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October 14, 2018

Comments

russell, apologies if I have overstepped

It's really impressive.
First, deny that climate change is even happening; or, at least, that people and their actions are involved.

Second, say it's already baked in, thanks to step 1, so there's no point in doing anything to prevent it getting worse.

Third (predicted): demand that, Federalism and all that rejection of welfare and socialism notwithstanding, the government take action to bail out Republicans' (e.g. Rubio's) constituents. Both rebuilding their homes, annually if necessary, and their businesses . . . or just supporting them in lieu of jobs -- which isn't (perish the thought!) welfare or anything like that.

Wj, no worries, thank you.

Disaster Capitalism.

It already has a name.

Dead humanity, drowned children, hog shit cascading thru ecosystems.

Who gives a shit in America when you can ride Home Depot stock up on rising 8' by 8' plywood sales?

Mar-a-Lago has much bigger window orifices, the better to defenestrate assholes from.

The rest of us settle for the 4' by 8's.

Climate change denial is one of several things that make me regard the Republican Party as an essentially evil enterprise, which is causing destruction in the United States and beyond in the interest of establishing, maintaining, and protecting a plutocracy.

Stay in power by fomenting bigotry to direct anger away from the actual wrongdoers to some innocent minority, and doing everything possible to stymie Democratic voters.

Use that power to enrich oneself and one's fellow plutocrats.

I don't know that the administration or the GOP has settled on a new line of argument, since Larry Kudlow is still pushing the lukewarmer button and stating that the UN report overstates its case (while at the same time hedging so that he can walk it back).

It's all chaff. They are trying on narratives and hoping to weaken the signal by generating enough conflicting noise to bury it.

The bullshit American Zeitgeist, described in three headlines:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/ivanka-trumps-gurus-say-their-techniques-can-end-war-and-make-you-fly?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

Flap your wings, suckers:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/immigrant-girls-only-memory-of-america-they-took-my-dad-and-locked-him-up?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

No food, No FEMA, we got cake and a guru, ya proles:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/no-food-no-fema-hurricane-michaels-survivors-are-furious?via=newsletter&source=Weekend

Listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QNqAnPQe3Q

If the End Days had occurred yesterday, we wouldn't need to witness this jiggerypokery bullshit today:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/10/13/pastor-andrew-brunson-meets-donald-trump-after-turkey-release/1628447002/

I love mp's face all scrunched up like a fake WWE pieta before the main event. He's thinking: "I remember Jimmy Swaggart making this face during his fake apology for grabbing that pussy, and the money was positively thrown at him. The rubes are buying this big time and plus, I'm upstaging Kanye and his world class bullshit."

Elect me President, and I'll trade Brunson BACK to Turkey for seven Kurds and a baklava.


Kudlow: "I won’t say it’s a scare tactic ...

I won't say Kudlow is full of shit, but Kudlow is full of shit. His reputation for calling anything is the Mount Everest of over-estimations.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/03/tv-pundit-who-blew-the-financial-crisis-could-be-trumps-next-gary-cohn

Anything do with melting, the man breaks into the flop sweat of the optimistic used car salesman eying the tar and feathers sticking to him.

Kudlow: "but I think we should look at this in a level-headed and analytic way."

He added, sotto-voiced, soon after: "Tell Mulvaney to cut that last little bit of money out of NOAA's analytics budget, and when do we sue the National Weather Service for national libel and slander after they predicted less than 365 days of cloudless and sunny weather yearly under my boss' rule?"

The notion that Larry Kudlow has anything intelligent to say on any subject is seriously misguided.

What byomtov said. In spades.

And yet they still choose him to direct councils and keep putting him in front of microphones and let him spew.

We are here to witness.

-- Annie Dillard

Someone just sent me this, about climate change and diet.

I can't engage properly with this right now, right here, so no more links, but my impression is that the military, and a lot of big corporations, and at least some of the governments in the world, plus a lot of cities and towns and local people, know quite well that climate change is coming (has arrived) and are trying to plan in relation to it.

Maybe we (including me, but otherwise a nebulous "we") should stop biting hooks, i.e. obsessing about the rapacious clowns standing in for a real government in this country (and others) and just ally ourselves with groups that are already working on the problem. To the extent that the US government, and other powerful entities, are working against the welfare of the rest of us and the rest of the planet, maybe we have to make an end run around them instead of trying to confront and defang them directly. To the extent that certain people and entities are playing a game of “oh look over there, so you don’t pay any attention to what we’re doing over here,” maybe we have to stop playing their game by biting their hooks, and turn our attention and resources elsewhere.

As I've said more than once, I didn't know how to get my kids to stop squabbling when they were little, much less how to "do something about Bosnia" (as someone pleaded for us to do in the UU church I went to years ago). No more do I know what will work on this problem. Deep down, I don't believe we have any more idea how to get the world to do and be the way we want than we have about how to steer a hurricane. If we did, Clickbait wouldn’t be president. I’m well aware that various kinds of what some of us consider to be cheating brought about that result, but that only pushes the problem back a step: if we’re smart enough to change the world in any way, why weren’t we smart enough to foresee and forestall that result?

I don’t mean this as a message of despair, but rather of humility. We keep trying, because we're here. But no one has Archimedes’ lever, we’re down here on the ground with finite, not planet-sized, tools.

Someone else sent me a link the other day to a rant by Bill Maher, whose whole schtick seems to be "see how much smarter I am than everyone else?" On this particular occasion, he said some sort-of apt and some sort-of funny things, but mostly he was singing that popular refrain: what the Democrats are doing wrong, and how all would be well if they would just do what the speaker (in this case Maher) recommends. Thousands of people are singing that song, and I don’t think many of them have more of a clue than most of the others. If anyone did, then we wouldn’t be where we are.

Similarly with climate change.

My own "activism" and donations are in areas having to do with land use and food, plus some targeted money that goes to outfits like the Texas Civil Rights Project. If anyone knows where we can find the lever that will move the earth, I'll be all ears. Meanwhile, I do what I can, in the ways I fit best with, skill and resource-wise.

Republicans-
1. Dead set against a woman's right to choose.
2. Dead set for their right to choose to kill millions by preventing an effective response to global warming.

Freedom's just another word.....for making sure others lose.

So when the scientific community pretty much throws in the towel and says we're f*cked, may I spit in McKinney's soup?

Freedom's just another word.....for making sure others lose.

Well if you take the Trumpian view that you can only win if others lose, then it's sort of a necessity....

Maybe we (including me, but otherwise a nebulous "we") should stop biting hooks, i.e. obsessing about the rapacious clowns standing in for a real government in this country (and others) and just ally ourselves with groups that are already working on the problem

This is really good counsel, and is much appreciated.

FWIW, I send a few bucks every month to a charity that focuses on sustainable farming, and in particular on farming small holdings. It does feel better - less hopeless - to do something constructive, rather than just b*tch about stuff.

The Ocean Conservancy

Earthjustice

The Sierra Club

Natural Resource Defense Council

Union of Concerned Scientists

Your local Community Supported Agriculture

Btw, what has become of the idea in some red states to put punitive taxes on solar and wind power because of their detrimental effect on the fossil fuel industry?

russell...I hope you know I wasn't trying to needle you for the post. The post just fed into some things I've been thinking about.

