Solar-powered process could decrease carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels in 10 years

July 22, 2010 By Lisa Zyga, Phys.org feature

In the Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo (STEP) carbon capture process, the sun’s visible light and heat are used to capture large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it to solid carbon for storage or carbon monoxide for fuel generation. Image copyright: Stuart Licht, et al. ©2010 American Chemical Society.
(PhysOrg.com) -- By using the sun's visible light and heat to power an electrolysis cell that captures and converts carbon dioxide from the air, a new technique could impressively clean the atmosphere and produce fuel feedstock at the same time. The key advantage of the new solar carbon capture process is that it simultaneously uses the solar visible and solar thermal components, whereas the latter is usually regarded as detrimental due to the degradation that heat causes to photovoltaic materials. However, the new method uses the sun’s heat to convert more solar energy into carbon than either photovoltaic or solar thermal processes alone.

The new process, called Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo (STEP) , was recently suggested theoretically by a team of scientists from George Washington University and Howard University, both in Washington, DC. Now, in a paper just published in The Letters, the scientists have experimentally demonstrated the STEP process for the first time.

“The significance of the study is twofold,” Stuart Licht, a chemistry professor at George Washington University, told PhysOrg.com. “, a non-reactive and normally difficult-to-remove compound, can be easily captured with using our new low-energy, lithium carbonate electrolysis STEP process, and with scale-up, sufficient resources exist for STEP to decrease carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels within 10 years.”

As the scientists explain, the process uses visible sunlight to power an electrolysis cell for splitting carbon dioxide, and also uses solar thermal energy to heat the cell in order to decrease the energy required for this conversion process. The electrolysis cell splits carbon dioxide into either solid carbon (when the reaction occurs at temperatures between 750°C and 850°C) or (when the reaction occurs at temperatures above 950°C). These kinds of temperatures are much higher than those typically used for carbon-splitting electrolysis reactions (e.g., 25°C), but the advantage of reactions at higher temperatures is that they require less energy to power the reaction than at lower temperatures.

The STEP process is the first and only method that incorporates both visible and thermal energy from the sun for carbon capture. Radiation from the full solar spectrum - including heat - is not usually considered an advantage in solar technologies due to heat’s damage to photovoltaics. Even in the best solar cells, a large part of sunlight is discarded as intrinsically insufficient to drive solar cells as it is sub-bandgap, and so it is lost as waste heat.

By showing how to take advantage of both the sun’s heat and light for capturing and splitting carbon dioxide, the STEP process is fundamentally capable of converting more solar energy than either photovoltaic or solar thermal processes alone. The experiments in this study showed that the technique could capture carbon dioxide and convert it into carbon with a solar efficiency from 34% to 50%, depending on the thermal component. While carbon could be stored, the production of carbon monoxide could later be used to synthesize jet, kerosene, and diesel fuels, with the help of hydrogen generated by STEP water splitting.

“We are exploring the STEP generation of synthetic jet fuel and synthetic diesel,” Licht said, “and in addition to carbon capture, we are developing STEP processes to generate the staples predicted in our original theory, such as a variety of metals and bleach."

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Explore further: Team to chemically transform carbon dioxide into carbon-neutral liquid fuels

More information: Stuart Licht, Baohui Wang, Susanta Ghosh, Hina Ayub, Dianlu Jiang, and Jason Ganley.” J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 2010. 11 2363-2368. DOI:10.1021/jz100829s

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smashczar
4.2 / 5 (13) Jul 22, 2010
Very interesting - I'm curious, though, exactly what form the process would take and how big the machine or whatever would be. Trees could reduce CO2 to pre-industrial levels in 10 years, we'd just need a lot of them.
Birthmark
Jul 22, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Jimbaloid
3.4 / 5 (8) Jul 22, 2010
Let's do it! I think it stands a better chance than getting us all to ride bicycles and turn off the heating.
danman5000
3.4 / 5 (9) Jul 22, 2010
Can solar heat alone really raise the temperature of this thing to over 950C? That seems unlikely, in which case this would need an additional energy source.
GSwift7
3.1 / 5 (10) Jul 22, 2010
actually smashczar, trees are almost carbon-neutral. Trees breath in carbon but on a relatively short time scale they die and decompose, releasing the carbon back into the atmosphere. Unless you cut the tree down and make something permanent out of it, the carbon goes right back into the cycle. If you make paper from the trees and then bury that paper in a landfill the carbon is trapped semi-permanently, but it takes electricity to cut down trees and make paper, not to mention all the other chemical pollution from making paper. If all you want to do is trap carbon, then landfills are the answer though. I guess that's where the carbon from this contraption would end up too, unless they can make use of it all.
jamey
2.4 / 5 (8) Jul 22, 2010
If we really want to get rid of the carbon, we should drop it into subduction zones by fault lines, and let it get carried down into the mantle. We could do that with the nastiest of the radioactive wastes, too - but then, our grandchildren will be cursing us vehemently for our short-sightedness.
Donutz
4.4 / 5 (11) Jul 22, 2010
Can solar heat alone really raise the temperature of this thing to over 950C? That seems unlikely, in which case this would need an additional energy source.


Ever fooled with a magnifying glass? Lee Valley sells (or used to) a solar furnace That's basically a big reflecting mirror. Granted it requires direct sunlight, but you could in principle melt lead with solar power alone.
kshultz222_yahoo_com
4.6 / 5 (10) Jul 22, 2010
How many of these contraptions need to be built and at what cost? To just throw out 10 years and not explain the details leaves a lot to be desired.
winthrom
4.3 / 5 (6) Jul 22, 2010
An interesting press release "lead" without a shred of information. The article is "for purchase" from "The Jopurnal of Physical Chemistry Letters". I saw no informatio sufficient to the claim "Solar-powered process could decrease carbon dioxide to pre-industrial levels in 10 years". I would not invest in this without evidence that the process is viable for production.
david_42
5 / 5 (1) Jul 22, 2010
News from 1970: The solar furnace at Odeillo in the Pyrenees-Orientales in France can reach temperatures up to 3,500 °C

Considering this is yet another experimental process that might, some day, be commercialized, the information content is quite high. The ten years is probably based on 30 years of development and manufacturing, followed by ten years of operation. Leaving a trillion dollars would of equipment with no purpose.
El_Nose
4.3 / 5 (3) Jul 22, 2010
synthetic fossil fuel production is going to be a big step if we ever want to do anything in space cheaply. This is a boon in my book, but I do understand the arguement for reduction of all fossil fuel usage, a first step in changing overall technology is proving you can out pace nature in fuel production and cheapen the production line -- the savings in money will spurr innovation into total replacements.
3432682
2.3 / 5 (19) Jul 22, 2010
Interesting. But there are much better things to do with that much energy. There has been 1/2 degree F global warming, up from the lows of the little ice age. Temperatures are well below average for the last 10,000 years. It was warmer in the 1930's, 1,000 years ago, 2,000 and 4,000 years ago. Let's stop being stupid, OK? Do some independent research, folks. You are being propagandized.
dnatwork
3.2 / 5 (5) Jul 22, 2010
The people who have the money to fund the development of this sort of technology are either governments or oil companies (not that there's a real distinction between the two). Since governments have shown they will not tax for investments that would offer positive returns, it's up to the oil companies. We will no doubt have to offer them 2-for-1 tax credits to invest in this sort of thing, even though it would extend their monopoly on energy forever.

How so? They offset current carbon with this process (or some other carbon capture process, it really doesn't matter), and in so doing they generate a new, renewable stream of fuels that are fully compatible with current fossil fuel technologies and infrastructure, thereby staving off any conversion to other energy sources.

It's time to double down on Exxon Mobil stock, people.
maxcypher
5 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2010
Every possible avenue that leads toward humanity's survival should and will be explored. Of course, they will fall into two categories: reducing carbon emissions and capturing already emitted carbon. The one that scares me the most is the geo-engineering approach of injecting sulphur dioxide into the upper atmosphere to reproduce the cooling effect of massive volcanic activity. This tactic is backed by the oil interests because it supports our petrol-based economy. It is scary because it uses the earth as the experimental platform for an untried technology and because of the sudden temperature jump if the injection ever stops.
aintry
3.5 / 5 (13) Jul 22, 2010
Interesting. But there are much better things to do with that much energy. There has been 1/2 degree F global warming, up from the lows of the little ice age. Temperatures are well below average for the last 10,000 years. It was warmer in the 1930's, 1,000 years ago, 2,000 and 4,000 years ago. Let's stop being stupid, OK? Do some independent research, folks. You are being propagandized.


