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Old 2013-02-24, 11:59   Link #304
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow, in a house dropped on an ugly, old woman.
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
Last time I checked I (and for that matter, the vast, vast majority of people in American, and frankly the world) don't have a socket on my car to plug in, and I didn't see a $40,000 check from you for me to buy one, so no, it's very much a necessity. To claim otherwise would be delusional.
It wouldn't be a quick solution, but it is a doable one. I'd tax gas to put a subsidy on electric cars to make easier to get one. I don't foresee everyone getting an electric car the next day. But after 10-15 years? I'd begin seeing electric cars being the norm.

Perhaps because I live near Seattle, but there are charging stations all over. Tesla is putting them in for free. Shopping centers and parking garages have them, and a very few restaurants are beginning to get them. No longer does one need to go to an actual filling station... your car is "refueled" for free while you are doing other things. I know charging stations are being installed in the northeast US as well, and right now fueling is free!

One thing people also don't realize about electric cars: not only is fuel free at the moment (or cheaper than gas), but maintenance is incredibly cheap as well. Electric cars have much fewer moving parts. So, for a larger up front cost in buying the car (which you can pay off over a number of months), you are saving money in gas AND maintenance!

When you take those into consideration, electric cars are very affordable nowadays.

Walk? bike? how would you like to bike 20 miles each way to work in michigan winter while trying to navigate the snow covered ground which may or may not have a sidewalk for you to bike on? I'm sure you'll be thrilled with the idea of sharing the main roads with cars in the middle of winter, what could possibly go wrong.
Sounds like poor public planning. I remember reading an article which talked about how we tend to live far from our work, and that over time, the costs associated with that mean we lose a lot of money. Not saying bicycling is for everyone, but there are many options. We might analyze why you are so against anything but gas-powered cars, but I suppose we can let the post speak for itself. One thing you can do, is combine methods. For one of my jobs, I bicycling to a bus stop, put my bike on the bus, rode it aways, then got off and bicycled the rest of the way. In this way, I probably only bicycled a few miles, but was able to overcome the disadvantage of public transit (it doesn't pick and drop me off close enough), and help me get in shape, too!

Public transportation? who's gonna pay for it? when states, cities and municipalities are forced to cut down police and fire departments due to budget shortfalls, they're somehow going to come up with the money to pay for an expansive public transportation network large and robust enough to cover the third largest country in the world, where more than half of the population lives out in the suburbs?
Europe manages to do it with trains. Japan has the best network in the world. I always find it amusing when people say "it can't be done!" and yet we have tons of other countries in the world that have managed to do it.

Geothermal, tidal, and hydro are all very good, but also extremely location-dependent with a specific limit on capacity, and quite often their own set of environmental issues to face. Each type of energy production have their own advantage and disadvantages, but for now only fossil and nuclear have the capability of carrying the bulk of the weight of humanity's energy requirement.
I'll set aside the others at the moment (since you're a bit wrong about that, but I won't quibble). But compared to the two last ones, nuclear is considerable cleaner and kills a very minor fraction of people versus fossil fuels. I'm all for building new nuke plants, until we get other renewables up and running. Thus making electricity cheaper and more abundant for the electric cars.

First I'd tell you to look over your number again, and ask yourself if anything looks odd.

Because you just claimed that 1.4 million people in the United State had a combined income of $518 TRILLION. Which is certainly odd, considering the GDI of the entire US economy in 2010 is only around the mid $14 trillions. As GDI includes "the sum of all wages, profits, and taxes, minus subsidies", I really don't see how your number can be remotely correct.

Here's a fun fact, your 1.4million people apparently earned more money in 2010 than the total economic activity and output of the ENTIRE WORLD($74.4 trillion) by SEVEN TIMES.

These data are freely available from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.

You're free to look at the IRS's data yourself. I actually got a $370,000 elsewhere, but this is more accurate and says $380,000. If you think their data is wrong, you can take it up with them. And unless my computer's calculate has a bug, 1,400,000 x 370,000 = 518,000,000,000. But if we think there is an error somewhere, how about we drop a 0 for $51.8 trillion. Or two zeros, for $5.18 trillion. Deficit is still long gone.

But just for the sake of argument, let's look at some other numbers up there. The top 5% includes 7 million people, who make an average of $160,000 a year.

7,000,000 x 160,000 = 1,120,000,000,000

You probably don't believe your eyes again, and even if we drop a 0, we're still left with $1.12 trillion. Deficit is now gone, leaving us with a surplus.

There are many ways of tackling the deficit and the debt, and obviously we're not going to tax the rich at 100%. But I hope this puts to rest the falsehood that we can't tax our way out of this. Whether it is a good idea or not, I won't address. Just that we can if we so choose.

Originally Posted by GundamFan0083 View Post
Agreed, which is why car companies are pushing ahead towards building Hydrogen powered (fuel cell) automobiles.

Hydrogen fuel-cell cars look to overtake electric autos

Why Hydrogen Cars Could Still Be The Future

The problem of generating hydrogen is being tackled by scientists and engineers alike.
Daniel Nocera of MIT has made a few minor break throughs with his "artificial leaf" concept that could (after much further development) make hydrogen cells a reality.
‘Artificial leaf’ makes fuel from sunlight

If his technology pans out, it would also allow Solar Power plants to use water to create hydrogen and thus clean fuel.
Hydrogen is a terrible fuel. Think about it for a second, keeping in mind that everytime you convert energy from one form to another, you lose something. If you have electricity from solar power which is perfectly capable of powering things... why would you convert it into hydrogen and thus lose some measure of energy in the process? Why not just use the electricity? Hydrogen can be a storage mechanism, but it is very problematic to store at the moment. As a gas or a liquid, it seeps out of your tank, so you lose fuel just by sitting there, without very costly and energy-intensive storage considerations.

And I'll note that since you didn't respond to my honest question of "how many people die to guns before you think there is a problem", then apparently you don't care how many people die to guns. 100,000 or 1,000,000, it doesn't matter. And well, at least that's an honest opinion.

Edit: to add to what Ledgem just said about health care, I find this chart handy:

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