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andy_b
11-18-2007, 01:03 AM
a friend sent me this, and there are always energy usage threads on here, so i thought i'd post it. i am no solar energy expert, but i can't believe the ENTIRE world's energy supply could be generated by the sun by building solar power stations in these eight locations.

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Solar_land_area.png

anyone have any idea if this is true, or are they playing fast and loose with the numbers?

andy b.

tony ennis
11-18-2007, 01:26 AM
First, and most obvious, is that the collection spots are well spread out. Almost as if this idea is being presented to deal with political realities. One per populated continent, in fact.

Second, the one spot in the US should be able to power perhaps 1/2 of the US, assuming we're pigs. Which we are. So, even without the other solar collectors being built, anyone building the US collector would be filthy rich. AFAIK, no one is building it. Pretty much all the proof I need.

Third, the amount of solar cells isn't listed. Last I heard, it takes a fair amount of cells to generate reasonable amounts of electricity. This things are expensive. Without saying how many cells are needed, the entire premise is unverifiable.

Fourth, collecting solar power isn't the same as delivering the power. If you did collect all the power the US needed, you might not be able to get it from Death Valley (or wherever) to Maine.

I call shenanigans, due to #2 and #3.

pntrbl
11-18-2007, 01:41 AM
I was looking at solar panels just awhile back. Seems like I remember a hundred dollar panel producing 13 watts.

SP

dp
11-18-2007, 01:59 AM
Simply put it amounts to watts per meter squared. Surely there are enough square meters in the US to put up this stuff and it will work until the sun sets then you need plan B - the second power source to carry you over the nighttime hours. Then you need a plan for weak solar periods owing to bad weather.

Then you need massive security to protect the distribution network from terror attack. All those eggs in one basket, so to speak. And not to put too fine a point on it, but you're going to need a disaster recovery strategy. No adequate DR policy I've been a part of in the last 15 years has permitted the DR site to remain in the same geological area as the primary - there's earthquakes, asteroids, global cooling, etc. that could disrupt the primary and the secondary. Depending on the disaster you're contemplating, of course. In this case I'd plan for a low altitude EMP nuke strike from over the pole. And since redundancy is important to success, I'd plan on there being more than one EMP nuke.

But let's say it does work and these locations power it all. No need for all that oil, tankers, pipelines, wells, refineries, etc., so they're scrapped because the economies of scale are gone. Whoopsie - Hawaii just went off the grid because they can't afford bunker fuel for the oil tankers, nor the cost to fill the tanks on those ships. Ok - we'll subsidize Hawaii and Alaska - we have to help Alaska because it's dark there a lot. We have big hearts. Oh, and Puerto Rico. And Samoa. And Madagascar and iceland. Oh, Greenland! Don't forget Cuber. Can't leave them out. In fact, we'll make all the island nations wards of the UN and they'll take what we give them. Same with Antarctica. Our hearts are big but not that big.

So now we're going to have to figure out where all the people at these places are going to migrate to after they've decided they don't like the deal they got from the UN.

Another way of putting it is this is such a bad idea it is still-born and will go no further than wikipedia.

Possible, yes. Practical? No.

Evan
11-18-2007, 03:14 AM
Possible? Not a chance. Those "proposing" this don't think so either, I am sure. Look at the computed numbers for required area of solar cells. For the US alone it's 170,000 sq kilometers (!!!!). Using that number even if the cells are sparsely distributed (concentrators etc) that is more cells than all the silicon foundries can produce before they need replacement. Some four function math: Using concentrators 1 cell per sq meter gives 1 million cells per sq km or 170 BILLION cells for the installation. If each cell unit weighs only 100 grams ( 3 oz) then that is 17 MILLION TONNES of solar cells. Another 100 grams of infrastructure per cell (reflector/lens/wiring/stand/) and that's another 17 megatonnes of material.

If I were to second guess a motive for this "proposal" I would say it is an attempt to quash any ridiculous speculation by the green fringe that solar can replace every other energy source.

BTW, would somone check my math? It's so ridiculous it doesn't seem right.

Also, just in case someone thinks that we could just build a few more silicon foundries the startup cost for one runs about $500 million to $1 billion each.

dp
11-18-2007, 03:26 AM
In addition to all the solar electricity potentially generated there's also lot of collectable heat there, and it's also quite windy in that particular spot. Using every possible form of solar energy available it would be possible to power the US. But it will also require a massive reduction in the power requirement and would have to be enforced by rolling blackouts. But it's not going to happen. We need to start replacing the refinery capacity we've lost and pull the oil out of the ground. It's doing nobody any good where it is and the misery index caused by high energy costs is going to create political change.

macona
11-18-2007, 04:11 AM
There is already a viable source of cheap, near pollution free energy. Nuclear.

If we could just get the eco-freaks off our backs...

Your Old Dog
11-18-2007, 10:35 AM
Startup cost is the real issue with solar power. Anything you might save in the next lifetime is given to the guy who makes the panels. How much of todays energy does he have to burn to make the panels is another issue. In our effort to leave what oil there is to the Chinese and other countries, we forget that a basic belief to many in physics is that you can never get ahead of the game or, put another way, there is no free lunch.

A.K. Boomer
11-18-2007, 10:54 AM
I dont think this was touted as any kind of a "plan", I think its just an interesting graph that is actually showing just how much energy we are being bombarded with, thats how im seeing it anyway's, I mean --- check out the little black dots compared to all the rest of the globe, want a reality check? now shrink the dots down to 1/12th the size and thats the solar energy it takes to run all our needs, heating/fossil fuels everything, The energy is there -- we just dont know how to utilize it very well, The dots you see are at an 8% conversion efficiency rate, Thats total Crap -- But one does have to ask, what about 20 or 30%?, What it speaks to me is maybe it wont be "on the grid" for the masses, but on an individual basis it may become more viable, (esp, where i live) --- I know its fed my brothers face for years out here installing photo-voltaic systems for people who live up in the mountains, Some get there system in cheaper that what it would cost just to bring power to thier houses, I forget what a telephone pole cost nowadays but you dont want to know if you have to run a bunch of them, underground cable you say ---- yeah, I can tell you what we charge to dig through granite in colorado...

I dont think the answer is going to be one thing, I think it will be many combined.

J Tiers
11-18-2007, 10:55 AM
Another real problem is the efficiency of the collector.

The PV panel is very inefficient, and the general run of PV cell may be worse than a heat collector used to generate steam and power a turbine.

An improvement in efficiency is still possible within the bounds of the 2nd law, so that is an area to concentrate on.

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However, there is another fatal flaw to that plan. The environmental damage to the area being overbuilt with this power plant would be so severe and devastating that it would get an instant court injunction to stop it, as soon as the eco-fringe could dash into court. And they would.

I refer to the folks who hate people and oppose ALL power plants.

Nukes are of course off the table.

Coal/oil likewise, both are obviously evil.

Hydro power destroys the ecosystem and chews up fish, so that is out, along with tidal power etc.

Wind power bats spotted owls out of the air and slaughters migratory birds... a non-starter of course, even without the ground vibrations that travel for miles and drive away animals.

Collected solar heat for turbines will cover up and destroy desert ecosystems.

Finally, photovoltaic is truly evil, since making the panels is possibly the most ecologically damaging process ever, with the number of toxic chemicals used. Not only that, but it would have to cover up far more area than even solar heat collectors.

Neeeexxxxxt?

A.K. Boomer
11-18-2007, 11:14 AM
I wont count future tech. out on this one, weve already achieved 26.5% conversion efficiency (although its not somthing you would want on your roof unless you were a billionaire -- and then youd still be worried about the hail storms)

And Honda has produced a thin film that is equal to the efficiency ratings of a regular panel that cuts the manufacture polutants in half, there are tons of companies on this, there is much progress and much effort going into it and it is far from over and done with, its actually still in its infancy...

J Tiers
11-18-2007, 11:22 AM
I wont count future tech. out on this one, weve already achieved 26.5% conversion efficiency (although its not somthing you would want on your roof unless you were a billionaire -- and then youd still be worried about the hail storms)

And Honda has produced a thin film that is equal to the efficiency ratings of a regular panel that cuts the manufacture polutants in half, there are tons of companies on this, there is much progress and much effort going into it and it is far from over and done with, its actually still in its infancy...

Who's counting out future tech? I mentioned the efficiency can be still improved.

The real issue is avoiding being blocked by a few invoking the law on their side to prevent all progress for their own purposes.

And, of course, looking ahead to see what real problems will occur from doing as suggested. There WILL be some.

Taking desert heat and "moving" it in bulk to other areas would seem to have some fairly severe effects..... and the more efficiently that is done, the worse it will be.

topct
11-18-2007, 11:30 AM
http://geothermal.marin.org/pwrheat.html

QSIMDO
11-18-2007, 11:41 AM
Brain fade.........Can't remember which but just within the past 2 weeks one of the tech oriented TV channels had a "green" show on depicting a graphic of how much land an array would cover to supply the US with it's total energy demand.

It was about 1/2 of Arizona or New Mexico or some-such state.

Seems to me a construction project of that size would have it's own set of ecological problems, eh?

Maybe split it among several states?

However, the technology that has captured my interest is CHP or cogeneration.

When/if I get my stand-alone shop built I'd like to pursue CHP for the shop's needs at least and even sell a bit back to the grid.

We'll see where SOTA has gotten to.

wierdscience
11-18-2007, 11:46 AM
I've been waiting on this for 8 or 10 years now and no luck so far.The day that I can call up somebody like McMaster-Carr and order a 100 square foot roll of solar film and clad the roof with it,sadly it STILL hasn't happened.

http://www.nanosolar.com/

These folks I just found out about,if it's for real and all evidence says it is,then it will be a big help on many fronts.Reclaiming fossil fuel from trash and high viscus oil fields will be a significant achievement.

http://www.globalresourcecorp.com/index.html

This final one is pretty impressive and several companies and municipalites are buying them.Trash into electricity with zero stack emissons-

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/873aae7bf86c0110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html

andy_b
11-18-2007, 10:58 PM
I've been waiting on this for 8 or 10 years now and no luck so far.The day that I can call up somebody like McMaster-Carr and order a 100 square foot roll of solar film and clad the roof with it,sadly it STILL hasn't happened.

http://www.nanosolar.com/

These folks I just found out about,if it's for real and all evidence says it is,then it will be a big help on many fronts.Reclaiming fossil fuel from trash and high viscus oil fields will be a significant achievement.

http://www.globalresourcecorp.com/index.html

This final one is pretty impressive and several companies and municipalites are buying them.Trash into electricity with zero stack emissons-

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/873aae7bf86c0110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html


there was just a show in the History channel (or Discovery or Science) about some of these. i like the guys who are printing the solar arrays on thin rolls of metal sheet (i don't recall what the base metal was). they seemed to be in the process of commercializing it. as for that process that breaks down trash into oil, i don't see how it could be very efficient. they described it at "creating oil in a few days versus millions of years by speeding up the process". i don't see how you can take organic matter, heat it and compress it, and get an oil-type product that can put out more energy that what was used to create it.

andy b.

A.K. Boomer
11-19-2007, 10:50 AM
Taking desert heat and "moving" it in bulk to other areas would seem to have some fairly severe effects..... and the more efficiently that is done, the worse it will be.


Yes, but I really dont see that as an issue, thats just exchanging tit for tat, Your really not adding any no matter what the efficiency rate, its just moving it around on the same planet, Its a far cry from what were doing right now which is adding heat and many other things from Fossil Fuels, Adding whithout subtracting = far worse, adding with subtracting = balance and also more nice little breazes to help power the other alternatives like wind generators;)

Evan
11-19-2007, 12:20 PM
Yes, but I really dont see that as an issue, thats just exchanging tit for tat, Your really not adding any no matter what the efficiency rate, its just moving it around on the same planet,

Your comment brings up another consideration. You really are adding heat to the planet. The albedo (reflectiveness) of the areas that are most suited to solar electric power installations tends to be high, meaning that a major percentage of the heat that is received via solar is reradiated back out to space. Covering 170,000 sq km with solar cells will ensure that a much greater percentage of that heat is captured even if it isn't turned to electricity.

Solar cells get hot when in the sun. They must, it's how they work. That's why solar cells are dark in color. They absorb incoming energy. The part that isn't converted to electricity is efficiently converted almost exclusively to long wave infrared. This is not well radiated back to space as it is trapped by greenhouse gases. A desert tends to radiate much of the incoming energy back out as visible radiation which is not trapped by greenhouse gases. About half of the incoming energy is in the visible spectrum and half in the IR. By placing solar cells over a wide area the radiation balance is changed dramatically in favor of retaining the waste heat of the incoming radiation.

If we are going to consider the efficiency of any energy supply process we must also consider the contribution that it makes to global warming. Solar is particularly inefficient at converting radiation to electricity but quite efficient at converting incident radiation to long wave IR. Aside from the nasty materials used to make solar cells (arsenic is one) solar cells have a significant warming impact. Not very "green".

RJulian
11-19-2007, 01:47 PM
As a Newbie to this BBS I'm hesitant to weigh in on a non-metalworking topic, but I can't resist this subject. After 40 years working in all aspects of the US power market, it is clear that most (if not all) of the alternate energy "solutions" will not displace the core of our electical needs. On a percentage basis here's where the US gets its electricity: Coal 51%, Nuclear 21%, Natural Gas 16%, Hydro 7%, All Other Alternate Sources 5%.

The two current most productive forms of alternate electric production are wind turbines and solar panels, with biomass a distant third (with other lesser technologies). As background, all electric grids are governed by physics (to the chagrin of our politicians) - at any moment electric generation must exactly match the customer's demand. The generators must be able to be dispatched to meet this load requirement.

Solar and wind power generators are NOT dispatchable to match load - the sun shines and wind blows irrespective of what we need - and you cannot store the electric energy (with the exception of a very very small and expensive battery systems). This means that, in general, for every kW of non-dispatchable alternate electric energy that is installed and equal amount of dispatchable capacity must be available. So, if you put in a 500 kW solar array, you will need some amount firm capacity when the sun goes down. By the way, in most regions the peak system demand occurs from late afternoon to early evening (when the solar gain is diminishing or gone).

Beyond the issue of dispatchability there are a host of other issues related to alternate energy sources, such as: capital and operating costs, location of the resource and transmission constraints, envrionmental impact and reliability. As long as we continue to think manmade carbon emissions is the cause of climate change, the only sensible solution is an increase in the nations nuclear capacity. But, as you are all likely aware, there continues to be a strong anti-nuke contingent that will likely kill that option. Literally, it doesn't matter what energy option you pick there is a strong anti-anything movement that will kill any sensible solution (many environmentalists don't like wind or solar because may possibly kill a bird or disrupt bugs in a bleak patch of worthless desert).

Where do we go from here?... beats the hell out of me - that's why I've retired and working in my machine shop. To be clear, our nation's electric sytem is really complex - if you see a simple answer to the issue - it's just nonsense.

Hopefully... you'all will take my comments in stride and allow me to move on to machine shop questions and discussions.

Bob J

Spin Doctor
11-19-2007, 02:48 PM
As to the issue of area set aside for a massive solar energy production scheme if one were to be implemented. We already have large areas of land set aside and nor being used for much. They are called highway corridors. Would they provide enough area to make setting aside x number of thousands of square miles of SouthWestern desert that much less of environmental problem? Bears looking into IMO. Now as to energy storage systems for turning surlpus solar into stored energy for night time generation. Maybe Hydro-Electric in the terms of reserviors that get pumped up during the day that run turbines at night. The efficency might not be that great but the technology should be well understood. Plus you are recycling a large amount of your "battery" medium. And instead of using solar cells what about solar thermal instead?

gellfex
11-19-2007, 03:47 PM
Solar and wind power generators are NOT dispatchable to match load - the sun shines and wind blows irrespective of what we need - and you cannot store the electric energy (with the exception of a very very small and expensive battery systems). This means that, in general, for every kW of non-dispatchable alternate electric energy that is installed and equal amount of dispatchable capacity must be available. So, if you put in a 500 kW solar array, you will need some amount firm capacity when the sun goes down. By the way, in most regions the peak system demand occurs from late afternoon to early evening (when the solar gain is diminishing or gone).
Bob J

Nuclear faces the same problem in reverse, it can't be turned off. But thankfully there are solutions to storing large amounts of energy. One is quite old, used at the now retired Yankee Rowe nuke in MA, using turbines of a hydro dam to pump water up to a reservoir at night with surplus power, then generating during the day. Artificial geothermal heat sinks and giant flywheels have also been discussed.

