58 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Dear Curiouser,

    While I don’t have an answer on the present Horn of Africa aid issue, I’ve been impressed by the evidence-based evaluations (and transparent approach) undertaken by the US-based charity-evaluator Givewell.org.

    They had some good insights, for instance on the utility of donations to Japanese earthquake (and aftermath, and the Horn-of-Africa topic is one now coming up on their discussion threads. Broadly though, it seems that emergency measures is a poor use of a given $ spend than other means (I’m sure you’ve seen the Economist article or heard the old “stitch in time saves nine” to that effect).

    I’m not sure how to reconcile that insight with the urge to “do something” though.

  2. TerjeP, do you think the people who own the building across the street with the flat roof solar power should be prevented from selling electricity to me or the business next to them? Because unless they are prevented, that electricity isn’t going to be worth less than the wholesale price, it’s going to be worth pretty close to the daytime retail price.

  3. @TerjeP

    All very well Terje, but in practice the times when most solar PV is going to be on offer is going to correlate pretty well with the times when demand is close to peak, so the problem of having to buy when it is offered is more apparent than real. Perhaps the mark could be set at the cost of the most expensive power they would buy if the small-scale feed in were not on offer. I suspect the difference wouldn’t be great and they can of course pass on these costs.

    The point was that your analogy was frivolous, to put it politely.

  4. There is what, in my opinion, is a typically venomous editorial in today’s ‘The Fundament’ (The Fundamental Orifice of the Nation) sliming David Hicks and rejoicing in his continued political persecution. This coming from a ‘rag’ (with apologies to torn fabric of all kinds) that defends the avalanche of Islamophic hatred that it, and News Corpse, have been considerable contributors to, as ‘free speech’. So, apparently in the moral universe which they inhabit, fomenting fear and hatred are acceptable, attacking anyone they wish, and pursuing them with pathological antipathy is acceptable, and telling enormous porkies over anthropogenic climate destabilisation, promoting denialists to the almost complete exclusion of real scientists and hypocritically claiming not to be biased (“Fair and Balanced’ as their Fox News colleagues say) are acceptable, but a victim of US viciousness, torture, and contempt for justice and decency must be silenced, one way or the other. In a world of decency, compassion and justice (which world News Corpse will die in a ditch preventing being born) Hicks would have received huge compensation for his ordeal, and the torturers and their political masters in the US and enthusiastic accomplices here would have been justly imprisoned long ago.

  5. @Ronald Brak

    When it is all said and done yes I do. I think roof top solar in urban areas is an economic waste proped up by politically motivated public policy. Obviously people should be free to sell whatever is rightly theirs but the utilities should not be compelled to carry it or buy it.

    Not to mention the fact that solar panels are a blight on the landscape. They make houses look ugly. Of course on principle I’d agree that people should be allowed to have ugly homes but we should subsidies the exercise.

  6. Maybe I’ve misunderstood you, TerjeP. Are you saying that if a power company had a coal thermal plant and a solar panel farm right next to each other, distributors should be required to pay less for kilowatt-hours generated by the solar PV than by the coal thermal plant? If so, I guess you’d need Solar Inspectors or something to make sure they weren’t cheating and passing off solar generated electricity as coal generated.

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