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Re: Br?n on global warming

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  • Trent Shipley
    ... I m half kidding, but I partly feel this way. More importantly, I think it reflects political reality. Polls are showing people are less concerned about
    Message 1 of 30 , Feb 11, 2010
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      Michael Harney wrote:

      > Trent wrote:
      > "I believe that climate change is true, but that America's response
      > must preserve the American way of life or to hell with the planet."
      >
      > You're kidding right? If we go down we're taking the world with us?
      > A little Bond-villain-esqe don't you think? Can't compromises be
      > reached? The majority of Americans are willing to give up a great
      > portion of civil rights during times of war. We can't change our
      > lifestyles just a little to preserve a more stable future?
      I'm half kidding, but I partly feel this way. More importantly, I think
      it reflects political reality. Polls are showing people are less
      concerned about global warming and more skeptical. It really comes home
      when you ask if you can raise electricity rates to prevent global
      warming. Polls come up with a resounding "NO!".

      If you want to solve global warming it better not cost me my job,
      increase my electricity bill, make me pay more for transportation,
      sacrifice the quality or quantity of my transportation, or otherwise
      degrade my lifestyle.

      Also, it better not prevent increasing prosperity in less developed
      countries. Indeed, it better not reduce the rate at which prosperity
      increases.

      If you can do those things, then we can talk about fighting global warming.


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    • Trent Shipley
      ... The problem with nuclear power is that we can t get all the uranium we need from reliable countries. A lot of it comes from Russia, the Central Asian
      Message 2 of 30 , Feb 11, 2010
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        Michael Harney wrote:

        > Trent wrote:
        >
        > Why not nuclear power? Less people have died in nuclear accidents
        > than mining coal. Mining coal is more hazardous to your health than
        > working in a modern nuclear power plant. It doesn't produce CO2. It
        > doesn't produce environmental pollution other than the obvious
        > radioactive waste that is slated to start being stored at Yucca
        > Mountain starting in a few years, where it won't be a concern for tens
        > of thousands of years. If the human contribution to global climate
        > change is significant and is something that can significantly impact
        > us within the next one or two centuries, then why not trade the more
        > immediate global problem for one that is more localized and we will
        > have a much longer time period to solve?
        >
        The problem with nuclear power is that we can't get all the uranium we
        need from reliable countries. A lot of it comes from Russia, the
        Central Asian Republics, and less stable African states. The ex-Soviet
        sources are worse for the Europe and the U.S. than Saudi oil since those
        countries still treat the West as a strategic threat. Saudia Arabia
        treats America as a necessary evil and a protector, but not a threat.
        Uranium is a finite resource, and energy use always increases even with
        improved conservation. As time goes on, access to uranium may become an
        even bigger energy security problem for the West than it is now. So if
        your primary motivation is energy security (not climate change), nuclear
        power is only a marginal improvement over oil.

        For America, however, Coal is the ultimate in energy security. It's
        right here. We can even export the stuff and gain a strategic advantage
        over other countries by becoming part of their energy supply chain.


        > Trent Shipley wrote:
        >> I believe that climate change is true, but that America's response must
        >> preserve the American way of life or to hell with the planet.
        >>
        >>
        >> So the solution has to be a magic technology fix. We cannot raise the
        >> cost of energy to solve climate change, especially not before the costs
        >> of climate change become apparent. Even then it may be more politically
        >> expedient to build levees than to increase the cost of energy.
        >>
        >>
        >> As for American energy security, that means coal, not uranium.
        >>


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      • Richard Baker
        ... Aren t the worlds most productive uranium mines in Canada and Australia? Those two countries combined account for almost half of the world s uranium
        Message 3 of 30 , Feb 11, 2010
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          Trent said:

          > The problem with nuclear power is that we can't get all the uranium we
          > need from reliable countries. A lot of it comes from Russia, the
          > Central Asian Republics, and less stable African states.

          Aren't the worlds most productive uranium mines in Canada and Australia? Those two countries combined account for almost half of the world's uranium output, Russia around 8%, other former Soviet states 22%, Africa about 15%.

