Jump to content


Photo

IM240 smog test


  • Please log in to reply
216 replies to this topic

#101 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 19 April 2010 - 11:12

Once upon a time in Asutralia we used to have supercruise. This detected that you were cruising on a freeway, and progressively leaned the mixture off, and advanced the timing. Net result was that at 100 kph you could average 35-40 mpUSg in a full size car on long trips.

Obviously the tradeoff was that NOx increased. However since freeways tend to be in the country, where there is no NOx problem, it wasn't an issue.

Howver the spineless bureacrats decided that because it could possibly be abused it would be banned. So, supercruise is out, NOx in cities is unchanged, and fuel consumption is increased.


Guess I am with the spineless bureaucrats on this one. Sounds rife for abuse if not non-executable by definition. What are "city," "country," and "suburb," and how are they defined? And by whom? The appropriate government agency or a calibration technician?

With decent fuel management incl. solid FAR perturbation I would expect an improvement in fuel economy to be marginal at best.


Advertisement

#102 Greg Locock

Greg Locock
  • Member

  • 5,708 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 19 April 2010 - 11:31

Been to oz?

#103 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 19 April 2010 - 12:25

Obviously the tradeoff was that NOx increased. However since freeways tend to be in the country, where there is no NOx problem, it wasn't an issue.


I would like to know if the NOX as a quantity, not %, is the same output for the 40mpg as the 30mpg car?

Or put another way, is an Euro 3 60mpg 1000cc bike doing more damage to the air than a 15mpg Euro 4 V8 Landcruiser as it passes you by?


#104 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 2,228 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 19 April 2010 - 15:57

Guess I am with the spineless bureaucrats on this one. Sounds rife for abuse if not non-executable by definition. What are "city," "country," and "suburb," and how are they defined? And by whom? The appropriate government agency or a calibration technician?

With decent fuel management incl. solid FAR perturbation I would expect an improvement in fuel economy to be marginal at best.


What a shocker that you're with the spineless bureaucrats. I would have never guessed.

As far as defining 'city' or 'country', I think that's something which could happen pretty easily (in Oz especially) with a GPS that the ECU references. Problem solved....next.

#105 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 2,228 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 19 April 2010 - 16:42

As far as the emissions of historic cars or racecars or lawnmowers....

Previously, Mac was for putting the maximum possible emissions arresting equipment on every car with the logic that if we can do it, then we should. Ross is worried of a Biblical Armageddon ending of the whole global warming deal.

If these are the scenarios we're dealing with, then we have to take them at face value. The emissions saved from going from a ULEV to a SULEV over the course of a vehicles entire life can be negated by a portion of a single practice session of a single racecar. That's just reality. If we are doing everything possible, then we need to do everything possible.

The simple fact is that we are not doing everything possible, because even the people who are at the forefront of the Global Warming movement don't really take the deal seriously. The summits that they have every year make it painfully obvious. If they wanted to have the summit and make it as environmentally conscious as they could, then they'd do it as a web conference. They don't, though. They all collect in Denmark or, better yet, Fiji and have a holiday. Better than that, they do it on private jets. Yes, I'm sure they buy offsets. In the middle ages the Catholic church did the same thing. They were called 'indulgences'. Let's say you wanted to go have a wild weekend in Vegas. Well, you could purchase an 'indulgence' from the church which would exempt you from the sins that you were going to commit. This is exactly the same thing from a movement that far more closely related to religion than science. To see it as anything else is really not being intellectually honest.

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

I don't want to come across as 'pro pollution'. I don't live my life in that manner, and I don't see an advantage in destroying the planet. It's disgusting to go to Rio or Mexico City and see all the crap in the air. All choices have consequences, though, and I think that many on the 'green' side of things choose to ignore this. California is in the process of implementing heavy CO2 taxes and regulations that is going to further damage an already shaky economy. They are doing this even though the effect of the legislation is going to have no quantifiable effect on global CO2 levels (assuming you believe it's an issue) or air quality in general (which we all think is an issue). How is this reasonable? It's not. It's not even meant to be reasonable. It's an effort by the legislature to control private business. I'm sure if you lobby (bribe) the correct people, you can get an exception (should we use the world indulgence?).

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

Here's another thing to consider.

Of the nearly 7 billion people on the planet, only about 1/3rd of us have access to electrical power. In most countries, power is generated by burning fossil fuels which create CO2. Of the 1/3 that have modern electrical power, we need to reduce our consumption on the order of 90% to escape carbon dioxide doomsday. How does anyone think it's possible to both restrict 2/3rds of the planet from modern electrical power while at the same time reducing the consumption of the rest of the planet by some huge margin? If you believe in the nightmare, this is what _must_ happen and it has to happen literally overnight.

Let's say we stop using any fossil fuels right now. In X years we will find that our planet of <7 billion people drops to maybe 2 billion or less, which was about the population around WWI. It will mostly come to food. Without the infrastructure of what we have people simply won't have food and they'll die. Will this action stave off the worst of the Global Warming outcomes. Yes, it probably will, but we'll have killed over 4 billion people in the process. How is that any better that the most dire predictions by Warmers? Well, it's not.

The Egyptians had it right. The Sun is our god. We are alive because of the energy the sun has provided. Food is a essentially a storage mechanism for solar energy. The solar energy captured by plants is stored in the food until it's broken down in either our bodies or the bodies of the animals we will eventually eat. Fossil Fuels are the same. Eons ago, the sunlight was captured and over the years it has been compressed and concentrated into a liquid, solid or gas. Pretty amazing if you think of it in this manner, actually.

So we are using the fossil fuels and at the same time trying to figure out a way to use the sunlight more directly through solar, wind, etc. Well, the energy density of all these other forms of solar energy conversions just aren't there. It can have some positive effect, but largely, it's window dressing, and it's very costly window dressing at that. We will never power our houses strictly on solar energy, and if we do, we will not have anything close to the same consumption rates.

There is only one good alternative, and that is nuclear. It's the only form of energy production available to us that is not one way or another converting solar radiation to a different form of energy. How much has money has the Obama administration spent on Nuclear energy with these massive stimulus spending packages? Not one red cent. There is no clearer message as to the sincerity of the energy policy.

#106 Tony Matthews

Tony Matthews
  • Member

  • 17,519 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 19 April 2010 - 17:15

:up:

#107 desmo

desmo
  • Tech Forum Host

  • 19,975 posts
  • Joined: January 00

Posted 19 April 2010 - 19:17

So we are using the fossil fuels and at the same time trying to figure out a way to use the sunlight more directly through solar, wind, etc. Well, the energy density of all these other forms of solar energy conversions just aren't there. It can have some positive effect, but largely, it's window dressing, and it's very costly window dressing at that. We will never power our houses strictly on solar energy, and if we do, we will not have anything close to the same consumption rates.


http://www.countercu...mason311207.htm

This is not written by flaky treehuggers or dependent on improbable scifi tech advance scenarios.

