Nuclear Power is NOT a Magical Godsend

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Nuclear Power is NOT a Magical Godsend

...I'm tired of people suggesting, 'Oh - in the future, we'll just go nuclear!'

 

This assertion is naive and ill-infromed. Nuclear power plants burn uranium to provide power, and uranium is no more renewable than coal or gas. The U.S. alone would require an absurd number of the largest possible nuclear power plants in order to meet it's current energy demands (I believe the figure I last check was somewhere in the neighborhood of about 8,000 such plants); doing this and burning U-35 in them would deplete the world's uranium supply in very short order, and then we'd be back to square one.

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


deludedgod
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Quote:burn uraniumYou don't

Quote:

burn uranium

You don't "burn uranium". Uranium undergoes induced fission reactions inside the reaction vessel which initiates more fission reactions and releases energy to heat water to make steam to turn a turbine.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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deludedgod wrote:Quote:burn

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

burn uranium

You don't "burn uranium". Uranium undergoes induced fission reactions inside the reaction vessel which initiates more fission reactions and releases energy to heat water to make steam to turn a turbine.

Sheesh, no offense DG, but I don't think Kevin was using burn in the literal sense, but in an energy mining process kind of way. I could be wrong, but thanks for the clarification.

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Nuclear fusion, perhaps?

When people talk of nuclear power, they could be referring to either nuclear fission or fusion.

Fusion may be able to quench the world's energy demand.  However, no one has ever been able to make it work here on Earth except, of course, as a nuclear weapon.  Damn those stars up there in the sky, mocking us with their displays of nuclear fusion.

Remember how you figured out there is no Santa? Well, their god is just like Santa. They just haven’t figured out he’s not real yet.


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"...I'm tired of people

"...I'm tired of people suggesting, 'Oh - in the future, we'll just go nuclear!"  ~ Kevin

    - I hear ya, but I think the potential and therefore pursuit of converting even non-radioactive matter into energy will eventually render significant results. 

Progress ??? "Lithium Reactors"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_power#Waste_management

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    "Teleportation" ! Well at least that of "dead" matter ..... Ahhh heck, why not ! Never say NEVER !

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I Think

   I think it's U-38 ,I'am not sure,any way there is also a great cost in the destruction of Native American Trible Lands.and the Health of the Tribe.

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Ken G. wrote:   I think

Ken G. wrote:

   I think it's U-38 ,I'am not sure,any way there is also a great cost in the destruction of Native American Trible Lands.and the Health of the Tribe.

It's Uranium-235 that is fissionable. 

http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/NucEne/fission.html

Uranium-238 is the much more common "stable" isotope. It makes up like 99.3% of all naturally found uranium. When uranium is described as "depleted uranium" it means that just about all the useful U-235 has been removed, leaving behind the "common" U-238.

Remember how you figured out there is no Santa? Well, their god is just like Santa. They just haven’t figured out he’s not real yet.


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TomJ wrote:When people talk

TomJ wrote:

When people talk of nuclear power, they could be referring to either nuclear fission or fusion.

Fusion may be able to quench the world's energy demand.  However, no one has ever been able to make it work here on Earth except, of course, as a nuclear weapon.  Damn those stars up there in the sky, mocking us with their displays of nuclear fusion.

France was building a reactor to do this. Whatever happened with their project?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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deludedgod wrote:Quote:burn

deludedgod wrote:

Quote:

burn uranium

You don't "burn uranium". Uranium undergoes induced fission reactions inside the reaction vessel which initiates more fission reactions and releases energy to heat water to make steam to turn a turbine.

Burnt. Used-up. Eaten. Depleted.

 

You know what I meant. Sticking out tongue

After the fission process, the uranium is of no use in generating power anymore; and the supply of uranium is no more renewable than the supply of oil.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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"those stars up there in the

"those stars up there in the sky, mocking us with their displays of nuclear fusion." Tom

 -  Hey, it's god saying "see the light, that is good" ! 


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My thoughts on Nuclear power...

Soon I will be a member and will be using the name whos_the_champ. I will confirm it IS me in my first post, so no one thinks I am trying to pawn off my beliefs on someone else, lol.

Why bother doing this if I already registered? I have college in the morning and need sleep, so can't afford to wait to receive my Password in the mail, lol.

Anyways, I'm a bit taken aback... I kinda expected to find more people with my train of thought on Nuclear power here on this site.

Not that I feel you are Wrong to feel the way you do, but with all the facts out there, and with the use of critical/thorough thinking... It makes it kinda hard to refute the benefits of Nuclear power as a safe power source.

In the link provided below is some EXCELLENT information on Nuclear power, and I URGE anyone who is reading this thread to thoroughly digest the information given, use critical thinking, and then continue to debate.

This is obviously not the only piece of information out there on nuclear power, but it it a very good read, and it shows not only the value in Nuclear power, but the killing power of coal (Which we continue to use while panicing about nuclear power... which IS already safe.).

http://russp.org/nucfacts.html

Also, there was a kick ass episode of Penn and Tellers: Bullshit titled "Nukes, Hyrbids and Lesbos" in which they tackle the common misperceptions on Nuclear power.

I IMPLORE everyone to take in the info from these two sources, and not just continue on with the dogmatic beliefs of environmentalism, which is fairly often scare tactics used to herd sheep, much in the way religion does. (To understand why I throw out such a "Bold" declaration on environmentalism, ALSO watch P&T's Bullshit on "Environmental Hysteria", also on youtube.)  

  

----------------------------------------------------------------

So I'm gonna make an ass out of us both and assume you all read through that page... Has it changed anyone's opinions?

I have long held the beliefs that this country--- this WORLD would be a MUCH better, happier and healthier place if Scientists... Actual, truth seeking scientists were in charge, and not the religious nuts that are today.

 And yes, I'm throwing it out there now: I equate Environmentalism to bearing MORE than a striking resemblance to religion, and possibly even a new religion...


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Who said it was unsafe?

No one in this thread argues that it is unsafe.  The fact is that the world's small supply of Uranium-235 will not meet our future energy needs.  There ain't enough uranium 235 to make it a viable alternative to coal and fossil fuels.  Nuclear fission will not be good enough for the future!

Nuclear fusion holds some promise if we could figure out how to mimic the voodoo that Sol (our fusion reactor in the sky) does so well.  Many scientists say that the technology is still decades away.

Remember how you figured out there is no Santa? Well, their god is just like Santa. They just haven’t figured out he’s not real yet.


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Kevin R Brown wrote:TomJ

Kevin R Brown wrote:

TomJ wrote:

When people talk of nuclear power, they could be referring to either nuclear fission or fusion.

Fusion may be able to quench the world's energy demand.  However, no one has ever been able to make it work here on Earth except, of course, as a nuclear weapon.  Damn those stars up there in the sky, mocking us with their displays of nuclear fusion.

France was building a reactor to do this. Whatever happened with their project?

TomJ wrote:

No one in this thread argues that it is unsafe.  The fact is that the world's small supply of Uranium-235 will not meet our future energy needs.  There ain't enough uranium 235 to make it a viable alternative to coal and fossil fuels.  Nuclear fission will not be good enough for the future!