          Rich
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        • Trent Shipley
          As you said. http://www.euronuclear.org/info/encyclopedia/u/uranium-reserves.htm Uranium mining (reserves?) in tonnes Australia 725,000 t Brazil 157,400 t
          Message 4 of 30 , Feb 11, 2010
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            As you said.


            http://www.euronuclear.org/info/encyclopedia/u/uranium-reserves.htm  

            Uranium mining (reserves?) in tonnes

              Australia      725,000 t
              Brazil         157,400 t
              Canada         329,200 t
            * Kazakhstan     378,100 t
              South Africa   284,400 t
              Namibia        176,400 t
            * Niger          243,100 t
            * Russia         172,400 t
              Ukraine        135,000 t
            * Uzbekistan      72,400 t
              USA            339,000 t






            Richard Baker wrote:

            Trent said:
            
              
            The problem with nuclear power is that we can't get all the uranium we
            need from reliable countries.  A lot of it comes from Russia, the
            Central Asian Republics, and less stable African states.
                
            Aren't the worlds most productive uranium mines in Canada and Australia? Those two countries combined account for almost half of the world's uranium output, Russia around 8%, other former Soviet states 22%, Africa about 15%.
            
            Rich
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          • Keith Henson
            On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 8:47 AM, Trent Shipley wrote: snip ... Global warming is the wrong problem to solve, but solving the correct one,
            Message 5 of 30 , Feb 12, 2010
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              On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 8:47 AM, Trent Shipley <tshipley@...> wrote:

              snip

              > If you want to solve global warming it better not cost me my job,
              > increase my electricity bill, make me pay more for transportation,
              > sacrifice the quality or quantity of my transportation, or otherwise
              > degrade my lifestyle.
              >
              > Also, it better not prevent increasing prosperity in less developed
              > countries.  Indeed, it better not reduce the rate at which prosperity
              > increases.
              >
              > If you can do those things, then we can talk about fighting global warming.

              Global warming is the wrong problem to solve, but solving the correct
              one, low cost energy that carbon neutral or negative solves at least
              the CO2 buildup and global warming to the extent that contributes.

              It's an engineering problem. It happens I have worked out one way, a
              method to reduce the cost of lifting power satellite parts to GEO so
              that space based solar energy could displace fossil fuels on price.
              There is at least one *other* way that gets energy cost into the range
              where synthetic gasoline can be made for a dollar a gallon.

              I could go into detail including the economic models, but I don't know
              if there is anyone on this list who can follow the physics, chemistry
              and math.

              I think people are properly skeptical of the need to suffer that is
              preached by the global warming community. Far as I know engineers
              have never been asked how they would refreeze the Arctic Ocean or slow
              the glaciers sliding into the sea.

              Keith

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            • Wayne Eddy
              Very few people that I know are skeptical that human activity is causing more carbon dioxide to enter the atmosphere or that this is contributing to a rise in
              Message 6 of 30 , Feb 14, 2010
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                Very few people that I know are skeptical that human activity is causing more carbon dioxide to enter the atmosphere or that this is contributing to a rise in global temperatures.  I do think that a lot of people are legitimately skeptical that it is the existential threat that some people make it out to be, or that it is the single most pressing issue of our time.  If people are skeptical it is of politicians and lobby groups, not of scientists. 

                I agree that humanity should work at developing renewable energy sources, that we should strive to make everything more energy efficient and that we should try to eradicate waste, but I don't believe that carbon emissions are the most pressing reason to do so.

                I'd prefer to see money being spent on fusion power research, and finding ways to harness the collective intelligence of the human race, than flying plane loads of delegates to Copenhagen.   

                In fact I think that collective intelligence is the key to everything.  When people talk about the Technological Singularity they mostly seem to think about smart computers making smarter computers, but I think it is more about humankind collaborating together to find better ways of collaborating.    I have this vision of a day in the not to distant future when the collective intelligence of humankind will be unleashed like a sort of benevolent great eye of Modor, whose gaze when directed at even the most intractable problems, will cause them to evaporate in a puff of logic. 
              • Charlie Bell
                ... You d be surprised. My maths isn t great (ie i m not a natural mathematician), but my chemistry is fine... ... Um, exactly what is this global warming
                Message 7 of 30 , Feb 15, 2010
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                  On 13/02/2010, at 7:05 AM, Keith Henson wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  > I could go into detail including the economic models, but I don't know
                  > if there is anyone on this list who can follow the physics, chemistry
                  > and math.

                  You'd be surprised. My maths isn't great (ie i'm not a natural mathematician), but my chemistry is fine...
                  >
                  > I think people are properly skeptical of the need to suffer that is
                  > preached by the global warming community.

                  Um, exactly what is this "global warming community" that preaches a "need to suffer"? That looks like just another straw man to me. There are nutters on both sides of the politics of climate, but the people really concerned about taking action are busy showing how you can live very similarly to the way you do now, without being so wasteful. Most of the science and engineering of starting to live sustainably is no-brainer stuff that's easy to implement. Sure, we do need a few big-ticket items and the space based solar that you've been advocating for years may well be one of those, but in the short-term there's a lot individuals and communities can do to green their homes, businesses and towns that will have at worst a very small affect on standard of living.

