Climate debate - is it about science, or values?

Please don’t feed.

2 Likes

So, tidal looks great. How much of the ~20 TW we use now, not to mention the increased usage as third world countries industrialize, can we get from that? (Serious question, please answer with a number and a citation) According to this:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cost_of_electricity_by_source
we can see that the costs of various methods of energy production vary dramatically with local conditions and regulatory frameworks. Hydro is generally the cheapest, but it has its own environmental impacts, and there are a limited number of sites to build on. Nuclear generally looks pretty comparable with other mainstream methods of production, and using breeder reactors probably wouldn’t make it cheaper, but it would increase the supply of fuel enormously and decrease the waste. I’m not sure where you got that bit about nuclear being expensive. (Unless you’re talking about the externalities, but those apply to a lot of things, particularly, as we are discussing, hydrocarbons.)
Nuclear, geothermal, and hydro are the only non-hydrocarbon methods that are suitable for base load, and, of the three, nuclear is the only one we can scale as much as we need to. (Tidal is also not a constant power source, though it is more predictable than wind or solar, so you could probably find a way to store some of the energy and jury rig it into base load. I don’t know how much it could scale, so it would be nice if you could find some numbers for that, but 20TW is a lot.)

Edit: I just found this website, extolling the virtues of tidal power: http://www.marineturbines.com/Tidal-Energy

From the website:While estimates of global potential may vary, it is widely agreed that tidal stream energy capacity could exceed 120GW globally.
Eg. Generally accepted estimates place the capacity of tidal energy at ~0.6% of current global energy use. Solar actually does scale, (If you consider covering ~1/4 of Arizona in solar panels to supply the US with its 5TW of power scaling) but storing the energy to use it as base load is an enormous engineering challenge.

1 Like

So, tidal looks great. How much of the ~20 TW we use now, not to mention the increased usage as third world countries industrialize, can we get from that? (Serious question, please answer with a number and a citation)

Tidal will work everywhere and will solve all the world’s problems just as I said. Ask a dumb question, get a dumb answer.

You have an annoying habit of taking things out of context. ONCE AGAIN… as I already said:

I never posited that it works everywhere and that wasn’t my point anyway. :arrow_backward: please read

Nuclear generally looks pretty

Once again, nuclear is a moot point. I don’t know why you keep bringing it up. It’s too expensive and as I already said, even France is moving away from nuclear and moving towards cheaper wind.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/03/29/exelons-nuclear-guy-no-new-nukes/


http://v1.apebble.com/static/clean/CSI_Nuclear_Power_Fact_Sheet2.pdf


http://cleantechnica.com/2012/03/26/nuclear-power-too-expensive-french-court-finds/


Just edited, but too late. I actually found some numbers for tidal, and they don’t support what you just said.

You just said "[quote=“Cowicide, post:24, topic:11183”]
Tidal will work everywhere and will solve all the world’s problems just as I said. Ask a dumb quesiton, get a dumb answer.
[/quote]
The numbers I found (Which I note that you didn’t bother to look up before you wrote your reply) suggest that tidal energy can provide ~0.6% of our current global energy use, eg it doesn’t scale.

The article you just cited (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffmcmahon/2012/03/29/exelons-nuclear-guy-no-new-nukes/) says: "All were trumped by a portfolio that relies heavily on America’s sudden abundance of natural gas, which has flooded the market since the boom in hydraulic fracturing of shale gas. " That is to say, the reason that Exelon’s nuclear guy says that nuclear isn’t viable is because fracking (which famously has its own ecological impacts) has made natural gas cheap. Since we are talking about alternatives to hydrocarbons, cheap gas from fracking really doesn’t enter the picture.