I know, right? Wake up and smell the FOX news, people. And please flush twice when you're done.

Thanks for the laugh 3432682. I needed that.
gunslingor1
Jul 22, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
gunslingor1
2.1 / 5 (8) Jul 22, 2010
"Every possible avenue that leads toward humanity's survival should and will be explored."
-Really? how about stop burning fossil fuels... the one solution we can actually implement and that is sure to prevent futher increases (once the planet catches up).

All these rediculous and impractal solutions do not address the increased health consequences of burning fossil fuels.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (3) Jul 22, 2010
I guess the process would form lithium carbonate or lithium bicarbonate which would then need to be regenerated before it could be used again? They don't mention any waste products. The lithium hydroxide CO2 scrubber systems used on the space shuttle operate at room temperature but you end up with lithium carbonate when the filter is used up. Then you heat the filter to regenerate it and use it again. I wonder why you couldn't use a simple system like that? It would be way less complicated than the molten salt thing they are talking about. You could use sunlight to regenerate the filter in the day and scrub CO2 at night.
AAhhzz01
4.5 / 5 (2) Jul 22, 2010
a few thoughts

1) using the CO2 from the atmosphere to generate a synthetic fuel seems pretty carbon neutral once the fuel is burned. Use solar to power the process and your doing pretty good.

2) " decrease carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels within 10 years " ....*blinks*....Am I misunderstanding this or are they seriously proposing to remove nearly 300 years of carbon build up ( lets call it 1,000 gigatones ) in a Ten Year Period...without any mention of possible consiquences to the Climate?

If carbon emissions over the past 300 years have lead to a +1 degree temperature increase in the past century, how could removing all that carbon, but 30 TIMES FASTER not have an effect worth mentioning?

3) If your really worried about global warming, why the heck would it matter Who is doing it? If they are saving us from all the disasters Al Gore describes, why does it matter Who It is?
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 22, 2010
Seems that these processes could be run in tandem-to produce fuel for auto purposes, and at the same time for power generation, while still producing pure carbon.

In terms of the pure carbon component, some could be sold for industrial use to produce goods, and another portion, if not all could be milled with the other necessary components as bio-char, to replace petrochem fertilizer, and to help reclaim depleted or marginal land for crop production and reforesting.

In terms of overall cost to society at large, and to enable control of allocation for maximum economic/societal/environmental benefit, this technology/production/distribution should be Nationalized, to prevent the monopolization/monetization/leveraging that dnatwork, above, rightly voices a fear of- why put the means of profit-above-all into the hands of the very same ones who have so egregiously abused it in the past, and with such detriment to so many? contd
Caliban
4 / 5 (4) Jul 22, 2010
contd
This technology, if Nationalised, would create/sustain just as many jobs as it would if operated privately, would generate huge amounts of tax revenue(even at nominal rates) to finance government programs, would be strictly regulated, and could be deployed in a coordinated, comprehensive, approach for maximum benefit impossible in the free market.

Being operated in a not-for-profit way would free up hundreds of billions of dollars annually, that could be reinjected/reinvested into research and other programs. Think about it.

@Gswift7
Gotta disagree with you about trees being carbon-neutral. While that is more or less true, it is only so at equilibrium- whether for one tree or a forest.

While forests are being replanted, the CO2 uptake is a positive curve, that only stops being so when planting stops, at which point it would trend to equilibrium.

I know it is hair-splitting, but it is an important distinction to make.

blazingspark
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 22, 2010
Maybe one day we can use technology like this to terraform venus. Could make it habitable someday..

Venus certainly has abundant heat and light from the sune hitting the surface.
Alphakronik
5 / 5 (2) Jul 22, 2010
actually smashczar, trees are almost carbon-neutral. Trees breath in carbon but on a relatively short time scale they die and decompose, releasing the carbon back into the atmosphere. Unless you cut the tree down and make something permanent out of it, the carbon goes right back into the cycle. If you make paper from the trees and then bury that paper in a landfill the carbon is trapped semi-permanently, but it takes electricity to cut down trees and make paper, not to mention all the other chemical pollution from making paper. If all you want to do is trap carbon, then landfills are the answer though. I guess that's where the carbon from this contraption would end up too, unless they can make use of it all.


Yes, Hemp would be a much better choice. It prefers CO2 upwards of 1800ppm.
Caliban
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 22, 2010
This technology, if Nationalised, would create/sustain just as many jobs as it would if operated privately, would generate huge amounts of tax revenue

How would it generate anything? Nationalized industries fail. Why do you want this to fail?
A for profit company has incentives to improve the process, be more efficient, sell products more cheaply. But if there is no profit, only taxes, no one will have the incentives to open or operate a facility except unions and political hacks.


Corporation has motive of making profit, and keeping for self/shareholders. Only driver for increased efficiency is to increase profit. There is no value-added in this scenario, and only a dribble of tax revenue, if any at all -and this only assuming that enterprise is not subsidised directly or indirectly by taxpayer dollars.

Go blow your noise out of your hole, mangy.

plasticpower
5 / 5 (2) Jul 23, 2010
Maybe one day we can use technology like this to terraform venus. Could make it habitable someday..

Venus certainly has abundant heat and light from the sune hitting the surface.


Yeah, great idea. I'd love to dance in the scorching hot sulfuric acid rain - sounds romantic!
CarolinaScotsman
1 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2010
It takes carbon out of the air, then makes fuel which puts carbon into the air.

This thing just recycles carbon and does nothing to improve the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
Husky
2.5 / 5 (2) Jul 23, 2010
indeed, that just maintains current levels, but still better than getting worse. I like the synergy idea opto- and thermoelectric solarenergy capture but what about wallplug or milage (enduser) efficiency? how many solarwatts do you need to run an all electric car for 100 miles where the electricity in the battery comes from optoelectric solar cells vs Synthfuel car where the fuel comes from the thermo-opto cells?
0c4pnh4nk
5 / 5 (2) Jul 23, 2010
How many of these contraptions need to be built and at what cost? To just throw out 10 years and not explain the details leaves a lot to be desired.


Just in case you missed it, here's the pdf if you want to read the whole article. http://pubs.acs.o...z100829s
tkjtkj
1 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2010
DaveGee said: "..it certainly SEEMS like an exciting announcement / discovery..."


Well, Dave, that, you see, is the basic theme of PhysOrg.com
"Undemonstrative, untested, and infeasible 'pseudo-reports' that contain nothing, and go nowhere. All done usually unaccompanied by any pic that might reveal what its about, but always 'in the name of science'."
tkjtkj
1 / 5 (1) Jul 23, 2010
DaveGee said: "..it certainly SEEMS like an exciting announcement / discovery..."


Well, Dave, that, you see, is the basic theme of PhysOrg.com
"Undemonstrative, untested, and infeasible 'pseudo-reports' that contain nothing, and go nowhere. All done usually unaccompanied by any pic that might reveal what its about, but always 'in the name of science'."
Ed_from_NY
5 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2010
One poster suggests turning off the heat. Here in New York State when it gets to -10F turning off the heat is a bad idea.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Jul 23, 2010
Yes, Hemp would be a much better choice. It prefers CO2 upwards of 1800ppm.

No it doesn't, and no I won't give you the experimental evidence for it.

Hemp prefers below 1600ppm and over 400ppm for optimum growth.
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2010
There is no value-added in this scenario,

For once you said something almost on point. If there is no value added for this solar to carbon process, why should the government try to operate this at a 'profit' (code word for taxes to Cali).
How oxymoronic! Please provide some data from real experiments to show that such a project will do what you propose.
And then, when challenged to support his idea with real data, he must resort to insults as he has no such data.


OOOOOH!! Must've hit a mangynerve! Could it be because this might threaten profitability in the "free market"? "No value added" in my post meant: no value added for the people- only profit for the corporate.

