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President Obama long promised a "green grid", now he's finally prepared to unveil a plan for one.

Upgrades to the aging grid, particularly internet-connected load-balancing technologies could greatly reduce power transmission losses and power costs.  (Source: SDrelo)

Some fear that an internet-connected grid could allow for domestic surveillance or allow foreign nations to sabotage the U.S. power system.  (Source: AP Photo)
A "major" technology provider will reportedly be involved

The United States and other nations are preoccupied with how to deploy "greener" energy.  Many argue they should instead be looking at how to cut the approximately 6.5 percent of generated power that is wasted each year in transmission losses. 

Across the U.S. much of the grid is 50 years old or older.  This not only leads to unnecessary waste, it also makes it difficult to wire new power production facilities, such as nuclear, wind, or solar plants into the grid.  Further, it limits the locations where high-power facilities, like server farms, can be located.

I. Obama Ready to Make Good on Smart Grid Promise

When U.S. President Barack Obama took office he promised to address this issue.  Now three years later, under the leadership of Steven Chu, Ph.d, Secretary of the Department of Energy; Aneesh Chopra, U.S. Chief Technology Officer; and other officials, he finally appears ready to make good on that promise.

Later today President Obama's staff will deliver a presentation entitled "Building the 21st Century Electric Grid".  The event will be targeted at bringing together the private sector and government resources to help renovate the badly aging grid.

In a press release the government states:
The Administration will announce a number of new public- and private-sector initiatives designed to accelerate the modernization of the nation’s electric infrastructure, bolster electric-grid innovation, and advance a clean energy economy, in part by taking greater advantage of digital and communications or ’smart grid’ technologies.
...
Along with the announcement of new public and private initiatives aimed at building a smarter, expanded grid and empowering consumers, the Cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) will release a new report: ‘A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid.’ This policy framework charts a collaborative path forward for applying digital information or ’smart grid’ technologies to the nation’s electricity infrastructure to facilitate the integration of renewable sources of power into the grid; help accommodate the growing number of electric vehicles; help avoid blackouts and restore power quicker when outages occur; and reduce the need for new power plants.
II. Google Gets Involved?

SmartGridNews.com's chief analyst, Jesse Berst, reports that the administration will partner with "at least one technology vendor."  If this is true it should be intriguing to see who that partner is.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) is one familiar face in the smart grid movement, having long plugged greening the grid.  Newer players include Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) "Hohm" service and Google Inc.'s (GOOG) "PowerMeter" service.

If one had to guess, Google seems the most likely partner for the job.  The white house press release hints at internet connectedness for the grid, and Google is the king of all things internet.  Further, President Obama has a close relationship with Google and its executive management.

A few leading utilities will also be brought on board.  We'd expected "green-minded" west coast players like Pacific Gas & Electric, Comp. (PCG) to get onboard here.

Mr. Berst claims, "Our sources say the announcements will include a new nonprofit to encourage rapid implementation of consumer tools for choice and control."

III. Privacy, Security Issues Loom

An important elephant in the closet few are discussing is that a connected grid could lead to some privacy and security issues. 

Many sources have pointed out that an internet-connected smart grid would be a far easier target for sabotage by foreign agents than a traditional "dumb grid".  If critical systems were broken into, there's a very real potential for loss of power -- and loss of life.

Further, with your power usage on the internet, it's possible for remote snooping by either the government or malicious individuals.  This is arguably a lesser risk, in that it would require a great deal of effort and ultimately offer relatively little reward (power usage statistics aren't exactly the most sensitive piece of private information).

That said, some critics feel connecting the grid to the internet will compromise their privacy.  Some argue that it's the government sticking its nose in one more place that it doesn't belong.

IV. Check Out the Press Conference Online

Press release will be posted online at whitehouse.gov/ostp and a live video stream will begin playing at whitehouse.gov/live at 10:00 a.m. EST.

UPDATED: Monday, June 13, 2011 10:10 a.m.-

The presentation thus far has had few surprises, and fewer still details.  Full of anecdotal tales and historical references, but short on actual concrete plans for smart grid implementation, the presentation felt more like "Grid 101" than a clear blueprint for progress.

The White House press release [PDF] does offer a few details on what the new plan entails, at least.  It writes that the U.S. government will:
  • Offer $250M USD in guaranteed government loans to utilities and IT partners to deploy smart grid technologies -- this is in addition to the $4.5B USD from the Recovery Act that was pledged to the smart grid.
  • Create a new executive branch entity called the "Renewable Energy Rapid Response Team" whose purpose is to clear the red tape, expediting the permitting process for new alternative energy installations and new grid upgrades.
  • Create a private sector initiative called Grid 21 to connect the public with smart grid players to get clear and informative data.
  • Hold local "peer-to-peer" meetings to involve local governments in the "smart grid" buildup.
This all sounds fine and good, but the Recovery Act "smart grid" investment didn't exactly transform the nation's decrepit grid in any substantial way, so it's unclear how 1/18th of that investment amount in guaranteed loans will make much difference.

Secretary Chu at least acknowledged the security concerns to some extent, stating, "I think all the utilities are very aware that you need the security so someone can't just hack in and see a customer's usage data."