Nuclear fusion holds some promise if we could figure out how to mimic the voodoo that Sol (our fusion reactor in the sky) does so well.  Many scientists say that the technology is still decades away.

Fusion power has been achieved.  It's been achieved and reproducable since at latest 1997 when JET (Joint European Torus) achieved about 16MW of fusion power for about one second.  A new, international tokamak, ITER (the one set to be built in France) is beginning construction right now (ITER Schedule).  It is supposedly going to be able to produce 400MW of fusion power for about six and a half minutes when it comes online in 2018.  ITER and CERN (LHC) have signed a cooperation agreement so that technology, data and finance can be shared.  What ITER will be capable of could be one of the most important steps to feasible and sustainable fusion power.  It will potentially be one of the most important experiments to have been conducted.

Oh, I see no problem with upgrading so that most of our energy demands are met by nuclear power plants.  Fissile material may not be exactly abundant (compared to iron), but it lasts a long time in reactors and provides enormous energy output that is virtually clean.  It is, at least, more sustainable than fossil fuel and is, frankly, the best alternative we currently have.  Do you have another option, Kevin, that for the forseeable future, would provide better energy output to meet current energy demands?  I don't think anyone would want all of our energy to be nuclear, but if at least half of it could be, would that be so bad?  I hope that by the year 2030 we have operating fusion power generators, it's something that is at least possible.

Edit: Further, not all nuclear power plants use uranium-235.  Some use plutonium-239 and others still could use thorium which would require 1/300 the amount of fuel to power them.  Also, CANDU reactors use unenriched (natural) uranium and uranium is 35 times more common than silver or as common as tin.  A reactor that can use natural uranium would be very efficient indeed, because there is estimated to be enough uranium in the Earth for nearly five billion years worth of nuclear fission.  Uranium fuel is also reprocessed and can be used again.  Yeah, it will run out, but likely not long before the Earth is a burned mote in a dead solar system even at today's energy needs.

Further Edit: So, what exactly was that that you were saying again, Kevin?  It would appear that the evidence is contrary to your assertion.  Nuclear fission would seem to be a viable and practically sustainable source of power for ages to come.  But you are right, it is not a magical god-send.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:Do you have

Thomathy wrote:

Do you have another option, Kevin, that for the forseeable future, would provide better energy output to meet current energy demands?  I don't think anyone would want all of our energy to be nuclear, but if at least half of it could be, would that be so bad?  I hope that by the year 2030 we have operating fusion power generators, it's something that is at least possible.

What do you think of the Pickens Plan?

Instead of a Blog

Think this can't work? - Think again.

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Neverfox wrote:What do you

Neverfox wrote:
What do you think of the Pickens Plan?
I'm not American.  Wind power is a decent alternative, but not terribly practical in huge installations.  I don't think wind power has ever been built to the scale suggested in that plan and I foresee cost problems, installation problems and maintenance problems.  That is not to mention the fact that optimal power output may be intermittent, if it is ever achieved.  Smaller scale wind farms do excellent work.  If someone wants to go ahead and build all those wind turbines, have at it.  I am simply of the opinion that nuclear energy is currently an extremely viable option for a number of reasons.  Mixed with sustainable power generators, like the wind and water, current energy demands could be met without fossil fuels at all.  I believe the cost may make it impracticle, however, for such a switch over to happen all at once or even gradually within reason.  There may also be too much vested interest in oil.

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Thomathy wrote:Neverfox

Thomathy wrote:

Neverfox wrote:
What do you think of the Pickens Plan?
I'm not American.  Wind power is a decent alternative, but not terribly practical in huge installations.  I don't think wind power has ever been built to the scale suggested in that plan and I foresee cost problems, installation problems and maintenance problems.  That is not to mention the fact that optimal power output may be intermittent, if it is ever achieved.  Smaller scale wind farms do excellent work.  If someone wants to go ahead and build all those wind turbines, have at it.  I am simply of the opinion that nuclear energy is currently an extremely viable option for a number of reasons.  Mixed with sustainable power generators, like the wind and water, current energy demands could be met without fossil fuels at all.  I believe the cost may make it impracticle, however, for such a switch over to happen all at once or even gradually within reason.  There may also be too much vested interest in oil.

My jury is still out on Pickens and his plan is certainly not American-only in concept (though it is in practice). One thing to keep in mind is that his plan is actually a dual wind/Nat. Gas solution. As for real world examples of large scale wind-works, Denmark produces nearly 19% of its electricity from wind (3000+ MW) with moderate wind. Sweetwater, TX has 2000 and Pickens' Pampa, TX project will be 4000. That would cover 20% of the US electrical demand and free up natural gas (in Pickens theory) to use in transportation. He fully admits that it's a bridge solution. I've only just started exploring his ideas so I'll reserve judgment for now. The only explanations I've seen are basic presentations with out many details.

Instead of a Blog

Think this can't work? - Think again.

"...what we always meant by socialism wasn't something you forced on people, it was people organizing themselves as they pleased...And if socialism really is better...then it can bloody well compete with capitalism. So we decided, forget all the statist shit and the violence: the best place for socialism is the closest to a free market you can get!" - Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction


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Quote:Do you have another

Quote:
Do you have another option, Kevin, that for the forseeable future, would provide better energy output to meet current energy demands?

Solar.

The Earth currently intercepts some arbitrary number of Pentawatts of solar energy, which remains by and large completely untapped.

 

My premise is also not incorrect. Nuclear power is not magical energy that just pops out of nowhere; we require non-renewable materials in order to produce nuclear power, and would need something along the lines of 10,000 nuclear plants (DG, could you help with the maths to provide a more accurate figure?) in order to feed our current energy needs. We'd bleed the planet of fissionable material in no time flat.

The project in France is very promising, but I want to reserve expectations until they actually have it built. We've proposed a similar plant up here (I'm sure you're aware of this, Thomothy), and the plans never amounted to anything.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Quote:DG, could you help

Quote:

DG, could you help with the maths to provide a more accurate figure?

 It doesn't seem to be a complicated problem. How much electricity does the human population consume daily? How much electricity can a nuclear power station output and what is the variation of outputs for different sized nuclear power stations? Take a mid-sized nuclear power plant's output and fix that as an average so the question becomes how many clones of that plant would be required to power the world. Divide the total electricity consumption of humanity per day divided by the output of a chosen power plant per day to find out how many would be needed to power the world. Then find the total net consumption of whatever radioactive isotope is being employed per day per plant, and divide the total amount left of that material in the world's ore supplies by that number to find the number of days it would last at the current rate of consumption. The math doesn't seem that hard, just find the numbers.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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Kevin R Brown wrote:Quote:Do

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
Do you have another option, Kevin, that for the forseeable future, would provide better energy output to meet current energy demands?

Solar.

The Earth currently intercepts some arbitrary number of Pentawatts of solar energy, which remains by and large completely untapped.