Since we ain't got no real numbers(that I know of) I'll just say that we use the same pricing models that are currently used to retail the equivalent products. That means that ALL of what is currently excise tax PLUS profit would go into treasury, contd
Caliban
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 23, 2010
contd
with no burden to the taxpayer for regulation or subsidy of the industry -as presently constituted.
It would be hard to pin a profit figure on the entire petrochem industry, but it has to be nearing a trillion annually, if not in excess of that. So, in my scenario, that is all equivalent to TAX REVENUE, that is directly collected and spendable. That's a lot of money for R&D, and full funding for programs. Plus, I don't see how this would cost any jobs, with the possible exception of those that are directly involved in drilling/support operations, but we would need lots of staff for the new production facilities, and their construction, so that would probably offset.

And stop saying it hasn't been done before, mangy- ever heard of BPA, TVA, REA? Sorry if those hallowed acronyms scorched yer freimarketvampire flesh, but that's just the way of it. No, all of your concern is based on the concept of something like my proposal making inroads against your investment portfolio.
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Jul 23, 2010
More from Cuba:
"n his nationally televised speech in April, Castro also had harsh words for those who do little to deserve their pay.
"The government has moved to embrace some small free-market reforms. It handed some barbershops over to employees, allowing them to set their own prices but making them pay rent and buy their own supplies."
"low pay means low productivity. On Obispo street, a state-run cafeteria sells heavily subsidized soft ice cream and pork sandwiches for the equivalent of a few American pennies - meaning wages and tips are so tiny that the staff is indifferent toward customers."

Mangy, as usual, provides a bunch of desperate cut'n'paste samples from the neocon database.

It is apparent that mangy's objections are ideology-based.

No- mangy wants to GIVE IT ALL to corrupt, thieving, fraudulent, corner-cutting, profit-hungry corporations, and entirely remove any chance for a benefit for all to be generated for the same, or lesser cost.
AAhhzz01
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 23, 2010
Caliban

And Cuba and Russia were models of excellence? Please give me a break. While Corporations do strive for Profit....guess what...they are owned by People, they hire people and they richer they become the greater the tax revenues they generate. Government run enterprises are almost always at break even margin, and thus pay fewer taxes.

Seems to me your own point of view is one that fails more often than Mangy's...Ever wonder Why?
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2010
Caliban

And Cuba and Russia were models of excellence? Please give me a break. While Corporations do strive for Profit....guess what...they are owned by People, they hire people and they richer they become the greater the tax revenues they generate. Government run enterprises are almost always at break even margin, and thus pay fewer taxes.

Seems to me your own point of view is one that fails more often than Mangy's...Ever wonder Why?


Hey, A-

Should i wonder why you didn't bother to read my earlier posts any more than mangy did, before jumping in with all fangs poised to suck?

You could have at least done me that one small courtesy.
Caliban
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 23, 2010
Furthermore,

I am entirely aware that most people would automatically reject any such proposal based on the grounds that it would be "socialistic". All argument of definition and terminology aside, however -is this a legitimate option or not? Do people object to it because it is inoperable due to some inherent flaw in government(that is entirely absent in private enterprise), or because they just don't like the idea of all that sweet profit not going to the direct enrichment of a handful?
AAhhzz01
2.3 / 5 (6) Jul 23, 2010
Oh I read them, I just found them unrealistic. I work for the government, I see the lack of true motivation. The all too prevalent "Its Not My Job" attitude.

Its not that the idea sounds Socialist, I couldnt care less about how it Sounds, its the fact that governments are Inherently Inefficient at almost everything. Far too much risk avoidance and desire to leave it at the status quo, no matter how bad that status quo is....

If a corporation is inefficient it goes out of business correct?

Name one government agency that has been closed ( I do not mean a single office, I mean an entire agency ) due to inefficiency.

Would you say Public schools are models of effectiveness? Public Housing? The Military? Which agency do you point to as a paragon of effective management?
AAhhzz01
2.6 / 5 (5) Jul 23, 2010
And one last thing.

Taxes? On a government project? Since you cited TVA, what is the tax rate they pay on thier "profits" How realistic are those profits? How overmanned is the project?

Case in point: Worked at a government shop that was transitioned to a contractor run operation. Manning at that shop went from 72 government workers to 41 contract workers. Within a year it was 35 workers. Since labor is a major cost factor, how much of TVA's overall budget goes to salaries? How much of it would be pure "Profit" that they could pay taxes on if manning was lowered?
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (6) Jul 23, 2010
And one last thing.

Taxes?


All of your comment so far goes right back to my asking why you didn't read. I already addressed that issue, specifically, using "taxes" in quotation marks to stand for the income generated over and above operating costs.

And the rest of your objections are window-dressing, since they are equally true of private enterprise, once you've inverted the meanings of a few operative terms. "efficiency", for instance, which generally stands for "all other factors are secondary to profit"- which isn't the same as minimization of waste. Status Quo vs. Innovation? Just ask Detroit.
Some services are too important for the private sector. You named three: Education. Public Housing. The Military. The same model of business "efficiency" that leads to offshoring and downsizing and pension-shedding would leave vast numbers completely exposed. Unless, of course, you want the rationale behind Walmart to provide those basic needs for us.
Caliban
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 23, 2010
Also- "the richer they become the more tax revenues they generate" is only partly true, as you should be well aware. Check on, for instance, Dupont, AT&T, General Electric, EXXON-MOBIL. Their stunningly small income tax- or entire lack thereof might just open your eyes.

I don't mean for this debate to be a political one -merely pragmatic. And I don't see any reason why the industry could not be operated by Agency at a tolerable level of efficiency, and still generate vastly more revenue for the operations of government than the (privately held)petrochem industry does now(through direct taxation).

HarshMistress
4.9 / 5 (7) Jul 23, 2010
Taxes taken is money removed from the economy that could have been put into more wealth creation.

Not true, marjon. 53% of Sweden's GDP is generated by public spending and we all know that Sweden is better off than the USA. It all depends on what you spend the public money for: wars and investments in China (the economics of dominance), or social programs, infrastructure and R&D at home (the economics of partnership).

The Internet was researched, developed and built by public money - corporations came afterwards to make profits on our commons.
Azpod
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 23, 2010
It all depends on cost per energy unit. If this device can produce energy as a fraction of the cost of other methods, then it'll be adopted worldwide in short order (well, in sunny places worldwide, that is) and the energy/climate crisis is over! Somehow, I doubt it's that simple.

The technology sounds awesome. I just hope they can find a way to bring it to market cheaply. If they can't, then it'll be no more than a niche device sold to greenies who want to save the planet, but something that'll never become mainstream.
AAhhzz01
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 23, 2010
So 4 billion in state and federal taxes where before they paid the taxes on the profit eh Marjon...sounds like a very sweet deal for the government...tax the product sold then tax the profits made...and likely taks the product when its made as well....
AAhhzz01
2.4 / 5 (5) Jul 24, 2010
Also- "the richer they become the more tax revenues they generate" is only partly true, as you should be well aware. Check on, for instance, Dupont, AT&T, General Electric, EXXON-MOBIL. Their stunningly small income tax- or entire lack thereof might just open your eyes.


So you file your taxes claiming no deductions? Of course they take advantage of every legal loophole. Everyone does...they just have a lot more loopholes.

Your suggestion that there are enterprises that are too important to leave to the private sector is valid

However, which do better? Public or private schools?? I know if I could afford one my children would have gone to a private school.

There are things that the government Must Do. But giving any endeavor to the government means it will take 4 times as long, cost 8 times as much and deliver half of what was promised ( initially that is, later as the public complains it will improve...at 4 times the cost...
AAhhzz01
2.3 / 5 (4) Jul 24, 2010
The Internet was researched, developed and built by public money - corporations came afterwards to make profits on our commons.


Yes it was, and as a text based medium it did ok...but it really didnt take off until you could Pay for it.

Profit motive a basic human desire harnessed to make our lives better
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (6) Jul 24, 2010
giving any endeavor to the government means it will take 4 times as long, cost 8 times as much and deliver half of what was promised ( initially that is, later as the public complains it will improve...at 4 times the cost...
Hm... Sounds VERY reminiscent of how /private/, /for-profit/ contractors perform on government projects.

I've worked for several very large companies, and if I learned anything, it's this: a bureaucracy is a bureaucracy regardless of whether it's private or public. Private companies have incentives to cut waste only when they are engaged in real competition (i.e. they're not patent-protected, brand-protected, or retail capture-protected: in all of which cases they happily keep the waste and let their customers pick up the tab for it.)

