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Season 12 Chit Chat Thread

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2 hours ago, joyceraye said:

 

I gather the cast is pretty good at sharing. Didn't Mayim buy bullet-proof vests for the Israeli army ? Don't the cast contribute to science scholarships at a university ? Wealthy people tend to employ others to provide services and they can buy expensive goods, so money moves around. 

Snip...

 

I think it’s the case that rich people proportionally hang on to their money more tightly than middle or working classes people. The money doesn’t trickle down. That’s why Trump’s Republican Donor Tax Relief Act 2017 hasn’t been the stimulus on US wages it was sold as being. 

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10 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

I’d worry less about the fairies in the bottom of the garden and more about...

How the Trump Tax Cut Is Helping to Push the Federal Deficit to $1 Trillion

https://nyti.ms/2OhUIyb?smid=nytcore-ios-share

😀

And of course, that's a trillion dollars to the debt every year. And republicans want to do another round of tax cuts.

3 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

I think it’s the case that rich people proportionally hang on to their money more tightly than middle or working classes people. The money doesn’t trickle down. That’s why Trump’s Republican Donor Tax Relief Act 2017 hasn’t been the stimulus on US wages it was sold as being. 

Definition of insanity: Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Reagan did massive tax cuts - debt ballooned and he had to raise them again 11 times

Bush I didn't even try tax cuts, he just promised no new taxes but he had to break that promise

Clinton raised taxes on the rich - it resulted in a budget surplus, which economists had said, if his successor had continued his fiscal policies, the US would have been debt free in like 20 years

Bush II outdid all his predecessors. Started two wars which he didn't pay for, implemented the Medicare part D program which wasn't paid for and cut taxes as well - resulted in a $1.4 trillion deficit by the time he left office.

Obama wanted to raise taxes on the rich and close loopholes to get more revenue but republicans wouldn't let him - he still brought the deficit down to ~$350 billion

Trump and his republicans again cut taxes for rich people and corporations (who had been swimming in cash even before that) and they paid for it with fairy dust and pipe dreams - result is a coming $1 trillion deficit that will only get worse

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On 7/25/2018 at 5:02 AM, veejay said:

You know that China holds the most American government bonds and therefore also has a great influence on the Dollar as the global money. They may also decide to „Make the Euro Great!“

Good resume of the situation.

7 hours ago, Tensor said:

Well, FOX News, and FOX  TV stations are not part of the Disney deal.  Also, they have to get rid of the regional sports networks, because of Disney's ownership share of ESPN.  

That is what will make it interesting.

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6 hours ago, son-goku5 said:

Couldn't see it, it was hidden by trees or buildings all the time 😒

4am was a little early for me.

BTW. Nice GDP figure for the US. GDP is very gross measure and it’s one qtr only. The underlying recovery still firm despite Trump noise,  and including bump from brought-forward agriculture activity in advance of tariff threats, and some Keynesian effect from tax stimulus (that may fade). Nothing in policy to address income issues for nonGOPdonors  - maybe poor deserve poverty; if deity loved them they’d be rich </s>  -  but who has that answered, (not the GOP) ? I’m not sure about current era noisy actions - policy lags have yet to work through the national accounts.  Hope trade and ag brouhaha goes nowhere - even Trump voters likely don’t deserve to actually suffer from Trump’s trade crazy. Looks like pockets are though.

Kids are still not all back with parents. Maybe Trump has a Swiftian “Modest Proposal” in his pocket? And Cohen looms. Wow. Plus Putin. Trump show still pulling eyeballs. That’s one dimension of success. Ratings galore.

Still, no WALL at all; wildlife thankful. But it’s getting hotter, isn’t it?

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20 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

Trump show still pulling eyeballs. That’s one dimension of success. Ratings galore.

History in the making. Every time I think it is settling down something new pops up. I never paid much attention to US politics before but I have never seen anything like this.

20 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

But it’s getting hotter, isn’t it?