All the "green" energy solutions have one thing in common: price point. While dirty energy has the full subsidy and support of government, and is allowed to pollute without economic consequence (carbon tax) the bar for alternatives is artificially high.

tony ennis
11-19-2007, 05:16 PM
The idea of a 'carbon tax' is just a way to make excuses for the expense of current alternatives. Will windmills have a "bird chopping" tax? Will tide generates have a "crustacean crushing" tax? When all those hybrids' batteries go to the landfill, will there be a "battery tax"?

And the carbon credit/trading scheme is just a scam. It's a way for polluters to keep polluting while governments make an easy buck.

The current energy we have is cheap because the earth has done the hard work for us - it made the oil. There are no easy solutions except for one... reduction of use. But no one likes that idea, we want a magic bullet.

Your Old Dog
11-19-2007, 05:32 PM
And the carbon credit/trading scheme is just a scam. It's a way for polluters to keep polluting while governments make an easy buck.

Actually it's a way of washing the hands of the rich so they don't have to feel guilty about their 20,000 sq ft homes and jet planes and large yachts.

But lets say I want to play the carbon credit game so I can feel good too, do I absolutely have to plant new trees? What if it was always my intention to cut down all the trees on my property but instead of doing that I leave them stand so I can collect the feel good carbon credit? Is that legal by whoever coughed up this scheme?

topct
11-19-2007, 05:44 PM
We are standing on a free source of heat. Generated free of charge.

The Earth itself.

I also know why it isn't used.

And it is a sad thing.

Doc Nickel
11-19-2007, 06:25 PM
Because it's virtually impossible to reach it?

In some "shallow" areas like Yellowstone (and I think Norway?) geothermal is useful, but in other places? How do we drill down three or four miles to get sufficient heat to run some turbines?

At that depth, we inject water, it flashes to steam, and the weight of the water column above it prevents that steam from going anywhere. Have a second borehole for steam, and it's basically cooled and recondensed in the miles-long vertical trip up.

Like the rest of these problems, it's one of simple physics.

gellfex
11-19-2007, 06:56 PM
The idea of a 'carbon tax' is just a way to make excuses for the expense of current alternatives. Will windmills have a "bird chopping" tax? Will tide generates have a "crustacean crushing" tax? When all those hybrids' batteries go to the landfill, will there be a "battery tax"?


The idea behind the tax is to make the most polluting way no longer the cheapest option. When we outlawed dumping your commode bucket out the window, modern sewers became a cost effective solution. Had we taxed each bucket of crap, the outcome would have been the same (Where I live we're dealing with stage 2 of that particular issue, forcing the city to not send raw sewage into the Hudson with every rainstorm because it's cheaper than dealing with the problem)

Closing the industrial production loop is a priority of the 21st century. Excess packaging, smokestack & waterway pollution and unrecycleable products are all fronts in this war. Personally I'd like to see a $5 deposit on a pack of gum so it doesn't end up on the streets and under every public table. Take that idea and ramp it up.

Mad Scientist
11-19-2007, 07:35 PM
The Carbon Tax is just the kind of feel good proposal that politicians love. It allows them to jump up and down while patting themselves on the back and telling us how concerned they are and how they are working to fix the problem. Whereas in reality they have not done a damn thing except found a new way to collect more tax dollars.

wierdscience
11-19-2007, 08:08 PM
there was just a show in the History channel (or Discovery or Science) about some of these. i like the guys who are printing the solar arrays on thin rolls of metal sheet (i don't recall what the base metal was). they seemed to be in the process of commercializing it. as for that process that breaks down trash into oil, i don't see how it could be very efficient. they described it at "creating oil in a few days versus millions of years by speeding up the process". i don't see how you can take organic matter, heat it and compress it, and get an oil-type product that can put out more energy that what was used to create it.

andy b.

They aren't using organic matter to make oil.What they are doing is taking waste products that are made from oil and recovering it by using mircowave energy to break down the hydrocarbon chains turning the product back into it's constituent parts.With a ratio of 17 units of energy produced for every 1 used it's very viable.

RJulian
11-19-2007, 09:49 PM
This energy thread seems lively, so here's one more thing to think about...

https://eed.llnl.gov/flow/02flow.php

These charts show the fuel sources are on the left and the type of consumption on the right... Though a bit confusing, these charts are worth studying to get a big picture of what's happening with our overall energy situation.

Note the amount of waste generated during the energy conversion processes.

Bob J

aboard_epsilon
11-19-2007, 10:11 PM
they are all barking up the wrong tree with "light" energy

they should be looking into heat-to-electricity ...not light-to-electricity .

concentrate on that problem ....and it will be a bloody sight better than any solar cell.

weather they do it with some bacterial product or chemical product ...is written in the future.

the base of this is

if electricity can make heat directly .

why cant heat make electricity directly.

think along the lines of a wind turbine ...

that could be run with electricity to make wind ...or it can be powered by the wind to make electricity.

would be marvellous if you could run a car downhill and have a full tank of fuel from it ...

he he ...now non of you are going to sleep .. :)

all the best.mark

RJulian
11-19-2007, 10:13 PM
Nuclear faces the same problem in reverse, it can't be turned off. But thankfully there are solutions to storing large amounts of energy. One is quite old, used at the now retired Yankee Rowe nuke in MA, using turbines of a hydro dam to pump water up to a reservoir at night with surplus power, then generating during the day. Artificial geothermal heat sinks and giant flywheels have also been discussed.

All the "green" energy solutions have one thing in common: price point. While dirty energy has the full subsidy and support of government, and is allowed to pollute without economic consequence (carbon tax) the bar for alternatives is artificially high.

You're right about nuclear plants. They are what's called base load generation and have very little turn down capability (they aren't used for load following). Regarding use of turbines for pumped storage (the technology of using off peak power to pump water into a reservoir to then drop through a turbine during off peak periods) - again, you're right, it's a very old technology. But - the down side is that there are very few pumped storage sites (or potential sites) and they are, in general, very expensive. And, for this technology to work, there must be a significant price differential between on-peak and off-peak power prices.

Regarding subsidies and the cost of alternate energy vs conventional energy: it's actually the other way around. Today wind and solar generation have huge subsidies. For instance, investment in wind projects return about 60-70% in federal and state tax benefits - much more than conventional power plants. Even with these subsidies, the cost of producing energy from wind or solar is marginal because of the limited production capabilities from these technologies. Annually a good wind farm produces only about 35% of it's rated name plate capacity - solar about 25% - whereas nuclear, coal and gas plants range from 80 -90%.

Believe me, I'm not advocating for the "old energy model" - I'm fuel neutral. But, if you a hard look at the engineering and economics of shifting to alternate technologies, none of the current options make much sense - other than for entertainment value.

Bob J

gellfex
11-19-2007, 10:31 PM
Regarding subsidies and the cost of alternate energy vs conventional energy: it's actually the other way around. Today wind and solar generation have huge subsidies. For instance, investment in wind projects return about 60-70% in federal and state tax benefits - much more than conventional power plants.
Bob J

The fossil subsidies come in many forms less direct than the cash of current alternative energy ones. They range from insanely cheap mineral rights on public lands to sending our children to war to gain control of a desert with 10% of the worlds oil reserves. Ask a West Virginian if he thinks decapitating their beautiful mountains and choking off watersheds by dumping the rubble into them is not a transfer of the nation's patrimony into a corporation's pocket.

The carbon tax is a way of putting our environment and quality of life on a line in a spreadsheet. Mandated efficiency hasn't been very popular with industry either, though they've always managed to comply after testifying to congress that they couldn't possibly or would go bankrupt trying.

Paul Alciatore
11-19-2007, 11:03 PM
But the world is already being run on solar energy. Virtually every energy source we presently use is solar in origin. Oil comes from prehistoric vegetation and animal matter that was grown in the sunshine or that ate the vegetation grown in the sunshine. Ditto for coal. Uraninum and other elements for nuclear fission come from the cores of extinct stars. Wind power is generated by the sun. So is water power: the sun evaporates the seas and it rains down into rivers and lakes where it tries to flow down to the sea again. Or it creates the tides. Human and animal power comes from food which is grown with sunshine.

What's left? Well, fusion is not solar dependent but uses the same exact process as the sun so it at least counts as half solar. Or some fraction. Then there's geothremal. But the earth owes it's heat to radioactivity and we are back to uranium and other radioactive elements that were made in stars. Chemical energy is just as dependent on elements made in defunct stars as nuclear fission is.

Dang, you just can't get away from sun made energy, can you.

The only thing we are debating is the exact process by which we harvest that universal solar energy. And how many side effects there are in the process.

Evan
11-19-2007, 11:34 PM
Paul,

A large proportion of the Earth's heat is left over from the gravitational energy that was carried into the mass of the planet and deposited as kinetic energy. Radioactivity is also a large part but I don't think they know very well what the breakdown is, especially near the core. It's hard to get samples.

andy_b
11-19-2007, 11:46 PM
would be marvellous if you could run a car downhill and have a full tank of fuel from it ...

he he ...now non of you are going to sleep .. :)

all the best.mark

that is exactly how the regenerative braking works to charge batteries on electric vehicles. when going down hills or decelerating, the motor works as a generator and charges the batteries. believe it or not, this technology was used in electronic speed controls for radio controlled electric cars at least 15 years ago.

andy b.

Evan
11-19-2007, 11:59 PM
A flywheel would be much more efficient and effective than electric regenerative braking, especially if entirely mechanical. Mechanical transmissions have very high efficiency, over 90 percent in converting torque to rpms and vice-versa.

J Tiers
11-20-2007, 12:05 AM
If we are going to consider the efficiency of any energy supply process we must also consider the contribution that it makes to global warming. Solar is particularly inefficient at converting radiation to electricity but quite efficient at converting incident radiation to long wave IR. Aside from the nasty materials used to make solar cells (arsenic is one) solar cells have a significant warming impact. Not very "green".

Precisely.

However you do the conversion, (and using the heat directly may be better.... to run turbines) you will likely be absorbing extra over what would have been absorbed had you not "polluted" the area with a "power collector plant".

Not only that, but you will be transporting that heat to distant places, which WOULD NEVER HAVE RECEIVED IT OTHERWISE. Remember, it ALL ends up as heat.

We have no idea what the effect will be.

But we have a history of that.

We all think that airplanes don't affect global warming.....it's all those CARS. But NOW, I heard recently on NPR that the effect is being taken VERY seriously, since the mixing of stratospheric water vapor down to low levels is a LOT less than was assumed. Storms and aircraft deposit water at high altitudes, and it does NOT come back very fast.

Remember, water vapor is supposed to be one of the WORST "greenhouse gases". Extra at high altitudes , that STAYS THERE, is unlikely to be good if you are wanting to avoid warming.

Oh, and it doesn't form clouds...... too bad, as they would reflect.

Nope, we are not good at predicting effects............

A.K. Boomer
11-20-2007, 12:08 AM
Your comment brings up another consideration. You really are adding heat to the planet. The albedo (reflectiveness) of the areas that are most suited to solar electric power installations tends to be high, meaning that a major percentage of the heat that is received via solar is reradiated back out to space. .


Good points Ev, It seems as if its a dry arid place that is Ideal for collection then its most likey going to be more reflective -- i still think it would be much better than digging up the stuff were digging up and burning it, Not that all the other factors would allow us to do so, also like somebody else stated - think about all the asphalt weve created and its effect, It absorbs like crazy And its way way more than we would need for surface area IF we had a good conversion rate, damn ------- if we could just pour the stuff and hook wires up to it.... How nice it would be to just dangle pick up wires from your car on a sunny day and blast down the road:p


This deck of cards is so complex, with all the companies racing, with all the minds at work and yet with supplies dwindeling, You would have to be able to see 2,500 moves ahead on the chess board to see how this is going to effect world affairs and global energy issues not to mention the price of beans ---- I have to say that at the moment its very interesting, it really is --- Now things are going to get very real for the many of us who have actually been living an illusion, Very real, and after the initial chaos that ensues I believe great things will come from it, some of us might not be around by then but what the hay --- it will still be interesting for those who are, I dont think the frogs are gonna make it and that sucks... (thats not a french joke).

dp
11-20-2007, 12:11 AM
The carbon tax is a way of putting our environment and quality of life on a line in a spreadsheet. Mandated efficiency hasn't been very popular with industry either, though they've always managed to comply after testifying to congress that they couldn't possibly or would go bankrupt trying.

The carbon tax is a direct tax on energy use. Now surely you know that an energy tax has been a target for a very long time but the proponents had never found a way to sell it. It affects absolutely everything that is manufactured. And industry will not pay a dime of it. In addition to being a tax on energy it is a stealth tax on consumers. You and I will pay. Any surprise?

lazlo
11-20-2007, 12:22 AM
The only thing we are debating is the exact process by which we harvest that universal solar energy. And how many side effects there are in the process.

The Devil's in the Details ;)

By most accounts, the planet has reached peak oil production, and China and India's economies are growing explosively, with a corresponding demand for oil (which is why China and India refused to participate in the Kyoto Summit, providing a convenient excuse for the US Congress to pull support as well).

So many pundits predict that world-wide oil prices will continue to spiral upwards. Looking at the glass half-full, that should provide a rich opportunity for solar, geothermal, and nuclear.

On the flip side, each of the alternative fuel sources has serious issues. There was an article on 60 Minutes discussing France's nuclear program (France has 52 nuclear reactors which generate 78% of France's power, and a substantial portion is exported to Italy and Germany). But then experts mentioned that if the US built a similar capacity, we would run out of Uranium deposits within 100 years.

Solar and wind have ridiculously low power densities, so they're generally built in desolate areas, and then there are huge logistical issues getting that power to the national grid.

So I don't think there's a energy Silver Bullet. I think we're going to have to wean ourselves off of hydrocarbon fuel over the next 50 - 100 years, and hope that we can build the technologies and infrastructure to fill in the global power requirements with a mixture of many different power sources.

Then again, if we could build a fusion reactor, I've seen estimates of 1 GigaWatt per Kg of deuterium-tritium (heavy water) fuel, and the Canadian Bruce Heavy Water facility alone produces 700 metric tons a year...

dp
11-20-2007, 12:39 AM
There is a way to use existing heat in the ocean to generate electricity but you need to be prepared to accept the unusual side effects:
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.06/craven.html

These syphons can be installed all over the ocean, but Hawaii, being a gently sloping shield volcano, is ideal. A problem you need to ponder is, what do you do with all that cold water when you're done with it. And it's a syphon - you're going to suck up some weird sh*t from time to time from the deep sea. Some of those things might be pregnant and may survive just fine in the local environment. Or it may have diseases that the local environment cannot resist. Or (use your imagination here)... new and interesting prions?

No heat is generated in this process - in fact, heat is given up. Is it worth it?

gellfex
11-20-2007, 12:55 AM
The carbon tax is a direct tax on energy use. Now surely you know that an energy tax has been a target for a very long time but the proponents had never found a way to sell it. It affects absolutely everything that is manufactured. And industry will not pay a dime of it. In addition to being a tax on energy it is a stealth tax on consumers. You and I will pay. Any surprise?

I got news, Industry never pays a dime of any tax, or inefficiency for that matter, it's ALWAYS you and me. However, our market power to find lower carbon sources, and our ability to invest in infrastructure is inferior to the industrial base's. But it's only an "energy tax" if you use dirty energy. Natural gas would be less costly than coal, and carbon free energy alternatives will be untaxed.

I know this strays into partisan mythologies, but the lessons of this administration is that we WILL be taxed, because whoever is in charge spends the money. The only question is will we be taxed well, with a good balance of goals like social fairness, economic health and environmental safety, or is the tax policy up for the highest bidders to pay pennies on the dollar to shift the tax burden to those less able to pay the baksheesh? Ruling out shifting the revenue stream to carbon taxes or VAT taxes simply plays to the status quo beneficiaries.

BTW I don't hear you complaining about the tariffs keeping cheap Brazilian ethanol out in favor of our expensive inefficient corn variety. We talk a good globalism game till the shoe's on the other foot.

As for the Wired OTEC article, I remember reading Jerry Pournelle articles about OTEC 25 years ago. The problem was the inefficiency of pumping and achieving laminar flow in your pipe, and the article didn't make sense on that topic. A siphon from 3000 ft deep? To where? You would need a hole to below sea level to siphon anything, and then you'd have to pump out your well. I don't get it, can someone explain it to me? It sounded like a classic perpetual motion patent.

Pournelle explains that the cold water simulates a natural "upwelling", which are places where nutrient rich deep water come to the surface and support an explosion of life. These would be natural fishfarms.

Rich Carlstedt
11-20-2007, 01:10 AM
Solar cells are for those without power lines..
Have you thought about what it would take to convert the minute DC current from a cell to 100,000 Volts AC needed to transport it over great distances.

Such statements while they show some creativity are from smoking a pipe with more than tobacco in the bowl....

