Monday :: May 6, 2013

The Solar Panels are Installed at the Local High Schools

by paradox

Quite impressive, actually. Voted in years ago as part of a bond improvement implementation for local high schools they tilt in the parking lots on squat incongruously fat three foot diameter concrete bases, heavy tubed steel rising above the cars supporting solar panels that will easily stand for 100 years. Perhaps the bases act as sort of a fender, and the steel primarily used for aesthetics, but the result is that these structures are going to stand for a long, long time, cool shade bathing electric cars and baking black asphalt.

A good story, of course, but not central to my mission this morning, there are certain elements represented in their construction that are important to talk about.

First is that the cost-benefit analysis used in their mental formation is a crock. I’m positive the math was good, but the problem (as in 95% of ridiculous CBA’s) is that the core values represented by numbers are horribly skewed or simply missing, all citizens should be aware of this. Cost benefit analysis is only useful when the environment is completely stable and ably represented, useless for evaluating costs in those high school solar panels.

WWII is upon us, time to strategically bomb Japan, which is cheaper, taking apart and shipping the extra B-25’s in Europe for the air fleet or building new B-29’s in Seattle? That is the proper use for cost benefit analysis, a singular question in a narrow, absolutely known complete environment.

The cost benefit analysis implemented for solar panels is based upon market price and construction, absolutely useless. We now know with total certainty in 60 years carbon emissions will fry half of California’s agricultural capability, it’s simply too hot to grow strawberries, grapes or cherries (along with no snowpack in the Sierra). How many billions will that cost us, besides horribly dimming our human spirits? The solar panel cost benefit analysis doesn’t freaking say, in that model the carbon atoms from coal electricity are free. Whoops.

Any time cost benefit analysis is held up as some total answer or solution all of us should ask ourselves how is this person or organization trying to rationalize or sell something that doesn’t represent the complete truth? A frequently dismaying trick of current politicians is to project the environment 20 or 30 years from now, either a problem will bloom or we must act now because of it, offensively clueless that of course the environment 20 years from now is completely unknown, what absolute reeking mental garbage to act now on a projected environment of even 10 years.

I write about the environment and global warming often lately, horribly discouraged at other political failures, which isn’t important right now. What is important is the stewardship of our Earth, and I want to talk to the Republicans.

Yeah, you. I’m not unaware of your presence or history of readership. I suppose—I hardly know—the base despise y’all hold for all liberals is that somehow I am some wizard of redistribution, a loafer freeloader who hitches—or wants to—a free ride on the backs of real Americans who work. Throw in an assault on sexism, inequality and patriarchy and I can see how we don’t exactly frolic with love together in our great America.

None of that matters now. You know me, fiercely liberal, staunch defender of feminism, the environment and the little people, yes, but also a crew-cut middle-aged-and-classed homeowner with a F-150, hopelessly infatuated with women and the Oakland A’s all my life. There’s way more than enough American in me for you to listen to me this time, just as I will respect you in this.

Our Earth goes beyond a tax cut or level of defense spending, beyond us as humans and our differences. Trust me, fellas, this time we really do have to do this, this one time we can stop throwing insults at each other (it’s the only environment I plan to, believe me) and fix this. Happily all the technical elements to get America off gasoline are right in our hands this very moment, as soon as political will reaches a tipping point in 40 years our children won’t know what the sound of a Harley is, praise baby Jesus on his electric scooter with the neon signals.

That is our mission and what we as all Americans will do, we have to. Our great political problem will be the catastrophic loss of revenues for oil and grid companies. Trust me, seriously, get yourselves and the Republican Party on the correct side of this or face even more electoral oblivion than you do now, very soon solving global warming will become The American Way.

paradox :: 6:13 AM :: Comments (1) :: Digg It!