1 Like

The article you just cited

I cited two other things all well that also state that nuclear is too expensive. Why the cherry-picking? Once again, nuclear is too expensive. It’s a moot point.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/society-and-culture/nuclear-its-just-too-expensive-for-us-and-the-rest-of-the-world-20100225-p4y3.html

http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_and_global_warming/nuclear-power-cost.html

http://www.psr.org/resources/nuclear-power-factsheet.html

1 Like

First off, I accept the assertions in all of those articles that nuclear power is dangerous, I just think it’s less dangerous than continuing to emit massive amounts of carbon. Second, I absolutely agree with you that we should be developing all of those renewable sources as fast as we can. Unfortunately, nothing I’ve seen, and nothing you’ve presented, suggest that there’s a renewable source which is both capable of providing base load power and scaling to provide our power needs. (Also, I think talking about nuclear terrorism as a risk of nuclear power is just scaremongering, the real danger, and it is a great danger, is in the lack of social systems robust enough to make sure that entrenched interests actually follow safety rules.)
Of those four articles:
This one:
http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_and_global_warming/nuclear-power-cost.html
says, in terms of cost " A 2011 UCS analysis of new nuclear projects in Florida and Georgia shows that the power provided by the new plants would be more expensive per kilowatt than several alternatives, including energy efficiency measures, renewable energy sources such as biomass and wind, and new natural gas plants."

Biomass doesn’t scale, wind isn’t constant enough for base load, and natural gas is part of the problem. Saying that hydrocarbon fuel is cheaper than nuclear is not really an argument against nuclear.

This one: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/14461-ten-urgent-reasons-to-reject-nuclear-power-now
Has a lot of objections. I agree that it is dangerous, and most of the other objections it presents (lack of fuel, waste) apply much more to our current methods of nuclear power production than they do to fast breeders.

This one: http://www.psr.org/resources/nuclear-power-factsheet.html
says: “Taxpayer dollars would be better spent on increasing energy conservation, efficiency and developing renewable energy resources. In fact, numerous studies have shown that improving energy efficiency is the most cost-effective and sustainable way to concurrently reduce energy demand and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power already is less expensive than nuclear power. And while photovoltaic power is currently more expensive than nuclear energy, the price of electricity produced by the sun, as with wind and other forms of renewable energy, is falling quickly. Conversely, the cost of nuclear power is rising.”
Improving energy efficiency is great, but, at best, it’s going to compensate for our increasing energy demands as more countries industrialize. Wind and PV, as I’ve said, are not good for base load.

This one, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/society-and-culture/nuclear-its-just-too-expensive-for-us-and-the-rest-of-the-world-20100225-p4y3.html
in its only direct comparison of costs with other methods, says :
"Peter van Doren and Jerry Taylor (senior fellows, Cato Institute): for nuclear energy to be competitive with existing gas-fired generation, a carbon tax “would have to be $80 a ton” but using the nuclear industry’s historical cost over-runs “would require a $150 per ton carbon tax to induce market actors to build nuclear power plants”. They obviously aren’t happy about the idea of that carbon tax, but that might be what we need. The author goes on to suggest that Australia has access to enough renewables, which they might.

In other words, all of those sources say nuclear is too expensive in comparison to fossil fuels.

I don’t think nuclear power is great, I just haven’t seen anything with actual numbers that suggest that we could get off fossil fuels without it, and none of those articles suggest a scalable alternative for base load. I think we could wean ourselves down to having minimal base load infrastructure by finding better ways to store energy, (eg solar water splitting or using wind or solar power to make synthetic hydrocarbons from atmospheric CO2), but those are more long term R&D investments than things that we could pull off quickly.

1 Like

Yea, when they were replaced by synthetic ‘fossil’ fuels :frowning:

I don’t think nuclear power is great, I just haven’t seen anything with actual numbers that suggest that we could get off fossil fuels without it

Frankly, it doesn’t matter how you feel about nuclear. It’s too expensive and it’s not sustainable for a host of reasons. And, no one is saying to shut down all nuclear power plants right away. That’s obviously not feasible. It’s a gradual phase out until more sustainable energy can take its place.

Unfortunately, nothing I’ve seen, and nothing you’ve presented, suggest that there’s a renewable source which is both capable of providing base load power and scaling to provide our power needs.

No one is saying that renewable energy is able to provide power for the entire planet next Tuesday. I’m not sure why you keep thinking anyone is saying that.

I think talking about nuclear terrorism as a risk of nuclear power is just scaremongering

Scaremongering? Um… that’s ridiculous.


Not to mention nuclear proliferation by nations…


Please, get real. To downplay the threat of nuclear weapons, dirty bombs, etc. is foolhardy. I certainly think people like Republicans have played up dirty bombs for political objectives in the past, but it’s not an overplayed risk in general. It’s a very real risk and creating more risk isn’t a sustainable idea.