                  Examples such as water tanks, solar hot water, decent insulation are small steps that if taken by large numbers of people can massively lower the demand for energy. How we produce that energy needs to change too, but the levels of wastage in the US and Australia are verging on criminal. Cutting out waste isn't preaching a "need to suffer".

                  What scientists are saying is that if we carry on with "business as usual" then a lot of people will suffer.

                  > Far as I know engineers
                  > have never been asked how they would refreeze the Arctic Ocean or slow
                  > the glaciers sliding into the sea.

                  Need to stop the forcing first before you can think about reversing the effects, surely...

                  The solutions are different depending where you live, of course.

                  Charlie.
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                • John Williams
                  ... I have the same impression as Keith. There seem to be a lot of global warming activists who want to switch everyone to much more expensive technologies. Or
                  Message 8 of 30 , Feb 15, 2010
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                    On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 1:41 PM, Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > On 13/02/2010, at 7:05 AM, Keith Henson wrote:

                    >> I think people are properly skeptical of the need to suffer that is
                    >> preached by the global warming community.
                    >
                    > Um, exactly what is this "global warming community" that preaches a "need to suffer"?

                    I have the same impression as Keith. There seem to be a lot of global
                    warming activists who want to switch everyone to much more expensive
                    technologies. Or else they have not understood the numbers and think
                    that the cost of making a large reduction in worldwide CO2 emission is
                    not very high -- thinking that little things that don't cost much will
                    make much of a dent in worldwide CO2 emissions.

                    >>  Far as I know engineers
                    >> have never been asked how they would refreeze the Arctic Ocean or slow
                    >> the glaciers sliding into the sea.
                    >
                    > Need to stop the forcing first before you can think about reversing the effects, surely...

                    Surely not, if by stop forcing you mean change people worldwide enough
                    to drastically reduce CO2 emissions. Much more realistic to work on
                    mitigating the effects.

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                  • Alberto Vieira Ferreira Monteiro
                    ... Probably not, we are very stupid when it comes down to the math used in astrodynamics, chemistry or economy. Alberto Monteiro
                    Message 9 of 30 , Feb 17, 2010
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                      Keith Henson wrote:
                      >
                      > I could go into detail including the economic models, but I don't know
                      > if there is anyone on this list who can follow the physics, chemistry
                      > and math.
                      >
                      Probably not, we are very stupid when it comes down to the math
                      used in astrodynamics, chemistry or economy.

                      Alberto Monteiro

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                    • Keith Henson
                      ... The US uses about 20 million bbs of oil per day. How much electric power would it take to make that much synthetic oil. (I have worked it out but I would
                      Message 10 of 30 , Feb 17, 2010
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                        On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:

                        > On 13/02/2010, at 7:05 AM, Keith Henson wrote:
                        >>
                        >> I could go into detail including the economic models, but I don't know
                        >> if there is anyone on this list who can follow the physics, chemistry
                        >> and math.
                        >
                        > You'd be surprised. My maths isn't great (ie i'm not a natural mathematician), but my chemistry is fine...

                        The US uses about 20 million bbs of oil per day. How much electric
                        power would it take to make that much synthetic oil.

                        (I have worked it out but I would appreciate someone else doing it to
                        check my numbers.)

                        >> I think people are properly skeptical of the need to suffer that is
                        >> preached by the global warming community.
                        >
                        > Um, exactly what is this "global warming community" that preaches a "need to suffer"? That looks like just another straw man to me. There are nutters on both sides of the politics of climate, but the people really concerned about taking action are busy showing how you can live very similarly to the way you do now, without being so wasteful. Most of the science and engineering of starting to live sustainably is no-brainer stuff that's easy to implement. Sure, we do need a few big-ticket items and the space based solar that you've been advocating for years may well be one of those, but in the short-term there's a lot individuals and communities can do to green their homes, businesses and towns that will have at worst a very small affect on standard of living.

                        Dr. David Mackay has put a lot of effort into this and doesn't think
                        so. His analysis is for the UK, but something similar applies to the
                        rest of the world as well.

                        > Examples such as water tanks, solar hot water, decent insulation are small steps that if taken by large numbers of people can massively lower the demand for energy.

                        That's not as true as most people hope. All the saving you can make
                        in a year are blown on one short aircraft trip.

