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Van Jones: Inforum's 21st Century Visionary Award

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Commonwealth Club of California

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Mark Sullivan Avatar
Mark Sullivan
Posted: 09.17.10, 08:30 PM
As an update, the development of a large "solar farm" has been announced in my area. It will be in the Mojave Desert, to the east of Palm Springs, near Blythe. It will take up an estimated 6,000 acres and is expected to produce enough energy to power 800,000 homes. Seems like an awewful lot of land in relatively pristine desert habitat, which is undoubtedly teeming with countless species of plants, animals, insects and other forms of life.
Robert Rucker Avatar
Robert Rucker
Posted: 09.16.10, 04:14 PM
Dear YEEHAA! The proper spelling of "you're", in your context, would be "your". Robert Rucker Nashville, TN
Dforce Avatar
Posted: 08.01.10, 08:31 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by Robert Rucker Some undeniable truths of life: --Van Jones "resigned" because it became public that he signed the "Truther" statement, which alleges the Bush administration may have deliberately allowed the 9/11 attacks --Jones says he became a "radical Communist" while in prison, and that he saw the environmental movement as a means of achieving that agenda (as many in the movement have for decades) --Marxism is evil & oppresses everyone except those administering it; and also fouls the planet --Capitalism is good; the Industrial Revolution was good; the internal combustion engine is good; God-given oil is good; oil is organic; Capitalism allows us to repair accidents & clean up messes --BP probably would have drilled where they could more easily clean up an accident, if the government had allowed --wind & solar energy doesn't work because you can't turn it on & off, and it fails every cost/benefit analysis --there are many others in the Obama administration (including Obama) that are just as destructive as Van Jones --of Americans who could vote, about 25% vote for people who hinder drilling where Deepwater-type accidents would not occur Robert Rucker Nashville, TN YEEHAA! Spoken like a true redneck;No wonder you're country and its empire are finished;Morons like you speed the process of collapse and disintegration and for that alone,the rest of the world thanks you.
Dforce Avatar
Posted: 08.01.10, 08:28 AM
RE; Alikar You are a typical ignorant american;Obama is a Corporatist and socialism means a more egalatarian society where a wealthy minority are not allowed to tyrannise ,lie and rape this planert and its inhabitantsbut sigh, you're just another sheeple moron...
heybd Avatar
Posted: 07.26.10, 11:51 AM
@alikar: Sorry that shortened wikipedia link was broken. I'll try it again the other broken, shortened link: As for the other broken links and PDFs, I don't get any error messages when I click on them. @MarkSullivan You say wind/solar and coal/oil both take up space and have impacts on surrounding habitat. I guess we can take that as an unavoidable cost of energy production. But coal/oil also have the bonus of emitting pollution for the entirety of their production life. I don't know the best way to put my thoughts on this. I have great sympathy with any arguments against market intervention. Capitalism and free markets are great and work well, but dollars don't see future consequences. Markets are by nature reactionary, and it might behoove us to be proactive in the face of worldwide ecological disaster, because most scientists agree we are approaching a tipping point on global warming. If it will take decades to create a greener energy infrastructure, I say we'd better get started now.
ivantch Avatar
Posted: 07.24.10, 06:56 PM
Hi fellow commentators as an outsider (Australian) I must say I find this perpentual tarring of fellow Americans as Socialist or Communist a bit tedious and unhelpfull. It is just too easy and convenient to dismiss a person's line of argument and thought by locking them up in a Commo box and throwning it away. For Pete sake the Cold War and MacCarthy Communistis witch hunts are history. Ivan Tchernegovski Melbourne, Australia
Mark Sullivan Avatar
Mark Sullivan
Posted: 07.24.10, 12:20 PM
heybd, My discussion of permitting subsidies was purely hypothetical, as I oppose all subsidies. The hypothetrical grant of subsidies to oil/coal is because they actually produce most of our energy now. Even when wind/solar, etc. become economically viable without subsidy, it will take decades to create the infrastructure, delivery and other technologies to support them at the level they will need to assume. Right now, combined they produce what - 1 -3% of our energy? The citizen's tax money ought not be given to something they in no way benefit from. The notion of "No one will be able to pollute for free" addresses a fallacy: no one now pollutes for free. There are thousands of pages of regulations - all created and enforced by the government - in other words, businesses operate with approval from the government - adding costs at almost every step of business, all designed to reduce emissions. Also, tell me where the fines will go? Will the fines reduce pollution? Who benefits from the market created? will energfy become more affordable or less affordable? Cleaner or remain the same? This declaration by Mr. Williams hints at his tyrannical bent. At this momemt he is being honest - he wants to punish people who do not see things the way he does. All environmentalists do. This vengeful type of tyranny ought not be present in a free state in my opinion. Lastly, the costs associated with oil/coal enrgy production are figured into the decision of the free citizen to choose to use it or an alternative. Everyone knows there are no cost free benefits, but we all realize either overtly or intuitively, that everything has costs and benefits. Wind and solar take up huge land areas. Knowing the environmental lobby the way my almost 50 years of life have given me the experience to see, if an individual wanted to build a factory or a coal burning plant on the same land area, the environmentalists would be inconsolable, throwing out their "open space" rationale or looking for some obscure flea species to shut the project down. For wind and solar, however, they have looked the other way. I live near Palm Springs, California. We have a few thousand wind turbines to our West and North. I see the intermittant nature of their use. I see the huge land area they take up. I hear the arguements of citizens who do not want more of them. Hell, Teddy Kennedy did not want them in his view in Natucket! The enormous solar project in the mojave desert covers an enormous land area. The desert ios teeming with life. Was NO habitat destroyed in erecting the wind turbines or solar farm? There ARE cost associated with these "green" technologies, but environmentalists have added these costs to the equation and believe they are still preferable. Most people have not.