It's the same as the guy that said if we pushed a rocket ship down to the bottom in the ocean and released it, Itwould rise to the surface so fast, that we could greatly reduce the fuel needed to get to the moon..

grannygear
11-20-2007, 05:11 AM
Your comment brings up another consideration. You really are adding heat to the planet. The albedo (reflectiveness) of the areas that are most suited to solar electric power installations tends to be high, meaning that a major percentage of the heat that is received via solar is reradiated back out to space. Covering 170,000 sq km with solar cells will ensure that a much greater percentage of that heat is captured even if it isn't turned to electricity.


Maybe I'm missing something here, but if that's true why aren't solar cells covered with a thin film that has an IR blocker on the inside of the film layer, so that this radiation is not leaked back out? We've been doing this with thermal windows for a long time, and those are fairly low-efficiency films. I know some IR filters can work in the 90%+ range of efficiency (I used to make them, actually). You might lose some light intensity coming into the film layer, but not much.

This is not a plastic piece of shrink-wrap I'm talking about. I mean a vacuum-deposited ultra-thin film applied directly to the glass surface, angstroms thin. Hell, maybe they're already doing this now, sure ought to be a no-brainer.

I personally am against the centralized solar-collector array for reasons already mentioned - environmental destabilization with unknowable consequences; storage inefficiencies; transmission losses. Until someone comes up with a true room-temperature superconductor that can be pulled into a wire then the frictional losses are too high (but I'm working on it in the lab right now!).

Multiple alternatives have to be used simultaneously where appropriate - I won't bother repeating the obvious technical solutions available. But for solar cells? They should be mandated on the roof of every new home built, and subsidized by the government to put them on every building in the country.

The least most important part of this discussion (I know I'm going to get flamed here) is the economic impact. It is now meaningless. How much have we already "spent" in Iraq alone? Enough to blanket the country with solar cells. The only difference being that such a project, were it enacted, would create jobs and build infrastructure that would endure and be of use for generations to come - as opposed to what we're doing now. The money for Iraq or other misadventures (Star Wars missile defense, anyone?) doesn't exist anyway, it never did and it never will "exist". It's an accounting fiction, a cyber-number. It represents no real thing. The point is, if we collectively decide something must be done, it can be done within the limits of the physically possible, money be damned. Thus, the choice. Do we decide to do something now while we can, or wait until no choice is possible or meaningful?

Evan
11-20-2007, 06:32 AM
Maybe I'm missing something here, but if that's true why aren't solar cells covered with a thin film that has an IR blocker on the inside of the film layer, so that this radiation is not leaked back out? We've been doing this with thermal windows for a long time, and those are fairly low-efficiency films. I know some IR filters can work in the 90%+ range of efficiency (I used to make them, actually). You might lose some light intensity coming into the film layer, but not much.

It depends on the type of cell. Amorphous silicon cells are sensitive into the infrared and depend on it for output. Single crystal silicon are blue sensitive and infrared light doesn't have sufficient energy to pump electrons over the band gap.

It is entirely possible and probable that coatings are used on the single and poly crystalline cells to reject at least some of the infrared. Heat degrades the performance of these cells considerably. This isn't the problem though. Rejecting (reflecting) infrared by use of a "heat mirror" coating doesn't solve the problem. It's the conversion of visible energy to infrared that is the problem and all cell type do that. All silicon based cells are sensitive to visible light and are designed to collect as much as possible. Since they have a dark appearance they do this quite well. Unfortunately most of that energy doesn't end up as electricity with around 70 to 80 percent winding up as heat in the cells. This heat escapes in the form of low energy long wave infrared and is efficiently prevented from escaping the planet by the atmosphere.

Recent studies have determined that trees in the temperate latitudes may actually be an overall contributor to global warming for the same reasons. Bare ground or grassland reflects much greater amounts of light than trees do. Trees, like solar cells, are optimized to collect visible light. Whatever they cannot use ends up as heat. Again, this heat is retained by the atmosphere. This isn't hard to understand, it's obvious in a natural color satellite photo that the bare ground areas such as deserts are light in color which means they reflect a large proportion of the incident radiation. The atmosphere is very transparent at visible wavelengths.

Your Old Dog
11-20-2007, 07:05 AM
One good belch from one volcano can make this topic a moot point. The next crises topic will be how to warm the earth as volcanic ash has darkened the sky.


Given that the earth has had temperature ups and downs since the beginning, what part did cavemen play in warming it in the past.
If man is able to control the earths temperature, should we fear what temperature some might want it to be. (will it become stagnate?)
Have all species, mankind included, lost the ability to adapt as we have since the beginning?
As far as energy is concerned, have the laws of physics been re-written that you can now get more out of something then what you put into it.?
Is it just possible that oil is a renewable source? Could they be wrong in asserting that oil is from plant and animal life decaying? Seems to me at the rate we burn oil it should have expired long ago.
Why do we need to leave existing oil reserves for other country's like China and South America?
For all the bigger a seed is, why don't we just plant the planet in trees so that the carbon credits will allow us all to continue living in comfort just like Al Gore?Whatever happens will happen and it's likely the planet will adapt as it always has.

J Tiers
11-20-2007, 09:27 AM
Solar cells are for those without power lines..
Have you thought about what it would take to convert the minute DC current from a cell to 100,000 Volts AC needed to transport it over great distances.

Such statements while they show some creativity are from smoking a pipe with more than tobacco in the bowl....

It's the same as the guy that said if we pushed a rocket ship down to the bottom in the ocean and released it, Itwould rise to the surface so fast, that we could greatly reduce the fuel needed to get to the moon..

Regrettably, I must say that this is utter baloney.

it may or may not be a good idea to do it, but it is perfectly possible.

1) "minute current".......... My very modest setup easily produces several amperes from a cell. 2.5 cells per volt. The cells are around 5" square. Do the math. If several amperes is a minute current, you have a very interesting idea of "minute".

2) "conversion to 100kV". Sorry, you need MORE than 100kV..... 100kV is for fairly local distribution, not hundreds of miles. But it is simply power that is converted, so power in comes out the other end as power out, less losses. The best method may be DC, not AC, as there are less reactive losses with DC (still some in the conversion). It is a matter of conversion efficiency.

3) those who say it is *impossible* must be smoking things.

4) The short life thing (mentioned elsewhere) I have cells which came out of an experimental power plant out west. If a tree had not fallen on them and broken some of the panels, they would STILL be working, and working a bit BETTER in some ways than my NEW ones, despite now being about 30 years old.

A.K. Boomer
11-20-2007, 11:00 AM
This energy thread seems lively, so here's one more thing to think about...

https://eed.llnl.gov/flow/02flow.php

These charts show the fuel sources are on the left and the type of consumption on the right... Though a bit confusing, these charts are worth studying to get a big picture of what's happening with our overall energy situation.

Note the amount of waste generated during the energy conversion processes.

Bob J


This is worth bringing back into light for those entering the thread, these specs are testimonial to the loss in conversion (thank god for N.G. or this chart would make you sick to look at it:( )

It brings into question of a hybrid solar panel, one that gets to a certain temp and then actually has direct heat transfer to the home in the winter and yet still provides electrical power, in the summer months the heat can actually be utilized directly to produce A/C ---- direct heat transfer rules - if what your after is heat in the first place, I really dont have any worries about where I live if the price of power and heating goes to high I can build a personal system that takes care of my home heating and power needs,


The problem that we all will face is what about "mobile conversion fuel"
And petrol is a tough act to follow, its about as handy a package as there is,

I just seen the first T.V. add for honda's new fuel cell car, It will be sold as the "green" ticket ------- yet there is all the nasty little details still attached to it, great for driving around in the coal mine's with though, thirsty miners licking at the tail pipe for a little H2o:p

gellfex
11-20-2007, 11:57 AM
The problem that we all will face is what about "mobile conversion fuel"
And petrol is a tough act to follow, its about as handy a package as there is,


I heard an NPR interview with a professor who made the case for Methanol as a far superior gasoline replacement to Ethanol. He said not only could it be made from biomass but it could be rectified from natural gas or coal, so the supply could be flexible while changing over the basic sources of our energy. It could also be run through a fuel cell, allowing electrics and internal combustion vehicles to use the same fuel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol_economy

Interview: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5369301

dp
11-20-2007, 12:04 PM
We have some geothermal energy we could experiment with. Here it is, all winterized:

http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/views/static-highdef.php

Evan
11-20-2007, 12:42 PM
I suggest that everyone think about how to reduce their energy consumption by 50% or more. By doing that you may be able to keep your energy bill about the same as it is now for the next few years.

As a small side note, not everything is as it appears or is proclaimed to be. I bought a digital power meter/totalizer to find out how much power my gadgets really use. A computer is a pretty heavy load at about 130 watts for a very average desktop. What I found surprising is that a 15" LCD doesn't save any power compared to a brand new 13" color CRT TV. I bought a 13" color CRT TV ($65 !!) to use as a security monitor and was very surprised to find that it only draws about 23 watts, the same as one of my 15" flat panels.

tony ennis
11-20-2007, 12:55 PM
I suggest that everyone think about how to reduce their energy consumption by 50% or more.

No. Sorry, reducing isn't sexy. Recycling is sexy.

Seriously, reduction is a good thing, even if there is no energy crisis or Global Warming etc. I think most of us could reduce a lot without sacrificing at all. However, I don't think reduction at the individual level will make any difference. Individuals aren't the first-order polluters.

LCDs may draw the same power as a CRT but generate less heat. For my attic computer laboratory, that heat matters (really) and makes me run the AC in the summer. In the winter all the heat comes up the steps anyway :D

The next generation of LCD is called OLCD and apparantly doesn't need back lighting. That's what sucks down the power. The last hurdles were overcome recently. OLCD is on the way, hopefully.

Evan
11-20-2007, 01:15 PM
LCDs may draw the same power as a CRT but generate less heat.
If it draws the same power it produces exactly the same amount of heat. All of the input in electricity ends up as heat.


However, I don't think reduction at the individual level will make any difference.

Trust me, it will make a difference to your disposable income.

Doc Nickel
11-20-2007, 05:12 PM
I heard an NPR interview with a professor who made the case for Methanol as a far superior gasoline replacement to Ethanol.

-Except that alcohols in general are poor motor fuels, period.

First, roughly half the heat energy per unit as gasoline. So expect your car to either lose a lot of trunk space so they can make the tank bigger, or expect useful range to be cut in half.

Second, it's a piss-poor cold-weather fuel. Up here in Alaska, we spend half the year in below-freezing or even subzero weather, and an alcohol-fueled car would spend much of it's time freezing up, clogging or just plain running like you left the manual choke on.

Third, it's somewhat corrosive to fuel line components. No biggie for new cars designed to use it, but would require a major retrofit to all the older cars out there.

Alcohols can be a decent fuel, in select areas, and to limited degrees, but there's absolutely no way they'll ever take over for gasoline.

Doc.

gellfex
11-20-2007, 05:42 PM
-Except that alcohols in general are poor motor fuels, period.

First, roughly half the heat energy per unit as gasoline. So expect your car to either lose a lot of trunk space so they can make the tank bigger, or expect useful range to be cut in half.

Second, it's a piss-poor cold-weather fuel. Up here in Alaska, we spend half the year in below-freezing or even subzero weather, and an alcohol-fueled car would spend much of it's time freezing up, clogging or just plain running like you left the manual choke on.

Third, it's somewhat corrosive to fuel line components. No biggie for new cars designed to use it, but would require a major retrofit to all the older cars out there.

Alcohols can be a decent fuel, in select areas, and to limited degrees, but there's absolutely no way they'll ever take over for gasoline.

Doc.
Yeah, those are all addressed in the Wiki article. However the energy density while lower than gas is higher than hydrogen, and much easier to store and transfer. Hydrogen always struck me as a ridiculous idea.

Don't take this wrong, but we can't let the 0.15% of the nations population located in AK dictate the best options for the rest of us. Plug ins are probably best for urbanites and gas for Alaskans, but maybe alcohol will work for a majority of american vehicles in the rest of the USA. It seems to be working just fine for Brazil.

We need to move in some direction. I have an E85 Caravan, but the nearest E85 pump is several hours away! Chrysler got a fleet mileage credit for an unusable feature, this kind of nonsense and games needs to end.

Doc Nickel
11-20-2007, 06:24 PM
Don't take this wrong, but we can't let the 0.15% of the nations population located in AK dictate the best options for the rest of us.

-Wasn't my point to say so. The point is that in cold weather- and Alaska is certainly not the only State that gets cold for a few months at a time- it's a poor fuel.

For that matter, there's places here and elsewhere that get cold enough even diesel starts to thicken and gel.

Again, as I said, Alcohol has some uses, definitely, but it'll never take over for gasoline.


Plug ins are probably best for urbanites and gas for Alaskans, but maybe alcohol will work for a majority of american vehicles in the rest of the USA. It seems to be working just fine for Brazil.

-Equatorial tropical Brazil. The bit they often don't mention about Brazillian ethanol is that it often costs as much or more per gallon (or liter anyway) than gasoline, and that includes the heavy government subsidies of the stuff.


We need to move in some direction.

-I agree. But I also think we shouldn't move too far in what might be the wrong direction. I also have yet to be convinced that burning food stocks for fuel is the right way to go- we've already seen significant jumps in the per-bushel cost of corn, thanks to the media hype over "renewable" fuels and the government-mandated demand for ethanol.

No, I don't know what the solution will be, but I'm almost certain it won't be alcohol fuels.

Doc.

wierdscience
11-20-2007, 07:13 PM
More problems with ethanol-

You can't grow a crop of anything on a piece of land and not replinish the nutrients the crop used to grow.Fertilizer must come from somewhere and right now it comes from natrual gas.

We have to eat and we have to travel,how much more acreage will it take to do both is a matter for speculation.One little secret seldom heard about Brazil is that they cut down forest to make space for cain.

I think one answer to energy consumption is making our cities livable again so more people are willing to live there once more.

topct
11-20-2007, 07:14 PM
I really do think that this might be maybe part of answer. There isn't a single solution, at present, but this one is interesting.

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/geothermal/powerplants.html

tony ennis
11-20-2007, 07:30 PM
Trust me, it will make a difference to your disposable income.

Yes it will - but what I didn't say clearly enough is, "will not make a difference with respect to combating climate change."

If Joe Sixpack uses 10% less energy a year, the planet will still become a red-hot cinder by next week. If all the Joe Sixpacks in the US use 10% less energy, the planet still becomes a red-hot cinder by next week. A modest forest fire would produce more greenhouse gasses than is represented by that savings.

Fasttrack
11-20-2007, 08:15 PM
Your comment brings up another consideration. You really are adding heat to the planet. The albedo (reflectiveness) of the areas that are most suited to solar electric power installations tends to be high, meaning that a major percentage of the heat that is received via solar is reradiated back out to space. Covering 170,000 sq km with solar cells will ensure that a much greater percentage of that heat is captured even if it isn't turned to electricity.

Solar cells get hot when in the sun. They must, it's how they work. That's why solar cells are dark in color. They absorb incoming energy. The part that isn't converted to electricity is efficiently converted almost exclusively to long wave infrared. This is not well radiated back to space as it is trapped by greenhouse gases. A desert tends to radiate much of the incoming energy back out as visible radiation which is not trapped by greenhouse gases. About half of the incoming energy is in the visible spectrum and half in the IR. By placing solar cells over a wide area the radiation balance is changed dramatically in favor of retaining the waste heat of the incoming radiation.

If we are going to consider the efficiency of any energy supply process we must also consider the contribution that it makes to global warming. Solar is particularly inefficient at converting radiation to electricity but quite efficient at converting incident radiation to long wave IR. Aside from the nasty materials used to make solar cells (arsenic is one) solar cells have a significant warming impact. Not very "green".




Excellent point Evan - i had not considered that one before...

Rich Carlstedt
11-20-2007, 08:58 PM
Quoted by J Tiers
Regrettably, I must say that this is utter baloney.
it may or may not be a good idea to do it, but it is perfectly possible.

Hey J, what I said was not baloney.I suggest you read history
You cannot transport DC for long distances, thats why Edison lost and Westinghouse won.
For example. the Chicago South Shore and Southbend RR.
is 90 miles long, they used 660 DC and needed a power station every 6 miles because of line losses. Samuel Insull bought the railroad and switched to AC and only needed 2 power plants instead of 15.

I am not advocating solar cells, I was just commenting about the infrastructure needed to convert Lower voltage DC to high voltage AC.
And FYI Impedance is no where near what resistance is in a DC circut !

Rich

gellfex
11-20-2007, 09:01 PM
More problems with ethanol-

You can't grow a crop of anything on a piece of land and not replinish the nutrients the crop used to grow.Fertilizer must come from somewhere and right now it comes from natrual gas.

