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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14321

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. I'm referring to the thoroughly documented plateau in the the atmospheric warming effect of CO2.

2. You're repeating your claim that correlation proves causation. I never see pink elephants while wearing high heels.

3. When those tens of trillionds come from the U.S., as the UN and IPCC want, it will bankrupt the world's major economy. When that happens, most other economies will fall with it.

You guys complain that I type too much. It's because so many people refuse to read between the lines.

4. Pickens is just one example of the comparable experts declaring wind power dead. I'm not playing that game.

5. Then why have the oil gurus here failed to present that, despite being asked many times? The oil industry we all love so much predicates its entire existence on the presumption and claim that oil is limited; it HAS to poo poo abiotic oil or its entire price structure collapses. And I don't know what expectations the abiotic theory expounds regarding finding oil; that's one of the reasons I've inquired so often about it here.

You get full credit for one out of six. The senator's first name is Joe. I'm typing as fast and little as I can to make time for knee rebuild this week.
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coboardhead



Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Posts: 1960

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MIT just completed a design of a carbon capturing technology that runs on electricity, not steam, which allows an easier retrofit to existing coal fired power plants. The catch is that it reduces efficiency by 25 %. This is an improvement over the 50 % that the other proposed systems would use. The scrubber would remove 90% of the carbon.

Nuclear is expensive. I worked in nuclear waste isolation analysis. No one wants it in their backyard even if the technology is firm.

We will need fossil fuels in combination with renewables as GT stated. I generate nearly 100% of my lighting and household electricity from solar, but not without the grid. Batteries have problems of their own.

The bottom line is that we will spend more for electricity to reduce carbon output.

Transportation energy is another issue. I do not see me plugging in a Tesla, throwing the boards in the back, and driving to Punta San Carlos. And, those power cords dangling from the jets flying overhead is not very appealing! Fuel cells may work for some applications.

We are stuck with carbon and its problems. I believe we should develop nuclear, renewables, conservation and technology, but it will only go so far. We need to accept the consequences and begin to prepare for them.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5359

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My dad worked in the nuclear industry most of his life, starting at Hanford where the technology was developed. I have decidedly mixed feelings about nuclear. Other forms of energy--all of them, not just carbon based--entail risks.

But the fundamental problem with nuclear power is economic, and related both to the capital costs and the long-term risk. I have heard it said that you can generate more electrical capacity with similar capital investments in renewables. Obviously that is not true for all places. But the most significant economic problem is the long term liability. No nuclear plant has been built in the United States without the Federal government insuring the operators for accidental releases. With Fukushima, we are just starting to see the magnitude of that risk. It will nearly all be paid by their Federal government. If those costs were reflected in realistic actuarial rates for power, it would be clear that those electricity costs would not be competitive.

There are also substantial hidden long-term costs in waste disposal. Not an impossible problem--except maybe politically--but a long term cost that is not captured in rates, and is again, transferred to the government.

One of the elements that makes nuclear generation in the United States much more expensive than in other countries is the fact that most plants are one-offs, designed for the particular environment. Some of that is understandable and reflects geographic differences, some is the hubris of power companies who think that they can design a superior product--and end up making new mistakes rather than correcting the earlier mistakes of the proven design. We can see this in California as San Onofre, Humboldt, and the Sacramento nukes have all been taken off line having generated much less power, at a much higher cost, than projected. Diablo Canyon remains viable, and the marginal generational cost is pretty low--but the rests have failed to live up to promises.

Long term safety depends on competence by big corporations and governmental regulatory oversight. Fukushima shows us the folly in trusting those institutions blindly. It always amazes me that so called conservatives who back nuclear power without much understanding are willing to trust corporations not the government, and are willing to have the government subsidize this type of power generation rather than let the market do its magic.
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pointster



Joined: 22 Jul 2010
Posts: 223

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GURGLETROUSERS wrote:
Pointster. ... Wind power is practical and effective in many places, but not so in securing energy supply in our (Britains) vastly overpopulated, heavily industrialised, and power hungry economy of our relatively tiny island.