                        >How we produce that energy needs to change too, but the levels of wastage in the US and Australia are verging on criminal. Cutting out waste isn't preaching a "need to suffer".
                        >
                        > What scientists are saying is that if we carry on with "business as usual" then a lot of people will suffer.

                        If we don't solve the energy problem as many as 6 out of 7 people will
                        *die* in famines and resource wars.

                        Keith

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                      • William T Goodall
                        ... My math doesn t extend much beyond cryptography. Prime Numbers Maru -- William T Goodall Mail : wtg@wtgab.demon.co.uk Web : http://www.wtgab.demon.co.uk
                        Message 11 of 30 , Feb 17, 2010
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                          On 17 Feb 2010, at 23:21, Alberto Vieira Ferreira Monteiro wrote:

                          > Keith Henson wrote:
                          >>
                          >> I could go into detail including the economic models, but I don't know
                          >> if there is anyone on this list who can follow the physics, chemistry
                          >> and math.
                          >>
                          > Probably not, we are very stupid when it comes down to the math
                          > used in astrodynamics, chemistry or economy.

                          My math doesn't extend much beyond cryptography.


                          Prime Numbers Maru


                          --
                          William T Goodall
                          Mail : wtg@...
                          Web : http://www.wtgab.demon.co.uk
                          Blog : http://blog.williamgoodall.name/

                          "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." ~Voltaire.


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                        • Doug Pensinger
                          ... Or very sarcastic. Doug _______________________________________________ http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                          Message 12 of 30 , Feb 17, 2010
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                            Alberto wrote:

                            >>
                            > Probably not, we are very stupid when it comes down to the math
                            > used in astrodynamics, chemistry or economy.
                            >
                            > Alberto Monteiro

                            Or very sarcastic.

                            Doug

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                          • Wayne Eddy
                            Found what I thought was a terrific paper on carbon sequestration. It suggests that it should be possible to use nanotechnology to convert atmospheric carbon
                            Message 13 of 30 , Feb 17, 2010
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                              Found what I thought was a terrific paper on carbon sequestration.

                              It suggests that it should be possible to use nanotechnology to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into diamond bricks by the 2030's.



                            • Keith Henson
                              On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Alberto Vieira Ferreira Monteiro ... I left off the other factor, lack of interest. But if any of you want a copy of my 14
                              Message 14 of 30 , Feb 18, 2010
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                                On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Alberto Vieira Ferreira Monteiro
                                <albmont@...> wrote:

                                > Keith Henson wrote:
                                >>
                                >> I could go into detail including the economic models, but I don't know
                                >> if there is anyone on this list who can follow the physics, chemistry
                                >> and math.
                                >>
                                > Probably not, we are very stupid when it comes down to the math
                                > used in astrodynamics, chemistry or economy.
                                >
                                > Alberto Monteiro

                                I left off the other factor, lack of interest.

                                But if any of you want a copy of my 14 page paper "Beamed Energy and
                                the Economics of Space Based Solar Power" and the spread sheets that
                                were used to construct the models, let me know.

                                Please don't ask if you are not willing to read the paper (or at least try).

                                Keith

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                              • Charlie Bell
                                ... What do you want synthetic oil for, except as plastic feedstock? Please explain what you re trying to do with that much sythetic oil, other than attempt to
                                Message 15 of 30 , Feb 18, 2010
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                                  On 18/02/2010, at 11:29 AM, Keith Henson wrote:

                                  > On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM, Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> On 13/02/2010, at 7:05 AM, Keith Henson wrote:
                                  >>>
                                  >>> I could go into detail including the economic models, but I don't know
                                  >>> if there is anyone on this list who can follow the physics, chemistry
                                  >>> and math.
                                  >>
                                  >> You'd be surprised. My maths isn't great (ie i'm not a natural mathematician), but my chemistry is fine...
                                  >
                                  > The US uses about 20 million bbs of oil per day. How much electric
                                  > power would it take to make that much synthetic oil.

                                  What do you want synthetic oil for, except as plastic feedstock? Please explain what you're trying to do with that much sythetic oil, other than attempt to keep running the same kinds of ICE powered vehicles that we do today?

