Science and policy can catalyze each other, EPA head says

Apr 22, 2011
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. Image courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency

Technological innovations have the ability to change environmental policies just as much as those policies can affect innovation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said during a visit to MIT on Friday, Apr. 15. In delivering the annual Henry W. Kendall Memorial Lecture, Jackson urged students and faculty at the Institute to look for sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

Jackson, a chemical engineer, addressed the relationship between science and environmental policy, and spoke about the chicken-and-egg nature of her job. “How do we implement the laws we have, and try to make sure we don’t stifle innovation … but also ultimately realize we need legislation to get there?” she said.

She noted that environmental policies often act as incentives for scientists to develop new technologies. At the same time, new inventions can spur changes in environmental laws. “We catalyze each other,” she said.

A symbiotic relationship between science and environmental policy is especially crucial for the issue of climate change, Jackson said. Earlier this month, members of Congress drafted measures that would have prevented the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, a “fairly draconian move,” according to Jackson. The Senate failed to pass the measures, and President Barack Obama has said he would veto any similar bills in the future.

But the issue is likely not dead, Jackson said, and when it comes time for Congress to draft the federal budget for 2012, “we’ll probably see this battle played out again.” In the meantime, provided the EPA’s authority remains intact, the agency will start to set milestones for industries — the energy sector in particular — to curb greenhouse gas emissions, she said. Looking ahead, Jackson said she would like to see the conversation on climate change shift from politics to science, to focus on developing technologies to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. Such innovations, she hopes, could ultimately push climate change policy forward.

“I think we do have policy cobwebs all over the place right now,” Jackson said. “I will admit I have a bias that leads me to believe — partly as an engineer — that we have to not settle for standards that are not progressive enough.”

Dispelling doubts

Jackson said some elected officials and industry members cast the EPA as the bad guy when the agency attempts to revamp environmental regulations — a reaction that often reminds her of a scene in the 1980s cult classic “Ghostbusters,” in which an EPA official pays a visit to the Ghostbusters office and arrests the team for allegedly storing hazardous chemicals in their basement. The EPA orders the Ghostbusters to shut down operations, which inadvertently frees hundreds of ghosts to spread mayhem throughout New York City.

“Oftentimes in this country, any environmental or clean-energy idea or policy is met with one sort of knee-jerk reaction,” Jackson said, often of “doom and gloom” relating to cost; industries claim that meeting stricter environmental standards is exorbitantly expensive, she said.

Jackson said the antidote to such knee-jerk reactions may be technological innovation, and she called on scientists at MIT and other research institutions to develop sustainable and cost-effective solutions to help meet the country’s environmental and clean-energy goals.

MIT President Susan Hockfield, who introduced Jackson, noted how the EPA administrator, just days before Hurricane Katrina hit, drove to New Orleans to transport her mother to safety.

"So she knows, in the most direct way, what we risk when we fail to manage our relationship with the forces of nature," Hockfield said.

Jackson’s work addressing the country’s environmental and energy issues mirrors work underway at MIT, Hockfield said, citing research by MIT faculty that provides cost-effective and sustainable solutions to , including technology that prints solar cells on waterproof paper, an innovation that may significantly reduce the price of installation, a key cost of harvesting solar energy.

“I applaud MIT’s commitment to making sure solutions don’t cause one problem by fixing another,” Jackson said.

Early intervention

According to Jackson, another area in which scientists and policymakers can work together is in the arena of toxic chemical control. She said the EPA uses the country’s Toxic Substances Control Act, established in 1976, to regulate the development of new chemicals, but described the act as “widely considered fairly toothless.”

“The laws in this country say, ‘I’ll develop whatever chemistry you need,’ and that’s a good thing, we want more innovation,” Jackson said. “But it relies on government to oversee the end result … and it doesn’t push innovation on the front end so it is greener from the beginning.”

Jackson said the country needs a new toxic chemicals law that encourages “green chemistry,” in which substances are specifically developed to be safe and sustainable from the start.

“Even though we don’t face the same kind of bread-and-butter with the air and water and land pollution we had 40 years ago, we have to think about solutions that are as transformative as the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act was for our country,” Jackson said. “The ideas will start with technology and will end up with public policy.”

The Kendall lecture, sponsored by the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences and the Center for Global Change Science, honors the legacy of Henry W. Kendall, a MIT physics professor who received the Nobel Prize in 1990 for providing experimental evidence for quarks. Kendall founded the Union of Concerned Scientists in 1969 and throughout his life was deeply committed to finding scientific solutions to environmental problems.