Supporters of the "smart grid" movement will find it nice to see a verbal commitment and a bit of enthusiasm, but ultimately the policy appears mostly political posturing.  Real change will have to come from the private sector; unfortunately many utilities seem relatively unwilling to make major changes.  It appears that the best hope for a true smart grid will lie with tech innovators like Google, Microsoft, and IBM, who can pressure utilities to adopt new technologies in some areas.

Stay tuned for more details.


Comments     Threshold


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This is nothing new
By Freezetron on 6/13/2011 12:53:24 PM , Rating: 5
Obama has always been about just "talk" and never started real action. Least Bush had the balls to start shit he believed in.




RE: This is nothing new
By cooperaaaron on 6/13/11, Rating: -1
RE: This is nothing new
By netminder69 on 6/13/2011 5:47:56 PM , Rating: 5
Actually it just topped 1 Trillion recently. The silly thing about your statement is calling them unfunded. Wars are not budgeted for. And the 1 trillion for the last 10 years is still far less than the spending spree Obama and the Democrat controlled congress has been on for the last several years.

The second silly thing is claiming Obama was blocked by Republicans. While it's the popular sentiment to regurgitate, he had a filibuster proof congress for the first couple years of his presidency. The Republicans couldn't stop anything from passing. In truth it was the Democrats who were blocking legislation because if they all voted together, everything would pass without a hitch.


RE: This is nothing new
By Targon on 6/14/11, Rating: 0
RE: This is nothing new
By bdunosk on 6/13/2011 6:38:37 PM , Rating: 5
Escalation in Afghanistan, then Libya, now Yemen... I suppose that was Bush, too?

Hate to say it, but the infrastructure in this country needs updating. Unfortunately, like this article says, the Obama-bucks were already thrown at the problem and nothing changed. Typical gov't efficiency, eh?

2012, coming right up... maybe the Mayans were right? :P


RE: This is nothing new
By Jedi2155 on 6/13/2011 4:43:21 PM , Rating: 3
I'm an engineer involved directly in creating the new Smart Grid at one of the nations largest electricity utilities. The extra funding provided by the Obama administration is making a huge difference here in funding R&D in many new energy saving/efficiency technologies in addition to the building of multiple new large transmission towers.

To say that the money is going no where and not making a difference is simply political bias IMO. If you spent the time to follow the money trail, you'd see that it is really helping create many jobs as I've seen a over dozen new engineers hired to help create the smart grid in my organization alone due to the extra funding.

Here are examples of where the original ARRA money is going:

http://www.cleanfleetreport.com/clean-fleet-articl...

The extra money is probably going to fund extra projects to demonstrate their feasibility in the real world.


RE: This is nothing new
By YashBudini on 6/15/2011 1:17:53 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
To say that the money is going no where and not making a difference is simply political bias IMO

You've identified a classic emotional response of humans. If I can't see it or it doesn't impact me then it doesn't exist. More specifically it is used by political extremists on both sides when facts fall in short supply and/or only benefit the hated party/enemy.

In its most severe form you'd be called a liar and humiliated by those you piss off the most.


RE: This is nothing new
By superstition on 6/15/2011 8:13:00 PM , Rating: 2
By "believed in", I suppose you're referring to him walking hand-in-hand with "Bandar Bush".

Politicians believe in one thing: money.


For those concerned about privacy...
By theArchMichael on 6/13/2011 10:39:05 AM , Rating: 2
I think there is already a provision where power companies are required to report large fluctuations of energy usage. I only know this because in college I had a friend who lived in a house rent free because there was a weed grow room in the basement.
It was rent free and he helped take care of the plants but the caveat was that you couldn't use any electricity. So no hot water, no AC, a small refrigerator, no TV, very conservative light usage, etc..




RE: For those concerned about privacy...
By Taft12 on 6/13/2011 11:26:00 AM , Rating: 4
I can't believe your friend ran the risk of a huge prison sentence for the sake of free rent.

Cool story bro, but I call shenanigans.


RE: For those concerned about privacy...
By Samus on 6/13/2011 1:27:16 PM , Rating: 2
I know a number of people who grow pot in their homes, some with a number of 1000-watt HPS bulbs and climate control, the two biggest electricity-heavy technologies in any grow.

Even with 1000 dollar monthly bills they've "gotten away with it" for decades. I don't think anybody gives a hoot how much power you use as long as it isn't stolen. People have sauna's and tanning beds and all kinds of ridiculous power-hungry devices in their homes and run high bills legitimately.


By Skywalker123 on 6/15/2011 1:25:48 AM , Rating: 1
I call Bullshit. The power company and the cops will investigate power bills that run significantly higher than normal


By Just Tom on 6/14/2011 10:59:15 AM , Rating: 2
So, the electric company does not notice the incredible amount of electricy being used to grow the plants but they'd notice the rather ordinary amount used to live a normal modern life? I doubt that there would have been any red flags raised if the electric bill went from 2,000 to 2,050.

It is not electric flucuations that police look for it is energy use in excess of what would be considered normal. Indoor pot farms have fairly consistent energy patterns, looking for fluctations would be useless.


