacy argument too. Youthful energy that recognizes the existential threat for near term organized human existence and have moved the issue to the national stage where it should be or geriatrics that have no stake in their decisions outcomes and are indebted to a system that runs on consumer capitalism? The very system that defines them and their world views.
Or in the words of our esteemed senate minority leader Charles Schumer:

"Mr. President....tear down these gas prices!"

Just sayin...

I'm totally down with you on changing the culture of disposable consumption and wasting energy, Logs. Something any parent/grandparent that went thru the depression would understand just from the practical, economically survivable benefits.
If biochar has efficacy with the triple bottom line benefits you were touting Logs, wouldn't that be enough to sell the practice and the related gear without government assistance?

What would you like to be considered in this evolving green new deal? Very curious.

Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/09/19 09:25 PM

As logT well knows, there are current beneficiaries of the status quo that will fight like hell to keep their slice of the pie and squash any potential competition before it gains ground. So far his group has done well to keep the existence of their competitive technology below the radar until it has enough data/support to be inevitable. The pilot projects at the university are exactly how new technologies enter the mainstream. (I say "new," although the concept has been around so long, because how they are using it is unique and exciting).

Getting the attention of some of those of those new legislators (some from New Mexico!) could be the next step to expanding their footprint. It is clearly the kind of work the Green New Deal is intended to foster.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/10/19 12:22 AM

I am excited by the Green New Deal, but as I begin to engage with it I am seeing the same old patterns that I have seen a dozen times. I have to chalk my pessimism up to a manifestation of human nature that may be at the root of our shortcomings as a species - greed and ego.

The ego part has to do with what people are willing to consider. I have encountered no end of obstacles from "petty bureaucrats" and activists who fall into the mindset that because of their position they have superior powers of intelligence and authority and have developed such a fixed concept of what needs to be done that no innovative ideas can penetrate their reality - yet they are the gatekeepers for what is allowed to happen. One of the major examples of this is related to PV electricity production. Don't get me wrong, I like PV, but it is the 'one and only' for many activists and all other energy concepts are not only ignored but usually argued against as if there is only room for one solution. For instance, we have a successful and prominent regional group called New Energy Economy. About a year ago they began a campaign called 100% Renewables. I attended a local roadshow for it and pressed the point that there are many kinds of renewable energy and it would help the campaign to be broad based. I pitched cellulose insulation from locally recycled cardboard, improved integrated energy management systems for buildings, and of course biochar+energy systems. These are all things that we do and we can (and do) reduce building energy demands by 75% with the first two, and heat buildings while making money and sequestering carbon. Those things need to be done before engineering a PV system as there is no point in spending more than is needed... thud. So I suggested that the only burden that my renewable options would put on their organization is for them to give us space and a link on their pretty good website... thud. As of today they are raising millions to fight coal-fired power plants and they have completely forgotten anything that I told them, and don't reply to my emails.

On the greed side, what NWP referred to is definitely a factor and we have stayed under the radar - whether mostly by accident or intent is debatable. I do take issue with the idea that universities are the primary source for innovation. Here's an example of that: we have developed a continuous process pyrolyzer that has been designed to integrate into the real world constraints of rural forestry settings. The 'community system' is much bigger than just the equipment - it involves a cradle to cradle integration of forest management, existing small wood products harvesting and processing operations, community energy needs, and community use for the biochar. We built a prototype lab scale unit for NM State University to use in research on developing a char optimized for the filtration of an aquifer that was polluted by Apollo Mission rocket fuel spills. A few months ago I saw a national news article that Cornell University just unveiled a competing unit of about the same capacity that they developed over five years with a $5 million grant. The difference? Theirs would fill a semi trailer - I could haul three of ours in a pickup truck - and ours cost $25,000. What do you think the Cornell folks will do when they find out how badly they have fared against some guys working in a barn in New Mexico?

The lesson there is that money and prestige attracts the money and exposure. I would like to see an enlightened Green New Deal that has the wisdom to cut through the horseshit and get the support to the genuine grassroots problem solvers. The trouble is, the folks who understand this and have the experience and vision are not the politicians, the bureaucrats, the successful activists, or associated with the monied class.

So I am at once excited and depressed by the sparking Green new Deal movement.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/10/19 04:13 AM

It would be nice to think of the problem in larger terms than what pop culture has imagined. Your right though.
I almost hate to use the word holistic because it gets used do much but it will take a 'all of the above' approach with the largest payback at lowest cost going first, IMO.
Instead of opting out of using straws, I'm told that food waste is the second biggest payback activity we could do to draw down atmospheric CO2. I was raised to not wast food but I admit I have not always been good about it. I've since become militant.
For me it's pretty simple. Lower your carbon footprint as fast and cheap as you can. I hope that's what happens but I share your pessimism. It seems like it takes hard sustained knocks before people change their world view. By then it might be to baked in the late.
Still, this new effort seems to be more than just international treaty or tax incentives for those that can afford it and moves it into the realm of possibilities up and down the line. At least it's moving the needle ever do slightly in the right direction.
Posted by: pdx rick

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/10/19 04:27 AM



70% marginal tax rate on the rich making over $10m a year? Yes, please. smile
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/10/19 04:07 PM

Originally Posted By: pdx rick


70% marginal tax rate on the rich making over $10m a year? Yes, please. smile


ThumbsUp
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/10/19 09:10 PM

I am all for taxing the very rich. I can remember when we were taxing them over 80%! (those were the good old times - 1940's) Now, with this and that, I doubt they pay much more than 10% to 15% max.

As far as the green new deal is concerned. It would seem, at least on the face of it, that there is absolutely no plans to watch the national debt (quite to the contrary, in fact). This stuff, eventually, needs to be paid off. Right now we aren't paying it off. We are just paying interest on it. The interest alone, right now, is more than we spend on our military! If we keep on raising it then, pretty soon, there will be absolutely no money left for good works as it will ALL go to paying the interest on the debt. To suggest that adding to debt, to do good works, and not worrying about the debt, is a good idea can get us into a LOT of trouble.

Just saying...........
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/11/19 02:13 AM

Post WWII we were paying a top rate of 93%, and it was one of the most prosperous periods in our history! We need to rethink the whole "lower taxes, improve the economy" idea. Income inequality does NOT improve the economy. Lowering taxes on corporations and the rich only makes that worse.

Even the original Laffer Curve stuff said that if you lower taxes, the government collects more (up to a point). But note that it didn't ever say "lower taxes and improve the economy". It just makes rich people richer, and takes away government services the poor need. The only "trickle-down" you feel on your head is some rich guy pissing on you. Which is exactly what the Trump tax cut did and will do in the future to Social Security and Medicare.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/11/19 06:11 AM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Post WWII we were paying a top rate of 93%, and it was one of the most prosperous periods in our history! We need to rethink the whole "lower taxes, improve the economy" idea. Income inequality does NOT improve the economy. Lowering taxes on corporations and the rich only makes that worse.

