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Passions in Poetry

Al Gore's all wet

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Local Rebel
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25 posted 11-05-2012 09:10 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

No.
moonbeam
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26 posted 11-06-2012 05:37 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

No Huan - it translates into the developing world having too many babies and the developed world having too many babies and the developed world being irresponsibly greedy, wasteful and materialistic.
Essorant
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27 posted 11-06-2012 08:38 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I think we should complain about the birthrate and population of automobiles that take up a lot more space than humans, especially when they are moving, and cause a lot more destruction to life and to the enviroment than most other means of getting around, before we complain about the number of humans themselves.  Too many automobiles are what are taking up too much space in our cities, not too many humans.  Likewise all the streets, parking lots, garages, car-dealerships, etc we need to try to accomodate this mechanical population alongside our own.  The human world will be able to accomodate the humans better when we no longer corner ourselves into accomodating these machines so much, when we discover a much less world-overwhelming form of transportation.
 
moonbeam
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28 posted 11-06-2012 09:16 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I agree Ess.  

But WHY are there so many automobiles?
moonbeam
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29 posted 11-06-2012 09:16 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

quote:
  Moonbeam,

While reducing energy demand makes sense on paper I seriously doubt it’s going to happen, if you look back through history man has simply replaced one outdated or depleted energy source with another and I can’t see the future being any different.

As oil runs out the cost will increase but the demand won’t diminish, alternative energy sources will become more viable and people, scrupulous and not so scrupulous, will rush to fill the demand and their pockets. The really clever ones will already have a toehold in the market and really clever governments will be doing everything they can to encourage them to do so.

You are of course right Grinch.  But each replacement energy source has been bigger and more sapping of earth’s resources than the one before, and has been required to support a larger and larger demand.  Resources are finite, unchecked demand isn’t.  Illogical humanity, like any other plague or pest, won’t voluntarily decrease its demand – we will presumably eat and destroy ourselves back to a sustainable level.  Logical humanity will need to intervene to ration resources compulsorily.  That effectively means a global body tasked with putting in place a “fair” system of resource distribution at an individual level.  You’ve read it in SciFi, our technology is reaching the point where individual actions can be closely monitored and some form of energy use rationing is, in some scenarios, inevitable imv.

Alternative energy sources may become “more viable” but unless more resources are focussed on developing and enhancing a nuclear future instead of tinkering at the edges by wasting subsidy on “heath robinson” renewables, we won’t even dent the surface of the next century’s energy demands.

quote:
  Moon, I completely disagree with any notion that any part of the solution calls for a downgrade in quality of life in regards to the conveniences we've become used to circa mid 20th century onward.  I think there are certainly expectations of higher efficiency, but not reductions in kind.

Now, as an engineer, I've been completely opposed to solar cells for 30 years, but not to solar power.  In fact, we have enough solar power in a small patch of desert here in the US to power our entire country, if it's done properly.  Solar cells are one of the least efficient methods, both in production and in deployment, because they only utilize the photons coming from the sun, and ignore the suns natural thermal radiation.  Solar thermal is the way to go.

Winds challenge is a grid that's a hundred years out of date.  Because of the nature of capitalism, politics, and physics, it isn't surprising at all that early stutter steps have occurred.  I'd point you to Tucker and Studebaker though.

This is why the impetus is on governments and not markets to blaze these trails.  Now we're looking at private sector space missions because of the early support for technological development .

Besides that, fossil fuels ARE going to run out, climate change be damned.


Being American Reb, of course you disagree with any sort of downgrading of lifestyle.  Your nation is the most profligate on earth.  But whether you like it or not, it’s coming,

I don’t understand your problem with PV.  PV may ignore thermal radiation, but panels are becoming more efficient, and more importantly much cheaper.  If you can produce electricity for next to nothing use just part of a natural resource, what does it matter if you don’t use the remainder.  Would you object to a small water turbine in a large river, purely because it doesn’t use the whole river?

Anyway, how will solar thermal help?  Doesn't it just produce hot water?

The grid is the main problem in the US maybe, there are many other problems with wind in smaller countries.  Intermittency is certainly an issue, but in general wind is probably the best example of the world effectively wasting resources enriching a few individuals for very little gain.  Certainly not enough gain to make any impact on our energy problem.

I agree about governments blazing trails – I agree about the sense of blazing trails into space.  The trails they blazed in relation to renewables were however largely driven by fear and panic, and now we are paying for that mistaken trail blazing.  
Essorant
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30 posted 11-06-2012 09:36 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
But WHY are there so many automobiles?