                                  >> Um, exactly what is this "global warming community" that preaches a "need to suffer"? That looks like just another straw man to me. There are nutters on both sides of the politics of climate, but the people really concerned about taking action are busy showing how you can live very similarly to the way you do now, without being so wasteful. Most of the science and engineering of starting to live sustainably is no-brainer stuff that's easy to implement. Sure, we do need a few big-ticket items and the space based solar that you've been advocating for years may well be one of those, but in the short-term there's a lot individuals and communities can do to green their homes, businesses and towns that will have at worst a very small affect on standard of living.
                                  >
                                  > Dr. David Mackay has put a lot of effort into this and doesn't think
                                  > so. His analysis is for the UK, but something similar applies to the
                                  > rest of the world as well.
                                  >
                                  >> Examples such as water tanks, solar hot water, decent insulation are small steps that if taken by large numbers of people can massively lower the demand for energy.
                                  >
                                  > That's not as true as most people hope. All the saving you can make
                                  > in a year are blown on one short aircraft trip.

                                  If you're talking per capita CO2 emissions, yes you're correct. If we're talking energy usage across a city (especially mainly suburban cities like in Australia), we're talking significant savings through these steps - they're the low-hanging fruit that it's crazy not to get on with. Tanks compared to desalination, for example, are so sensible and yet there's a push from politicians to huge wasteful desal. We've got our per capita mains consumption down to under 100l a day, and a few more changes to our home system will take us to using no more than 10l/pp/pd. This across a city the size of Melbourne can save at least 200gigalitres per annum, which would save building the 788GWh per annum desal plant planned for Melbourne is expected to use. Melbourne's power stations burn lignite... so you'll see the sorts of real consumption savings that can be achieved easily here with ease. There's no one-size-fits-all solution of course, but with some leadership we can save a lot of waste which is just as important as transitioning to new forms of energy production.
                                  >
                                  >> How we produce that energy needs to change too, but the levels of wastage in the US and Australia are verging on criminal. Cutting out waste isn't preaching a "need to suffer".
                                  >>
                                  >> What scientists are saying is that if we carry on with "business as usual" then a lot of people will suffer.
                                  >
                                  > If we don't solve the energy problem as many as 6 out of 7 people will
                                  > *die* in famines and resource wars.

                                  Please, show your working. I don't disbelieve you but if you can point to work on this I will read, ponder and digest. As always.

                                  Leaving for work now - will look in this evening to see where this goes...

                                  Charlie.
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                                • Trent Shipley
                                  ... Why not convert it back to coal -- or wood -- so we can burn it again? Cleaner energy through reverse entropy and perpetual motion. (OK. I looked over
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Feb 18, 2010
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                                    Wayne Eddy wrote:

                                    Found what I thought was a terrific paper on carbon sequestration.

                                    It suggests that it should be possible to use nanotechnology to convert atmospheric carbon dioxide into diamond bricks by the 2030's.




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                                    Why not convert it back to coal  -- or wood -- so we can burn it again?

                                    Cleaner energy through reverse entropy and perpetual motion.  (OK.  I looked over the table of contents.  There seems to be a solar input.)


                                  • Trent Shipley
                                    ... Where will they live? (I am a member of a tribe. Global civilization can go stuff itself.) _______________________________________________
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Feb 18, 2010
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                                      Keith Henson wrote:

                                      If we don't solve the energy problem as many as 6 out of 7 people will
                                      *die* in famines and resource wars.
                                      
                                      Keith
                                      
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                                      Where will they live?

                                      (I am a member of a tribe.  Global civilization can go stuff itself.)

                                    • Trent Shipley
                                      ... For a little while longer I work for the local electric utility. We had a newsletter item that the Australian leadership had ruled out nuclear as an
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Feb 18, 2010
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                                        Charlie Bell wrote:

                                        On 18/02/2010, at 11:29 AM, Keith Henson wrote:
                                        
                                          
                                        On Tue, Feb 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM,  Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:
                                        
                                            
                                        On 13/02/2010, at 7:05 AM, Keith Henson wrote:
                                              
                                            
                                        Examples such as water tanks, solar hot water, decent insulation are small steps that if taken by large numbers of people can massively lower the demand for energy.
                                              
                                        That's not as true as most people hope.  All the saving you can make
                                        in a year are blown on one short aircraft trip.
                                            
                                        If you're talking per capita CO2 emissions, yes you're correct. If we're talking energy usage across a city (especially mainly suburban cities like in Australia), we're talking significant savings through these steps - they're the low-hanging fruit that it's crazy not to get on with. Tanks compared to desalination, for example, are so sensible and yet there's a push from politicians to huge wasteful desal. We've got our per capita mains consumption down to under 100l a day, and a few more changes to our home system will take us to using no more than 10l/pp/pd. This across a city the size of Melbourne can save at least 200gigalitres per annum, which would save building the 788GWh per annum desal plant planned for Melbourne is expected to use. Melbourne's power stations burn lignite... so you'll see the sorts of real consumption savings that can be achieved easily here with ease. There's no one-size-fits-all solution of course, but with some leadership we can save a lot of wast
                                        e which is just as important as transitioning to new forms of energy production.
                                          

                                        For a little while longer I work for the local electric utility.  We had a newsletter item that the Australian "leadership" had ruled out nuclear as an option and instead was making a bet on carbon sequestration from coal plants ... which will surely pan out eventually.