Even the original Laffer Curve stuff said that if you lower taxes, the government collects more (up to a point). But note that it didn't ever say "lower taxes and improve the economy". It just makes rich people richer, and takes away government services the poor need. The only "trickle-down" you feel on your head is some rich guy pissing on you. Which is exactly what the Trump tax cut did and will do in the future to Social Security and Medicare.


I'm pretty sure our filthy rich wound up keeping quite a bit of their money back then.

I remember meeting my very first millionaire when I was a little kid. (circa 1961)
His name was Jessie York and he owned a manufacturing company that made the finest sheets and pillows money could buy back then.
He owned a very large yacht called "The Four Queens", a couple of Rolls-Royces, a Ferrari, a couple of stretch Caddy limos, a couple of airplanes and he had a home "in the City - NYC" and a vast beachside luxury villa out in Atlantic Beach, Long Island.
He and his family were friends with my uncle, a somewhat famous marlin and tuna fisherman.

This would have been 1961, when people like the Yorks were paying those 80 and 90 percent marginal tax rates.
I guarantee you Jessie York was enjoying PLENTY of his "fat stacks o'cash".

Marginal tax rates tax only the very last few bucks in a rich person's income at that high rate. The vast majority of what they have is taxed at a much lower rate. It's "taxing ON the MARGINS".
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/11/19 08:20 AM

That's the way the graduated income tax has always worked. If we had a 93% maximum rate today, it would probably only apply to income over 10 million dollars. The first 10 million would be taxed at a lower rate. But you have to think about a factory owner with 100 million profit to spend every year. That 93% rate would give him a strong incentive to pay his employees a bigger piece of the pie rather than give it to the IRS. That's a good way to even out income inequality.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/12/19 09:37 PM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
That's the way the graduated income tax has always worked. If we had a 93% maximum rate today, it would probably only apply to income over 10 million dollars. The first 10 million would be taxed at a lower rate. But you have to think about a factory owner with 100 million profit to spend every year. That 93% rate would give him a strong incentive to pay his employees a bigger piece of the pie rather than give it to the IRS. That's a good way to even out income inequality.


I heard that it would apply to sixteen thousand households. Big whoop.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/12/19 11:31 PM

It is predicted by 2030 that the richest 1% will have 2/3 of all global wealth.
Jeff Bezo's making 20 million/hr. I just paid my property tax. My money will help pay for the 5 billion the state is giving Bezos to build his super terrific warehouse. My state taxes my house and shop. Bezo's worth is estimated at over 200 billion. One assh@le that needed to be hectored to raise the pay of his employees from 12 to 15/hr so they don't have to live off food stamps and heating assistance.
It's a very big deal. One of the biggest in the western world right now Jeff.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/13/19 09:30 PM

We should outlaw cities and states bribing companies with tax breaks, at the federal level. I think it's clearly a violation of equal treatment under the law, so unconstitutional. But you have to outlaw it everywhere, so no state has an advantage. Get rid of "Opportunity Zones" too, for the same reason.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/14/19 03:30 PM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
We should outlaw cities and states bribing companies with tax breaks, at the federal level. I think it's clearly a violation of equal treatment under the law, so unconstitutional. But you have to outlaw it everywhere, so no state has an advantage. Get rid of "Opportunity Zones" too, for the same reason.


That would be a great start.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/15/19 01:54 PM

Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
The Green New Deal, explained (Vox). This is a lengthy piece, but really explains the genesis and guts of the "Green New Deal". The short form: 1) The plan must decarbonize the economy; 2) The plan must include a federal jobs guarantee and large-scale public investments; and, 3) The plan must include a just transition.

The question of growth in the Green New Deal
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/15/19 04:35 PM

The Trouble with the Green New Deal (Politico)
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/15/19 06:46 PM

"But among Democratic activists, the debates over the Green New Deal tend to mirror long-running debates over the value of pragmatism and incrementalism versus idealism and radicalism."

Oh? It is?
Honestly, what is the purpose of Grunwald's article? Politico has been on a tear against any high profile leftists for awhile now and the only takeaway from it seems to be more centrist fetishizing of incrementalism is preferable to any bold ideas that can capture the public imagination.
It also seems to be speaking to a select class of people that hold that view. My guess is their real world view from their house is a pleasant one that can afford the incremental pace and narrow benefits of what they are promoting by this article.

Grunwald's case seems built on the past events from Obama's failure to get his stimulus package thru both houses with his own attached 'green deal' component without pleasing a few hold out democrats and republicans. So now it's bad cuz you might not get stuff passed because of some previous administrations desire for consensus over expediency.

I won't bother to, again, point out how the far right got a very unpopular rich guy tax break thru. That would be like saying there's something lacking with centrists ability to put up numbers.

Obama's not President anymore and maybe a Green New Deal that has a decent paying job component would have more direct and understandable benefits to voters than moronic tax brakes to wealthy people so they can buy a Tesla or slap up some panels on their houses. That was a recipe for class resentments and helps to further alienate the horseless.

People would love jobs that are meaningful and pay decent rather than renting out rooms to strangers in the house their parents may have left them or living in their cars with an Uber gig. A lot of people will. That also means votes on a proposal that has broad popular support. That's a political weapon to be harnessed. So why do centrists always want to take it over and breal it off for their own class?

Here's another concept that's actually been around longer than Obama.
Ecosocialism

You can jump to 15:30 mark where Wolf interviews his guest on the subject.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/15/19 08:15 PM

I read the site you sent. Pretty interesting. The message to me was clear - The Dems do an incredibly bad job communicating with folks. They just do a really bad job. I have been whining about this for years. Obama, for instance, never really tooted his own horn. The Republicans, on the other hand, do, and its worked for them.

Perhaps the solution is to have the Dems get schooled in horn tooting?
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 01/18/19 10:20 PM

The United States was setup so that the majority would rule and run it all. As far as I know the majority, in the end, are probably closer to the middle then far off in the woods, ie. socialists, communists, crazies (both sides), nazis, anarchists, color supremists (white, green, black, blue, etc) and fascists. Hammering 'centrists', I think, means that the majority is getting hammered. This is, in the long run, not a real good idea?

I was talking to somebody the other day and he told me that somebody pointed out that all the crazies were, at one point, crazies. Now, with social mediums they all have the ability to talk to one another and join up. The result is that they now have a voice and, so far, have been pounding all of us with their poison. I have no idea what can be done and suspect the answer is "nothing". It just means that those of us not joining up with the crazies are going to have to stand up and be counted before we get, literally, run over by crazies!