We hear extreme weather events are getting worse. The arctic is getting hotter. Most of the continental US is getting dryer. The Canadian prairies are getting more tornadoes (never had any in Alberta before the 1980s in my recollection). 

What will be the health outcomes of environmental deregulation?

What will the public reaction once the economic peak has past and the downturn accelerates?

Edited by djsurrey
typo
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3 hours ago, djsurrey said:

We hear extreme weather events are getting worse. The arctic is getting hotter. Most of the continental US is getting dryer. The Canadian prairies are getting more tornadoes (never had any bin Alberta before the 1980s in my recollection). 

Here in Germany, they said the the summer (temperature wise) will now be four months long instead of the usual two. When you look at the rain radar over Germany, it's like someone used scissors and cut Germany in half at the middle. The southern part has quite a lot of rain while the northern half is almost completely dry.

Yet we're somewhat lucky when it comes to forest fires. We rarely have large scale ones. There was one near Potsdam that destroyed roughly 400 acres of forest and the firefighters had to use police water cannons and firefighting tanks because there's old WW2 munitions buried in the area (there were serveral explosions audible during the fire). In my hometown, some idiots set fire to a stack of old tires but the firefighters managed to douse that quickly.

3 hours ago, djsurrey said:

What will be the health outcomes of environmental deregulation?

Well, more people poisoned and therefore dying. Or getting sick with diseases like cancer or asthma because republicans think that profits of industries are more important than people's health.

Just think of one of the first bills the republicans passed since 2017. They allow coal companies to dump their debris into local streams (streams that many municipalities use as a drinking water source)

3 hours ago, djsurrey said:

What will the public reaction once the economic peak has past and the downturn accelerates?

In a perfect world, they would blame the responsible party (republicans) and elect Democrats. Yet since way too many American voters are either stupid, lazy or simply ignorant of the facts, they will blame whatever party is in power. An since economic downturns sometimes take a few years to really show, it could happen that Democrats are in power when that happens so the stupid voters elect the other party, the one that's reponsible for their woes in the first place.

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47 minutes ago, son-goku5 said:

../snip..

In a perfect world, they would blame the responsible party (republicans) and elect Democrats. Yet since way too many American voters are either stupid, lazy or simply ignorant of the facts, they will blame whatever party is in power. An since economic downturns sometimes take a few years to really show, it could happen that Democrats are in power when that happens so the stupid voters elect the other party, the one that's reponsible for their woes in the first place.

This may be one reason why many people are tired of this eternal conflict and yearn for a solitary heroic "Führer" (leader).
The life could be so much simple as their mind.

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32 minutes ago, veejay said:

This may be one reason why many people are tired of this eternal conflict and yearn for a solitary heroic "Führer" (leader).
The life could be so much simple as their mind.

Yeah, because being governed by a dictator is sooo much better /s

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7 hours ago, djsurrey said:

History in the making. Every time I think it is settling down something new pops up. I never paid much attention to US politics before but I have never seen anything like this.

We hear extreme weather events are getting worse. The arctic is getting hotter. Most of the continental US is getting dryer. The Canadian prairies are getting more tornadoes (never had any bin Alberta before the 1980s in my recollection). 

What will be the health outcomes of environmental deregulation?

What will the public reaction once the economic peak has past and the downturn accelerates?

The 2008 GFC took the wind out of the sails of the popular environmental movement and immediate economic needs took all the political energy for eight years.   

A decade later the nation that is  potentially most influential global actor turns out to be in the care of the most self-involved, possibly corrupt and perhaps externally appointed, person to ever wield such power, and is governed by the most self-interested, apocalyptically-inclined and least conservation minded political bloc ever to hold both houses of government, and all are held in thrall to a minority’ self-interested, apocalyptically inclined and “lib-owning obsessed” population. 

I’m not that optimistic about a lot of effort from the USA in the short term. The frog has to boil a bit longer. More hurricanes, floods, fires and migrating diseases (as insect vectors expand their ranges) will have to happen. And even then, those praying for the “end times” will persuaded that their prayers are being answered and they’ll hunker down further in their beliefs.

