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Bernie's Heart. And Ours.

I read the whole article. The overblown martyrdom theme that undergirds it is exactly why I linked to it. It’s complete nonsense to suggest any one candidate is the “only one” or that a specific candidate alone represents a “once-in-a-lifetime chance” for anything. That’s just the level of near-deification of a politician that I’m warning about.

Be inspired, go for it. Just keep your feet on the ground. Just because you like Sanders, doesn’t mean everyone else does, and it doesn’t mean he’s special. He’s a politician, just like Warren, just like Biden. You just prefer him to them—that’s okay.

Though the article discusses the sincere support people show for Bernie, the theme is to remind people that they, too, must work for what they want and that we are nominating a consistent, honest candidate to gain power for the people. To nominate a candidate that has worked and will work harder for people (than other candidates) so that we will have a better chance at getting an agenda passed (if we work for it, too) that favors everyone, not just the wealthy. Thanks for your cautionary thoughts and approval to support the candidate of my choice. I have to get to work now.


I read the article. It very much told of story of the hard work lots of committed citizens will have to do.

Same thing Bernie says.


Bernie has taught us the difference between being a politician and a statesman! He has seen and spoken the truth for his entire life in government. We know we can trust him in this complicated world of haves and have nots, to sort out who is in it for themselves and who is in it for the greater good. It’s a wonder that his heart is still beating having endured a lifetime of seeing the little guy talked into voting against his own interest.

That was a gun the CIA developed sometime before 1975, over 44 years ago! Imagine how they have refined it since then. They probably can induce a heart attack in any person to any degree using electromagnetic waves now…

Even in 1946 they at least imagined this technique:

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His campaign is doing just as good. He got more donations than before. I donated. Out of all the candidates he has gotten more donations & he is the only one that can beat Trump.

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They don’t make accurate or informed decisions. Look you have hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets calling for 100% renewable by 2030, when ZERO, yes LITERALLY ZERO scientific studies support that timeframe.

You have a president proclaiming that the IPCC agree with his policies, and millions of americans taking it as gospel, when in reality the IPCC study literally states:

  • that is calls for 75-80% renewable by 2050, while Bernie calls for 100% renewable by 2030.
  • that we will likely see an increase in nuclear and CCS technologies, while Bernie calls for an elimination of CCS and nuclear.

Millions of people believe complete bs that spews out his mouth, without consulting any science to verify. That’s a problem - that’s literally what republicans do with Trump in relation to Climate Change. I would have thought you wanted to be better than that…

While everyone is talking about how Bernie’s price for an energy transition is too high, they don’t even bother to read the fact that hes actually only allocating approximately $2.3 trillion for energy infrastructure, which is massively underestimated for the likely real cost stated by various energy transition studies:

  • Greenpeace EREC Energy Project: $7 trillion
  • IEA WEO 450: $18.5 trillion
  • McKinsley Scenario A: $19.5 trillion
  • McKinsley Scenario B: $28.5 trillion
  • IEA Blue Map: $46 trillion
  • Jaconson & Delucchi WWS: $13.54 trillion - $15 trillion

There isn’t a single energy transition study that claims that the cost of transition would be under $5 trillion, yet he’s allocating less than 1/2 that. And what is the opinion of the people? Overjoyed, because they have no idea that he’s planning to do and have no idea how expensive infrastructure actually is.

Well said and right on! The US absolutely needs Bernie and so does the rest of the world!

I wish I could say I’ve read up on Bernie’s plan given he is my first choice candidate, but though I’m somewhat familiar with Medicare for All and his bill, I have not yet invested any time into his thoughts on the Green New Deal. I am sympathetic to some of your (and @Trog’s) arguments on energy policy but in general I think we need to start moving in the right direction with more speed as soon as possible. There will be debates on which existing nuclear plants to continue operating and for how long, which ones to continue to build, and which experimental designs to encourage if any (I agree with Trog that several designs show potential but roll out fast enough to make a difference to climate change may not be feasible).