I'm tired of obsessing about politics, when i wake up and remember that there are probably far better ways for me to spend my time and energy given my particular skills and limitations. Not that we don't all have obligations as citizens, just that I woke up after the Kavanaugh thing, watched one of my senators go on to be snotty to the rest of us about every single aspect of it, and realized that I was immobilizing myself with frustration and anger.

So -- trying to de-immobilize.

I hope you know I wasn't trying to needle you for the post.

no worries. I appreciated your post, and appreciate the reminder to focus on the positive, and on what's achievable.

and realized that I was immobilizing myself with frustration and anger

An important realisation, and a real danger too. Not to mention, speaking personally, it can so easily morph from there into depression, which then becomes even more immobilising. So Janie's prescription (which helpfully contains no proscription) seems very healthy and positive. Onward and upward.

I think that extra-political action, and individual responsibility (such as flexitarianism and reducing one's carbon footprint in other ways) is hugely important. It creates cultural change, and "trickles down" (haha) even to people who might not have been on the bandwagon.

Sadly, (and I'm not arguing here, because everyone knows this - I'm just trying to emphasize) it's not enough to stop programmatic ethnic cleansing and despoiling of public lands to give to the fossil fuel industry (and other stuff that I'm not thinking of at the moment).

We have to do both (again, I'm not arguing, just emphasizing). If we're not personally constitutionally political, then we should contribute to the better candidate, but put our minds on other kinds of nonpolitical action.

We have to get the people out of power who are intent on ruining other people. They're using our resources to accomplish their goals, and we need to get those back.

I admit to a bit of sympathy for Rubio. The EIA released the final figures for electricity generation by state by source for 2017 last month. The states in the Western Interconnect generated 42% of their power from renewable sources (up from 38% the previous year). The Eastern Interconnect generated 10.6% from renewable sources. Florida came in at 2.6%.

Florida's in a tough place. They're going to take the early brunt of climate change in the US; humidity is a killer for solar; offshore wind's expensive; they're already partially on the hook for the debacle of the Vogtle 3 and 4 nukes, on track to be the most expensive electricity in the US. What do you do as the senior senator from a state looking at that -- besides denial?

If a shit show could shit shit, here's what it would look like:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mccarthys-in-laws-made-millions-off-dubious-native-american-heritage-claim

Identity politics to rape the Treasury. By the same fake injuns what dressed up and threw the tea in Boston Harbor on account of their fucking taxes.

That impolite, arrogant Pocahontas woman needs to get on this and count some fatal coup and scalp them white trash.

Man, we're gonna run outta bullets during these executions. McCarthy has a big extended family.

It's been a while since I submitted myself to a good ritual pummeling over here, but today's the day. So get your brickbats ready, folks!

Disclaimer: for most of you, who undoubtedly will drop into TL;DR mode on this, this is not a defense of the GOP's policies on climate change. However, if you want to do more than simply rant that it's all their fault that we are where we are, and wallow in outrage over their bad faith, you'll need to actually look at how we get from where we are today to where we need to be. And on that point, it's hard to find much wrong with Rubio's statements, at least in the TPM blurb.

Statement #1 from Rubio, per the cited TPM blurb:

“No matter what we do with laws — let’s say we went to all solar panels and did all that stuff, which is not realistic — this trend would still continue,”

1) Let's take the "not realistic" part first:

You can't construct a grid made of nothing but renewables. At the very least, you need to construct it of renewables plus storage. Today, the levelized cost of energy for solar and wind is approaching $50/MWh, which is pretty much the same as a combined cycle gas plant. But the levelized cost of storage for the utility-scale storage runs about $270/MWh. (Caveat: hydro's a lot less than this, but it's only available where the geography is good. In the long run it's going to be a minor source of storage.)

So the big question becomes how much of your grid energy will be delivered directly by the renewables at $50/MWh, and how much will be delivered by grid-scale storage at $270/MWh. We don't know that number yet, but here's my best-case stab at the problem:

PV solar capacity factor in 2017 was 27%. Let's round up to 30%. So a 1 MW nameplate solar farm will deliver 8 MWh per day, for a cost of $50*8 = $400.

Wind capacity factor was 36.7% (same cite). Let's round up to 40%. So a 1 MW nameplate wind farm will deliver 9.6 MWh per day, for a cost of $50*9.6 = $480.

Let's make the incredibly optimistic assumption that wind and solar are 100% complementary (i.e., that the wind blows when the sun isn't shining and vice-versa), and that there are no seasonal effects that force the capacity factors much lower at certain times of year. (If you pore through the EIA numbers, you'll discover that things aren't quite so rosy.) That would mean that 6.4 hours of stored energy would be delivered each day. $270*6.4= $1728.

Total cost for 1 day (24 MWh): $2608. That's $109/MWh. More than double the cost of the raw renewables. However, when you factor in the amount of storage needed to make a grid >99.99% reliable, through any weird combination of calm and dark days you can imagine, I'd guess that you're going to need something closer to 10 J of storage per watt of installed capacity. It's hard to compute an LCOS from that, because the capital cost of the storage isn't 100% of the LCOS, but it's a hefty chunk of it. My guess is that the total grid LCOE today would be something closer to $150/MWH, or 3x the cost of a comparable fossil grid.

NB: This won't be true forever. Storage costs are dropping about 8%/year. In 2040 LCOS and raw renewable LCOE will be pretty close to each other, and the cost of an all-renewable grid will be feasible. But for now, a crash program to decarbonize is, as Rubio said, "not realistic".

(Before any of you go after the residential solar argument, note that its LCOE is about 5x that of utility-scale stuff, and the storage is about 3.5x. And I'm not going to fight the nuclear battle here, although if you were suddenly oh-my-god-we're-gonna-die-do-something-right-now serious about decarbonizing, my guess is that the total cost would be less than doing the whole thing with renewables.)

2) Now on to the "this trend would still continue" part. If we believe the recent IPCC report, then we'd have to be completely decarbonized, world-wide, by about 2050. Let's just look at doing that with renewables in the US.

As of July, net generation from solar and other non-hydro renewables (aka wind, mostly), increased by 10.4%. That's huge. But that's from a total of about 10% of total net generation. I'm going to spare you the math, but if you believe EIA's electric energy consumption estimates, a 10.4% growth rate can't have more than 71% of electricity coming from renewable sources by then.

And of course that's in the US, where interest in decarbonizing energy is relatively high. Given that most of the consumption growth is going to come from India, China, and the developing world, I'd say that Rubio's statement that the trend will continue is pretty accurate.

3) On to the next quote:

And that means mitigation, hardening, lifting… how we manage water. We’re all over that, we’ve been working on that very hard.

Does anybody disagree with this statement? Remember, he's a senator from the state that's arguably going to have the worst problem with climate change. But the same statement will undoubtedly be made by politicians from anywhere with a shallow coastline (Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast).

