Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

Expand Messages
  • Kevin O'Brien
    ... I think you are correct in that. The only thing I would add is that the design of the Fukushima plant was very old, and that modern designs are even safer.
    Message 1 of 29 , Nov 27, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      On 11/26/2012 9:21 PM, Dan Minette wrote:
      > Since we don't want this list dominated by carved Norwegian tourist shop
      > items, I thought I'd throw out an argument. I have seen Germany and Japan
      > shutting down nuclear energy, after the Greens have suceeded in making it
      > non-PC. They had argued that the energy will be replaced by renewaable
      > sources. But, reality has set in, and they are being replaced by fossil
      > fuels.
      >
      > Indeed, the biggest rise in energy production will be coal plants. As
      >
      > http://www.climatecentral.org/news/more-than-1000-new-coal-plants-planned-wo
      > rldwide-15279
      >
      > shows, there are plans for 1.4 trillion watts of capacity being added now in
      > process. This will add the equivalent of another China in greenhouse gas
      > emissions, more than the US and EU combined. So, I'd argue that the Green's
      > main effect on the environment has been to increase greenhouse gas emissions
      > by making nuclear power politically unacceptable. Japan shutting down their
      > reactor after the only nuclear damage having been radiation burns on the
      > feet of workers who walked into radioactive water without checking and
      > without boots (non-fatal) is amazing. It's like shutting down all
      > automobile traffic after the 100 car pileup on Thanksgiving on I-10.

      I think you are correct in that. The only thing I would add is that the
      design of the Fukushima plant was very old, and that modern designs are
      even safer. This issue is not being resolved rationally, but then very
      few people approach problems that way.

      Regards,

      --
      Kevin B. O'Brien
      zwilnik@...
      A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


      _______________________________________________
      http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
    • Keith Henson
      On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM, Kevin O Brien wrote: snip ... Twitter compressed solution Really cheap power if we bootstrap by
      Message 2 of 29 , Nov 27, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM, Kevin O'Brien <zwilnik@zwilnik.c> wrote:

        snip

        > This issue is not being resolved rationally, but then very
        > few people approach problems that way.

        Twitter compressed solution

        "Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite
        and use it for propulsion lasers to bring up parts for thousands. "

        If anyone wants to know more, ask.

        Keith

        _______________________________________________
        http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
      • Klaus Stock
        ... Um, like the german SNR-300 design? Yup, the first reactor with a core catcher! Which was, of course, dismantled. Apparently, there s only one things the
        Message 3 of 29 , Nov 27, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          > I think you are correct in that. The only thing I would add is that the
          > design of the Fukushima plant was very old, and that modern designs are
          > even safer.

          Um, like the german SNR-300 design? Yup, the first reactor with a core
          catcher! Which was, of course, dismantled. Apparently, there's only
          one things the "greens" fear more than an unsafe reactor - and that's
          a safer one.

          Funny quote from a politician who opposed the SNR-300: "If we had
          such technology, we'd have to export it, too.". That wouldn't have
          helped Fukushima; that was a 1960s design, while the SR-300 was a
          1970s design, which was being upgraded though the 1980s.


          And now something completely different (warning: machine
          translation!):
          http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.planet-wissen.de%2Fnatur_technik%2Fenergie%2Ferdoel%2Finterview.jsp

          Yup, oil production is not as harmless as nuclear bomb tests.

          - Klaus



          --
          Best regards,
          Klaus mailto:ks@...


          _______________________________________________
          http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
        • Klaus Stock
          ... Our political leaders don t need solutions, they need fear. Once you control voters by fear, you can do literally everything. That s toally different from
          Message 4 of 29 , Nov 27, 2012
          • 0 Attachment
            >> This issue is not being resolved rationally, but then very
            >> few people approach problems that way.

            > Twitter compressed solution

            > "Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite
            > and use it for propulsion lasers to bring up parts for thousands. "

            > If anyone wants to know more, ask.

            Our political leaders don't need solutions, they need fear. Once you
            control voters by fear, you can do literally everything.

            That's toally different from us people with a scientific background,
            who still believe that we're constrained by physical laws. Or math. Or
            reason. Or logic.

            It works because politicians don't even get close to breaching natural
            laws. They are content with much, much simpler achievements. Personal
            wealth, power or just making certain other people feel miserable.

            However, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has studied physics.
            I'm wondering if she would be open to scientific solutions. Or if
            there political contrains which would prevent her from actually
            persuing solutions.