Since there are no thoughts on this I might add that the ability of crazies, through media, to talk and organize. One result was the white supremacist marches. This is, I suspect, true with other groups also, such as the anarchists. Whilst my example tend to deal with fringes on the right I also believe that exactly the same thing is happening on the left. The difference is that them on the right seem to be quite willing to march under the Republican flag whilst the fringe groups on the left don't seem to understand that, in their isolated pride, they are quite willing to split, disparage, and generally work as hard as they can to blow up the Democratic party and them that are the supposed leaders of said party seem blind to it all.

As usual - I wish us all good luck!
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/07/19 07:40 PM

Here tis'
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/10/19 12:21 AM

Let's not forget that this is not a bill aimed at becoming law, it's a set of principles, guidelines and goals. Some of it is unrealistic, some of it is realistic but too much overreach and some is just what the doctor ordered. And all of it is sort of "first draft" but hey, you gotta start somewhere.

In the meantime, this is making R heads explode, gotta love it!

Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/10/19 10:14 PM

The green new deal is setting out the Democratic house's plan to deal with the environment and other things. Its not a law but a their plan for the nation. I think its a great start. I have some disagreements, some agreement and some neutrality but, at least, it sets things up! This is better than the republicans have done, for instance. They don' tell nobody a damned thing, pass their legislation in the middle of the night and seem quite confident that the opposition won't say, or do, a damned thing (unfortunately they are, in this regard, pretty much right).

Anyway, I would point out that our system was never setup for one side to get everything they want. Many of the problems we have are based on this simple fact. THEIR PLAN (founders) was to believe that most elected have the interest of the nation at heart. This being the case, and it being understood that there would be two sides to just about everything, they figured that, in the end, with both sides stating where they stand that there should be some middle ground to move forward. Since neither side would get everything they wanted the results would be stuff that both sides could agree on. That's how its supposed to work!

Our current problem is that the Republicans embraced the Gingrich plan, ie. do not give an inch on anything - its all or nothing! When he expressed this it was a subject of some ridicule in that could never happen. At that point in time the thought was that everybody had voting rights, everybody had the nation at heart, everybody was talking to everybody else, congress had civilized rules in place that were observed by all, etc. Things, however, have changed. The sides don't even talk, the voting public seem to be stuck on both sides and, apparently, hate each other, "my way or the highway is the rule", etc. The Democrats now seem to be embracing their own version of the Gingrich plan.

All that being said I really do think the green new deal is a great effort at what one side wants. I would hope that the Republicans could at least read it and, instead of wailing death, destruction, and bankruptcy, try to examine the problems and solutions put forward and respond with some kind of civilized response instead of all the claim that it will destroy the nation. The problems listed, for instance, are very real and are backed by reality and science.

One last. I think, pretty soon, the two sides are going to morph and the sides will be congress vs administration. My hope is that will happen sooner rather than later and that the congress grows enough spine to win, start talking to each other, and actually start legislating rather than either being silent or kissing the ring of the dear leader. (had to add a little wishful thinking just for the heck of it)

Could go on and on about this but enough, I think...........
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/11/19 06:00 PM

I think that the Green New Deal is winning. What is everyone talking about? Isn't that really the point, and how things work now? You have something to shoot for, and at, but we're now debating the elements: Jobs, Infrastructure, taxation. Like the ACA before it, the arguments are now about not what we can do, but how we get there. When we talk about "Medicare for all" - we're past arguing whether healthcare is a right, people now believe it is, but how to implement it. The Green New Deal will be our blueprint for future discussions, not "the wall" and immigration. Trump's day has passed.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/11/19 07:26 PM

You may well be right! I have not read it through but, I suspect, there are one or two really left wing things like the living wage, working or not, thing. I actually think we will get there but not yet. Give the continuous growth of homelessness, robotamization (new word!), unemployment, etc. Gov will have 2 choices, kill 'em all, or accept the simple fact of a permanent underclass. Underclass will win and it will take something like the living wage to keep them out of the streets.

I also believe that there is going to be a LOT more of them than us.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/11/19 07:41 PM

Quote:
I also believe that there is going to be a LOT more of them than us.


And at some point we probably will become "them". This lack of foresight is characteristic of people deciding they don't need health insurance, retirement savings, etc. I think it's really because we want to deny our own mortality. We may be fine now, but someday we will almost all be too sick to work, and certainly all will die. The folly of conservatism is to think we will never need help, when actually that is the natural order of things.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/12/19 08:06 PM

This is the reason we have Social Security, medicare, etc. We are forced to pay for them whether we like it or not. I have always had a problem with medicare as those payments are waaaaaaaaaaaay too small. Still, the republicans are making a serious run at both of them. As far as I can tell they have actually started to take out of the social security pot and are also taking 100 million a year out of medicare. (which is, incidentally, rarely reported)

Its really kinda interesting. I have conservative friends that will argue against Social Security because it takes away the individual's freedom to make the right decision themselves. The last figure I have heard, about the current crop of retirees, is that they may have as much as 13,000.00 set aside for their retirement. I also watched a show about a guy who was interviewed about this and he was asked how much he set aside (it was about 8,000.00) The he was asked about his lifestyle before retirement. He was making over 199,000.00 annually. He had a house, a vacation house, a sailboat and an airplane. He, basically, lived the good life. Now, however he is on social security. He was not happy on social security and wanted to know why he wasn't being paid more. He was, basically, clueless. Oh, he also consistently voted Republican and was proud of it.

I remember having a discussion about SS with a friend of mine. He said he saw no need for it as people, if given a chance would make the right decision. He was flat out wrong. I suggested he read the reports and stories when SS was being legislated that docu ented the people on the streets, etc. His observation was that they were demonstrating what happens when one doesn't make the right decisions and their problems are their own fault. He was, as far as I am concerned, dead flat wrong. I have seen what happens when there is no safety net, I saw it in Russia and also in India. Its not pretty and the republicans, as far as I can tell, want us to return to that time.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/13/19 09:19 AM

That "people would make the right decisions" argument is so provably wrong: They very obviously DON'T make the right decisions, because if they did they would have a fortune saved for their retirement by age 65, instead of shiny new car leases every year and $6 cups of coffee from Starbucks. Social Security is the bare minimum so you don't starve to death or have to beg on street corners. Paying into Social Security in the richest states at least gives you the option of retiring more comfortably in a poor state or foreign country. I would hate to depend on Social Security alone I paid in on a minimum wage job.

People might make the right decisions if we bothered to educate them, but we don't. That's why we desperately need Social Security.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/13/19 07:21 PM

I lost faith in the American electorate a very long time ago. The election of Jackass just sealed the deal for me. Since that happened 30+ percent of the electorate just keep on proving that they actually lack the will, or capacity, to actually act in their own best interest. Instead they are leaving it all up to Jackass. I wonder if this is how monarchies, dictatorships, etc. got started.