This story is republished courtesy of MIT News (web.mit.edu/newsoffice/), a popular site that covers news about MIT research, innovation and teaching.

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Doug_Huffman
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 22, 2011
Unfortunately for the American people, this administration does not use science or policy to expand freedom but only to push their idea of fair equality of misery. "Catalyzing policy" must be resisted by all free men and Fremen (for FrankSHerbert).

Good people ought to be armed as they will, with wits and Guns and the Truth. Retire. Strike! Atlas is shrugging.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 22, 2011
A symbiotic relationship between science and environmental policy is especially crucial for the issue of climate change, Jackson said.

Politicized science? Say it ain't so.

we have to think about solutions that are as transformative as the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act was for our country, Jackson said.

Why do we HAVE to think of govt imposed solutions?
Why should an agent of the govt not be expected to use any other 'tool' than state power?
PinkElephant
3.5 / 5 (8) Apr 22, 2011
Politicized science? Say it ain't so.
It ain't so. Science-driven policy.
Why do we HAVE to think of govt imposed solutions?
When you figure out what necessitated the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts in the first place, you'll have your answer.
GSwift7
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 22, 2011
Politicized science? Say it ain't so.
It ain't so. Science-driven policy


Don't be silly. Some science is certainly politicized, it's only a matter of degree that is questionable. I wouldn't say that it's the majority, but there is a very vocal minority of politicized science to be sure.

That doesn't mean that the science is poor in any way, but science certainly does shadow current events and politics. As long as science is done by human beings, with all of our weaknesses, it is impossible to completely seperate politics from science. There have been loads of studies about how a person's personal beliefs can affect even the most carefull science.

If you don't think there is any science which is influenced or funded by political interests then you are wearing blinders.
PinkElephant
3 / 5 (6) Apr 22, 2011
Don't be silly. Some science is certainly politicized
Don't be a douche. Swenson was quoting Jackson, and she was talking about how policy is driven by science and developing technologies, while R&D can be stimulated through policy. Characteristically, Swenson's microbrain managed to snip out a phrase and utterly misrepresent it out of context. You should know better than defend such asshattery.
ryggesogn2
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 22, 2011
"The Scientific Attitude is as good an example of any of a class of literature which is actively sponsored by the influential British weekly Nature and which combines the claims for greater political power for the scientists with and ardent advocacy of wholesale "planning."

Dr. Waddington's claim that the scientist is qualified to run a totalitarian society is based mainly on his thesis that "science can pass ethical judgment on human behavior"-a claim to the elaboration of which by Dr. Waddington Nature as given considerable publicity.
It is, of course, a thesis which has long been familiar to the German scientist-politicians and which has justly been singled out by J. Benda."
p.202, Road to Serfdom, Hayek, 1944.

This could have been written today.
Howhot
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 22, 2011
Unfortunately for the American people, this rightwing congress does not use science or policy to expand freedom but only to push their idea of fair equality of misery. "Catalyzing policy" should educate all free men and Freemen.

Good people ought to be armed with will, wits and Truth. Strike at stupidity, and extremism shrugged.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2011
This 'rightwing' Congress is using policy, cutting govt spending, to expand opportunities for innovations in science and engineering which will provide opportunities for free men to create wealth and keep more of it for themselves instead of having is confiscated by the state.
Howhot
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 23, 2011
No. Your rightwing congress critters are doing nothing but destroying opportunities for free men to innovate and create. You have it 180degrees backwards.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2011
No. Your rightwing congress critters are doing nothing but destroying opportunities for free men to innovate and create. You have it 180degrees backwards.

How is letting free men keep more of the wealth they earn a bad thing?
Howhot
2.7 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2011
Hay two incher, this is a big country, and a wealthy country. We built it with our taxes. Quit being a cheap scape and pay your share.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 23, 2011
Hay two incher, this is a big country, and a wealthy country. We built it with our taxes. Quit being a cheap scape and pay your share.

The USA was NOT built on taxes.
It was built by entrepreneurs and hardworking free men who created wealth.
BTW, before 1912, there was no income tax. How could the USA have been built up to that time with very low taxation?
Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) Apr 23, 2011
It was built by entrepreneurs and hardworking free men who created wealth.
No, for the most part it was built by French and English industrialists in the North and black slaves in the agrarian south.
How could the USA have been built up to that time with very low taxation?
Capital gains tax was a greater revenue than income tax.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 23, 2011
It was built by entrepreneurs and hardworking free men who created wealth.
No, for the most part it was built by French and English industrialists in the North and black slaves in the agrarian south.
How could the USA have been built up to that time with very low taxation?
Capital gains tax was a greater revenue than income tax.