A government agency properly incentivized to cut waste (e.g. by remittance of budgetary savings or /timely/ milestone achievements in the form of salary bonuses), can also become quite optimal in its performance.
rally2xs
3.8 / 5 (4) Jul 24, 2010
"It takes carbon out of the air, then makes fuel which puts carbon into the air.

This thing just recycles carbon and does nothing to improve the CO2 levels in the atmosphere."

Not true. Lots of carbon filters out of the atmosphere naturally. If no NEW carbon is put in, but simply recycled, carbon cocentration in the air will diminish continously.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Jul 24, 2010
When has this ever been accomplished?
The GAO comes to mind for one.

Speaking of government agencies how would you prevent pollution without government agencies?
GSwift7
1.8 / 5 (5) Jul 24, 2010
@ Caliban:

If you increase the number of trees then you would take carbon out of the air, but it remains in the cycle. Since you haven't removed it from the cycle, the trees are almost carbon neutral. I didn't say they are completely neutral, by the way. Read my post carefully. Trees do end up shedding some debris into the ocean and lake bottoms where the carbon may be semi-permanently sequesterd in sediment, but that is a negligable amount. Just changing where the carbon is in the cycle doesn't really remove it, so it's not going to matter how many trees you plant. If you double the number of trees in the world today, then at some point later those trees will all die and return that carbon to the air. You're just moving carbon from one bank account to another with trees. You're not going to get carbon rich or carbon poor in the long run by planting trees. I also think it's funny that you can disagree with me and then say the same thing I said. You just disagree with me out of habit
GSwift7
2 / 5 (4) Jul 24, 2010
By the way, am I the only one here who looked up all the other methods of carbon scrubbing? This way seems very inefficient compared to the methods commonly used in many different real world applications. The exhaust gas from coal power plants is carbon scrubbed with a much more robust method than this. I'm not sure why they would want to use such an endothermic process when ambient temperature processes are available. Lithium is also prohibitively expensive, especially with the rise in demand of recent years, which is projected to accellerate.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Jul 24, 2010
Want to stop pollution or have polluters pay? Enforce property rights.
Property owners injured by pollution sue for damages.
Property rights must also include the air above you and the water and minerals below.
So I can charge the airline for flying overhead? Great idea. That way the free market can demolish the transportation industry and ruin commerce.
GSwift7
3.3 / 5 (7) Jul 24, 2010
lol, right on. Lets just sue everyone. I'll have to sue myself too of course. The lawyers will love that plan. In just 20 years I'll bet everyone could be a lawyer and we could do absolutely nothing but have trials. That could become the dominant world industry. Of course we would have to eat one another since all the farms would be shut down due to the carbon they produce, so I'm not sure how sustainable such an economy would be. Eventually we would eat everyone though, and then the manmade carbon problem would certainly be cured. Maybe we should start making babies right now, just in case that happens. My girlfriend will be thrilled.
GSwift7
Jul 24, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
damnfuct
5 / 5 (3) Jul 24, 2010
Turn the captured carbon into plastics; we can make products out of them and they're useful before we sequester it (which happens to also be a landfill). We were going to bury garbage anyway. You see what I did there? Two birds with one stone.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Jul 25, 2010
"To be in business, you must create, provide or sell something. If you can't do this, you aren't in business; if you can't profit from it, you're out of business. This is extremely democratic, because the public votes on you every day."
The public doesn't vote on who they get their utilities from.
Skeptic_Heretic
Jul 25, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
MadPutz
2.7 / 5 (3) Jul 25, 2010
Maybe environmentalists and policymakers will finally wake up and realize the only productive, practical way to address climate change is innovation, NOT limitations and arbitrary regulations.
fireofenergy1
5 / 5 (2) Jul 25, 2010
No limits to science! However, we need some sort of political will to "force" more innovation. The STEP process will be just another "hope for the future" unless some action is taken to fund it at least by an amount suitible to determine if it {is} the best way.

Perhaps it would be best to continue down the electric and battery infra, instead of clean liquid fuels.

In the end, I believe, whichever is easiest to produce by robotic arms will be the winner because it is far too costly to have humans make solar PV (no matter how efficient) in the obvious exceedingly large amounts (like 50,000 sq mi) to do any good.

Enviro's want to keep the price of solar high because they form with nimby and prevent the strategic mining and desert placement needed to achieve a clean, prosperous {and growing} tomorro. There is a concern that I agree with... NO BULLDOZING on the large scale! PV and Stirling dish units are post mounted, unlike the solar trough and apparently can be more efficient!
fireofenergy1
1 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2010
No limits to science! However, we need some sort of political will to "force" more innovation. The STEP process will be just another "hope for the future" unless some action is taken to fund it at least by an amount suitible to determine if it {is} the best way.

Perhaps it would be best to continue down the electric and battery infra, instead of clean liquid fuels?

In the end, I believe, whichever is easiest to produce by robotic arms will be the winner because it is far too costly to have humans make solar PV (no matter how efficient) in the obvious exceedingly large amounts (like 50,000 sq mi) to do any good.

Enviro's want to keep the price of solar high because they form with nimby and prevent the strategic mining and desert placement needed to achieve a clean, prosperous {and growing} tomorro. There is a concern that I agree with... NO BULLDOZING on the large scale! PV and Stirling dish units are post mounted, unlike the solar trough and apparently can be more efficient!
fireofenergy1
5 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2010
Sorry about the double post...
Salander
2 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2010
Just a couple of simple questions about the details. (1) What kind of electrolyte would they be using at such high temperatures? (Water won't work.) (2) How do they get the CO2 gas into the electrolysis cell?
fireofenergy1
1 / 5 (1) Jul 25, 2010
Perhaps I'm wrong, about trying to force innovation, however, we can't wait for oil prices to do the forcing as we will never be able to afford the fossil fuel prices required to build 50,000 sq mi or so of solar panels (which is about the same area used for roads in USA),
unless
natural gas exploration was "forced" by use of incentives. What {I think} we want is an over supply of NG.

Since we do concern ourselves with excess CO2, we should ban coal in favor of NG since it can power the grid and cars. By doing so, we would effectively cut CO2 emissions by over half, for far less of a price than imaginable from RE and grid storage, at least in the mean time...
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (3) Jul 25, 2010
@GSwift7

Not what I was saying. The carbon neutrality of trees depends on how they are managed. And the amount of carbon "sequestered", if only in the form of a balanced equation, increases with the actual number of trees.

It is certainly true that when a tree dies, it's carbon is added back into the environment, but another tree can grow and take that much carbon up again. So, as long as Forests are managed, by increasing planting, it is entirely possible to increase Carbon containment.

More trees growing = more carbon taken out of artmoshere. That is the distinction I was trying to make, without success-at least as far as you are concerned.

Just as importantly, however, reforestation increases O2 production, maintains biodiversity, enhances the water cycle, cleans water, reduces erosion, provides jobs, et c.,et c. - all of which, I believe we can agree are beneficial in every conceiveable way. And even more so if properly managed.
Caliban
2.7 / 5 (3) Jul 25, 2010
Cali: You want to create government enterprise to process CO2 to generate profit for the state?(...)
return on investment for the government, no? (This is sarcasm.)


Yeah, mangy, we all know that these enterprises are not models, but they do seem to hang on, don't they -even though they are designed to operate as not-for-profit.
Especially in the case of the USPS, which our lawmakers allowed to be skimmed of the cream of their business- ie, parcel post, by unregulated private enterprise that could make up the rules as it went along. Ironically(or maybe not), the vast majority of all parcels(UPS, FedEx, et c.) are transshipped on USPS jets. Betcha didn't know that, eh?

I'll say it again, one more time, so that you'll have to waste your mangytime with another thoughtless, pointless, baseless, insupportable contradictory assertion:

Contd
Caliban
3.5 / 5 (4) Jul 25, 2010
contd

I propose an Agency, tasked with the coordinated development/deployment of this tech, both for fuel+energy production, and feedstock(Plastic,Carbon Nanofiber, Graphene, et c.) operated as a not-for-profit, but using the same mark-up as the Petrochem industry currently does, and all revenue generated above operating cost to be used to fund R&D and the rest of government operations and programs that are otherwise taxpayer-funded.