            - Klaus


            _______________________________________________
            http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
          • Dan Minette
            ... it for propulsion ... With all due respect, Keith, I ve been hearing arguments like this for 50 years. One thing would help you establish credibility.
            Message 5 of 29 , Nov 27, 2012
            • 0 Attachment
              >"Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite and use
              it for propulsion
              >lasers to bring up parts for thousands. "

              With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for 50
              years. One thing would help you establish credibility. Can you point to a
              design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale in a major
              industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even less likely than
              earth bound solar cells.

              Dan M


              _______________________________________________
              http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
            • Kevin O'Brien
              ... Speaking of solar cells, this article looks interesting: http://www.news-republic.com/Web/ArticleWeb.aspx?regionid=1&articleid=5336750 A trade war over
              Message 6 of 29 , Nov 28, 2012
              • 0 Attachment
                On 11/27/2012 5:18 PM, Dan Minette wrote:
                >> "Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite and use
                > it for propulsion
                >> lasers to bring up parts for thousands. "
                > With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for 50
                > years. One thing would help you establish credibility. Can you point to a
                > design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale in a major
                > industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even less likely than
                > earth bound solar cells.
                Speaking of solar cells, this article looks interesting:

                http://www.news-republic.com/Web/ArticleWeb.aspx?regionid=1&articleid=5336750

                A trade war over cheap solar involving Europe and China. That opens up
                several interesting topics. First, this is arguably the most important
                technology of the 21st century since it not only provides energy
                security but also addresses global heating. Second, the U.S. does not
                appear in this story. Third, there is an interesting economic argument.
                The Chinese government is subsidizing their manufacturers which results
                in Chinese solar panels being about 30% cheaper (per the story. I have
                not verified this independently.) From one perspective, you could argue
                that this is great for consumers. China is making everything 30%
                cheaper! Woo hoo! The objection is that this would undermine local
                producers, but that is not as clear a problem as the European
                manufacturers would like to say. For the advantage to be permanent you
                would need either perpetual subsidies by the Chinese government or some
                kind of barrier to entry in the solar panel market that would keep out
                competitors. Economic theory says that potentially the Chinese
                manufacturers could use these subsidies to drive out competitors, and
                when that was accomplished they would just raise prices and enjoy
                monopoly rents. But without the barriers to entry, that cannot happen.

                The other solution, if you think that subsidies by one side is a
                problem, is to create counter-subsidies. That might be preferable to a
                trade war, and arguably would help promote a technology we desperately need.

                Regards,

                --
                Kevin B. O'Brien
                zwilnik@...
                A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


                _______________________________________________
                http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
              • Keith Henson
                On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM, Dan Minette wrote: snip ... It s not hard to find out what I have done,
                Message 7 of 29 , Nov 29, 2012
                • 0 Attachment
                  On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM, "Dan Minette" <danminette@...> wrote:

                  snip

                  > I was basically asking if you've been around the block. That's not an appeal
                  > to authority, just the result of the observation that folks who've walked
                  > the walk are more likely to be accurate the next time they talk the talk
                  > than folks who never walked the walk.

                  It's not hard to find out what I have done,
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson

                  > I did look at high energy lasers, and the person who wrote
                  >
                  > http://www.rp-photonics.com/high_power_lasers.html
                  >
                  > Looks like he has worked with high power lasers. One notes that high power
                  > is 5 kWatt, and the many caveats for use at that energy.

                  These http://www.as.northropgrumman.com/products/vesta/ are 15 kW and
                  have been ganged to over 100 kW. Getting to the GW level (out in
                  space no less) is just a matter of having a lot of money to buy lasers
                  and haul them out there.

                  snip

                  > So, I won't say never to power satellites, but
                  > I'd saw it's probably three black swans away....and they have to be just the
                  > three black swans we need.

                  If you have a better way to get humanity off fossil fuels, don't keep
                  it to yourself.

                  Make a good case that it's cheaper and I will support that instead of
                  working on power satellites and laser propulsion.

                  Keith

                  _______________________________________________
                  http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                • Dan Minette
                  ... It depends on how close you are to the nuclear bomb test. But, oil is generally lower in radioactivity than bananas. If you are far enough away from the
                  Message 8 of 29 , Nov 29, 2012
                  • 0 Attachment
                    >Yup, oil production is not as harmless as nuclear bomb tests.

                    It depends on how close you are to the nuclear bomb test. But, oil is
                    generally lower in radioactivity than bananas. If you are far enough away
                    from the test, then the radiation is so low, it's orders of magnitude below
                    what you get from eating a banana.

                    Dan M.