There is only one good alternative, and that is nuclear. It's the only form of energy production available to us that is not one way or another converting solar radiation to a different form of energy. How much has money has the Obama administration spent on Nuclear energy with these massive stimulus spending packages? Not one red cent. There is no clearer message as to the sincerity of the energy policy.


Nuclear is probably best considered a potentially useful bridge technology but not a long term solution with very finite known supplies of suitable Uranium ore and, from an American perspective, a ticket to continued dependence on foreign fuel supplies given the worldwide distribution of known reserves. Anyone that thinks fission power is the economically viable future should be investing in plants themselves rather than bemoaning the lack of government subsidies to build them. I'd rather see tax monies spent on clean technologies that won't guarantee continued American dependence on imported fuel. That's just asking for trouble.

#108 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 63,061 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 19 April 2010 - 19:27

As far as the emissions of historic cars or racecars or lawnmowers....

Previously, Mac was for putting the maximum possible emissions arresting equipment on every car with the logic that if we can do it, then we should. Ross is worried of a Biblical Armageddon ending of the whole global warming deal.


No, I'm worried about much more pragmatic and immediate things. Like the US Army scratching it's head and saying "We're worried about oil supplies approaching 2015"

#109 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 63,061 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 19 April 2010 - 19:33

Though I agree with you 101% on nuclear tech. I'd hope they figure out fusion beyond being a lab experiment within my lifetime. The soul destroying irony is the biggest proponents of nuclear energy are the environmentalists. I'm sure I read somewhere the amount of money spent on fusion research in the last decade is equal to the annual profits of the major oil companies.

#110 Greg Locock

Greg Locock
  • Member

  • 5,708 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 19 April 2010 - 19:36

Obviously when we had supercruise, pre Euro IV, GPS was not ubiquitous, and the decision was made on a speed time profile. So to some extent it is possible that a freeway in a city might trigger supercruise, but frankly in that time frame there weren't many high speed freeways in cities. These days you can go a lot further. You could, for example, have the emissions calibrated to two settings, low NOx/high fuel consumption, and vice versa. Then your Bluetooth or whatever could pick up what the setting was in that locality and recalibrate accordingly.

Of course this will depend on whether you want a transportation system with minimum overall impact, or whether the right of the individual not to have his car under the control of an external agency is sacrosanct. Got news for you there, that boid has long flown, it did the first time you stopped at a red light.

Cheapy - NOx for Euro IV was .08 g/km for a car or light truck, unless it's a diesel in which case 0.25 (don't you love politics). Euro III bike was 0.3, I think. For obvious reasons the 'need' to limit bike pollution in Europe is borderline non existent.



#111 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 2,228 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 19 April 2010 - 20:24

http://www.countercu...mason311207.htm

This is not written by flaky treehuggers or dependent on improbable scifi tech advance scenarios.

Nuclear is probably best considered a potentially useful bridge technology...Anyone that thinks fission power is the economically viable future should be investing in plants themselves rather than bemoaning the lack of government subsidies to build them.



Your link is a proposal to subsidize various solar power technologies. I'm actually fine with not subsidizing any of it. However, without subsidies, you don't have the political kick-backs...I mean 'lobbyists'. Seeing as that's the case, I don't see subsidies going away any time soon. I do think that the placement of the subsidies is telling. Regardless of your feelings about it's long term viability, completely ignoring nuclear fission (and fusion) yet claiming to want to somehow become energy independent is a contradiction at best.

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

You know guys, sometimes _I_ think I'm a loon; other times I'm convinced of it. Don't take what I've written too seriously. It's all stuff we have absolutely no control over.

Edited by Fat Boy, 19 April 2010 - 20:25.


#112 desmo

desmo
  • Tech Forum Host

  • 19,975 posts
  • Joined: January 00

Posted 19 April 2010 - 21:26

Your link is a proposal to subsidize various solar power technologies. I'm actually fine with not subsidizing any of it. However, without subsidies, you don't have the political kick-backs...I mean 'lobbyists'. Seeing as that's the case, I don't see subsidies going away any time soon. I do think that the placement of the subsidies is telling. Regardless of your feelings about it's long term viability, completely ignoring nuclear fission (and fusion) yet claiming to want to somehow become energy independent is a contradiction at best.


Yes, it is a proposal to massively subsidize the building of an infrastructure to supply the majority of future US electrical needs from solar power. In fact I can hardly think of a better use for federal funding than a BPA/TVA type investment in such a project with the contributing taxpayers and their descendants as the owners and beneficiaries of that infrastructure. You can quite realistically think of it as a useful security investment, one more likely to provide real security than continuing spending the same sums on using the US military to insure the unimaginably profitable supply of oil from often medieval theocratic states mostly hostile to the US and its interests to stateless multinationals so they can mark up and sell that heavily taxpayer subsidized oil back to the same taxpayers at yet more astronomical profits. The alternative to developing secure, clean domestic energy sources is to continue to be held hostage to forces at best with no allegiance to the interests of American taxpayers and in many cases directly subsidizing and strengthening states representing our most likely potential future enemies both ideologically and militarily.

A US independent of foreign oil or imported Uranium is a US that essentially no longer requires a global military machine eating up upwards of a half trillion dollars of taxpayer money per year to enable and continue our dependence on that oil. That's one hell of a subsidy to pay to support companies that are for the most part structured so that the vast bulk of their profits are safely out of reach of the IRS- they aren't even willing to pay their own small share of their own subsidies. Screw them and screw the whole ruinously expensive business of deadly geopolitical footsie that they require for the privilege of ripping us off.

And with that infrastructure in place, the US will have not only a clean source of energy available, as the available supply of hydrocarbon fuels inevitably dries up and prices soar as a result, but a resulting potentially huge economic advantage on every country that lacked the foresight and resources (and/or available solar potential) to make the switch. America selling energy intensive manufactured goods to China at prices they cannot competitively match in 50 years isn't a far fetched scenario. The early adopters will likely enjoy an economic advantage that will decide the global winners and losers 50 or 100 years up the road. Those late to the game may not have the means to invest in the admittedly huge costs of switching as their energy costs spiral out of control as states compete for the dwindling hydrocarbon resources demanded by an Earth with a rapidly expanding population.

Oh yeah, parenthetically there's the whole green thing as well...


#113 desmo

desmo
  • Tech Forum Host

  • 19,975 posts
  • Joined: January 00

Posted 19 April 2010 - 21:40

Though I agree with you 101% on nuclear tech. I'd hope they figure out fusion beyond being a lab experiment within my lifetime. The soul destroying irony is the biggest proponents of nuclear energy are the environmentalists. I'm sure I read somewhere the amount of money spent on fusion research in the last decade is equal to the annual profits of the major oil companies.