I'll remind everyone that government/civil-service employees pay federal/state/local income taxes just like everyone else- and that in this scenario, one would expect that roughly the same numbers of jobs would be preserved and/or created as currently exist, industry-wide.

All of the money that is currently siphoned out of the process, AT EVERY STAGE, from extraction to delivery of Fossilfuel products, as income/profit/dividend/deduction/subsidy et c, would equal gov't revenues -ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE greater than current taxes derived from Petro.
AAhhzz01
3.6 / 5 (5) Jul 25, 2010
I propose an Agency, tasked with the coordinated development/deployment of this tech,... operated as a not-for-profit, ...all revenue generated above cost be used to fund R&D ...


Sounds reasonable except the government will inevitably find a "Use" for any funds generated...sort of like they did for the Social Security funds....remember those?

I'll remind everyone that government/civil-service employees pay federal/state/local income taxes just like everyone else- ..... roughly the same numbers of jobs


Oh Many many more jobs would be created...However, Civil service folks (like me) pay taxes into the same pot of money they take their salaries from...so basically unless they pay more than 100% of their salary in taxes its a money drain on the federal budget isn't it? Government projects are almost inevitably overstaffed, over budget and over enthusiastic in their benefit projections.
AAhhzz01
2.8 / 5 (4) Jul 25, 2010
All of the money that is currently siphoned out of the process, AT EVERY STAGE, from extraction to delivery of Fossilfuel products, as income/profit/dividend/deduction/subsidy et c, would equal gov't revenues -ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE greater than current taxes derived from Petro.


Curious phrasing there...Siphoned Out...as if the producers of a product are not entitled to a Profit?

Ok, lets see if you know this one..

How much revenue is generated for Federal State and local government in Taxes, Tarrifs, Fees and levies by the petro industry.

Dont forget to add in the personal income taxes of everyone employed, directly or indirectly, by any of the companies involved. (Exxon BP, Haliburto...you know All of those evil corporations...and their service industries...and the service industries that serve those industries )
Thrasymachus
1.8 / 5 (13) Jul 25, 2010
Actually, marjon, wealth destroys jobs once it's been created. Only during it's creation, when a new business is building up a market for its new product, does a business create jobs. In this phase in the life of a market, businesses do not, and can not, act like competitive private enterprises, but as monopolies charging pre-determined prices to cover fixed start-up costs.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (13) Jul 25, 2010
Only once a new set of businesses have grown the market to the fullest extent possible do they begin to compete with each other to bring down inefficiency and spur new innovation. But this process inherently sheds jobs as automation and new techniques wring every last unneeded man-hour out of the production process. During this phase, government intervention is absolutely necessary to prevent early winners from absolutely dominating the new market and becoming monopolies in fact, instead of just in practice.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (13) Jul 25, 2010
Finally, once the market is fully mature, only a monopoly will be able to wring any profit out of it, as any competition will inevitably drive any profit margin down to nothing. For markets as fundamentally necessary and basically unchanging as the markets for food, security and education, this means either extensive government subsidies to encourage private actors to do the work, in which case, their profit margin will match the subsidy and their lobbyists work to raise that subsidy and lower safety, environmental and other costs, or a direct government takeover, as is the case with education and security, whose effectiveness depends on the incentives built into the bureaucratic structure.
Caliban
3.3 / 5 (4) Jul 25, 2010
Ok, lets see if you know this one..

How much revenue is generated for Federal State and local government in Taxes, Tarrifs, Fees and levies by the petro industry.


Uh, Dang, AAhhzz01- you got me there, because I DON'T know how much money that is.

Now, I've a question for you: How much money is represented by the revenue generated across the ENTIRE SECTOR of the petro/coal/chem industry over and above physical operating/administration costs?
We'll ignore R&D for oil/NG/coal, as there hasn't been any significant innovation in the industry in close to 50 years.

This represents quite a much larger figure than mere individual/corporate income taxes, tarriffs, excise taxes, et c., no? And not just by a small margin, either. We're talking an amount very near the entire annual budget of the US Federal government.

How about that!
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (13) Jul 25, 2010
Let's be fair, Cali. There have been significant advances in the technology to drill/mine for and refine as well as burn all of the major fossil fuels. If anything, the absolute dominance of the few global oil companies shows that governments need to be very watchful of the monopolistic tendencies of established markets. They need to favor the emergence of new markets, watch, regulate and mistrust businesses in maturing markets, and subsidize or take over businesses in fully mature markets. After all, one of the reasons these big companies are still on top is that only they, of all private actors, have the money to do R&D, and so only they get to use the new innovations for a long time, and thus only they get all the new profits such innovation brings, and become even better at keeping any new competition out of the market.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (9) Jul 25, 2010
Apple is a psuedomonopoly, as is Microsoft. Insofar as consumers are purchasing a good based on "brand name" or other such proprietary features, the business selling those goods is a kind of monopoly. After all, no one else sells Coca-Cola or Windows but Coca-Cola Inc. and Microsoft respectively. Wealth can only create new jobs insofar as it creates new markets and new products. This is what Branson and Allen are trying to do. Within established markets, the innovation wealth purchases only reduces the number of jobs needed to maintain or increase output, and works to actively decrease wages by moving jobs to lower wage environs, increasing labor supply (which lowers wages), and increasing competition within the labor market, which also has a depressing effect on wages. Capitalism is the theory which explains the operation of maturing or mature markets. It has nothing at all to say about the primary means of wealth creation: the creation of new markets and new products.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Jul 25, 2010
as there hasn't been any significant innovation in the industry in close to 50 years.

Pull your head out.
How many peak oil predictions have fallen by the wayside in 50 years? Why? Innovation in drilling technology, processing technology, exploration technology, etc.


mangy should profit from mangy's own advice.

The same old tech has been refined and re-refined. Very little actual innovation, as I said.

As for "Peak Oil" if you were enough of a fool to believe that fiction...then that says everything that needs to be said regarding your knowledge base.

Or, more precisely, your lack thereof.

Thrasymachus
1.9 / 5 (12) Jul 25, 2010

Would you say the soft drink industry or the chewing gum business is mature?
There are no monopolies, competition is fierce and those businesses make a profit.
Your assertion and understanding of economics is way off the mark.

Those industries are not at all mature, and do not operate on a basis of pure competition. Brand loyalty is very high, and there's constant new innovations and new products. I mean, hell, there's a new gum out there that changes flavors as you chew. That's proprietary, it'll take a while for competitors to figure out how to copy it, and if they try they can run afoul of patent laws. So long as only one company can make flavor-changing gum, that company has a monopoly on the flavor-changing gum market. That has a lot of implications with how those sorts of businesses are run, i.e. by setting prices before hand (not by letting the market set the price) in order to recoup fixed costs associated with opening up a new market.
Thrasymachus
1.6 / 5 (12) Jul 25, 2010
In fact, most businesses compete with one another in this way, a race to open up a new market and hold onto a monopoly in it long enough to recoup costs and make a profit, rather than the way you think, by cutting their prices or raising the quality of their product in an attempt to outsell a competitor's essentially identical product.