So sayeth SH.
Howhot
2 / 5 (4) Apr 23, 2011
BTW, before 1912 everything sucked. So R2D2 if you want to live in the past, please go there.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 23, 2011
So sayeth SH.
Looks like you're out of arguments, so long.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 23, 2011
BTW, before 1912 everything sucked. So R2D2 if you want to live in the past, please go there.

Frank, that's your best argument? It was a pretty good time for those were living then. After 1912 began the death of federalism: the income tax and Federal Reserve began and popular election of senators. The 'progressives' got the US into WWI, then there was Prohibition, Al Capone, more govt power grabs, the Depression exteneded by the socialists, WWII, Korean War, Cold War, ....Great times for the socialists.

As for SH, you lie too often. Prove it.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Apr 24, 2011
You're so dumb.
The 'progressives' got the US into WWI,
No, the Zimmerman note among other things was considered a casus belli drawing the US in.
then there was Prohibition,
Driven by the conservative christian minority.
Al Capone
Again, due to prohibition which was due to the christian consefvative minority.
more govt power grabs
To stop people like Al Capone
the Depression exteneded by the socialists
False, Laissez faire politics led to the extension of the depression. Those who had cash wouldn't spend so the economy died on the vine.
WWII, Korean War, Cold War,
Really going to say this was a progressive or socialist measure in the US?
....Great times for the socialists.
You have a very skewed view of history.
omatumr
1.8 / 5 (5) Apr 24, 2011
"The Scientific Attitude is as good an example of any of a class of literature which is actively sponsored by the influential British weekly Nature and which combines the claims for greater political power for the scientists with and ardent advocacy of wholesale "planning."

Dr. Waddington's claim that the scientist is qualified to run a totalitarian society is based mainly on his thesis that "science can pass ethical judgment on human behavior"-a claim to the elaboration of which by Dr. Waddington Nature as given considerable publicity.
It is, of course, a thesis which has long been familiar to the German scientist-politicians and which has justly been singled out by J. Benda."
p.202, Road to Serfdom, Hayek, 1944.

This could have been written today.


Yes or George Orwell's book, "1984".

I agree. When EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared CO2 a dangerous air pollutant, she destroyed her own credibility.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 25, 2011
Technological innovations have the ability to change environmental policies just as much as those policies can affect innovation


That might sound good, and it might be technically true, but in practice, it takes a LONG time for policy to catch up with any big change in technology. Policy is usually blind to changes in technology or culture until it becomes an absolute emergency. Once a new policy goes into action, it takes something extraordinary to get it reversed if it becomes obsolete. That's one of my biggest problems with all of the carbon control plans I've seen, from the proposed cap and trade to the new EPA rules; None of them have an exit plan upon attainment of the goals, an expiration date, or a mandatory review date for the program. As we're seeing with the c & t programs all over the world, they aren't easy to implement.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 25, 2011
So because Shell Oil failed to account for emmissions from an ice breaker, the EPA denied a permit to drill for oil in the Arctic. So far Shell Oil, and its shareholders, are out several $billion and the US govt is out billions in royaities and consumers pay higher prices for energy.
Great policy.
Howhot
3 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2011
@Oliver, Your a NASA guy, well learned. You know how thick the atmosphere is. It's hardly nothing. Like the thickness of a human hair on a bowling ball of mostly nitrogen, and oxygen.

If you burn everything in sight, and dump every vial thing into the atmosphere, that thin layer, it will kill everything. Think about for a while.

Howhot
3 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2011
@R2 right-wing policy droid, so "Great policy." Good policy in my opinion. If what happened in Gulf happened in Artic, Shell Oil and crew would just abandon the sight. At least somebody in gov thinks so. To hell with Shareholder's Billions in Royalties. Pay your taxes and we can resolve everything.

Howhot
3 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2011
And to G7; As realistic as it appears that EPA taking control of CO2 emissions is a bad thing, it really is not. It really is a good thing. CO2 (a green house gas that will linger for 1000's of years) is being releases in huge masses by the burning of fossil fuels. We are at peak CO2 concentration levels, that are unheard of for a million year history, and the RIGHT WING PARTY PISSES ON SCIENCE while an EXTINCTION event DISASTER IS IN THE MAKING?

ARE YOU A NUT CASE? OH OH OH!!!! Have you no shame?

Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2011
So because Shell Oil failed to account for emmissions from an ice breaker, the EPA denied a permit to drill for oil in the Arctic. So far Shell Oil, and its shareholders, are out several $billion and the US govt is out billions in royaities and consumers pay higher prices for energy.
Great policy.
If you forget to account for your mortgage when you submit a financial statement for a new car loan, what do you think happens?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (4) Apr 26, 2011
And to G7; As realistic as it appears that EPA taking control of CO2 emissions is a bad thing, it really is not. It really is a good thing. CO2 (a green house gas that will linger for 1000's of years) is being releases in huge masses by the burning of fossil fuels. We are at peak CO2 concentration levels, that are unheard of for a million year history, and the RIGHT WING PARTY PISSES ON SCIENCE while an EXTINCTION event DISASTER IS IN THE MAKING?

ARE YOU A NUT CASE? OH OH OH!!!! Have you no shame?


Please set an example and stop spewing that toxic CO2. Dr. Kevorkian could help.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2011
to Howhot:

Amost nothing you said is supported by current research or theory. That is almost entirely exageration.

Have you been following the recent story about the 'extinction' of the eastern mountain lion? It's not a new story. You see, the department of natural resources or fish and game or whatever it's called in a given state has to spend money to protect any animal on the endangered list. It's a huge cost savings if they declare the species extinct and deny any claims of sighting, as just being pets released into the wild. However, when you get a 100% positive ID sighting of an eastern mountain lion on a road, by one of the top experts on mountain lions in the country, does it sound credible when they say it's extinct?

The same goes for mountain lions in the Kansas City area. They were eventually forced to recognize them as not extinct in that region after numerous cats were caught on highway trafic webcams and police cruiser cams in broad daylight at rush hour. lol.
Howhot
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 26, 2011
R2, you do understand that nature has sequestered millions of years of CO2 in fossil fuels and oil, and that since the 50's we've burned trough much of it. That is a lot of CO2. Stock market is going crazy by speculators working the "Peak-Oil" panic. Your favorite cause (Oil) is here to roost and pick every bodies pocket and drive the US economy into the ground.
Enjoy the ride.

Howhot
1 / 5 (1) Apr 26, 2011
G7, look lets be realistic an acknowledge that our advanced fossil fuel based civilization has caused a massive release of green-house gases into the atmosphere, and that has global consequences. Consequences that have ramifications to every aspect of our lives, economically, agriculturally, and to nature and mother-earth.

So I'm going to pitch solar again. Solar is the only renewable energy source that can provide the multi-tera-gigwatt energy capabilities to power earth's energy needs. It is where we need to go.


All I can say, is good for the Mountain lions.
GSwift7
2 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2011
That's a somewhat more reasonable statement, but I don't think it's fair to say that solar is the only renewable that will work. Geothermal seems to be a good option, for example. They recently discovered a huge area on the US East Coast that has some good untapped geothermal, and there are many other areas that have never been surveyed for geothermal potential.

Of course there are also hydro, tidal, wave, biomass and microbial synthesis of fuels.

In places where there isn't enough sun, you've gottat think about something other than solar, unless you're suggesting that we close down cities like London and New York.

massive release of green-house gases into the atmosphere, and that has global consequences. Consequences that have ramifications to every aspect of our lives


Again, more reasonabe, but a bit extreme. The magnitude is debatable and the effects are more regional than global. Some areas will benefit, others will be harmed. Some animals will prosper, some fail
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
Again, more reasonabe, but a bit extreme. The magnitude is debatable and the effects are more regional than global. Some areas will benefit, others will be harmed. Some animals will prosper, some fail
The frightening piece of this aspect is more how drastic and costly the adaptation will be.

It takes a lot of cash to uproot or replace infrastructure on the megapolis scale as AGW would warrant in many countries, including the US.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
The frightening piece of this aspect is more how drastic and costly the adaptation will be


Nah, it probably won't have a noticeable cost. Just in the regular course of infrastructure maintenance and expansion you can make changes and relocate things at a much faster rate than what is ever going to be required due to the geologically slow rate that climate changes. You may not realize how silly your statement actually is, but I do. Do you realize how many things there are that change more rapidly and cause more severe effects on society than climate change? How about population, number of automobiles on the road, zoning laws, neighborhood decline and revitalization cycles, wars, developement of the 3rd world, just to name a few factors that cause major migrations of massive numbers of people every year, all over the world. Climate change??
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
Let's look at an extreme example of what it might cost to keep up with sea level rise. There are serveral places around the world where the ground is sinking much faster than sea level will ever rise, and it's been sinking in those places for a very long time, so we have a really good record of how hard or easy it might be to keep up. Venice, Italy seems to be doing okay, and New Orleans doesn't seem to complain about it either. Holland keeps taking more land below sea level and pumping it dry, so the cost must not be too bad there.