I'm not buying that. I'd bet the amounts spent on fusion research aren't even in the same ballpark. Source? I know that fusion funding is being cut pretty massively and I'm not sure that's a terrible idea given the real likelihood that the technology will never become viable.


#114 Lee Nicolle

Lee Nicolle
  • Member

  • 9,985 posts
  • Joined: July 08

Posted 19 April 2010 - 21:59

Does anyone know why solar is so impractical? In small scale you can power a home relatively cheaply.
To me it seems the cleanest form of power generation for electricity. With no nasty side effects apart from getting rid of degenerated solar panels. And in large scale surely that could be largely averted. Nuclear has major side effects though is clean in generation. Wind is too expensive and unreliable and will never be more than back up mainstream and a LOT of people hate the look and sound of the things. And normally the cost of transmission seems to be expensive.

#115 dosco

dosco
  • Member

  • 1,623 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 19 April 2010 - 22:05

Does anyone know why solar is so impractical? In small scale you can power a home relatively cheaply.


The US grid is an abomination.

Also, the irregularity of power generation is a problem, unless you cover the US desert with solar cells ... which I think the environmentalists will oppose with vigor.



#116 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 19 April 2010 - 22:09

Previously, Mac was for putting the maximum possible emissions arresting equipment on every car with the logic that if we can do it, then we should.


News to me.


#117 desmo

desmo
  • Tech Forum Host

  • 19,975 posts
  • Joined: January 00

Posted 19 April 2010 - 22:34

The US grid is an abomination.

Also, the irregularity of power generation is a problem, unless you cover the US desert with solar cells ... which I think the environmentalists will oppose with vigor.


From the Scientific American article I linked to above:

In our plan, by 2050 photovoltaic technology would provide almost 3,000 gigawatts (GW), or billions of watts, of power. Some 30,000 square miles of photovoltaic arrays would have to be erected. Although this area may sound enormous, installations already in place indicate that the land required for each gigawatt-hour of solar energy produced in the Southwest is less than that needed for a coal-powered plant when factoring in land for coal mining. Studies by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo., show that more than enough land in the Southwest is available without requiring use of environmentally sensitive areas, population centers or difficult terrain. Jack Lavelle, a spokesperson for Arizona’s Department of Water Conservation, has noted that more than 80 percent of his state’s land is not privately owned and that Arizona is very interested in developing its solar potential. The benign nature of photovoltaic plants (including no water consumption) should keep environmental concerns to a minimum.


So less surface area per watt-hour than coal in an apples to apples comparison. I expect the hardcore greens would put up a lot of short sighted opposition to photovoltaic solar farms on the necessary scale but once the potential benefits are made clear I expect their objections could be overcome. I know that 30,000 square miles sounds like a lot, but the American desert SW is a really, really, really big sunny place. Solar power probably wouldn't be a similarly viable option in many other parts of the world like within the EU.


#118 gruntguru

gruntguru
  • Member

  • 6,821 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 19 April 2010 - 22:54

A US independent of foreign oil or imported Uranium is a US that essentially no longer requires a global military machine eating up upwards of a half trillion dollars of taxpayer money per year to enable and continue our dependence on that oil. That's one hell of a subsidy to pay to support companies that are for the most part structured so that the vast bulk of their profits are safely out of reach of the IRS- they aren't even willing to pay their own small share of their own subsidies. Screw them and screw the whole ruinously expensive business of deadly geopolitical footsie that they require for the privilege of ripping us off.



:up: :up: :up:

#119 Greg Locock

Greg Locock
  • Member

  • 5,708 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 19 April 2010 - 22:55

Does anyone know why solar is so impractical? In small scale you can power a home relatively cheaply.
To me it seems the cleanest form of power generation for electricity. With no nasty side effects apart from getting rid of degenerated solar panels. And in large scale surely that could be largely averted. Nuclear has major side effects though is clean in generation. Wind is too expensive and unreliable and will never be more than back up mainstream and a LOT of people hate the look and sound of the things. And normally the cost of transmission seems to be expensive.


It isn't impractical as such, but the payback time is excessive if you already have a connection to the grid. A typical inefficient house needs about 15 kWh a day, you get roughly 6 hours of rated power from a panel per day, so you'd need 2.5 kW rated power of cells, about $20000 worth. Plus electronics and batteries.

If you want an electric car, double the above.

But the sensible thing to do is to solar power an /efficient/ house.

On the other hand every roof in Australia should have a solar hot water system.

Advertisement

#120 NeilR

NeilR
  • Member

  • 623 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 20 April 2010 - 01:47

Why not simply make the roof a solar panel? I know the technology is not yet available, but it is not a huge reach. If every roof in Melbourne was at least covered 50% in solar panels is a very big area.
20 years ago my uncle followed a suggestion I made from something I had seen on a farm. He used 70m of coiled black pvc pipe on his roof to heat water prior to going into the storage tank of his gas powered water heater and cut his gas consumption by almost 40%. The water that came out of the pipe on a sunny day was too hot to put your hand in. It's still there and still working.

#121 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 2,228 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:28

It makes no sense to have multiple emissions standards within the USA's borders. So if there are going to be standards they need to be uniform across all 50 states, and they ought to reflect the best we can reasonably do, as opposed to the least we can get by with in the general case.


Mac, I didn't mean to mis-quote you. I was referencing this statement.

#122 J. Edlund

J. Edlund
  • Member

  • 1,323 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 20 April 2010 - 02:32

Nuclear is probably best considered a potentially useful bridge technology but not a long term solution with very finite known supplies of suitable Uranium ore and, from an American perspective, a ticket to continued dependence on foreign fuel supplies given the worldwide distribution of known reserves. Anyone that thinks fission power is the economically viable future should be investing in plants themselves rather than bemoaning the lack of government subsidies to build them. I'd rather see tax monies spent on clean technologies that won't guarantee continued American dependence on imported fuel. That's just asking for trouble.


Nuclear is a good longterm solution. Uranium reserves at current prices are good for about 100 years. Double the price of uranium and you increase the reserves about 10 times. That 100/1000 years if using lightwater reactors and current technology. Breeders were proven already in the 1950'ties and they can give 50 times more energy per kg of uranium used. Then the cost of uranium is a non issue, so you can extract it from seawater if you want. Add to that the reserves of thorium and the fuel supplies are virtually unlimited.