All studies have shown that without full scale conventional back up, permanently running on standby for when wind power just 'shuts off', we couldn't cope. Even our governments much vaunted stance of generating 30% of our power needs from renewables by the year 2030, is now seen as unrealistic. (What would it be saving anyway, with conventional stations having to be manned and run on permanent stand by?)

Consequently, our government has finally conceeded that we must build a new generation of nuclear power stations, just 'to keep the lights burning.' (regardless of objections by the green lobby.)

As I'm sure you know, other European countries face the same problem. France relies very heavily on nuclear power already, and Germany is building new coal fired stations (won't touch nuclear) so as to guarantee continual power supply for its huge industrial economy.

Also, your notion that fuel (diesel, petrol, gas) should no longer be used for transport will never be acceptable. It smacks of big brother regimentation (beloved of socialist societies) which would be an assault on our personal freedom to travel where we wish, when we wish, and how we wish!


The future electrical grid will consist of many sources of power with grid-level storage. Economical Grid-level storage batteries are being developed by AES Energy Storage, Ambri and others. Grid-level storage is the solution to the intermittentcy of wind and solar.

Current pressurized light water reactors have problems of safety, nuclear weapon proliferation, decommissioning and waste disposal that would seem to doom them as future power sources. Other types of nuclear reactors may solve these problems, but none appear to be ready for deployment in the next 20 years or so. I do think we should continue to fund R&D in this area, as well as hydrogen fusion.

As to using petroleum fuels for transport, I don't propose it should be banned by government edict. I do believe the government can aid in developing alternatives. So, for local transportation we could build out electrified mass transit. For inter-city travel, electrified rail (or hyper loop?). We could also replace a lot of long-haul trucking with electrified rail.

In the short term, high mileage gas and diesel vehicles will help us stretch our oil resources. I would also point out that currently "our personal freedom to travel where we wish, when we wish, and how we wish" is not absolute, but constrained by one's economic and geographic circumstances.

I believe alternative energy sources and a smart grid with storage can prove out economically even if you ignore the benefit of slowing greenhouse gas emissions. As with the internet, a smart grid will have network effects that will many benefit sectors of the economy.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 1800
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mac wrote:


Long term safety depends on competence by big corporations and governmental regulatory oversight. Fukushima shows us the folly in trusting those institutions blindly. It always amazes me that so called conservatives who back nuclear power without much understanding are willing to trust corporations not the government, and are willing to have the government subsidize this type of power generation rather than let the market do its magic.


Interesting that you say that, you think you have us conservatives all figured out.
About all the conservatives that I know, myself included, think that government subsidies for all forms of energy should be eliminated, that goes for wind, solar, nukes, and even oil.
And then "let the market do its magic".
It's the prospect of profit that drives creativity, new and better forms of energy could easily be at hand if the government could stop driving it's agenda with subsidies.

_________________
I don't drink the 'cool' aid, I drink tequila, it's more honest.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5359

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unlike NW, I don't need to make up a conservative talking point, assign it, and then disagree with it. Here is a funny link on the psychology of it all:
http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110322113345AAQqzof

So let's start with Sarah Palin:

Quote:
Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to lay more pipelines, build more nuclear plants, create jobs with clean coal


After the mid-term elections, some speculated that the Tea Party might support more realistic economics for nukes, but that talk has faded as they limit their activities to hating Obama.

Quote:
“Although several tea party-supported winners in the House espoused an ‘all of the above’ approach to energy policy that included nuclear energy during their campaigns, it remains to be seen how these new members will react to the sticker shock of new reactors and the massive role the federal government plays throughout the industry.”


Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/US/nuclear-reactor-tea-party/2010/12/29/id/381373#ixzz2fdtEjhsh


Of course polls show the Teas backing nuclear power, without any apparent qualifications on the funding questions:

Quote:
A majority of Democrats oppose building more nuclear power plants (65%), while majorities of Independents (52%), Republicans (62%) and Tea Party members (67%) support building them.

However, only a majority of Tea Party members (52%) would support building a nuclear power plant in their own local area. All other groups would be opposed.