Germany to phase out nuclear power by 2022
By tallcool1 on 6/13/2011 3:15:16 PM , Rating: 1
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43318496/ns/us_news-ch...
quote:
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Merkel announced that her country would close all of its 17 existing reactors by 2022. Other nations, including Japan, Italy, and Switzerland, have announced plans to pare back nuclear power, but none have gone as far as Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy. Merkel vows to replace nuclear power with alternatives that do not increase greenhouse gases or shackle the economic growth.




By Master Kenobi (blog) on 6/13/2011 6:17:49 PM , Rating: 5
Well if she can somehow find a cost effective clean solution to their tiny Nuclear generation by all means. I'd like to see a country like France (Over 80% Nuclear) phase theirs out. Oh wait they won't. Why? Because it is a non-issue.


By Just Tom on 6/14/2011 10:46:41 AM , Rating: 2
Germany actually produced a higher percentage(28% to 20%) of electricity from nuclear power than the US prior to the recent, shortsighted, shutting down of 8 plants. There is no way their nuclear industry could have been considered tiny.


By kattanna on 6/13/2011 11:38:36 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
Create a new executive branch entity called the "Renewable Energy Rapid Response Team" whose purpose is to clear the red tape, expediting the permitting process for new alternative energy installations and new grid upgrades.


finally.. after all these years of being promised how green jobs would save us.. they are materializing.. in the form of even MORE government

:>(




PORK!
By GruntboyX on 6/13/2011 2:05:30 PM , Rating: 3
So.. we are spending money to talk about the smart grid




More government employees
By jeepga on 6/13/2011 2:33:58 PM , Rating: 3
More government employees, just what we need... We already have 4.3 million federal and 15.9 million state. Isn't that enough?




Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/13/11, Rating: -1
RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Quadrillity on 6/13/2011 10:47:42 AM , Rating: 5
Population limiting? Ok ... you first :)


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/13/2011 11:12:34 AM , Rating: 1
It really doesn't take much. You could still, on average, have 2 kids to replace the parents. I'm not talking about getting rid of people that are alive today.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Spuke on 6/13/2011 11:21:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
It really doesn't take much. You could still, on average, have 2 kids to replace the parents. I'm not talking about getting rid of people that are alive today.
I guess you're not familiar with western birth rates. Or are you talking about somehow limiting 3rd world birth rates? Good luck with that.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/13/2011 11:49:05 AM , Rating: 2
I am familiar with Western birth rates. I know the problem isn't going to be solved in the US or Europe.

But look at the problems we're facing with increasing energy costs. Energy is a commodity and energy usage somewhere else can affect energy prices here. As more people use more energy, you can only expect that cost to rise in the future.

Obama's trying to solve that problem by reducing that 6.5% loss. Even if you could reduce that to 0% (not going to happen) you still only made a slight improvement that's going to be outweighed by the larger problem that I mentioned.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 1:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
I would like to believe we have it in our power to make abundant energy for ALL of mankind. Not simply look at what we currently have and kill off people who are using "too much" in the name of conservation. Conservation shouldn't be the goal, EXPANSION of energy production is the answer. Not deciding who lives, who gets born, and who dies.

Your ideas and suggestions belong in science fiction, they have no sane application here.

In layman terms, you suck and should shut up.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/13/2011 2:22:58 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I would like to believe we have it in our power to make abundant energy for ALL of mankind.


That's easy to say but what workable plan do you have? If it's that easy, why hasn't it been done yet?

quote:

Not simply look at what we currently have and kill off people who are using "too much" in the name of conservation.


Who said anything about killing people off? I never said anything like that. We're talking about long term planning going forward.

quote:
In layman terms, you suck and should shut up.


Talk like that is juvenile and completely inappropriate. It doesn't help you make a point and really serves no purpose.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 2:30:18 PM , Rating: 2
A "long term planning" where peoples civil rights are crushed in the name of Conserving resources? No matter how fancy you word it, it still comes down to some politician or agency telling someone they can't have children or can only have so many. You're seriously advocating for the kinds of human rights atrocities China used in population control. You're a MORON!

quote:
That's easy to say but what workable plan do you have? If it's that easy, why hasn't it been done yet?


Economics.


By 91TTZ on 6/13/2011 2:40:46 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You're seriously advocating for the kinds of human rights atrocities China used in population control. You're a MORON!


You seem really immature. You're getting worked up about a discussion we're having and calling me names for no apparent reason.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By SPOOFE on 6/13/2011 2:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No matter how fancy you word it, it still comes down to some politician or agency telling someone they can't have children or can only have so many.

How about we start by removing the financial incentives to have more children? Is that a violation of civil rights?


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By ekv on 6/13/2011 3:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
Heretic. Racist!

/sarcasm off

What you're suggesting is reducing certain welfare programs?

Read an obit the other day for a 25 yr. old kid in N'Orleans. Gangbanger, 6 kids (@ $1500/mo/kid), was himself the 4th (of 5) child of a gangbanger. Etc. Killed in an "alleged free enterprise transaction", read, drug deal.

Such policies are ripping our families apart. I would posit, most severely in the black community. [Btw, even Bill Cosby speaks out against this kind of thing].