There might be technological fixes that will maintain current western lifestyles, but the political will has to form. We may not even have such technological  options.

So I don’t know.

(I’m a bit jaundiced - it could turn ok - it’s not like I’m expert or anything)

Edited by Nogravitasatall

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4 hours ago, son-goku5 said:

In a perfect world, they would blame the responsible party (republicans) and elect Democrats. Yet since way too many American voters are either stupid, lazy or simply ignorant of the facts, they will blame whatever party is in power. An since economic downturns sometimes take a few years to really show, it could happen that Democrats are in power when that happens so the stupid voters elect the other party, the one that's reponsible for their woes in the first place.

I don't think this is a trend confined to Americans.

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2 hours ago, joyceraye said:

I don't think this is a trend confined to Americans.

True, but out of every so-called "first world" nation, the US is worst in those regards. I know of no other industrialized nation where the voters vote against their own interests that often. The last one ou of the US was in Britain during the Brexit vote.

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59 minutes ago, son-goku5 said:

True, but out of every so-called "first world" nation, the US is worst in those regards. I know of no other industrialized nation where the voters vote against their own interests that often. The last one out of the US was in Britain during the Brexit vote.

Something like half the population has thought the same since 1964 when we first applied to join. :) Both the major parties have been divided too. Giving us a referendum about it every forty years may not have been the best policy. It remains to be seen.

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4 minutes ago, joyceraye said:

Something like half the population has thought the same since 1964 when we first applied to join. :) Both the major parties have been divided too. Giving us a referendum about it every forty years may not have been the best policy. It remains to be seen.

Ricky Gervais had a great suggestion for a vote like Brexit. They still have "Do not drink!" on bottles of Bleach. So, his suggestion was, take those stickers off, wait for 2 years and then have the vote.

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8 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

More hurricanes, floods, fires and migrating diseases (as insect vectors expand their ranges) will have to happen. And even then, those praying for the “end times” will persuaded that their prayers are being answered and they’ll hunker down further in their beliefs.

Sounds like something I heard before. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagues_of_Egypt 

And in the voice of Johnny Cash

Quote

...

When the man comes around

"And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked, and behold a pale horse
And his name that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him"

 

8 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

There might be technological fixes that will maintain current western lifestyles, but the political will has to form. We may not even have such technological  options.

It seems to me that Obama was calling for research into new green technologies.  Then the political pendulum swung in the opposite direction. Trump is a disaster. Wisdom gave way to crass self interest. Trump is 70 and may never see the hell he is unleashing. It will take new technologies and political will to reverse the harms done to the environment. Global problems will require global solutions. 

The promise to bring back coal was idiotic. Deregulation of oil, gas and coal is absolute negligence. So of course I'm hoping the mid term elections throw out the republicans to try to mitigate the damage.

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3 minutes ago, djsurrey said:

It seems to me that Obama was calling for research into new green technologies.  Then the political pendulum swung in the opposite direction. Trump is a disaster. Wisdom gave way to crass self interest. Trump is 70 and may never see the hell he is unleashing. It will take new technologies and political will to reverse the harms done to the environment. Global problems will require global solutions. 

The promise to bring back coal was idiotic. Deregulation of oil, gas and coal is absolute negligence. So of course I'm hoping the mid term elections throw out the republicans to try to mitigate the damage.

The thing about "bringing back coal" is that there are way more jobs in green technologies than in coal. Coal has been in a decline since oil became available. And to top it off, coal miner is a very dangerous job.

And just because some states have failed to diversify their economy, the whole world has to suffer the resulting pollution

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3 hours ago, djsurrey said:

... Wisdom gave way to crass self interest. Trump is 70 and may never see the hell he is unleashing. It will take new technologies and political will to reverse the harms done to the environment. Global problems will require global solutions. 

The promise to bring back coal was idiotic. Deregulation of oil, gas and coal is absolute negligence. So of course I'm hoping the mid term elections throw out the republicans to try to mitigate the damage.