One of the biggest exporters of uranium today is Canada, so it would hardly be difficult to import it to the US. Another big exporter is Australia and these are countries you hardly need to worry about. Uranium is also easy to store, I would suspect that USA use something like 20000 tons uranium each year for electricity production, that's not more than 2000 m^2 if stored in ceramic form (less than that in metallic form). In other words, it's easy to put ten years worth of fuel in storage somewhere if you want. Plus, you can extract something like 25% more energy by reprocessing already used fuel. That is decades worth of fuel.

Does anyone know why solar is so impractical? In small scale you can power a home relatively cheaply.
To me it seems the cleanest form of power generation for electricity. With no nasty side effects apart from getting rid of degenerated solar panels. And in large scale surely that could be largely averted. Nuclear has major side effects though is clean in generation. Wind is too expensive and unreliable and will never be more than back up mainstream and a LOT of people hate the look and sound of the things. And normally the cost of transmission seems to be expensive.


Most LCA's seem to agree that in terms of emissions, nuclear, hydro and wind are cleanest. Usually the two first are a little cleaner than the latter but the difference is small and not really significant. Hydropowerplants are usually already built where possible, so they are usually not that interresting to look at for future power generation. They produce electrcity very cheap though, probably around 10 euro per MWh. Existing nuclear powerplants produce electricity for around 15-20 euro per MWh and new plants for around 25-30 euro per MWh. Land based wind cost around 45 euro per MWh, seabased wind around 65 euro per MWh. Biomass and solar are both more expensive, but I don't have any good figures for solar. But expect in excess of 100 euro/MWh. At the time of writing the system price for electricity on Nordpool was 47 euro/MWh, but that is rather high. 30-40 euro/MWh is more normal, and at such prices it's understandable that you can't make money on non hydro renewables without some sort of financial assistance.

Loss of life expectancy numbers are similar for nuclear, hydro and wind; all very low. So are the external costs. Coal and other fossil fuels typically have high external costs and the loss of life expectancy numbers are usually high (effect of CO2 is normally excluded).

Solar suffer from the same problem as wind, the power output is intermittent and not controllable.

Solar, wind, hydro, nuclear are all very capital intensive power production methods. Fossil fuels are much less capital intensive, and the return on investment is much shorter. Hydropower has a very long life, often in excess of 100 years, and as a result it is a very longterm investment. Nuclear powerplants usually have a expected life of 60 years, even 80 years have been investigated. As such also those investments are very longterm. As a result of that you typically want long supply contracts for electricity before you start building such a plant.

Among solar technologies solar thermal is probably the most promising. Solar thermal use mirrors to heat of a working fluid, then a heat engine is used to convert the heat into electricity. This technology offer a higher efficiency than photovoltaics, lower production costs and heat energy can be stored in salts for 24/7 electricity production with controllable output.

#123 demoing

demoing
  • Member

  • 631 posts
  • Joined: March 10

Posted 20 April 2010 - 03:14

Of the nearly 7 billion people on the planet, only about 1/3rd of us have access to electrical power. In most countries, power is generated by burning fossil fuels which create CO2. Of the 1/3 that have modern electrical power, we need to reduce our consumption on the order of 90% to escape carbon dioxide doomsday. How does anyone think it's possible to both restrict 2/3rds of the planet from modern electrical power while at the same time reducing the consumption of the rest of the planet by some huge margin? If you believe in the nightmare, this is what _must_ happen and it has to happen literally overnight.

Let's say we stop using any fossil fuels right now. In X years we will find that our planet of <7 billion people drops to maybe 2 billion or less, which was about the population around WWI. It will mostly come to food. Without the infrastructure of what we have people simply won't have food and they'll die. Will this action stave off the worst of the Global Warming outcomes. Yes, it probably will, but we'll have killed over 4 billion people in the process. How is that any better that the most dire predictions by Warmers? Well, it's not.

The Egyptians had it right. The Sun is our god. We are alive because of the energy the sun has provided. Food is a essentially a storage mechanism for solar energy. The solar energy captured by plants is stored in the food until it's broken down in either our bodies or the bodies of the animals we will eventually eat. Fossil Fuels are the same. Eons ago, the sunlight was captured and over the years it has been compressed and concentrated into a liquid, solid or gas. Pretty amazing if you think of it in this manner, actually.

So we are using the fossil fuels and at the same time trying to figure out a way to use the sunlight more directly through solar, wind, etc. Well, the energy density of all these other forms of solar energy conversions just aren't there. It can have some positive effect, but largely, it's window dressing, and it's very costly window dressing at that. We will never power our houses strictly on solar energy, and if we do, we will not have anything close to the same consumption rates.

There is only one good alternative, and that is nuclear. It's the only form of energy production available to us that is not one way or another converting solar radiation to a different form of energy. How much has money has the Obama administration spent on Nuclear energy with these massive stimulus spending packages? Not one red cent. There is no clearer message as to the sincerity of the energy policy.


you have made some really wild assumptions there which are clearly not based on real science or facts
Why if we stopped using fossil fuels would our population drop?
No one is saying stop using 90% of the electricity we are using what they are saying is we need to reduce the amount of pollution we are making by 90%.
How do you figure out using less fossil fuels equates to less food no scientist other the the ones paid for by the petrochemical companies try saying silly things like that.
Don't forget that it is mainly fossil fuels we are on about there are many none fossil fuels that are used right now from nuclear to hydrogen and even to using carbon neutral fuels. Yes you can burn wood to make electricity as long as they are used in a renewable and sensible way. We see in California that they are starting to develop algae that can be used to make bio fuels. One of the biggest wastes in the past were the generating stations that would rather waste tens of billions of thermal units of energy in cooling towers rather than using it to heat local homes. You may laugh but the profits they put up in the air are also a massive amount of fossil fuels that could be cut from people heating peoples houses.

you make a very bad assumption and that is we have to use the same amount of energy in the future as we do now.
sorry that is just laughable and so short sighted why do we have to use the same amount of energy?
have you not heard of low energy and energy efficient appliances if everyone went to the most efficient energy appliances and used energy efficiently instead of just leaving all the light on when they are out, or the heating going full bore when away for the weekend you would find they would not impact on their lifestyle but would reduce consumption heck they would even end up better off with more money in their pockets (do you work for the energy providers?) And lets not forget over time appliances will only get more efficient just like cars are.
Some of the biggest problems right now have less to do with how much energy we need to use right now but how much energy we waste right now, from TV's left on standby to the plastics and glass people cant be arsed to separate and recycle or people using massive 4x4's with one person in to go back and forth to work.
BTW in Spain they are building solar towers and with just two of them they are able to supply a town the size of seville (600,000 people) with all its energy needs and all without emitting one single molecule of any greenhouse gas or reducing the amount of energy the people can use.