Once a market has matured enough to allow such direct competition, and provided there is no collusion between businesses or corruption in government oversight preventing monopolies, profit margins always start falling, and only start coming up again when one or more of the competing companies innovate new products and open up new markets.
Thrasymachus
1.9 / 5 (12) Jul 25, 2010
A market is maturing when the number of new consumers for the good being sold start slowing down. When no net new consumers are being added to the market (adjusted for population growth) the market is fully mature. Most markets never fully mature. Usually, some other market subsumes them, making the old product virtually non-existent. The buggy-whip industry is definitely mature. The only way to make money manufacturing buggy-whips is to operate as a monopoly, set your prices beforehand to cover your fixed costs and a reasonable amount of profit so you can afford to keep making them.
jerryd
5 / 5 (4) Jul 25, 2010

I hate to tell many of you but this is likely to work. It not far removed from present FT processes. Really it's just burning in reverse. They just seem to have found a more eff way.
donames
Jul 25, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Thrasymachus
1.4 / 5 (11) Jul 25, 2010
This new technology has a great deal of promise to maintain or increase the standard of living for nearly everybody, and after all, isn't that what the wealth of nations is all about? The problem here is that, aside from the ability to produce fuel from carbon monoxide, there doesn't appear to be any way to price the benefit to individual consumers. Everybody's made better off and nobody has to buy anything except someone has to pay for the new technology and its implementation. It's rather like public wi-fi in certain areas in some towns and cities. Either the tech has to become cheap enough that a private company can "donate" it, or it has to be provided by the government. Lots of goods are like that, other people's health, air quality, water quality, and many others.
Evodevo
1 / 5 (3) Jul 27, 2010
Even if this reaction works, I think this ludicrous. Start with their assumptions, starting with concentrating the sun's energy by a factor of 500 (necessary to clean the atmosphere in 10 years). No problem their, eh. Yep, you can do it for a square meter, but for 700 square kilometers? A mirror system that was 100% efficient would be 1/2 the size of Texas.
Then assume you built that what do you do with 30,000,000 cubic meters (700 million tons) of solid carbon you split out each day? Fuel, eh? How big is the factory that does that?
They should have saved this for 4/1/2011.
SteveL
5 / 5 (1) Jul 27, 2010
Perhaps we'll find a more effecient way to make carbon fiber as a more common building material. This should lock the carbon up for an extended period of time until it is land-filled. The binders for carbon fiber might be an issue though.
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Jul 29, 2010
@lengould100

Thanks for the concise refutation/delineation of the Friedman/Austrian/Chicago Cons. It's too easy to get caught up in tail-chasing, debating the details. Nice to see the Big Picture painted. perhaps some here will obtain insight thereby.
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Jul 30, 2010
You all can help reduce the CO2, just stop breathing.


That's not CO2, it's noise blowing out of the mangyhole. I'm not sure if it's classified as a greenhouse gas, though.

Still, I feel certain that the IPCC would recommend a sharp reduction.
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Jul 30, 2010
Where is this 'paradise', Greece, Spain, Germany...?


If it was up your mangyhole, you'd know where it was. However, since you have such a rabid, atavistic fear of the mere concept, allow me to enlighten you: Denmark, Sweden, Norway- for example.

Ironic, is it not, mangy? That the Vikings of old are such exemplars of the Way Of Socialism, and of living such civilised lives, being the descendants of your very own Ancestoors, and all?

You should "reach out and touch" some of them, and ask how they do it.
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Jul 30, 2010
Well, let's see, shall we -four posts, running to about 2200 characters or so, every last bitof which is pure, spin-machine wank, or, as some would have it, agitprop, and completely bereft of actual substantive value.

The sheer volume of the mangy noise emitted from the orifice of the datapoint armchair-eqipped mangyhole can sometimes be nearly deafening.

If you can't impress 'em with your brilliance, then overwhelm 'em with your Bulls**t.
Caliban
3.4 / 5 (5) Jul 30, 2010
Caliban: refute the data instead engaging in one of your typical liberal temper tantrums.


You've not got any "data", just highly massaged, ideologically biased "position paper" BS, designed with no other end than to provide the illusory appeareance of actual support for proposed policy.
mdk
2 / 5 (2) Aug 02, 2010
If this pans out the benefit would be clear. If you can turn CO2 into fuel or carbon for storage using solar power you can control temperature to some limited degree. Keep in mind that CO2 has very little impact on temperature beyond the first 10 parts/million but you can use the waste carbon in the atmosphere to produce fuel without the permission of Chavez or the Saudis. But you would have the option of converting a lot of CO2 and sequestering it in a fairly permanent state, if that was needed.

@Caliban: since you quickly resort to name-calling it's safe to assume you have nothing useful to contribute? That being said, this is not a political or economic forum so why not discuss physical science here?
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Aug 02, 2010
@mdk
Since you quickly resort to finger-pointing, it's obvious to me that you didn't bother to read the whole thread, and based a snap-judgement on incomplete evidence.
If you go to the trouble to pay attention, you'll find that I was already on record with commentary regarding the substance of this article.
You comments are at minimum a bit misdirected. I recommend that you attempt a better job of informing yourself of the facts next time around.
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Aug 04, 2010
The major error in your thinking, marjon, is that you think that the use of markets as a means of distributing resources and creating wealth and the presence of a strong, regulative government are mutually exclusive. Among the reasons the Scandinavian and other European countries have markets that outperform ours in terms of wealth and job creation is that they have a strong government presence in their markets that have a good track record of making and keeping things fair. Markets can't exist without a government, and different markets require different kinds of intervention. But every time any market has been attempted with no government intervention or regulation, it takes virtually no time at all for the situation to devolve into a "biggest scammer wins" type of game.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (11) Aug 04, 2010
No, they don't, they are invariably taken over by the biggest, baddest guys around, and forced to pay "taxes" for "protection." Every time. Governments are what happens when the people who want to be able to trade with one another fairly and freely join forces to keep the thugs from taking over. Then, shysters and conmen make their way in, selling snake oil as medicine, and run off with wads of cash before the "market" can take care of them, hurting consumers and honest sellers alike. Governments help there too, by regulating the kinds and availability of trades that can take place, making sure it's hard to scam customers or sellers. Finally, sometimes, people's trading or consuming harms others unintentionally. Governments have a role here as well, as a fair place to redress grievances against one another.
SteveL
5 / 5 (3) Aug 05, 2010
I'm not really interested in getting my guns out to go hunt evil-doers down. There are no good o'le days. To romanticise such times is a fallacy in my opinion.

As for government regulation; I remember Uncle Billy Clinton pounding on a pulpet during a speech stating he will do whatever it takes to de-regulate the banking industry - to free up the money for the common man. Well, he did and the housing market and economy went wild for a while, but Uncle W. Bush got stuck with the blame five years later after folks started discovering they couldn't pay for houses that cost 5 times their annual gross income.

I'm all for "sensible" regulation to keep economic playgrounds equitable, and to protect the public. For some reason we keep getting into the All-or-Nothing mentality. Too much regulation (All) is bad and no regulation (nothing) is worse. The trick is to find what Goldilocks was looking for "Just right". Sensible regulation that protects the public, even from themselves.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 05, 2010

What made Hong Kong so successful was the limited corruptibility of the British civil service.
I've never heard a bigger lie in my entire life.
The more power, the more regulatory power a government has, the more ways corruption creeps in.
The more market share, or financial power, a company has, the greater their chance for the exact same corruptability.

The key, my friend, is balance.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 05, 2010
Market forces deal with such corruption quite swiftly. Recall Aurthur Andersen?
Probably not a good reference for you as his firm was the one that was found guilty of fraudulent accounting in the case of Enron.

Andersen has been alleged to have been involved in the fraudulent accounting and auditing of Sunbeam Products, Waste Management, Inc., Asia Pulp & Paper, and the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, WorldCom, as well as the infamous Enron case, among others.


Andrew Cornford: Internationally Agreed Principles For Corporate Governance And The Enron Case,
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Aug 05, 2010
What would you call J.D. Rockefeller absolutely refusing to sell his competitors the right to finish their oil pipeline, as it went underneath his railroad tracks, at any price? And what would you call his behavior when, after he learned that they were manually pumping their oil from the pipe, carting the oil across his tracks, and manually pumping it into the other side, he ordered his trains to be parked in the way of the cart path, making it impossible for them to use their pipeline? Personally, I call it corrupt, and it didn't take any government to give him the ability or the authority to do that.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2010
Smart business decision.
Why should he help his competition?
Recall a little old lady who refused to sell her house to Trump so he could build a huge casino in Atlantic City? Trump couldn't get the government to force her to sell so he built his casino around her house.
Property rights are respected or they are not. When they are not respected, all property rights are subject to whims of the state.

I can vote the state out of office, or overthrow them.

I have no protection from a company. Your statements are ridiculously ignorant....again.
SteveL
5 / 5 (1) Aug 06, 2010
de-regulate the banking industry - to free up the money for the common man.

The banking industry was not de-regulated. It was forced to accommodate new 'incentives', new 'regulations'.
The most sensible regulation is to let the markets do it.
The job of the government is to prosecute theft and fraud. It failed miserably with Madoff and meddled where it shouldn't, government backed and promoted mortgages.