Another example. California just got out of an extended multi-year drought. Irrigation. Nobody is starving. People still want to live there. I guess the cost of bad weather there wasn't too bad.

Your fears of hollywood style cataclysm are unjustified. The changes will be so slow that the natural rate of societal change will vastly outpace climate change. Calm down already.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 27, 2011
Nah, it probably won't have a noticeable cost. Just in the regular course of infrastructure maintenance and expansion you can make changes and relocate things at a much faster rate than what is ever going to be required due to the geologically slow rate that climate changes.
We still haven't recovered from the economic impacts of Katrina on a small section of New Orleans over the course of a decade (or close to). What makes you think an entire migration of the East coast over a hundred years will go more smoothly?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2011
R2, you do understand that nature has sequestered millions of years of CO2 in fossil fuels and oil, and that since the 50's we've burned trough much of it.

How do those old, 'dry' wells keep producing?
That is a lot of CO2. Stock market is going crazy by speculators working the "Peak-Oil" panic.

Its not 'peak oil' panic, it is all political. Obama intentionally killing US production and political unrest in the ME is limiting production.
Your favorite cause (Oil) is here to roost and pick every bodies pocket and drive the US economy into the ground.
Enjoy the ride.

It is the govt that is picking everyone's pocket with inflation. The price of oil is quite stable when priced in Swiss francs.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2011
"The left's "energy" initiatives of the past decade -- the entire purpose of energy policy, in fact -- have been aimed at artificially driving fossil fuel prices up to incentivize the bitter clingers to embrace the government's Utopian energy schemes. No secret has been made of it. In 2008, candidate Barack Obama was asked by CNBC's John Harwood, "So could the (high) oil prices help us?" Obama: "I think that I would have preferred a gradual adjustment." Sudden spikes are bad (politically speaking), but gradual price spikes? Helpful. That same year, current U.S. "Energy" Secretary (then just a zany professor) Steven Chu clarified that "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.""
http://www.realcl...673.html
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2011
The left's "energy" initiatives of the past decade -- the entire purpose of energy policy, in fact -- have been aimed at artificially driving fossil fuel prices up to incentivize the bitter clingers to embrace the government's Utopian energy schemes
That's false. There's no need to drive up the price of fossil fuels. The price increases on its own at a rapid enough pace considering the lack of investment in R&D.

You're still living in a world where oil is ubiquitous and of unending supply. Reality dictates otherwise.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2011
We still haven't recovered from the economic impacts of Katrina


You just proved my point. The impact of a single random event, not related to climate change in the least, caused such a big impact, just like the mortgage collapse, general unemployment crisis, banking crisis, two US wars, japanese tsunami, etc. that you will never be able to discerne the economic impacts of climate change from normal random events.

What makes you think an entire migration of the East coast over a hundred years


Migration of the east coast? That's comic book/hollywood style silliness. That'll never happen. You don't actually believe Al Gore's movie do you? I KNOW you read science journals. The worst case realistic predictions for sea level are not alarmingly high, and recent sea level rise seems to be slowing. Funny how the UC sea level hasn't been updated since August, isn't it?

BTW, watts just caught the UN erasing failed predictions AGAIN. Alarmists are so funny.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 27, 2011
GSwift,

Your first statement is maligned. I use katrina as a reference for scope of damage due to uncontrollable events, not as some sort of an indicator of what will happen.

Your second statement is under estimating the median estimated impact over the next hundred years. I'm not saying there will be epic movie style 20 ft increases in sea level.

A simple 1 foot rise in sea level would be enough to make most of the East coast a disease ridden swampland, with little in the way of road infrastructure. Think of the harbors you're going to lose if sea level continues to rise as 2mm a year over 100 years. Now think of the inland salinization. Think of the total loss of all Galveston refineries, etc.

You're drastically underestimating the impact of normal variation over long terms. I'm not alarmist, I'm providing a reasonable assumption of damage to rigid infrastructure.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
Now think of the inland salinization. Think of the total loss of all Galveston refineries, etc.
I'm not alarmist, I'm providing a reasonable assumption of damage to rigid infrastructure.