By SPOOFE on 6/13/2011 6:30:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What you're suggesting is reducing certain welfare programs?

I was specifically thinking of removing tax breaks past the second child.

The argument can be made that such a policy encourages poorer families to have more children in order to get the extra deduction or even a tax credit, though I wasn't referring to welfare reform in general. That's a whole 'nother, much bigger debate.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 5:44:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
How about we start by removing the financial incentives to have more children? Is that a violation of civil rights?


Countries with explosive growth rates do NOT have those policies. We've already proved to you the growth rate of the U.S and other industrialized nations is less than 1%.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By SPOOFE on 6/13/2011 6:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
True, but there's not much we can do about the rest of the world, short of large-scale invasion that is impractical, costly, and politically impossible.

Within our country, where we do have direct influence, we have a breeding imbalance; certain sectors are waiting much longer to have kids, and are having fewer kids, while other sectors are breeding like crazy, with certain socio-economic benefits that actually encourage and perpetrate this imbalance.

Think of something along the lines of: Big deduction for the first child - so even wealthier or better educated families might be encouraged to breed sooner, and poorer families would have more incentive and ability to take care of a child - followed by a smaller deduction for the second child, and no further deductions allowed past that.

There's a larger cost in tax receipts from families that only ever have one or two children anyway, with a balance coming from the savings we'd get by not encouraging the ghetto to breed like Viagra-driven rabbits.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 6:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
Well I kinda avoid talking about such things because as a Conservative Republican, I'll be called a racist. So it's just not worth it. We need immigration reform, but clearly the Obama administration isn't interested in this. Seeing as how they threaten to sue states who DO try to do something about it.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By mudgiestylie on 6/13/2011 7:56:22 PM , Rating: 2
it comes down to culture, not policy. in poorer countries with huge birth rates, young (fertile) women are congratulated on having children, and consider it a wonderful thing to have many of them. They are serving their purpose within their society. In our society, young women with children are told they are making a big mistake by having them, and ostracized for having them at a young age. Our young women are encouraged to wait until they've gotten a good education and begun a career. Couple that with the overwhelmingly hedonistic attitudes of western culture, and BAM you've got population decline. A lot of that 1% growth comes from immigration too, btw.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 9:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
it comes down to culture, not policy. in poorer countries with huge birth rates, young (fertile) women are congratulated on having children, and consider it a wonderful thing to have many of them.


Higher death rates might have something to do with it as well. Not too long ago, and still in some places today, you can have 4 kids and only have 1 get to adulthood.


By YashBudini on 6/14/2011 11:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
and only have 1 get to adulthood

Very few people note that side of the issue. You wouldn't need to create 10 kids if most didn't die from stuff like malaria and dysentery. And with fewer kids they would probably have more to eat.


By Skywalker123 on 6/15/2011 9:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
You don't want population control because all your family would be wiped out as morons.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By ShaolinSoccer on 6/13/2011 8:26:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It really doesn't take much. You could still, on average, have 2 kids to replace the parents.


I don't think that would replace the parents since those 2 kids will each have 2 kids which then doubles the population.


By delphinus100 on 6/13/2011 9:42:23 PM , Rating: 2
So, no one ever dies in your world? Or did I miss intended humor?

(Although life expectancy has steadily increased, and only more can be expected [and that's without getting into radical life-extension]. And replacement is about 2.3 to cover children who die before reproducing, or for whatever reason [childfree, sterile, gay, etc.], never do at any time.)


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By hiscross on 6/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By ClownPuncher on 6/13/2011 11:18:24 AM , Rating: 3
Um, the free market was founded by liberalism, which is why they call it the "Liberal Free Market". I think you mean progressive socialism.


By dsx724 on 6/13/2011 11:37:57 AM , Rating: 5
He's just being a clown. You know what to do.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/13/2011 10:56:54 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The biggest issue is the issue of overpopulation. You have more and more people competing for a limited amount of resources. If you proactively limited the population you'd have a smaller number of people that enjoy a higher standard of living. With unrestrained population growth, the population will be resource starved and will still ultimately be limited by starvation, disease, etc.

Err... the U.S. population's annual growth rate is 0.963 percent... hardly a pressing emergency.

Source:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world...

Further, I think most educated people in industrialized nations agree that birth control is a wise idea to avoid unwanted pregnancy and use it. The problem is in the poverty and lack of education in the third world and developing nations, where the population is growing greatly.

But other than try to promote their greater prosperity, how exactly do you suggest we "control" the population? Your talk sounds dangerously close to the promotion of genocide...
quote:
It seems that people aren't willing to watch others die due to starvation, but when you suggest that you limit the population to an amount that's manageable, they don't like that either.

When the population exceeds the amount that the Earth can hold, it should be logical and feasible by then to colonize solar or extrasolar planets, moons, and asteroids...


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Spuke on 6/13/2011 11:25:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Err... the U.S. population's annual growth rate is 0.963 percent... hardly a pressing emergency.
Yep. And in some European countries, population "growth" is in the negative and has been for quite some time. Western nations are in the VAST minority here. Jesus, are we to blame for everything?


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 11:29:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Jesus, are we to blame for everything?