Ok, so the banking industry wasn't completely deregulated - a valid argument. However the rules were changed so that everyone (the market) had access to money they simply could not afford to pay back. The whole sector lost its collective mind. Effectively the market was liberalized to the point that the brakes were off. It was a feeding frenzy and we are now paying for our excesses.

As for Madoff; I have difficulty defining any significant difference between what he did and what governments do via taxation - Except with him you could legally say no.
SteveL
5 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2010
Also, as mentioned in an earlier post; Enron is a wonderful example of what happens without effective regulation. They were having such a wonderful time murdering Californians with rolling power outages. Some unfortunate people require home dialysis or CPAP machines, etc. to survive. Do the publically available recordings of those Enron traders sound like they cared? Oh what bliss.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2010

Don't buy their products. Don't buy their stock. Sue them in court if they commit fraud. Start our own company. Unless that company bribes some government agency, what protection do you need?

What protection did the above example have from Rockefeller?
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Aug 06, 2010

Smart business decision.
Why should he help his competition?
Recall a little old lady who refused to sell her house to Trump so he could build a huge casino in Atlantic City? Trump couldn't get the government to force her to sell so he built his casino around her house.
Property rights are respected or they are not. When they are not respected, all property rights are subject to whims of the state.

You idiot, it wasn't his property he was blocking. It was a public right of way. He didn't just cut off his competitors, he cut off anybody else that wanted to use that path. And what do you call a law that says you can't park your train blocking a public right of way if it's not a regulation of business practices?
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Aug 06, 2010
People being able to sue companies that commit fraud is also a form of government regulation. See, there's this thing called law that defines fraudulent practices. There's a process during a civil trail called "discovery" when certain kinds of evidence, defined by law, can be subpoenaed, and during which, certain practices are forbidden by law. The very notion of being able to sue a company for violating your rights implies a strong, proactive regulatory government.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 06, 2010
Rockefeller's oil customers were quite happy with his price and service.
Companies that are losing the competition typically bribe some politicians to sue their better competitor even though the customers are quite satisfied. This can only happen with a powerful govt regulatory system.

It took you 6 hours to make up this fantasy story and 30 seconds for me to find refutation. That's why you shouldn't lie Marjon. You just look silly.
http://www.linfo....oil.html

Start reading under "Public Disgust and Revulsion".
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 06, 2010
Another string of posts, totalling a couple thousand characters, and all bearing EXACTLY ZERO RELEVANCE to the substance of the article.

Again, mangy blows enough noise from the mangyhole to overwhelm any meaningful speculation or discussion regarding the content of the article and its possible impact upon our lives here on Planet Earth.

Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Aug 07, 2010
What is the source? Who is the author? Where are the references? This paper would fail any research writing class.
And you claim to promote peer reviewed research?
This isn't a matter of science, this is a matter of financial and economic system opinion.

Secondly, are you trying to say that Ida Tarbell didn't write a book about the whole ordeal? You can't know anything about Stadard Oil unless you've read her book.

You must actively seek knowledge, not just google and quote mine it.
Sam Walton did the same for retail and suffered the same criticism. Fortunately, the government has not yet been able to control Wal Mart for the benefit of its competitors.
Its competitors have responded by competing and we all benefit.

Sam Walton didn't run all of his competitors into the ground through unfair business practice.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 07, 2010
Of course it is a matter of science. Research into the facts of history is no different.
Correct, the FACTS of history, not your opinion on what economic system is best.
How you want spin those facts (your theory) is conjecture and based upon your bias.
Yes it is, hence why I said there is no science to this. Your opinion has greater amounts of spin to it than mine. The spin you bring forth is spewed into your head by the likes of Glenn Beck, re-writer of history and douchebag extraordinaire.
Where is the data showing Standard Oil's customers were not satisfied?
Look at our legal code. Half the laws implanted there from the labor revolution at the turn of the century reflects the people's displeasure with the giant trusts that infiltrated our government. The banking industry did it again just recently and demo'ed our GDP and balance sheets. And you want to relax the regulations even more.

Where's the data saying they were satisfied? That is your assertion, isn't it
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 07, 2010
The facts bear out the that it was the limited government response by Cooledge allowed markets to sort out the recession and government polcies of Hoover and FDR extended the Depression.
Nixon and Carter's policies led to decline while Reagan's tax cuts and Bush's tax cuts stimulated the economy.
BHO's massive spending is proving to be ineffective in reducing unemployment and increasing growth, except in the size of government.
Those are readily available facts.

The facts bear out that there is a never ending stream of noise blowing out of the mangyhole, utterly meaningless, and equivalent in information to a jet of steam. the boiling matter of mangy's perfervid, blunt-object ideology precludes any intelligent discussion. The Standard Issue FundXian, Objectivist, Bigoted, Arational Hypocrisy.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (11) Aug 08, 2010
Actually, what the "facts" show is that only WWII pulled the US fully out of the Great Depression. There was a recovery for the first few years of the New Deal, then a slide back down as deficit hawks started being taken more seriously. In the end, it took the Federal Government employing virtually every able-bodied man either directly in the armed service or in support. And you know, it's hard to think of a more socialistic organization than the U.S. armed forces of WWII.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 08, 2010
By Keynesian economics, paying people not to work should create all sorts of prosperity. How is the economy of NY doing?
Or FL? How many NY retirees stay in NY?
You're examining a microcosm of the economy and ignoring the rest of the system. You'd want to look at those retiree's wealth habits, not the state's.

You're switching scope to create false examples. The question should be, how do those pensioners affect the economy local to their environment?

I'm unaware of any study answering that question.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 08, 2010
You are all hot and bothered by Rockefeller selling kerosene cheaper, but don't mind govt collusion in the mortgage business.
Funny how you seem to determine my stance before you ask me. You're assuming some sort of great opposition that I don't think I can provide. I don't think the government should be in the housing market as a mortgage insurer. I don't think the government should have it's hands in business. I think the government should simply write the rules that businesses adhere to and uphold the court system to address those rules and contracts.
What? The state takes taxes from hard working people and pays retired government workers for 20+ years NOT to contribute anything.
What is this sentence supposed to mean? You're stating that those people contribute nothing to New York? Pretty baseless there, buddy.
Microcosm? Bloomberg is worried that if he raises taxes much more, the rich will move out of NYC.
Non-sequitor. Show the connection.
Caliban
3 / 5 (3) Aug 08, 2010
No, moron, those pension plans were formerly backed by treasuries, and other(formerly) stable, long-term investments, and so the funds accrued reliably.
Governments, Municipalities, Universities, and many large corporations and Unions typically under-contributed to the plans, borrowed against them, or raided them, and then, in the most recent couple of decades, abandoned safe, low-yield instruments like Treasuries, et c, for the siren call of high-profit hedge funds, CDOs, and the rest of the proverbial "complex financial instruments", all based on your wonderful freemarket's "notional value" of lipsticked collateralised DEBT.
The failure of these investments to produce a return, coupled with under-contribution, liens, raids, and fund-manager bonuses and admin costs are what wrecked what were solid pension and retirement plan funds.
When these eventualities became apparent, Private enterprise, at least, were the first to dump them off on the government to honor in their stead.
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) Aug 08, 2010
Again, the blatantly ideologically agenda-driven drivel you so copiously spew here in this common forum is shown for what it is- NOTHING BUT NOISE.

Nothing you post here can withstand even the most cursory, general information-based scutiny, much less an intensive factual analysis, without showing itself for what it is -a filthy excrescence that you blow onto the surface of reality, and obscuring the truth by laminating over it, layer by layer, a build up of distorting, corroding lies, halftruths, and misdirection, all in the hope that some poor, gullible nitwit will be taken in by your deception.

But mainly to satisfy your sociopathically megalomaniac narcissism.

Mangy: A DIRT-DAUBER
Caliban
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 08, 2010
You are one of the great defenders of the state but then blame the government for failing to fulling fund its own pensions and even worse, it creates an agency which enables private companies to pass on their pensions to Uncle Sugar.


No, mangy -I blame the undue, corrupting influence of amoral, self-serving "freemarketeers" like you upon our duly elected government for those problems. Without your kind, these problems wouldn't exist.

But how can you justify a 42 year old 'veteran' policeman receiving a pension for the rest of his life, with COLAs, that is greater than his salary when working?