16,000 kilograms of US-Supplied Nuclear Weapons Material MISSING


the real danger, and it is a great danger, is in the lack of social systems robust enough to make sure that entrenched interests actually follow safety rules.

I agree that adds to the danger, yes.

This one: http://www.ucsusa.org/nuclear_power/nuclear_power_and_global_warming/nuclear-power-cost.htmlsays, in terms of cost " A 2011 UCS analysis of new nuclear projects in Florida and Georgia shows that the power provided by the new plants would be more expensive per kilowatt than several alternatives, including energy efficiency measures, renewable energy sources such as biomass and wind, and new natural gas plants."

Biomass doesn’t scale, wind isn’t constant enough for base load, and natural gas is part of the problem. Saying that hydrocarbon fuel is cheaper than nuclear is not really an argument against nuclear.

You cherry-picked the hell out of that article. C’mon you’re better than that, aren’t you? How about you go back and read the article again and follow the links, etc. You’re also practicing a lot of false equivalencies to boot. Natural gas is certainly wrought with problems and needs to be phased out as well, but when it’s captured properly it’s a lesser evil than other fossil fuels (edit: added “other” after leaving it out by mistake). That’s not promoting natural gas, that’s just reality.

You keep acting as if there’s only one alternative energy source in every area. You combine them. You also act as if time is standing still and technology for energy storage isn’t progressing (as it is).

This one: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/14461-ten-urgent-reasons-to-reject-nuclear-power-nowHas a lot of objections. I agree that it is dangerous, and most of the other objections it presents (lack of fuel, waste) apply much more to our current methods of nuclear power production than they do to fast breeders.

Fast breeders still produce nuclear waste and can be used for weapons.

There was a list of 10 and you only cherry-picked two of them. You left out:

  1. Nuclear Power Stations are Prohibitively Expensive.
  2. The Same Technology is Used for Power and Weapons.
  3. They Epitomize the Centralization of Power.

etc…

This one: http://www.psr.org/resources/nuclear-power-factsheet.htmlsays: "Taxpayer dollars would be better spent on increasing energy conservation, efficiency and developing renewable energy resources. In fact, numerous studies have shown that improving energy efficiency is the most cost-effective and sustainable way to concurrently reduce energy demand and curb greenhouse gas emissions. Wind power already is less expensive than nuclear power. And while photovoltaic power is currently more expensive than nuclear energy, the price of electricity produced by the sun, as with wind and other forms of renewable energy, is falling quickly. Conversely, the cost of nuclear power is rising." Improving energy efficiency is great, but, at best, it's going to compensate for our increasing energy demands as more countries industrialize. Wind and PV, as I've said, are not good for base load.

Wind and PV, as I’ve said, are not good for base load.

Once again, you dismiss rapid gains in energy storage. And this below is just the tip of the iceberg if you research it properly.

http://cleantechnica.com/2013/08/03/graphene-supercapacitors-next-generation-energy-storage/

Improving energy efficiency is great, but

Even in the part you quoted they don’t just only mention improving energy efficiency. They also say we should be developing renewable energy resources.

And, like usual, you cherry-picked very little from the article and ignored parts that proved my points. For example:

Proliferation, Loose Nukes and Terrorism
Energy Independence
Nuclear is Expensive

etc.

This one, http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/society-and-culture/nuclear-its-just-too-expensive-for-us-and-the-rest-of-the-world-20100225-p4y3.html in its only direct comparison of costs with other methods, says : "Peter van Doren and Jerry Taylor (senior fellows, Cato Institute): for nuclear energy to be competitive with existing gas-fired generation, a carbon tax "would have to be $80 a ton" but using the nuclear industry's historical cost over-runs "would require a $150 per ton carbon tax to induce market actors to build nuclear power plants". They obviously aren't happy about the idea of that carbon tax, but that might be what we need. The author goes on to suggest that Australia has access to enough renewables, which they might.

In other words, all of those sources say nuclear is too expensive in comparison to fossil fuels.