Its also been suggested (I think even books written) that when things are good people have a chance to think about things other than survival and problems develop. Its said, for instance, that when the Russia revolution of 1918 took place Russia had the biggest, and richest, economy in the world. As a result things were changing, for the better. The result was that they had a revolution.

Anyway, I support any initiative that force people to invest in their own best interest and Police, Firemen, Social Security and Medicare are certainly examples of that. As far as I am concerned Healthcare should also be in that column. On reflection I tend to like taxes that are earmarked for specific tasks as it works (regardless of what the naysayer liars have to say).

In my town we had a community swimming pool. It was getting elderly and the city was letting it sink into the earth with little or no help. Some of the local enthusiasts got together and convinced the community to split the swimming pool off from the rest of the city by giving the pool its own taxing district. When they took over they started to improve. You can no longer, for instance, smell any chlorine. They replaced all lighting too. That was the beginning and they actually cut their operating costs by almost 50%! Now they have plans to expand and they have the money to do that with too. I think this was probably a very good example of 'social responsibility' in action. We have a pile of righteous Republicans in town and, as far as I can tell, they all supported this whole thing. My suspicion is that nobody actually told the this was a kindofa socialist endeavor.

Anyway..............
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/13/19 10:02 PM

Quote:
I lost faith in the American electorate a very long time ago.

It was George W Bush's re-election that did it for me. Thugs get supported by thugs and everyone else is bullied into going along to the obvious detriment of all.
Perhaps one of the strangest ironies in this Trump administration is that the single cause his wife, our First Lady, Slovenian immigrant Melania Knavs Trump embraced was bullying.
Quote:

Its said, for instance, that when the Russia revolution of 1918 took place Russia had the biggest, and richest, economy in the world. As a result things were changing, for the better. The result was that they had a revolution.


Have you given any thought to the possibility that for a LOT of people life had become so unbearable that they felt compelled to die in a revolution rather than live under tyranny?

And what sort of tyranny do you imagine it might have been in the richest most powerful nation in the world?

It was economic tyranny, my friend, the rich and powerful became too rich and powerful and took so much wealth that there was nothing left for everyone else.

There were a few rich people and a lot of hungry peasants.

This is a scene that has played out over and over and over.

Quote:
Anyway, I support any initiative that force people to invest in their own best interest and Police, Firemen, Social Security and Medicare are certainly examples of that. As far as I am concerned Healthcare should also be in that column. On reflection I tend to like taxes that are earmarked for specific tasks as it works

I couldn't agree more. Those are socialist endeavors rather than capitalist. The two work very well side by side. Just like your communist pool, everybody chips in and things get done. Everybody is happy in the end. That's the goal of socialism, for everybody to be healthy, happy, well educated and well paid. Doctors will still drive BMWs and street sweepers will drive beaters. But they'll both have roofs over their heads and plenty of food in the fridge, and when they get sick they can go to the doctor.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/14/19 04:00 AM

Interesting drawing shows where the carbon is and how much flows into other compartments:

Carbon Cycle

It's complicated and burning fossil fuels is a small but steady flow. Even though much larger amounts of carbon move between plants and the atmosphere, and oceans and the atmosphere, those flows are about equal. The important part of it is we are adding 9 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere, of which 3 billion moves into the soil and 2 billion moves into the ocean. If we cut off all of our carbon emissions, presumably those flows into the soil and oceans would continue, but slowly diminish over many years as less carbon was in the atmosphere.
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/14/19 07:22 PM

I thought I would check my facts. The economy, in 1918 Russia was really, really bad. It was the end of WWI and that was disaster for Russia. I was flat out wrong about that one.

Basically, it had little to do with tyranny and rich people and a lot to do with a completely failed economy.

As far as "Socialist" endeavors are concerned. I tend to believe that they are "social" endeavors. Not all that sure about them being Socialist. We can battle over this all day, neither of us are going to change. I believe that there can be simple 'social' interactions that work and really need not be politicized.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/16/19 03:15 PM

Republicans like bogeymen, Democrats like facts. In support of both, Here's what the Green New Deal actually says (CNN).
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/16/19 06:02 PM

Of course "people would make the right decisions" isn't right. My point is that conservatives do believe its right and true. Most conservatives I know (nary a Trumpite in that group) believe it and its always amazed me. They have a LOT of faith in the human race. My own thought is that its just not that easy to be a conservative!

I can't count the number of times somebody has told me stuff like; "If government just went away things would be a lot better!", and "Why can't government just leave everybody alone?"
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/16/19 11:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Doctors will still drive BMWs and street sweepers will drive beaters. But they'll both have roofs over their heads and plenty of food in the fridge, and when they get sick they can go to the doctor.


That's how it was when I was growing up as a starving student during the tail end of the New Deal era.
My pickup truck was an old beater, my apartment was maybe 120 square feet if that, with a tiny bathroom and a kitchenette built into one wall with a two burner stove and fridge combo, and I had no luxuries whatsoever, but I could eat and put gas in my beater and pay my $100 a month rent thanks to my minimum wage dishwasher job.

It was "enough" to get by and I was able to better my circumstances and move up the ladder.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/17/19 03:15 AM

In 69 I was 17. I had a high school diploma, an assistant job in a research lab, an apartment, and a live-in girlfriend. I was in hog-heaven!
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/17/19 01:02 PM

It is hard, sometimes, to realize how different today's world, and economy, is from what it was when I (and most of us here) were children. We're the frogs that have been boiled. It was just as difficult, I think, for our parents to realize how profoundly different the world (and economy) became after their childhoods. My parents were products of the Great Depression and the Second World War. It struck me last night that I was alive when the Wall went up between East and West Germany. My childhood was the Cold War - and I'm, essentially, a late "Boomer". My children are both post-Soviet collapse products, so never experienced the USSR. The next generation is post 9/11. And now it is post-economic collapse of 2007-8. Those events have profoundly affected the understandings of those generations, and shape their thinking. (Although I hate to bring him up, this explains Trump's thinking - he hasn't adapted to the post-Wall world, and still thinks like a 1950s child, albeit a privileged one.)

The Green New Deal is an expression of the thinking of the current generation. Yes, there are some politicians, economists, pundits and thinkers who understand the transition, but the leaders are really much younger, and truly think differently. Personally, I think we should follow their lead, as it is now their world. Conservatism, really, is in the Boomer headspace, and needs to adapt or die (really, just die). Reagan was already an anachronism when he became President, and George Bush was the last of the WWII generation of Presidents. His son should have been the last of the Vietnam era Presidents. I really like Joe, and Elizabeth, and Bernie, but their time has passed. Don't trust anyone over 55!
Posted by: jgw

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/17/19 09:26 PM

I am almost in agreement on the age thing and have stated that elsewhere. We currently have a president that is 72 years old. I am becoming more and more convinced that he is not always telling lies but simply telling us what he actually believes. He actually believes, for instance, they he is, and has been, building his wall! He has even been photographed standing next to one (but Obama built it which, I am sure, he thinks a canard).