Because our culture is addicted to them and we set things up to increase the addiction instead of overcome it.  Humans don't naturally need automobiles anymore than ants do, but people choose dependency on them and therefore pay a large price for it, giving far too much money and resources to a population of machines; money and resources that could be used a lot better helping provide nourishment and shelter to the poor people in the world.
 
moonbeam
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31 posted 11-06-2012 03:08 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Ess

I don’t think “addiction” is the reason any more than it is the reason we consume and buy a lot of other things.  

Humans, by nature, are quite greedy and innately selfish.  If we can have something desirable, whether it is more food than we really need to sustain us, more electronic goods, more land, more clothes, better houses, more vacations, more entertainment, more and better automobiles, we will generally take it or buy it.

So long as politicians and economists continue to pursue the holy grail of eternal economic growth, and so long as such growth is consumer driven, there will more, bigger and better of everything – until we ravage the planet and raw materials run out of course.

Consuming bigger or more automobiles is no different really to dining out more and more frequently and eating more and more food which you don’t really need, or buying your kids more and more gifts.  It’s all part of this ridiculous cycle of consumer driven growth.

So yes, you are right, it is an addiction, an addiction to growth, not merely to automobiles.
Local Rebel
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32 posted 11-06-2012 04:17 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

PV just substitutes one form of finite resources for other forms of finite resources, which in turn are energy intensive to manufacture, and degrade over time.

Hot water has lots of uses, very powerful uses, like powering steam turbines.  Coal, nuclear, just make hot water.  A parabolic reflector can last a couple of hundred years, and a water pipe can last 50 or more.  It's a simple, elegant, efficacious design.

We have no need to downgrade anything.  My objections to this viewpoint are not American, they are engineering/scientific.  The Luddite viewpoint is as counterproductive as the denial of climate change.

One day we may even have dilithium crystals.

But I'll settle for solar thermal power plants and wireless induction vehicles, and preferably a lot more high- speed trains.
Huan Yi
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33 posted 11-06-2012 05:09 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.

http://www.photius.com/rankings/world2050_rank.html


The only reason there any increases
in the developed countries is immigration
from the developing countries.


.
Essorant
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34 posted 11-06-2012 05:35 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

quote:
Consuming bigger or more automobiles is no different really to dining out more and more frequently and eating more and more food which you don’t really need, or buying your kids more and more gifts.  It’s all part of this ridiculous cycle of consumer driven growth.


But they are quite different Moonbeam.  We smother the landscape with concrete so the metal on wheels can go almost every where; they probably take up  more surface space in the form of traffic, streets and parking lots than almost anything else in a populous city; they pollute; they are the means of hundreds of thousands of deaths every year; everything about them costs too much in enviromental sacrafices, resources and money; they clutter and dirty the surface of the earth; they result in the mindset of try to get everywhere in a big rush because people use them as their main mode of getting around instead of something on the side,  etc.    Automobiles and the culture and conditions that come with them, taken to such an extent as they are today, I believe are one of the most destructive aspects of our human world.  It will be a blessing when we are able to find a technology that can replace them with something far less harmful.
 
moonbeam
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35 posted 11-07-2012 04:58 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I agree with everything you say Ess except the part where you say they are quite different.  The passion for motor cars and every bad thing that derives from them is merely one example of a broader malaise imv.  Ok, granted, a very visual and aggressive example, but nonetheless just part of it.
moonbeam
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36 posted 11-07-2012 04:59 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

"The only reason there any increases
in the developed countries is immigration
from the developing countries."

Kinda misses the point.
moonbeam
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37 posted 11-07-2012 05:15 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

“PV just substitutes one form of finite resources for other forms of finite resources, which in turn are energy intensive to manufacture, and degrade over time.”

Yes, just like the material used in solar thermal and many other so renewable technologies.  As you probably know, in the PV industry, as in many others, great strides in recycling are being made.  This is not an argument for not using PV in favour of other technologies.  A better argument would be to question the viability vis a vis the prospect of a significant contribution to world energy demands of ALL the new so called renewables technologies.  Are they not just the technologies of the playpen?   Making a few people a LOT of money at the expense of the poor, until something realistic is found?  

“Hot water has lots of uses, very powerful uses, like powering steam turbines.  Coal, nuclear, just make hot water.  A parabolic reflector can last a couple of hundred years, and a water pipe can last 50 or more.  It's a simple, elegant, efficacious design.”

