Saturday, June 20, 2015

Rick Perry's ACTUAL Legacy | RedState

Campaign 2016 has already begun

The alleged record (recycled):

The actual record:

Rick Perrys Legacy

Worker deaths:

Texas ranked 18th, with a rate of 1.7 such deaths per 100,000 workers. Observing that the five states with the “worst” rates all employed fewer than 1 million people in 2011, we checked to see how Texas fared among states employing more than 1 million. The answer: 10th place.
“Worst” among the states were Montana (3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers), North Dakota (3.3), West Virginia (3), Alaska (3) and New Mexico (2.8). “Worst” among states with more than 1 million employed were Arkansas (2.6), Louisiana (2.3), Kansas (2.3), Missouri (2.1) and Kentucky (2).
During our look into the Everlasting GOP Stoppers’ claim, a bureau spokeswoman, Cheryl Abbot, responded to our inquiry about worker deaths in general by emailing us a federal document showing 2011 workplace fatality rates state by state. That year, according to the document, Texas had a rate of 4 fatal occupational injuries per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.
That tied the state for 22nd with Alabama. North Dakota ranked first with a fatality rate of 12.4, according to the document, with Wyoming second (11.6) followed by Montana (11.2), Alaska (11.1), Arkansas (8.0), South Dakota (6.7) and New Mexico (6.6). Among the 10 most populous states, Texas ranked second to Ohio, which had a 5.5 fatality rate, according to the document.


Next up was 49th in school funding. Oh those lefties and their tropes. It is not even a question to them that spending less equals worse outcomes. It is an article of faith. If you spend less, you care less. It is the essence of their very being. So of course, they rank the spending, not the outcome.
In reality, the outcome in Texas is phenomenal. Number two in America for on time graduation of students. Texas is number one in graduations for hispanic students, for black students, and for students from low income families.
Is that not the goal? Is that not what the purpose of education is? Is it not laudable that the most disadvantaged get the most advantage if they live in Texas?
Where is that info from? Why right here at The Washington Times. And right here, at the Department of Education.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Elon Musk Subsidies Are Bigger than Fossil Fuels Get | National Review Online

Elon Musk Subsidies Are Bigger than Fossil Fuels Get | National Review Online

Earlier this year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the most recent data available regarding energy subsidies provided by the federal government. The data, covering the year 2013, broke down total taxpayer subsidies across the different sectors of the energy industry. While fossil fuels did enjoy some government support through various direct expenditures, tax credits, and R&D programs, the data stands in sharp contrast to Musk’s claims.

Data from the EIA report, combined with numbers from an anti-oil advocacy group regarding state-level government support, reveals that total state and federal support for the oil-and-gas industry is no more than $5.5 billion each year. As stated, Musk’s companies combine for $5 billion in subsidies, a number that he has yet to dispute. Clearly, the difference is much smaller than Musk’s outlandish 1,000-to-one claim. Even without this data, Musk’s claims were completely ridiculous from the outset. Does the billionaire whom many regard as a genius not realize that 1,000 times $5 billion is $5 trillion, the equivalent of Japan’s GDP? (He may have had this bogus IMF study in mind.)

Certainly a healthy debate should and does exist about whether taxpayers should be helping oil and gas conglomerates. Arithmetic trouble aside, Musk insinuated that the fossil-fuel industry is the primary beneficiary of energy subsidies. That’s not true either. In fact, according to the EIA, total federal taxpayer support across the renewables sector totaled roughly $15 billion in 2013. The solar sector (Musk’s favorite) alone received about $5.3 billion.