Given you have looked at it, what is the quick take on how the 2.3 trillion relates to the $16 trillion number I see in most links that discuss his plans. I would think infrastructure is the dominant cost so I’m a bit confused here.

With regards to the article in Current Affairs by Nathan Robinson that @KC2669 was critiquing, I’ll have to give that a read since after hearing Nathan on Useful Idiots, I quite liked his take on most things especially means testing for public benefits which I am completely opposed to. That Warren thinks means testing is a good idea is another problem I have with her over Bernie.

These arguments largely are not related to the nuclear industry. The comment I have as it relates to nuclear is that none of these plans address the fact that the next president will have less than two years to solve the largest reduction in nuclear generation in US history, and so far zero political plans even acknowledge the existence of this problem.

(*I can’t provide specific data or specific explanation in some areas of this comment as I will be talking about an industry I actively work in. All of these ideas are my own)

My biggest problem is that these recent “energy plans” call for a timeframe of completion that directly contradicts data from the construction industry. He calls for 100% renewable by 2030 for electrical energy. There are projects to date for the energy infrastructure industry that are currently going on and have a contractual deadline of past 2030. There are infrastructure projects that extend for a 1,000 miles, but these plans are now saying we can achieve 200,000 miles in half the time. HOW?

There are some efficiency loses, but its not that much. Everything in the preconstruction side is non-negotiable as it contains the legal side of construction with all parties involved and extremely important planning that studies and real life shows saves money and time. Then theres actual construction. Bernie’s plan talks almost exclusively about labor jobs.

Mr. Sander’s do you know that there are DOT, and Labor requirements for hours worked in a given week. How do I massively increase my production, if Im hamstringed by federal an union hour requirements (personally I don’t feel hamstringed because these guys work their a$$ off at 70-80 hour weeks)? Your timeframes are requiring completion of work at a faster rate than optimization worker efficiency studies for the industry, which means you better be giving me some alien technology to increase production, or be a magician. Mr. Sander’s your rates for completion do not make mathematical sense.

Cost Breakdown of the Plan:

  • $40 billion for Climate Justice Resiliency Fund - “Justice of Frontline Communities”
  • $200 billion for Green Climate Fund - “reduce emissions in the world”
  • $1.52 trillion for renewable energy generation (that’s very low*)
  • $852 billion for energy storage capacity**
  • $526 billion for advanced electrical grid***
  • $2.18 trillion for weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades for all low to mid income families homes****
  • $964 billion on phasing energy production for heating without electricity for low to moderate income families (will be interesting to see the plan for industrial centers that require thermal input now that we aren’t using nuclear or fossil fuels, and they require 24/7 input).
  • $2.09 trillion for providing purchases for EVs
  • $681 billion for vehicle trade in program
  • $85.6 billion for installing continental charging stations
  • $407 billion for all schools to have electric buses
  • $216 billion for the replacement of all shipping trucks*****
  • $300 billion for public transit to extend to rural communities and all across the country
  • $607 billion for high speed rail (this is crazy low)
  • $30 billion for Storage Shot
  • $100 billion to reduce cost of EVs
  • $500 billion to research decarbonizing shipping and aviation
  • $150 billion to decarbonize the shipping and aviation industry(wtf does Bernie think building new technology will cost 3 times than R&D? That doesn’t make sense)******
  • $34.85 billion for Clean water infrastructure
  • $150 billion for telecommunication infrastructure
  • $77 billion to improve roads, bridges and highways (by comparison the ASCE estimates that $4.3 trillion is required through 2040).
  • $5 billion for Tiger Grant Programs
  • $936.1 billion to ensure resiliency for infrastructure against climate change impacts.
  • $162 billion adapt to sea level rise
  • $18 billion to federal firefighters
  • $2 billion in FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program (which actually the US National Labs are more responsible for as they build the data for this entire program).
  • $171 billion reauthorization of the CCC (Just an FYI participants in the CCC sometimes were involved with extremely dangerous and life-threatening tasks - such as stabilizing mines with limited education - that would not be permitted by OSHA regulations to date)
  • $1.7 trillion to fully authorize the LWCF (pretty crazy that he will spend more money on national parks than energy generation infrastructure)
  • $25 billion additional to repair national parks
  • $1.3 trillion on job replacements
  • $15 billion for black lung disability
  • $1 billion for strong labor standards********
  • $5.9 billion in regional economic development
  • $130 billion for infrastructure in counties impacted by climate change (Wow that’s not vague at all)
  • $388 billion for the cleanup of superfund and brownfield sites (its amazing to me that he thinks this going to take less than 10 years).
  • $41 billion for confined feeding operations
  • $160 billion for soil fertility
  • $1.48 Billion for Farming R&D
  • $24.85 billion for farmland conservation
  • $500 million to transition farmers to organic growing (explain how organic farming in harsher environmental conditions has a higher likelihood of success than using GMOS?)
  • $1.4 billion to build renewable energy systems on farms (What does this actually mean? Are we talking about generation for consumption on the farm. Its not utility scale as singular wind and solar farm projects have costed over $1.4 billion on their own.)
  • Theres a lot of smaller projects, and then theres also sections where they talk about investments, but they don’t provide an actual cost assessment.