Of course we are. He's a Liberal, it's always our fault. Remember?


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/13/2011 11:41:29 AM , Rating: 2
Who's a liberal? I hope you didn't mean me.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 12:45:37 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, correction. You're just a moron. Population control? Seriously...


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/13/2011 2:30:52 PM , Rating: 1
You're the one sounding moronic right now. Why are you resorting to name calling in an otherwise civilized conversation? What is wrong with population control?

Population will be controlled one way or another, whether through planning (prevention) or through nature (disease/famine). I personally would rather have population controlled through planning and not have people suffering.

Personally, I think you're offended because you have very poor comprehension that you think that population control has to mean killing people off (as you mistakenly claimed in your earlier post). Your idiocy saddens me.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/13/2011 2:46:05 PM , Rating: 1
You participate in the discussion like an emotional 16 year old kid. You have a lot to learn about getting along with people.

Even when I see you reply to other people in other topics, you're nasty and abrasive. Your style makes you accumulate enemies and it's no surprise that you find yourself without allies in an argument. Even when I agree with the point you're trying to make, when I see you behaving this way I go out of my way to mod you down.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 5:58:49 PM , Rating: 1
Eric said:

quote:
Agreed, and we really don't need to do anything for this problem to fix itself. Just step back and let the fuckers annihilate themselves. It's always the bottom of the barrel that seems to be reproducing the most - an uncanny likeness to other pests like insects and rats.


THIS sounds like something like an "emotional 16 year old kid" would say. But because he's agreeing with you, you have no problem with "fuckers annihilating themselves" and his clearly bigoted views, that YOUR suggestions are supporting.

It's kinda hard to not get "emotional" when someone like you comes in with some "logical" suggestion that's off base, and goes against everything we believe in. Jason Mick and others haven't been "nasty and abrasive", yet you still don't seem to get it. Sometimes a punch in the face works better than a pat on the ass.

quote:
Even when I agree with the point you're trying to make, when I see you behaving this way I go out of my way to mod you down.


Now who's being emotional? So you have a grudge.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/14/2011 3:31:08 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
THIS sounds like something like an "emotional 16 year old kid" would say. But because he's agreeing with you, you have no problem with "fuckers annihilating themselves" and his clearly bigoted views, that YOUR suggestions are supporting.


Someone else said that, not me. I can't be held responsible for the comments of people I don't even know and have never talked to.

quote:
It's kinda hard to not get "emotional" when someone like you comes in with some "logical" suggestion that's off base, and goes against everything we believe in.


No, it goes against what you believe in.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/14/2011 3:37:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Someone else said that, not me. I can't be held responsible for the comments of people I don't even know and have never talked to.


You didn't' come down on him, but you're coming down on me. So it's agreement by omission. Don't play silly mind games with me, you completely agree with him. Even now you can't bring yourself to denounce his post.

quote:
No, it goes against what you believe in.


It's funny how you think this is a Right vs. Left issue. If you took a poll, the HUGE majority of this country would be against your population control proposals. You're an idiot if you think I'm in some minority here.


By Skywalker123 on 6/15/2011 9:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
You never want to discuss good ideas, just the stupid ones


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/13/2011 11:39:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Err... the U.S. population's annual growth rate is 0.963 percent... hardly a pressing emergency.


It isn't the population growth in the US or other developed countries that's the problem, it's the growth in places like China, India, and the Middle East. As these people begin to use more fuel, it raises the price of the commoditiy and makes it unaffordable by poorer people.

quote:
But other than try to promote their greater prosperity, how exactly do you suggest we "control" the population? Your talk sounds dangerously close to the promotion of genocide...


That's a pretty ridiculous leap in logic you just made. I clearly stated in my post "unrestrained population growth"; I did not say they should cull the existing population.

Alarmist claims like that serve only to make the problem worse. It shocks people and makes them afraid to take a planned approach to the problem. Instead, people temporarily rally around emotional causes, only to leave those people to fend for themselves when that movement loses its star appeal.


By EricMartello on 6/13/2011 2:19:58 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It isn't the population growth in the US or other developed countries that's the problem, it's the growth in places like China, India, and the Middle East. As these people begin to use more fuel, it raises the price of the commoditiy and makes it unaffordable by poorer people.


Agreed, and we really don't need to do anything for this problem to fix itself. Just step back and let the fuckers annihilate themselves. It's always the bottom of the barrel that seems to be reproducing the most - an uncanny likeness to other pests like insects and rats.

quote:
No it's been slowly dying due to countless politicians like Obama who see NASA as a boondoggle taking money away from inner city "urban programs" and entitlement programs. The manned space flight program has been plagued from the very beginning by short sighted politicians who believed what little funding NASA did receive would be better spent on welfare and other entitlement programs for America's "urban" population to buy votes to the determent of mankind.


That brings up a good point - the population in the US may not be growing explosively, but a lot of it is dead weight being supported by these entitlement programs that exist at the expense of stuff like our space program. The morons of society reproduce the most and populate the ranks with even more stupid. Watch the movie "Idiocracy" to get an idea of where the US is headed on its current course.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By phantom505 on 6/13/2011 11:59:52 AM , Rating: 2
Read more Isaac Asimov. We'll dig into the crust and eat fungi before we put any effort to explore space in a meaningful way.