Bullshit. Read the last paragraph of the article:

" … The real question for Australia, given the irrefutable costs and our exceptional access to solar, wind and geothermal resources, is whether we should throw $30 billion or more at an old industry that creates new problems. The real cost is the lost opportunity in renewable energy industries, true industries of the future."

I don’t think nuclear power is great, I just haven’t seen anything with actual numbers that suggest that we could get off fossil fuels without it

While others sit on their hands, we’re doing it in Boulder, CO now.

Gas isn’t great, but it’s also a more sustainable alternative than coal/nukes when the process of acquiring gas is properly regulated. Electricity from natural gas produces less CO2 per kilowatt-hour than electricity from coal if it’s done right.

Boulder, CO is doing it right and doing it very well despite the oppressive forces of industry that tried to subvert its citizens with propaganda filled with lies and half-truths. Boulder will require gas suppliers to certify their leakage rates, etc. and will switch to bio-gas when it’s possible.

In the meantime, Boulder is going to show the rest of the USA how it’s done and much more aggressively switch over to renewable energy as much is feasible (despite the forces that work against them).

More nuclear isn’t the way to go and it’s too cost prohibitive even if it was.

Thank you for posting this. I, too, do not agree with pronouncements that man is causing climate change (and I don’t know about you, but I have been a Democrat for life …). It saddens me that science journalists today think they are doing the world of science and society a service by basically refusing to follow up on the numerous, very specific complaints about how climate science and PhD’s are done today. The lack of real investigative journalism is what is hurting this country right now.

I think these quotes by the astronauts are poignant, in part because they have gone to space, where the vastness of space compared to the incredible thinness of our atmosphere is startlingly obvious. To think that it is us – instead of that vastness of space – which is causing these changes is really an over-estimation of our role in the universe. We cannot even yet accurately predict the solar cycle, nor explain the circulation patterns of other planets within our own solar system, nor even explain many basic features of the Sun’s observed behavior without using archaic analogies (technical terms like “bubbles”!), and yet we are to believe that these models are sufficient to pass legislation with. We have an inverse temperature enigma at the surface of the Sun which still perplexes us, and a solar “wind” which fails to appreciably decelerate even as it passes the Earth’s orbit. Neither observation should inspire confidence in our global climate models.

… And all of that within an atmosphere at our universities where graduate students are not even capable of disagreeing with that which they are told to memorize, without fear of being kicked out of these programs. The pattern of behavior is all very well documented by now in books like Disciplined Minds (by Jeff Schmidt). The investigation that should be happening is simply being passed up, it appears, because people seem to feel better about themselves when they think they are saving the world.

It goes to show that very well-intentioned people can in fact do great, great harm. Collins and Pinch were right; Science is like a Golem, an incredibly powerful – yet also clumsy – beast that vaguely lurches forward.

People, be very careful what you ask for, or demand. Please listen to the whistleblowers, instead of just dismissing them. What system of checks and balances is ensuring that competing models which CAN be created ARE being checked out?

Please. Your argument from Schmidt and astrophysics ignorance was already looked at here; the short version is that they are very specious reasons to presume all the climate scientists have things completely wrong. Particularly since you have made it clear you don’t really know what evidence the IPCC conclusions are based on, and even for astrophysics are willing to suppose problems that aren’t real, instead accepting sites whose idea of challenging dogma is pretending there’s no evidence for time dilation.

People have been listening to whistleblowers and critics in this field. The problem is that they have very little else to offer. You can easily see it in the case of Mann; both his work and conduct have been criticized time and again, and they have been investigated in detail, and exonerated because his data holds up and he hasn’t actually done anything wrong.

Of course you can simply take that as proof there’s a conspiracy, instead of considering the possibility the critics might not have been right. Never mind the chance that they’re driven by ideology and financial interests, the very things that Schmidt is warning about…wait, went through that before too.

4 Likes

Maybe you should spend all this free time of yours writing a new book instead of spamming us about the old one.