Inland salinazation is driven by fresh water consumption at a much faster rate than sea level. As you drain the aquifer, sea water seeps in. Non-issue.

Loss of the Galviston refineries over the course of a hundred years? Let's go look up how often that equipment needs to be replaced and upgraded on a normal basis. I'll bet that they are constantly building new tanks to replace older ones as they age out. Non-issue.

Rigid infrastructure? I would hardly call today's infrastructure rigid on 100 year time scale. We move, replace and re-zone major infrastrucure much more often than that. Look how much any place you name has changed in the past 10 years, or 30. Now imagine 100.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 27, 2011
Inland salinazation is driven by fresh water consumption at a much faster rate than sea level. As you drain the aquifer, sea water seeps in. Non-issue.
Or the sea level rises pushing saline water further up stream.
I'll bet that they are constantly building new tanks to replace older ones as they age out. Non-issue.
They haven't built a new refinery for close to 70 years now.
Rigid infrastructure? I would hardly call today's infrastructure rigid on 100 year time scale
If you're unwilling to look at how it would be done, I'm not going to be able to persuade you otherwise.
Look how much any place you name has changed in the past 10 years, or 30. Now imagine 100.
All of which was replacing and reusing existing infrastructure, now you're talking about replacing it from scratch or close to it.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
Your first statement is maligned. I use katrina as a reference for scope of damage due to uncontrollable events


maligned: Speak about (someone) in a spitefully critical manner

Nope, I'm not being spiteful at all, though your use of the word in that context might be seen as such.

Anyway, your scope is bogus. Having to deal with two simultaneous disasters at the same time (a hurricaine and a levy breaking due to lack of maintenance) is absolutely not on the same scale as dealing with an event that takes place so slowly that it's difficult to even measure without computers.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
Nope, I'm not being spiteful at all, though your use of the word in that context might be seen as such.
Intent of usage was "improperly aligned" however it appears I miscontrued the intent of my statement. I don't think you have any spiteful or evil intent.
Having to deal with two simultaneous disasters at the same time (a hurricaine and a levy breaking due to lack of maintenance) is absolutely not on the same scale as dealing with an event that takes place so slowly that it's difficult to even measure without computers.
Scope my friend, it's all about scope. This country can barely create a budget let alone a long term infrastructure revitalization plan.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
They haven't built a new refinery for close to 70 years now


How fast do you think the sea is rising? So, if they need to replace a tank after say 50 years of service, is that a generous assumption? I don't see how that's going to cause a problem. The 70 years thing is because of the EPA, just like nuke plants.

All of which was replacing and reusing existing infrastructure, now you're talking about replacing it from scratch or close to it


No it isn't. I've lived in two places where the water system was almost totally replaced, from scratch, since they really need to be replaced every few decades. Same goes for electric and telephone/cable. The place I work now needs to convert to underground cables and run fiber-optics. That's a total replacement that happens all the time, all over the place. The net result is an improvement in service and reduction in cost. Not an issue.

GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
This country can barely create a budget let alone a long term infrastructure revitalization plan.


Thankfully, local infrastructure isn't controlled by the federal government. Communities revitalize all the time. You should see what they've done with Greenville SC in the past two years. It's become a world famous transformation. Charleston SC is a similar story. They have totally rezoned and reconstructed the west side of the harbor since I moved here 4 years ago. They moved the whole freight and cruise ship dock section a half mile and expanded the commercial zone. Now they want to deepen the harbor and change it again. Change and construction drive commerce. It's not a disaster when you rebuild an old part of town. Charleston looks better than ever before.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
would be enough to make most of the East coast a disease ridden swampland, with little in the way of road infrastructure


lol, you should come visit scenic central South Carolina sometime. I drive through about an hour of disease ridden swampland with not much in the way of road infrastructure every day on the way to work. It's nice here. However, my daughter just spent two days puking from both ends from swiming in the river on Sunday. lol. disease ridden indeed. She's lucky it was a disease (bacteria, perhaps e coli?) and not a gator. :) DNR pulled a 12 footer out of a nearby recreational lake on their annual culling last year.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2011
They haven't built a new refinery for close to 70 years now.

That is not correct.
But its not for lack of trying.

"Case in point, they said, is the experience of Arizona Clean Fuels Yuma, which likely will build the first new refinery in the U.S. since 1976."
"Arizona Clean Fuels first began working on a permit for a large refinery near Mobile in 1998.

But in 2003, as it was ending its work on the permit application, the state determined Mobile was part of the area around Phoenix out of compliance with standards for ozone, the smog-forming pollutant.