And neither of these figures accounts for the various benefits and mandates that help renewable industries on the state level. No subsidy quite compares to the standards that exist in a plurality of states that force people and utilities to buy renewable electricity. In total, the renewables sector combines for a staggering 72 percent of all federal energy-subsidy dollars. Oil and gas, meanwhile, combine for a mere 4 percent of total federal support. Even throwing in coal adds only another 6 percent.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Wrap-up of the Daisy Hill Hugo Farm

 Here are the points that I want to make:
  • First and foremost and above all else: The Sad Puppies organizers broke none of the rules established for the Hugo Awards process. None. All the Powers agree on this, including Patrick Neilsen-Hayden and George R. R. Martin.
  • There was no ballot-box stuffing. There are explicit rules against someone buying supporting Worldcon memberships in bulk and then voting them. This has been tried before, but the SPs were not doing it. Brad’s instructions to his readers were basically this: Go buy supporting memberships and vote them according to your judgment; here are some people who ought to be considered.
  • The response of the APs to the SPs was venomous in the extreme. Brad Torgersen was called a racist mysogynist and much else. In truth, he’s happily married to an African-American woman whom he clearly loves and respects. The rotter haters among the APs who suggested that he was hiding his racism behind his wife and daughter did more damage to the APs’ arguments than anything the SPs said before or later. If I had to point to one single thing that turned me against the APs, it was this.
  • The media tried to slam the SPs, and mostly soiled itself in the process. Entertainment Weekly actually slid into libel and had to publish a retraction. Other outlets including Salon, The Guardian, Io9, HuffPo, Slashdot etc. published accusations that were all suspiciously alike, as though someone had offered a pre-written summary for them to follow. Most egregious of several lies was the claim that the slate was composed entirely of conservative white men. In fact, there were plenty of women and non-caucasians on the slate, as well as what might be a slight majority of liberals.
  • Several people hit me with the “You must condemn the Sad Puppies because GamerGate” gambit. I looked for a causal connection and didn’t find it. The SPs have been around two years longer than GG, and, yes, there is a certain amount of overlap between the two groups. There is also a lot of overlap between the gang attacking the SPs and the one attacking GG. I’m not a gamer and this entry is not about GG. I consider it off-topic; don’t bring it up.
  • As I said several weeks ago, the slobbering, high-volume, high-profile hate hurled by the APs probably took the SPs from a fluke to an ongoing institution. I call this “adverse attention,” and it cooks down to the Streisand Effect: Screaming about something attracts attention that makes that something a lot more visible. The sensible response to the SPs would have been silence.
  • Voting “No Award” against SP-recommended authors/artists is unfair in the extreme to those who were nominated. It’s an attempt to punish the SPs by hurting innocent bystanders, some or many of whom genuinely deserve the recognition. I predict that this strategy, if it succeeds, will destroy whatever credibility the Hugos have left.
And finally, the largest insight that I had, and the one that I think explains almost everything else:
  • The fight over the Hugo Awards is really about humiliation and loss of face. The Insider Alphas (i.e., the Right Men and Right Women) of the SFF community were humiliated on their home turf, and suffered a tremendous loss of face. High-status individuals can tolerate almost anything but humiliation. Their response to loss of face is generally one of igneous fury, and where violence is possible, physical violence. The fury was tactile, and Brad Torgersen received death threats. That pretty much nailed it for me.

Clinton Gets Everything Wrong on Voting

National Review Online | Print

Hillary Clinton made so many false assertions about voting in the speech she gave at Texas Southern University that it’s hard to know where to start. Contrary to her contention, no “barriers” are being imposed on eligible Americans that prevent them from easily registering and voting in our elections.

Minimum Wages: The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics | Library of Economics and Liberty