It is short sighted and badly founded arguments like yours that will in the end cause people to carry on regardless. No one is saying to look after this planet you have to do without except those who have vested interest in making a profit out of our wasteful lifestyles, Most people could make massive savings by doing the simple things that don't impact on your lifestyle its a shame some people equate doing something that will benefit all our descendants as something terrible that must harm us.


#124 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 2,228 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:33

1. Yes, I have made huge assumptions and wild-assed statements. Guilty as charged. I did attempt to address this.

2. The 90% figure is not pollution per say. It's CO2. As Mac pointed out, most pollutants are products of incomplete combustion. CO2 is a product of any combustion. We have to reduce our fossil fuel usage by 90% according to the GW experts. It's not my number, it's theirs.

3. One of my issues is that nuclear fuels are not being used enough in the US. J. Edlund has written a brilliant post about it.

4. I mentioned that if we were to power our houses strictly on solar power, then we will not have anything close to the same consumption rates.

5. Any gain in efficiency in the future will be more than offset by the number of users. It's difficult to fathom how few people on this planet are as lucky as we are to be able to flip a switch and have light. We are in the minority.

6. Ever worked on a farm? I have. Not burning fossil fuels will have a massive effect on food production. Furthermore, it'll have a massive effect on food transportation. That would be part of the sacrifice. There would be shortages and starvation. We would have to accept it as the cost of 'saving the planet'. The good news is that it would be a win-win. Fewer people breathing means less CO2 production and less energy demand.

7. I'm all for using hot water to heat homes instead of cooling tower use. It isn't practical everywhere, but would certainly be a good use of energy where it is. This raises a side issue. I'm not against common sense uses for improving the efficiency of what we have. On the contrary, I think it's great. Having said this, my reasons for supporting this work do not relate to CO2 production.

8. Burning wood creates CO2. That's a no-no. I understand that it would be technically carbon neutral, but it's treading water at best. These trees would have to be trees not used for offsets. Beyond that, the forest would also have to be local to the power plant, because our ability to ship would be nil. Also, wood is not a very dense energy source and it takes a long time to renew. It wouldn't be a practical option for many cities.


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



For the GW faithful, I have a question. At what point would the cure be worse than the disease?






#125 Canuck

Canuck
  • Member

  • 2,072 posts
  • Joined: March 05

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:52

Lots of interesting stuff posted here. My take is this: any illusions of removing industry from power generation are just that - how vehemently do you think companies like GE would protect their multi-billion dollar per year industries? They already have "presidential advisors" working with the administration on national infrastructure projects - who's laying for that do you think? What possible scenario can you foresee (read-what government) that will cut off private industry's income on an enormous scale? ****-they can let the banks suffer their own earned fate, you think they're going to go after infrastructure?

Right now within GE, Wind is the darling portfolio under the Energy tree. They own major wind equipment manufacturers around the world and fund the sale and installation of them. They produce complete power stations (gas and nuclear), grid equipment AND the bloody appliances at the other end. GE is actively pursuing cradle-to-grave ownership (majority market share) of your energy consumption. No way a company with 350,000 employees with growth targets the equivalent of adding Coca-Cola every year, who managed a multi-billion dollar profit in a recession is going to get pushed out by any administration. They're too big to fail mate.

Just wait until they figure out how to convince us that commoditizing water is the right thing to do. You don't think they'll try? They already have (successfully I might add) in other parts of the world.

#126 NeilR

NeilR
  • Member

  • 623 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 20 April 2010 - 04:53

Cure worse than the disease? The disease will eventually kill us, if the cure will mean I don't have a plasma TV and 1500W microwave then bring it on!
You see I live in a city that has had the hottest summer on record and hottest 5 year period on record, is unofficially in a ten year drought and has had water restrictions for a number of years, the hole in the ozone layer related to northern hemisphere pollution means that UV ratings are high from 10am to 6pm for 8 months of the year and my children cannot go swimming without UV protection. Now things are going to get worse, but I am lucky as I live in a first world country.
The Nuclear 'solution' mentioned so far does not take into account the long term cost i.e. what to do with the waste?
However the bigger solution: put a US$100 per ton price on carbon.

Edited by NeilR, 20 April 2010 - 04:54.


#127 kikiturbo2

kikiturbo2
  • Member

  • 837 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:10

The Nuclear 'solution' mentioned so far does not take into account the long term cost i.e. what to do with the waste?


nuclear waste is phisically so small (per energy produced) that it really is a non issue... you could store all the fuel rods from the life cycle of a powerplant on site... That is a 1 square km area populated by the plant.. After 80 or so years, just shut it down and leave everything.. do not decomission, do not transport the fuel unles you want to extract usefull fuel for other nuclear powerplants..


#128 gruntguru

gruntguru
  • Member

  • 6,821 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 20 April 2010 - 09:45

nuclear waste is phisically so small (per energy produced) that it really is a non issue... you could store all the fuel rods from the life cycle of a powerplant on site... That is a 1 square km area populated by the plant.. After 80 or so years, just shut it down and leave everything.. do not decomission, do not transport the fuel unles you want to extract usefull fuel for other nuclear powerplants..


Two problems with your proposal.
1. Not sure that 1 square km is enough space to safely store that much waste, and your proposed method of storage does not guarantee confinement for even the half-life of the waste during future fluctuations in weather, geology, geopolitics etc etc.
2. Currently about 6% of energy is nuclear sourced so going 100% nuclear means producing power stations (waste sites) and nuclear waste at about 20 times the current rate.

#129 kikiturbo2

kikiturbo2
  • Member

  • 837 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 20 April 2010 - 10:06

I agree that leaving the site as is is not the best way to deal with nuclear waste, recycling it and making new fuel is much better and more efficient..

last paper I saw on the issue said that if we all got 100% energy from nuclear (fission), we'd all go to grave with a golf ball sized piece of highly radioactive nuclear waste..

however, my point is that we are talking about very small quantities of fuel, small and clean powerstations.. as opposed to coal, oil or even wind power..

#130 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:23

Mac, I didn't mean to mis-quote you. I was referencing this statement.


Right. The best we can *reasonably" do. Note the word *reasonably.* For example, there are better cats on the shelf right now and as far as I am concerned they can stay there. Too expensive. The most effective improvements at this point are in identifying gross emitters and that's where OBDIII is focused.

The rest of your post is of the same piece. You set up false absolutes and then decry the absurdity of false absolutes. Illogical. These are your own false absolutes. Have a look at what you are saying here. Environmental leaders aren't serious because they use air travel rather than web meetings to conduct their meetings? Wha?

That sorta makes sense if we adopt the view of disassociated 15 year-olds whining about "all the hypocrisy in the world," but it doesn't solve or even clarify any real problems. One thing humans need in problem-solving is meetings, and we know that meetings in person are more effective than web conferences, especially in crucial or sensitive negotiations. So what is the point?