*: I don’t really understand this figure to begin with, given that there is no explanation as to how much energy capacity for renewables will be grown, or what specific energy sources would be used. Its rather impossible to determine a cost estimate without this information, so this estimate looks very suspicious.

**: Again there is no explanation for how much storage capacity or what type of storage capacity. If you don’t know what youre building how could you possibly determine the cost of it. This is not a constant, large scale pumped hydro does not cost the same as a tesla battery pack, so you can’t just give the people a random figure with zero explanation of what youre actually doing.

***: Money will be spent for high-volt, underground, renewable, direct current, smart, electric transmission and distribution grid will ensure our transition to 100 percent sustainable energy is safe and smooth. Its difficult to determine if he means a range of technologies or HVDC line in this sentence. Now its also kinda weird that this doesn’t include substation, transformer or conversion stations, which a major necessity especially if youre only going to be relying on DC now. I have a lot of unanswered questions on this one.

****: Included with this, is this policy: “A federal mandate through the Department of Energy will ensure that new and existing commercial buildings and wealthy homeowners meet our energy retrofit goals.” So wait a second, Bernie, youre going to change energy efficiency requirements for homeowners, and existing commercial buildings now have to meet a new standard.

  • Question 1: What is this standard based on?
  • Question 2: Is any of this money being allocated for this purpose or are you requiring commercial businesses to pay a cost because the government said so with no legal reasoning?
  • Question 3: Why is the DOE creating a federal mandate for energy efficiency standards in buildings? They aren’t responsible for that. Techniclally if you assume that all building be required to follow LEED standards which is a program partnered within the DOE, but the reason why there is a “mandate” is because confirmation of LEED buildings can be an owner requested contractual requirement. State governments or national construction/ engineering institutions (ASTM, ANSI, ACI, ASHRAE, ISE etc) create building and energy codes - not the DOE (it concerns me that a presidential candidate doesn’t know this).

*****: There are some considerable engineering and economic challenges for electric semis. Id love to see the data where his campaign magically solve these problems. The issue is that in order to travel equivalent distances as diesel trucks electric trucks requires very large batteries, which creates issues because there are federal limits for weight on your truck and typically these batteries reduce the hauling capacity and volume for your load. This translates to less total loads, which reduces revenues for trucking companies. What exactly is the solution here Bernie, or did you just promise a bunch of bs?

******: As stated in the shipping note, the aviation and mass cargo industries has a similar issue with the energy density of batteries. Now there are potential solutions related to biogas and hydrogen, but it looks like Sander’s has zero interest in these industries as hes not allocating funds for hydrogen cars or biomass or biofuel of any kind in this entire plan. Also moron sanders claims the IPCC study calls for complete decarbonization of all industries by 2050, even though it actually says that we must reach net carbon zero, which not the same thing as complete decarbonization of all industries.