By kb9fcc on 6/13/2011 12:56:53 PM , Rating: 3
Yeast, actually. Wait a sec, yeast ... hmm ... beer. OK, I'm ready.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 12:57:48 PM , Rating: 2
Since the only manned exploration vessel in existence has just been cancelled by the Obama administration, I fear you might be right...


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By phantom505 on 6/13/2011 1:25:53 PM , Rating: 3
It was dead way before Obama.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 1:56:05 PM , Rating: 3
No it's been slowly dying due to countless politicians like Obama who see NASA as a boondoggle taking money away from inner city "urban programs" and entitlement programs. The manned space flight program has been plagued from the very beginning by short sighted politicians who believed what little funding NASA did receive would be better spent on welfare and other entitlement programs for America's "urban" population to buy votes to the determent of mankind.

It wasn't dead, yet. He killed it. The man could find a trillion dollars to spend on thin air, but keeping the shuttle going or building next-gen replacements wouldn't buy him a re-election now would it?


By highlander2107 on 6/13/2011 2:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
Wrong.

Project was over budget and behind schedule when Obama got it. Politicians had nothing to do with it.

Obama has SAVED NASA by forcing them to buy rockets from the FREE MARKET.

Right wing nutt-jobs never know what they're talking about. Must come with the territory.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 2:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
http://www.nss.org/resources/library/shuttledecisi...

Get a clue. Of course they were "over budget", their budget was ridiculously small for the massive scope they were tasked!

quote:
Obama has SAVED NASA by forcing them to buy rockets from the FREE MARKET.


Interesting that the ONLY free market approach the man has ever supported comes at the cost of space exploration. Saved NASA? You're insane! He's crippled it!! He turned it from space exploration to directing them to studying Earth sciences and the climate! Wtf do you get this stuff?

They no longer have the budget to explore space or even to explore the OPTIONS to exploring space. A free market rocket isn't even the point.


By ekv on 6/13/2011 3:54:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Interesting that the ONLY free market approach the man has ever supported comes at the cost of space exploration.
Of all the things that could've had a "free market approach" ... NASA was chosen to be the butt of Obama's budget-cutting. At the time of O's proposal it really struck me as odd. Why not a "free market approach" for health care, or smart grids, or ... ad nauseam. NASA hasn't been re-visited by O's hype/propaganda machine so I can only assume even he thinks it is effectively dealt with.

To me, O doesn't give a damn about the space program. It could be that his background taints his perspective on the utility of NASA. One of the few gov't agencies that has had a positive impact on our economy (given the number of tech spin-offs). Not to mention the jobs that are being lost here. It truly is tech that cannot be replaced and certainly cannot be recreated overnight. Once the engineers move on, that's it.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By delphinus100 on 6/13/2011 10:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
Constellation was underfunded from day one.

But that's okay, It would've been unaffordable by any administration.

Even left to itself, Ares-1/Orion would've been able to do Earth-orbit missions by 2017...Ares-V might have been able to get three guys to the Moon by 2030.

Three on the surface instead of two (no funding for the expendable Altair lander, BTW), with stay times not much longer than Apollo. One, maybe two missions per year.

This is your idea of manned exploration? Apollo 1.1, at maybe 2x Apollo price? (and nothing in there about Mars...Orion would never go there by itself...even a pair of them to a NEO is pushing it)

Come on. We can get more bang for the buck than that, and if we don't get sucked into the equally unnecessary SLS, we will. (I can live with Orion alone, as long as it launches on existing vehicles, like Delta IV Heavy.)

quote:
but keeping the shuttle going or building next-gen replacements wouldn't buy him a re-election now would it?


No, and no politician ever won or lost an election over their NASA support, or lack of it. It's important to you and me (though in clearly different ways), but the truth is, it's just not important to the majority of people. I remember the post-Apollo disinterest well enough to know that. Most think 'space is cool,' but not as many want to pay for it.

But again, it's okay. The current NASA budget is adequate to do all sorts of interesting and useful things in manned space flight, if we spend that money right. The real problem will be managing to maintain even its current budget (which Obama had increased, BTW), in a fiscal/political environment where every program will be subject to heavy scrutiny. (And yes, I know it's about 0.6% of the budget, but that does not change what I said.)


By YashBudini on 6/15/2011 1:25:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
if we spend that money right

You mean like when politicians leave politics out of the equation?

How many votes are yes or no based strictly on which party started the bill? Their hatred of the other guy?

Starting to wonder about the former in the phrase "United States."


By zozzlhandler on 6/13/2011 11:01:42 AM , Rating: 2
Resources aren't as limited as might first appear, if we are smart and start working toward use of space resources.

As for population, if you look at historical numbers where available, and what we can infer for ancient civilizations, it would seem the most effective - in fact the only effective method of population control is to make a society wealthy. When a society becomes wealthy, the birth rate declines.

This is actually a pretty neat bit of knowledge. It simplifies saving the world. We no longer have to do nasty things to keep population down. All we need do is increase wealth for society as a whole.

