Dude, I noticed you did not comment on the fact that you would have to put out 1,000s of huge wind mills to 10,000s of big windmils or more small windmils to replace one conventional power plant site? Do you really think we can site this many windmills, build that many roads, produce that much concrete and steel, and build that much transmition lines in an environmentally friendly way? After you use up all the good sites, it gets worse. We are at about 1% of our energy coming from these ugly-ass things and they are already all over the damn place. To get to 10%, they will be at 10 times as many places. You honestly think this is possible. I know you talk about efficiency, but we have yet to lower our per capita use of electricity. We get more from it, but we don't use less. Do the math. We need too damn many of these things and that can't work out environmentally.
dudejcb wrote:Frankly, I don't understand everyone's opposition to environmentally beneficial notions. If we become more energy efficient, more productive, reinvigorate our (seriously dated) manufactuing base, and also decrease our dependence on a finite resource of fossil fuels...and it helps the airshed...what is the big deal.
Nobody is opposed to these things. They just are not more "efficient" if they cost more. The cost isn't just money. In the case of the windmills it is a hell of a lot of land, it more steel and concrete manufacturing (you know those low energy intensity environmentally benign industries), it's an unreliable energy supply (the sun doesn't shine at night and not a lot of days and the wind isn't usually blowing at the optimum speed and sometimes not at all). If I can pull my boat with my 4WD truck (I own a ranger and not a Suburban) at a lower cost, I am all for it, but I'm not for an undersized, underpowered and overpriced vehicle that just doesn't do what I need to do.
dudejcb wrote:Our manufacturing base (what's left) is old, generally. We need to retool to be competitve.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. The only problem with the manufacturing base is that union employment is down or that is the reason the left is worried about it because we know how pro-manufacturing they are
We manufacture more stuff with greater efficiency than we ever have. That is a fact. Go look it up. I'm sure manufacturing is down in 2009 and maybe 2008, but it is way above what it was if you go back a few years and further in the past. The factories are doing what you are doing, well except for the highly unionized ones, because even if they do retool, they cannot lay off the people that are displaced by the retooled factory. So what has happened is that the highly unionized factories have been displaced by other companies that were not burdened by the unions. This is why GM, Ford, and Chrysler need to go bankrupt. Why retool? So you can replace expensive workers with cheap technology. I'm not going to explain why this is good for everybody. If you don't believe this, do you think we would be better off if we were all following mules around the field like my grandfather did when he was a child or driving a tractor like my mother did when she was 10?
GroundSwatter wrote:If we use nuclear power, guess what a bi-product of that wonderful technology is, thats right, good ol H2.
Nope, not a byproduct. It is very expensive to produce hydrogen. We are working on ways to do it more economically, but right now, it is just very expensive. That applies to nuclear, coal, wind, ...
If we can figure out how to cheaply produce hydrogen, I don't think it would go to fuel cells. There currently is a commercial market for hydrogen and most of it is already being used to push your car around. They use it to get more gallons of gasoline from a barrel of oil. Your car is already in small part hydrogen powered. If we could solve the technical and scientific problems with producing cheap hydrogen from water or some other source than natural gas, a much greater fraction of the energy used to push your car around would come from hydrogen, but it would still be in the form of gasoline. No reason to do otherwise, unless you believe the CO2 myth.
dudejcb wrote:the lead time for a nuclear or coal plant these days is about 15 years. natural gas about 3 to 5, but then that puts upward pressure on the cost to heat your home...or those homes that use natural gas for heating. And as we've seen, natural gas prices can, and do, fluctuate wildly.
It doesn't require 15 years to do it. It requires probably 7 to 8 if we go gang busters. Normal conditions are about 10 from starting the permitting to first generation. The reason it is so long is the perceived risk. Is Obama really going to bankrupt people that build coal plants? The threat of carbon taxes has real slowed things down because of the fear of investing the money in something that the President said is going to go belly up. Gas turbines are much lower risk. They are basically jet engines and can be thrown up quickly and the pay back period is much shorter, which greatly reduces the risk of losing your initial investment. They are a safer bet and that is what investers will take, even if they expect to make less money. The lower return is basically the insurance premium for a safer investment. Look at CDs versus junk bonds. Why wouldn't everybody invest in junk bonds because they have a higher profit?
dudejcb wrote:everyone is a bit different so whether one has an effect is somewhat indiviual in nature. Low level solar radiation causes skin and melanoma... not in everyone...but it increases the odds for everyone. Feeling lucky?
That is ultraviolate radiation. That is actual not the radiation I was talking about. Ionizing radiation, which is what I mean, when I say radiation is x-rays and gamma rays (which are light waves with much shorter frequency than ultraviolate, light, infrared, microwave, etc.) beta particles, alpha particles, neutrons, and the cosmic stuff (muon, pions, etc.) that rain down from space. You are correct. It is a probablistic phenomenon. People cannot deal with probabilities. No matter how little exposure you have to the sun, there is a non-zero chance of getting melanoma. Does that mean we should live in a cave?
I get exposed to more ionizing radiation by flying for work than I ever did working at the nuclear power plants or anything I have ever down in my job. Frequent business travels get more radiation exposure than something like 95% (forget the number) of radiation workers. Commercial transcontinental airline pilots and crew get significantly above nearly all radiation workers. People that live in Colorada get more radiation exposure than people that live in Illinois. Should we outlaw people from living in Colorado, because if the difference were from a manmade source, it would be illegal. Large fractions of the earth do not meet the EPA and NRC standards. In nearly all cases it is illegal to put uranium mining byproducts back in the mine because it exceeds EPA standards even though disturbing it is not the reason. It did before we touched it and it didn't increase by digging it out and filling the hole back with the left over (tails). Thanks pseudo-environmentalists.
dudejcb wrote:I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder... I suppose when towers are new they're at least clean, but it's a stretch to say they look better than anything.
BTW, cooling towers are not required for nuke or coal plants. You need a heat sink, so if you are near the ocean, you use that. Most of them do not have cooling towers and here in Illinois, they either use lake Michigan or build a very large lake. Boy do those bath tubs stack up the geese in the winter when everything else is froze up.