Smoke and mirrors eh Reb!  I didn’t think you were serious about solar thermal as a major contributor to the grid, sorry.  We are talking high pressure steam and LOTS of it, not hot water.   Do you know what the biggest solar thermal plant produces right now?  And how many there are of that size?  Have you worked out how many there would need to be to make a significant dent in base load requirement?  Or what happens at night?

“We have no need to downgrade anything.  My objections to this viewpoint are not American, they are engineering/scientific.  The Luddite viewpoint is as counterproductive as the denial of climate change.”

If it’s “Luddite” and counterproductive to emphasise the need to recycle and to match supply and demand then I’m happy be to be labelled so.  It is however a largely Western and American viewpoint that regards changing a way of life as a step “back”.

“One day we may even have dilithium crystals.”

Heh.  If only!
Local Rebel
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38 posted 11-07-2012 07:53 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

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

100x100 miles of useless desert in Nevada can power the entire US with solar thermal energy moon.  CSP materials may wear out over time, but they are not 'consumed' like fossil fuels or PV.

If you're talking about "downgrading" lifestyles, that's not merely adopting innovation or becoming more efficient.  It's a denial that we have the capacity to solve the problem.
http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001287.html  http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001518.html#2
moonbeam
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39 posted 11-07-2012 08:59 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I'm talking about a better match of human consumption to available resources.  That means recycling and yes it may mean, for some who are wasteful in their habits, eg Westerners with 3 SUV's and detached heated houses with 10 rooms, "downgrading".  For others, eg Africans in mud huts it may mean an upgrading.  

Production costs of PV have plummeted in the last few years and recycling is gradually making your argument about PV materials being "consumed" redundant.  PV technology is much more elegant (fewer monolithic moving parts), less breakdown prone, less maintenance greedy than solar steam where there are still real problems to be solved in terms of the technical issues of turbine size and energy storage.  Neither technology is however imv a "solution", but both are a LOT better than windmills.
Essorant
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40 posted 11-07-2012 11:22 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

All energy sources should be used in a compromise between them to get the most efficient and safest use of them all, without becoming too dependent on and overdoing any of them individually. Where one has a weakness, another should be used to compensate for it.   The sources of energy need to be put together as pieces of a puzzle that when put together well can last for the longest term possible, not segregated into pieces where we only use one piece and therefore become too subject to the weaknesses of it, the harm in using too much of it, running out of it, etc.
Local Rebel
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41 posted 11-07-2012 04:19 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

The price drop in PV's is temporary, a gimmick perpetrated by China moon.  This is a technology that's dependent on semiconductors, which means mining operations and dangerous manufacturing chemicals.  Recycling is actually less likely as the price of panel production continues to plunge.  Still, they are better than fossil fuels, but not as efficacious as CSP long- term, which will be as cost effective as conventional coal-fired / natural gas plants by 2050, or sooner.

I expect innovations to continue in both technologies, and there are applications for PV's, but long-term, the renewability of PV's is as problematic as fossil fuels.   The shorter, greener path is CSP.  The price drop in PVs has scared private investors, like google, out of the CSP market, which, again underscores the need for public/private investment until we can grandfather out conventional and nuclear production.

But at least you now know what CSP is, and what it's capable of.  There is no need to downgrade anyone's lifestyle.  That's the good news!

The bad news is, it's already too late.  Sandy's are the new normal for generations to come.  Further innovations will be required to deal with that, and solve food shortages.

This is another conversation though.  I really don't feel like discussing genetic modification.
moonbeam
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42 posted 11-07-2012 04:37 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Hi Reb, I think you are perhaps a little out of touch with advancements in PV recycling.  Nearly all the materials can now be successfully and commercially recovered.  I think the Germans (as usual) are leading in this.

Like I say,from what I've read CSP is a very long way from making a serious dent in global enery requirements.  In any event the discussion is only partly about electricity and energy generation - lifestyle changes are likely to be needed whatever, because as you say, it's too late. We may not agree on exactly why it's too late! but we sure as heck aren't going to be able to carry on as we are.
Local Rebel
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43 posted 11-07-2012 05:04 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Nearly all, is how much money a gambler recovers in a casino.  And, unless governments force recycling, it ain't gonna happen.