#131 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 20 April 2010 - 11:38

last paper I saw on the issue said that if we all got 100% energy from nuclear (fission), we'd all go to grave with a golf ball sized piece of highly radioactive nuclear waste..


That might actually mean something if high-level back-end nuclear waste could be handled in such a casual manner. But as we all know, spent fuel is infinitely more hazardous, bulky, and cumbersome to handle than this statement suggests. The problem with nuclear waste is not its volume but its highly lethal nature for its volume. Put the golf ball in a safe containment vessel, and now how big is it? So at the end of the day, what does this claim really mean? Nothing. Less than nothing, really. This is a statement designed for its negative informational capability -- disinformation, intended to diffuse understanding rather than disseminate it.

In political discourse we often find such statements. They are the lingua franca of that business, actually. I propose that in this discussion, we carefully review all our posts to make sure that no such statements slip in, that we stick to real technical facts and information. We have a lot of intelligent people here and who knows, we could make this a substantive conversation. In environmental issues, those are rather rare.

#132 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 20 April 2010 - 12:49

Cure worse than the disease? The disease will eventually kill us, if the cure will mean I don't have a plasma TV and 1500W microwave then bring it on!


You see I live in a city that has had the hottest summer on record and hottest 5 year period on record.


I asked Mac so in fairness I'll ask you - you edit/produce a car magazine, and the worst polluting type of car at that, how can you post this /\?

Both of you close your car polluting encouraging magazines down now. Thats besides the pollution created by the paper and ink processes.

One of the problems is the time of these records, what was your city like 1000 years ago? - seems to me that black people originate in very hot dry regions and Oz Indigenous people are very black similar to Indigenous people of other very hot dry regions such as Africa.


#133 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 20 April 2010 - 12:52

1. Yes, I have made huge assumptions and wild-assed statements.


And 'the other side' never do of course...... :lol:


#134 NeilR

NeilR
  • Member

  • 623 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 20 April 2010 - 12:55

Given the current political issues in the world at the moment one of the last things we need is an excess of nuclear waste that could be used as a dirty weapon. The other aspect of this political issue is that a nuclear powerplant needs a vast amount of water and needs to be close to the major consumers. In Australia this means placing it on the coast, we have no rivers suitable. So we would nee to place the plant in some of the most valuable realestate available. Then there is the issue of the environmental impact of simply running the damn thing, transporting the waste 1000's of km to a secure facility and keeping it secure for how many 100's of years? For my state we would be much better off using the hot rocks just being developed on the vic/sa border.

#135 NeilR

NeilR
  • Member

  • 623 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 20 April 2010 - 13:02

I asked Mac so in fairness I'll ask you - you edit/produce a car magazine, and the worst polluting type of car at that, how can you post this /\?

Both of you close your car polluting encouraging magazines down now. Thats besides the pollution created by the paper and ink processes.

One of the problems is the time of these records, what was your city like 1000 years ago? - seems to me that black people originate in very hot dry regions and Oz Indigenous people are very black similar to Indigenous people of other very hot dry regions such as Africa.



There are roughly 6500 lic motorsport drivers in Australia in the type of racing I like. Most cars get used 3-4 times per year. The emissions are not significant in a broader context. How many people fly out of tullamarine each day to go on holiday and how much do they each emit....much more than I would for a year. So would my neighbor who drives his V8 landcruiser to golf and work. I commute by bike and bus in a conscious effort to offset...and get fitter and keep wife happy!
However the issue of climate change is not that it is occurring, it is and always has done...always. However the local climate appears to be changing at a rate never seen before.

#136 dosco

dosco
  • Member

  • 1,623 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 20 April 2010 - 13:23

From the Scientific American article I linked to above:



So less surface area per watt-hour than coal in an apples to apples comparison. I expect the hardcore greens would put up a lot of short sighted opposition to photovoltaic solar farms on the necessary scale but once the potential benefits are made clear I expect their objections could be overcome. I know that 30,000 square miles sounds like a lot, but the American desert SW is a really, really, really big sunny place. Solar power probably wouldn't be a similarly viable option in many other parts of the world like within the EU.


I vote for covering most of the desert in solar cells, but think that like wind, the environmentalists will complain that we're destroying habitat. Eventually the price of fossil fuels will overpower their argument, but at the moment I think a massive solar farm in the desert is still a pipe dream. Plus the fact that there is little or no power grid infrastructure needed to move solar power to the national grid is an issue, and the sorry state of the national grid is a massive problem.

The simple fact of the matter is that we humans are an energy intensive species ... we like cooked food, warm homes, clothing, to travel, to eat, and to reproduce. Aspects of all of these characteristics certainly could be more efficient, however until the desires are conquered or eliminated, we will need energy. Based on my interactions with environmentalists, they seem to largely misunderstand this situation and do not understand that with our current technology there is no free lunch. We need energy, and the means available to us today will create some sort of pollution and damage to our environment.

I've also interacted with some environmentalists that I think, at heart, are luddites. They want to eliminate our current lifestyle, live in the woods and live off the land. An interesting thought (I happen to enjoy camping and the outdoors) but unteneable unless a natural disaster wipes out 2/3s of the earth's population.





#137 dosco

dosco
  • Member

  • 1,623 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 20 April 2010 - 13:26

Given the current political issues in the world at the moment one of the last things we need is an excess of nuclear waste that could be used as a dirty weapon. The other aspect of this political issue is that a nuclear powerplant needs a vast amount of water and needs to be close to the major consumers. In Australia this means placing it on the coast, we have no rivers suitable. So we would nee to place the plant in some of the most valuable realestate available. Then there is the issue of the environmental impact of simply running the damn thing, transporting the waste 1000's of km to a secure facility and keeping it secure for how many 100's of years? For my state we would be much better off using the hot rocks just being developed on the vic/sa border.


There's always a reason to not do something.

Let's not put up a wind farm off the coast of Massachussetss because it will ruin the view and drive tourists away.

No wind on the mountain pass in New York State becasue it will kill migrating birds.

No solar cells in the desert because it destroys the habitat of ground animals and cacti.

No hydro power because it messes up the migration of fish species.

No biofuels because we don't want to use arable land for fuel.

There is no free lunch.




#138 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 20 April 2010 - 15:04

Based on my interactions with environmentalists, they seem to largely misunderstand this situation and do not understand that with our current technology there is no free lunch. We need energy, and the means available to us today will create some sort of pollution and damage to our environment.

I've also interacted with some environmentalists that I think, at heart, are luddites. They want to eliminate our current lifestyle, live in the woods and live off the land. An interesting thought (I happen to enjoy camping and the outdoors) but unteneable unless a natural disaster wipes out 2/3s of the earth's population.