4) Finally, the one that no doubt has driven Russell around the bend:

[The effects of climate change] are going be in place no matter what happens with our energy policy — but I’m also not going to destroy our economy. There’s a reality here, and there’s a balance on that end of it that we need to be focused on.

EIA estimates that the US spent 5.6% of GDP on energy in 2016. That would be about $1.15T in current energy costs per year. If you were to triple that number (which is what would happen with an over-aggressive switch to renewables), I'd say that that would do a pretty good job of crippling the economy, if not actually destroying it.

There are obviously some weasel words that need to be put in place here:

a) I freely admit to arm-waving in going from the 2x cost to the 3x one. I think that's a pretty solid arm-wave, but I welcome any attempts to show me the error of my ways.

b) You can argue that increasing energy expenses by 3x might be a lot less than the future expenses incurred by climate change. According to the IPCC report, moving from 1.5C to 2.0C costs an extra $15T, and the total cost of 2.0C is $69T. But 3x the electricity cost, when generalized to the entire energy sector, looks to be about an extra $2T per year--and that's just in the US. (Note that the Axios cite claims Nordhaus is claiming $2.4T/year, so my number seems reasonable.)

c) Since we can't wave a magic wand and roll to renewables overnight, we'd have to figure out how the cost of electricity changed over time, in the face of price declines in both generation and storage. But note that doing the crash program in renewables in storage today requires huge capital outlays, which almost certainly wind up as extra charges on electric bills, or some form of taxes. If anything, I'd guess that the up-front costs would be more than 3x, but I can't yet defend that guess.

d) I've mostly been dealing with electricity here, but things are even worse economically if you try to decarbonize the transportation sector. There, a 3x increase in costs is unrealistically rosy.

e) Again, I'm not advocating the insanity that the Trumpkins are planning with coal. I'd like to keep renewable subsidies about where they are, and the GOP really does not want to do that.

f) My biggest problem with embarking on a crash decarbonization program is that this doesn't seem to be the optimal point in the curve for minimizing the cost. Doing it too soon invites a backlash, where the renewables industry gets soft and economically uninviting to investors. That's a disaster. But it's obviously also a disaster to wait too long. My feeling is that about 10 years from now is the point to put the pedal to the metal. But that obviously requires continuing to keep the investment climate inviting in the mean time, and continuing to roll out stuff to get the best practices down. That sounds like a pretty good reason to vote for Democrats in the coming election--or at least to impede the Republicans as much as possible.

Finally, I'm not saying that Rubio's motives are pure here. However, if you're going to do more than simply accuse him of bad faith, you need to be able to point out where he's factually wrong. And with what's been quoted here, he's on fairly solid ground--unlike a lot of his constituents in the panhandle.

tl;dr. But actually did kinda read it.

That sounds like a pretty good reason to vote for Democrats in the coming election--or at least to impede the Republicans as much as possible.

Pretty much the take-away for all things.

hey radical moderate, welcome back!

My issue with Rubio's statement is less quibbling about the facts, and more with the unstated conclusion - screw it, there's nothing we can do anyway, so steady on.

drill, baby, drill. or some equivalent.

if there is any (R) initiative that I'm unaware of to counter that idea, kindly let me know. and yes, I know you weren't chiming in to defend (R) policies.

yes, it will not be sufficient to just stand up a bunch of solar panels and continue on as normal.

yes, a lot of the eventual effects are already baked into the cake.

and yes, fossil fuels as a relatively inexpensive source of energy make a thousand economic flowers bloom.

but also yes, if we continue to do nothing, it will be much worse. and also yes, talk about "wrecking the economy" that doesn't account for the costs of dealing with the effects of climate change is crap.

tony p likes to say "we live in an environment, not an economy". i agree with tony p.

lastly:

if you're going to do more than simply accuse him of bad faith, you need to be able to point out where he's factually wrong.

no, actually I don't have to prove him factually wrong. you can actually spout true facts, and still be speaking in bad faith.

But I'm not even accusing him of bad faith. I'm saying he has his head up his ass. Perhaps irretrievably so.

You know, we were at the wrong point in the economic curve WRT a war against Germany as well, back in 1938 and Britain had it way worse on that account. It really would have been more ideal for them to wait a decade before having to defend themselves. They just weren't ready to mount a strong expeditionary force and keep the economy going, especially when the recovery from the last war was still incomplete.

TheRadicalModerate: EIA estimates that the US spent 5.6% of GDP on energy in 2016. That would be about $1.15T in current energy costs per year. If you were to triple that number (which is what would happen with an over-aggressive switch to renewables), I'd say that that would do a pretty good job of crippling the economy, if not actually destroying it.

I would like TRM, or Rubio, or anybody to explain to me how you spend $1.15T in "energy costs" without spending it in The Economy.

WTF do these people think happens to the dollars spent on solar, wind, and hydro? Do they think the dollars get burned up in the Sun?? Surely not, for that would be as stupid as believing that dollars spent on fossil fuels get consumed by the Earth.

I just don't get economic thinkers who bemoan spending on Energy, or Health Care, or Environmental Cleanup, as if the money spent on those things is not income to participants in The Economy. They talk as if it's somehow better if the GDP consists entirely of income from spending on Financial Services, or Weapons Systems, or pornography, or something. You can't "spend money" without growing the GDP, unless you believe that "GDP" is something other than the sum of all incomes in The Economy.

What's true is this: fossil fuels are finite and dollars are not; the biosphere's capacity to absorb previously-fossilized carbon atoms is finite and "money" is not; and however much Republicans or "moderates" would like to live exclusively in The Economy, they actually live in The Environment just like Democrats, immigrants, and foreigners do.

Also, news flash: the Rapture is a myth. Anyone who wants their kids and grandkids to enjoy in their turn the frantic to-and-fro we laughingly call "Life" had better get used to the fact that Earth is the only planet they'll get to do it on.

--TP

Here's the thing: the plutocrats and kleptocrats know damned well climate change is a real thing. But their continuing status as MOU depends on not halting the financial shenanigans and backscratching that propels GCC.

So they're decided to make lemonade from the lemons: grab as many resources as they can for themselves, impoverish and destroy the rest of us, and then be sitting pretty in their own protected enclaves then the waters finally rush in.

Water wars. Keep an eye on those. The Southwest will be uninhabitable when the water runs out in 20 years. Watch as rivers get diverted, century-old water treaties get torn up, dams go up or down, and aquifers empty even faster than they are now.

Whatever Rubio might or might not mean in his speech - and I’m not convinced by that overgenerous interpretation - he is a supporter of the party of Trump.

This is the line from the boss:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/14/trump-60-minutes-899281
The president also dismissed the work of researchers studying increases in global temperatures that could threaten the well-being of the planet and exacerbate natural disasters, purporting that “they have a very big political agenda” and claiming that Earth’s climate “could very well go back.”

If anyone knows where we can find the lever that will move the earth

I shill on the Web for The Land Institute
of Salina, Kansas
Wes Jackson and his students are thirty years into an research program to develop a perennial grain crop regime based on deep-rooted native prairie plants.

Plow and plant once; fertilize a little, maybe, and harvest every fall -- but no insecticides, no herbicides, no spring plowing or replanting the second and subsequent years. Soil erosion is almost eliminated; the soil is _built_, rather than mined.