 

My premise is also not incorrect. Nuclear power is not magical energy that just pops out of nowhere; we require non-renewable materials in order to produce nuclear power, and would need something along the lines of 10,000 nuclear plants (DG, could you help with the maths to provide a more accurate figure?) in order to feed our current energy needs. We'd bleed the planet of fissionable material in no time flat.

The project in France is very promising, but I want to reserve expectations until they actually have it built. We've proposed a similar plant up here (I'm sure you're aware of this, Thomothy), and the plans never amounted to anything.

You're putting words in my mouth.  I never said it was magical.  I never suggested that all our power be derived from nuclear plants.  :P  That said, solar would be a great option if it could be done more efficiently.  I won't begrudge anyone who develops the technology.  I want sustainable power as much as you do Kevin, but I want less fossil fuel burning even more and I want that soon as possible.  Nuclear is a viable option for at least a part of our energy demands.


 

BigUniverse wrote,

"Well the things that happen less often are more likely to be the result of the supper natural. A thing like loosing my keys in the morning is not likely supper natural, but finding a thousand dollars or meeting a celebrity might be."


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Kevin R Brown wrote:...I'm

Kevin R Brown wrote:

...I'm tired of people suggesting, 'Oh - in the future, we'll just go nuclear!'

 

This assertion is naive and ill-infromed. Nuclear power plants burn uranium to provide power, and uranium is no more renewable than coal or gas. The U.S. alone would require an absurd number of the largest possible nuclear power plants in order to meet it's current energy demands (I believe the figure I last check was somewhere in the neighborhood of about 8,000 such plants); doing this and burning U-35 in them would deplete the world's uranium supply in very short order, and then we'd be back to square one.

Currently there are 103 US nuclear power plants that generate approximately 19% of the electricity used in the US.

See: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epat1p1.html

http://www.nmcco.com/education/facts/business/perform.htm

In order to provide 100% of US electric requirements this is only about 550 plants currently not 8,000 or 10,000.

Uranium reserves are based on cost of extraction. The higher the cost the more reserves available.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/page/reserves/ures.html

http://www.americanenergyindependence.com/uranium.html

Nuclear power cost of actual fuel is relatively low per KWH at .10 to .20 cents/KWH. Most of the cost is in labor and capital.

Even low grade ores can be used and these reserves are still unknown as in the past it was not cost effective to utilize. As uranium is rising in price these reserves have also become profitable.

Clearly only nuclear is not the way to go. We also have 800+ years of coal which can be used to free us from dependencies on imported oil.

http://www.ultracleanfuels.com/html/about.htm

A combination of all renewable sources, wind, solar, and hydro should be developed along with nuclear and clean coal.

Once upon a time lamps were illuminated with whale oil until the black gold was discovered. It is impossible to say what the energy sources will be in the world in 100 or 200 years. Technology will advance and new methods will be developed.

 

 

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"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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MHD power generation

A developing technology that may help with the coming energy demand is a something called Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) power generation.

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

Basically heat from the power source (burning coal, nuclear fission, or whatever you having lying around) is used to move plasma.  The plasma is used as the working fluid and energy is extracted from the plasma to induce currents directly, without any turbines.  The remaining heat from the MHD generator can then be used by a conventional steam turbine stage.  A steam turbine power plant maxes out at around 40% efficiency.  With a MHD generator stage, a power plant could theoretically reach around 60% efficiency.  Some believe that this technology may be able to extract energy directly from the plasma formed in nuclear fusion reactions, with the remaining heat being used to drive steam turbines.

Unfortunately, the costs for this technology are high.  If it were cheap, it would probably be already used everywhere.

Remember how you figured out there is no Santa? Well, their god is just like Santa. They just haven’t figured out he’s not real yet.


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Thomathy wrote:I want

Thomathy wrote:
I want sustainable power as much as you do Kevin, but I want less fossil fuel burning even more and I want that soon as possible.
 

You'll have it, and it'll be as soon as possible. That is, fossil fuels will become too expensive to burn. What do you think, three years from now? Maybe five?

Thomathy wrote:
Nuclear is a viable option for at least a part of our energy demands.

Hmm. But the machines that mine the uranium (which by hand is ... difficult) run on fossil fuels. In fact, everything runs on fossil fuels, most of it oil.

What also run on fossil fuels are the factories that make solar panels. Also the trucks that distribute the solar panels.

The party's over, guys. That's all I'm saying.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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HisWillness wrote: That is,

HisWillness wrote:

 

That is, fossil fuels will become too expensive to burn. What do you think, three years from now? Maybe five?

Such a pessimist. There are 800+ years of coal at current use in the US alone. Coal can be used to make electricity as well as techniques are being developed to economically liquefy for mobile use. We always can turn our corn and other grains into ethanol and stop exports. Soybeans can be used to make bio-fuel and that will run the machines to dig the uranium.

HisWillness wrote:

Hmm. But the machines that mine the uranium (which by hand is ... difficult) run on fossil fuels. In fact, everything runs on fossil fuels, most of it oil.

See above. Electric vehicles and others including ethanol and bio-fuels will supply the US with enough to mine uranium. Personally I think the US should export grains at the same price as a barrel of crude oil. If oil is $130 per barrel corn, wheat and other grains should be $130 per bushel. Those with all the crude can either eat their oil or pay our price. Canada imports from the US so that means you too. Current market on a bushel of corn is $5-6, wheat about $8 and soybeans about $14. My suggestion is only the export price be tied to the price per barrel of crude thus imposing a $120 or more fee or tax per bushel. These funds should then be used to develop the US energy market. As the US is the largest food exporter in the world it may be time to fight back with a better weapon than GPS guided smart bombs. Starvation will work faster than invasion and cost a lot less.

 

HisWillness wrote:

What also run on fossil fuels are the factories that make solar panels. Also the trucks that distribute the solar panels.

The party's over, guys. That's all I'm saying.

As always, when whales became harder to find the black gold was utilized to make kerosene for lamps instead of whale oil. I imagine there were many that thought the party was over then too.

 

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Quote:See above. Electric

Quote:
See above. Electric vehicles and others including ethanol and bio-fuels will supply the US with enough to mine uranium. Personally I think the US should export grains at the same price as a barrel of crude oil. If oil is $130 per barrel corn, wheat and other grains should be $130 per bushel. Those with all the crude can either eat their oil or pay our price. Canada imports from the US so that means you too. Current market on a bushel of corn is $5-6, wheat about $8 and soybeans about $14. My suggestion is only the export price be tied to the price per barrel of crude thus imposing a $120 or more fee or tax per bushel. These funds should then be used to develop the US energy market. As the US is the largest food exporter in the world it may be time to fight back with a better weapon than GPS guided smart bombs. Starvation will work faster than invasion and cost a lot less.

...See what I said about having nightmares, Will?

pauljohn:

I love biodiesel as much as the next guy, but it's terribly inefficient stuff. I'm not saying it's totally unviable, but the idea of industrial-scale use for it seems improbable right at the moment.

As for the attitude about enslaving to world the U.S.'s will... I'm not sure if you're aware, but we have your water. And China? They have your manufactured goods.