********: I don’t really see how youre going to have strong labor standards, if you give contractors extremely limited timeframes for the completion of work or have timeframes that remove the ability to have permitting. If you speed things up youre going to have accidents. If you think that the 1930s were the epitome of labor rights and safety you are moron. Everyone love the marvel of Hoover Dam, but 96 workers died on that project. That’s completely unacceptable today.

Bernie wants to spend $5.4 trillion converting transportation and industry to electricity, and then he proposes to spend only $1.52 trillion on renewable electricity production to meet all that additional demand–while simultaneously eliminating sources that currently provide over 80% of our electricity. That is less money than Germany would be projected to spend if they try to reach an 80% reduction in their energy emissions by 2050.

I generally like progressive goals, but when a politician’s “plan” is so wildly optimistic that it looks like it has come completely unmoored from realism, I find myself wondering, are they ignorant, are they duped, are they unhinged, or are they dishonest? I also wonder, which of those qualities do we want in a president?

Also, there is an enduring cost when unrealistic promises inevitably blow up. I don’t know of any nuclear energy advocate who thinks it was a good thing that Strauss ever uttered the words “too cheap to meter”.

“They don’t make accurate or informed decisions. Look you have hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets calling for 100% renewable by 2030-”

On the reality of the climate emergency, those “people lining the streets” are correct: whether or not they can explain the science, their belief that there is a human-made climate emergency that will cost a tremendous amount of money to mitigate, and that humans have a limited amount of time to act - echoes the scientific consensus.

Informed or not, in a democracy it is masses - not, as you claim, a minority of lackey technocrats that prostitute themselves for power companies and right wing think tanks - that will determine whether or not there is a serious US response to the global warming crisis.

It is the action or inaction of masses that will determine whether the climate crisis is mitigated because - given the power of the fossil fuel industry and the obstructionist US right wing that block any meaningful climate action - it is only such mass action that has a hope of making the climate crisis a major issue that is seriously addressed and acted on by politicians.

That has to do with an assessment of the situation. What Paul was being critical of was their decisions–ie. what to do about it. I’ve seen people say, in all seriousness, that we need to develop cold fusion, or deploy over-unity free-energy devices, or even that we should force the government to divulge the alien energy technology they are hiding in order to address climate change, and to say such solutions are not realistic has nothing to do with whether the climate crisis is real, or whether there is a scientific consensus about that. There is no such scientific consensus that we must only use renewable energy solutions to address climate change. In fact, limiting our options like that goes against the recommendations of James Hansen and the IPCC, who think the situation is serious enough that we should also use nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage.

And mass movements can make a difference but only with realistic options. 2030 is a highly implausible timeframe for complete decarbonization–and that goes triple for doing it using only renewables.

He “was being critical of…their decisions–ie. what to do about it.”

You need to get your laser reader checked and try to follow the argument:

I responded to a claim that Sanders could advance his global warming campaign in the Senate better than as President, pointing to critical masses he’d be able to mobilize better as President;

in response, your pal claimed that such masses are "not the group of people he needs to support his Green New Deal…Bernie needs to convince scientists and engineers in every major contractor, utility, and inspection agency that his plan makes sense”;

and only after I answered this revealing political fantasy - reminding him the US is a sick democracy, but not a technocracy - only then did he try to shift the topic away from who rules in a democracy (masses or a cohort of energy utility technocrats), to the idea that those masses were wrong…

…leading to my last response: that in awareness of crisis and demand for costly action now, the masses were right; and that - in the present US political moment - such mass demands are the precondition of any serious climate action.

Those masses may - or may not - be right about how to best mitigate climate change; that is another question, and such arguments will play out in the political and scientific spheres. But such serious arguments and action will only happen due to mass demands…without which the obstructionist right and fossil fuel industries will prevail politically, and the planet is well and truly f’d.