As I understand it, crops like switchgrass are appealing partly because they require far less fertilizer than corn, which I agree is a stupid thing to grow for fuel. The corn industrial complex however thinks it its a great idea. I doubt farmed fuels can ever make sense without cellulosic technology. It makes me wonder though, given that farming fuels is basically solar energy collection, how does the yearly net energy output of an acre of corn compare to an acre of current tech solar cells? you would need to factor in cost, maintainance, depreciation and environmental impact of the infrastructure for both. I guess I'll look into it when I'm REALLY procrastinating!



I think one answer to energy consumption is making our cities livable again so more people are willing to live there once more.

Umm, they are livable, just not in the expansive way people have been told is the way Americans live. I live in the city and plenty of relatively affluent families around here live in under 1200sq ft and don't own cars. I am disturbed by the self satisfied overconsumption I often see even from people who call themselves green. My mother in law composts and recycles religiously, yet lives alone in a 4000 sq ft house and won't use CF bulbs because she doesn't like the light.

There was an article in the paper about a guy who installed a photo voltaic system because he was spending several thousand a month on his estate's lights and fountains. There was another about the stores in Manhattan that keep their doors open with the AC going full blast. What they have in common is the idea that energy waste is okay if you can afford it. That's the mindset that has to go, maybe the current global bidding war for energy will finally do it.

Evan
11-20-2007, 09:31 PM
You cannot transport DC for long distances, thats why Edison lost and Westinghouse won.

You can now and it's more efficient than AC transmission. They didn't have solid state high voltage converters back then.The Pacific DC Intertie transmits over three gigawatts of power over 1300 km from the Pacific Northwest to LA.

A.K. Boomer
11-20-2007, 10:10 PM
There was an article in the paper about a guy who installed a photo voltaic system because he was spending several thousand a month on his estate's lights and fountains. There was another about the stores in Manhattan that keep their doors open with the AC going full blast. What they have in common is the idea that energy waste is okay if you can afford it. That's the mindset that has to go, maybe the current global bidding war for energy will finally do it.



I think its a mindset, and I actually do think it will go beyond just what some people can afford, It will take sometime but people will realize that its the people who waste for no reason that help to drive up fuel costs for the others who cant afford it or are being hit hard by it, It really is one of those "DUH" things,,, and its so obvious, but the years of neglect have made it socially accepted, for awhile longer maybe -- but its soon to change,

As far as the car thing,
What has to happen is for people to realize what the basics for the automobile is all about --- and that is transportation, And numero uno on that list has got to be from work and back --- if you dont have that you dont eat, maybe thats how hard we need to be hit ? maybe so people say "hey wait a minute - i dont need to drag 6,500lbs with me thirty five miles each way to work and back just to get my fat ass a paycheck" "I can get by with 1/3 rd that and have heat A/C (if ness.) and the finest tunes and Yes even a little luxury", So unless its a work truck - leave it at home,

Sometimes I look at my toyota tercel as a pig, I mean -- What the hell am I doing? the damn thing seats four and most of the time its just me and three empty seats, there is no doubt that I could get by with a 1,200 lb twice as slippery car that still has all the comforts --- instead im driving a 2,200 pound pig --- really --- What would you rather do, run all this massive crap till we cant even afford to drive a 1,200 lb two seater cuz all the hogs used everything, Im hoping to taper down from the toyota maybe after the first real gas crisis hits and gets all the hummers and excursions off the road so one dont back over my 1,200 lb two seater without knowing it:p

I was really going to try and make an attempt with just my bicycle this summer at least -- but I have to admit that im a very spoiled person, I dont think I can let go of my car until i absolutly have too, which would be sooner than most, if it gets that bad maybe I can sell my car to some guy who just sold his hummer... Then I'll take the money and get a moped and enclose it, get a bunch of old french horns and weld them together and run the mopeds exhaust through them and have the horns in the enclosure fairing but vented out back--- couple brake torque's at the stop light and there's your heat, I'll get by, but it'll have to be one of those mopeds that you can pedal too:)

tony ennis
11-20-2007, 10:29 PM
America is all about space. We have a lot of it. We like it. Most cities aren't set up for public transportation. I can't see a time when we give up cars. Not happening. And we won't see a lot of small 'run to the corner' cars as long as they have to share the road with semis and other trucks. Have you seen a Cooper Mini after it collides with a Ford F-250? I don't think cars much smaller than a Tercel will be accepted by the general public for this reason. The dance between economic and political forces pushing weight down and safety concerns keeping the weight up is interesting.

Oh, and riding a bicycle on the road is about the most dangerous thing you can do. Being crippled isn't an alternative.

gellfex
11-20-2007, 10:44 PM
I was really going to try and make an attempt with just my bicycle this summer at least -- but I have to admit that im a very spoiled person, I dont think I can let go of my car until i absolutly have too, which would be sooner than most, if it gets that bad maybe I can sell my car to some guy who just sold his hummer...

Cars are great for when you need them, the problem is we've built this country on the premise that you'll ALWAYS need them! When I'm in neighborhood without sidewalks the message is plain, DON'T WALK. When I'm in a city with no significant public transportation, the message is DRIVE.

Just to profile life less dependent on cars, here in Hudson County NJ we have a new light rail system that connects to regional and trans Hudson trains. I work at home, my wife takes the train to Manhattan, as do I to see clients. I get a lot of strange looks carrying odd metal objects aboard. When I run errands or go to lunch I often bike. A new Home Depot opened a few weeks ago within walking distance! Many of my less handy neighbors jeered their coming but I was thrilled. Before we had to drag kids around I could go weeks without getting in my car, when it was just one I often biked him around. We have neighbors with kids and no car, and they manage, though Zipcars has been a boon to them! It's a nice life, but people move out to the burbs all the time because they feel guilty about depriving their children of the "American ideal suburban childhood". From what I've seen it no longer exists.

dp
11-20-2007, 11:18 PM
For cars to become unimportant you need bigger problems for people to focus on than the consequences of not having a car. Global cooling and warming is not a problem car usage can fix, and there are few problems in the day to day life of US society today that are more significant than not having a car. There exceptions in large urban area where public transportation is a proxy for having a car but that doesn't work outside those areas.

We need to stop thinking we can manage the climate. We can't. It does what it will. What we need to do is turn our attention away from carbon, carbon credits, the temperature of solar panels, and start thinking about how we need to do to adapt to climate change whether it is cooling or warming. This idiocy of Al Gore and his carbon credit scam is a distraction and just another tool for transferring wealth.

We don't yet know if the world is trending toward warming or cooling. All the data are within norms seen before. History and data says we are winding down from a rather prolonged warm period and headed to a more normal and cooler global climate. That this period is by chance experiencing a warming period (which seems to have ended in 1998) is less a matter of climate than weather. South America is having record freezing while the eastern US is having a drought. Anyone remember the dust bowl?

We really need to accept that the climate changes and does so rather predictably, and that our greatness lies not in the futility of fighting these changes, but in controlling how such change affects our lives. Carbon trading is an absurd response to the problem.

We don't yet know for certain, and there is certainly no consensus, what the climate is going to do for the next thousand years but some are already prepared to deprive the immediate and next generations of their earnings and energy resource inheritance with ridiculous policies that offer no solution. I'm reminded of the apes in 2001 Space Odyssey as they react to the monolith that appears in their midsts out of nowhere. Al Gore has done more than anyone to damage the application of science of the problem (if problem is even a valid term because we don't even know if we have a climate problem) of climate change response. And because he's in the carbon trading business, he stands to gain, personally.

The climate has never been stable. Change is very normal, and change is certain. How about we do the intelligent thing and learn what we must do to live with the change? It will come so slow that no single generation will see much change, so the first thing we need to do is to not over-react to the data we have. Any proper solution has to consider the world we hand off to the next generation and the one after. By that I mean they are entitled to a say in the course we choose and that means we cannot hand them a world that does not have the means and tools to reverse our choices if we are wrong.

J Tiers
11-20-2007, 11:35 PM
Rich, you are trying to tell me things about what I now DO for a living..........

As Evan said, you certainly CAN send DC long distances at the same sorts of high voltage that are used for AC.

The big issue is losses. An AC transmission line has a very significant reactive component to its 'admittance"..... Even if the other end is NOT LOADED, it will draw a very significant power, (almost) all in KVARs, not kilowatts. (KVARs=kilovolt-amperes reactive)

You have to generate those KVARs, and then you have to accept the power they represent BACK again, out of phase with the generated AC. It essentially 'sloshes" back and forth at the AC rate, with all the resistive losses that go with current flow. A power factor problem.

DC eliminates those losses.

What "killed" DC transmission originally was NOTHING TO DO WITH LOSSES PER SE. It was the fact that you could not use the high voltages that BOTH AC AND DC NEED to avoid large losses.

AC WAS NOT ANY BETTER, IN FACT THE LOSSES WERE, AND ARE, MORE.

But because you could use a simple transformer to get very high voltages, and get low voltages back again later, it was more practical. No such means existed with DC at that time, aside from making it into AC with a motor-generator. But you could not do that at 100 kV.

Now, solid-state devices controlling 200,000 V are fairly routine, and inverters for 100kV DC to turn it back to AC are well known. Systems are running in various parts of the world now.

gellfex
11-20-2007, 11:37 PM
We don't yet know if the world is trending toward warming or cooling. All the data are within norms seen before. History and data says we are winding down from a rather prolonged warm period and headed to a more normal and cooler global climate. That this period is by chance experiencing a warming period (which seems to have ended in 1998) is less a matter of climate than weather. South America is having record freezing while the eastern US is having a drought. Anyone remember the dust bowl?


There are very few reputable scientists left denying global warming, even W has conceded the point, though not the cause. You're out on a pretty thin limb and reading well groomed data. Ideology of any stripe and science have never gotten along, the current conservative American one is particularly hostile to science (among other things)

dp
11-20-2007, 11:48 PM
There are very few reputable scientists left denying global warming, even W has conceded the point, though not the cause. You're out on a pretty thin limb and reading well groomed data. Ideology of any stripe and science have never gotten along, the current conservative American one is particularly hostile to science (among other things)

For every scientist and stunning revelation you can provide to support global warming is the near term expectation I can find equal to counter it. In fact I can say there are very few reputable scientists who will go out on a thin limb and say with certainty that global warming is upon us. And be very cautious of big government money driving scientific alignment on this. It's as evil or more so than big oil money.

W is no scientist, nor is Al Gore. W, I suspect, and like Gore does already, sees there is money to be made in this and empowerment for the governments of the world - he's a politician, after all.

Science fact is apolitical. Right now it is the left that is opposed to balanced science regards global climate change.

gellfex
11-21-2007, 12:03 AM
For every scientist and stunning revelation you can provide to support global warming is the near term expectation I can find equal to counter it. In fact I can say there are very few reputable scientists who will go out on a thin limb and say with certainty that global warming is upon us. And be very cautious of big government money driving scientific alignment on this. It's as evil or more so than big oil money.

W is no scientist, nor is Al Gore. W, I suspect, and like Gore does already, sees there is money to be made in this and empowerment for the governments of the world - he's a politician, after all.

Science fact is apolitical. Right now it is the left that is opposed to balanced science regards global climate change.

Denial and ideology is an amazing thing, enjoy your hummer and hope you manage to keep warm. Try coal.

My favorite fun fact on this topic is that some of the very same pseudoscience "institutes" providing your "data" were previously employed proving that cigarettes don't kill you.

darryl
11-21-2007, 12:04 AM
It won't be until we physically are unable to pay (to power companies, car companies, government, etc) that our methods of transportation will be significantly improved in terms of energy efficiency. Note the statement about corn prices rising because of speculation about its use as fuel. It has nothing to do with the cost of growing corn, and everything to do with how some big company or companies can keep getting their hands on our money. When we simply don't have the money to pay is when the leeches (who make the products we love so much) will be forced to reduce their costs to us so they can continue to at least get some of our money. The single number one factor is the flow of money. We could have it all now, the fuel efficient vehicle, greener energy, the up-to-date battery- but we aren't willing to pay for it, and therefore we aren't getting it. The price being asked is designed to continue the inflow of wealth that the supplier companies already have us on the hook for, and nothing less will suffice. The price we pay to live as we do will never go down, it will always go up, even if modern technology is capable of giving it to us for less. It only does so if the profits can at the same time continue to rise for those supplier companies.

The biggest 'disaster' on the horizon for us is probably not that we are turning the planet into a runaway greenhouse incubator, but much more likely to be the collapse of our enonomy when our paychecks simply cannot cover what it needs to anymore. I only have to see the number of people who are losing their $14 per jobs, then having to work for $8.50 just to have some income to see that this is well on it's way. This might be natures way of cleansing the planet. Think of all that manufactuing ability sitting idle, the trucking industry at a crawl, the hundred millions of people in THIS country walking to soup lines- that'll have a lot bigger impact on greenhouse gas levels than anything that will be conjured up through government and industry. We'll go back to huddling around fossil fuel fires for warmth, and if you do the math it will be at less cost to the environment per capita than our current energy-hungry comercial-industrial juggernaut. We might actually have to give up our one house-one family way of life, our epidemic of multi ton vehicles to move multi pound bodies, and our fat-laden dinner plates. There will be no need of efficient personal electric vehicles- there won't be a corner store to go to- except to scavenge the building for firewood-

We'll be taking advantage of solar energy alright- not solar cells, but rock piles heated by sun during the day, and keeping us if not warn, at least from freezing at night. These will be the lucky ones-

Sorry, did I get way off base-

dp
11-21-2007, 01:06 AM
Denial and ideology is an amazing thing, enjoy your hummer and hope you manage to keep warm. Try coal.

My favorite fun fact on this topic is that some of the very same pseudoscience "institutes" providing your "data" were previously employed proving that cigarettes don't kill you.

I don't think you understand my position at all. I don't waste, and don't have a hummer. I've bought ACL lamps and installed them everywhere they fit (and their lifetime is abysmal). I considered fuel economy when I bought my vehicles such that I get the best milage for a vehicle that satisfies the requirement. And I am prepared to adjust my lifestyle to the climate change. What is not known by you or anyone else is what that change is going to be. I'm advocating we work to understand the dynamics of weather fluctuations we're currently witnessing, but also to determine without the current controversy what the climate (not weather) is going to do.

Al Gore and friends are monotheistic on this subject even though they concede they have only a 90% certainty (questionable) of what they espouse. And the solution they propose even they will tell you won't work. Eyup - they say we cannot reverse the damage we've done, we can only slow it down.

We can all agree that minimizing pollution and waste are self-justifying. We cannot all agree there is a climate impact on what we do or don't do. Climate changes that cause 30 meter changes in sea level are normal in nature. It has happened in the past and will happen in the future and we are unprepared for that and we are not working on solutions for that. We are contriving carbon exchange tools that blow the whistle but don't turn the wheel.

If, as your experts say, sea levels will rise by the end of this century why are we talking about taxing energy? Using energy is at the core of the solution. We should be zoning coastal areas as GW and let insurance companies and their customers work out the details of where the people wish to live. For very at risk areas (kiss New Orleans good-bye) we need to consider effective dikes, sea walls, storm wave containment devices, and erosion control. We need to think about rising sea levels causing siltification of our current inter-tidal zones - these places are going to die without help. They will recover on their own but in a time scale that will have a huge impact on people and the shoreline environment. What we have are carbon credits going to nebulous groups who claim to be using the windfall to plant trees. Excuse me?

We need to resist the urge to believe we can change our lifestyles sufficiently to change the climate. We don't know yet how we got here let alone enough to self flagellate ourselves by leaping to a faulty solution and imposing our ignorance on future generations.

I wonder too what pseudoscience institutes you think I'm getting my info from, and why you think your sources are any more valid. The science is not yet well understood. The experts know this. They even tell you this. If you are not listening to the entirety of the debate then you're are not as informed as this problem requires. As an aside, the Vostok ice core project is full of interesting data and not subject to any pseudoscience that I'm aware of. Same with the team pulling ancient mud cores up from off shore of British Columbia.

And it is, believe it or not, entirely possible to discuss this without insults. Give it a try.

gellfex
11-21-2007, 01:46 AM
And it is, believe it or not, entirely possible to discuss this without insults. Give it a try.

I have not insulted you, just stated I believe your beliefs are unfounded. This discussion can't go anywhere since from my POV it resembles arguing with the creationists who claim that since evolution is a theory and not a proven fact that their theory is just as valid, despite a far greater and reviewed body of evidence supporting the contrary. (That comment will probably bring out some creationist on me, if you aren't.) Even some prominent Christian fundamentalists have come to the conclusion we're crapping all over what God gave us to care for.