                    _______________________________________________
                    http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                  • Dan Minette
                    ... From: brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com] On Behalf Of Kevin O Brien Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:06 AM To:
                    Message 9 of 29 , Nov 29, 2012
                    • 0 Attachment
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                      Behalf Of Kevin O'Brien
                      Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:06 AM
                      To: brin-l@...
                      Subject: Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

                      On 11/27/2012 5:18 PM, Dan Minette wrote:
                      >> "Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite
                      >> and use
                      > it for propulsion
                      >> lasers to bring up parts for thousands. "
                      > With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for
                      > 50 years. One thing would help you establish credibility. Can you
                      > point to a design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale
                      > in a major industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even
                      > less likely than earth bound solar cells.
                      Speaking of solar cells, this article looks interesting:
                      >A trade war over cheap solar involving Europe and China. That opens up
                      several interesting topics.
                      >First, this is arguably the most important technology of the 21st century
                      since it not only provides
                      >energy security but also addresses global heating. Second, the U.S. does
                      not appear in this story.

                      But, the technology is extremely expensive, even the cheap version. That is
                      why Germany is building coal plants to replace the nuclear plants, while
                      solar represents only 0.3% of the total energy supply.
                      China is subsidizing it's solar panels in an attempt to gain a monopoly in
                      selling solar panals. It doesn't really use them....I couldn't get a number
                      just on Chinese solar panels, but there total renewable (excluding
                      hydroelectric and wood) is 0.2% of their energy consumption, and wind is
                      much cheaper, so maybe they have 0.01%-0.05% solar.

                      They have a natural advantage in that they can just dump the toxic byproduct
                      of making solar cells instead of processing them. That cuts material costs
                      tremendously. They used the low price tactic to drive out virtually all
                      other rare earth suppliers a bit over a decade ago, and are now in a
                      position where the startup costs are high for other countries, and any
                      country with pollution regulations would have a hard time competing. So,
                      using this tactic, they could keep a monopoly, once they established it.
                      But, since solar power is a feel good luxury, and shows no sign of being an
                      important part of any ecconomy, they cannot use it as a political weapon. A
                      country can do without solar power; it cannot do without rare earths.

                      Nuclear power and biofuels from synthetic biology and bioengineering are far
                      more likely to be used as green energy sources. One advange each has is
                      that the development of efficient storage is not required for their use. In
                      a real sense, solar needs two breakthroughs that we cannot see to be
                      effective. Wind just needs one, effective storage. The lack of it is why
                      wind power cannot be counted on as part of peak demand. It only made sense
                      when natural gas was expensive.

                      Dan M.


                      _______________________________________________
                      http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                    • ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
                      ... Here in Brazil, Wind is used as part of the electric grid (there is a country-wide electric grid, only some parts of the Rain Forest are outside it). It
                      Message 10 of 29 , Nov 30, 2012
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Dan Minette wrote:
                        >
                        > Wind just needs one, effective storage. The lack of it is why
                        > wind power cannot be counted on as part of peak demand.
                        > It only made sense when natural gas was expensive.
                        >
                        Here in Brazil, Wind is used as part of the electric grid (there is a
                        country-wide electric grid, only some parts of the Rain Forest are
                        outside it). It helps save "water" and not consume natural gas when
                        the wind blows. So, Wind is _not_ one black swam away, it can be used
                        complementary to other sources of energy.

                        Alberto Monteiro

                        _______________________________________________
                        http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                      • Klaus Stock
                        ... I remember one study where it was predicted that if (in Germany) 10% if the required electricity is produced by wind, temperatures on land will rise and
                        Message 11 of 29 , Nov 30, 2012
                        • 0 Attachment
                          >> Wind just needs one, effective storage. The lack of it is why
                          >> wind power cannot be counted on as part of peak demand.
                          >> It only made sense when natural gas was expensive.
                          >>
                          > Here in Brazil, Wind is used as part of the electric grid (there is a
                          > country-wide electric grid, only some parts of the Rain Forest are
                          > outside it). It helps save "water" and not consume natural gas when
                          > the wind blows. So, Wind is _not_ one black swam away, it can be used
                          > complementary to other sources of energy.

                          I remember one study where it was predicted that if (in Germany) 10%
                          if the required electricity is produced by wind, temperatures on land
                          will rise and drop on the sea.

                          To me, that sounds like wind farms on land will deliver not enough
                          energy to power the air conditions we might need. Wind farms on the
                          water will reduce evaporation. No idea how big this impact will be,
                          but if we begin to need desalination plants to provide water for
                          irrigation, wind farms might again lead to less energy instead of more.