They're using only the classic plant breeding techniques that would have been familiar to GW Carver or W. Atlee Burpee -- no genetic engineering.

Early results are promising: they've got a perennial sunflower relative that's beginning to yield nicely, and some other lines are coming right along.

They have a gathering every fall; Wendell Berry used to attend every year, which may tell you something about the kind of idealism involved.

They operate on a shoestring.
Your small contribution _will_ make a difference.

https://landinstitute.org/

I've mostly been dealing with electricity here, but things are even worse economically if you try to decarbonize the transportation sector. There, a 3x increase in costs is unrealistically rosy.

On the contrary, transport is the one area where the market might well do the heavy lifting for us.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45786690

If you want to dive into the figures, the full report is here:
https://www.rethinkx.com/transportation/

It’s correct to say that storage is the biggest problem (though some serious investment in long distance DC interconnects would mitigate that somewhat (and it’s not as though the US couldn’t do with a more resilient elexpctric grid anyway).
However, storage costs “dropping at 8% a year” isn’t some physically fixed constant. It is highly dependent on the amount of effort going in to research, which is already significant, but highly skewed towards small scale (ie cars) batteries.
The amount of money going into (for example) flow batteries is a tiny fraction of that.


Considering economic and political factors, TheRadicalModerate opines

But it's obviously also a disaster to wait too long.

My reading of the climatological science leads me to believe that if we wanted to maintain something like late-20th-century civilization, we've already waited too long by almost two decades.
We've passed several tipping points; it looks to me as if 4 degrees C warming is unavoidable, and at least 7 degrees C has become a probable outcome. This is a big ship -- even with right full rudder, it takes a looooong time to change course

Changes of 4 to 7 degress may seem like small numbers, but in my moderately-informed opinion, they spell unimaginable catastrophe: not mostly from sea-level rise, nor even from more frequent and more intense storms.
What happens when the US west of the hundredth meridian gets only 20% of the rainfall that was customary in the 19th century? What happens when daytime temperatures in Mexico and across the southern tier of states reach 125 F every summer? What happens when the tropical diseases follow the isotherms north, so that we have malaria in Arkansas and Georgia ?

Meanwhile, while we fiddle: the curve of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is still concave upward, still *accelerating*. Whatever we've done so far has completely failed to slow the process in any measurable way.

yes, it will not be sufficient to just stand up a bunch of solar panels and continue on as normal.

yes, a lot of the eventual effects are already baked into the cake.

Note, however, that Rubio is factually wrong on one point. The (true) fact that it is too late to totally eliminate the negative effects does NOT, contra Rubio's implication, mean that there is no reason to do anything. And that is what he is implying.

I’m not sure I’m quite as pessimistic as joel.
Developed technologies are already here to decarbonise (though the cost might be at present politically unacceptable), and are going to improve even if the US does nothing.
Europe will continue to develop more efficient wind power; China has already overtaken the US in some aspects of solar technology, and dominates manufacturing; similarly China and Japan in battery technology (with Japan leading in solid state battery tech, which promises at least twice the energy density of current lithium ion batteries).

The US needs to do a cost benefit analysis for the entire nation, rather than for separate corporate interests.

RadicalModerate, what context was Rubio responding to? He said

let’s say we went to all solar panels and did all that stuff, which is not realistic

In the transcript, I don't see Jake Tapper suggesting that we go "all solar panels and ... stuff" I see Rubio raising that on his own as a way to defend the fact that he has done very little on climate change, an issue that was raised during his presidential campaign

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/11/marco-rubio-miami-beach-mayor-climate-change-denial

By ignoring the fact that Rubio brought up this as a reductio ad absurdum all by himself without any real prompting by Tapper (except as a lame way to defend his position), you argue that he is not engaging in bad faith. That seems to be rather shortsighted in and of itself.

India is the big immediate problem:
https://factly.in/indias-per-capita-electricity-consumption-lowest-among-brics-nations/

Perhaps Africa, too, though there is a chance that Africa will industrialise with clean technology.

Something similar to the Land Institute, an established movement among restaurateurs:

http://huskrestaurant.com/food/suppliers/

Visit the Husk restaurants in Charleston, South Carolina or Nashville.

I had the most sublime shrimp and grits at the Nashville store a couple of summers ago.

I remember when Wendell Berry was considered to be on the hippie fringe, not that he personally was in any way hip.

Now, in 2018, without much altering HIS approach, he's one of the few authentic American conservatives left to us, in the essential meaning of that hollowed-out word ... conservative.

You have to lean way, way out of the Overton Window and crane your neck in both directions to view the full panorama and arc his work has traced and been compartmentalized in what is loosely termed the American mind over the past 60 years, which could use a dose of psychotropic drugs to help it focus.

Rope yourself in so you don't fall and hurt yourselves.

I'd like to see a cage match between Berry and this thing:

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/scientists-built-a-terrifying-robot-snake-that-can-climb-ladders/ar-BBOoJDX

re Nigel's decarbonization thesis:

https://www.greenbiz.com/article/can-ict-sector-help-grow-decarbonized-economy

The single biggest thing which is not amenable to letting the market take care of it is a nationwide despatchable electric grid.

https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/wind-sun-could-eclipse-fossil-fuels-for-electric-power-by-2030
In identifying low-cost solutions, researchers enabled the model to build and pay for transmission infrastructure improvements — specifically a new, high-voltage direct-current transmission grid (HVDC) to supplement the current electrical grid. HVDC lines, which are in use around the world, reduce energy losses during long-distance transmission. The model did choose to use those lines extensively, and the study found that investing in efficient, long-distance transmission was key to keeping costs low....
(With figures, if you care to drill down.)

Europe is certainly cottoning on to this (though Brexit will probably slow down various bits of the North Sea interconnects, and possibly the Dogger Bank wind farm which should sit athwart them.)

The ongoing debate around whether it’s feasible to have an electric grid running on 100 percent renewable power in the coming decades often misses a key point: many countries and regions are already at or close to 100 percent now.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are seven countries already at, or very, near 100 percent renewable power: Iceland (100 percent), Paraguay (100), Costa Rica (99), Norway (98.5), Austria (80), Brazil (75), and Denmark (69.4). The main renewables in these countries are hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar...
https://thinkprogress.org/a-100-percent-renewable-grid-isnt-just-feasible-its-already-happening-28ed233c76e5/

Australia is catching up fast:
http://theconversation.com/at-its-current-rate-australia-is-on-track-for-50-renewable-electricity-in-2025-102903
Government support for stronger high-voltage interstate interconnectors and large-scale storage projects (like the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro proposal) will allow 50-100% renewables to be smoothly integrated into the Australian grid...

The latest deep thinking on the subject:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/trump-suggests-climate-scientists-have-political-agenda

Maybe the world's climate just THINKS it's gay, having been brainwashed by those science eggheads and fashion cultural mavens to be so, and it can undergo some quick conversion therapy and just change back.


i'm waiting for scientists to put out a paper proving that Trump has a political agenda.