I'm sure sometime we will happily discuss our tools, and agree that they're wonderful. Good night.

dp
11-21-2007, 01:56 AM
I have not insulted you, just stated I believe your beliefs are unfounded. This discussion can't go anywhere since from my POV it resembles arguing with the creationists who claim that since evolution is a theory and not a proven fact that their theory is just as valid, despite a far greater and reviewed body of evidence supporting the contrary. (That comment will probably bring out some creationist on me, if you aren't.) Even some prominent Christian fundamentalists have come to the conclusion we're crapping all over what God gave us to care for.

I'm sure sometime we will happily discuss our tools, and agree that they're wonderful. Good night.

Think more about your "denial and ideology" statement and the possibility it carries for being an insult. It's there, I assure you. And, oddly enough, that's pretty much what I think of creationists, too. I believe they believe what they think but they cannot attach a scientific proof to it. As for religion, I'm 100% atheist and always have been. As for how you perceive rational rebuttal, out of my hands.

And, just for future reference, willy nilly associating well-informed philosophical opposites with creationists is not on the fast track to winning friends :) and our tools are agnostic and that alone makes them special.

J Tiers
11-21-2007, 09:17 AM
Just to finish off this portion of the discussion......

The ANSWER to global warming and finite resources is SIMPLE.

One dictator for everyone. One set of laws.

If you want to buy anything, or expend any energy, aside from what is required to trudge to your assigned task and back, or slurp your bowl of gruel in a dark hall with the thousands of others from your block, you must get permission.

Education costs money and energy, and does not help workers to dig or sweep floors.... don't have it. Obviously no cars.

Less pollution, nobody interested enough to care about it, or understand the word, fewest resources used.

Problem solved.

A.K. Boomer
11-21-2007, 12:03 PM
I think its very convenient to make the statement that nature has thrown this kind of stuff at the planet before Soooooo - we really dont know if its us thats doing it, I know what I think, I tend to think about the millions of years involved in the processes that have created some very very unique creatures, creatures which we no longer have, many due to just outright butchering the land and habitat but some from effecting the entire atmosphere, All you need to know is that we have measuring devices so complex where we can take a sample anywhere --- thats right -- anywhere on the planet and come up with a plethora of little "goodies" that weve tossed into the mix, How do we know? we also have devises that allow us to go back into time and take ice core samples (wherever there's any ice left) And We know how things were, Now if you dont think this effects anything then you have no idea just what a finely tuned jugging act this entire place is built upon, Weve created massive change, its not rocket science, its just a crazy little thing called "common sense"
Too nice of a convenient little coincidence to just say that weve just happend to hit one of natures little million year "glitches" all at the same time of swapping out vast amounts of gasses on the planet and also adding millions of tons of concentrated toxins -- Bullcrap,
Ever hear of erroring to the side of safety? esp. if your dealing with the limited water in your little fish bowl and some of the other fishies have grown to twice thier size and gone belly up.

As far as the creationist and evolutionist not seeing eye to eye --- grow up people -------- Why does this always go black and white? why is there even a division line? If your spiritual belief is so shallow that it cannot except the fact that if there is indeed a god that IT is responcible for the evolutionary process then go back to thinking that were living on a pancake that everything else revolves around, Also --- If your so blind to not include the possibility that there could be a creator then your just as offensive as the Jo-Jo-Ba witnesses that come knocking at my door to tell me "how it is"
Yes since you opened this can of worms as you may have already guessed Im agnostic --- And im OK with making the statement of "I dont know"
That does not mean that I havent pondered all the possibilities --- It more so means that I have... And seeing as though I have not already died to find out its the only real logical and I might also add correct choice:p Evolution blows the magic wand theory completely out of the water, there is no disputing it, the question is is did the magic wand theory create evolution? Talk amoungst yourselfs ---- Now the sparks are going to fly;)

RJulian
11-21-2007, 02:52 PM
This is my 3rd BBS entry on the HSM - and surprising to me, all related to a non-machining topic! At the risk of offending one of you and/or labeling myself, I am offering one more - and final - comment about this thread.

This thread speaks volumes about our nations energy situation - and is one of the reasons that, after 40 years in the industry, I decided to retire. If there is one issue (other than illegal immigration or health care) that sparks controversy in our nation, it is what to do about energy - as evidenced by this thread - ranked near the top of all threads in the General category. Your comments are nearly a perfect replication of the "energy conversation" in this country.

Look at what this thread says... 1) it starts by asking a reasonable question about solar power, 2) moves to a range of objective comments about various issues and concerns, and 3) finally, degenerates into a quasi spiritual polarized emotional bashing of each other's opinions. That is the situation in our country today - physics, engineering, and economics are consistently confronted or overwhelmed by various emotional opinions or beliefs. This is not to say that a particular position or idea is right or wrong... but it's near impossible to resolve the conflicts between societies' (religious ?) beliefs and the hard cold world of energy systems and economics.

It is not all that surprising to see this reaction to "energy", but I am a bit puzzled by the extent of this reaction occurs on the HSM BBS. Again, I think this is an example of our country's emotion about this topic.

So, I'm going to set this topic aside and hopefully engage with you'all on the matter at hand - Home Shop Machining.

Bob J

tattoomike68
11-21-2007, 02:59 PM
On sunny winter days I open the drapes and let the sun in. Thats as far as my use of solar energy goes. :D

tony ennis
11-21-2007, 03:18 PM
...but I am a bit puzzled by the extent of this reaction occurs on the HSM BBS. Again, I think this is an example of our country's emotion about this topic.

Why? We are products of our country :-) And it's fun to argue.

A.K. Boomer
11-21-2007, 03:19 PM
RJ your a class act -- we get bored of "boring" stories in the winter months and we create out own excitement with some pretty heavy duty issues, Your right it does need to lighten up a little in here and with that spirit Id like to say that the people I rebuttle with are generally the people in here that I respect the most, Like DP, who stops me in my tracks all the time because the guys a wealth of info -- I generally read most of his posts just to learn a thing or two -- so - all in fun and sometimes its good to get stuff off our chests no matter how off topic it gets as long as no one gets too offended, and If I offended anyone then im sorry and will get back on track.:)

A.K. Boomer
11-21-2007, 03:29 PM
Back on track; I calculated the eve's of my house this fall, I have a massive sun porch but its single pane windows and non insulated and for the most part the main house door stays closed on really cold days even with really sunny ones, BUT --- the eve's of my house are directly above and between the two of them I can scoop up a 7' by 7' area that will be direct exposure of sun, and then in the summer the eve's will shaddow most of the area, anyhoo - If I attempt to harness this energy how should I go about it --cheaply --- I was going to put glass up there and then behind the glass that corrogated fiber glass painted flat black and then some insulated tubes and a thermostatically controlled fan OR, put copper tube slant fin type collectors and run anti freeze in it and no pump just thermo syphon? Is a 7' by 7' worth going after? I get a ton of sun here...

dp
11-21-2007, 04:04 PM
Until it burned down my brother-in-law's house had a huge tank of water below it that was used as an energy sink. All available waste energy was stored in it, and it was the first source of heat for preheating the well water before it went into the water heater, and water from it was circulated to the furnace somehow for warming the house.

The available energy on a good day is 1300 watts/meter squared per hour, rough number. Not all that energy is easily converted usefully.

Rich Carlstedt
11-21-2007, 05:32 PM
To J Tiers and Evan...
I apoligize guys, you made me smarter today
I never heard of 'Pacific DC Intertie " nor of the advances in DC transportation as expressed in it's construction.
I researched the subject, but no where does it say what the conductors to carry the power are made of, or size
I "assume" this is pulsed energy ?
Since the Earth is used as a conductor, it must play heck with compasses in that area !
Thanks again
Rich

darryl
11-21-2007, 08:30 PM
There seems little reason why DC can't be transmitted as efficiently as AC, or more so, if the voltage levels are bumped up to the same values. I heard something interesting awhile back, that the transmission of electricity is less efficient east-west than it is north-south. There may be a factor here that hampers DC transmission more than AC, but I don't know. I'm assuming it has to do with the rotation of the earth, the magnetic field, and possibly the solar wind, although I could not confirm this with the personel at the grand coulee dam.

I think there might be a way to tap some dc by utilizing this phenomenon, but again I can't redily see how to do it. To have something 'impeding' the flow of current almost implies a counter emf- in this case something being generated by the rotation of the earth. I'm not calling this free energy, as it would have to be maintained by an input- possibly the inertia of the earth is what would be tapped into. Just something to ponder.

I can well imagine that DC transmission would cause changes to compass readings, and also to birds, etc that use magnetism to navigate.

dp
11-21-2007, 09:17 PM
At the very least you'd think the ground current would cause worms all over the Pacific coast states to pop up out of the earth. Interesting how they "earth" the California end. From wikipedia:


The Sylmar grounding system is 24 silicon-iron alloy electrodes submerged in the Pacific Ocean suspended in concrete enclosures about one meter above the ocean floor. The grounding array is 48 km (30 mi) from the converter station.

wierdscience
11-21-2007, 09:29 PM
As I understand it, crops like switchgrass are appealing partly because they require far less fertilizer than corn, which I agree is a stupid thing to grow for fuel. The corn industrial complex however thinks it its a great idea. I doubt farmed fuels can ever make sense without cellulosic technology. It makes me wonder though, given that farming fuels is basically solar energy collection, how does the yearly net energy output of an acre of corn compare to an acre of current tech solar cells? you would need to factor in cost, maintainance, depreciation and environmental impact of the infrastructure for both. I guess I'll look into it when I'm REALLY procrastinating!.

Better do some reading,soil depletion would be my first recomendation.ANY crop grown on ANY piece of ground depletes the soil especially if the biomass removed from said field and further refined isn't returned to that field and tilled in.You can rotate grops,grow green manure etc,etc but at some point you must pay the nitrogen tax.

You eluded earlier to tarriffs on sugarcane,the tarriff is not on sugarcane being turned into fuel and exported here.The tarriffs are on surgarcane being turned into refined sugar and sugar being imported here.You can consider those tarriffs as a subsidy to protect American cane farmers and sugar producers most of which are in Democrat controlled districts the same as Corn and we must not touch the sacred cow of subsidies to the corn and sugar industries.
Corn and sugar cane have one advantage over switchgrass,they are end use selectable meaning both can be used for fuel or food,you can't eat switchgrass.




Umm, they are livable, just not in the expansive way people have been told is the way Americans live. I live in the city and plenty of relatively affluent families around here live in under 1200sq ft and don't own cars.

You haven't been to Detroit,Mi or New Orleans,La lately have you?Americans were not told to live outside the cities by anyone,they figured it out for themselves.When you leave the city you leave behind most of the problems of major cities which include high rent,high taxes,crime and polution.The middle class can no longer afford the live in the citites thanks to tax and spend politicians,limp wristed liberal criminal justice systems and soviet era rent control politics.As a result,many work in the city and leave before it gets dark,hince commutors.




I am disturbed by the self satisfied overconsumption I often see even from people who call themselves green. My mother in law composts and recycles religiously, yet lives alone in a 4000 sq ft house and won't use CF bulbs because she doesn't like the light.

There was an article in the paper about a guy who installed a photo voltaic system because he was spending several thousand a month on his estate's lights and fountains. There was another about the stores in Manhattan that keep their doors open with the AC going full blast. What they have in common is the idea that energy waste is okay if you can afford it. That's the mindset that has to go, maybe the current global bidding war for energy will finally do it.

You mean people like Big Al in his air-conditioned mansion in Tennesse?Or his son speeding down the highway in his Prius at 100mph on his way to a "candy party"?Wonder what kind of milage a Prius gets doing a hundred?

No,sorry the lunatic hypocrits are running the green movement and revel in false economy,it is the new religion.

topct
11-21-2007, 09:33 PM
So for prodding worms, do you use AC or DC?

I've seen it done but I don't remember which.

Should you wear rubber boots?

dp
11-21-2007, 09:41 PM
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml93/93075.html

http://www.ytmag.com/toolt/messages/172428.html

I recall as a kid my uncle used a home made version. His had a light bulb wired in series and it would glow dimly. It looked like it just plugged into the house current and the probe earthed it.

It worked, too - we found dozens of worms crawling around after 30 minutes or so. I also recall a hotdog cooker that used metal probes that were hooked to the house power. The hotdog is pushed over the probes and the current does the rest. These seem like incredibly dangerous things to use, though.

A.K. Boomer
11-21-2007, 10:25 PM
Better do some reading,soil depletion would be my first recomendation.ANY crop grown on ANY piece of ground depletes the soil especially if the biomass removed from said field and further refined isn't returned to that field and tilled in.You can rotate grops,grow green manure etc,etc but at some point you must pay the nitrogen tax.

.


Perhaps my memoirs archives have failed me --- if so feel free to flame, but arent soybeans the exact opposite???? do they not enrich the ground with nitrogen --- uhhh and coincedently doesnt it take like one acre of soybeans to produce like 17 acre's of ranch land that we have to give up to feed cows for the same said amount of protien? And uhh isnt protien a part of our USRDA of requirments,,, ???

Im not saying this as a smart ass (in fact im drunk off me ars) --- I want to be either enlightend or set somebody straight... either way its a win -win...

J Tiers
11-21-2007, 10:41 PM
Most legumes DO add nitrogen, but NOT organic materials..... nor minerals. Depletion involves ALL the above.

However, yes, a field of beans is a LOT more efficient than growing the beans and feeding them to cattle and then eating the cattle.

Cattle are fine if they graze on unusable land at a density which does not deplete it. When you start to factory farm any form of animal, instead of having it forage, then you get a problem of efficiency, since you need to divert people-food to feed animals so you can eat them.

But the food the cattle eat will feed MANY more people than the cattle will.

There is also the problem of irrigation and salinity. Eventually irrigated land gets too salty to grow anything.

Look at the ground in Kansas. You will see alkali, and that probably came up from pumped irrigation. it will make the ground unusable for farming.

Lest anyone should consider vegetarians (which I am NOT, currently) anemic and ill-nourished weedy folks......... There are combinations of grains/beans which are essentially equal to beef. And they taste good.

Lentils and brown rice, for instance, is, IIRC, complete. I was a vegetarian for a number of years, and ate a lot of that mix. I also gave blood regularly. The y used to check the blood density before you could donate, and the nurses often commented that I must eat a lot of red meat........

Those two, with chopped red cabbage, onions, oregano and cayenne pepper are very good tasting, especially with some grated cheese.

Much better than gruel in a dark feeding hall.......

A.K. Boomer
11-21-2007, 10:43 PM
You mean people like Big Al in his air-conditioned mansion in Tennesse?Or his son speeding down the highway in his Prius at 100mph on his way to a "candy party"?Wonder what kind of milage a Prius gets doing a hundred?

.



Is that the absolute best you can do? Geesus dude -- you got problems, I dont even need to trunge into all the atrocities of GW, lets just talk about his dad handing out gold lined card decks at 52,000 a copy of the tax payers monies, (and many of them) hows that grab your ass?

you know the saying the acorn dont fall far from the tree -- well im sorry to say it does ------------- but not in the direction you want to hear,,, got anything else to yap yer gums about ? I'll let the guys who know much more than I do spank the hell out of you...... I cannot believe some people have the audacity to actually bring up the other senerio when we are delt with the present day one that we currently have -------------- sit the hell down...

I only wish we could see what would have happend before the election was rigged.


Now we are in deap, and i never go there, but someone else already has, ------- not on my watch bucko.

dp
11-21-2007, 10:44 PM
Soy is associated with falling sperm counts in men, and I presume also in women who associate with heavy soy consuming men.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/26671.php

The soy industry thinks this report is wrong. So do we listen to a trained medical profession or Big Soy? What happens when refined soy is burned in your Prius? Enquiring minds want to know.

A.K. Boomer
11-21-2007, 10:46 PM
Much better than gruel in a dark feeding hall.......



JT you always throw something in there to make me laugh! and allot of fun facts too boot:)

A.K. Boomer
11-21-2007, 10:48 PM
Soy is associated with falling sperm counts in men, and I presume also in women who associate with heavy soy consuming men.

.




Ahhh --- then what you are stating then is soy is the ultimate answer???

Evan
11-22-2007, 12:04 AM
There may be a factor here that hampers DC transmission more than AC, but I don't know. I'm assuming it has to do with the rotation of the earth, the magnetic field, and possibly the solar wind, although I could not confirm this with the personel at the grand coulee dam.