CSP requires billions of initial investment.  But that's pretty minimal when you consider a land mass the size of Lake Mead can produce ALL the electrical requirements for an energy hog like the US.  And, we can do it all with electricity.  Don't need anything else!
moonbeam
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44 posted 11-07-2012 05:18 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

It just did happen, lol:

http://pvrecycling.com/

and while I'm about it - on solar thermal:


http://papundits.wordpress.com/2009/07/25/the-problem-with-solar-thermal-power/

and on windmills:

To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero. Despite the regressive subsidy (pushing pensioners into fuel poverty while improving the wine cellars of grand estates), despite tearing rural communities apart, killing jobs, despoiling views, erecting pylons, felling forests, killing bats and eagles, causing industrial accidents, clogging motorways, polluting lakes in Inner Mongolia with the toxic and radioactive tailings from refining neodymium, a ton of which is in the average turbine — despite all this, the total energy generated each day by wind has yet to reach half a per cent worldwide.  
If wind power was going to work, it would have done so by now…
In a wish to be seen as modern, (politicians) will embrace all manner of fashionable causes. When this sets in — groupthink grips political parties, and the media therefore decide there is no debate — the gravest of errors can take root. The subsidising of useless wind turbines was born of a deep intellectual error, one incubated by failure to challenge conventional wisdom.
It is precisely this consensus-worshipping, heretic-hunting environment where the greatest errors can be made. There are some 3,500 wind turbines in Britain, with hundreds more under construction. It would be a shame for them all to be dismantled. The biggest one should remain, like a crane on an abandoned quay, for future generations to marvel at. They will never be an efficient way to generate power. But there can be no better monument to the folly of mankind.
http://papundits.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/wind-power-madness-little-pow er-huge-bills-scarred-landscape/
Local Rebel
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45 posted 11-07-2012 06:11 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Your
PA pundit is laughably misinformed moon.  the ability to store solar energy to operate when the sun goes down is the hallmark of CSP plants.  TonyfromOz is about as sourceable as using one of these pip threads.

quote:

The good news on this horizon comes from recent developments in thermosolar concentrated solar power (CSP). We can now expect effective CSP capacity factors to be increased to the 75% range with technologies that are current and cost effective. In 2010, Italian utility Enel brought on line a 5 MW thermosolar CSP demonstration facility that integrates the two most promising 24/7 baseloading technologies: Molten salt energy storage (MSES) and combined-cycle natural gas power generation. The Enel Archimede plant can operate on stored solar thermal energy alone for several hours. When the thermal reservoir is exhausted a natural gas combined-cycle generator kicks in as needed to meet the relatively light late night and early morning power demand. The result is a reliable baseload 24/7 power plant with around-the-clock generation capability.

Molten Salt Energy Storage

Molten salt energy storage (MSES) is often described as ‘solar salt’ batteries. Unlike lithium-ion chemistry-based batteries, MSES is an incredibly efficient and cost-effective thermal energy storage system. Particularly well suited for thermosolar CSP power plants, MSES retains over 90% of captured heat for up to 24 hours, allowing generation of electricity around the clock in an elegant, economical, and environmentally benign manner.

Several stand-alone MSES CSP power plants have been designed and built recently by the Sener Group. These facilities go a long way to solving the solar capacity problem. Sener’s first MSES facility, built for the ACS Group/ Cobra outside of Grenada, Spain in 2009, is the 50 MW Andasol-1 CSP plant. Andasol-1 uses MSES with 7.5 hours of effective heat storage. This plant has a capacity factor rating of 41%, an impressive increase from the thermosolar CSP industry median of 18%. However, while this allows continued power generation for hours after sunset it still doesn’t get us to the Holy Grail of baseload 24/7 solar power generation.

That goal for a stand-alone thermosolar CSP plant will be achieved near Seville at Sener’s Gemasolar power plant; a baseload 24/7 19 MW CSP tower plant with 15 hours of molten salt energy storage. Gemasolar is scheduled to open in mid-2011 with a remarkable capacity factor of 75%, coming close to coal, nuclear, and natural gas capacities.

http://greeneconomypost.com/concentrated-solar-power-answer-intermittency-concerns-13949.htm
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46 posted 11-08-2012 02:31 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I didn't know about this form of storage.  If as good as set out here it could indeed make a difference.  I still think though that you have an engineer's love of all things unecessarily mechanical!  Mirrors, steam, turbines and windings seem so much more complicated and prone to mechanical failure and maintenance problems, than just erecting PV arrays and cleaning them once in a while.

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47 posted 11-08-2012 04:35 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I understand your perspective moon.  I just don't feel you're including what it takes to get that panel manufactured, transported, erected, decommissioned, and recycled.  Its' moving parts are invisible.  
 
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