The New Jersey Tea Party seems to back nukes, again without conditions on subsidies. http://www.teapartynj.com/Nuclear%20Power.html

And then there is the funding behind the Teas, like Americans for Prosperity, the Koch front group, which fights solar power and supports nuclear energy, saying in Virginia:

Quote:
We at Americans for Prosperity – Virginia support nuclear energy, and indeed, an increased use of it.

Read more: http://americansforprosperity.org/virginia/legislativealerts/082611-afp-va-earthquake-proves-viability-nuclear-energy/#ixzz2fdxSFddm


Then there is the Heritage Foundation, which has a kind of faux opposition to subsidies--but only to increased subsidies: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/03/12/the-debate-on-nuclear-loan-guarantees/

Most conservatives, eh? Tell me about the rabbits.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5890

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NW30, I'm thinking that you have forgotten, or maybe never realized that the government has been the facilitating source of many important innovations that we take for granted today. Contrary to what you'd like to think, private business often doesn't have the investment capability and the needed stamina to go the long term with research and development. The profit doesn't come fast enough to interest many venture capitalists and others with the financial clout to fund complex projects where it takes many many years to realize marketable products. Also, we all know that private corporations don't always consider protecting the environment to the degree needed. The oil industry is a perfect example of an industry that continually bulks at cleaning up its act. Just think of the technical innovation and improvements that could come out of revitalizing our oil refining infrastructure while at the same time reducing environmental pollution. They have the money to do it, but they always have to be dragged kicking and screaming through government regulations and litigation to do anything productive.
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GURGLETROUSERS



Joined: 30 Dec 2009
Posts: 1363

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Pointster.

I accept that small efficient electric cars could well serve our local rural community (smallish market town with a multitude of villages, hamlets etc, the inhabitants of which daily commute back and forth), but the snag is that practically all of us use our vehicles for frequent far longer journeys, usually (in our depressing climate) with heaters full on, windscreen wipers going mad, and enough lights on to satisfy a landing jumbo jet, for which a battery powered car would be completely inadequate in range.

Since we can't afford to run two vehicles (and most prefer the simplicity of just one anyway) the obvious boils down to a modern, highly fuel efficient, low emission, small petrol driven super mini, with unrestricted range, and which averages between 50 and 60 m.p.g. at normal road speeds.

to us, the freedom and liberating effect of motoring; the ability to go where we wish, in our own personal environment, and only with those we choose for company is something we could not tolerate giving up. After all, the purpose of industry is to enhance our life styles, and it exists to serve us, not vice-versa.

As for the efficiency of windmills, we must agree to differ. In our climatic conditions experience has shown that they fall far short of predicted maximum efficiency. There appears to be no cure for that!
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14321

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nw30 wrote:
It's the prospect of profit that drives creativity, new and better forms of energy could easily be at hand if the government could stop driving it's agenda with subsidies.

I don't object in principle to rational, technically sound, apolitical, TEMPORARY subsidies, but these purely political, irrational (by virtually every metric), agenda-driven, usually unlimited decrees from any White House are insane, and Obama's are off the charts.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5359

PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

News you won't get on the Drudge report, or any Murdoch newspaper:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/rising-seas/folger-text

Just a tidbit to give you an idea of what is at stake:

Quote:
In the last several years we’ve observed accelerated melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and West Antarctica,” says Radley Horton, a research scientist at Columbia University’s Earth Institute in New York City. “The concern is that if the acceleration continues, by the time we get to the end of the 21st century, we could see sea-level rise of as much as six feet globally instead of two to three feet.” Last year an expert panel convened by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration adopted 6.6 feet (two meters) as its highest of four scenarios for 2100. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recommends that planners consider a high scenario of five feet.

...By the end of the century a hundred-year storm surge like Sandy’s might occur every decade or less. Using a conservative prediction of a half meter (20 inches) of sea-level rise, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that by 2070, 150 million people in the world’s large port cities will be at risk from coastal flooding, along with $35 trillion worth of property—an amount that will equal 9 percent of the global GDP. How will they cope?
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