The company agreed to move to Yuma, and the final permit was issued in April 2005 seven years after the company first began its work.

Public policy should help, not hinder, the efforts of any entrepreneur who assumes considerable risk in seeking to build a new refinery, Bob Slaughter, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, told the committee."
http://tucsonciti...-arizona
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
Communities revitalize all the time. You should see what they've done with Greenville SC in the past two years. It's become a world famous transformation.
You should visit Massachusetts. Can't get a road paved for more than 6 months before it's destroyed again.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
I've lived in two places where the water system was almost totally replaced, from scratch


My father was chairman of the water board in one of those places, so that's how I know the details there. They updated to new filtration systems that use way less chemicals, replaced outdated systems with new ones that consume less electricity, replaced old clogged pipes with new clean ones, etc. The cost saving from the updates paid for themselves in less than 10 years, plus the water was actually drinkable again. On the surface, it seems like "oh my gosh, we have to replace the whole water system?!?!!", but when you get into the details it is actually a good thing in most cases. Cities don't replace their water systems often enough anyway.

Just thought you might find that story thought-provoking. Net benefit or net cost isn't always a clear thing.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
You should visit Massachusetts. Can't get a road paved for more than 6 months before it's destroyed again.


You should live in Pelion SC. Can't get a road paved. Period. :)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Apr 27, 2011
You should visit Massachusetts. Can't get a road paved for more than 6 months before it's destroyed again.


You should live in Pelion SC. Can't get a road paved. Period. :)

Yeah but that road isn't Interstate 95 down there, it is up here:)
GSwift7
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2011
Yeah, I lived up there 20 years ago. I remember being stuck in traffic one day, trying to get out of New York city on a raised section of I-95, on the way up to Boston, and I looked down into a rather large pothole next to my car. You could see the steel re-bar, and beyond the steel re-bar, you could see the ground below!! I guess you could call it auxillary water drainage?
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (4) Apr 27, 2011
Communities revitalize all the time. You should see what they've done with Greenville SC in the past two years. It's become a world famous transformation.
You should visit Massachusetts. Can't get a road paved for more than 6 months before it's destroyed again.

NH roads are much better. Wonder why?
GSwift7
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 27, 2011
You know, I've been accused of being tied to big oil a few times, and I've always dismissed it. Upon thinking about stories about my dad, I just realized that he actually ran a refinery for a couple years. So, maybe I've been an industry stooge all this time and never even knew it. lol. OMG, I have ties to "big oil"!!!! OMG!!!

http://www.manta....d-oil-co

Employees (Estimated) 1 to 4


Yeah, that's about right I think.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2011
NH roads are much better. Wonder why?
1/20th the average traffic load would explain it.
GSwift7
3 / 5 (2) Apr 27, 2011
I appologize, but I'm going back on-topic for a minute.

Science and policy can catalyze each other, EPA head says


When item A catalyzes item B and then item B catayzes item A in return, isn't that like a perpetual motion machine?

I think she's exactly right, and her statement nicely illustrates the complaint that Dr. Manuel so often repeats here in the comments. We have research that drives policy, that drives more research and provides funding, and then we get more science that supports the policy, which again drives the funding. Rinse and repeat and repeat and repeat. Does that sound about right?

It's not always a "bad evil thing" but that's how life really works, isn't it?

Just pointing out the irony/humor of the headline.
Howhot
1 / 5 (2) Apr 28, 2011
You are taking metaphors and trying to deduce a perpetual motion machine? You are skipping the big world picture in that Industry needs research, but won't pay for it, so spin it off to tax middle class tax payers who pay for the the education of the majority of citizens, who... fill in the stuff that then funds more research. You do realize, Bell Labs was once famous for world class research. NASA was a joint, industry and government, and academic engineering effort.

I think it is a tragedy what the right wing of the US government is trying to do to all of these industrial-government-academic relationships. As R2 likes to scorn Science, it's to his detriment, ... and to our country.
It has direct large scale impact on the economy.
Howhot
1 / 5 (3) Apr 28, 2011
So, maybe I've been an industry stooge all this time and never even knew it. lol. OMG, I have ties to "big oil"!!!! OMG!!!


So now you insight where your bias comes from. If big-oil wasn
t such a tool to stockholders and did something positive besides rape earth, people might like them. Instead, we have expensive gas.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2011
Industry needs research, but won't pay for it,


I work for a major household name food company. We do LOTS of research in fields from agriculture to biology, working with universities and government labs sometimes but usually it's entirely private research aimed at getting an edge on the competition.