Most noneconomists believe that minimum wage laws protect workers from exploitation by employers and reduce poverty. Most economists believe that minimum wagelaws cause unnecessary hardship for the very people they are supposed to help.
The reason is simple: although minimum wage laws can setwages, they cannot guarantee jobs. In practice they often price low-skilled workers out of the labor market. Employers typically are not willing to pay a worker more than the value of the additional product that he produces. This means that an unskilled youth who produces $4.00 worth of goods in an hour will have a very difficult time finding a job if he must, by law, be paid $5.15 an hour. As Princeton economist David F. Bradford wrote, “The minimum wage law can be described as saying to the potential worker: ‘Unless you can find a job paying at least the minimum wage, you may not accept employment.’”2Several decades of studies using aggregate time-series data from a variety of countries have found that minimum wagelaws reduce employment. At current U.S. wage levels, estimates of job losses suggest that a 10 percent in crease in the minimum wage would decrease employment of low-skilled workers by 1 or 2 percent. The job losses for black U.S. teenagers have been found to be even greater, presumably because, on average, they have fewer skills. As liberal economist Paul A. Samuelson wrote in 1973, “What good does it do a black youth to know that an employer must pay him $2.00 per hour if the fact that he must be paid that amount is what keeps him from getting a job?”3 In a 1997 response to a request from the Irish National Minimum Wage Commission, economists for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) summarized economic research results on the minimum wage: “If the wage floor set by statutory minimum wages is too high, this may have detrimental effects on employment, especially among young people.”4 This agreement over the general effect of minimum wages is long-standing. According to a 1978 article in American Economic Review, 90 percent of the economists surveyed agreed that the minimum wage increases unemployment among low-skilled workers.5Australia provided one of the earliest practical demonstrations of the harmful effects of minimum wage laws when the federal court created a minimum wage for unskilled men in 1921. The court set the wage at what it thought employees needed for a decent living, independent of what employers would willingly pay. Laborers whose productivity was worth less than the mandated wage could find work only in occupations not covered by the law or with employers willing to break it. Aggressive reporting of violations by vigilant unions made evasion difficult. The historical record shows that unemployment remained a particular problem for unskilled laborers for the rest of the decade.
At about the same time, a hospital in the United States fired a group of women after the Minimum Wage Board in the District of Columbia ordered that their wages be raised to the legal minimum. The women sued to halt enforcement of the minimum wage law. In 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court, inAdkins v. Childrens Hospital, ruled that the minimum wage law was price fixing and that it represented an unreasonable infringement on individuals’ freedom to determine the price at which they would sell their services.
In addition to making jobs hard to find, minimum wage laws may also harm workers by changing how they are compensated. Fringe benefits—such as paid vacation, free room and board, inexpensive insurance, subsidized child care, and on-the-job training—are an important part of the total compensation package for many low-wage workers. When minimum wages rise, employers can control total compensation costs by cutting benefits. In extreme cases, employers convert low-wage full-time jobs with benefits to high-wage part-time jobs with no benefits and fewer hours. David Neumark and William Wascher found that a 10 percent increase in minimumwages decreased on-the-job training for young people by 1.5–1.8 percent.6 Since on-the-job training is the way most people build their salable skills, these findings suggest that minimumwage laws also reduce future opportunities for the unskilled.
A particularly graphic example of benefits reduction occurred in 1990, when the U.S. Department of Labor ordered the Salvation Army to pay the minimum wage to voluntary participants in its work therapy programs. In exchange for processing donated goods, the programs provided participants, many of whom were homeless alcoholics and drug addicts, with a small weekly stipend and up to ninety days of food, shelter, and counseling. The Salvation Army said that the expense of complying with the minimum wage order would force it to close the programs. Ignoring both the fact that the beneficiaries of the program could leave to take higher-paying jobs at any time and the cash value of the food, shelter, and supervision, the Labor Department insisted that it was protecting workers’ rights by enforcing the minimum wage. After a public outcry, the Labor Department backed down.7 Its Wage and Hour Division Field Operations Handbook now contains a special section on minimum wage enforcement and the Salvation Army.8

The Myopic Empiricism of the Minimum Wage, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

