[SATLUG] off-topic Solar-PV discussion

Borries Demeler demeler at biochem.uthscsa.edu
Thu May 27 14:02:34 CDT 2010

> I don't think we should have to pay for oil-spill cleanups through
> taxes. If the companies were fully responsible for their actions,
> perhaps they'd have more incentive not to screw up. Under current
> Federal Law, they are only on the hook for $75,000,000. Taxes on barrels
> of oil imported to the country are supposed to keep a $1,000,000,000

...and even that is peanuts compared with the environmental and economical
damage caused by the spill. Some birds are threatened by extinction and 
will be irretrievably lost. Entire ecosystems will be destroyed by this.
A billion dollars is not going to replace this loss.

> fund available to have the federal government foot the rest of the bill.
> Recently, the democrats tried to pass legislation that would raise the
> $75,000,000 to $10,000,000,000 but the republicans blocked it. Now,
> legislation has been proposed to quadruple the tax on the oil to raise
> the federal government's responsibility to $5,000,000,000. Socialized
> risk, privatized reward, and paying off legislators.

Yes, unfortunately, that's how it goes. Sad, isn't it? But guess what,
individualized greed beats individualized responsibility EVERY TIME!
So if you are counting on the industry to self-police itself (it doesn't
matter if it is the banking or oil and gas or coal industry) dream on.
it's not going to happen. Whether it is the MMS or Lehman Brothers,
or Goldman-Sachs.  Lack of government regulation and failure to have
strict enforcement screws us up every time, and the public is left
holding the short end of the stick.

> As for the supposed consequences of CO2 'enrichment' of the atmosphere:
> I cannot accept any climate science that has been published by 
> scientists that admit to forging the data and basically lying about 
> their research.

Neither can I. Those individuals (to be clear, a small group of climate
scientists) who violated scientific methods and ethics have caused a huge
amount of damage to the field, and with the help of biased media, cast doubt on
the overwhelming majority who conduct sound science investigations. 
Exactly what you are doing is now happening repeatedly. The bad apples keep
getting pointed to as to why the entire science must be flawed. Of course,
the vast majority of scientists did not falsify their science, but somehow
the deniers of climate crisis manage over and over to bundle all others
with this sorry bunch who misrepresented their work. Nothing could be
further from the truth, but if you just mention it often enough
(the media does the same, very much to the disservice of the public)
it just must true. I wished people would make a bit of effort to look
beyond this manipulation and figure out what really is going on. The
evidence for man-made climate crisis is overwhelming and undeniable.

> Making any laws or legislation fixing a supposed problem
> we don't completely understand is only being used as an excuse to get
> government to support companies that lobby it by making changes to the
> market in their favor.

On the surface, that of course sounds reasonable. The problem is only that
this is not at all what is going on. The evidence is rock solid, but the 
oil coal and gas lobby has congress wrapped around its little finger and 
as you say, the legislature is being paid off, the public is dumbed down,
and necessary regulation is prevented, and the oil and gas lobby comes
out ahead again.

Interesting conversation, though I feel we pushed it a bit too far away from
Linux :-) 


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