In other words we have a president that is losing any grasp on reality in favor of a reality he THINKS is real! If the congress had half a brain then both sides would legislate a law that would force the president to be examined by a group of shrinks to make sure he actually is living in reality or his reality.

This is, incidentally, the only possible explanation of why he keeps on insisting he is building walls! On top of that it would also explain a number of his other claims that are just flat out wrong. We are also told that them that work with him don't dare point out any of the constant references to things that are simply not true. I could list the but, I think, you all have heard, or witnessed this.

I believe that Donald Trump is clinically insane! There is no other possible explanation for much of what comes out of his mouth! https://www.oregonlive.com/trending/2017/09/is_donald_trump_actually_crazy.html
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/18/19 08:27 PM

The Green New Deal Could Launch Republican Climate Solutions (TIME). Now, there's a thought.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/18/19 10:09 PM

Let me start with this...
Quote:
Nearly 3 in 4 Americans, including a majority of Republicans, now agree that climate change is happening

They're just going to quietly start believing in climate change...?

As if they hadn't been making fools of themselves for completely denying it.
Quote:
Both ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips have lobbied in favor of a proposed carbon tax

It's only when lobbyists start whispering in their ears that they begin to believe.
Quote:
“They want a sustainable economy,” says Curbelo. “They want to achieve that in a way that doesn’t bankrupt them.”

We all want a sustainable economy and don't want to bankrupt them. But they gotta stop the coal mining and oil drilling and move into providing clean sustainable energy. We know it's the future, they know it's the future. It's not like we really have a choice in the matter.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/19/19 05:44 AM

It's kind of like the old joke about masturbating making you go blind. So I'm just going to do it until I need glasses. Coal, oil, and natural gas have been our easy bootstrap to sustainable energy sources. But we need to stop using the bootstrap before it kills us.

I'm heating my house this winter with a combination of passive solar (I open the South-facing windows during the day.) and livestock heat. 6 big dogs and two people put out a surprising amount of heat, and I have really good insulation.
Posted by: chunkstyle

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/23/19 03:13 PM

The recommended GND should be a litmus test for the 2020 elections. Screw party purity and primary this type of entrenched deadwood in the party. If it's a DSA candidate all the better. They have the cojones to push for change as opposed to these tired millionaires squatting a senate seat.

Senator knows best
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/23/19 04:22 PM

Somebody needs to do something for feck's sake, we are running out of time!

https://youtu.be/CadP4dRemYk
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/24/19 10:45 AM

I'm afraid we need several feet of sea level rise and a bunch more super hurricanes before anything gets done. I think some countries will still be burning coal until after we are all dead. A big breakthrough could be a standard Thorium molten salt reactor design that is put in the public domain. Or maybe a standing wave depleted Uranium reactor. We have enough depleted Uranium to last a very long time. Every country now burning coal could construct them cheaply and transition away from coal for economic reasons and because they would put less radiation in the atmosphere than burning the equivalent amount of coal.

I think Bill Gates is trying to do something along those lines.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/24/19 04:41 PM

Pfffffft....sh*t in one hand and invest a billion in nuclear energy in the other and see which one fills up fastest..

Spend a billion building a massive solar power/wind farm on an abandoned soybean field near a city and watch how fast that billion comes back to you. That's how the Green New Deal works. It creates thousands of clean jobs and provides free clean energy. And it's shovel ready.

A billion in nuclear eh? Does it all go to one university where one day they will build the Bill Gates Center For Cultural Diversity? Or does it go to a thousand different places and go down a thousand different drains. And get a thousand buildings named for Mr. Gates.

I once was young and idealistic like you and believed all the things I read in Popular Science and Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine. Now I see that it's a race for survival in the near term.

We may see viable nuclear reactors which provide unlimited free energy from a unit the size of a shoebox within the next few centuries, Bill Gates donation to the cause will be long forgotten by then.

But first...we have to survive. That's where the Green New Deal is focused. On survival, on lifting up those trampled by economic inequality and on cleaning up the mess that Bill Gates and his fellow billionaires made while creating an existential threat to humanity.

Nuclear energy is not and will likely never be "green".
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/25/19 12:45 AM

The #1 energy effort that we can do now, and make money in the process, is conservation. I firmly believe thar we could get by very satisfactorily on 50% of our current consumption levels. That is the same thing as doubling the available energy while spending half as much.

Unfortunately, what with our human inclination to zomboid behavior, all we can do is believe that making more energy is the final solution (which it will be...).
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/25/19 02:29 AM

Solar power is terrific, but unfortunately the sun does not shine at night. In addition to solar arrays you need either some way to store energy or generate it at night. That's called "the base load" in the energy industry. An idea that's not bad is to pump water to a high reservoir when you have excess power and then run it to a lower reservoir through dynamos when you need power. The industry does do that in the few places that can accommodate that topographically. Another idea is batteries, but they are horribly inefficient, expensive, and require a lot of maintenance and replacement.

So how do you solve the base load problem? The greenest way would be the new nuclear reactor designs. They use very abundant input materials, are safe by design, produce little waste, and don't make stuff for building bombs. The Thorium Molten Salt design uses the Thorium we have by the megaton in mine tailings. The standing wave design uses the depleted Uranium we also have in the megatons from enriching Uranium for reactors and bombs for the last 75 years. So they actually consume radioactive waste. They are like building reactors that run on poop. Something we already have and wish we didn't.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/25/19 03:32 AM

Eventually someone may crack the nuclear nut. It could be two, ten, or 200 years away. We have to make some immediate headway in reducing fossil fuel use. I'd be okay with it if some fossil fuel powered plants ran a few hours at night to make up the difference.

But why are they running at all during the day when solar and wind could make all we need?

Just a thought... West Virginia's collapsed economy was based on coal mining, they have vast pieces of land destroyed by coal mining. Even more vast pieces of land owned by mining companies that will never be mined.

Let's cover those acres with solar panels and a few wind turbines on top of every mountain that's been blasted flat. The entire state could become a power plant and the coal miners would build and maintain the system...Solar mining as it were...

Again, Gates' money would be better spent on real green projects.
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/25/19 03:06 PM

Did I read a headline which says oil companies want the administration to pass legislation to stop investors from pushing for green energy? So we have an administration which is pro oil, anti-green, and lobbied by oil against green and climate ... it would require a seismic shift in voter thinking i.e. changing the ignorance of the Trump Base.