Okay, Edith, theah, you're going thru the change? Ya got five minutes! Now change!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Baoi5PGk5rw

“In the meantime, I’m president and you’re not.”

Izzat right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgZvg7SR_DE

The assumption always seems to be that we absolutely MUST somehow keep the economy "the same", i.e., maintain our standard of living.

I would posit this does not seem to be possible and still do what it takes to effectively mitigate climate change.

Read this. Let me know what you think.

and what Tony P said.

Thank you.

oops...and this.

The former casino operator can’t even pay out on his bets
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/15/elizabeth-warren-dna-test-indian-899927

Also, news flash: the Rapture is a myth. Anyone who wants their kids and grandkids to enjoy in their turn the frantic to-and-fro we laughingly call "Life" had better get used to the fact that Earth is the only planet they'll get to do it on.

Possibly the best comment currently on the internet, about climate change or indeed any other subject. Plus, (although the endorsement of an economic illiterate might not count for much) the rest of what TonyP said at 09.57 as well.

bobbyp: The assumption always seems to be that we absolutely MUST somehow keep the economy "the same", i.e., maintain our standard of living.

Why of course we must. We're special, us Americans.

Ari Fleischer press conference, May 7, 2001 (quoted here recently but it's a refrain about what we're up against):

Q Is one of the problems with this, and the entire energy field, American lifestyles? Does the President believe that, given the amount of energy Americans consume per capita, how much it exceeds any other citizen in any other country in the world, does the President believe we need to correct our lifestyles to address the energy problem?

MR. FLEISCHER: That's a big no. The President believes that it's an American way of life, and that it should be the goal of policy makers to protect the American way of life. The American way of life is a blessed one.

I remember when it was the burden of the national debt that we leaving for our children and grandchildren. Simpler times!

humans are too individualistic to stop GCC. there's not enough pluribus, too much unum.

Onward and upward.

Yes.

bobbyp -- thanks for the link in your 11:48, it's a good reminder.

It mentions "the increasingly clear Republican desire to reinstitute segregationist policies," and I would add: the completely clear Republican desire to stomp on the freedom and power of women to participate equally in politics, government, and everything else. I don't believe that if Clickbait's opponent had been a man, his mindless "supporters" (he obviously doesn't have constituents) would still be shouting "lock him up" two years later. There is a special undermining scorn that they aim at an uppity woman (or anyone they see as uppity; obviously the list is long), and if Warren runs she's going to get more and yet more of the same. Not that they wouldn't go after a male Democrat with the same vicious enthusiasm for lies and innuendo, but there would be a different quality to it. There's a barely veiled, gleefully demeaning threat in "lock her up" that I don't see them making to any white male.

And here I am, with my mind back in the gutter.

Must stop...must stop...must stop.

I still do like your link, bobbyp.

Yeah, but fracking has made the U.S. oil and natural gas independent and we ain't changing our lifestyles on account of climate change.

Yeah, but we can't sanction murderous actors like Saudi Arabia for their actions because we apparently are NOT oil and natural gas independent.

Yeah, but, so we must increase oil and gas production in America and burn even more fossil fuels while further ignoring global climate change and cutting back on solar panels all over the place "and stuff".

"Stuff":

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/call-of-the-day-dont-rule-out-400-oil-if-the-us-sanctions-saudi-arabia-2018-10-15

The worldwide "conservative" movement has us by the balls, whatever happens.

The problem with the worldwide "conservative" movement is that it remains among the living, elections or not.

And if elections occur, it doesn't fucking matter:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a23779240/republican-voter-fraud-accusations/

The main renewables in these countries are hydropower, wind, geothermal, and solar...

With geothermal and hydropower both important to help cover the times when wind and solar are down. That's why Iceland can be at 100%: It's pretty much all geothermal.

This does, however, put some urgency into converting existing hydropower facilities to pump water back uphill when there is extra power from the non-constant sources. Currently, at least in the US, most of them make no provision for that.

The former casino operator can’t even pay out on his bets [about Warren's Native American ancestry]

Of course not. It's just another debt, and he routinely stiffs those he owes money to.

I believe they are looking at the Hoover Dam (for example) for that already. I can be done economically; just requires the political will.
...This might just tip the balance in that respect:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-018-0263-1

(One thing which jumped out at me on one of the links I posted was that Indonesia has sufficient sites for pumped hydro to provide 100% of their future electric capacity.)

Tidal barrages are another option for pumped hydro.

"It doesn't matter. We won."

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2018/10/winning-makes-everything-ok/

You are not going to believe what won't matter when I win.

I recall reading something about Germany converting coal mines to some sort of pumped energy storage (pressurized air? water?) If only the US had an energy policy that was looking toward the 21st century, rather than reconstituting the 19th. Oh well.

However, if you're going to do more than simply accuse him of bad faith, you need to be able to point out where he's factually wrong. And with what's been quoted here, he's on fairly solid ground--unlike a lot of his constituents in the panhandle.

LGM has Flake's scorecard,

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/10/theres-no-action

here's Rubio's

http://scorecard.lcv.org/moc/marco-rubio

Yes, excellent and important link bobbyp.

Elsewhere, I see that Bavaria has (to my amazement) ditched the CSU for the Greens. Hartmut, is that as big a deal as I think it is?

The CSU got weakened already in the last election but could rule on with a minor junior partner (the liberal/libertarian FDP).
Now they will be forced to form a coalition with a much stronger junior. And that is very significant. But there is no decision yet who it will be. The Free Voters Union is to my knowledge very conservative and consists to a large part of former CSU members, so a coalition with them would change little in the short run.
The Green party in Bavaria is a good deal more rurally rooted than in the other German states but from the CSU mental POV they are still the eco-loonies of old, so there is a huge psychological hurdle to jump imagining a coalition with them.
In general the crash has strengthened Merkel inside the federal ruling coalition but weakened the coalition itself. The CSU leadership's gambit to gain votes from the extreme right by attacking Merkel failed. They did not win those but lost a lot on the moderate side.
Ideally some heads would roll but that has not yet been decided.
Had the gambit worked, the federal coalition would probably capsize soon because the winners would topple Merkel from the right which in turn would lead to the Social Democrats abandoning ship.
Now the main question is how the Social Democrats will fare in the upcoming elections in other German states. If that is as disastrous as their showing yesterday, the future is completely open because minority governments don't work here (unlike sometimes in Scandinavia).

I think this has more potential than pressurised air:
https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/highview-power-completes-uk-liquid-air-storage-plant#gs.PbD4qew

Build it next to a thermal power plant (in a zero carbon economy either nuclear or biomass), and the waste heat van be utilised for power generation.

The single biggest thing which is not amenable to letting the market take care of it is a nationwide despatchable electric grid.

Note that in the US Western Interconnect many of the precursors to this are quietly happening on a regional basis. Rapidly expanding renewable supplies (up from 38% of generation in 2016 to 42% in 2017 and 46% for the first seven months of 2018). Long-distance HVDC links. State-level regulations that result (at least indirectly) in preferentially dispatching renewable sources first. The beginnings of interstate agreements to expand such dispatch.

I'm getting old but expect to live long enough to see the job largely done in the western states. OTOH, I'd bet long odds against the Eastern Interconnect managing it.