Isn't this a sad state of affairs we'd have come to? MAD through trade embargos and selfishness rather than nuclear exchange.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:...I'm

Kevin R Brown wrote:

...I'm tired of people suggesting, 'Oh - in the future, we'll just go nuclear!'

 

This assertion is naive and ill-infromed. Nuclear power plants burn uranium to provide power, and uranium is no more renewable than coal or gas. The U.S. alone would require an absurd number of the largest possible nuclear power plants in order to meet it's current energy demands (I believe the figure I last check was somewhere in the neighborhood of about 8,000 such plants); doing this and burning U-35 in them would deplete the world's uranium supply in very short order, and then we'd be back to square one.

 

there's also the added issue of depleted uranium, another strong argument against nuclear power plants.

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Neverfox wrote:Thomathy

Neverfox wrote:

Thomathy wrote:

Do you have another option, Kevin, that for the forseeable future, would provide better energy output to meet current energy demands?  I don't think anyone would want all of our energy to be nuclear, but if at least half of it could be, would that be so bad?  I hope that by the year 2030 we have operating fusion power generators, it's something that is at least possible.

What do you think of the Pickens Plan?

 

The fact it's from Pickens isn't good. It's a good idea, but not with him in play. There's a more than likely chance he sees a large degree of personal gain in his plan, else he wouldn't have given it a second thought.

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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Such a pessimist. There are 800+ years of coal at current use in the US alone. Coal can be used to make electricity as well as techniques are being developed to economically liquefy for mobile use.

800 years at what rate? The current rate of use? How would that change in the absence of both petroleum and natural gas? And we're going to extract that coal by hand at what rate? Check your math.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
We always can turn our corn and other grains into ethanol and stop exports. Soybeans can be used to make bio-fuel and that will run the machines to dig the uranium.

Corn, grains and soybeans are harvested by diesel (petroleum) powered machines, sprayed by petroleum-based chemicals, and fertilized by methane-based fertilizers. Do you see the problem?

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
See above. Electric vehicles and others including ethanol and bio-fuels will supply the US with enough to mine uranium.

The only thing I've seen that's promising is this:

http://www.engineair.com.au/

because even an old windmill could be set up to compress air, and that would eliminate any electrical storage in batteries or energy conversion at all. It's an amazing motor, too.

But electric vehicles? Burn coal (most US power plants are coal, making up half the wattage) to charge a car whose batteries have a shelf-life of only a few years? You must be joking.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
These funds should then be used to develop the US energy market. As the US is the largest food exporter in the world it may be time to fight back with a better weapon than GPS guided smart bombs. Starvation will work faster than invasion and cost a lot less.

Attempting to control the world food market might backfire, since the European Union is actually the largest world exporter of food (http://uk.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUKL1835607720080418). Also, threatening the world with starvation makes you sound like a movie bad guy. Most of the world is already starving, despite the fact that countries like the US and Australia are epidemically obese, so that might also be a hollow threat.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
As always, when whales became harder to find the black gold was utilized to make kerosene for lamps instead of whale oil. I imagine there were many that thought the party was over then too.

You have your history mixed up. After the drilling started, oil from the ground was much cheaper than whale oil (kerosene also burns brighter). But kerosene was actually made from coal first, and then later seep oil. The use of kerosene caused the whaling industry to slow down, not the other way around. Not to say that we didn't eliminate the gray whale from the Atlantic, and nearly drive the beluga, sperm, and humpback whales nearly into extinction. But that's not why oil became popular. Energy density, portability, and cheap availabilty is what made oil popular. 

Track the energy flow of the world, and you may find that while some of it comes from the current sun, the majority that we use comes from a prehistoric sun.

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Kevin R Brown wrote:...See

Kevin R Brown wrote:

...See what I said about having nightmares, Will?

I hear you.

Kevin R Brown wrote:
I love biodiesel as much as the next guy, but it's terribly inefficient stuff. I'm not saying it's totally unviable, but the idea of industrial-scale use for it seems improbable right at the moment.

Not to mention the fact that Indonesia has taken it upon itself to turn large swaths of land into coconut groves, since coconuts produce the most energy rich oil for biodiesel. The only problem, of course, is that monoculture practices like these (Cf. corn) have always caused us trouble, and the coconuts, once more, aren't harvested by hand. That's right, oil.

I'd just like to point out again that there are different grades of oil as well. Light sweet crude is the easiest to refine, and fastest disappearing. The other kinds require more energy to get, and more energy to refine. I'm serious when I say we're in the end-game, and I'm not the only person who has done the math and had his jaw hit the floor. This isn't an end-times prediction, it's more like knowing we're on the way to a sharp decline into moving slower than we do now. That's not catastrophic, just slower. If you can handle the pace of the 19th century, you should be fine.

 

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Life, conscious, will always

Life, conscious, will always be, BUT our extinction is immanent, guaranteed, so how long can we help to prolong it most comfortably ?

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Kay, depleted uranium is

Kay, depleted uranium is called 'depleted' because it's not radioactive. It can't be used in fission processes, and it's safe to handle. The only military application for DU is it's extremely high density; it's the most dense material currently known. That means that, say, tank sabot rounds made of DU have much greater potential KE (and thus penetrating power) than other ordinance (though Tungsten rounds are a close second, and tungsten has some rather nasty properties when propelled at high speed - which is why any tank rounds not made out of DU these days are made from tungsten instead).

 

Will: ...I wonder if the party might just 'lull'? All of our infrastructure, machinery, etc is already in place; we're just running out of the juice to feed it. After the starvation, and when our great engine isn't roaring-on at full tilt anymore... we've still got batteries, electric vehicles, power sources, etc. I mean, in theory, we could use electric machinery powered by solar energy (...or plug-in power, or bio-fuel, or whichever alternative) to collect, manufacture and further develop solar collecters (Silica, being among the most common stuff there is, isn't hard to scoop-up and refine).

It wouldn't be the huge pile-driving smackdown economic boom / boost we saw in the oil revolution... but it could certainly bring us slowly and steadily back into a roaring glory (...if that's what we want).

(...it just struck me that NASA does this all the time. Uses solar-powered vehicles for mining / collection operations; though, granted, it's not on an idustrial scale).

 

Moreover, I've looked into the French machine Thomothy referenced, that I've known of for some time but not much about. The work there is extremely promising. Granted, it's not a fix for transportation problems (...a job for solar energy. Have you seen the manned solar prop aircraft they've demo'd recently? Odd-looking, but impressive), but I feel that the most pressing concern is information exchange (note that, even right now, it doesn't even matter that I don't have any means of getting to you - we can still share ideas regardless), and if we can essentially 'make magic' like our own sun... well, energy problems over, for the most part.

(...I also wonder... if the process works the same way, our 'mini sun' would be forging elements, right? As part of the pocess? It strikes me that this would be an extremely useful 'side-effect' of sorts. ...Heh... though I don't think we'd want to bring such a body to the point where it forges the heavier elements...