But keep punching away ... education is a long term process
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/25/19 03:29 PM

I don't know if willful ignorance can be educated away...
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/26/19 01:47 PM

Ecosocialist roundtable
Quote:
A Call to Critically Support the Green New Deal

Brad Hornick

For many decades, scientists have warned that the window for the kind of widespread economic, political, and policy reforms required to avert ecological catastrophe is rapidly closing. Warnings from the scientific community concerning the threat of ecological collapse are universally built around the concepts of “thresholds” and “tipping points” which explicitly refer to threats to the physical preconditions that permit life in the entire biosphere.

These warnings posit a window of opportunity that if not responded to in a dramatic and urgent manner, will be surpassed. The stakes mark a divide between the remaining potential for the exercise of purposeful human action versus the extinguishment of that potential, after which an adequate collective response to ecological crisis becomes perfectly irrelevant as more extreme changes to the climate system become self-generating, locked-in, and irreversible.

So far, authoritative scientific evidence has done nothing to move the world away from a “business-as-usual” socio-economic model that is inherently destructive. “Faster-than-expected” impacts from global warming such as extreme heat and cold, drought, floods, fire, etc. have been met with promises of technological innovation and narrow policy instruments disciplined by neo-liberal capitalism – rather than more profound political engagement and proactive emergency planning.

Today’s political and moral calculus could not be more clear. We can either “give-in” to the ruling class that guarantees a world firmly on course for imminent, intractable and catastrophic ecological and social crisis, or we can begin to recognize our predicament, mobilize, constructively critique, support, and protect the vision for an unprecedented collective response commensurable to the threat.

The challenge is an immense one. Emergency response to a crisis means there is no longer any time for gradual, incremental or “non-disruptive” reductions in emissions. Meeting the obligations that many scientists now say are critical, getting to “net zero carbon” virtually instantaneously, requires more than an immediate shut-down the planet’s fossil fuel industries.

It also implies a radical retrenchment or collapse of the dominant industries and infrastructure based upon fossil fuel production, including automobiles, aircraft, shipping, petrochemical, synthetic fabrics, construction, agribusiness, industrial agriculture, packaging, plastic production (disposables economy), and the war industries.

Such massive structural changes in our industrial base will only be productively managed if society develops the resiliency and flexibility to withstand the challenges of social transformation. Most importantly, this requires an active participation of organized labor and environmentalists to ensure all people continue to have work, food, shelter and other basic needs met.

Political organizing around the Green New Deal represents a potential breakthrough for many – a recognition of the magnitude and urgency of the social and political changes that are required for civilizational survival. Inevitably, this call to action will require popular mobilization to compensate for the power of intransigent vested corporate and political interests.

The GND stakes new ground and proposes new battle-lines for the climate justice movement to authentically challenge the priorities of capitalism over people and the planet. It will be denounced as “radical,” “idealistic,” and even “socialist” by those intent on ratcheting-up the ideological battle. Supporters and constructive critics of the GND should prepare themselves to unapologetically lead the charge.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/26/19 06:26 PM

Study: Green New Deal Will Rob and Kill Your Entire Family (Splinter). This is the level of discourse we can expect from the right.
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/26/19 07:28 PM

don't shatter my dreams and hopes for a future where I wear sunshades
Posted by: rporter314

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/26/19 07:34 PM

I may be wrong or more likely unaware, but it seems to me we are on the precipice mankind has never seen. We may have a real opportunity to actually manage our future.

Imagine the first men looking to the heavens with arms outraised proclaiming loudly that they would do something to manage their environment. Imagine the world they would have left us all these generations later.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 02/27/19 12:39 AM

Originally Posted By: rporter314
Did I read a headline which says oil companies want the administration to pass legislation to stop investors from pushing for green energy?


What?? How does one make it illegal to invest in green power?
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 12:49 PM

Lost in all the posturing and hyperbole is the idea that it is possible to develop socio/enviro/capitalist solutions to what ails us - call it “solutions with benefits”.

But to do so will require a much higher level of wokeiness among the general population.

(Insert biochar+energy pitch here...)
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 01:52 PM

I'm going to be on a panel discussing the climate crisis and what can be done about it in a couple of weeks. My particular topic focus will be on increasing soil carbon through the use of biochar and microbial inoculants. Research shows that depleted soils (and almost all are, thanks to decades of "industrial farming" - the witless brainchild of mega corporate capitalism) can be regenerated by re-establishing appropriate microbial colonies that are the key to root/soil synergies, which can be accomplished by applying biochar (the carrier) that is loaded with biodiverse microbial soil inoculant made by a simple composting process. This regeneration can result in annual soil carbon increases of 5 tonnes per acre from the plants capturing CO2 from the atmosphere and passing it along as sugars to feed fungi which convert it to graphene - a recalcitrant form of carbon that persists for hundreds, or even thousands, of years in the soil. Five tonnes of carbon is equal to 18.5 tonnes of CO2. There are 915 million acres of ag land on Earth with the potential of sequestering 18.5 tonnes of CO2 per year, which is 17 gigatonnes worldwide. In 2018, humans pumped 37 gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, much of that coming from farming practices that cause soil carbon depletion.

And on the subject of solutions with benefits, this soil health regeneration comes with water use reduction, increased productivity, lower tillage costs, elimination of the use (and cost) of fertilizers/herbicides/pesticides, and more jobs.

In the biochar making process, energy is produced that can be used to displace fossil fuel derived energy (coal, oil, gas), the cost of heating buildings is reduced, and biomass feedstocks can come from reducing forest fire fuels and other waste agricultural residues. External benefits galore...

The whole concept is a great example of socio/enviro/capitalist economics. Who doesn't like it? Multinational energy and chemical corporations - the kings of destructive Capitalism.
Posted by: NW Ponderer

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 02:54 PM

Woot! You go, loggy. Biochar is a big component of the planet's future.

[I just read a great chapter about about the chemical wonders of carbon in "the Disappearing Spoon", a book about the periodic table my book club is reading.]
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 07:48 PM

There's really no arguing with the facts on biochar. Mineral and chemical applications to farmland is pretty much the norm, adding biochar as an inert ingredient to every bag or ton of fertilizer sold should be mandated by the USDA.

Better soil and crops, uncountable tons of CO2 sequestered. A new industry is created that recycles biowaste.

Planet saved. Just that simple.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 08:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
There's really no arguing with the facts on biochar. Mineral and chemical applications to farmland is pretty much the norm, adding biochar as an inert ingredient to every bag or ton of fertilizer sold should be mandated by the USDA.

Actually, the biggest part of the formula is the microbes. Biochar is just the Airstream trailers that the microbes can use for housing and protection during the transition.