Thanks for all the responses. I'm gonna batch all this stuff up:

@russell:

drill, baby, drill. or some equivalent.
and
but also yes, if we continue to do nothing, it will be much worse. and also yes, talk about "wrecking the economy" that doesn't account for the costs of dealing with the effects of climate change is crap.

There's a lot to unpack here. Here are some good but conflicting policy goals:

1) Keep renewables deployments on a sustainable and profitable trajectory.
2) Reduce US carbon emissions as sharply as possible, as quickly as possible.
3) Promote technology development that's transferrable to the developing world at high scale.

The thing is, "drill baby drill", coupled with some nice incentives to retire coal plants faster, in favor of CC gas plants, is a pretty good strategy for the "reduce emissions as sharply as possible" leg of the stool. It's pretty cheap, it doesn't require any grid upgrades to speak of, and it has the nice property of playing the politically strong portions of the fossil industry (the frackers and pipeline operators) against the weak ones (the coal people).

However, it does nothing for supporting the technology development leg.

My biggest problem with the Clean Power Plan was that it was tailor-made to whip Trump voters into a frenzy, which it did. But I'm not sure that it would have done much more than what the package of Obama-era subsidies to renewables and the set of carbon offset credits were already doing.

And that's the stuff where the GOP could do serious damage. However, so far, they haven't. Sure, they're not being proactive in maintaining the suite of subsidies, which is a problem. But they're also not actively going after killing them off any faster than they'd otherwise expire. (NB: So far, the coal subsidies aren't getting anybody to bite, because nobody believes that the amount of money on the table comes anywhere near offsetting the sovereign risk. That's a good thing.)

All-in-all, we're not "doing nothing". We've done a good job priming the R&D pipeline (NB: no thanks to the GOP--it's all Obama-era stuff). But I'll bet that fracking has, to date, made a bigger difference in reducing overall emissions than the wind and solar capacity we've added in the last 5 years. (That's a guess that I'm too lazy to back up. If somebody has good figures on deployed and retired capacity by technology at hand, I'd like to see them. They have to be in EIA somewhere, but we have our 5-week-old grandson staying with us, and periodic brain death of the caregivers is a serious problem.)

@Tony P:

I would like TRM, or Rubio, or anybody to explain to me how you spend $1.15T in "energy costs" without spending it in The Economy.

Well, that's something that really can't be answered without a decent sim, but my guess is that the arm-wave answer goes something like this:

a) Push too hard on jacking up the price of electricity, and the shock will sharply reduce demand for anything with energy as a major input (aka everything).
b) Reduction of demand for finished goods and services causes a huge economic slowdown.
c) Huge economic slowdown reduces demand for electricity.
d) All those new green power companies and installers go belly-up as energy demand falls off a cliff.
e) No nifty energy expenses going into The Economy. No nifty cheap finished goods going into The Economy. Everybody's very sad.
f) By the time things recover, you've forgone 5-10 years of green energy roll-outs that you could have had if you just hadn't pushed so hard--and you have to work really hard not to repeat the same cycle.

The trick is to make the regulations and incentives nicely impedance-matched to cause the cost of non-carbon energy to drop as quickly as possible. You do that by ensuring that the demand for new energy exists, and you ensure that by preventing the economy from falling into the kind of stagflation-like spiral that usually accompanies energy shocks.

@Nigel:

On the contrary, transport is the one area where the market might well do the heavy lifting for us.

You have two different things that are important here:

1) Cost per distance.
2) Rate of uptake of electric vehicles.

I agree that urban ridesharing (self-driving or not) will accelerate the uptake rate. But if you're looking at 3x the price for electricity, electric vehicles are going to more expensive per distance than liquid fossil fuels. (They're currently about half the cost per distance of liquids, so a 3x increase is going to make them 50% more expensive than liquids.)

The cost per distance is a key determinant in the economics of trucking. When you add in the shorter lifetimes of batteries for long-haul, heavy-use electric trucks (compared to diesel engine lifetimes), you're looking at a significantly worse value proposition.

All that said, there are a lot more urban passenger miles than there are cargo miles (and rural passenger miles, which I suspect won't be touched by ridesharing). And I was a bit surprised to discover that the fuel consumed by passenger travel is something like 3x that of cargo. So transitioning the urban passenger fleet is the biggest piece of low-hanging fruit, but it's not the only fruit in the orchard.

BTW, this is my reference for the above.

However, storage costs “dropping at 8% a year” isn’t some physically fixed constant.

First, I'm wrong about the 8%. It's more like 12% for utility-scale Li-ion. Somewhere, there's a chart that shows the learning curves of all the battery technologies, but I haven't found it yet. This one is kinda like the one I'm thinking of, but there's another one that shows cost declines for each of the old battery technologies, and they're all disturbingly similar.

It's always nice to think that throwing unlimited money at a technology will improve it arbitrarily fast, but it doesn't usually turn out that way. Throwing a little extra money can help a little bit. But throwing a lot of extra money... Not usually. And of course a lot of extra money almost always comes with a lot of extra strings, which can slow you down a lot.

I'd plan for about 12% and hope to be pleasantly surprised.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, there are seven countries already at, or very, near 100 percent renewable power...

If you have lots of mountains/hills with lots of water, or lots of hydrothermal vents, you can indeed build a grid out of dispatchable renewables. But that's not the case for big countries, where geography is varied and distances are large. Very high voltage, very low loss/km transmission systems would help a lot--but they also make your grid quite fragile, unless you're willing to invest in way more of them than you actually need just to meet the load.

Whimsical aside: I keep thinking of disruptive technologies that could revolutionize power production, and "drilling a stable, cheap 5-10 km shaft in any kind of rock" is high on my list, to bring geothermal to everybody, everywhere. So is cheap fusion (virtually no waste and only a tiny amount of terror compared to fission nukes), space-based solar power at an LCOE <$90/MWh (no storage required!), and a small modular nuke technology that was compelling enough to force regulatory reform and drive the LCOE down to <$60/MWh.

@wj

Note, however, that Rubio is factually wrong on one point. The (true) fact that it is too late to totally eliminate the negative effects does NOT, contra Rubio's implication, mean that there is no reason to do anything. And that is what he is implying.

In other words, he's not factually wrong, but he's only telling half the story.

@liberal japonicus

LGM has Flake's scorecard... here's Rubio's...

As I said, I'm not trying to whitewash their motives. But you will have to deal with their facts, which are pretty solid.

Just as a tactical issue, it's fine to impugn the GOP's motives on all kinds of things here. However, I'd just urge everybody to remember a few things:

1) When you impugn individual GOP politicians' motives, you push them closer to the party orthodoxy, not further away. The one ironclad reality on both sides of the issue is that these folks will say what they have to say to get elected, so painting them even further into the corner than their own party has already done does nobody any good.

2) The proper response to a less-than-ingenuous albeit factual argument is to engage around the policy edges. When you're dealing with Republicans, it's always a winner to dangle gas instead of coal, and find ways to subsidize green energy R&D / manufacturing / deployment in their districts, because they're very good at building coalitions of business interests.

