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erat_forte

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Everything posted by erat_forte

  1. pre-Industrial water and wind power are "traditional renewables" and are usually included with "traditional biomass" as part of the baseline. I think the difference between "traditional renewables" and modern renewables is whether they are parasitic on a fossil fuel economy i.e. is the windmill made from wood and canvas, or steel and epoxy?
  2. Yes to this - if the system is built on eternal growth, then the end of eternal growth will cause disruptions to the system. e.g. Debt - a great system if there will always be more energy / resources in the future. If the future will have less energy / resources than the present then the debt becomes an impossible nightmare. I think there are grave doubts about the lower bounds of EROEI for the new renewable tech - time will tell. They certainly look nothing like the step up from coal to oil, for example. I would also flag up pollution (in its widest sense including climate change) and all resources not just oil. The 1972 "Limits to Growth" modelling is very interesting as an academic exercise and is also very interesting for a "sociological" study of its reception and legacy.
  3. Thanks Ashley. I hope you get some "interesting" submissions to your form. Can I ask why you don't just buy the places yourselves? It seems to me that you are holding your business back by paying rent to the property owners. Unless of course there is some catch?
  4. Its also no different from driving a car requiring a crash helmet, or walking on the pavement requiring a crash helmet. Its a very good hill to die on, much better than compulsory voting.
  5. I only once stayed in an AirBnB place when I was working a couple of days away from home. It was an elderly gent living on his own in the countryside, in a slightly rambling cottage that he had inherited from an uncle. Very basic, looked like nothing had been changed since 1960. In the evening I got a fireside seat and a glass of wine and a couple of hours of conversation. In the morning I got a nice breakfast cooked by him in a kitchen from a museum of rural life. It was perfect. But I realise that this is not the norm on Airbnb.
  6. The Scottish political system is hardly a model of transparency and accountability!
  7. Foreigners taking the jobs he would have had if he had been working?
  8. Isn't it in general a good thing if people give up jobs that require so much driving and take jobs that are closer to where they live? In what world does driving half an hour out and half an hour back every single day in a fossil-burning machine just to do your daily work make any sense?
  9. How will the economy "recover"? What will change to make things cheaper? Things seem to be being driven by supply shortages, which themselves are being driven by resource shortages. Are there new untapped resources available to be exploited for low enough cost to be worthwhile?
  10. I always thought decimal time was a great idea and we should campaign for its introduction as a Brexit Opportunity. That would be one in the eye for the French!
  11. It is fascinating how running an international land border through hundreds of farms and fields and local supply chains would be so easy to implement though high-tech electronic systems that no-one would notice, but running the same border through a sea crossing with three or four established port facilities on each side is an impossibly intrusive nightmare of beurocracy and paperwork.
  12. Yes that is actually quite reasonable, since the "anger and emotion" is coming almost entirely from the DUP, that is the same party that used dodgy funding to pay for pro-Brexit adverts in English newspapers, held the balance of power in Westminster and forced through the hardest of Brexits (including a deliberate international humiliation of the Prime Minister). Their behaviour is utterly unreasonable by any sensible rational legal or democratic perspective. They even ran a court case to get their position stated in law, and the court ruled they were wrong. So give that the option is to A) tell these chancers to get stuffed, or b) go against a negotiated agreed and voted-on international agreement and also go against the advise of all international allies, I think telling the chancers to get stuffed would be my preferred response. What would yours be?
  13. You mean the DUP unionist orange types? They are 100% Irish, but they are under some kind of delusion that they are Brits.
  14. I'll back Putin, don't underestimate how good Alex is at schmoozing the people he needs to.
  15. This is a very interesting statement because I think it reveals a huge conceptual error in a lot of thinking about Brexit. The UK is not "leaving" the EU in the way that my group of mates "leaves" a nightclub. That is almost precisely missing the point by 180° It would be more accurate to say that Brexit is the process of changing the legal and regulatory relationship between the UK and the other member states of the EU. Erecting a border is not like building the Maginot Line. Instead it is the process of drafting a legal code which is different in one place from what it is a few yards down the country lane (or a few tens of miles across the sea depending on where you are looking). The treaties and agreements are to do with how those two legal codes interact, and what procedures are required to comply with both legal codes as a person or object moves from one of the two jurisdictions to the other. In other words, Brexit is precisely about what happens after the set date, because these legal relationships and differences and mitigations are ongoing from the set date into the forseeable future. Brexit is for ever, not just for one day.
  16. A number of the more radical Irish nationalists are saying, go ahead. Be my guest. Give in the the DUP demands. Let a hard border be set up between counties Armagh, Tyrone, Derry, and counties Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal. A proper WTO hard border between the EU and a non-EU country. Then you can profit by running a sweepstake on how many days or weeks until the vast majority of middle-of-the-road people in Northern Ireland are clamouring for a united Ireland.