I think that is a caricature. I have no doubt that such people exist, but not in the "green" mainstream. I believe most environmentalists understand the need for balance and compromise. Where the rub lies, I find: many tend to have their own pet technologies, such as wind vs. solar, or nuclear vs. either, forming factions that vie for attention and funding. In truth there is no single magic solution. It will take a combination of technologies and a variety of localized, customized approaches. So there is no one-size-fits-all, either.

If you are looking for real fatuousness in the debate, it is to be found among people such as auto enthusiasts. That's where you tend to get arguments like this: "environmental leaders aren't 'serious' unless they give up air travel to conferences." Now that's just stupid -- as block-headed as anything I have ever heard from the most rabid pro-environmentalist. Or this one, to paraphrase: "You can't be a motoring enthusiast and an environmentalist too. You can only be a hypocrite." Seriously: How does that make any sense to anyone? In the public dialog on the environment, make no mistake: WE are the idiots. From within the environmental movement there have been a number of useful solutions -- that's where they tend to come from, actually. What do we contribute? Circular arguments and endless denial, mainly.

#139 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 20 April 2010 - 15:09

There's always a reason to not do something.

Let's not put up a wind farm off the coast of Massachussetss because it will ruin the view and drive tourists away.

No wind on the mountain pass in New York State becasue it will kill migrating birds.

No solar cells in the desert because it destroys the habitat of ground animals and cacti.

No hydro power because it messes up the migration of fish species.

No biofuels because we don't want to use arable land for fuel.

There is no free lunch.


Exactly. Every potential solution has its own pros and cons. There are no magic solutions (sorry, pro-nukes).

Here is the one argument I can't abide: Nothing works, so let's do that.


Advertisement

#140 dosco

dosco
  • Member

  • 1,623 posts
  • Joined: June 02

Posted 20 April 2010 - 15:50

I think that is a caricature. I have no doubt that such people exist, but not in the "green" mainstream.


I don't hang out with too many "green mainstream" folks, so this is a possibility.

I have worked with people that consider themselves "environmentalists" and what I described is my experience with them, info from discussions with them, etc.



I believe most environmentalists understand the need for balance and compromise.


I suppose that would have to do with whom you work with/hang out with/socialize with/whatever.


Where the rub lies, I find: many tend to have their own pet technologies, such as wind vs. solar, or nuclear vs. either, forming factions that vie for attention and funding. In truth there is no single magic solution. It will take a combination of technologies and a variety of localized, customized approaches. So there is no one-size-fits-all, either.


Indeed. I agree.

If you are looking for real fatuousness in the debate, it is to be found among people such as auto enthusiasts. That's where you tend to get arguments like this: "environmental leaders aren't 'serious' unless they give up air travel to conferences." Now that's just stupid -- as block-headed as anything I have ever heard from the most rabid pro-environmentalist. Or this one, to paraphrase: "You can't be a motoring enthusiast and an environmentalist too. You can only be a hypocrite." Seriously: How does that make any sense to anyone? In the public dialog on the environment, make no mistake: WE are the idiots. From within the environmental movement there have been a number of useful solutions -- that's where they tend to come from, actually. What do we contribute? Circular arguments and endless denial, mainly.


I think if you look behind what you think is objectionable you will find a nugget of truth. For example, the issue of purchasing carbon offsets to "pay" for air travel to a meeting ... like all things human, the offset market is prone to corruption and graft, thus making the whole thing potentially questionable.

OTOH anyone can come up with silly reasons to rationalize things ...



#141 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 2,228 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 20 April 2010 - 16:11

That's where you tend to get arguments like this: "environmental leaders aren't 'serious' unless they give up air travel to conferences." Now that's just stupid -- as block-headed as anything I have ever heard from the most rabid pro-environmentalist.


1. Are SULEV standards reasonable or are they not reasonable? If they are, then that is the standard you are setting for the industry. I've laid out my crackpot laundry for everyone, but you are playing a politician's word game.


And now you purposefully misquote me. I never said give up air travel. I was commenting on _private jets_, which are commonly used for the GW high priests.

Do you believe it was logical to send a couple hundred _private_ jets to Fiji for a climate conference? Then since the airport was so small, they had to dead-head to somewhere else for the week or so to park. When the vacation was over, the jets came back and picked up their travelers to return home. The same type of thing happened in Denmark, but that wasn't quite so offensive since it was at least central to many of the attendees. Look, these are the people who are engaged in this nonsense on a day to day basis. They make a huge money off their scams and stand to make immeasurably more by taxing the 'rich' countries. They just cannot believe the crap they're spewing, or they would not do what they've done. It really is as simple as that. At some point can't you see it's a case of "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others."?

#142 Fat Boy

Fat Boy
  • Member

  • 2,228 posts
  • Joined: January 04

Posted 20 April 2010 - 16:17

Cure worse than the disease? The disease will eventually kill us, if the cure will mean I don't have a plasma TV and 1500W microwave then bring it on!
You see I live in a city that has had the hottest summer on record and hottest 5 year period on record, is unofficially in a ten year drought and has had water restrictions for a number of years



I don't mean to marginalize what you are dealing with, but, of course you realize, that a 10 year hot/dry spell in a certain locality really means nothing in the grand scheme of the planet, right? The reason there is oil in the middle east is because at one point it was rain forest, as was the Sahara. Man's actions had precious little to do with either.

#143 kikiturbo2

kikiturbo2
  • Member

  • 837 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 20 April 2010 - 16:34

Exactly. Every potential solution has its own pros and cons. There are no magic solutions (sorry, pro-nukes).

Here is the one argument I can't abide: Nothing works, so let's do that.



Untill someone perfects a fusion reactor, there will not be a magic bullet.. My problem with anti nuke sentiment is that all we have been hearing in the past few decades was that the nuclear option was the greatest of all evils... transportation of spent fuel rods was super dangerous, and all power stations should be closed down.. At the same time, "greens" did not break a sweat for what the oil industry has been doing..
We had a situation in what was Yugoslavia of an advanced local nuclear programme, and a Westinghouse powerplant with a clear plan for a second one built in what is now Croata.. But then everyone cried foul and that potential buld was stopped and most of the knowledge base was lost due to people searching for jobs abroad.. Now we are a separate republic So now we have used all the hydro potential, we use 1/2 of the nuclear powerplant (which is 40 km from where I live) and for the majority we are dependant on import, oil and gas which tends to be cutt off every winter...Oh yes, we have a nice provision in our law for solar and wind... the result of that is that we are forcedd to buy extra expensive power from the powerplants germans build on our land.. hurah..

So woud I have been happier with another nuclear plant... yes, you bet..

I'd like to make one thingf absolutly clear.. I may be an car enthusiast, but I am all for conservation and responsible use of resources, but for a normal living standard we still need some current coming from the socket..