Boom boom? Sticking out tongue )

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Kay,

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Kay, depleted uranium is called 'depleted' because it's not radioactive. It can't be used in fission processes, and it's safe to handle. The only military application for DU is it's extremely high density; it's the most dense material currently known. That means that, say, tank sabot rounds made of DU have much greater potential KE (and thus penetrating power) than other ordinance (though Tungsten rounds are a close second, and tungsten has some rather nasty properties when propelled at high speed - which is why any tank rounds not made out of DU these days are made from tungsten instead).

 

Will: ...I wonder if the party might just 'lull'? All of our infrastructure, machinery, etc is already in place; we're just running out of the juice to feed it. After the starvation, and when our great engine isn't roaring-on at full tilt anymore... we've still got batteries, electric vehicles, power sources, etc. I mean, in theory, we could use electric machinery powered by solar energy (...or plug-in power, or bio-fuel, or whichever alternative) to collect, manufacture and further develop solar collecters (Silica, being among the most common stuff there is, isn't hard to scoop-up and refine).

It wouldn't be the huge pile-driving smackdown economic boom / boost we saw in the oil revolution... but it could certainly bring us slowly and steadily back into a roaring glory (...if that's what we want).

(...it just struck me that NASA does this all the time. Uses solar-powered vehicles for mining / collection operations; though, granted, it's not on an idustrial scale).

 

Moreover, I've looked into the French machine Thomothy referenced, that I've known of for some time but not much about. The work there is extremely promising. Granted, it's not a fix for transportation problems (...a job for solar energy. Have you seen the manned solar prop aircraft they've demo'd recently? Odd-looking, but impressive), but I feel that the most pressing concern is information exchange (note that, even right now, it doesn't even matter that I don't have any means of getting to you - we can still share ideas regardless), and if we can essentially 'make magic' like our own sun... well, energy problems over, for the most part.

(...I also wonder... if the process works the same way, our 'mini sun' would be forging elements, right? As part of the pocess? It strikes me that this would be an extremely useful 'side-effect' of sorts. ...Heh... though I don't think we'd want to bring such a body to the point where it forges the heavier elements...

Boom boom? Sticking out tongue )

 

it's the armor and bomb jacketing properties that are the issue I have with it. Think of the possibility of nutcases in the Air Force or Marines getting a hold of amounts of DU and using them in bombs and tanks which can't be penetrated except by more DU. It's not the radioactive properties that I'm concerned about, it's the weapons properties.

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DU actually doesn't make

DU actually doesn't make good armor. It's too heavy. Tanks consume enough fuel as it is without layering them with DU. Sticking out tongue Reactive armor essentially does a better job at protecting an armored vehicle than DU could hope to without the added baggage of all that extra weight.

Bomb casing is also impractical, thanks to the both the afore-mentioned weight issue and, well, overkill factor: right now, a JSOW packing a bunker-busting warhead and travelling at terminal velocity towards it's target has pretty much the highest POK (Probability of Kill) that you could hope for.

DU actually is currently used by the USAF for the tank-busting gatling gun on the A-10 Thunderbolt II (the 'Warthog').

 

Don't worry: the military powers of the world, nutcase brass included, are already well aware of what the most effective materials to use for killing people and selling to other people to commit genocide with currently are. It seems like they never miss a memo. Sticking out tongue

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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War is failure, yeah we

War is failure, yeah we fail.  Must we always ? 


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:War is

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

War is failure, yeah we fail.  Must we always ? 

Good question.

 

I think the first really, really big step forward humanity will have to make, if it wants to seek out greater fortunes among the stars, is to drop the barriers. You know when your social consciousness really first took root, and you decided, '...Hey... You know what? I'm just going to start talking with these other people around me. I don't think strangers are as dangerous as they taught me in grade 1,' ?

We have to do that, collectively, on a macroscopic scale. We have to question (and in so doing, shatter) every generalization we've ever heard about, 'those people,' and drop baggage like, 'National identity', 'Patriotism', etc, which are demons we've spun into positive ideals to trip ourselves up.

 

After we've done that, I think you'll find that large scale wars (though certainly not fighting and killing; violence is not something I think that any conventional organism can realistically hope to rid itself of) will cease.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Some clarification

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Kay, depleted uranium is called 'depleted' because it's not radioactive. It can't be used in fission processes, and it's safe to handle. The only military application for DU is it's extremely high density; it's the most dense material currently known.

These statements are not entirely accurate.  Depleted uranium (U-238) is technically radioactive, though it's weak alpha radiation and it has a rather long half life of about 4.5 billion years.  The danger with depleted uranium isn't its radioactivity, but its toxicity as a heavy metal.

The most dense element known would be either osmium or iridium depending on who you ask.  However, I would support the statement that depleted uranium is the densest material used as ammunition.

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Kevin R Brown

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Quote:
See above. Electric vehicles and others including ethanol and bio-fuels will supply the US with enough to mine uranium. Personally I think the US should export grains at the same price as a barrel of crude oil. If oil is $130 per barrel corn, wheat and other grains should be $130 per bushel. Those with all the crude can either eat their oil or pay our price. Canada imports from the US so that means you too. Current market on a bushel of corn is $5-6, wheat about $8 and soybeans about $14. My suggestion is only the export price be tied to the price per barrel of crude thus imposing a $120 or more fee or tax per bushel. These funds should then be used to develop the US energy market. As the US is the largest food exporter in the world it may be time to fight back with a better weapon than GPS guided smart bombs. Starvation will work faster than invasion and cost a lot less.

...See what I said about having nightmares, Will?

pauljohn:

I love biodiesel as much as the next guy, but it's terribly inefficient stuff. I'm not saying it's totally unviable, but the idea of industrial-scale use for it seems improbable right at the moment.

As for the attitude about enslaving to world the U.S.'s will... I'm not sure if you're aware, but we have your water. And China? They have your manufactured goods.

Isn't this a sad state of affairs we'd have come to? MAD through trade embargos and selfishness rather than nuclear exchange.

Is there no humor in Canada? You'all that serious you can't spot satire anymore.

There are alternatives to our current worldwide mess but the US has not become serious in addressing the problems. 8 Years of GW where annually he brings it up in the State of the Union and does all he can the rest of the time to make his cronies in the oil industry richer has helped to create this disaster. To be fair none of this is new, these problems date to the 70s and weren't handled by Ford, Carter and Reagan. Brazil addressed their own energy issue after twice having shortages create economic hardship. The real solution with current technology involves a combination of many methods. The big problem is getting through to Americans that our world is different now and we need to live closer to work than 60 miles. Many Americans drive the equivalent distance to work as the distance across the Panama Canal. The round trip commute is greater than the width of Italy. In a week many commute the equivalent distance of Paris to Berlin.

Kevin,

You began this thread with a wild claim it would take 8,000 to 10,000 nuclear power plants to supply power in the US. In reality it's only 500 as 103 plants supply about 20% of the power today. I figured you were grossly exaggerating on purpose as you are against nuclear power.