Firstly, have you ever been a cop?
Secondly, your example is of a policeman who was offered early retirement in the instance of a Department being downsized due to the pressures produced by your "freemarketeer" economic disaster, and its run-up.

Lastly, It is telling that you use this particular out-of-context example, rather than that of a CEO Bank Bailout Billionaire.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 09, 2010
The bit about government retirement plans is more data to show how public employee unions are bankrupting local governments.

And what are Unions? Corportations. Every Union is a corrupt corporation these days. And you're all about free market principles and corporate protections. You're like a solitary hunter, stuck in the woods at night.

Pointing your gun and firing at every noise that upsets you, while the tiger sneaks up behind you quietly, driving away these other animals and lulling you into a false sense of safety and security. Wake up man, it's getting pretty sad to read your commentary as of late.
BTW, the Ponzi scheme known as Social 'Security' is now officially in the red thanks those wonderful Government Regulators.

Actually that'd be because of the population statistics primarily. All the baby boomers are retiring and taking their social security while the smaller next generation isn't large enough, or well employed enough to keep up with inflation.
SteveL
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 09, 2010
The only all-powerful entity I trust less than business is government. Government is a monopoly, at least business has to compete. Both are supposed to provide a good or service for their consumers, but both have the main goal of ensuring the future of their own existance and to increase their power and influence over those they "serve".

Either entity requires viligence on the part of the people to keep them in check.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 09, 2010
The only all-powerful entity I trust less than business is government. Government is a monopoly, at least business has to compete.
You can vote out the powers within government, when a corporation has no competition how do you redress their errors?

In short, you can't if they control vital resources or contracts.
SteveL
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 09, 2010
It takes a lot of us to vote out corruption, the problem is they are replaced by more corruption and stupidity. Politics is a game, and we aren't even pawns. Often we don't even know who to point at.

An example: I own some land in Nevada that requires I drive on BLM land to get to it. I have to yearly pay for the right of way. I have no issue with this. This year, some bone head in the present administration decided we would pay for the next 10 years worth of access, all at one time. Where is their money going to come from 5 - 7 years from now? What do you want to bet that in a few years another administration will be needing the funds they were deprived of by the present administraion?
Thrasymachus
2 / 5 (12) Aug 09, 2010
Marjon, do you deny that it was ultimately only the onset of WWII that lifted the US out of the Great Depression? I don't want to hear your rhetoric about the morality of war or veiled allusions to Stalin or Hitler, a simple yes or no will do.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.3 / 5 (3) Aug 10, 2010
The only way a company can have no competition is if the law so states.
Bullshit.
If a company is so competitive, so efficient that it drives competitors out of business because it provides the lowest cost and best service
Or it owns sole control of a corrolary business, like Standard Oil did.
what's wrong with that?
The little guy gets fucked.
History shows that such companies become arrogant and competitors will over take them.
Only if competitors can exist. Go found an oil drilling company, tell me how that works out for you.
Give me and example of any private company that has no competition and abuses its customers?
Public Service of New Hampshire. Our privately owned power company. Without pricing legislation, people were being priced off the grid as a "cost cutting" measure.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 10, 2010
The only reason the US economy boomed after the war is that the USA was the only nation with production capacity that was not destroyed

The only reason why this is relevant is because everyone bought their raw materials from the US.

WW2 was fought by both sides using English tactics, German weapons, and American steel. We became rich from the European wars as their resources to fund war came from us, just as we now make the Middle East rich each time we go to war.
Thrasymachus
1.6 / 5 (12) Aug 10, 2010
But not just that, SH. The lasting effects of having nearly every able-bodied man employed and paid wages for over four years, the income earned by women who took their places in the office and the assembly line, and the benefits they secured for themselves such as the G.I. bill and VA benefits were responsible for the prolonged growth of our domestic markets post-WWII, and indirectly responsible for the continuing growth through the 70s and 80s with the advent of computers, and in the 90s with the Internet. The draft gave the middle and lower classes a jump start that has paid dividends ever since. And you don't need a war to have the government give anyone who wants a job a job with a good wage and benefits. It would have the same economic effect, and no killing people.
Thrasymachus
1.7 / 5 (11) Aug 11, 2010
The data shows just the opposite. Hoover's tax cuts and deregulation exacerbated the irresponsible practices of speculative investors, which were the primary cause of the Depression in the first place. His refusal to increase domestic spending made the situation unbearable for the majority of Americans. Wealth and the means of production had become ensconced in the hands of very few. The New Deal redistributed some of this wealth to the middle class, and once they had money to spend and save, their economic activity created much more wealth. The very wealthy weren't in the driver's seat in this expansion, they were just along for the ride, and yet benefited very greatly as well.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 11, 2010
"Hoover was convinced, the government must "do something."[14] The conference's aim was to promulgate the idea that government should be responsible for curing depressions, even if the sponsors had no clear idea of the specific things that government should do. "
"Hoover acted quickly and decisively. His most important act was to call a series of White House conferences with the leading financiers and industrialists of the country, to induce them to maintain wage rates and expand their investments. Such artificially induced expansion could only bring losses to business and thereby aggravate the depression."
"The New Deal program of farm subsidies, characterized especially by farm price supports, arrived in the United States under the Hoover, not the Roosevelt, administration."
Smoot Hawley was a major tax increase that expanded the Depression around the world.
http://mises.org/...ter9.asp


mongo, mongo, mongo. keep trolling, you sockpuppet noiseblower.
Caliban
2.7 / 5 (3) Aug 11, 2010
"The big banks simply wanted government protection and bailouts and were more than willing to endure a little government regulation in return. "

So, they sought regulation in name only, as in deregulation -or more properly, "self-regulation".

"Throughout the years preceding the Stock Market crash, the Fed did just that. The Fed set below market interest rates and low reserve requirements (...) the big banks. The money supply actual increased by about 60% during this time. "


Which money was converted to private wealth by a very few.

"So what went wrong? It was in 1929 that the Fed realized that it could not sustain its current policy. When it started to raise interest rates, the whole house of cards collapsed. "


Which it was poised to do in any event. Hoover's austerity measures were immediately couterproductive, even though, by all accounts, well-intentioned, and benefitting from the advice of 5-star economists.

You're all wet, mongo.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 12, 2010
The "Liberal" Economist???

Get a job, mongo.
Caliban
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 12, 2010
"According to former editor Bill Emmott


According to me, the spaghetti I just had for dinner was the best spaghetti there ever was.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Aug 13, 2010
"According to former editor Bill Emmott


According to me, the spaghetti I just had for dinner was the best spaghetti there ever was.

*GASP* That was someone's deity!
SteveL
5 / 5 (3) Aug 16, 2010
Again; politics, economics and/or religion becomes the focus of a perfectly interesting topic.

Do you know you will never change each other's minds? A handful of you argue the same things repeatedly over many topics. This is getting silly. You're not going to change anything here.
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Aug 17, 2010
Again; politics, economics and/or religion becomes the focus of a perfectly interesting topic.

Do you know you will never change each other's minds? A handful of you argue the same things repeatedly over many topics. This is getting silly. You're not going to change anything here.

If we don't change the economic ignorance exhibited here, socialism and tyranny will prevail and all your science will be for naught.


But you needn't concern yourself with the threat of AGW, or totalitarianism, fascism, corporatism, fundamentalism. Or lifting a finger to promote Liberty, Equality, Justice, Dignity, a better quality of life in general.

No sir -you can leave that to be sorted out by your betters, aka mangy and his freimarket mammonite minions.

They'll fix you right up!
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Aug 17, 2010
Again; politics, economics and/or religion becomes the focus of a perfectly interesting topic.

Do you know you will never change each other's minds? A handful of you argue the same things repeatedly over many topics. This is getting silly. You're not going to change anything here.

They could always ban marjon for starting this bullshit in the first place. Then again, I can't really support that move.
Caliban
3 / 5 (2) Aug 18, 2010
Even those happy, socialist Danes are beginning to see the limits to government control


Yes, even those happy, socialist Danes understand that their economy was derailed by the same unregulated freimarket greed that that left most of the developed world raped and bleeding. If your country's economy doesn't generate enough tax revenue, government services have to be scaled back, or financed by additional debt. Has nothing to do with government control, and everything to do with the lack thereof.

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