3) These guys aren't (all) stupid. A lot of them can see the handwriting on the wall, no matter what they're saying publicly. My guess is that a few of them would like to co-opt decent policy proposals for their own purposes. That may be annoying, but you should take the win. And you should try to think up as many ways to give them those opportunities to annoy you as possible.

At two degrees, the melting of ice sheets will pass a tipping point of collapse, flooding dozens of the world’s major cities this century. At that amount of warming, it is estimated, global GDP, per capita, will be cut by 13 percent.

But, but, but, we don't want to destroy the economy.

The scientific community's hair is on fire, folks. This is a developing existential crisis.

But I'll bet that fracking has, to date, made a bigger difference in reducing overall emissions than the wind and solar capacity we've added in the last 5 years.

I'd say hold on to your wallet:

https://www.skepticalscience.com/frackingandCO2.html

https://cleantechnica.com/2018/02/22/emissions-fracking-5-times-higher-reported/

What is this “shorter lifetime of batteries” ?
There are fleet vehicle Teslas in LA that have done well over 300k miles - and they don’t need servicing much, either.

The only barrier to batteries for long haul is their relatively low energy density - which means too much weight for long distance.

And the difference between storage costs dropping at 8% vs 12% a year is big - you’re looking at storage costs more or less halving every four years, rather than every eight.

(Five years.)

RadicalModerate wrote:

When you impugn individual GOP politicians' motives, you push them closer to the party orthodoxy, not further away.
and
The proper response to a less-than-ingenuous albeit factual argument is to engage around the policy edges.

This is a party that moved in lockstep to deny Merrick Garland a hearing. This is the party that stymied any attempt at reform of gun laws. If you want to say that these are separate issues, this is the party that has Rick Perry as Sec of Energy. From that book

On the morning after the election, November 9, 2016, the people who ran the U.S. Department of Energy turned up in their offices and waited. They had cleared 30 desks and freed up 30 parking spaces. They didn’t know exactly how many people they’d host that day, but whoever won the election would surely be sending a small army into the Department of Energy, and every other federal agency. The morning after he was elected president, eight years earlier, Obama had sent between 30 and 40 people into the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy staff planned to deliver the same talks from the same five-inch-thick three-ring binders, with the Department of Energy seal on them, to the Trump people as they would have given to the Clinton people. “Nothing had to be changed,” said one former Department of Energy staffer. “They’d be done always with the intention that, either party wins, nothing changes.”

By afternoon the silence was deafening. “Day 1, we’re ready to go,” says a former senior White House official. “Day 2 it was ‘Maybe they’ll call us?’ ”

“Teams were going around, ‘Have you heard from them?’ ” recalls another staffer who had prepared for the transition. “ ‘Have you gotten anything? I haven’t got anything.’ ”

“The election happened,” remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the D.O.E. “And he won. And then there was radio silence. We were prepared for the next day. And nothing happened.” Across the federal government the Trump people weren’t anywhere to be found. Allegedly, between the election and the inauguration not a single Trump representative set foot inside the Department of Agriculture, for example. The Department of Agriculture has employees or contractors in every county in the United States, and the Trump people seemed simply to be ignoring the place. Where they did turn up inside the federal government, they appeared confused and unprepared. A small group attended a briefing at the State Department, for instance, only to learn that the briefings they needed to hear were classified. None of the Trump people had security clearance—or, for that matter, any experience in foreign policy—and so they weren’t allowed to receive an education. On his visits to the White House soon after the election, Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, expressed surprise that so much of its staff seemed to be leaving. “It was like he thought it was a corporate acquisition or something,” says an Obama White House staffer. “He thought everyone just stayed.”

and

Two weeks after the election the Obama people inside the D.O.E. read in the newspapers that Trump had created a small “Landing Team.” According to several D.O.E. employees, this was led by, and mostly consisted of, a man named Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, which, upon inspection, proved to be a Washington, D.C., propaganda machine funded with millions of dollars from ExxonMobil and Koch Industries. Pyle himself had served as a Koch Industries lobbyist and ran a side business writing editorials attacking the D.O.E.’s attempts to reduce the dependence of the American economy on carbon. Pyle says that his role on the Landing Team was “voluntary,” adding that he could not disclose who appointed him, due to a confidentiality agreement. The people running the D.O.E. were by then seriously alarmed. “We first learned of Pyle’s appointment on the Monday of Thanksgiving week,” recalls D.O.E. chief of staff Kevin Knobloch. “We sent word to him that the secretary and his deputy would meet with him as soon as possible. He said he would like that but could not do it until after Thanksgiving.”

A month after the election Pyle arrived for a meeting with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Deputy Secretary Sherwood-Randall, and Knobloch. Moniz is a nuclear physicist, then on leave from M.I.T., who had served as deputy secretary during the Clinton administration and is widely viewed, even by many Republicans, as understanding and loving the D.O.E. better than any person on earth. Pyle appeared to have no interest in anything he had to say. “He did not seem motivated to spend a lot of time understanding the place,” says Sherwood-Randall. “He didn’t bring a pencil or a piece of paper. He didn’t ask questions. He spent an hour. That was it. He never asked to meet with us again.” Afterward, Knobloch says, he suggested that Pyle visit one day each week until the inauguration, and that Pyle agreed to do it—but then he never showed up, instead attending a half-dozen meetings or so with others. “It’s a head-scratcher,” says Knobloch. “It’s a $30-billion-a-year organization with about 110,000 employees. Industrial sites across the country. Very serious stuff. If you’re going to run it, why wouldn’t you want to know something about it?”

So by all means, it is great to have a discussion about various questions involved with decarbonizing the economy, etc. But to center it around the claim that we need to be oh so sweet to someone like Rubio, regardless of whether he actually knows the score or not, seems to be self flagellation. I realize with a handle like RadicalModerate, your image is tied up in being moderate in all things, at always trying to find opportunities to express that urge. Certainly your choice, but I don't think the times are very conducive for that.

When you impugn individual GOP politicians' motives, you push them closer to the party orthodoxy, not further away.

marco rubio doesn't give a crap about my opinions about his motives.

and at some point, preferably now if not yesterday, it needs to stop being my responsibility if (R)'s adopt stupid harmful policies.

they're big girls and boys.

We are decades past the point where it makes sense to try to get Republican politicians on board with doing the right thing. It's unambiguous that they don't care about what's right, they want power come what may, and they want to use it to help the greedy rich. They are the enemy - of the USA, the people of the world, and the planet.

Being friendly to Republican voters, yes. But when it comes to the party itself, there's nothing reasonable to compromise with.

Being friendly to Republican voters, yes. But when it comes to the party itself, there's nothing reasonable to compromise with.

You highlight something that I think needs more attention. There are lots of Republican voters (defined, for this purpose, as voters who have voted mostly for Republicans in the past) who are persuadable. Not harangue-able into agreeing to support other views, but persuadable.

Failing to distinguish between them and national Republican politicians is simply a way to guarantee than they won't listen.

Someday we will reach a common understanding on this question: do Republican voters make up the Republican Party? or is the Republican Party some vampire squid with its own volition independent of the people who vote for its candidates?