#144 Tony Matthews

Tony Matthews
  • Member

  • 17,519 posts
  • Joined: September 08

Posted 20 April 2010 - 16:59

I was under the impression that France derived 45% of its electricity from nuclear power, but on Googling it transpires that it is 75%! I'm staggered, frankly. If they can manage it, with, seemingly, few problems, I can't see why it is so difficult. It may be that they are covering up some awful radioactive leaks, it could be that they are exporting tanker-loads of highly radioactive waste to their former colonies in Africa for the children to play with, but I doubt it. Why the UK didn't do the same is down to weak, impotent government, I suppose. www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf40.html

#145 kikiturbo2

kikiturbo2
  • Member

  • 837 posts
  • Joined: December 04

Posted 20 April 2010 - 17:51

I was under the impression that France derived 45% of its electricity from nuclear power, but on Googling it transpires that it is 75%! I'm staggered, frankly. If they can manage it, with, seemingly, few problems, I can't see why it is so difficult. It may be that they are covering up some awful radioactive leaks, it could be that they are exporting tanker-loads of highly radioactive waste to their former colonies in Africa for the children to play with, but I doubt it. Why the UK didn't do the same is down to weak, impotent government, I suppose. www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf40.html



the only thing they are exporting is electricity to the rest of the eu.. :)

#146 Engineguy

Engineguy
  • Member

  • 989 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 21 April 2010 - 02:40

I think that is a caricature. I have no doubt that such people exist, but not in the "green" mainstream. I believe most environmentalists understand the need for balance and compromise. Where the rub lies, I find: many tend to have their own pet technologies, such as wind vs. solar, or nuclear vs. either, forming factions that vie for attention and funding. In truth there is no single magic solution. It will take a combination of technologies and a variety of localized, customized approaches. So there is no one-size-fits-all, either.


I think you are overly optimistic regarding how informed people are. Maybe you and about 3% of the general population endeavor to educate themselves on issues like this and somewhat understand the complexity and consequences of actions and inaction. The other 97%, be they the environmentalist masses or holders of strong opinions on any other aspect of life, politics, etc. ... are idiots. Idiots easily swayed by the views of a movie star, rock star, or reality show semi-celeb. Or a politician on their side of the class warfare battle lines set up to garner their votes. Idiots susceptible to fear mongering, or tugs to heartstrings. People who will read one article on a subject and adopt that author's viewpoint as the Holy Grail. They'll sign a petition to ban di-hydrogen monoxide "because it's been known to cause death". They believe anything attributed to a study by scientists because scientists couldn't be wrong or have an agenda unless they work for a big evil oil company or big evil pharmacuetical company... or looking from the other side, they get their funding from politically-tinged academic world. Well-reasoned "balance and compromise" unfortunately has little value to people of power; it doesn't cause the strong emotions needed to panic the masses into following them. The world is ruled by gullibility and hysteria.

Few people, even if so inclined, have the time to be well-informed on a myriad of subjects, so on most subjects we're ill-informed or mis-informed. So we're all idiots regarding most things. We like to pick out our choice of an expert and adopt their opinion, right or wrong, to make ourselves feel smart. Having an opinion just makes us feel good. So in conclusion, we're all idiots following idiots and self-proclaimed experts and manipulative self-proclaimed leaders, and we're doomed, we're all gonna die! :well:



#147 gruntguru

gruntguru
  • Member

  • 6,821 posts
  • Joined: January 09

Posted 21 April 2010 - 05:36

I think you are overly optimistic regarding how informed people are. Maybe you and about 3% of the general population endeavor to educate themselves on issues like this and somewhat understand the complexity and consequences of actions and inaction.


Anyone who is genuinely informed on these matters will be found on the "environmentalist" side of the fence.

#148 McGuire

McGuire
  • Member

  • 9,218 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 21 April 2010 - 07:14

I think you are overly optimistic regarding how informed people are. Maybe you and about 3% of the general population endeavor to educate themselves on issues like this and somewhat understand the complexity and consequences of actions and inaction. The other 97%, be they the environmentalist masses or holders of strong opinions on any other aspect of life, politics, etc. ... are idiots. Idiots easily swayed by the views of a movie star, rock star, or reality show semi-celeb. Or a politician on their side of the class warfare battle lines set up to garner their votes. Idiots susceptible to fear mongering, or tugs to heartstrings. People who will read one article on a subject and adopt that author's viewpoint as the Holy Grail. They'll sign a petition to ban di-hydrogen monoxide "because it's been known to cause death". They believe anything attributed to a study by scientists because scientists couldn't be wrong or have an agenda unless they work for a big evil oil company or big evil pharmacuetical company... or looking from the other side, they get their funding from politically-tinged academic world. Well-reasoned "balance and compromise" unfortunately has little value to people of power; it doesn't cause the strong emotions needed to panic the masses into following them. The world is ruled by gullibility and hysteria.

Few people, even if so inclined, have the time to be well-informed on a myriad of subjects, so on most subjects we're ill-informed or mis-informed. So we're all idiots regarding most things. We like to pick out our choice of an expert and adopt their opinion, right or wrong, to make ourselves feel smart. Having an opinion just makes us feel good. So in conclusion, we're all idiots following idiots and self-proclaimed experts and manipulative self-proclaimed leaders, and we're doomed, we're all gonna die! :well:


That's pretty dark, I think. And I don't know where it goes except to underscore the need for people to be better informed.



#149 Greg Locock

Greg Locock
  • Member

  • 5,708 posts
  • Joined: March 03

Posted 21 April 2010 - 09:32

Anyone who is genuinely informed on these matters will be found on the "environmentalist" side of the fence.


HAHAHAHA

No, see the two links I posted. One is good summary of how AGW ameliorating attempts should be approached sensibly, as opposed to knee-jerk feel-goodism. The other is a fairly thorough demolition of the catastrophic AGW political (it isn't scientific) case to date.

You should also read Lomberg, who convincingly demonstrates that most of the environmentalist arguments are bogus.

FWIW I think conservation and efficiency are worthwhile aims, and I am more than happy to attempt to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. But I also operate in the real world, with the knowledge that 1.95 billion people really really want to drive cars and have a fridge and AC and a plasma TV. So every barrel of oil I save will just make it cheaper for someone else. Which is noice, but not going to save the planet from the impact of a trace gas.

Quick question for the AGW worry-warts - what should the global average temperature thermostat be set to... and why?




#150 Ross Stonefeld

Ross Stonefeld
  • Member

  • 63,061 posts
  • Joined: August 99

Posted 21 April 2010 - 09:48

I wish we could move the argument away from what the temperature is and the cloud patterns. Air quality and ocean pH levels are more pressing.