I hate to break it to you, but natural gas IS a fossil fuel. Using it does release carbon.
In that article where you accused me of cherry picking (again) I DID mention that his alternatives might work for Australia. The problem being that, of the three he mentioned, only geothermal can be used for base load. Australia might have enough geothermal for their base load for all I know, but we certainly don’t.
I worked for a couple of years in a lab that was focused on solar water splitting, and also has a guy working on supercapacitors, so I am very probably more familiar with the state of the art in energy storage than you are. The fact that you bring up supercapacitors in this context confirms that, because the benefit of capacitors over chemical energy storage (batteries, etc.), is in power output, not in energy density. That means they might be great for electric vehicles and other uses that require high output, but there are technologies that are inherently far better for large scale energy storage in power plants. As someone who has actually worked in the field, I can tell you that a couple of overblown press releases (and the press releases are always overblown) don’t make an energy revolution.

The chart you show for Boulder doesn’t contradict anything I said. You can get to a point where you have about 40% of your power as base load (for a residential city, that percentage would be higher for an industrial center), which they are planning to be getting from fossil fuels. I’m suggesting that cutting our emissions by ~50% (including industry), as the rest of the world industrializes, may not be enough.

I think maybe you don’t understand what “base load” means. You seem to have completely ignored the fact that I presented repeatedly, which is that, as a scalable (meaning we can get as much of it as we need) source of BASE LOAD power, nuclear is prohibitively expensive COMPARED TO FOSSIL FUELS. Even the idealized best case scenario for a residential town that you present still involves getting 39% of our energy from fossil fuels in 2037. You have also repeatedly failed to provide numbers (physical, not economic). Considering the growth in our energy usage, we need something that can provide ~50% of 30TW in the next twenty years as base load. The other 50% we can realistically provide with solar and wind, but we need something for that base load (which is almost as much as our total energy usage now). If we assume Boulder can actually pull that off, and that we really get to it and can pull off a migration like that worldwide, the best case scenario you present involves us cutting carbon emissions to only slightly below current levels, which means we will still be rapidly increasing the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

In short, please have numbers on you next reply. Where do we get 15TW of base load that’s not fossil fuels?

Edit: This is, of course predicated on an assumption that continuing carbon emissions at our current rate is more dangerous than nuclear power. If the consensus among climate scientists about the effects of carbon is right (which I think it very likely is) then carbon is almost certainly the more dangerous of the two, but there are a whole lot of unknowns in that equation.

2 Likes

There are a lot of middle and working class people all over the world who aren’t tea partiers or Randians or creationists.

They just think they are paying more than enough for energy as it is, thank you very much…

And a lot of them vote. Did you forget to mention them??

So . . . if energy is too expensive, climate change doesn’t exist, or is nothing to worry about?

2 Likes

Both science and values… All Gore said in An Inconvenient Truth, we have the technology, we need the motivation. I agree with Mr. Gore, we have the science, the question is, is restoring our ecosystems valuable enough an issue for us?

I hate to break it to you, but natural gas IS a fossil fuel. Using it does release carbon.

I hate to break it to you that you’re not breaking it to me. :wink:

Of course you’re correct, natural gas is a fossil fuel and I accidentatly missed writing the word “other” in my sentence. This how I meant to write it:

“Natural gas is certainly wrought with problems and needs to be phased out as well, but when it’s captured properly it’s a lesser evil than other fossil fuels.”

Please except my apology for leaving out the word “other”.

I worked for a couple of years in a lab that was focused on solar water splitting, and also has a guy working on supercapacitors, so I am very probably more familiar with the state of the art in energy storage than you are.

I think maybe you don’t understand what “base load” means.

I know what “base load” means, it’s very basic.

Please don’t make blind assumptions. If you have facts to bring to the table, bring them. I’m frankly not interested in your resumé nor some sort of pissing match. It’s actually a tactic that many climate change deniers use as a distraction, and I’d hope that you wouldn’t stoop to that level and have this discussion degrade in that manner. And, as you’re about to find out, your presumptions are about to turn around on you anyway… :wink:

I worked for a couple of years in a lab that was focused on solar water splitting, and also has a guy working on supercapacitors, so I am very probably more familiar with the state of the art in energy storage than you are. The fact that you bring up supercapacitors in this context confirms that, because the benefit of capacitors over chemical energy storage (batteries, etc.), is in power output, not in energy density. That means they might be great for electric vehicles and other uses that require high output, but there are technologies that are inherently far better for large scale energy storage in power plants.