I realize this may be a nasty shock for those of you who want to impose drastic birth control on the world, but I like this method a lot more.


By Screwballl on 6/13/2011 11:03:49 AM , Rating: 1
No the problem is the government getting involved in areas where the private sector should be the one taking care of these problems, which is 99% of government involvement anyways.

Overpopulation is becoming less of a problem with more fertility "problems", expanding homosexuality, various disasters... essentially mother nature taking care of this piece by piece. I think the biggest is these "fertility problems" that more and more people are having, which is essentially nature saying "ok time to slow the population growth". This happens in most areas of life from the smallest bacteria to the largest of species.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Taft12 on 6/13/2011 11:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
Please submit a current news story related to overpopulation and copy/paste there please.

Can we talk about the smart grid please? And moderate this guy's comment to -1 for being offtopic?

Thanks.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/11, Rating: -1
RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By phantom505 on 6/13/2011 12:34:30 PM , Rating: 2
Let's see, how do planning work? Usually by thinking. Then by talking about it. Gather support. Take steps to implement.

But knowing your inclinations you're much more likely to "shoot first and ask questions later" mentality which is how we got into the mess we are in with Bush. Who would ever have guessed that trillion dollar unfunded wars and trillion dollar unfunded tax breaks would jack the economy up?


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 12:51:04 PM , Rating: 3
Ok so let's assume that Bush got us into a "trillion dollar" unfunded war. Obama then starts a war with Libya AFTER it's clear we're flat broke. Without Congressional declaration, by the way. How is that any better? Tax breaks? Ok, so how exactly was taking a trillion MORE out of the economy for a "stimulus" make that situation any better?

You're just a misinformed brainwashed idiot. Who apparently thinks one side can do no wrong, even if they do the same things. Are you just a hypocrite, or a moron who doesn't understand how anything works?


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By phantom505 on 6/13/2011 1:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
How many troops in Libya right now? How many sorties are US running over Libya? Who is the only head of state that has carried out terrorist actions that we have proof of? How many died in Iraq? Who ended the war in Iraq? Who killed Osama and crippled al Queda so badly they are on the run? Who's working on getting us out of Afghanistan? What exactly was the point of going into Iraq in the first place?

I'm guessing you don't like the answers to any of those questions.

The stimulus wasn't a trillion dollars, nor was it fully disbursed.

I have never said they can do no wrong, but the Republicans have done very very little correct. They are running congress right now and where are their bright ideas to fix this mess? Let's cut everything!!! Like that would work. And their 2nd plan? Oh they don't have one. Just some radical plan that has no hope of passing. But we can find time to redefine rape and try to jam the Federal and state governments into a woman's uterus. The congressional Republicans are worthless. The Republicans can't even find a candidate to run against Obama. What does that say?

At least I get my information from sources other than winger radio and Faux News. How does it feel to be a loser?


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 1:15:16 PM , Rating: 2
Straw man, straw man, non-sequitor and straw man.

Got anything else?


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By phantom505 on 6/13/11, Rating: 0
RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 1:27:39 PM , Rating: 1
You passed by all my questions and launched into a bunch of rhetorical bullshit, and I'm the one refusing to admit things? You didn't even touch on a SINGLE point.

Your guy campaigned that on "DAY ONE" of his presidency, we would be out of the Middle East. That alone nullifies every single point you are trying to make. And please, Bin Laden was NOT a priority, that was intelligence that just fell into his lap. Save the hero angle for other spongeheads.

You can debate me when you decide to stop talking like a Liberal. You can't debate Liberals, you can only beat them.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By phantom505 on 6/13/2011 1:43:53 PM , Rating: 2
I answered all your points actually. I'll break it out for ya so you can understand.

quote:
Ok so let's assume that Bush got us into a "trillion dollar" unfunded war. Obama then starts a war with Libya AFTER it's clear we're flat broke.


It not a war. Congress could stop it and didn't. See the bottom post to re-read how exactly that went down in the House. Additionally, the Iraq War was never funded except on emergency spending, every year Bush was in office. Nothing new here.

quote:
Without Congressional declaration, by the way. How is that any better?


Not even sure what you're asking. Is what any better? You're making much choose between lying us into a war or going after a real terrorist which has been convicted by our allies? Really? You there's a choice?

quote:
Tax breaks? Ok, so how exactly was taking a trillion MORE out of the economy for a "stimulus" make that situation any better?


I said it wasn't a trillion dollars, nor was it fully disbursed. I'll add that until that was done the economy kept sinking. Your economic religion apparently prevents you for realizing Keynesian economics have been well proven. Another fact you just won't come to terms with.

Does that meet your satisfaction? So will you kindly return the favor and answer my questions?


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 2:17:09 PM , Rating: 2
Lol so the 4 million a day spent in Libya is coming out of Obama's personal piggy bank? Right...

You know what, I'm just gonna cut this off at the head because I know I'm wasting my time with an idiot. And this proves it;

quote:
Keynesian economics have been well proven


Idiot. Thank you for removing all doubt.


By Skywalker123 on 6/15/2011 9:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
You can't help but waste time with an idiot, since that is your greatest claim to fame.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By phantom505 on 6/13/2011 1:58:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You can debate me when you decide to stop talking like a Liberal. You can't debate Liberals, you can only beat them.