It seems to me that if there are "persuadable" Republican voters, the people who stand the best chance to "persuade" them are people like wj, not people like me. And, sad to say, wj has had no better luck than I have, recently.

The mid-terms might feature some Republican voters who were "persuaded" to vote for the Birther-in-Chief two years ago and have been "persuaded" the other way since. If so, these fickle and feckless voters are a thin reed to balance a nation on.

--TP

There are lots of Republican voters (defined, for this purpose, as voters who have voted mostly for Republicans in the past) who are persuadable.

Proving yet again that only Democrats have agency./snark

If one doesn't have agency, one cannot be persuaded. Only ordered. (Or, as Trump's fans demonstrate, conned.)

I agree with wj on this particular point.
Though of course it’s only a relatively small subset of Republican voters who are persuadable - but it’s only a small subset whose votes are needed for change.

Equally, the Republican party is the party of Trump, and Rubio, for example, deserves no respect, or attempts to parse his stance on climate change as defensible. It isn’t.

i say (today, anyway), forget about persuading Republicans to vote D. instead, persuade non-voters to vote D.

let the GOP stew in its madness. move on without them.

Are the two things really mutually exclusive ?

Though of course it’s only a relatively small subset of Republican voters who are persuadable

How do you identify those people, and what would you do to persuade them? Trying to ferret out "persuadable" white people who have voted for a fraudulent sexual assaulter who denies climate change, cages babies, and worships dictators, then finding an argument to "persuade" them, seems like a difficult task. What strategy do you propose?

Concentrate on the issues which polling indicates matter most (no.1 - healthcare) and refrain from calling them idiots.

It's not hard.

And rip the shit out of Republican politicians.


The would be funny if it weren't serious:
https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/15/rick-perry-coal-rescue-trump-850528

Are the two things really mutually exclusive ?

in the sense that time and energy are finite, yes.

I don't accept the thesis, though.

Healthcare (for example) is an issue which crosses the divide(and is important to all strands of opinion in the Democratic party).
Politics is about building coalitions large enough to govern.

It's not hard.

Yes, it is hard. For example, with regard to health care, Kentuckians loved Obamacare (and Medicaid Expansion), but voted for the Republicans who dismantled it in their state. Scott Walker is currently lying about protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Republican racist tribalists eat it up.

If you don't think it's hard, you're really not paying attention.

people who aren't already married to the GOP have health care concerns, too.

the GOP cult is lost. they're not interested in good government. they just want team GOP to pOwn teh libz.

It's not hard.

wj has been on this board for how many years?....and still calls himself a Republican.

I rest my case. :)

There are lots of Republican voters (defined, for this purpose, as voters who have voted mostly for Republicans in the past) who are persuadable.

I wish no ill on (R) voters, but I will also say that they make me angry. So, there is a hill I, personally, need to climb before a productive conversation can occur.

In no small number of cases, the things that make me angry are things - statements and actions - that are intended to make me angry. They are intended to be provocative. So, another hill to climb before we can have a productive conversation.

If we get that far, quite a number of differences between our respective opinions are rooted in profound differences in values. We don't think the same things are good or worthwhile. We disagree about how the world works, and how it's supposed to work.

So, yet another hill to climb.

40% of eligible voters simply failed to show up in 2016. I don't mind talking with (R)'s, but in general I think I'm more likely to get to an outcome that I prefer by trying to persuade folks in that 40% to at least show up, than I am by trying to persuade (R) voters to vote for a (D).

I don't mind having the conversation, and sometimes I do. And when I do I don't actually try to persuade anyone of anything, I just put my own point of view out there, and maybe ask them if they've thought about some aspect or other of what they say they believe.

Mostly I do not get into it. I rant away here, but IRL I avoid political conversations like the plague.

Life is short, there's only so much time. Most of the people I know are middle aged or older, they're not that likely to change their point of view.

I write postcards to registered (D)'s to encourage them to show up. I will offer to drive (D)'s to the polls. I'll send money to (D) candidates, in my area and outside my area.

I can see those things making a dent, as a practical matter.

Trying to persuade (R)'s to change their stripes might be an interesting exercise in interpersonal relationships. It's a conversation I might have with a friend or acquaintance who happens to be a (R).

As a pragmatic, tactical political strategy, I don't see it as all that useful.

In general, they're going to have to figure it out for themselves. Or, not.

Let me put it another way - who would you rather have campaigning for President... another Obama, or Avenatti ?

Obama's approach might have been a mistake at times when governing (for example his excess of patience on healthcare), but it was undoubtedly successful when campaigning.

"What strategy do you propose?"

Never bring a knife to a gunfight?

Or, more timely, when in a closed space with a mp republican after being lured there by some aspiration of persuasion, I would first ask for what purpose they brought a bone saw to the meeting.

When I'm in the mood to humor reptiles, I head down to the zoo and, when the attendants are otherwise diverted, I tap on the glass of the venomous serpent enclosures to judge their reaction time.

Never turn your back on them.

Read chapters two and three of Thomas Frank's "The Wrecking Crew" for a survey of the architects of republican ruthlessness these last five decades.

Also read chapters 27 and 28 of Woodward's "Fear" for Reince Priebus' assessment of the predators, every one of them, in the mp White House.

That Priebus himself is an unpersuadable little ratfucking gollum made a tasty deserving morsel of by the predators affords no comfort.

Read both books in full. Lewis' "The Fifth Risk" and Jamieson's "Cyberwar" are up next.

Rest assured I don't limit my reading to confirming my biases. I gave that up after voting for Ronald Reagan in 1980, for which I should be pistol-whipped.

I spend nearly as much time at the American Conservative as I do here. Even more time on business-oriented sites, which by default, lean conservative.

I do my thing in this tiny corner of the intertubes. Others do theirs.

I've no particular faith at this point in the Democratic Party's ability to convince fence sitters. I'm not a fan of Clinton much, though I would support her ascendancy to the Presidency when it is proved the 2016 election was stolen by traitors.

Bloomberg in 2020? JFC on a ferris wheel.

However low liberals go, it's not low enough to slash open the savage underbelly of the conservative movement, which is now a worldwide plague.

Most of the persuadable like walls too. Perhaps to resume sitting on like dumbass Hamlets, chin perched in hand, making up their minds.

Sure, some can be peeled off, so have at it.

I suppose some of the German rank and file citizenry remained persuadable in 1937 after carefully weighing the pros and cons of Nazi bloviations versus reasoned pleadings by Jewish leaders and elite intellectuals regarding the inadvisability of the aforementioned bloviations.

Maybe invite the seemingly persuadable to their son's bar mitzvah, as a show of good will, to see how the other half live. We're really just all people, aren't we?

The seemingly persuadable will show up, perhaps refusing cake on account of their current diet, but will thank you upon leaving to get home in time to catch Goebbels on Meet The Press for one last weighing of the alternatives.

If wj is reading, this comment can be taken as rebuttal to Richard Cohen.

"Validating" mp? The lout self-validates.

Give me a break.

But, I hope wj is right in the long slog.

It would be better for the country rather than what I believe needs to be done.

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