                                      • Dave Land
                                        ... I assume that you mean where would they live if they _didn t_ die, by way of arguing that a certain degree of culling is necessary, or at least acceptable.
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Feb 18, 2010
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                                          On Feb 18, 2010, at 2:12 PM, Trent Shipley wrote:

                                          > Keith Henson wrote:
                                          >> If we don't solve the energy problem as many as 6 out of 7 people
                                          >> will
                                          >> *die* in famines and resource wars.
                                          > Where will they live?
                                          >
                                          > (I am a member of a tribe. Global civilization can go stuff itself.)

                                          I assume that you mean where would they live if they _didn't_ die,
                                          by way of arguing that a certain degree of culling is necessary,
                                          or at least acceptable.

                                          That is, I assume that you're not asking the old trick question,
                                          "Quick: A plane with 200 people crashes right on the border of two
                                          countries. Where do they bury the survivors?"

                                          Like a lot of people, I suspect, I care far more for my family than I do
                                          for, say, members of my church (a proxy for tribe). I care more for
                                          members of that "tribe" than for other San Joseans, Californians,
                                          USAans,
                                          and so forth. Once I get beyond my Dunbar number (and certainly less
                                          than
                                          an order of magnitude above it), the difference between how much I
                                          actually care about individuals in those larger and larger groups is
                                          down in the noise.

                                          But it never reaches zero. Apparently, for someone like Keith, it
                                          appears to be further above zero than it is for you, with your "Global
                                          civilization can go stuff itself" frame.

                                          Evidently, John Donne's bell, at least insofar as "any man's death
                                          diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind", doesn't toll as loudly
                                          for thee.

                                          Dave


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                                        • Wayne Eddy
                                          Hey Trent. I hear what your saying. If you use all the energy you gained by burning carbon locking it back up again it is all a bit pointless isn t it. The
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Feb 18, 2010
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                                            Hey Trent.

                                            I hear what your saying.  If you use all the energy you gained by burning carbon locking it back up again it is all a bit pointless isn't it.  The article assumes an exponential increase in the use of solar energy over the next 20 years, which basically solves our biggest problem (cheap renewable energy) anyway.  AIl the same I love the article, and I love the dry humour - the idea of a such mega-scale engineering project appeals to me and it ties in nicely with Keiths space based solar power plans too. 


                                            On Fri, Feb 19, 2010 at 8:09 AM, Trent Shipley <tshipley@...> wrote:


                                            Why not convert it back to coal  -- or wood -- so we can burn it again?

                                            Cleaner energy through reverse entropy and perpetual motion.  (OK.  I looked over the table of contents.  There seems to be a solar input.)

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                                          • Keith Henson
                                            ... snip ... What it would be used for wasn t part of the question. But how do you propose to power aircraft, heavy trucks and ships after we run out of
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Feb 18, 2010
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                                              On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 4:28 PM, Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:

                                              >
                                              >
                                              > On 18/02/2010, at 11:29 AM, Keith Henson wrote:

                                              snip

                                              >>> You'd be surprised. My maths isn't great (ie i'm not a natural mathematician), but my chemistry is fine...
                                              >>
                                              >> The US uses about 20 million bbs of oil per day.  How much electric
                                              >> power would it take to make that much synthetic oil.
                                              >
                                              > What do you want synthetic oil for, except as plastic feedstock? Please explain what you're trying to do with that much sythetic oil, other than attempt to keep running the same kinds of ICE powered vehicles that we do today?

                                              What it would be used for wasn't part of the question. But how do you
                                              propose to power aircraft, heavy trucks and ships after we run out of
                                              fossil fuels? Also, how long will it take to replace ICE powered
                                              vehicles?

                                              snip

                                              >>> Examples such as water tanks, solar hot water, decent insulation are small steps that if taken by large numbers of people can massively lower the demand for energy.
                                              >>
                                              >> That's not as true as most people hope.  All the saving you can make
                                              >> in a year are blown on one short aircraft trip.
                                              >
                                              > If you're talking per capita CO2 emissions, yes you're correct. If we're talking energy usage across a city (especially mainly suburban cities like in Australia), we're talking significant savings through these steps - they're the low-hanging fruit that it's crazy not to get on with. Tanks compared to desalination, for example, are so sensible and yet there's a push from politicians to huge wasteful desal. We've got our per capita mains consumption down to under 100l a day, and a few more changes to our home system will take us to using no more than 10l/pp/pd. This across a city the size of Melbourne can save at least 200gigalitres per annum, which would save building the 788GWh per annum

                                              788/8760 is 90 MW.

