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Total number of comments: 19 (since 2014-12-17 04:16:23)


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  • Solar: Elon Musk already got a San Juan Hospital running & more to Come
    • It's not that the Dutch didn't embrace steam. They did. And they burnt a lot of peat (ie the land under their feet) doing so. But peat compared to coal is a low quality fuel. In the end it was cheaper for them to import coal.
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  • Arabs, Thomas Friedman and the "iron fist"
  • Trump's offer to Harvey Victims (Cartoon)
  • 25% of Australian Homes have gone Solar and other Green Triumphs this Week
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      Hopefully it will die. As it should.
      The coal mine part is not being backed by commercial banks.

    • Is not just that the panels are now cheaper, there was always significant demand.

      Australia is approximately the size of the US (excluding Alaska) with very long transmission lines from the generators located closer to the large cities where most people live. The solar transformation in Oz is not just in urban areas but also on the rural fringes where electricity users have to pay the cost of connection, that includes the power poles and any other infrastructure. This can be quite (prohibitively) high. Developers also face this cost. Some newer subdivisions build houses at the outset with solar panels connected to a central subdivision based power system with storage so that the subdivision does not need a large connection (with ancillary infrastructure) to the grid. Thus lowering costs for the developer.

      Also, the power in country areas (and at city fringes) can be cut off during extreme fire danger periods. So there has been a very high incentive for people to have independent sources of power.

      The feed in tariffs of the past were generous enough that some state governments had to curtail them because they become over subscribed.

      And, a recent report indicates that it is gas generators using the system (by "starving" the system of supply in a manner reminiscent of Enron) that has contributed to the higher prices. This, in addition to the export commitments of the major gas suppliers which has created a domestic gas shortage.

      Also, every time the price of electricity goes up, more people switch to solar, this lowers the profit margins of the fossil generators who in response put prices up on their remaining customers.

      IN SPITE of all this, the aptly named Coalition Govt continues to advocate for and subsidies coal and gas (a large funder of the party). Fracking in sensitive agricultural areas is heavily promoted as THE solution. This is a big issue to the farming communities as Australia is famous for having a surplus of dry areas. Don't mess with the water.

      One thing that has happened to some extent is that significant numbers of traditionally conservative voters now have solar systems. Any attempt to dismiss solar as the plaything of rich urban hippies is pointless. Even green hating conservatives who liked to play the politics of identity game are shown up as hypocrites. Malcolm "I love coal" Turnbull, the PM, has panels on his roof.

      The Govt recently commissioned a report (The FInkel Review) which they are trying to ignore. Having written the terms of reference it still came out in strong support of renewable energy. In response, several of the larger states are essentially bypassing the Federal Govt and implementing the recommendations of this report.

      And now, trials are being conducted where you can sell your own surplus power to anybody via a blockchain or cryptocurrency system.

  • UK hung Parliament: Is Trumpism pushing Europe Left?
  • Top 5 Climate Catastrophes to which Trump just Doomed his own Supporters
  • GOP not the party of 'Security' as Intel Allies Flee Trump
    • Only, Truman had the wherewithal to become aware and escape the show. Trump, who fought to be at the centre of the show, appears to be a case study from Dunning-Kruger.

  • America's Dark Underbelly is now its Face
    • Is the author telling us that the vaunted US system of checks and balances is so fragile that Trump, in a fit of pique because he ran out of magic hair spray, can just whip out the codes and launch?

      You got Trump, who you all deserve, for many reasons.
      But not discussed so far is the Gerrymander in your electoral process and the absolute lock-out on the relief valve of smaller parties.

      If people are going to keep pointing out that the Democrat candidate won the popular vote but didn't get the presidency, why is that? This is not a new phenomena. Maybe because both parties have played the game of treating electoral redistribution when it was "their turn" is one of the prizes of the election.

      Rule 1. Don't blame the voters. Not if you ever want them to vote for you.

      The amount of partisan condescension, contempt and outright hate on display on many discussions emanating from the US right now suggests that maybe what has been revealed/released may be a truer reflection of the US. That it is an ugly facade. Perhaps, like Dorian Gray, you have been dragged to the attic and forced to confront the "truth".

  • Four years of Trump could really sink the planet
  • Get some Climate attitude: Ban Coal and forget about Carbon Capture
    • We did this kind of thing for lead in petrol.
      We did this this kind of thing for Sulfur in coal (acid rain).
      We did this this kind of thing for ozone depleting refrigerants.

      Its so obvious it defies belief that it has not already been implemented.

  • The Hatred that Trump's Lies will Leave Behind
    • In a recent video Putin demonstrated that he is under no illusions about the veracity of Trumps statements, quite clearly stating that what is said before the election in order to get elected, and what transpires after the election are two entirely separate things. Putin characterised Trumps mouthings as a strategy that appeared to have some resonance... nothing more.

      If Trump pulled out the codes he would probably contemplate whether or not he'd get the chance to have another Miss Wherever under his arm. Ted Cruz on the other hand would appear to have never had the opportunity of cultivating the possibility to even contemplate that choice ;-)

      And Clinton asked if they couldn't just drone Assange. What need of nukes?

    • It seems that this is almost a footnote to this other article
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      The Illusion of choice.
      In your seven reasons listed above (comments closed) you did not mention the Gerrymandered system where voters are presented with the unenviable task of choosing between two parties that are increasingly viewed as two branches of the same party, disconnected from the people. As the two main parties have ruthlessly excluded minor parties from ever getting close to power, and the main stream media serves the two major parties by only ever demeaning the smaller parties there are fewer choices.