As to the water, nuclear power could provide enough energy to desalinate in a major way. Tampa Florida already does this even though they have access to the Florida aquifer. Probably smart as with the increased population in Florida and a rising ocean level the entire aquifer will become tainted and brackish eventually. Israel also uses desalinization in a big way. I grew up in Colorado not Florida and I'm very familiar with water and the West. It won't be gasoline or oil that brings down California in the end it will be water. Lake Mead will hit the minimum level in less than 10 years thanks to the increased use and droughts for the last 10 years. Las Vegas will be left high and dry as their water rights are near the bottom of the usage rights. Los Angles has only slightly better rights usage which is subject to the Western States Colorado River compact.

Clearly if Americans don't buy a new cellphone twice a year and a new PC and TV every 2 years and decide Christmas is a dumb ass way to waste their money China would have severe loss in employment. This part may actually happen this year in a small way as there is so much pressure on the average American's budget. If China and India can't sell products here their economy will falter and a cascade effect occurs.

There is no single solution to the mess modern man and especially the consumer trend established here in the US in the 1950's has brought about. Perhaps we all might need to work together for all of the world's common good. Yeah, like that will happen.

 

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HisWillness

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Such a pessimist. There are 800+ years of coal at current use in the US alone. Coal can be used to make electricity as well as techniques are being developed to economically liquefy for mobile use.

800 years at what rate? The current rate of use? How would that change in the absence of both petroleum and natural gas? And we're going to extract that coal by hand at what rate? Check your math.

See this link to learn more about coal use:

http://www.ultracleanfuels.com/html/about.htm

Will, read the entire article to gain more understanding of their claim.

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
We always can turn our corn and other grains into ethanol and stop exports. Soybeans can be used to make bio-fuel and that will run the machines to dig the uranium.

Corn, grains and soybeans are harvested by diesel (petroleum) powered machines, sprayed by petroleum-based chemicals, and fertilized by methane-based fertilizers. Do you see the problem?

Part of this is satire - "stop exports" not likely as we'all like to make as much cash as possible.

Again, technology will develop and already shows promise to use bacteria in making bio-fuels from almost anything.

See: http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080616-biofuel-from-bacteria-startup-says-its-on-the-way.html

and: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080106202952.htm

It's hard to say what else will develop but one thing that is true the current trends can't continue. Better ways will be found that's what engineers and scientists do or we would still be using candles for light and donkeys to get around.

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
See above. Electric vehicles and others including ethanol and bio-fuels will supply the US with enough to mine uranium.

The only thing I've seen that's promising is this:

http://www.engineair.com.au/

because even an old windmill could be set up to compress air, and that would eliminate any electrical storage in batteries or energy conversion at all. It's an amazing motor, too.

But electric vehicles? Burn coal (most US power plants are coal, making up half the wattage) to charge a car whose batteries have a shelf-life of only a few years? You must be joking.

I saw this compressed air idea a while back, kind of cool.

Electric vehicles probably will be the trend because they will have a long usage life. It's a good thing batteries wear out as it fits the consume and replace economy we have. Nah just playing with ya. Battery technology is improving significantly as witnessed by your cell phone today versus those of 15 years ago.

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
These funds should then be used to develop the US energy market. As the US is the largest food exporter in the world it may be time to fight back with a better weapon than GPS guided smart bombs. Starvation will work faster than invasion and cost a lot less.

Attempting to control the world food market might backfire, since the European Union is actually the largest world exporter of food (http://uk.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUKL1835607720080418). Also, threatening the world with starvation makes you sound like a movie bad guy. Most of the world is already starving, despite the fact that countries like the US and Australia are epidemically obese, so that might also be a hollow threat.

In my case this was satire, but there really are some isolationist America First groups that feel this way. We have some here on RRS I've seen. It would never happen as there are too many interlinks between economies. Corporations are so multi-national that it is completely unlikely.

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
As always, when whales became harder to find the black gold was utilized to make kerosene for lamps instead of whale oil. I imagine there were many that thought the party was over then too.

You have your history mixed up. After the drilling started, oil from the ground was much cheaper than whale oil (kerosene also burns brighter). But kerosene was actually made from coal first, and then later seep oil. The use of kerosene caused the whaling industry to slow down, not the other way around. Not to say that we didn't eliminate the gray whale from the Atlantic, and nearly drive the beluga, sperm, and humpback whales nearly into extinction. But that's not why oil became popular. Energy density, portability, and cheap availabilty is what made oil popular.

You caught me. I pulled this out of my ass.

You're right

HisWillness wrote:

Track the energy flow of the world, and you may find that while some of it comes from the current sun, the majority that we use comes from a prehistoric sun.

I'm aware. Many US states have laws on the books to reimburse its citizens for installing solar panels to generate either electricity or heat. They go unnoticed and little used until recently. See the following link how in Florida all the cash allocated was spent. They rebate up to $20,000 for home solar electric panels.

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/energy/energyact/solar.htm

and see this for examples of systems.

http://www.floridasolarrebate.com/

 

 

 

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Kevin R Brown wrote:Will:

Kevin R Brown wrote:
Will: ...I wonder if the party might just 'lull'? All of our infrastructure, machinery, etc is already in place; we're just running out of the juice to feed it.

It's a problem of energy, not of available materials. Although it has occurred to me that we'll have an incredible availability of steel. The reason I agree with the "party's over" sentiment is that we won't be able to afford to not do the work that was done by fossil fuels. We'll have to do it ourselves, which should scare the shit out of people who aren't in shape enough to take part.

Kevin R Brown wrote:
After the starvation

Let's be clear: North America and the European Union probably wouldn't be hit that hard by starvation in the event of a serious energy crisis. We're big exporters of food, and we still have plenty of farmers who could forgo export in favour of local trade. It's pretty much everyone else. India is just screwed.

Kevin R Brown wrote:
we've still got batteries, electric vehicles, power sources, etc. I mean, in theory, we could use electric machinery powered by solar energy (...or plug-in power, or bio-fuel, or whichever alternative) to collect, manufacture and further develop solar collecters (Silica, being among the most common stuff there is, isn't hard to scoop-up and refine)

Oh, don't get me wrong: we're not going to shrivel up. We have massive advantages in terms of knowledge and technology, but ... well, a small car has a peak horsepower of around 30 kilowatts. Drive for two hours at 50%, and that's 30 kilowatt hours. That's the average household's energy use for a day. (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/ask/electricity_faqs.asp). What I'm saying is that if the transportation energy part of it goes, we just lost half of the available energy we use. A humble suggestion: learn how to make a Stirling engine for refrigeration. They're used in cryogenic applications, but as a heat pump, they work off of very little mechanical energy.

Also, bio-fuel would be silly during a period of starvation.

Kevin R Brown wrote:
It wouldn't be the huge pile-driving smackdown economic boom / boost we saw in the oil revolution... but it could certainly bring us slowly and steadily back into a roaring glory (...if that's what we want).

We always want roaring glory. But thankfully, it won't be available to us. If you just have the one sun providing energy instead of two, your options are limited. It's still just a problem of available energy.

Kevin R Brown wrote:
and if we can essentially 'make magic' like our own sun... well, energy problems over, for the most part.

It's possible. How much energy did you say had to go into the reactor first?