Unlike most opponents of the minimum wage, I admit that David Card and Alan Krueger's famous research on the topic is well-done.  How then can I continue to embrace (and teach!) the textbook view that the minimum wage significantly reduces employment of low-skilled workers?
Part of the reason is admittedly my strong prior.  In the absence of any specific empirical evidence, I am 99%+ sure that a randomly selected demand curve will have a negative slope.  I hew to this prior even in cases - like demand for illegal drugs or illegal immigration - where a downward-sloping demand curve is ideologically inconvenient for me.  What makes me so sure?  Every purchase I've ever made or considered - and every conversation I've had with other people about every purchase they've ever made or considered.
Another reason why Card-Krueger hasn't flipped my position: Despite my admiration for their craftsmanship, even the best empirical social science isn't that good.  I expect true theories to predict the data only two-thirds of the time - and false theories to predict the data one-third of the time.  (N.B. Many of the weaknesses in empirical social science are systematic, so the Law of Large Numbers is no salvation). Bayesian upshot: The Card-Krueger findings only slightly reduce my initial high confidence that the minimum wage causes unemployment.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Rendezvous with RAMA

Viscount Monckton Takes The RAMA Challenge | The Lukewarmer's Way

Yesterday I offered a set of basic statements. They are aimed at finding out where agreement stops and starts with skeptics. (My secondary motivation is to help deligitimize use of the term ‘denier’, which I despise.) The statements are:

  • Global surface temperatures have warmed about 0.8C over the course of the past century or so.
  • Humans have the capacity to change the climate through our actions.
  • Scientists have identified ways in which human activity can change the climate: Deforestation, pollution, changes in land use / land cover and emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • Conventional physics accurately describes how greenhouse gas concentrations can contribute to warming.
  • Emissions of greenhouse gases have grown dramatically over the past two centuries, as have concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere
I asked if skeptics would tell me if they agreed with these statements. So far, they do, if my comments are any indication. I’ll repeat my invitation here. Skeptics, what is your level of agreement with these statements?

I emailed them to Viscount Monckton, the UK nobleman who has been one of the leading figures of climate skepticism.

He has responded. And boy, did he respond, sending me a Word document 10 pages in length. I’ll publish his entire response in a separate post. First, though, here are his responses, his level of agreement, with the base statements above.

1. Global surface temperatures have warmed by about 0.8 K over the past century or so.

(Viscount Monckton, or VM) “Since 1900, global mean surface temperature as measured by the three longest data series – GISS, HadCRUT4, NCDC – has risen by approximately 0.9 K, a rate equivalent to 0.8 K century.” (He offers serious reservations which I show below.)

2. Humans have the capacity to change the climate through our actions.

(VM) “This statement is trivially true. Every living thing on Earth has the capacity to change the climate. Nearly every plant takes CO2 out of the atmosphere; every volcano and fire and nearly every animal adds CO2 to the atmosphere every time it breathes out. The ocean takes CO2 out of the atmosphere when it cools and adds it to the atmosphere when it warms. The greenhouse effect has been posited hypothetically, demonstrated empirically and explained theoretically. Its existence is no more in doubt than the theorem of Pythagoras. The question is whether but how much our emissions influence the climate.” (Again, more below.)

3. Scientists have identified ways in which human activity can change the climate: Deforestation, pollution, changes in land use / land cover and emissions of greenhouse gases.

(VM) “Again, the statement is trivially true, and accordingly skates neatly around the true topic of scientific debate, which is not whether the four listed activities can change the climate but to what extent they do change it.” And again, more below.

4. Conventional physics accurately describes how greenhouse gas concentrations can contribute to warming.

(VM) “Once again, the question is not expressed quantitatively and cannot, therefore, be answered definitively in scientific terms. It is trivially true that adding a greenhouse gas to an atmosphere such as ours will – all other things being equal – be expected to cause some warming. The results of Tyndall’s experiment are not up for repeal. The real scientific questions are whether all other things are equal, and how much warming a given greenhouse-gas enrichment will cause.”

5. Emissions of greenhouse gases have grown dramatically over the past two centuries, as have concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere.

(VM) “Yet again, there is insufficient quantitative information in this statement. Yes, emissions of greenhouse gases have grown, but in what sense is the growth “dramatic”? Grown compared with when? Dramatic compared with what?”