You are on the right track but it's not a case of "hampering". The Earth's magnetic field will wobble by up to +- a couple of degrees when a coronal mass ejection from a solar storm hits the Earth's magnetosphere. This will induce secondary currents in long transmission lines that can be strong enough to cause them to trip out from overload. These events are not predictable. North/south lines are approximately aligned with the magnetic field and so are not much affected. East/west lines are much more affected so a greater surge headroom allowance must be made to allow for induced currents. This means that the east/west lines aren't carrying as close to capacity as north/south lines.

dp
11-22-2007, 12:14 AM
I have a recollection that there was going to be a constellation of satellites put up between Venus and the sun that was to act as an early warning system in the event of SMEs. It seems to me that enough industries are impacted by this that it would be in their best interest to put up such a system. You'd think that as a minimum the folks in the ISS would like to know the sun is slinging star dust their way.

wierdscience
11-22-2007, 11:09 AM
Is that the absolute best you can do? Geesus dude -- you got problems, I dont even need to trunge into all the atrocities of GW, lets just talk about his dad handing out gold lined card decks at 52,000 a copy of the tax payers monies, (and many of them) hows that grab your ass?

you know the saying the acorn dont fall far from the tree -- well im sorry to say it does ------------- but not in the direction you want to hear,,, got anything else to yap yer gums about ? I'll let the guys who know much more than I do spank the hell out of you...... I cannot believe some people have the audacity to actually bring up the other senerio when we are delt with the present day one that we currently have -------------- sit the hell down...

I only wish we could see what would have happend before the election was rigged.


Now we are in deap, and i never go there, but someone else already has, ------- not on my watch bucko.

Geez indeed,you know the "GW stole the election" arguement lowers your ID don't you?

I also did not make any excuses for anyone on the right,nor was that reply even adressed to you,but since it is an open forum you can dive in at your own risk.

Anybody,and I mean anybody that tells,no,preaches to me that I need to change my lifestyle because I am ruining the enviroment but refuses to do the same is a flaming hypocrite and the highest order a--hole.

Is Al sincere in his effort to save the planet?Maybe some very small corner of his heart is,but the rest sure isn't.The man has gone out of his way to make himself a target by not practicing what he preaches.The whole concept of carbon credits is a bogus money making scheme from the top down."Polute all you want,buy your carbon offset credits from us and all is forgiven"The "science" of global warming is a religon and Al is it's pope.

tony ennis
11-22-2007, 11:40 AM
Carbon Credit = Indulgence, to keep with the "Al is Pope" theme.

Keeps the big boys in, shuts everyone else out.

Here in Louisville we met - and exceeded - the anti-pollution goals that (assumedly) allowed us to get federal money. Did we live in a clean utopia? Of course not. The city sold 'pollution credits' to Ford. They proceeded to pollute to the Federal limit. The city maximized its income.

Pollution is a tough nut to crack - we all want the goods. Low cost and low environmental impact seem to be competing goals.

Another barb on this is that one result of minimizing cost and (local) pollution is that the dirtiest manufacturing processes are driven to countries with poor environmental standards, such as China, places where pollution standards don't exist, practically speaking.

Finally, my point. It costs more to make something in a 'green' way. We don't want desperate countries doing what China does. I'm not being judgmental - to feed my kids, I'd do anything. But if we buy from countries with real environmental standards we address the worst of the pollution. So when you pay 50% more for a blurfl from Germany, at least you know the waste products weren't dumped into a river. Part of that 50% goes towards pollution cleanup and (preferably) prevention.

A.K. Boomer
11-22-2007, 11:47 AM
No matter who we are we all could do better, (unless your amish):p ((uhh ohh, here comes all the negatives about methane gasses))

I also dont know enough about peoples personal lives to try and defend them nor do I want too, At the very least Al has kinda brought a twisted awareness, and to me its better than denial and Like you I do know enough about some to rip into them and I believe we both are correct in this area, but its a fruitless endevor, and its also thanksgiving, So Have a good one Wierd, hope you get to share with family and friends all in good health (thanks for going easy on me;) ) And in a minor little miracle a thought out to our own who cannot be home, and a hope that no-one is lost on this day...

wierdscience
11-22-2007, 12:57 PM
A.K.,Tony has hit the nail on the head I do believe,we must accept the fact that whatever we do it will have some impact reguardless of how it's done.

The climate and this earth are vastly complex systems and we should avoid simplistic hucksters who shill knee jerk solutions to problems imagined or real.It is simple fact that humans do not manage complex systems very well at all.We have a tendancy to over correct when only minor changes need be made.Our tendancy to over correct often times leads to a cure that is worse than the disease.

But enough of that,it is Thanksgiving and I echo your sintements,may we all enjoy a happy and blessed day especially those who are far away from home in harms way.

Evan
11-22-2007, 01:07 PM
Pollution is a very difficult problem. It isn't just the waste products from product use but the waste from the initial resource development that has the potential for doing the greatest amount of damage. When it happens it can be catastrophic. Boliden Mines Ltd killed an entire ecosystem in Spain in 1998 when a holding dam burst and the effluent ran through the river valley to the sea, polluting thousands of farms along the way with heavy metal waste products. Here in 2005 a train derailed and dumped 40,000 liters of lye into the Cheakamus River sterilizing it completely. It's kind of ironic that some of the worst polluted water looks the cleanest since nothing can live in it.

That same company, Boliden, owns the copper mine near here and the same potential for a disaster exists here. Until you have seen what the landscape looks like in the area of a very large open pit mining operation you don't realize the price that we pay for technology. I have worked as a service rep at the various mines in this area and have seen first hand what the impact is. It isn't a pretty sight.

This is the tailings pond at the local mine. It's 5km x 2.5 km. That's a lot of crap and the Fraser river is just to the upper right. If that pond dam fails the Fraser will be wiped out. This is a relatively small mine for this province. We have far larger mines.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics3/gmine.jpg

I'm not against mining. There is a bumper sticker seen around here that states "If it wasn't grown it was mined". We can't have what we have today without it. But, we should all be aware of the cost of doing business today and the simple fact is that most people are not. If they were they might be more inclined to conserve more than they do and lighten their footprint on this planet.

wierdscience
11-22-2007, 01:29 PM
If they were they might be more inclined to conserve more than they do and lighten their footprint on this planet.

That is an excellent point Evan.I was taught early in life by my parents not to waste anything.I believe this should be taught in school,if you don't need it,don't take it.

I got lectured recently by a young lady home from college as to my "footprint" being soo "big" and how I should be doing x and should be doing y and if I did z would be improved and etc at no end.

It never dawned on her that I was already doing x and had been doing y since childhood and z was already benifiting because of that,but while we are at it lets compare light bills for proof.

My 2,000 square foot house and shop avaerage less than $110/month in electricty even in summer with the AC running at night.In the winter it drops to less than $60 since I heat with wood nearly entirely.
She was taken back by this since her bill for herself and her roomate was nearly double that for a 1,000 square foot apartment and they considered themselves green.
At that point I started asking questions like,do you leave lights on when you leave?Do you leave the computer and monitor on when you not using it?Are you using CF bulbs?Is the water heater turned down?

Most of the answers were no.She left with a better understanding of what conservation is and I was happy to educate.

A.K. Boomer
11-22-2007, 02:37 PM
Iv got a garage, a basement with shop and a 1,200 SQ ft house --- iv never had an electric bill over 36 bucks and that happened mid summer when i was running the swamp cooler allot ------ my Mill room has one 20 watt tube flourecent, two 14 watt screw in flourecents and a 11 watt bench flourecent, I light the entire place up with 59 watts:)

Im a total minimalist and it drives other people nuts, its an obsession with me, one because im cheap and two because i hate to waste, I create about one bag of trash every three weeks, I dont even have trash service and just use my bro's, im a little bad with my car because I take little trips with it to keep me from going insane, both my parents went through the depression and have instilled in me to value most stuff that most people take for granted, I wouldnt trade it for anything, And yet I realize that as far as I try to take it there are people that make me look very wasteful --- I think its all about making an effort, thats all -- i dont think we need to make comparisons but i do beleive that there is still some that dont even try, and that does upset me, whether you believe in our impact or not you have to believe that people Die for the stuff that fuels our needs, the stuff dont come back and is gone forever and it has an effect on our planet as well...

Well -- lets see, weve ventured into religion - politics, someone even dragged the pope into this, why stop now --- anyone for roe VS wade? how about stem cell research ----- oops almost forgot - they may have figured out how to do it without embryo's --- so thats not going to cause any trouble ------ hmmm --- were running out of NO-NO's to talk about:)

wierdscience
11-22-2007, 03:55 PM
Racism? Piligamy?:D

dp
11-22-2007, 04:22 PM
I've often wondered why we don't mandate putting tailings back into the ground as a pre-funded requirement for pulling minerals out of the ground. The Berkeley Pit in Montana would be a lot better off and so would the surrounding countryside if all the tailings were tossed back into the pit. As it is, it's now filled with poisoned water that is going to leach out into the ecosystem.

There is something criminal about this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berkeley_Pit

Large areas of Tennessee have surface water that is poisoned by old mines that have filled with water.

Evan
11-22-2007, 05:40 PM
How about a good short video. Warning: Not entirely kid/parents/mother in law/etc safe. Concerns sex but no nekid bodies. Hilarious.

http://video.canadiancontent.net/67378844-mastercard-blowjob-commercial.html

aostling
11-22-2007, 06:00 PM
The Berkeley Pit in Montana would be a lot better off and so would the surrounding countryside if all the tailings were tossed back into the pit.

I lived in Butte from 1978 to 1982, renting a house on Mercury Street just one block from the Berkeley Pit. During those years it was still in operation, and dry to the bottom. The reason it is full of water, of course, is that they turned off the pumps when pit operation ceased. Too late to do anything about that.

Here is a chilling fact: The Berkeley Pit is just a few blocks from the Clark Fork River. This is the American source of the Columbia River. So when the Berkeley Pit overflows, say goodbye to lots of nice fishing.

[edit] Of course it's obvious that the Pit filled because they turned off the pumps. But what I neglected to mention is the extent of pumpage required. There are about 3,000 miles of shafts and tunnels under Butte -- some are a mile deep. The Pit was started in the 1950s and intersected this vast labyrinth. Until it filled you could see the holes on the walls of the Pit.

Most of the houses on Mercury street had been razed in preparation for extending the pit further south. This never happened. My neighbor across the street had a job driving one of the huge ore trucks in the Pit. These had tires at least twelve feet in diameter. He said the greatest hazard on the job was the sheer boredom of it. One of his workmates fell asleep at the wheel, fortunately on a spot halfway down where there was a level spot with an operations shed. His boss was inside the shed, and the boss's pickup truck was parked outside. The uncontrolled ore truck (going perhaps 10 mph) managed to run right over the truck! Squashed it flat. The driver was not fired, but was suspended for two weeks.

tony ennis
11-22-2007, 07:48 PM
I've often wondered why we don't mandate putting tailings back into the ground as a pre-funded requirement for pulling minerals out of the ground.

In KY, the mining company must put up a bond for landscape renewal - putting everything back the right way. When the company is done mining it "goes out of business" and defaults on its loans and other financial obligations. Then the judge orders the 'landscape renewal fund' disbursed to the creditors, leaving no money to pay for repairs to the land.

Slick, eh?

A.K. Boomer
11-23-2007, 11:22 AM
Its not as simple as just putting them back - and actually if you do it can be even worse because there already broken down and disturbed and thats the bad, We have many creeks out here, some very close by that flow from Victor colo. which was a gold boom town and these creeks are like what Evan stated --- they look extra clean but its because not even algea will take resident - im told they have an extreme concentration of arsenic,

the ground has been settled for many many years unless something like an earthquake disturbs it, Or major floading in which case you at least have the aid of vast amounts of water for dilution, when we mine we create tons of new surface area within all the rock, its not just the tailings but the mine area itself, You would have to take all the tailings to a massive clay lined pit and then maybe youd have a chance of containment, but the freshly dug mine area is going to leach out no matter what you do...

Rustybolt
11-23-2007, 12:03 PM
Our 'footprint' changed the planet the first time our ancestors struck two rocks together and accidentally created fire. It isn't matter of preserving, but of which direction our 'dominion' over our resources will take.

Evan
11-23-2007, 01:05 PM
We have all sorts of rules about "remediating" old mine sites and bonds must be posted etc. It's really not possible to remediate an open pit mine. Once the overburden has been removed and multi megatonnes of rock crushed and dumped the local ecosystem is changed for a very long time. It a human created event with a geologic lifespan. It's really hard to make anything grow on crushed rock that has been dumped at the maximum angle of repose. You can't cover it with anything and water doesn't stay around long enough to grow anything. Freshly exposed rock undergoes all sorts of oxidation processes that are unfriendly to growing things.

It isn't economically practical or even possible to put the rock back where it came from. It won't fit. Mining isn't environmentally friendly and there isn't much to do about that. The only way to reduce the impact is to reduce the amount of mining that is done. That means keeping metals out of the waste stream where they end up reburied in a nonrecoverable manner. Reuse is most preferred such as my use of 50% to 100% scrap metal in my iron work projects this year and failing that then recycling.

This is just some of the scrap steel tubing I used this year. Every last piece was cleaned up and reused. I have only a few scraps left.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics2/steelshop2.jpg

dp
11-23-2007, 01:18 PM
Its not as simple as just putting them back - and actually if you do it can be even worse because there already broken down and disturbed and thats the bad,


A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?

We need to learn the lesson of futility, I suppose.

A difference with refilling the hole with tailings and letting it collect poisoned water is the filled hole has no opportunity for water breakout when hydrologic pressure forces vast amounts of that water into underground seams, or from over-topping.

Right now there's 900' of head pressure in the Berkeley Pit and surely that is rising. I don't know where the water table is but I think the water in the pit is going to exceed that with ease. Leaching, sloughing, and wave erosion are wearing away the sides of the pit, surely, and one day the adjacent river and pit will merge and fill the hole, stir it around well, and send the slurry off to Canada, Astoria, and the blue Pacific beyond. Perhaps filling it with soil now will balance the hydrology and put that off for at time, but doing nothing is encouraging an ugly disaster.

Seastar
11-23-2007, 02:02 PM
I agree with Evan that the optimum solution is reuse of mined products but isn't that exactly what's going on in the world metal markets?
The prices of all metal scrap have gone through the roof.
Some metal scrap is very close to new goods. Brass is an example.

On another note, the huge closed Babbit open pit iron mine that is just 5 miles NW of my Minnesota property 50 miles South of Ely, MN almost looks like it has been there forever. I has been closed for 15 years. The local trees are growing all over the pit and spoil banks and the only evidence of man are the roads and the bed of the closed railroad. When I fly over the mine I have trouble seeing it. The mine is within 2 miles of Birch Lake and it appears that it has had no effect on the Lake.
The local undisturbed soil is very poor and rocky so maybe our local vegetation has evolved to be extremely hardy.
In this area of Minnesota I believe that more damage is done by clear cutting
the forest than mining.
Bill

Seastar
11-23-2007, 02:14 PM
I forgot to mention that In Minnesota I live completly off of the Grid. Most of my energy is supplied by propane - generator, refrigrator, heat, and that is getting expensive.
I have a large solar array that supplies about 15% of my electric energy through a set of inverters and a large battery bank.
Next year I am going to triple my array and double my battery bank.
The economics for payback look pretty good with the price of propane going up so fast.
Bill

dp
11-23-2007, 02:38 PM
Interesting development at the Berkeley Pit - there is a canal between a catch basin and the pit that dumps water into the pit. This is on the northeast side. Erosion is evident all around the new lake.

Google map link: http://tinyurl.com/38k57q

Zooming in and nosing around is educational.

aostling
11-23-2007, 03:02 PM
Interesting development at the Berkeley Pit - there is a canal between a catch basin and the pit that dumps water into the pit. This is on the northeast side. Erosion is evident all around the new lake.

Google map link: http://tinyurl.com/38k57q

Zooming in and nosing around is educational.

The lake has even a more intense iodine color than suggested by the satellite photo. Several years ago a flock of Canada geese set down on the lake -- they all died.

The Pit is right up against the Continental Divide. Silverbow Creek, the source of the Clark Fork and the Columbia, is just a trickle here. Let's hope the EPA cleanup can prevent it from running red.

wierdscience
11-23-2007, 11:25 PM
We lose thousands of tons of product everyday to landfills.Paper,plastics,cardboard,aluminum,copper ,steel you name it.Worst yet is the amount of this trash we could burn to generate electricity instead of coal.

tony ennis
11-23-2007, 11:51 PM
Recycling mixed materials is very very tough. The first person who can economically scoop through a landfill and extract metal, then bust it into its component metals will be very wealthy.

wierdscience
11-24-2007, 12:04 AM
I think these guys have already done it.

http://www.popsci.com/popsci/science/873aae7bf86c0110vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html

tony ennis
11-24-2007, 12:11 AM
No, he burns everything into slag. There's a use for that.

I'm talking about scooping up trash, removing the non-metalics (which are frequently riveted, nailed, and screwed to the metalics), shredding, and sorting, leaving bins of clean metal ready for re-insertion into the manufacturing stream.