Kevin R Brown wrote:
(...I also wonder... if the process works the same way, our 'mini sun' would be forging elements, right? As part of the pocess? It strikes me that this would be an extremely useful 'side-effect' of sorts. ...Heh... though I don't think we'd want to bring such a body to the point where it forges the heavier elements...

Boom boom? Sticking out tongue )

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Far be it from me to EVER

Far be it from me to EVER instill a bright side into a conversation...

But one would think that the "Burning Up" of Uranium would make alot of anti-WMD proponents happy... what with all the world countries that are rising to the level of being able to support a nuclear arsenal.

 

Kinda like Texas trying to purchase Canadian water... only to find out we've used all our supply for housing

(Igloo joke)

What Would Kharn Do?



HisWillness
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pauljohntheskeptic wrote:See

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

See this link to learn more about coal use:

http://www.ultracleanfuels.com/html/about.htm

Will, read the entire article to gain more understanding of their claim.

No, I get it. Really. I want there to be a solution, I really do. The problem is that liquefying coal takes energy ... and that would presumably come from liquefying coal. They don't include that in their math. It's not about how much there is, it's about how much energy it takes to get the energy. That includes transporting people to the coal and the coal to the refineries and everything else. If we had 10 years to work this out, then maybe. We don't have 10 years.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Again, technology will develop and already shows promise to use bacteria in making bio-fuels from almost anything.

How quickly can you produce 5,000,000 barrels of ethanol by bacteria? These things showed promise in the 70s.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Better ways will be found that's what engineers and scientists do or we would still be using candles for light and donkeys to get around.

You figure that was scientists or the organized use of coal and oil? I'm not knocking engineers, but they use 300 year old math. The crux of the problem is entirely energy economics. The Roman empire fell because it could not keep the flow of energy going (in the form of food) despite an infrastructure that still stands today.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
I saw this compressed air idea a while back, kind of cool.

"Kind of cool"? The man has created an engine you can hand-machine and runs on compressed air without the need for an intermediate electrical transformation stage. That's the cheapest possible infrastructure, with the longest possible lifespan. In terms of efficiency, it's superior to current technology by an order of magnitude!

By comparison, electric motors are difficult to produce and run on batteries (which suck in terms of efficiency, have a shelf-life, and are made of toxic components). 

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Battery technology is improving significantly as witnessed by your cell phone today versus those of 15 years ago.

Those are still Lithium Ion batteries, which start degrading as soon as you make them. Their improvement in power density is largely a product of manufacturing processes. Trust me when I say batteries suck. Also, they're still toxic.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
In my case this was satire, but there really are some isolationist America First groups that feel this way. We have some here on RRS I've seen. It would never happen as there are too many interlinks between economies. Corporations are so multi-national that it is completely unlikely.

Sorry I missed the tone - I'm very much into this particular topic, so I tend to get all serious.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Many US states have laws on the books to reimburse its citizens for installing solar panels to generate either electricity or heat. They go unnoticed and little used until recently. See the following link how in Florida all the cash allocated was spent. They rebate up to $20,000 for home solar electric panels.

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/energy/energyact/solar.htm

and see this for examples of systems.

http://www.floridasolarrebate.com/

Yup. Distributed energy production sure would be the best way to go. In the absence of a large, centralized source of energy, it's pretty much all we would have left. But one solar panel produces at peak 150 watts of energy. A three person home needs what, 4000 watts at peak? That's a lot of panel, batteries, transformers, and all manner of electronic regulators before you have anything you can use. At least in Florida there's no shortage of sunny days.

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fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


HisWillness
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aiia wrote:the waste

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


pauljohntheskeptic
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HisWillness wrote:No, I get

HisWillness wrote:

No, I get it. Really. I want there to be a solution, I really do. The problem is that liquefying coal takes energy ... and that would presumably come from liquefying coal. They don't include that in their math. It's not about how much there is, it's about how much energy it takes to get the energy. That includes transporting people to the coal and the coal to the refineries and everything else. If we had 10 years to work this out, then maybe. We don't have 10 years.

Producing energy from anything takes energy to get the raw materials, to make the equipment, to transport the fuel, products, or equipment. What needs to happen in the US especially is a national emergency should be declared or at least a unified plan to change the status quo. Something like the Space Program to go to the Moon but even on a larger scale. Other developed countries all need to join in the effort because if not your doom scenario is likely.

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Again, technology will develop and already shows promise to use bacteria in making bio-fuels from almost anything.

How quickly can you produce 5,000,000 barrels of ethanol by bacteria? These things showed promise in the 70s.

If we do nothing as we have been doing it'll take so long real oil wars will occur.

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Better ways will be found that's what engineers and scientists do or we would still be using candles for light and donkeys to get around.

You figure that was scientists or the organized use of coal and oil? I'm not knocking engineers, but they use 300 year old math. The crux of the problem is entirely energy economics. The Roman empire fell because it could not keep the flow of energy going (in the form of food) despite an infrastructure that still stands today.

I blame Rome's fall on acceptance of Christianity and loss of religious tolerance as well. There were of course the internal power struggles that consumed irreplaceable Legions too. When Rome began to use German tribes as mercenaries it was only a matter of time for their house of cards to fold.

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
I saw this compressed air idea a while back, kind of cool.

"Kind of cool"? The man has created an engine you can hand-machine and runs on compressed air without the need for an intermediate electrical transformation stage. That's the cheapest possible infrastructure, with the longest possible lifespan. In terms of efficiency, it's superior to current technology by an order of magnitude!

By comparison, electric motors are difficult to produce and run on batteries (which suck in terms of efficiency, have a shelf-life, and are made of toxic components).

What do you expect from an engineer when he praises a totally fantastic innovative idea that he didn't invent himself?

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Battery technology is improving significantly as witnessed by your cell phone today versus those of 15 years ago.

Those are still Lithium Ion batteries, which start degrading as soon as you make them. Their improvement in power density is largely a product of manufacturing processes. Trust me when I say batteries suck. Also, they're still toxic.

Will,

See this link for a new development in batteries that is about 10 times more storage than Li-ion:

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/january9/nanowire-010908.html

Granted waste results from everything we humans do, responsibility is usually hidden or ignored.

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
In my case this was satire, but there really are some isolationist America First groups that feel this way. We have some here on RRS I've seen. It would never happen as there are too many interlinks between economies. Corporations are so multi-national that it is completely unlikely.

Sorry I missed the tone - I'm very much into this particular topic, so I tend to get all serious.

Sorry about that, you usually are quite the one for satire yourself.

HisWillness wrote:

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Many US states have laws on the books to reimburse its citizens for installing solar panels to generate either electricity or heat. They go unnoticed and little used until recently. See the following link how in Florida all the cash allocated was spent. They rebate up to $20,000 for home solar electric panels.

http://www.dep.state.fl.us/energy/energyact/solar.htm

and see this for examples of systems.

http://www.floridasolarrebate.com/

Yup. Distributed energy production sure would be the best way to go. In the absence of a large, centralized source of energy, it's pretty much all we would have left. But one solar panel produces at peak 150 watts of energy. A three person home needs what, 4000 watts at peak? That's a lot of panel, batteries, transformers, and all manner of electronic regulators before you have anything you can use. At least in Florida there's no shortage of sunny days.