One thing we know is that the glacially slow oncoming catastrophe has a basis in physics, so no supernatural explanations are required. The solutions are more psychological and political - because we are aware of the gross causes, it’s just that the summoning of a consensus effort of will to make change escapes our species. It’s not like we haven’t had the red lights pop up.

Given the timescale of the changes ahead, political solutions may not be possible - particularly in democracies where angry people, harmed by unrestrained capitalism, vote for short term self-interest (and sometimes to “own the libs”). One bright light is that business, particularly the insurance industry, are starting to price climate effects into their forecasts. Price signals will change behaviour. The question is how to equitably distribute the costs. That’s where progressive taxation comes in. The 9.99% can afford to make a proportionate contribution, I think.

In the 80s we were talking about green economics, recognising externalities and designing carbon taxes, given we know the major driver of the greenhouse effect. Australia had one for a few years, but the reactionaries killed it and installed non-market solutions that were ineffective. Vested interests won, because we couldn’t reach consensus and defeat them. 

In the longer run some of the population may be able to purchase comfortable survival. But it may not be pretty for the rest.

I worry for my future grandkids - and even my own kids in the next 5-20 years. If the methane clathrate gun goes off...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clathrate_gun_hypothesis?wprov=sfti1

 

Edited by Nogravitasatall

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2 hours ago, Nogravitasatall said:

In the 80s we were talking about green economics, recognising externalities and designing carbon taxes, given we know the major driver of the greenhouse effect. Australia had one for a few years, but the reactionaries killed it and installed non-market solutions that were ineffective. Vested interests won, because we couldn’t reach consensus and defeat them. 

The scientific consensus on climate change started to form in the 1990s and ongoing research has lead to overwhelming evidence since.

Quote

 In the 1960s, the warming effect of carbon dioxidegas became increasingly convincing. Some scientists also pointed out that human activities that generated atmospheric aerosols (e.g., "pollution") could have cooling effects as well. During the 1970s, scientific opinion increasingly favored the warming viewpoint. By the 1990s, as a result of improving fidelity of computer models and observational work confirming the Milankovitch theory of the ice ages, a consensus position formed: greenhouse gases were deeply involved in most climate changes and human caused emissions were bringing discernible global warming. Since the 1990s, scientific research on climate change has included multiple disciplines and has expanded. Research has expanded our understanding of causal relations, links with historic data and ability to model climate change numerically. Research during this period has been summarized in the Assessment Reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_climate_change_science

Clearly there has been political pressure to develop green technologies in Europe, in North America and in China. In North America the State of California has been and continues to be a driver of new regulations and greener technologies (despite Trump).

https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/27/green-energy-evs-tesla-2017/

Lets hope these efforts prevail and Trump with his pre wwII thinking is a temporary blip on the way to a brighter future.

Many other changes will be required. Changes to agriculture. Changes to diets. If one wants to make a difference one can try going vegan.

Edited by djsurrey

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1 hour ago, djsurrey said:

The scientific consensus on climate change started to form in the 1990s and ongoing research has lead to overwhelming evidence since.

Clearly there has been political pressure to develop green technologies in Europe, in North America and in China. In North America the State of California has been and continues to be a driver of new regulations and greener technologies (despite Trump).

https://www.engadget.com/2017/12/27/green-energy-evs-tesla-2017/

Lets hope these efforts prevail and Trump with his pre wwII thinking is a temporary blip on the way to a brighter future.

Many other changes will be required. Changes to agriculture. Changes to diets. If one wants to make a difference one can try going vegan.

All that requires mass action to be effective. It has to be a cultural shift by a majority. I’m not sure that is doable in the USA, a culture that can’t even agree to act, in the face of evidence, on reducing the number of guns to reduce the number of gun deaths.   That’s a pretty concrete contemporary issue that can’t be resolved.  (Edit, look at Stand your ground, a new style of law that will kill more people)

That the resolution of the more abstract slow moving catastrophe that is climate change can be left in the hands of the USA is unclear. They are not going to act until Hollywood catches fire each quarter, Florida becomes a new Venice and New York City gets inundated seasonally. Even then, the 9.99% will move, because they can afford to move. It’s going to take thoughtful regulation - and I’m pessimistic about that happening for the next 6 years.