      Thus with no other choice, a significant proportion of voters appear to have selected the most "radical" candidates available from within the limited choices available. Trump for his part successfully portrayed his rivals as shallow hollow "men". Disingenuous hacks. He is similar of course but at least he had some colour and life about him with his frequently incoherent positions. Bernie, like Corbyn was the "choice" that was supposed to loose! And nearly didn't, unlike Corbyn.

      The arrangement of the electoral system and the archaic first past the post method of voting (which effectively excludes minor parties) means that the only time the electorate gets a real look in at choice is during the pre-selection process.

      "The United States is alone among major countries in that self-interested politicians govern the redistricting process"

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      What appears to have evolved in the now hyper-moneyed PAC era with the blessing of the major parties is a simulacrum of democracy.

      Seeing as it does not affect me directly I wonder if it wouldn't be better to have a Trump presidency with all the chaos that might ensue. Then you, the US electorate, might actually have to wake up and seriously think about what has been created. Because a Clinton presidency will just perpetuate the problems - it is not in her financial (or political) interest to change anything. The next "Trump" candidate might be even worse, they might be less of a clown and actually more organised.

      As a distant observer it is also interesting how the tone has moved from mockingly incredulous to demonizing as Trump has inched closer to the throne. And surely if he is such a danger this is another indictment on both the major parties for apparently allowing so much power to exist at the executive level. On the one hand Trump is a puppet of Putin and on the other he's going to pull out the launch codes. Which is it? And Clinton is on record (wikileaks) rattling her Saber at China, desirous of ring fencing it with missiles. Yeah, peace.

      What choice really is the least worst?
      If Trump loses will he just become a kind of cathartic scapegoat, an aberration? And next time?

      Apologies for length. My armchair ride ends, mostly inspired by 1st link below.

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      link to

  • French Court lifts Municipal Burkini Ban; & Why should you care what other people wear?
    • So Sarkozy and ilk thinks the Burqini ™ is a "provocation" and represents some hypothetical regression to a nasty past.

      That's quite something for a piece of clothing which was developed in Australia so that, according to the designer "I wanted to make sure we blended in with the Australian lifestyle."

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      The argument should basically end there.

      This is a practical compromise that is probably actually healthier for wearers than the modern French passion for expressing oneself semi naked.

      France has ~1800 deaths by skin cancer every year.

      In any case, it doesn't take very long to find pictures of crypto-Islamists like Bridgette Bardot, Catherine Deneuve and Grace Kelly sporting head scarves or that subversive Jacques Cousteau and his garb to make swimming more tolerable. Apparently, what these clothes symbolize depends on who is wearing them!

  • The Economic Crisis of Greying World: 30 Countries have more Elderly than Children
    • I never understand this style of armchair argument.
      The article lays out the best projections thus providing a first initial guess that is valuable for formulating options and plans.
      No one expects this situation to remain static.
      So what if you don't trust these projections out to 2075, no one expects plans made now to be immutable. The by line wasn't Moses.

      This position of yours is similar to those who deny climate change by stating something like 'we cant know everything about climate' and concluding that therefore we know nothing and so should do nothing.

      Do you really think that the author of the article is unaware of the issues you point out? But until these eventuate the situation as presented by the author is a solid best guess.
      When or if your conjectures arise, the situation would be reappraised.

  • Media calls Election for Hillary before California: Superdelegate System under Fire
    • Why is it not possible to do as Sergio above suggests. Sure when carrier pigeons were the equivalent of the internet... but seriously? Out here, in the rest of the world, the US system looks antiquated, at best. A system where elections are not held on the same date, where the voting system is different state to state and where it is not illegal for the press to influence the result by reporting "results" during the election process. Other countries do things like making it illegal to report the election on election day until after the polls close and sometimes within a 24 hour period prior to the polls.
      Its almost like having a jury system where one of the jurors tells Fox news that the verdict has been decided before deliberation has begun and the other jurors in the case are watching the news.
      Superdelegates are almost the equivalent of having jury members with a familial/personal relationship to the victim of a criminal case against the alleged offender.

  • Top Ten differences between White Terrorists and Others
    • Reading a few accounts of this incident I also wondered why the person was referred to as a "shooter", a term that is almost neutral (as if he was actually just late for the duck season or something) when as you point out, one small change of detail voids any neutral reporting.

  • Egypt Bans "Exodus: Gods and Kings", saying Jewish Slaves did not build Pyramids
    • "Nobody expects historical accuracy from Hollywood."
      And yet the yoof of today have their minds shaped by this dross.
      I vividly recall with shock a person at my workplace citing "Pearl Harbour", of all films, for enlightening them about that event!

      It is not a difficult thing to get right, so why ignore all evidence and get it so fundamentally wrong?

  • The Banality of Terrorism: Sydney's other Hostage Crisis, of 1984
    • Another way to look at this is as an elaborate "death by cop" situation. As Dr Cole pointed out, he was a career crim, out on parole and had come once again to the attention of the law. He was masquerading as a self styled "faith healer" and sexual assault charges were about to made, as far as I understand.

      This perhaps is the context in which this act should be understood @Liam, not some fantasy scenario of your own dark imagining, that could, might, may happen that could, might, may be used as propaganda by some other unrelated entity. Where does that level of paranoia end?

      And speaking of propaganda, what of Ruperts wonderfully humanitarian tweet. He, like Daesh, also had no qualms to use this tragedy for his own purposes.

Showing comments 19 - 1