And doing this without producing a haze of pollutants. Now one option would be to burn the non-metalics out and send the smoke and soot into the plasma oven thing.

tony ennis
11-24-2007, 12:21 AM
Another thing is that landfills aren't a bad thing in general. This plasma guy can burn paper, cardboard, and wood, but why? Let it decompose. Metalics should be sorted and set aside for reclamation. If they aren't reclaimed, they'll still be there in 1,000 years. Someone will thank us for leaving aluminum and iron that close to the surface! Plastics are forever, more or less. I'd try to develop a way to reclaim them too. If you can sort them out of the mess.

Economical sorting of arbitrary waste is difficult.

Medical waste, etc... plasma converter.

If I read correctly, there is no recovery of materials from the plasma converter.

wierdscience
11-24-2007, 12:54 AM
Another thing is that landfills aren't a bad thing in general. This plasma guy can burn paper, cardboard, and wood, but why? Let it decompose. Metalics should be sorted and set aside for reclamation. If they aren't reclaimed, they'll still be there in 1,000 years. Someone will thank us for leaving aluminum and iron that close to the surface! Plastics are forever, more or less. I'd try to develop a way to reclaim them too. If you can sort them out of the mess.

Economical sorting of arbitrary waste is difficult.

Medical waste, etc... plasma converter.

If I read correctly, there is no recovery of materials from the plasma converter.

Landfills have the same sort of problems open pit mines do,sooner or later they leak,most times into the groundwater.
I made some test probes for a research company doing biological testing on a landfill near here.They were looking to see what sort of germs and bacteria were present in an active landfill.
As it turn out they are havens for breeding antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria ad viruses.Think of millions of baby diapers being tossed,many of which came off sick kids being treated with antibiotics,but the bacteria not being entirely killed by the antibodies.Then those partially resistant strains mixing with others.

We have only had a major landfill here for the last 15 years,but we have begun seeing fish with bacterial infections along with colds and flus that last for months instead of weeks.Wells local to the landfill are turning up with contamination and this was from a supposedly "sanitary landfill".

wierdscience
11-24-2007, 12:56 AM
No, he burns everything into slag. There's a use for that.

I'm talking about scooping up trash, removing the non-metalics (which are frequently riveted, nailed, and screwed to the metalics), shredding, and sorting, leaving bins of clean metal ready for re-insertion into the manufacturing stream.

And doing this without producing a haze of pollutants. Now one option would be to burn the non-metalics out and send the smoke and soot into the plasma oven thing.

The first phase in his operation is shredding,once it's shredded it's pretty simple to recover the metallics and some of the plastics.

tony ennis
11-24-2007, 01:31 AM
He's only shredding so it fits into the furnace. Reclamation is bears only a vague resemblance. It's not a tough problem if you have a lot of different parts. It's when the parts are connected that there's a problem or when you can't differentiate different materials. I don't think smelters would be happy to see bits of metal with plastic riveted to them. Or copper wires with insulation on them.

Separating paper from steel isn't too much of a problem. Plastic and glass and aluminum, that's harder since their densities are closer. Now rivet some crap together, add some concrete-laden fence posts, wood with nails in it and do the separation. Harder.

Evan
11-24-2007, 03:40 AM
There is a persistent myth that you cannot see any works of man from space. Maybe not from the moon but you can certainly see this mine from the space station with no help. This is a big mine.

As seen from 1500 kilometers up (much higher than the ISS)

http://vts.bc.ca/pics3/mine0.jpg

This one is Highland Valley Copper and it's about a three hour drive south of me. Again, it is perched right on the edge of the Thompson River Valley which feeds into the Fraser River and in this case it is only a few kilometers from the tailings dam to the river with a 1000 foot drop to boot.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics3/mine2.jpg

I can't understand why they would approve such a mine so close to the river. The Fraser is an undeveloped river with no obstructions, dams or otherwise, anywhere on it's entire system. As such it has the longest salmon runs in North America and giant sturgeon inhabit the river. The Fraser is one of the longest and biggest rivers in North America and a tailings pond spill into the Thompson and then Fraser from the Highland Valley mine would be an environmental disaster of unprecedented magnitude.

I have driven by this mine more than once. The road goes right past it, all 30 kilometers of it. The entire valley is a moonscape and that is no exaggeration. Even the old original pits which are now filled with water and are supposedly "remediated" still look like a mine, both from the ground and from space. The area is a borderline desert and even foot prints in some areas will last for years. It's mines like this that give mining a bad name no matter how well they are managed.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics3/mine1.jpg

When you see this place it makes you think just how expensive our high technology really is. Anybody who sees this place gets real quiet for a while.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics3/mine4.jpg

pntrbl
11-24-2007, 04:47 AM
We save Alu cans for our 5 y/o grandson and one day I was explaining to him how important it is to re-cycle. Making points like, we only have to make the metal once. It can then be used over and over again for a small percentage of the original energy required to make it. Why bury it? Re-cycling is good for the planet and on and on ....

He listened politely for awhile and finally looked up at me and said, "I just want the money."

SP

gellfex
11-24-2007, 02:13 PM
We save Alu cans for our 5 y/o grandson and one day I was explaining to him how important it is to re-cycle. Making points like, we only have to make the metal once. It can then be used over and over again for a small percentage of the original energy required to make it. Why bury it? Re-cycling is good for the planet and on and on ....

He listened politely for awhile and finally looked up at me and said, "I just want the money."

SP

A spokesman for the era emerges!

Over the holiday I chatted at length with my 20 y/o brother in law who's at an elite eastern liberal arts university. He, quite a political radical, talked about the social apathy of his classmates, the "I'm just here to make more money later" attitude.

The conversation took place at a borrowed Berkshire vacation home that topped 12,000 sq ft, a sprawling place with at least 50% of the walls glass, and not a fluorescent light anywhere. But the owners of the home are big time philanthropists, and my deeply liberal in-laws felt that made all the difference in viewing such wasteful conspicuous consumption, that it's OK to live large if you do good. My view is that when you see a Hummer, the owner may have purchased carbon offsets, but no one knows that and the model of consumption is there for all to admire and emulate if they have the resources.

My wife has other relatives who are as wealthy as the owners of the house, yet live in a relatively modest urban home, and even their vacation home is "relatively" modest, not a show of economic power. It just doesn't HAVE to be done "as big as you can afford", though that is the motto of the last real estate cycle.

Back in post #87 before the holiday:


No,sorry the lunatic hypocrits are running the green movement and revel in false economy,it is the new religion.

WS you're agreeing with me! why frame it as dissent? I was criticizing the hypocrites. And while I think a carbon tax is one way to monetize the pollution of fossil fuels, I agree voluntary purchasing of offsets are a conscience salving waste of time, for, as I explain above, they allow the continuation of irresponsible behavior, without the paradigm shifting, economy wide action of a carbon tax.

tony ennis
11-24-2007, 02:41 PM
and said, "I just want the money."

I don't see a thing wrong with wanting the money. At 5, when everything is provided for him, how can he be expected to truly grasp the situation. As an aside, I hold money, or more specifically the ability to generate wealth, as the liberator of the common man.


...apathy of his classmates, the "I'm just here to make more money later" attitude.

Again, perfectly ok by me. It's easier to do good things when you can afford to do good things. Bill Gates, Oprah, and Rosie (:eek:) are doing great things with their money. So are thousands of others.

I refer all the Right Honorable Gentlemen on this board to the tree-sitting numnutz at UC Berkeley (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2006/12/23/MNGETN58K61.DTL). Total waste of time. They could have spent all that time planting trees or clearing fire breaks. Or they could be working straight jobs and donating all the money to the fire department or the Sierra Club. These people are simply lazy dimwitted fools.

wierdscience
11-24-2007, 03:22 PM
He's only shredding so it fits into the furnace. Reclamation is bears only a vague resemblance. It's not a tough problem if you have a lot of different parts. It's when the parts are connected that there's a problem or when you can't differentiate different materials. I don't think smelters would be happy to see bits of metal with plastic riveted to them. Or copper wires with insulation on them.

Separating paper from steel isn't too much of a problem. Plastic and glass and aluminum, that's harder since their densities are closer. Now rivet some crap together, add some concrete-laden fence posts, wood with nails in it and do the separation. Harder.

Harder,but it is being done.Point is,it's still being shredded and at that point a magnetic belt and a float tank can remove a great deal of reusable material.

Still,burning(reducing)trash yields energy and marketable fuel so it is still a plus over buring it where it does no good.Even a 20% recovery rate is better than 0%.

The best part and this I think will make it a success is people pay to give them the fuel the process depends on.That in itself is a significant leg up in terms of feasibility.Instead of the producer buying fuel,the supplier(Joe public)is paying to give it to them.

wierdscience
11-24-2007, 03:45 PM
A spokesman for the era emerges!

Over the holiday I chatted at length with my 20 y/o brother in law who's at an elite eastern liberal arts university. He, quite a political radical, talked about the social apathy of his classmates, the "I'm just here to make more money later" attitude.

The conversation took place at a borrowed Berkshire vacation home that topped 12,000 sq ft, a sprawling place with at least 50% of the walls glass, and not a fluorescent light anywhere. But the owners of the home are big time philanthropists, and my deeply liberal in-laws felt that made all the difference in viewing such wasteful conspicuous consumption, that it's OK to live large if you do good. My view is that when you see a Hummer, the owner may have purchased carbon offsets, but no one knows that and the model of consumption is there for all to admire and emulate if they have the resources.

My wife has other relatives who are as wealthy as the owners of the house, yet live in a relatively modest urban home, and even their vacation home is "relatively" modest, not a show of economic power. It just doesn't HAVE to be done "as big as you can afford", though that is the motto of the last real estate cycle.

Back in post #87 before the holiday:


WS you're agreeing with me! why frame it as dissent? I was criticizing the hypocrites. And while I think a carbon tax is one way to monetize the pollution of fossil fuels, I agree voluntary purchasing of offsets are a conscience salving waste of time, for, as I explain above, they allow the continuation of irresponsible behavior, without the paradigm shifting, economy wide action of a carbon tax.

Only framing it as dissent in response to the prevailing attitude in the nation and media that only those who lean left are eviromentally concious.It is a fact that of the two GW's ranch has a smaller "footprint" than AG's mansion.But AG is the only one who gets any credit in the media.It doesn't matter to me really because both are too liberal for liking,but the attitude is just galling.

I liken it to the Lance Armstrong yellow wristband,"why if you don't have a yellow wristband you don't care as much as I do!

"Enviro-snobbery" and" Phony moral outrage-o-the week" is running rampant as well.

tony ennis
11-24-2007, 04:13 PM
My friend with some experience with plasma cutters says he thinks all the heavier elements, like iron, are in the slag. So reclaiming that is possible too.

I don't think anyone is successfully (economically) separating general landfill trash. You could set up and shop and generate profit. This isn't happening AFAIK. QED.

Perhaps the plasma converter is the ultimate separator.

dp
11-24-2007, 05:10 PM
I don't think anyone is successfully (economically) separating general landfill trash. You could set up and shop and generate profit. This isn't happening AFAIK. QED.


Profitability shouldn't be part of the equation when we're talking about doing the right thing. The US created a super fund for repairing environmental damage and it was a good idea. Better is to get the reclaiming costs during the damage phase and put it into a holding fund. Any operation that is not profitable enough to set aside monies for restoration should not be licensed. Any money left over goes back to the licensed entity that set it aside. The problem being that any money the government gets goes straight into the general fund, so some kind of government-immune escrow account would need to be created.

Here's the funny thing. At the Fort Knox gold bullion depository there are 5 tons of worthless gold laying around. Doesn't do anyone any good sitting in the ground there. It is as if it were still laying in the ground where it was originally found. However - that gold is worth something to others and they would be eager to buy it. That exchange could result in a lot of immediate cash for cleaning up the worst places, and as investment money for long term projects. If we could only get the government to invest the money we trust them with (Social Security comes to mind).

Rustybolt
11-24-2007, 05:21 PM
Profitability shouldn't be part of the equation when we're talking about doing the right thing.

Trust me on this. If somebody finds a way to make a dollar off it, the problem would be solved tomarrow. Capitalism is a wonderful thing.

tony ennis
11-24-2007, 06:05 PM
My profitability comment was directed to businesses that could consume landfills and produce a profit by reclaiming valuable bits.

Once something is profitable, someone will do it.

dp
11-24-2007, 08:27 PM
My profitability comment was directed to businesses that could consume landfills and produce a profit by reclaiming valuable bits.

Once something is profitable, someone will do it.

Agreed - and the problem with my suggestion is it is actually a disincentive to find a profitable means for legacy landfill recovery because everyone in the business will expect the super fund money to come their way, which it will, regardless of efficiency or profitability. Chances are excellent, in fact, the government will use such funds in another social engineering experiment as they have so often done.

I do think a mandatory cleanup fund that is required of the operators creating the mess is more in line with creating incentive and may work to create an industry that becomes very successful at cleanup of current projects in real time (backfilling surface strip mines, for instance) and which can be made to work also for legacy landfills.

Your Old Dog
11-25-2007, 09:52 AM
There are very few reputable scientists left denying global warming, even W has conceded the point, though not the cause. You're out on a pretty thin limb and reading well groomed data. Ideology of any stripe and science have never gotten along, the current conservative American one is particularly hostile to science (among other things)

(I think it was Popeye that said "I've stood all I can stands, I can't stands no more!")

What you say has some truth in it. But there is a reason. If you are feeding your family as a scientist and 90% of the people you work with are mislead into buying into the global warming crap then you either go along it (however reluctant) or loose your job and reputation all on someone else's false pretense. It has been said the horse is out of the barn. The retired (he can speak freely) Director of NOAA hurricane agrees it's all bunk. He maintain es the data doesn't go back far enough and does not take into account certain factors that impact the results. No, I didn't hear him on NPR and it's not likely they would ever quote him! What the hell could he know right?

There is still no scientific facts to support this scientific claim. It's (the claim) is made on scientific consensus which is kind of like taking a vote to see what these guys think. That don't make it fact. The fact is, the earth is analog and not digital. The temperature has risen and fallen since the beginning of time. Why are we so pompous we want it to stay within limits we set?

J Tiers
11-25-2007, 10:36 AM
The temperature has risen and fallen since the beginning of time. Why are we so pompous we want it to stay within limits we set?

Because we have distributed ourselves around the earth based on the temp it has been, and dialed in our farming etc.

Changing that will lead to some very "interesting" conflicts, as in a global war to redistribute the population into the "new best" places.

That war has already started, and there may be no way to avoid it, warming or no. But warming will certainly make it worse.

pntrbl
11-25-2007, 10:46 AM
I saw a couple of news reports concerning global warming that I thought were of major importance .... and then never heard no more about it.

NASA calculates the planet's temperature, which when you think about it is a complex undertaking, and some scientist dude asked about their methods. Receiving a less than satisfactory answer he used their results to back his way into the answer and found that they, NASA, were in error. According to the report, and I saw mention of this a couple of times, NASA agreed and admitted their mistake.

After recalculating it turns out 10 of the hottest years on record did not occur in the last 15. The 2nd hottest on what is really a very short record, was back in the 30's. Do the words "Dust Bowl" and "Great Depression" come to mind?

Meanwhile we still have all these documentary type programs being re-run that were made previous to the error being discovered that still tout the old numbers. And no more news about the mistake and subsequent re-assessments.

There hasn't been much noise about it but 2007 was the most quiet storm year in the last 30. Where's all the global warming induced severe weather we're supposed to be having ????

With the polar caps melting away I don't doubt the earth's in a warming phase, and I'm all for taking care of the planet, but I refuse to indulge in mass hysteria over the issue.

SP

Evan
11-25-2007, 11:04 AM
YOD,

Of course the temperature of the planet has risen and fallen. Nobody disputes that. Nobody questions the obvious fact that it has had nothing to do with human activity either in the past.

But, and there is a big "BUT", the current situation is unprecedented. We humans have become numerous and active enough to easily affect the global ecosystem. That mine I posted pics of above is the second largest open pit mine in the world. I remember once a spokesman for the mining industry who was on a radio talk show here explaining that mining only disturbs around one percent of the land here in British Columbia. He sounded proud of that fact. I called in to remind him and the listeners that British Columbia is a very large place and 1% is 3,500 square miles of wasteland.

That's just one type of activity and that just in a relatively unpopulated part of the planet with a population density of a mere 4 people per sq kilometer. We are having an impact on the global ecosystem. The only thing that should be in dispute is how much that impact is and what form it takes.

There is no doubt that the climate is warming. We don't even have any snow here yet. The couple of light falls we had have melted and the coldest temperature so far this winter was a couple of days ago at -12C. That's nothing compared to what it used to be 30 years ago.