Despite his caveats (some of which I agree with, some of which I do not), it is quite clear that Monckton is not a ‘denier’ of science. He may vigorously dispute the findings of some research and he may be right in some cases and wrong in others. I will try to add my comments to his so readers can see some of the differences between a lukewarm and a skeptic point of view.

More importantly for the future of my RAMA initiative, we can see that we don’t have to start at zero level in establishing a base for negotiating recognition of climate change. We still have to make the case–Monckton (and others) are clear on this.

As commenter Hunter remarked in yesterday’s post, “The list is more or less agreeable. The question is: To what degree? The least agreeable point is that “Conventional physics accurately describes how greenhouse gas concentrations can contribute to warming.”
-Are we dealing with “change” not definable, a term of convenience for hypesters, or “warming”, which the hypesters have largely left behind?
If it is “change”, the question like all questions regarding “change” of any sort is this: how much, and what are the good and bad impacts?
So far a rational honest look at that question has not taken place in the larger public square.
The second question is regarding the 0.8oC: So what?
Grant that this change has actually happened, and let’s posit that 100% of it was caused by human generated CO2. Where is the harm?”

But that is infinitely easier that it would have been if the Konsensus alarmists had been right about skeptics. As the Konsensus has been wrong about everything else, I am not surprised to encounter firm evidence they are wrong about skeptics as well.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

The Economics of Indie Publishing- Chris Nuttall | According To Hoyt

The Economics of Indie Publishing- Chris Nuttall | According To Hoyt

There’s a general rule in traditional publishing that the money should always flow downhill to the writer. If you’re being asked to pay for anything, once you get picked up by a publisher or agent, you’re being conned. Editing? Cover design? Formatting? Promotional material? The publisher should pay for all of those – and if he doesn’t, something is very badly wrong.

However, this isn’t actually true of independent publishing. Certainly, as before, the writing is the author’s work, but there’s no publisher to pay for all the other items (or, for that matter, to find them.) The author has to meet those costs himself, unless he can do the tasks for himself. (I know authors who can do cover designs, but I haven’t met a single author who could edit himself successfully.)

In these cases, the author needs to budget – and pay for these items as a lump sum.

Friday, June 05, 2015

The EPA Report

We did not find evidence that these mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States. Of the potential mechanisms identified in this report, we found specific instances where one or more mechanisms led to impacts on drinking water resources, including contamination of drinking water wells. The number of identified cases, however, was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells. 

That sounds kind of telling.  To be fair, the report goes on to say:

This finding could reflect a rarity of effects on drinking water resources, but may also be due to other limiting factors. These factors include: insufficient pre- and post-fracturing data on the quality of drinking water resources; the paucity of long-term systematic studies; the presence of other sources of contamination precluding a definitive link between hydraulic fracturing activities and an impact; and the inaccessibility of some information on hydraulic fracturing activities and potential impacts. 

But if the bad effects are so easily lost in the noise, maybe they're not that bad.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Robert Reich Is Wrong About Minimum Wage….Again! | The Citizen Scholars

Robert Reich Is Wrong About Minimum Wage….Again! | The Citizen Scholars

The impotence of being Ehrlich

Paul Ehrlich: Even Worse than the New York Times Says He Is | The Weekly Standard

Everyone is talking about the New York Times piece exposing how utterly wrong, willfully blind, and insanely dangerous Paul Ehrlich is, and has been, for the last forty-seven years. There’s video, too.

This is great, I guess.

Of course, it’s been obvious that Ehrlich was not just misguided, but an actual charlatan, since the 1970s. The late economist Julian Simon spent most of his career exposing Ehrlich’s errors. You may remember the Ehrlich-Simon wager. In 1980, Simon bet Ehrlich $1,000 that over the course of the following decade the price of a basket of commodities—any resources Ehrlich chose—would drop, as proof that Ehrlich’s ravings about the relationship of population to scarcity was wrong.

