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Total number of comments: 9 (since 2013-11-28 16:33:02)

Thomas

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  • Top Five Green Energy Stories Today
    • Your the victim of well funded misinformation. We are still using oil faster than we discover it. And the new stuff is much more difficult to coax out of the ground. The general upward trend of price is likely to continue (unless the world economy craters like in late 2008).

      Of course stuff like wind/solar don't really compete against oil -except in a place like Saudi arabia which burns oil to make electricity.

  • Syria Revolt Enters Second Year as World Stands Feckless
    • I do have the strong impression that the snipers are backed up by tanks and artillery, which make attacking their positions extremely hazardess. Al Jazeera made a big point about the black market price of small arms and bullets being extremely high. It seems the Free Syrian Army FSA, is very short of weapons, and is almost totally lacking in anything heavy enough to take on tanks. All this suggests that slippery slope of arming them. [Note I'm not recommending this, however I think as the horror show grows more intolerable, we will get desparate enough that that will be the next step].

      I don't see no fly zones being of much use, I have the impression the ground forces are the main issue. Taking them out, a la Libya I think is unlikely. No matter who comes out of top in this conflict, there are significant segments of the population that will be identified by the winners as having been on the wrong side. And in any severely bitter conflict, that does not bode well.

  • Changing Iran's Nuclear Calculation with Green Energy: Buonomo
    • I do think it highly likely they don't want to pursue a weapon. However I suspect they are entertaining the idea of obtaining strategic amiguity (if their potential enemies think they might have a bomb, then they have achieved deterrence).

      I do think the proposal has more merit. Iran is seriously lacking in capital and technological expertise with which to agressively pursue modernization of its energy sector. A grand deal would be greatly to its benefit, however it has to appear domestically to not be a cavein to foreign pressure. And on the other side of the deal, it has to appear to also not be a cavein or giveaway. Those objectives are hard to acheive.

    • Much as I like the proposal, I think this is mainly about pride,both national, and of the political actors. I suspect Amir's attitude will be quite common, and hard to overcome. Particularly so, as the US political opposition will seize on any hesitation, as proof that the Iranians will only respond to force, and the administration is naive.
      And on our own side, the political course of least resistance requires, an enemy to confront will preclude honest negotiations. In any case, during a US presidential election its hard to imagine pursuing such a bold strategy. Like Cy, I think the opportunity for a grand deal came, and went a decade ago.

  • Will his New Sanctions on Iran Cost Obama the Presidency?
  • Japan Nuclear Threat, Libya Oil Crisis, Highlight Need for Renewable Energy
    • I'm as big a supporter of renewable as anyone (I get over 70% of my electrical power from PV panels). It does seem likely that both wind/solar will soon become cheaper on a per KWhr than nuclear. But that isn't the only consideration. Nuclear makes good baseline power (i.e. 24/7). I don't think we will ever have cheap energy storage, so some non-carbon non variable source is worth paying a premium for. So I think a healthy system will contain a significant nuclear component, and a diminishing fossil fuel component. The risk from this sort of event is that some adavanced countries may now prematurely shutdown N plants, leading to increasing rather than decreasing carbon emissions.

  • More on Arab League Call for a Libya No-Fly Zone
    • Even if this were unanimous, it is completely toothless! Everyone in the know knows that leaving it to the UN means nothing will come of it. I expect the same will come of US and EU efforts -unless one of the member countries undrtakes unilateral action. Most likeley we will get low level low profile arms supplies to the rebellion, but whether this will come soon enough and in suficient quantities I think is a big question.

  • Qaddafi's Scorched Earth Policy, at Home and Abroad
    • I wouldn't expect a no-fly zone to happen. It would have to be a unilateral decision, we would never get the request through the security council, so the UN won't approve it. I can imagine supplying weapons -and perhaps a few "advisors" to the rebels. Hard for me to imagine US politicians giving out stinger-type antiaircraft missiles however, the political uproar that would happen if a terorist ever got one and took out an airliner it too great.

      My bigger worry. Can the rebels keep water and electricity working. I suspect Tripoly probably can keep public utilities functioning, but with the sudden loss of foreign expertise, and bombing, can the rebels?

  • Qaddafi invokes Phony Al-Qaeda Threat as he Massacres Protesters
    • super: I'm not at all convinced we can make that sort of qualitative comparison. In Eqypt, the army (mostly) refrained from violence, and probably brokered the climbdown. In Libya they were ordered to slaughter civilians. The situation is many times more desperate there. In fact those cities that have broken away don't dare lose now, so thats a good reason for the solidarity.

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