As much as you may enjoy taking my link out of context (you do that often, you know?) to now attempt to prove you’re better educated than myself (why bother?), you’re actually incorrect and you may need to reevaluate your education and perhaps pull back from your presumptuous assumptions of who you’re talking to here.

First of all, I posted that link to the graphene innovations in context of general energy storage, not energy storage for power plants specifically. If you have any doubts about this (which I’m sure you do), you should search through my comment history where I discuss things like molten salt, etc. for alternative energy power plants, etc.

What you apparently don’t know is that top scientists/experts predict that graphene batteries will be used at individual homes and businesses for energy storage beyond vehicles, etc. You seem to be locked into a centralized power paradigm even after I addressed this several times within my previous links (and brief quotes from my links as well).

Graphene will be used for off-grid solar power storage systems in the relatively near future. It’s got a ways to go (currently only 60 Watt-hours per liter). But that also means 1 liter is enough to power a 60 watt, old-fashioned, inefficient light bulb for 1 hour (or 20 watt CFL for 3 hours).

Even with current, nascent graphene technology, that would mean if a family of four kept something the size of an average, underground 1500 gallon (4 graphene liters per gallon) septic tank in their backyard, it could power everything in a 4 bedroom home for over a week and a half (considering graphene batteries currently holds 90% of its charge for 300 hours) just running off the battery alone. And, the nice thing is the graphene isn’t nearly as toxic like traditional batteries are and is being made safer the more it’s studied and altered. It also retains about 90% of its capacitance after 50,000 charge/discharge cycles for christ’s sake.

I’m obviously simplifying this for brevity, but you should now get the idea what I’m talking about when referring to graphene for energy storage. I know you want a shit-ton of numbers, but you’re just going to have to be satisfied with me pointing you in the right direction because this is a blog post and not research paper I’m writing for you. The main point isn’t debating numbers, we’re talking about entire concepts here. If you want to go further into than that, then frankly I’m going to need to be paid a consulting fee. :wink: But, don’t worry, there’s a link below that has more numbers for you to comb through than you could digest in a week, but we’ll get to that… Anyway, I digress…

You see, speaking of concepts… you’re so narrowly focused on nuclear energy which experts have called “the epitome of the centralization of power” (see my links) that I think you’ve lost sight of the importance and massive benefits of energy independence. Graphene is looking to be a vital part of energy storage in this regard. When people use their own solar panels, etc. along with their own energy storage, they won’t need your centralized behemoth that provides the blessed, monolithic “(base) load duration curve” set for everyone in a wide area all at once (which is incredibly inefficient, by the way).

If you want to know more about this topic, let me know. It’s an extremely complex subtopic that leads to hundreds of others subtopic I’ve researched. This just scratched the surface minus graphene being used as solar paint, solar windows and on and on… well beyond just energy storage.

Of course, this is just graphene… there’s much more research being done as we speak on other energy storage (as you should know and see below), but graphene is one of the more exciting I’ve seen thus far, it’s great for energy independence… and it’s just getting started, yo.


Do you know about this below?

Researchers have designed a low-cost, long-life battery that could enable solar and wind energy to become major suppliers to the electrical grid.


The chart you show for Boulder doesn’t contradict anything I said.

My goal isn’t to contradict you at every turn with my words nor with that chart; It’s mostly to bolster what I’ve already said (and it does). Also, please keep in mind that chart is incredibly conservative and is purposefully not taking into account breakthroughs in technology that haven’t happened just yet (but, are on their way). This is yet another limitation of simply spewing numbers without keeping in mind solid concepts, etc. Anyway, if you have experience with very public feasibly studies, etc. you should already know that. Keep in mind the citizens making this happen in Boulder, CO despise natural gas, it’s only there as a temporary place holder as other sources of more sustainable energy become much more feasible/affordable.

It’s definitely a small part of a world-wide plan (see more on this below)

nuclear is prohibitively expensive COMPARED TO FOSSIL FUELS

All CAPS doesn’t change the fact that alternative energy like wind is already becoming less expensive than nuclear in some areas. If you want the numbers, they’re in the links I already provided you, but you keep ignoring. I’m not going to keep repeating things like this. HINT: France.

