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Solutions to AGW, real or not!

longview

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When discussing the possible solutions to AGW, there are many potential paths that can be taken.
The discussion could be expressed as a problem with limits.
On one far edge is the Laissez-faire approach, the market will select the most viable
replacement for fossil fuels.
On the other edge are the cries for definitive Government action to do something.
The something for the most part is some form of carbon tax.
The thinking is that taxing carbon will increase the cost of fossil fuels and make the
alternatives price competitive quicker.
The problem I see with the taxation approach is the very real danger of giving the government
another revenue stream, much akin to providing a junky with a new source of narcotics.
There is also a bias problem, related to the government picking winners, the people making the decisions could because of biases choose a solution which may not be the best one.
In reality, the solution lies somewhere in the middle. There is room for improvement
In the existing regulations, to allow say, home power to be a good deal for all the parties.
This unfortunately means an end to all net metering programs, home generators can be paid
for their surplus power, just not at the retail rate, or higher.
For the Laissez-faire approach, the natural raise in oil which will occur as the supply tapers off,
Will make the alternatives viable, just on a market price basis.
People will buy whatever solves their problem for the least amount of money!
 

joG

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When discussing the possible solutions to AGW, there are many potential paths that can be taken.
The discussion could be expressed as a problem with limits.
On one far edge is the Laissez-faire approach, the market will select the most viable
replacement for fossil fuels.
On the other edge are the cries for definitive Government action to do something.
The something for the most part is some form of carbon tax.
The thinking is that taxing carbon will increase the cost of fossil fuels and make the
alternatives price competitive quicker.
The problem I see with the taxation approach is the very real danger of giving the government
another revenue stream, much akin to providing a junky with a new source of narcotics.
There is also a bias problem, related to the government picking winners, the people making the decisions could because of biases choose a solution which may not be the best one.
In reality, the solution lies somewhere in the middle. There is room for improvement
In the existing regulations, to allow say, home power to be a good deal for all the parties.
This unfortunately means an end to all net metering programs, home generators can be paid
for their surplus power, just not at the retail rate, or higher.
For the Laissez-faire approach, the natural raise in oil which will occur as the supply tapers off,
Will make the alternatives viable, just on a market price basis.
People will buy whatever solves their problem for the least amount of money!

That problem is relatively well understood. The only difficulty comes in determining the size and timing of damage caused by emissions, which are less well understood. This is important, because it determines how restrictive the efficient methods should be employed. Is research enough or do we have to get out of emissions quickly?

If we go beyond research, cap and trade is the optimal instrument. Beyond that the main two instrument should be taxation of emissions and ristrictions in the use of items that are wasteful like old fashioned light bulbs. These would be phased out eventually, but they are so cheap and the switch front loaded, so that the alternatives have been slow to expand, though cheaper over the life of the life cycle.
 

longview

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That problem is relatively well understood. The only difficulty comes in determining the size and timing of damage caused by emissions, which are less well understood. This is important, because it determines how restrictive the efficient methods should be employed. Is research enough or do we have to get out of emissions quickly?

If we go beyond research, cap and trade is the optimal instrument. Beyond that the main two instrument should be taxation of emissions and ristrictions in the use of items that are wasteful like old fashioned light bulbs. These would be phased out eventually, but they are so cheap and the switch front loaded, so that the alternatives have been slow to expand, though cheaper over the life of the life cycle.
I cannot get behind the cap and trade system, it will provide an enormous advantage
to the existing energy companies, and add unnecessary overhead.
People like to talk about alternate energy, but then to not consider how functional useful that energy is.
Our modern society is based on the high energy density and portability of fossil oil based fuels.
We can get around personal transport, but ships, Jets, and tractors, present engineering challenges
beyond current battery technology.
The only technology currently available that meets the requirements is man made hydrocarbon fuels.
Cars That Run on Air and Water? Audi Rolls Out E-Diesel
The most likely people to do this on a large scale are the people who already own refineries and distribution networks,
I.E. the existing oil companies.
With current conversion efficiencies of around 70%, it looks like the ceiling price for oil will be about $87 a barrel.
Above that price, the refinery would make higher profit, making their own carbon neutral feedstock.
If cap and trade was in place, it would only serve to extend the period where people use fossil oil for fuel.
Oil will still have many uses, just not fuel.
What we need is a lot more electrical capacity, better nuclear plant designs, and millions of solar roofs.
 

Threegoofs

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Carbon tax makes the most sense.

Cap and trade is the most politically feasible.

Either way, a system that forced people to pay for a portion of future environmental costs of fossil fuels at the point of production or consumption makes total sense.
 

longview

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Carbon tax makes the most sense.

Cap and trade is the most politically feasible.

Either way, a system that forced people to pay for a portion of future environmental costs of fossil fuels at the point of production or consumption makes total sense.
One would think if added taxes on fuels would spur innovation, the Europeans would already be there.
The UK already taxes a US gallon of gas at over $3.15, while Germany is around $2.82 per gallon.
 

Lord of Planar

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Carbon tax makes the most sense.

Cap and trade is the most politically feasible.

Either way, a system that forced people to pay for a portion of future environmental costs of fossil fuels at the point of production or consumption makes total sense.

If applied to the states, all that would do is change the line at which even more jobs will go to other countries. If you wish to make fossil fuel more expensive, then at least suggest a system tax taxes imports based of energy used as well. Otherwise, it will do nothing but damage this nations economy.
 

KLATTU

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Carbon tax makes the most sense.

Cap and trade is the most politically feasible.

Either way, a system that forced people to pay for a portion of future environmental costs of fossil fuels at the point of production or consumption makes total sense.

Just for the US ?
 

Threegoofs

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One would think if added taxes on fuels would spur innovation, the Europeans would already be there.
The UK already taxes a US gallon of gas at over $3.15, while Germany is around $2.82 per gallon.

Look at the solar and wind development there. Taking larger and larger chunks of power generation.

Look at where the most advanced fusion reactors are.
 
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