Asshole.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By 91TTZ on 6/13/2011 2:36:32 PM , Rating: 3
I 2nd him being an asshole. I'm not even liberal, he's just an abrasive, uneducated little twit.


By Skywalker123 on 6/15/2011 9:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
I will 3rd it.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By phantom505 on 6/13/2011 1:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
PS If Republicans were SO worried about Obama and his "War in Libya" then why did the Republican leadership get scared when Kucinich's amendment was brought up?

They had to came up with a toothless version to pass instead that didn't actually prevent Obama from doing anything.

What was that amendment? To prevent Obama from spending any money on the "War in Libya". If they really cared it would have passed. Instead they decided to what Republicans do best. Nothing.

They didn't want to stop what he was doing. They could have and didn't. What does that say? They'd rather play politics rather than actually do something.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 1:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I love this rationale. So it's the President's mandate to try and do any goddamn thing he wants, and if Congress doesn't stop him, then we give the Prez a pass and blame the Republicans?

The fact of the matter is I just proved you, and everyone like you, are hypocrites. For eight years we heard about the "illegal" war in Iraq from you idiots and your media outlets When Obama wages war with less legal backing than Bush, we hear silence and excuses. Oh well the Republicans didn't stop him, so that's ok? Well the Democrats didn't stop Iraq, did they? They VOTED for it! So you can take your two faced hypocritical arguments and shove them.

You have NO credibility.


RE: Why don't they address the bigger issues?
By phantom505 on 6/13/2011 1:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
No, the president has the power to make emergency decisions. Then congress is suppose to act. That's how it's been for a long time. He also limited the scope of his action. Quit trying so hard to justify your talking points.

And lol@Osama wasn't a priority. So you wouldn't have bothered getting him even though he's the leader of a bunch of terrorists and likely has a lot of intel on him?

I was pretty mad at the Democrats that went along with Bush. The lie was obvious to me (I did have privileged information which did influence me). In fact a lot of them lost re-election over it. I have not been hypocritical about that at one bit. However, I'm all for killing terrorists, which one happens to be in charge of Libya. I don't care for people that carry out genocide either.

I love how you say I have no credibility. Of course you won't think I do. You don't give anyone that doesn't think like you credibility. You don't even give your elected president any credit. So yeah that hurts me so bad, or not so much really.


By Reclaimer77 on 6/13/2011 2:03:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, the president has the power to make emergency decisions. Then congress is suppose to act.


Oh I see. So you agree Bush was in the right? Glad we cleared that up.

quote:
And lol@Osama wasn't a priority.


It's been almost 4 years since he was elected. Either he wasn't a priority, or finding him was a LOT harder than you people made it seem when Bush was in office. Which is it?

Democrats are making is seem like Obama himself busted in and got him days after the election. Sorry, it's been YEARS. Osama wasn't a priority for the Obama administration, we just got lucky with solid intel (finally) and took action.

Furthermore, even though it was the right thing to do, we violated a countries sovereign rights to go get him. Something I just KNOW you would be up in arms over if a Republican was President. Hypocrite. Isn't that what you people call "cowboy diplomacy" and "warmongering"??

quote:
You don't even give your elected president any credit.


I give him as much credit and respect as you gave the last guy. Fair enough? Hypocrite...


By Targon on 6/14/2011 10:03:48 AM , Rating: 1
You start with a false premise, and then go from there. Resources are abundant, but you have entire nations that can't feed their own people. Here's the problem, creating a shortage to help people who IN THE LONG RUN can't help themselves is just a foolish waste of resources. If there is a natural disaster, that is a short-term problem. If after recovering back to the pre-disaster level a country is going to be poor and unable to feed its own people, THEN you have a problem, and sustained outside efforts that will never improve the situation would just be foolish.

If you want to knock down a wall, but you just keep beating on it with your hands and feet, no matter how long you beat on the wall, it won't go down. You should KNOW that the resources you are using won't work, so why continue in that way? The same thing goes when it comes to energy, or food, or any other resource, if you don't change your approach to dealing with the problem, it will continue on forever.

Now, helping others who CAN be helped is a positive thing, but you talk about overpopulation, without looking at the problem where we should not be trying to save the world from itself. Where is there overpopulation, and WHY is there over population? If there is starvation, then fix the problem with food production. If you can't solve the problem with food production, then starvation would naturally reduce the population down to manageable levels.

If it is a lack of energy, then build new power plants, and don't be afraid of those new power plants potentially having a problem. Other nations would help with the design and building of more advanced power plants, but should not be the driving force to build them.

Common sense, don't continue to beat against a wall if your hands and feet are not going to do anything, and figure out a way that will work. An improved power grid makes sense, but only if people are willing to allow new power generation to be brought online. EVs are a good idea, as long as there is enough power generation to handle that increased power demand from the electric grid. Feeding people without working to improve the production of food is just like beating on the wall, useless in the long run and wastes resources.

You don't have to watch people die, but at the same time, if people are too stupid to make finding a long-term solution the MAIN priority, they may not deserve help and should be allowed to die.


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