                                              desal plant planned for Melbourne is expected to use. Melbourne's
                                              power stations burn lignite... so you'll see the sorts of real
                                              consumption savings that can be achieved easily here with ease.
                                              There's no one-size-fits-all solution of course, but with some
                                              leadership we can save a lot of waste which is just as important as
                                              transitioning to new forms of energy production.
                                              >>
                                              >>> How we produce that energy needs to change too, but the levels of wastage in the US and Australia are verging on criminal. Cutting out waste isn't preaching a "need to suffer".
                                              >>>
                                              >>> What scientists are saying is that if we carry on with "business as usual" then a lot of people will suffer.
                                              >>
                                              >> If we don't solve the energy problem as many as 6 out of 7 people will
                                              >> *die* in famines and resource wars.
                                              >
                                              > Please, show your working. I don't disbelieve you but if you can point to work on this I will read, ponder and digest. As always.

                                              Not my work. Try here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3091

                                              Keith

                                              > Leaving for work now - will look in this evening to see where this goes...
                                              >
                                              > Charlie.
                                              >

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                                            • Charlie Bell
                                              ... Yeah. Crazy to rule it out out of hand (especially as we have plenty of uranium...). Pebble bed reactors are at least partly Australian innovation.
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Feb 18, 2010
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                                                On 19/02/2010, at 9:17 AM, Trent Shipley wrote:
                                                >
                                                >>
                                                > For a little while longer I work for the local electric utility. We had a newsletter item that the Australian "leadership" had ruled out nuclear as an option and instead was making a bet on carbon sequestration from coal plants ... which will surely pan out eventually.

                                                Yeah. Crazy to rule it out out of hand (especially as we have plenty of uranium...). Pebble bed reactors are at least partly Australian innovation.

                                                Charlie.
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                                              • Michael Harney
                                                ... Seriously? You put this much weight in a non-academic, purely speculative and, by my reasoning bullshit article. For crying out loud, the only cite in
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Feb 19, 2010
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                                                  >>>> How we produce that energy needs to change too, but the levels of wastage in the US and Australia are verging on criminal. Cutting out waste isn't preaching a "need to suffer".
                                                  >>>>
                                                  >>>> What scientists are saying is that if we carry on with "business as usual" then a lot of people will suffer.
                                                  >>>>
                                                  >>> If we don't solve the energy problem as many as 6 out of 7 people will
                                                  >>> *die* in famines and resource wars.
                                                  >>>
                                                  >> Please, show your working. I don't disbelieve you but if you can point to work on this I will read, ponder and digest. As always.
                                                  >>
                                                  >
                                                  > Not my work. Try here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3091
                                                  >
                                                  > Keith
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  Seriously? You put this much weight in a non-academic, purely
                                                  speculative and, by my reasoning bullshit article. For crying out loud,
                                                  the only cite in the whole article is from wikipedia. Alarmist
                                                  hypotheses about running out of resources has been going on for decades,
                                                  I remember growing up in the 80s and people saying that at the
                                                  consumption level at that time, the majority of the world's oil reserves
                                                  would be completely depleted by the year 2000. Strangely, our use of
                                                  oil have dramatically increased since that time, and we still have oil
                                                  now in the year 2010. And why would our Nuclear power resources be
                                                  falling in the coming years as the article claims? Decommissioning old
                                                  reactors? Sure, tear down an old reactor and put up a new one that is
                                                  twice as efficient and a hundred times safer.

                                                  I made the mistake of buying into hype all the time when I was younger.
                                                  Heck, 10 years ago I was convinced that 1/3 of the land in the world
                                                  would be consumed by rising oceans due to ice on Greenland and
                                                  Antarctica falling into the ocean within a few decades. At the time, I
                                                  could have pointed to numerous sources saying that this was going to
                                                  happen, and they actually have some data from NASA, the EPA, and other
                                                  credible sources to back their claims. Of course, the claims were
                                                  greatly exaggerated, but at least the people tried to back up their
                                                  claims with cold hard facts. This article doesn't back up anything it
                                                  claims. It just states it and expects the reader to accept it blindly.
                                                  Having a blog and making graphs in Microsoft Office doesn't make someone
                                                  an expert.