You have also repeatedly failed to provide numbers (physical, not economic)

And, speaking of numbers again, you can crunch numbers all you want, but if it’s not economically feasible in the first place, it’s a joke. You can’t create things out of thin air. You have to have the money to do it in the first place. And, if you dig into the details of my links, you’ll see that they provide both “physical” and economic numbers. They didn’t just come up with economic numbers without crunching the realities of bringing power to real households and industry.

It’s also more than a little ridiculous that you expect me to dig all this up and copy/paste it all here after I’ve already given you links to back myself up and you’ve literally provided ZERO sources to back yourself up for your numbers! You’ve basically told me to take your word on it which is as far from science as I can think of. How about you put your nose to the grindstone and provide some backup sources before demanding even more from me while misrepresenting that I haven’t provided numbers when they are located within the very links/sources I’ve given you already?

Even the idealized best case scenario for a residential town that you present

I didn’t present any idealized town, but you now have. And you haven’t supported the numbers you’ve presented with any sources. Please get on that.

In short, please have numbers on you next reply. Where do we get 15TW of base load that’s not fossil fuels?

Where do you even get 15TWs number from in the first place? Do you see the problem here with just throwing out numbers without backup? How about we start with you telling me how you came to 15TW anyway? I’m getting a little tired of you putting all the burden of proof on me while you just throw out numbers without provided any sources to back yourself up whatsoever.

But, I’ll do you fantasitcally better than a smattering of numbers you may simply take out of context and can’t possibly cover all bases with anyway due to the complexity of the issue. Here’s results from a Stanford researcher whose study shows the world can be powered by alternative energy in 20-40 years.

Mark Z. Jacobson - Energy Policy

PART I: http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/JDEnPolicyPt1.pdf

PART II: http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/DJEnPolicyPt2.pdf

Here’s for New York (with more numbers):

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/march/new-york-energy-031213.html

He doesn’t just throw numbers around, he makes some very salient points along with strategies as well. Within his study you’ll find a vast array of numbers to back him up. Dig in.


I’ve got work to do, so I’m going to stop here. Mark Z. Jacobson Energy Policy study should keep you busy with numbers for about a week. There’s just not enough time in the day, but if I find time later I’ll return and add to this post.

If we don’t chat later, I sincerely thank you for discussing this with me and not resorting to name-calling and stuff. I think we have far more in common on this issue than we have differences and I’ve enjoyed this discussion.

In the meantime, there’s this stuff to chew on as well:



http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=renewable-energy-predicted-to-boom-surpass-natural-gas


2 Likes

Thank you. The Mark Z. Jacobson articles are pretty convincing, and only maybe a hair optimistic on the technological development side. That really had what I was looking for, and not expecting, which was the quantitative discussion that was missing in all of those previous articles. I hadn’t really thought as far as radically decentralizing the power infrastructure, either. It’s pretty inspiring that it actually seems, from that analysis, like it might be physically possible to pull off. That, of course would require us to pull our collective heads out of our asses almost immediately, which, unfortunately, strikes me as a far more unreasonably optimistic assumption than the assumptions about technological development. At least, we might have time to make the jump after things get bad enough to drive us to it, but before they get too bad for us to maintain the industrial infrastructure necessary to pull it off.

The 30TW in 20 years figure is around, and I can’t find the original source I read it in, but this: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/ieo/world.cfm
with a couple unit conversions, gives 27TW. Based on wikipedia, I should have used 40% instead of 50 for the base load, leaving us with a figure of 10TW instead of 15, but when we’re making predictions about social and technological changes that far in the future 1/3 off is well within the margin of error. That said, I had not thought far enough outside the box to deal with that by decentralizing the infrastructure.

1 Like

So much empty prattle here that completely avoids the issue of thermonuclear fusion. The federal reserve is currently expending 85 billion dollars per month to bail out downright criminal speculators on Wall Street. What do you think would happen if that was the budget for fusion research? We would not be engaged in this endless ludicrous bloviating over “renewable energy” because we would have a virtually inexhaustible supply not only of electrical power but also high temperature plasma technologies which would have revolutionized the manufacturing base. For example, water desalination and a plasma furnace which could cheaply reduce any given ore to its elemental constituents thereby giving the lie to limited resources. The concept of fusion propulsion would also revolutionize space exploration and defense against comet impacts. So, unless you are working toward a future with fusion you are less than serious.