Silicon Valley still does a ton of research too. If you look at the source for many of the university research grants, a good chunk of the money comes from corporate sources. Boeing, Lockhead, Dupont, Merk, Nabisco, Coke, etc. They all fund university research through grants and also through internships and work/study programs.

There's money in research and it's always been good business to do good research. You mentioned Bell. One of my family's best friends, who died of cancer 8 months ago, worked at Bell labs. When the government split up the company he went to AT&T labs. He worked as a research director till the day he died, so they're still doing it (in FL now).
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2011
continued:

When I lived in NJ I was a manager for a commercial moving company. We specialized in large jobs and especially in laboratory moves. You wouldn't believe how often those big companies move labs. Hoffman laRoch had a lab building with five miles of hallway in it. Before I moved here to SC, I worked for a company in Kansas City called Lab One (now owned by Quest Diagnostics). We did lots of private research in addition to diagnostic testing. They created a home drug test kit that works like a pregnancy test, for example.

If private industry doesn't do research then you need to let them know they don't need all those labs. Your views are inaccurate and I fankly have no idea what is wrong with you, but you need to read and listen more before forming opinions and especially before opening your mouth.
Howhot
1 / 5 (1) Apr 29, 2011
Well, yeah I got caught up in that 3 minute rule of editing a post that I should have deleted. Well I didn't mean to say that there isn't research done in cooperate environments, and a lot of it is exceptional. Some of the tech companies have amazing research parks that benefit their field but now-a-days it is all done to fatten their patent portfolios. Its not like the old days before Regan when industrial research was well cited.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet May 01, 2011
"Why do we HAVE to think of govt imposed solutions?" - Tard of Tards

Because problems caused by the group action of society requires coordinated group correction for their solution.

It isn't a difficult concept.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet May 01, 2011
"Its not like the old days before Regan when industrial research was well cited." - Howhot

I never remember a time when corporate research amounted to a hill of beans, or was ever cited anywhere but in a patent infringement case.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2011
Well, yeah I got caught up in that 3 minute rule of editing a post that I should have deleted. Well I didn't mean to say that there isn't research done in cooperate environments, and a lot of it is exceptional


Okay, cool. Then I will happily withdraw my criticizm.

Vendicar, you do understand that the dividing line between corporate and public research is very gray, don't you? Dupont is a good example of a company that survives almost exclusively on cutting edge technology. They keep a whole bunch of irons in the fire by funding a broad spectrum of different research efforts. When anything starts to show promise, they buy up the rights, spin off a startup and capitalize on the patent windfall until the new technology becomes commonplace. Then they move on to the next big thing, rinse and repeat. You see a lot of that in the electronics world as well. Microsoft is great at buying up assets and assimilating their proprietary intellectual property. The Kinect came from that.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2011
lol, Microsoft = the Borg?

Is that why people are scared of big corporations? Some kind of instinctual fear of a large controling hive-like entity? Are corporations kinda like an Alien hive creature with a mind of their own and self-interest in spite of their human creators at heart? An interresting concept...
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2011
Now we have many universities spinning off companies from the the research conducted their. MIT has spun off many companies and MIT retains some of their profits.
Universities all across the country are now engaged in this practice.

Again, though, no profits => no taxes or private R&D.

How many govt money was spent on Spaceship One R&D?
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 02, 2011
How many govt money was spent on Spaceship One R&D?
Directly or indirectly? Without government funding Spaceshipone would not exist, nor would the concept of realistic space travel, or chemical rockets, etc.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (1) May 02, 2011
Without government funding Spaceshipone would not exist, nor would the concept of realistic space travel, or chemical rockets, etc


Much of Goddard's financing came from the Guggenheim family and the help of Charles Lindberg. He also worked as a professor, so the financing is a bit tangled between private and university funding. I believe Goddard even spent personal money on it as a hobby too.

http://en.wikiped..._Goddard

search the page for lindberg
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet May 04, 2011
Without government funding Spaceshipone would not exist, nor would the concept of realistic space travel, or chemical rockets, etc
Much of Goddard's financing came from the Guggenheim family and the help of Charles Lindberg. He also worked as a professor, so the financing is a bit tangled between private and university funding. I believe Goddard even spent personal money on it as a hobby too.

http://en.wikiped..._Goddard

search the page for lindberg

Goddard's financing did, however the technology was funded by multiple governments, long before the US ever had the concept of modern rocketry.