Alikar Avatar
Posted: 07.23.10, 10:12 PM
Quote: Originally Posted by heybd Well, if you want to trade wikipedia citations, here's one: "Examples of industries or sectors where subsidies are often found include utilities, gasoline in the United States , welfare, farm subsidies, and (in some countries) certain aspects of student loans." That article has no source for these subsidies. Quote: Originally Posted by heybd Another: This link doesn't work. Great sources. Quote: Originally Posted by heybd "Page not found." Surprise! I'll include some more links from a web search, I really don't know the reliability of some of the sources, but there are many that claim to have seen real evidence of the "mystical subsidies." "APOLOGIES, BUT THIS PAGE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE" (PDF) The PDF doesn't work. Oops! This link appears to be broken. Holy crap a working link! From the article: "At the same time, BP was reaping sizable tax benefits from leasing the rig. According to a letter sent in June to the Senate Finance Committee, the company used a tax break for the oil industry to write off 70 percent of the rent for Deepwater Horizon — a deduction of more than $225,000 a day since the lease began." Really? This is your example of a subsidy on Gasoline? This is a tax break for a deepwater oil platform. Tax breaks are not subsidies. Your being allowed to keep more of your money when you do something. Its not the government giving you money. Thats like arguing that lowering taxes is giving people welfare! Also by your logic one could argue that anything made from the oil there is "subsidized." Sure gas is a large percentage, but then using your logic Barbie Dolls or little toy trains are "subsidized" by the government. Quote: Originally Posted by heybd I really don't know the reliability of some of the sources." This is the key to your entire argument.
heybd Avatar
Posted: 07.23.10, 05:46 PM
@Mark Sullivan: I suspect environmentalists understand very well that economics control everything. And on top of that, the entire economic system has been gamed to prevent them from making any inroads into the energy market at the expense of oil and coal market share. Hence all the business about them being allowed to "pollute for free." I agree that the consumer must be free to choose. The main source of information consumers have at their disposal to make that choice is price. On the one hand you say you are against subsidies and on the other say if there are to be subsidies they should go to oil and coal. How does artificially lowering the price of one instead of the other (in other words, picking a winner) allow consumers to choose fairly? The big problem with cheap oil/coal beyond their subsidized price is that there are externalities not accounted for in the price, pollution being one of them. We need to start thinking about the long term big picture. Continuing to pollute because oil and coal are cheap and abundant now fails to take into account their costs down the line. Carbon dioxide is a problem. That is going to cost big money in a few decades. My admittedly naive point of view would be to invest money now in the technology to mitigate future harms to our economy and way of life. If it takes government policy to encourage smart investment by the private sector, I find it hard to argue against that. And I can't think of any external costs of wind and solar once the systems are in place.
Mark Sullivan Avatar
Mark Sullivan
Posted: 07.23.10, 11:40 AM
I oppose government subsidies at all times. It is more realistic to say that oil/coal producers get subsidies in the form of tax breaks - in other words, they are "permitted" by government to keep more of the earnings rather than have them confiscated as taxes. The subsidies to wind, solar, etc., are direct transfer payments, because they, like farmers actually get checks from the government. Since we are in a political environment where citizens don't seem to care too much about subsidies and government meddling in the private business market, I would prefer for them to go to an oil company than a wind company. Petroleum products are far more efficient, have an advanced, universal infrastructure in place for their exploration and delivery to the consumer and they are affordbale. Again, I oppose subsidies of all kinds. Environmentalists will never understand that economics control everything. Investment goes where it will be respected and used most efficiently. Until oil gets well above $100 per barrel ans stays there indefinitely, wind, solar, etc., will never be competitive. Whether or not they work or are more "green" is irrelevant. The only option environmentalists have to move their agenda forward is to use the courts or to buy off politicians, which they have tremendous competition in winning. They manage to purchase enough influence and they continue to get their subsidies and government requirements regarding what percent of energy must be "green." This has given us the immoral, inefficient ethanol subsidies and other restrictions that force municipalities to use inefficient sources of energy, keeping costs to the consumer high, in addition to the transfer payments involved in the subsidization of these technologies. The consumer loses. The real question when one gets down to it is this. Would the average consumer prefer to get cheap, abundant energy that emits pollution (coal, petroleum), or would they prefer to get inefficient, unreliable, far more expensive energy with fewer or no emissions (wind, solar, geothermal, algae, etc.)? You may want government to force us to change, but it seems to me that in a free society, with a market economy, the consumer must be free to choose.