Simon was correct. Ten years later Ehrlich sent him a check, with no note.


And it’s not just economists, feminists, and conservative hangers-on who knew Ehrlich was wrong. Just about every serious demographer on the planet has spent the last 30 years examining the phenomenon of declining fertility rates, which may lead to population contraction. Don’t take my word for it, go ask the United Nations.

But here’s the thing: Even in the face of all of this, the elite caste has showered Ehrlich with awards and honors.


Paul Ehrlich’s entire career stands as a monument to the ideological imperatives of the world’s elites and the extent to which they exist not just independent from, but in actual opposition to, both science, evidence, reason, and good faith.

The very fact of Paul Ehrlich is an indictment of the bien pensant progressive order. And the New York Times—which is only half a century late to the party—has nothing to say about that.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Truth and Fiction | According To Hoyt

Truth and Fiction | According To Hoyt

More on the Daisy Hill Hugo Farm

However I understand other people have fans who don’t continuously push and prod and ask questions of everything they say. (Sounds boring to me too.)

I understand this because that ridiculous and retracted article from Publishers Entertainment Weekly [I had it right below, but notice my fingers are stupid.] keeps popping up all over. As in, colleagues of mine, with more “authority” than I have will uncritically assume that Sad Puppies are a reaction from an entrenched elite to newcomers of different color/orientation/gender.

To believe this requires ignoring the rich history of women in science fiction. It requires ignoring that the people behind Sad Puppies range from a bestseller, to midlisters, to newcomers, to people who indie published. Oh, also that sixty percent of us are women, even if a man very kindly agreed to take point this year, as my state of health made it unlikely I’d survive carrying the standard.

Then there is the other “big lie” put out by people in authority that this is all about political orientation and that the only people supporting or being supported by Sad Puppies are conservatives.

I’ve before expressed my amusement at the idea that someone like me, who is only held back from hanging aristos on the nearest lamppost by knowing how that revolution turned out, is called a “conservative” while the people fighting tooth and nail to keep the hundred-plus year old social-democrat shading to socialist establishment in place are called “progressives.”

But it goes beyond that. Yeah, this started by noticing that anyone who wasn’t parroting the mintruth’s line of the year had as much chance of winning awards (except for the Prometheus) as a snow ball of setting up residence in hell. As Dave freer noted, and file 770 figured, only 19 conservatives earned an award in the last 20 years (and that’s counting as conservative anyone who doesn’t think Stalin had some good ideas but was a bit eager.) This is far less than is statistically likely.

More than that, year after year we’ve seen apolitical writers being ignored, no matter how excellent their work.

It doesn’t bear repeating the tedious history, but last year Larry set out to prove that even the potential of a conservative being nominated was enough to outrage every one of the usual bien pensants. As he put it, he put VD on the ballot because Satan had no eligible works. If the award were for good works, (since he was careful to pick one of VD’s good stories) people might grumble about the writer, but there would be no drama.

Oh, boy, was there drama.

Solar Inefficiency Is Economically Ruinous | Somewhat Reasonable

Solar Inefficiency Is Economically Ruinous | Somewhat Reasonable

It's not cheap being green

In a previous post we pointed out that alternative energies (solar, wind, ethanol and other biofuels) bump up against implacable physical realities which no amount of government spending or research can overcome, and which are environmentally destructive despite propaganda to the contrary. Ethanol in gasoline, for example, according to EPA’s own data, increases key pollutants such as volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide by as much as 7 percent. Yet it was on the basis of phony scientific claims that ethanol would reduce pollution from automobile emissions that it use was mandated by the government.

Biofuels have a power density of only 0.3 watts per square meter, and modern solar voltaic panels about 6 watts per square meter. An average oil well producing 10 barrels per day is at 27 watts per square meter, and an average nuclear plant more than 50 watts per square meter. Biofuels used 247 million acres of land—that’s more than twice the size of California—to produce less than one-half of one percent of the world’s energy, according to Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, in 2014.