Soil Food Web guru Elaine Ingham
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 10:31 PM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
I'm afraid we need several feet of sea level rise and a bunch more super hurricanes before anything gets done. I think some countries will still be burning coal until after we are all dead. A big breakthrough could be a standard Thorium molten salt reactor design that is put in the public domain. Or maybe a standing wave depleted Uranium reactor. We have enough depleted Uranium to last a very long time. Every country now burning coal could construct them cheaply and transition away from coal for economic reasons and because they would put less radiation in the atmosphere than burning the equivalent amount of coal.

I think Bill Gates is trying to do something along those lines.


Thorium nuke plants can burn radioactive waste.
In fact, many of today's current reactors can be made to burn the waste.

ZDNet link
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 10:38 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Eventually someone may crack the nuclear nut. It could be two, ten, or 200 years away.


Greger, successful thorium plants are already online in France, UK, India and China.
The design was workable back in the Fifties when we made our "Sophie's Choice" by picking only ONE fuel cycle instead of both.
All we've done is pry Thorium out of mothballs and polished it up a bit for the new century. But thorium fuel cycle is originally a Cold War era design.

The only reason we did not pursue it was because Congress wasn't willing to fund BOTH designs. The military won out, and thorium was shelved. The reason is because it was not proliferable, and our military wanted weapons potential.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 10:48 PM

Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Thorium nuke plants can burn radioactive waste.
In fact, many of today's current reactors can be made to burn the waste.

That would be nice.

On the subject of the Green New Deal, these sorts of on-the-ground projects with triple-bottom-line benefits need to be the focus of action (biochar, microbes, clean electricity). It is entirely possible to change the way we live and do business to a Green Way, that does not involve negative sacrifices. Some crap that we currently think of as a "higher standard of living" does need to go, but it will be an improvement in quality of life, not a sacrifice.

"Conservative", politically speaking, means "fear of change" (nod to Hatrack's amygdalic God). Well, change is a comin', whether you fear it or not. Most of the change, ala New Green Deal, can be positive, if we are intelligent enough to embrace it and work it with integrity and good intent.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: Greger
Eventually someone may crack the nuclear nut. It could be two, ten, or 200 years away.


Greger, successful thorium plants are already online in France, UK, India and China.
The design was workable back in the Fifties when we made our "Sophie's Choice" by picking only ONE fuel cycle instead of both.
All we've done is pry Thorium out of mothballs and polished it up a bit for the new century. But thorium fuel cycle is originally a Cold War era design.

The only reason we did not pursue it was because Congress wasn't willing to fund BOTH designs. The military won out, and thorium was shelved. The reason is because it was not proliferable, and our military wanted weapons potential.



Yes there are reactors that can be made to burn thorium. No they are not molten salt reactors. Nearest guestimate on one of those operating is maybe 15 years out. Maybe. These fast breeders are just old school nasty nuclear that creates more waste than it can burn.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/07/19 11:58 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Originally Posted By: Jeffery J. Haas
Originally Posted By: Greger
Eventually someone may crack the nuclear nut. It could be two, ten, or 200 years away.


Greger, successful thorium plants are already online in France, UK, India and China.
The design was workable back in the Fifties when we made our "Sophie's Choice" by picking only ONE fuel cycle instead of both.
All we've done is pry Thorium out of mothballs and polished it up a bit for the new century. But thorium fuel cycle is originally a Cold War era design.

The only reason we did not pursue it was because Congress wasn't willing to fund BOTH designs. The military won out, and thorium was shelved. The reason is because it was not proliferable, and our military wanted weapons potential.



Yes there are reactors that can be made to burn thorium. No they are not molten salt reactors. Nearest guestimate on one of those operating is maybe 15 years out. Maybe. These fast breeders are just old school nasty nuclear that creates more waste than it can burn.


You don't understand...it seems.
I was talking about several different approaches.
There ARE operating thorium reactors online...now, right now.
They're small because they are proof of concept, but they are operating and producing power, right now.

As for adapting current designs to burn nuke waste, if it's fifteen years out, so what? So we keep the waste safe for fifteen more years. Can we do that? Yeah, I think we can. Then we can burn it all up.

But thorium reactors are workable now, doable now, and all that remains is scaling them up. It's not an experimental design, it's a working design.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/08/19 12:37 AM

New Molten Salt Thorium Reactor Powers Up for First Time in Decades

Quote:
A team from the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) the Netherlands has built the first molten salt reactor powered by thorium in decades.


It's a work in progress because they have not worked out the best materials to deal with the very corrosive conditions inside the reactor, but it is running. I think that's what everybody in the field is working on right now. It's not a very useful reactor if you have to shut it down every year to replace the reaction chambers, pipes, and valves. The main problem is that hot lithium ions are very reactive, so they dissolve the uranium and thorium fuel, but they also combine with the reactor structure material, dissolving it into the molten salt. The other type of corrosion is actually nuclear: Transmutation changes elements in the reactor structures.
The problem is a bit easier because it not under pressure, like in other types of reactor.
Posted by: Jeffery J. Haas

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/08/19 03:24 AM

Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
The main problem is that hot lithium ions are very reactive, so they dissolve the uranium and thorium fuel, but they also combine with the reactor structure material, dissolving it into the molten salt.


What do you make of this?

Lithium - World Nuclear Association

Quote:
As a fluoride, Li-7 is used in the lithium fluoride (LiF) and lithium-beryllium fluorides (FLiBe) which comprise the coolant salt in most molten salt reactors (MSRs) now the focus of intensive development. FLiBe has about 14% lithium, so even higher levels of purity are required – 99.995% Li-7. In most cases the coolant salt also has the fuel dissolved in it. Such fluoride salts have very low vapour pressure even at red heat, carry more heat than the same volume of water, have good heat transfer properties, have low neutron absorbtion, are not damaged by radiation, do not react violently with air or water, and some are inert to some common structural metals.LiF is exceptionally stable chemically, and the LiF-BeF2 mix (‘FLiBe’) is eutectic (at 459°C it has a lower melting point than either ingredient – LiF is about 500°C). FLiBe is favoured in MSR primary cooling, and when uncontaminated has a low corrosion effect. The three nuclides (Li-7, Be, F) are among the few to have low enough thermal neutron capture cross-sections not to interfere with fission reactions. FLiNaK (LiF-NaF-KF) is also eutectic and solidifies at 454°C. It has a higher neutron cross-section than FLiBe or LiF but can be used intermediate cooling loops, without the toxic beryllium.
Posted by: Ujest Shurly

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/08/19 11:48 AM

All of what you said logtroll, is seen as an expense to a business. They are against anything that cuts into the profits. Their brain function is profit over enviroment or anything and everything else. How do you overcome that mindset?

If there is no clear gain for them they won't do it.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/08/19 01:28 PM

Originally Posted By: Ujest Shurly
All of what you said logtroll, is seen as an expense to a business. They are against anything that cuts into the profits. Their brain function is profit over enviroment or anything and everything else. How do you overcome that mindset?

If there is no clear gain for them they won't do it.