It's true that the green factions have gone completely overboard on this issue and are all to willing to use the issue to further unrelated agendas under the guise of "saving the planet". It's just as true that there is a very large faction that would prefer to stick their head in the sand and throw their hands up in the air saying in effect "it's all natural" so there is nothing we can do (so I really don't need to feel guilty about sucking up such a big share of our resources).

It's also true that something is happening and it doesn't look good.

wierdscience
11-25-2007, 11:41 AM
This is why I posted this link-

http://www.surfacestations.org/

It's about surveying the very stations used to collect the data and as it turns out much of the data is flawed since many of the stations are prlaced incorrectly to record the temperature at that location.

wierdscience
11-25-2007, 12:36 PM
Intresting article on radiation-

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0%2C1518%2C519043%2C00.html

J Tiers
11-25-2007, 02:24 PM
because of the massive "buy-in" on GW........ Even IF (and I don't expect it) the whole thing were shown to be bogus for some reason, I do NOT believe we would ever be told about it. We'd be forced to do the same tings just the same as if it were real.

Scientists have a tendency towards mass agreement, since they mediate the path through which their data reaches the public. if you don't agree, you are suppressed, and often hounded out of your position at the university, tenure or not.

There have been a few instances of now-dead folks whose theories didn't agree with "current thinking" who have been destroyed, driven to poverty and death, for espousing theories that were scoffed at, but later proven to have been ground-breaking ideas.

Semmelweis is one example....... He advocated, before the later Pasteur doctors washing their hands between sessions of assisting at births..... OR BETWEEN AN AUTOPSY AND A BIRTH. he was ridiculed, fired from his position and the ideas rejected by the establishment, for all sorts of reasons, many due to his own personality, no doubt.

However, doctors were no doubt reluctant to admit to any fault in previous deaths, unwilling to "be wrong".

Naturally, the practice is rather more than "accepted" now.

Evan
11-25-2007, 05:48 PM
The trouble with averages is just that. They are averages. Nobody has 2.3 kids (except maybe Dahmer). According to my numbers when I worked for Xerox my average travel time to a customer was about 22 minutes. The stupid thing about that is there wasn't a single customer that was 22 minutes distant from any other customer. I either had a 5 minute drive or 1.5 hours or more.

When it comes to temperature records there is a simple explanation of what is happening (not why). Here at least the warming is taking the form of less cold, not hotter hot. In fact, the summers are a bit cooler than they used to be but the climate is still dramatically warmer. Right now it's about -5C outside instead of -35 that it often was. In the past we were guaranteed the snow would arrive to stay by Halloween. Not any more.

Scientists are just like other people and they don't like to see what they think they know challenged. It isn't surprising to find a loner that is ridiculed when he proposes an idea that goes against the mainstream of science. Frequently such ideas are pure bunk, even from reputable scientists. Even if they are correct that is often not well proven by experiment or other observation and it just boils down to a "I'm right and everyone else is wrong" debate. More often than not the "I'm right" turns out to be wrong.

A good scientist accepts nothing as being true without some sort of hard data to back up the hypothesis. Absent good data all the hypothesis is is a possible explanation, at the most. No matter how much sense it may seem to make when it comes to ultra complex systems such as the Earth and it's biosphere we just don't know enough to make pronouncements of absolute truth based on the data we have to date.

grannygear
11-26-2007, 12:02 AM
It is really painful for me to read this post, but it is instructive.

There are those who are claiming that, for every scientist who is in support of global warming, there is another one is against it.

No, there isn't it. There is no dispute. That is what is so frustrating to me, that we can't even agree on the facts - and this is the first step to arriving at some kind of agreement on a solution.

As a whole, the scientific community has spoken as loudly and clearly on this issue as it is possible. From hundreds of different research institutions all over the world, public and private, tens of thousands of specialists have weighed in on this issue. Their research is in peer-reviewed journals, fact-checked and cross-referenced by the people who know what they're talking about. They have spoken about as unambiguously as can be imagined for a diverse group of humans - 96%+ certainty, we are causing global warming, it's bad, and it's going to get a lot worse.

Some imagine that there is a controversy within the scientific community about this. No, there's not. You are being lied to. There is still a sizeable percentage of people in America who believe that Iraq was involved with 9-11, and that they had WMDs. They will believe this no matter what, because they have been deliberately misinformed and they want to be misinformed. I use that only as an example of the pathology on display right here, right now.

Will there be a few renegades, a few crackpots, who deny the scientific concensus? Of course there will be a few. There are a few geologists with Ph.Ds who think the earth is 6,000 years old. There are professors of history who say the Holocaust never happened. There are endocrinologists who will stand up, in front of Congress, and say that smoking doesn't cause cancer. And Exxon-Mobil is trolling through every research park in the world, dragging suitcases of money, literally offering bribes to any scientists who will try to muddy the waters of this "debate", creating the appearance of controversy when none exists. Every one of these "objections" is debunked, over and over and over again. It doesn't matter if these counter-arguments are constantly overturned. As long as they create the appearance of doubt, they have done their job. It's just mud-slinging, throwing as much BS out there to sew the seeds of uncertainty in undisciplined minds. A single report in the New York Times, once it's read, creates the myth that there is a controversy - and no one reads the retraction buried on the back page, 4 months later. My God, the Ross Ice shelf is calving sheets the size of Rhode Island. if you're not concerned, you're not paying attention.

There are only technical issues with the exact mechanisms involved. But so what? It is a complex system. But clearly it's moving in one fixed direction, it's picking up momentum, and the data bears this out over and over again. The idea that all of this is the creation of a cabal of "greens" who are trying to somehow cash in on mass hysteria - that suggests a coordinated, sophisticated underground movement involving hundreds of thousands of people in a complex secret society spending hundreds of millions of dollars etc., etc. In other words, a hair-brained conspiracy theory that doesn't stand up to one minute of scrutiny, laughable on its face. The "greens" would have to be smarter and more diabolical than the Illuminati, the CIA, and the Scientologists put together. Nonsense.

Once we at least agree on the basic facts, then we can beat up on Al Gore or whomever. At least the guy's trying, are you?

dvideo
11-26-2007, 12:26 AM
The key to any GOOD magic act is MISDIRECTION.

That is what is going on with the GW crowd now....

When you say "there is no debate" and something is "indisputable...."... I recognize the religious GW faithful at work.

It seems likely that there are sections of the world heating up... But there is a LOT of research into causes and possible POSITIVE actions that is being QUASHED.

So a huge portion of the GW crowd says "a terrible" thing is happening - therefore we must "do something".... well.. that may be true... But the GW crowd has actively QUASHED potential research as to cause and effect - and this is not Science, as I know it... It's GW religion at work - and flawed science at best.....

It is a lot like "bad managers" from Dilbert suddenly spouting about dangerous global trends... It goes like this.. (a) "something bad is happening. (b) I must do something - or be "SEEN" to do something... (ie, a politician) and then the inevitable RatBert solution - (c) this is something - I will do this...

If you ELIMINATE any conflicting or non "party line" research from the decision making process.. you are going to WASTE any possible opportunity to actually DO SOMETHING effective...

Whereas land use activity in all nations may be a MAJOR element in possible climate change.. much RESEACH into the effects have been QUASHED... major devastation of the Sahara has been an item for discussion for a long time....

The Research of Dr. Gray ( the PRIMARY expert for hurricane cause and prediction) has certainly been QUASHED.. Dr. Gray has been quite vocal about this...

If ANY science were to be applied - then research GRANT money should be outcome neutral.. and it's not... Be "opposed" to the current GW crowd party line and see how much reseach you can get funded... THAT is bad..

BECAUSE.. if there is REALLY a human causitive effect for GW, and you want to change behaviour or activitiy to fix it... then you need OBJECTIVE research.... Suppose that 95% of the climate effect over the past 5000 years "were" to be from land use... Should not there be study here? really "equal to the source of any potential problem" grade research...?

*********

Global temperature has risen and fallen a LOT over the past 12,000 years. There is still a LOT of research to do - to understand the "WHYs". Certainly, good enviromental practice is in ALL OF OUR favor...

But.... Before issuing the DRACONIAN edicts from politcians with flawed and biased science information ---- don't you think we need to make sure that actions are taken to actually address real problems - instead of some GW politician's political coffers?

--jerry

dp
11-26-2007, 12:41 AM
There is still a sizeable percentage of people in America who believe that Iraq was involved with 9-11, and that they had WMDs. They will believe this no matter what, because they have been deliberately misinformed and they want to be misinformed.

Because you are unbelievably wrong on this you call into question everything else you've said.

It is in fact believed by some uninformed people that Iraq was involved in 9-11. But - It has been well known and well reported that there was no Iraq involvement in 9-11. The Bush administration has repeated this correction from the time the press first began wrongly reporting it. That people continue to believe it is because they don't question the source. It is well known Iraq had WMD's and that they were seen and reported on by the UN inspectors. There is no question they had them. They were used repeatedly against other Iraqis. Bill Clinton has stated that as of when he left office he was certain Iraq had WMD's. His lovely bride has repeated that claim. The only mystery remaining is where they went and much of the evidence suggests they went to Syria.

There is no need to inject myth and fiction into an otherwise interesting conversation.

J Tiers
11-26-2007, 01:25 AM
I don't expect GW to be found to be a myth........

I don't even expect it to be found that we don't really have much influence on it.

I merely said that IF either of those things were discovered to be true, we'd never hear about it. And THAT I believe to be true, partly for economic reasons. A few will benefit immensely by the response to GW.

What COULD come out of GW is an acceleration of the separation of classes. Most will be stripped of wealth and means because wealth has been used to buy things that are unnecessary and not "green". The Al Gores of the world will get more and more wealthy because they can afford to at least appear green.

Then also, the cost of the necessities may be 100x what it is now. Many would not be able to afford to eat.

The most efficient and green government may be a dictatorship, since oppressed masses use very little energy and resources. Usually they are forbidden to, which fits well with "green".

In any case, a dictatorship can move people arbitrarily, assign them tasks, and ration resources. All those things will be required by responses to GW.

So I suggest that you GET USED TO the idea of the loss of even the appearance of a democratic government. Most likely we simply won't be able to afford the luxury of democracy and freedom.

Will it really be like that?

I don't know.

But it very well COULD. And not very far in the future, either.

tony ennis
11-26-2007, 01:56 AM
The only mystery remaining is where (...the WMDs..) went and much of the evidence suggests they went to Syria.

Bush haters seem to conveniently forget Saddam Hussein had a lot of WMDs he couldn't account for.


The most efficient and green government may be a dictatorship, since oppressed masses use very little energy and resources. Usually they are forbidden to, which fits well with "green".

There's a satellite image of North Korea at night. All its neighbors are lit up. NK is dark, totally dark... except in the capitol where the elite are.

-=-=-=-

I don't go for JTier's apocalyptic view. The fact is that the people in charge now don't want substantive change. If things change too much they will be out of power. They just want money. You're going to see things like international lawsuits stating that the US owes poor countries compensation due to our carbon footprint. These will be supported by the UN.

Read "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. She wrote it 50 years ago and it reads like it was published last week.

dp
11-26-2007, 02:08 AM
I don't expect GW to be found to be a myth........

Global warming is not a myth - it's happening though seems to have peaked some years ago. Nobody knows why the warming occurred. Everybody who is an expert in the field agrees global cooling is also a certainty and will happen.

The very long term records also show we are in a cyclic warm period, and that these warm periods are far shorter in duration than the intervening cool periods. Moreover, the cool periods are cooler than the warm periods are warm. In geologic time frames the current global temperature average is not unusual - been here, done this. In fact, there is no "usual" temperature for very long.

There is probably an ideal temperature that suits our current life style but it was never a guarantee it would last forever. We have data of very different climates in our recorded history, and that data shows clearly we are at the whim of climate change forces we don't control. We have vast amounts of data showing huge changes in sea level in our recorded history. And there are vast amounts of data that predate our recorded history that indicate this is all quite normal.

The challenge for us is not how we fight global climate change, but how we adapt to the inevitability of it. Just right now, thanks to Kyoto and Al Gore, we really suck at this.

It is probably also helpful to think of weather as being regional and climate as being global. It is certainly possible for there to be incredible and unusual freezing weather in South America and relatively balmy weather in Canada. In fact that is happening right now. But that cannot by itself be used as evidence of a global climate shift.

There is too much at stake and too little known about this for us to gamble on one solution for this, and exchanging carbon credits is a flagrant scam. And politically, I have no doubt that this would disappear from the news if it were made illegal to raise taxes or to generate revenue or to redistribute world wealth based on this unfounded science. It is the potential wealth in the war on global warming that is the greatest driver in all of this.

Evan
11-26-2007, 03:05 AM
Balmy weather in Canada is more than just a regional phenomenon. Canada is a BIG country and the area showing the most change is the high Arctic. The arctic zones are special indicators of climate change because they are unusually sensitive to small changes. In these zones the temperature often hovers near the freezing point for many weeks and months in the summer. Even a slight shift in the overnight lows can produce dramatic changes. These changes are dramatic because of the very big difference between liquid and frozen water. The sea ice in the arctic zones is disappearing.

Even disregarding the social impact on northern lifestyles this is a major event for the ecology of the polar areas, north and south. It is affecting the harp seals on the east coast because they need the ice to birth pups. In the Antarctic it may have a major effect on krill populations as fresh water overlays the ocean salt water and produces a killing thermocline. Krill are the base of the food chain in the Antarctic and if they are significantly diminished then so will be all the larger life forms there.

The warming cycle is not in doubt and the areas affected aren't regional. Once again I point out that the daytime temperatures are not the key to the pattern. When it's cool and rainy it also tends to be warmer at night than it would be if it were clear, no matter where you are. It's very easy to misinterpret the data or to even collect incomplete data that doesn't accurately reflect the real situation. Taking just a min-max reading every day doesn't provide enough resolution to tell what is happening. The temperature must be monitored by a 24/7 recording device that allows for calculating the area under the curve to tell what the real temperature is.

The problem with the science in this entire matter is that everything that has anything to do with it is a political hot potato. It doesn't matter what position is taken it is guaranteed to piss off a significant number of people. Truth is usually the first casualty in this sort of fight, just as it is in war.

grannygear
11-26-2007, 03:20 AM
I certainly am not a religious devotee happy about the impending disaster to our planet and to all of us living here. I'm not a sociopath, I wish this thing wasn't true and I stand to make no profit in it's development. I am persuaded by the evidence, plain and simple. When I say there is no debate, I mean within the scientific community itself - they are in agreement with one another, to an astonishing degree that is virtually unprecedented. They themselves say there is little debate - I am merely observing this fact. That we are debating here is a different matter - we are not the experts.

I somewhat simplified my statements about Iraq, because I thought that subject had already been dragged out enough and I didn't want to lose the point, which was this: we went to war with the majority of the people believing that we would find WMDs. They had already been destroyed, or buried, or whatever. Hans Blix said they were gone. El Baridei (sp?) said they were gone. Scott Ritter said they were gone. We went in. To this day, 2007, millions of people believe we found caches of these weapons. Millions still believe the 9-11 connection. I am only illustrating that once a bad idea gets implanted it takes root, and for many the facts don't matter. I am also making the point that this was a deliberate misinformation campaign staged by interested parties - and it worked very well. (And no, Bush didn't deny these connections for a long, long time - till well after it was a moot point. Nor did Cheney, or Powell, or Rumsfeld, et. al.)

The same strategy is taking place now, and it's being managed by the people who have a vested interest in making sure you and I don't get the straight dope about global warming. The energy business is by far the largest on earth. They deal in trillions of dollars, in private hands. They don't want people turning away from consuming finite and profitable resources, and instead turning to low-or-no profit renewables. There is a profit motive here to be sure, but it's not the greens who are trying to make a windfall, it's the energy conglomerates who are trying to confuse this issue - I think your interpretation is exactly backwards and inside-out.

The worst warming is over? Global cooling is inevitable? Sorry, but proove it. Give me any credible link or data that suggests that anyone seriously believes this - anyone who doesn't fall into the category of crackpot that is, as I've already discussed. Certainly there is no universal agreement on this, by any means.

And you think that the politically interested parties are somehow being managed by the greens? What a joke. There has never been a more partisan, ideologically devoted administration than the current one - and need I really say who their major contributors and friends are? Oil all the way, it ought to go without saying. They are as hostile to the greens as they can be, and have fought against any kind of reality or science-based worldview tooth and nail. Blame Gore for not being able to implement a solution? Please.

dp
11-26-2007, 03:21 AM
Evan - I don't question any of this. I only wish it were well known why it is happening first, and that we would take effective and not symbolic steps to deal responsibly with the problem. Swapping carbon credits is not going to help the Harp seals. I would also suggest though, that if your countrymen would stop clubbing them to death it may help the seal populations and the polar bear populations.