Now I have come across a book that really drives home how impractical it is to talk about replacing fossil fuels, which comprise 87 percent of the world’s energy, with any meaningful amount of these alternative sources. The book is Green Illusions: The Dirty Secrets of Clean Energy and the Future of Environmentalism. Significantly, it is not from the fossil fuels industry or based on its data or research. Rather, author Ozzie Zehner assembles his case “from government offices, environmentalists, and scientists promoting solar photo-voltaics.” References for the quotations below can be found in the abundant footnotes in his book.

Zehner calculates what it would cost to replace the world’s use of fossil fuels with solar power using today’s technology. He writes:

By comparing global energy consumption with the most rosy photo-voltaic cost estimates, courtesy of the solar proponents themselves, [emphasis added] we can roughly sketch a total expense. The solar cells would cost about $59 trillion; the mining, processing and manufacturing facilities to build them would cost about $44 trillion; and the batteries to store power for evening use would cost $20 trillion; bringing the total to about $123 trillion plus about $694 billion per year for maintenance.

For comparison, GDP (gross domestic product) of the entire world is now $74 trillion, and U.S. GDP is $17 trillion. This includes all food, rent, industrial investments, government expenditures, military purchases, exports, etc. “This means,” writes Zehner,

that if every American were to go without food, shelter, protection, and everything else while working hard every day naked, we just might be able to build a photo-voltaic array to power the planet in about a decade. But, unfortunately, these estimations are optimistic.

If actual installed costs for solar projects in California are any guide, a global solar program would cost roughly $1.4 quadrillion….Mining, smelting, processing, shipping and fabricating and their associated hardware would yield about 149,100 megatons of carbon dioxide. And everyone would have to move to the desert; otherwise transmission losses would make the plan unworkable.

The cost of solar cells has dropped markedly, but Zehner says the panels

account for less that half the cost of an installed solar system, according to the industry. Based on research by solar energy proponents and data from the California Energy Commission …cheaper voltaics won’t offset escalating expenditures for insurance, warranty expenses, materials, transportation, labor and other requirements. Low-tech costs are claiming a larger share of the high-tech solar system price tag.

Finally, unforeseen limitations are blind-siding the solar industry as it grows. Fire departments restrict solar roof installations, and homeowner associations complain about the ugly arrays. Adding to the burden, solar arrays now often require elaborate alarm systems and locking fasteners; without such protection, thieves regularly steal the valuable panels…For instance, California resident Glenda Hoffman woke up one morning to discover thieves stole sixteen solar panels from her roof as she slept. [Replacement cost $95,000, was paid by insurance.]

There is no reason to believe a smaller program or a graduated one would be any more workable than worldwide replacement of fossil fuels. The losses would be smaller but would still be outweighed by costs in proportion. The only “benefit” of a smaller scale might be to make it easier to hide the costs in a labyrinth of subsidies and budgetary gimmicks and push the cost onto future generations by adding it to the national debt.

Fisking Cat Valente | T.L. Knighton

Fisking Cat Valente | T.L. Knighton

More on HugoGate

In which this ignorant ass redneck attempts to fisk one of them genius professorial types. | Mars Is

In which this ignorant ass redneck attempts to fisk one of them genius professorial types.

Hell the only thing I got going fer me in the whole inter-lectual department is the fact that I like to read me a whole heap, mostly science fiction. And on account of the fact that I aint been too impressed with whats been coming out of that whole wirl-con what votes on the Hugo rewards the last few years or so I became a supporter of Mr Brad Torgersen’s Sad puppy 3 cam-pain. I figured if’n even a an ig-nint hill-william like myself could see that there was something wrong with them thar Hugo’s then the problem must be just as plain as day. However there appears to be a whole mess of people who seem to find the idea of fans like myself staking a claim at the Hugo’s to be downright oh-fenn-sive.