Other nations are doing things but it is expensive - and exactly the kind of infrastructure shift that should be funded by long term government borrowing - because markets won’t move until incentivised - and instead, debt funded tax cuts are giving the economy a short run stimulus as the conservatives raid the national piggy bank for a sugar high.

The previous Democrat government was going to move more seriously under the more serious president, but the GFC, brought to you by unregulated PhD quants with their incomprehensible CDOs, sucked out all the money that might have addressed the long term problem and then ate it up with their short term crisis, from which the world has been climbing out for the past nine years.

And now Trump is likely to inadvertently finagle a “national security exemption” for tariffs into another global crisis.  And maybe throw in still another war, with Iran this time, which will eat up more money and take away not only take attention away from  his personal legal issues  but also from what is a long term existential threat to our civilisation (not to be too hyperbolic about it).

Luckily, the tech just keeps getting cheaper and maybe there will be be a market lead decarbonisation. Smart people in business are on it. But the longer the policy settings flop around, the closer we get to what might be a cliff.

Edited by Nogravitasatall

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4 hours ago, djsurrey said:

The scientific consensus on climate change started to form in the 1990s and ongoing research has lead to overwhelming evidence since.

Clearly there has been political pressure to develop green technologies in Europe, in North America and in China. In North America the State of California has been and continues to be a driver of new regulations and greener technologies (despite Trump).

If you look back, when did China begin to invest heavily in green technologies? It was during, or rather before, the Summer Olympics in 2008. They could see that Beijing was wrapped in smog almos everyday and to prevent that during the olympic games, they had to shut down dozens of factories around Beijing for months and restrict car travel as well so the air could clear. That cost a lot of money.

And it got in gear for real in 2014 when the world saw runners wearing face masks during the Beijing Marathon.

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Business opportunity abounds and the pacific states of the US are poised to profit. Assuming Trump does not get in the way.

Quote

India’s demand for energy is increasing due to economic growth, a growing population and changing lifestyles. Currently, India has about 32 gigawatts (GW) of wind power and 12 GW of solar power within a total generation mix of 320 GW. Renewables (excluding large-scale hydropower) account for about 17% of its total power output. In December 2016, the Indian government issued its third National Electricity Plan (NEP) report, which affirmed a strategy of rapid renewables expansion. The government aims to have 175 GW of renewable capacity installed by 2022, resulting in an additional 100 GW of solar power and 60 GW of wind power.

https://www.britishcolumbia.ca/export/industry-sectors/technology/clean-technology/ 

Quote

The United States is a global leader in green tech and the clean economy, with significant growth opportunities for companies in renewable energy, wastewater management, clean transportation and green building, among others. The United States also ranks  among the world’s top countries in clean tech investments, patents, renewable energy generation and electric vehicle (EV) adoption.  All of the Pacific Northwest states are committed to carbon emission reductions and the exploration of renewable energies to meet their respective mandates.

B.C.’s green economy companies have strengths in many of the key clean tech subsectors that are currently relevant to the U.S. Pacific Northwest. This creates significant business opportunities for increased clean tech exports. 

 

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Quote

All of the Pacific Northwest states are committed to carbon emission reductions and the exploration of renewable energies to meet their respective mandates.

There have been calculations that if you planted wind farms on the plains in the south and southwest of the US, you can easily sate the energy demand of the entire nation. On the high plains for example, you often have sustained winds of 40 mph that can gust up to 60. Supplement that with widespread solar farms to alleviate eventual low winds and you have renewable energy for the entire US. The problem of course is that you'd have to rework the energy grid and the even bigger problem is the special interests that control most politicians. And even though both parties have that problem, that ownership is more widespread in the republican party, just look at the politicians who always want to strengthen the fossil fuel industry and weaken renewables.

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