That's the point in the Florida plan. Plus hurricanes tend to cut off power for days to a week at a time.

See this link for an example:

http://www.floridasolarrebate.com/thecatalystnewbig.htm

This system provides 5550 DC watts peak. It costs $31,857. Less $20,000 Florida rebate and $2,000 Federal tax credit it costs $$9,857.

Typical Florida electric usage is about 2800 KWHs per month or $250 plus fuel charges, taxes. Power not used is sold to the local utility at the current rate or credited against your bill. In the end, you get your electricity for the price of a car. This system will provide from 25 to 50% of the electricity required for a typical family. Every bit helps.

 

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


HisWillness
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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Producing energy from anything takes energy to get the raw materials, to make the equipment, to transport the fuel, products, or equipment. What needs to happen in the US especially is a national emergency should be declared or at least a unified plan to change the status quo. Something like the Space Program to go to the Moon but even on a larger scale. Other developed countries all need to join in the effort because if not your doom scenario is likely.

You got it. Anyone listening? No?

Uh oh.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
What do you expect from an engineer when he praises a totally fantastic innovative idea that he didn't invent himself?

Good call. I was pissed, to tell you the truth, that I didn't think of it myself, but then ... this guy was on the team that designed the Wankel rotary engine. Credentials for designing a motor just don't get better than that.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
See this link for a new development in batteries that is about 10 times more storage than Li-ion:

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/january9/nanowire-010908.html

Those would have a greater power density, that's true. They still degrade over a period of a few years, though, just like your cellphone batteries. And they're still toxic.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Granted waste results from everything we humans do, responsibility is usually hidden or ignored.

This is actually why I like the compressed air idea. Much less waste. Smaller, diverse, and distributed infrastructure without the need for an extra layer of distribution (ie oil and gasoline being shipped, since compressed air can be produced using any mechanical energy source).

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Sorry about that, you usually are quite the one for satire yourself.

It's true. For some reason the topic of energy gets me all serious. It's like my comedic kryptonite. That, plus drumming and trading. The seriousness ends there (ask any ex-girlfriend!)

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Typical Florida electric usage is about 2800 KWHs per month

Is that true? The us energy site I mentioned earlier said the average was 920 kW hours per month. That would make Florida a HUGE energy consumer.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


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HisWillness

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Producing energy from anything takes energy to get the raw materials, to make the equipment, to transport the fuel, products, or equipment. What needs to happen in the US especially is a national emergency should be declared or at least a unified plan to change the status quo. Something like the Space Program to go to the Moon but even on a larger scale. Other developed countries all need to join in the effort because if not your doom scenario is likely.

You got it. Anyone listening? No?

Uh oh.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
What do you expect from an engineer when he praises a totally fantastic innovative idea that he didn't invent himself?

Good call. I was pissed, to tell you the truth, that I didn't think of it myself, but then ... this guy was on the team that designed the Wankel rotary engine. Credentials for designing a motor just don't get better than that.

edit: he was on the team that designed the Mercedes version of the Wankel engine.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
See this link for a new development in batteries that is about 10 times more storage than Li-ion:

http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/january9/nanowire-010908.html

Those would have a greater power density, that's true. They still degrade over a period of a few years, though, just like your cellphone batteries. And they're still toxic.

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Granted waste results from everything we humans do, responsibility is usually hidden or ignored.

This is actually why I like the compressed air idea. Much less waste. Smaller, diverse, and distributed infrastructure without the need for an extra layer of distribution (ie oil and gasoline being shipped, since compressed air can be produced using any mechanical energy source).

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Sorry about that, you usually are quite the one for satire yourself.

It's true. For some reason the topic of energy gets me all serious. It's like my comedic kryptonite. That, plus drumming and trading. The seriousness ends there (ask any ex-girlfriend!)

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:
Typical Florida electric usage is about 2800 KWHs per month

Is that true? The us energy site I mentioned earlier said the average was 920 kW hours per month. That would make Florida a HUGE energy consumer.

Saint Will: no gyration without funkstification.
fabulae! nil satis firmi video quam ob rem accipere hunc mi expediat metum. - Terence


pauljohntheskeptic
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HisWillness wrote:Is that

HisWillness wrote:

Is that true? The us energy site I mentioned earlier said the average was 920 kW hours per month. That would make Florida a HUGE energy consumer.

My typical bill for electricity has been about $75/month plus $15/month for a gas water heater. My electric cost per KWH is about $.09 plus tax. So I use about 750 KWH/month which is what my June bill from 2007 had but less in the winter like 550 kwh. I'm completely cheap ass. I turn off my AC when I'm at work for 11 hours. Every light in my house is a CFL and has been since 2000. In general people use a lot of power to run AC units as it stays over 80 even at night for months. The insulation in most Florida homes is piss poor. In general water heating is generally electric. Most  inside central air systems have heater elements to provide heat which is extremely inefficient and costly. Consider most people in Florida think 55 degrees F is cold.

I don't think 920 KWH/month is accurate, it should be about what I said around 2800 at least in summer. I found a chart that details power usage by state, and guess what Florida is one of the highest users per household though Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina and a few others use more. This survey is from 2000 so its probably low. Here it claims Florida is 1151 KWH per month. The link below shows this.

http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epav2/html_tables/epav2t2p1.html

  

I have given this all up to return to Colorado recently where I spent most of my life until I went to Orlando 17 years ago. I know what cold is just like you do, but Florida changes your tolerance. I was in Denver part of last winter and rarely ventured out except when I needed to for business.

____________________________________________________________
"I guess it's time to ask if you live under high voltage power transmission lines which have been shown to cause stimulation of the fantasy centers of the brain due to electromagnetic waves?" - Me

"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Quote:Let's be clear: North

Quote:
Let's be clear: North America and the European Union probably wouldn't be hit that hard by starvation in the event of a serious energy crisis. We're big exporters of food, and we still have plenty of farmers who could forgo export in favour of local trade. It's pretty much everyone else. India is just screwed.

Well, parts of it (like Alberta) are fucked.

We can't maintain good foodstocks. Agriculture has been badly savaged by a variety of factors over here (oil and gas expansion, mainly); we couldn't possibly hope to sustain life over here without transportation of food from elsewhere.

India's totally boned, but China's not in much better shape... Except that they have one of the largest military forces in the world, and it's not like they'd wait until they can't fuel their tanks and planes before they went on a rampage.

Quote:
We always want roaring glory. But thankfully, it won't be available to us. If you just have the one sun providing energy instead of two, your options are limited. It's still just a problem of available energy.

Limited?

There's more than enough solar energy being emitted from our lonesome Sol. We couldn't possible find ourselves wanting if we used it properly.

Quote:
It's possible. How much energy did you say had to go into the reactor first?

Um. I don't honestly know.

This page covers that information, but I really don't understand the information being presented.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940