Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is getting a lot of talk right now, which is why the resolution was put forward. Its not an actual bill and if it had passed the Senate it would have done nothing. It is simply put a Mission Statement. If you work or have worked for a large corporation you'll be familiar with them. They are a statement of intent and purpose, often meaning little and being a marketing tool.
Thats what this resolution is, a marketing tool to get people talking about it and declare some peoples values and goals in a broad sense.
The Green New Deal basically says that Climate change is a recognizable and immediate threat to the world and the United States of America (something the Pentagon, NASA, and others have been saying for over a decade).
It purports that to combat it in time we need a national initiative on the level of FDRs New Deal.
So the goal is not just to reduce emissions but to avoid economic collapse, whether from ignoring the problem as we have been doing or changing things. The cost to change grows every year we delay or EPA regulations are rolled back and the economic growth potential grows slimmer as other countries take up the opportunities we have let slip through our fingers.


The coal industry has been dying for awhile now as other forms of energy become cheaper and easier to get. The Conservative answer is subsidizing the companies, meaning taxpayers pay to keep them in business. The Progressive answer is to let the free market take care of the companies rather than prop them up and retrain the employees.  Ideally using the money that has been going to the companies. The difference is that as those workers get new jobs they generate tax and local revenue as consumers when they get new jobs instead of costing more money when they get laid off.

The oil and gas industry is still thriving, though we also subsidize them. This industry is not going away anytime soon, even if we cut back on emissions. However it will go away and living in Oklahoma I can tell you that workers are laid off all the time, then sometimes rehired. Its effectively seasonal work for many nonadministrative personnel. As the price of oil changes so do the number of employees!
Further we KNOW that the amount of oil and gas is limited and getting whats left costs more each and every year.  Also we leave our country vulnerable to threats from the Middle East and elsewhere. Oil funds terrorism in many countries and is a significant national threat,

Renewable energy sources such as wind, water, and solar power are getting cheaper each year (though the Trump administration is working to counter that trend by imposing tariffs on components and curbing research), and more people are working in these fields as well.
Look at the jobs data below, more people are working in green energy than oil and gas extraction

Environmental Costs

Every year we see huge costs for disaster relief efforts, both money spent and lives lost or uprooted. Besides the big tax bill were paying out, local economies suffer from lost revenue and even the national economy suffers. How much?  2017 cost the US $306 billion in 2017 and $91 billion in 2018! Think what we could do if we just cut that in half! And as storms get more severe, sea waters rise, and farmers suffer from droughts and floods because the weather is less predictable and keeps swing towards extremes the costs as taxpayers and consumers just keeps going up.
A dramatic effort now can slow and perhaps reverse the change, had we started in the 1970s when we first knew of the problem it would have been easier. But that is what happens when you keep borrowing money or procrastinating a problem, it just gets worse. Hiding our heads in the sand wont resolve the problem.
And for those hoping thoughts and prayers will solve the problem, why should God fix the mess we made for ourselves? God gave us a beautiful and wondrous planet, its sacrilegious what we have done to it regardless of what your Faith is.


The Green New Deal is a least a declaration of intent, until most of Congress and the President are replaced nothing will actually get done. Our politicians are bought and paid for and will just keep kicking the can down the road and let another generation deal with the consequences. Working now to resolve the issue means hard work, tough decisions, and sacrificing bribes by the oil and gas industry. As a voter it is up to each and everyone of us to check the policies of our representatives, and check where they get campaign donations from. Remind them they are supposed to work for American citizens, not international corporations. 
Its possible to lessen the impending disaster, it might even still be possible to prevent it, but every year we delay the chances go down and the costs go up.

The Green New Deal is simply patriotic, it proposes we help Americans and America itself by creating new jobs in energy, manufacturing, construction, and service sectors (boosting the economy far more than a billionaire or corporate tax cut) and including ideas such as safety nets for retraining, keeping our healthcare promises to those coal miners who sacrificed for us, and improving the quality of life for every American.

Relevant links

AWEA says 105,000+ jobs now
The Solar Foundation says 242,000+ jobs in 2018

Various Bureau of Labor Statistics

So based on those numbers in 2018 Oil & Gas extraction =784k. Coal Mining =78k

Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction: NAICS 21

Oil and Gas Extraction: NAICS 211 About 150,000 (Seasonal)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

This week in GURPS

Two kickstarters just completed and fully funded.

Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 

Funded with 1,019 backers at $54,741 which will produce a new monsters book and reprints of the original DFRPG boxed set. The DFRPG line now has the boxed set, a players bundle (Adventurers and Spells) and a couple of adventures out, with more on the way.
So the boxed set has solid support, plus of course is fully compatible with the rest of GURPS, especially the Dungeon Fantasy line.

The Citedel at Nordvorn by Douglas Cole

Funded with 600 backers at $26,030 which is a mini setting full of adventure ideas and linked to past and upcoming adventures for DFRPG. Also included is an updated and streamlined version of his Dungeon Grappling rules, including some new spells.

Upcoming GURPS Books

The playtest for GURPS Powers: Totem and Nature Spirits completed a few weeks ago and I submitted my revised draft today. I feel the play test went well, Some things got some positive and surprising nods, others received constructive criticism and requests for clarification or expansion. Its always easier for the author to know what he means than the readers to interpret it!
Shamans are IMO a very under served profession in any RPG I have seen, mostly they get treated as druids with different spells.  This book wont resolve that, but its a step in that direction and is useful for any profession and was written with the Dungeon Fantasy and Monster Hunters series in mind.

The playtest for GURPS Monster Hunters: Power-Ups 1 is scheduled to end this week and will offer many goodies for Monster Hunter fans when it comes out.
Next in line for playtesting are a GURPS Social Engineering item, a new GURPS High Tech item (thats around modern day, with Low Tech being preindustrial and Ultra Tech being science fiction), and a GURPS Disasters item.
Aside from those freelancer items, look for more, Dungeon Fantasy 20 and the Pyramid Dungeon Collection should be out soon as well.

Friday, March 22, 2019

A heads up.
Bruno just created a sortable table of Rasputin monster data.

I added it to my Monster and NPC page as well.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Review of GURPS Steampunk 3: Soldiers and Scientists

The latest installment in the GURPS Steampunk line came out last week and I have read it and offer up my comments.
First off, this book is big. Lot bigger than I expected in fact.
It has 6 new styles, some for martial arts, some for guns, and appropriately enough one for Wierd Science and another for vehicles. Gismos get a nice lengthy treatment with several new modifiers and some clarifications so your cane toting spy knows just what he can have in that secret compartment.
Also included is a discussion on minority groups and various societies (organizations).
Thats Chapter 1!
Chapter 2 is the bulk of the document and includes templates, lots of templates.
50 point templates, 13 of them.
75 or 100 point templates, 15 of them.
150 point templates, can you guess? Nope, 5 :)
There is some other stuff here, various bits of fluff and crunch but the real meat of this chapter (and I suspect a lot of the authors hours) is in those 33 templates. 
Some are fairly classic, a few really unique but all show a lot of care in the selections possible.

While Steampunk is way behind Dungeon Fantasy its now a solidly supported genre within the GURPS system.

Other Reviews