You hit on a core issue in solving what I think of as the fundamental cultural change that must occur if humans are to dodge catastrophe. My puny efforts to develop a significant alternative to the corporate/capitalist Matrix can’t stand toe to claw with Monsanto or BP or ConAgra and battle it out for market share dominance.

Our strategy is to go at it from a cellular approach, too small to be worth the notice of the Corporate Ogres - we do this not from a desire to fight them, but because it will work to make the cells (rural communities) healthier. A metaphor is the very biodiverse microbial soil inoculant that we promote, a model that grows laterally and with great diversity, instead of vertically in a 'stovepipe'. One reason I believe that we can do this is because the Ogres are currently not working the rural community “markets” - the concept of economies of scale has become so unquestionably accepted that anything small is unimportant and goes unnoticed. Interestingly, the economies of scale concept is a fiction in small communities - appropriate scale and context are the keys. Multinational corporations are not interested in appropriate small scale, and can’t (don't want to) compete in that arena.

In case you think I am theorizing and missing something, you should know that what I’m talking about comes from decades of experience, not dreaming. There have been uncountable micro-revelations associated with my model, too many to list - should write a book but don’t have time for it, nor the skills. But here’s an example of how it works - which happens to be what we are doing now.

A small teacher’s college in my state was originally sited in a very rural location in the early 1900’s. I suppose at the time it was a regional center of activity, but eventually the population centers developed elsewhere, so now the campus is in a village of a few hundred people about 30 miles from the nearest small city. Because of the fairly remote location, a satellite campus was built in 1971 in Espanola and it became a community college, mostly for technical training (much of it related to providing workers for Los Alamos National Lab). The El Rito campus remained open until 2015, when financial pressures, in large part the cost of heating it with propane boilers ($250,000 a year) caused it to be mothballed. El Rito is in a forested area that is in dire need of restorative thinning, it is an unhealthy tinderbox ready to be another Camp Fire, but there is currently no value for the biomass that needs to be removed, and scarce federal or state funding to pay for it.

So along comes Logtroll and The Trollworks - we learn about the situation and come up with a plan to secure a grant to do a pilot project where we will take the worthless biomass and use it to make biochar while heating one of the classroom buildings. Since there is a soils lab on campus, and they have 30 acres of farmland and water rights to go with it, to the project includes curriculum development for the making of biochar and using it in agriculture. And the pilot project building, which used to cost $30,000 a year to heat using fossil fuel, will instead make a “profit” of $20,000 from the biochar “byproduct” while being heated for free - a $50,000 annual revenue swing from a single building! . And the liability biomass in the area will now have a monetary value, which will support the restoration of local federal forests and provide many good jobs.

Because this solution involves a fairly complex integrated community system to be developed, and because it is not a model that makes a simple product intended for distribution and sale through a global network of corporate boxes, it will never even attract the Ogres’ notice. Yet it will have the power to completely transform a weak and vanishing community into a more self sufficient economy, and one that does environmental restoration, helps to wean the world from fossil fuels, draws down CO2 from the atmosphere, and distributes the economic benefit to local people and not multi-national corporations.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/08/19 01:40 PM

Continuing the story a bit, once we prove up the concept with the pilot demonstration, and have solid numbers to show how it works, the state of New Mexico, which owns the college and has a yooge vested interest in forest fire prevention, operating cost reduction (free heat) and economic development, is expected to get on the Biochar+Energy train and start converting state buildings at a reasonable clip. The county wherein the pilot is located is already evaluating it's buildings for heating system conversions. And we are in discussions with NM State University regarding heating a large greenhouse, participating in an aquifer cleanup project, and doing more research on the biochar+microbes synergy.

To reiterate, there is little about this complex community systems approach that would fit the standard Corporate Capitalist business model. It doesn't work very well if you just want to manufacture biochar or to make energy for commodities markets.

This is how the Green New Deal should be structured.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/08/19 08:46 PM

Does this qualify for Green New Deal status?

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/16/business/amazon-cardboard-box-prime-day/
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/08/19 11:07 PM

Quote:
What do you make of this?


As I understand it, the problem is not the working cooling molten salt breaking down, it's the reaction chamber and plumbing. But I'm a biologist and software engineer, so this kind of physical chemistry is not much in my training. I had a lot of fun in my chemistry classes, but I never went much past the required classes. I did think it was cool that we actually made a drug in my organic chem lab, but it was just sulphonamide.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/10/19 12:12 PM

More on soil health

Quote:
As floods and droughts become more common, farmers, scientists and conservationists are looking for ways to resist. One solution to combating the changing climate starts in the ground. A growing number of states across the country are proposing policies to encourage building healthier agricultural soil, a costly investment for many growers, but one that research shows can benefit farmers and the environment.

Just this year, at least 10 states have introduced new soil management policies that call for further research or data collection, or offer tax exemptions, technical assistance or even grant money to, among other actions, plant cover crops, diversify crop rotations and reduce tillage that can tear apart beneficial fungi.
Posted by: Ujest Shurly

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/10/19 12:43 PM

Another thing that will help is to grow a ground cover in the late fall and till it under come the spring. That is something I saw while stationed in Germany. The farmers plowing under the winter cover, some type of a grass; the soil was moist, dark, rich and had a sweet or pleasant smell, and what ever they grew in that field grew fast, tall and healthy looking. For the three years I passed this farm they were growing Tobacco.
Posted by: Greger

Re: The Green New Deal, explained - 09/10/19 04:54 PM

Quote:
To reiterate, there is little about this complex community systems approach that would fit the standard Corporate Capitalist business model. It doesn't work very well if you just want to manufacture biochar or to make energy for commodities markets.


To be blunt, if you can't monetize it it won't fly.

But you've already proven that it can save enormous amounts of cash.

So it's more a matter of investing millions upon millions of dollars into a corporation that builds and operates the heating equipment while leasing their services to other entities both state and private as a cheaper method of heating buildings. Seems like you could tack on a steam powered generator to provide electricity too...Who needs weird, dangerous and expensive nuclear energy when we can just burn everything in sight!

I'd suggest you start using post consumer bio-mass as well...Can you turn pig or chicken sh*t into biochar? Lease the equipment to farmers.
Garbage? Waste management companies will beat your doors down...

Everybody needs heat and energy. Biochar is a handy byproduct that will help save the planet. And with the proper lobbying and a USDA requirement of x-tons per acre of certified biochar on all agricultural land per year...
Landfill operators can reduce the volume they need to bury to a fraction while providing electricity to the grid! And sequestering tons of carbon!

Can you make your machine thing gobble waste plastic? Or better yet turn it into a marketable product? That should be a fairly short term effort as most future plastic waste will be made from hemp and be biodegradable.

That's how the green new deal is gonna operate at the corporate level.