                                                  Here is a quote from the one "study" that the author referred to.

                                                  "I further claimed, based on some preliminary and overly general
                                                  calculations, that it would take on the order of three times our current
                                                  total primary energy output to stabilize the world population at around
                                                  10 billion people."

                                                  This is the author of that article you posted saying this. Their own
                                                  words state that their claims were based on "preliminary and overly
                                                  general calculations".

                                                  In other words: Bullshit.

                                                  Michael Harney



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                                                • Charlie Bell
                                                  ... Well, your question was how do you replace the entire current US oil usage with synthetic oil . Which is the wrong question, IMO. It s how much synthetic
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Feb 19, 2010
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                                                    On 19/02/2010, at 3:16 PM, Keith Henson wrote:

                                                    > On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 4:28 PM, Charlie Bell <charlie@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    >>
                                                    >>
                                                    >> On 18/02/2010, at 11:29 AM, Keith Henson wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > snip
                                                    >
                                                    >>>> You'd be surprised. My maths isn't great (ie i'm not a natural mathematician), but my chemistry is fine...
                                                    >>>
                                                    >>> The US uses about 20 million bbs of oil per day. How much electric
                                                    >>> power would it take to make that much synthetic oil.
                                                    >>
                                                    >> What do you want synthetic oil for, except as plastic feedstock? Please explain what you're trying to do with that much sythetic oil, other than attempt to keep running the same kinds of ICE powered vehicles that we do today?
                                                    >
                                                    > What it would be used for wasn't part of the question. But how do you
                                                    > propose to power aircraft, heavy trucks and ships after we run out of
                                                    > fossil fuels? Also, how long will it take to replace ICE powered
                                                    > vehicles?

                                                    Well, your question was "how do you replace the entire current US oil usage with synthetic oil". Which is the wrong question, IMO. It's "how much synthetic oil do we need to run those things we can't do other ways". So the first question is "how much can we reduce the need for oil before we're lowering standard of living". How much of that oil is wasted in profligate burning...

                                                    I'll come back to this later today or tomorrow - haven't got time to look carefully at the discussion (explain below). But cheers for discussing, always interesting.
                                                    >
                                                    > snip
                                                    >
                                                    >>>> Examples such as water tanks, solar hot water, decent insulation are small steps that if taken by large numbers of people can massively lower the demand for energy.
                                                    >>>
                                                    >>> That's not as true as most people hope. All the saving you can make
                                                    >>> in a year are blown on one short aircraft trip.
                                                    >>
                                                    >> If you're talking per capita CO2 emissions, yes you're correct. If we're talking energy usage across a city (especially mainly suburban cities like in Australia), we're talking significant savings through these steps - they're the low-hanging fruit that it's crazy not to get on with. Tanks compared to desalination, for example, are so sensible and yet there's a push from politicians to huge wasteful desal. We've got our per capita mains consumption down to under 100l a day, and a few more changes to our home system will take us to using no more than 10l/pp/pd. This across a city the size of Melbourne can save at least 200gigalitres per annum, which would save building the 788GWh per annum
                                                    >
                                                    > 788/8760 is 90 MW.

                                                    ie a whole power station you don't have to build...
                                                    >> \
                                                    >> Please, show your working. I don't disbelieve you but if you can point to work on this I will read, ponder and digest. As always.
                                                    >
                                                    > Not my work. Try here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3091

                                                    Cheers. Will look tonight (not delaying, just the time difference to here and that I'm doing a hundred mile bike ride today - it's 05:45 and I've got collect a carload of people and bikes and get out to the start).

                                                    C.
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                                                  • Charlie Bell
                                                    ... http://www.paulchefurka.ca/WEAP/WEAP.html Contains considerably more cites than the reprint. But few, if any, from peer-review, and I can t see anywhere
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Feb 20, 2010
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                                                      On 20/02/2010, at 3:23 AM, Michael Harney wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      > Seriously? You put this much weight in a non-academic, purely speculative and, by my reasoning bullshit article. For crying out loud, the only cite in the whole article is from wikipedia.

                                                      http://www.paulchefurka.ca/WEAP/WEAP.html

                                                      Contains considerably more cites than the reprint. But few, if any, from peer-review, and I can't see anywhere who this guy is. That he's done all the fitting of curves himself (second-order - or any order - polynomial fits are notoriously bad for projections) does not fill me with confidence that he knows what he's doing.

                                                      I'd like to see more than one self-published article to convince me that world population will be below a billion by the end of this century.

                                                      Charlie.
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