  17. I would be thinking of it in terms of the allocation of resources and production. Individuals and groups of people produce stuff, and consume stuff. There's a certain baseline of consumption required to stay alive, therefore there's a certain baseline of production required per capita. I would think that a situation where other people provide you with goods and services on an ongoing basis simply because you own (keep hold of, don't spend) a certain quantity of money, is basically "gaming" the monetary system, and so I would tend to think that it could only be a temporary thing because the monetary system would on average tend to a zero-sum balance (that would be the long term unsustainability of @andrewwk's interest rate > inflation rates, and I think @scepticushas often talked about long term interest rates (real?) trending to zero) Holding productive assets seems different - if you own (for example) a large factory making essential goods efficiently then you can obviously take enough profits to pay for your living without doing any work. However even that seems to me to be "gaming" the system in a slightly different way, and in a long term way your factory will be out-competed by other factories that don't have a non-productive person extracting wealth to live without working. So I think that would also tend to zero.
  18. I think the opposite, large scale centralised farming is a conduit for subsidies and also requires large inputs of fossil fuels and synthetic fertilisers etc. Small scale beef farming is one of the most sustainable types of farming in this area. Its not cheap but the era of cheap food is over anyway, just like the era of cheap travel and cheap heating is over.
  19. This is a good analysis and summary. I would go further and say that we can put likelihoods or probabilities or corollaries onto your three options. The integrity of the Single Market is, in my opinion, the strongest and least likely to be compromised, because it is constructed from a complex set of international treaties between member states. Start undoing it and the whole thing unravels. Too many serious players have too much invested in the single market to risk that. The GFA is an interesting one because within itself it is not a final settlement of the "Irish question" but lays out a pathway for possible future transfer of NI from the UK to the ROI, dependent on a majority decision of the NI population. There has been a long term drift of demographics and culture in NI over the last 100 years, from when it was set up as an "orange state" through its gradual "greening" over the last decades, to the point now that hardcore Republicanism and hardcore Unionism are neck and neck. Project that trend 100 years into the future and a handover seems inevitable at some point. UK being in SM/CU is as you say unlikely under this government but this government will not be in power for ever. Again project into the future - will Johnsonites and the ERG still be ruling the Conservative party in 10 or 20 years time? Will the conservative party still be ruling the UK in 10 or 20 years time? I doubt it. So to me it seems like there is a race between the people of NI choosing to throw their lot in with the Republic, and the people of Britain choosing to throw their lot in with the EU. Maybe both will happen. Maybe one will happen before the other. But I doubt that neither will happen.
  20. One of the things that interests me is how many times the UK government have "threatened" to take unilateral action. Sometimes the action has been taken. The EU seems to be slow (obviously since it has a rather long command chain, with each separate sovereign government having to give a mandate to the central negotiators). But the EU also seems to be cautious, which also feeds into a slowness of response. But the EU also seems to be single minded and serious (which also makes sense, since the EU is at root as said above, a complex set of international treaties about trade and regulation). So my thought is that if the UK does something extreme such as disapply the protocol, then the EU will basically be constrained by its own internal rules and the treaties etc. The EU can't possibly impose borders between RoI and the Continent because that would violate the treaties and laws. So my guess would be a slow and careful ratcheting up of a "temporary" "mitigating" hard border across Ireland, quite possibly targeted to cause specific and high profile problems to certain sectors. But my guess would also be that the EU would play it very carefully with political savvy, so that the blame and reasons for any changes are clear. And the people of NI would go apeshet (about 2/3 voted for pro-Protocol parties in the election) And also come down like a ton of bricks against Britain, basically freezing cross-channel trade. Basically suspending any aspects of the Withdrawal Agreement that benefits the UK. This is what I would expect to happen -if- the UK government took such action. I think it would be horrible and a big mistake, and I would not approve of any of it, neither the action nor the response. I feel sad that I have to put this disclaimer in but I realised that too many people posting here are partisan and take everything as a political view on what should be, rather than tryingt o have an impartial analysis of how things are.
  21. These are hard questions with no obvious answer. If I was to speculate wildly on some fantasy ideas, I might wonder whether the Ukrainians are winning their own country back from an aggressive foreign invasion? And you are right ultimately no-one benefits from a military invasion of a neighbouring country, but I wonder whether the people of Ukraine are going to benefit by living in their own democratic country rather than in an authoritarian dictatorship? However I don't know, perhaps this is all topsy turvy and the Russian Army is in reality a group of peace-loving democrats who are bringing their equipment and technical expertise to build new infrastructure for the people of Ukraine, to increase their quality of life and to spread liberal enlightenment values and increase health and wellbeing and quality of life for all Ukranians.
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