                          Furthermore, the currently used designs require massive maintenance.
                          Production of replacement parts is not CO2-neutral. Not by far! Yo,
                          still somewhat better than burning coal. But still surprisingly
                          "dirty".

                          Water is, AFAIR, even worse. The water basins replace plants, which
                          would otherwise convert CO2.

                          Pumped-storage hydroelectricity are often cited as a solution to
                          the storage problem. Apart from the problem mentioned above, they are
                          also inefficient. While a modern pumped-storage hydropower station may
                          yield an efficiency between 70% and 80%, energy transmission from and to
                          the the site also takes a toll. It's estimated that today about 50% of
                          the electrical energy is lost on it's wan from the power plant to the
                          user. Consider that the energy might to be transmitted twice (to the
                          pumped-storage hydropower station and back). Of course, it would make
                          sense to integrate water and wind plants, probably even using the wind
                          turbines to power the pumps directly. But that's a problem with
                          politics, not technology.

                          - Klaus


                          _______________________________________________
                          http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                        • Dan Minette
                          ... country-wide electric grid, only some parts of the Rain Forest are outside it). It helps save water and not consume natural gas when the wind blows.
                          Message 12 of 29 , Nov 30, 2012
                          • 0 Attachment
                            >Here in Brazil, Wind is used as part of the electric grid (there is a
                            country-wide electric grid, only >some parts of the Rain Forest are outside
                            it). It helps save "water" and not consume natural gas when >the wind blows.
                            So, Wind is _not_ one black swam away, it can be used complementary to other
                            sources of >energy.


                            I'm sorry if I was unclear. Texas actually had a fairly large number of
                            windmills. And, they had been used in tandum with expensive natural gas.
                            The natural gas plants are cheaper than coal, but the fuel was more
                            expensive. So, they were fired up when the windmills were down due to low
                            wind. Now, with cheap natural gas, the building of windmills has slown down
                            to a virtual halt.

                            The largest German company in this field has calculated that they can only
                            count on about 10% of the nameplate capacity from windmills. As a result,
                            when windmills get to over 6%-10% of total grid power, they become
                            impractical. The black swan I was talking about was a cheap efficient
                            storage mechanism for vast amounts of power. That would make windmills
                            practical as a significant source. Otherwise, we can have them as a 4%-8%
                            source, but always need to rely on other sources. At low levels, this might
                            make ecconomic sense. But, having two sets of power plants, overall, does
                            not make sense.

                            Dan M.


                            _______________________________________________
                            http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                          • Kevin O'Brien
                            ... Well, I just noted that a new technology has come along that replaces much of the use of rare earth elements (it had to do with electric motors). This is
                            Message 13 of 29 , Nov 30, 2012
                            • 0 Attachment
                              On 11/29/2012 6:38 PM, Dan Minette wrote:
                              > They used the low price tactic to drive out virtually all
                              > other rare earth suppliers a bit over a decade ago, and are now in a
                              > position where the startup costs are high for other countries, and any
                              > country with pollution regulations would have a hard time competing. So,
                              > using this tactic, they could keep a monopoly, once they established it.
                              Well, I just noted that a new technology has come along that replaces
                              much of the use of rare earth elements (it had to do with electric
                              motors). This is one of the reasons you have to be slightly skeptical
                              about attempts to use predatory pricing to create monopolies. The very
                              act of raising prices creates a strong incentive for substitutes, among
                              other things. I just did a Google search on "rare earth substitutes"
                              that brought back a number of recent articles about how rare earth
                              prices were falling as a result of manufacturers finding substitutes,
                              and other articles about how manufacturers are finding those substitutes.

                              Now, I cannot say exactly how this will play out since predictions are
                              hard, especially when they are about the future. ;) But there is a
                              concept in economics called "hysteresis" that says that changes once
                              made are sometimes hard to reverse. A great example of this was the
                              automobile market in the 1970s. When oil prices rose, consumers went
                              looking for fuel-efficient autos. When U.S. manufacturers could not meet
                              this demand, they turned to the hitherto ignored Japanese cars. This led
                              them to discover a previously unknown fact, that those cars were of
                              higher quality than American cars. As a result, even when oil prices
                              fell, the market share of Japanese autos did not fall back to its
                              previous level. A "permanent" change had occurred in consumers'
                              preferences. It is at least conceivable to me that the research into
                              alternatives to rare earths will result in a "permanent" fall in demand
                              for them.

                              Regards,

                              --
                              Kevin B. O'Brien
                              zwilnik@...
                              A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


                              _______________________________________________
                              http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                            • Kevin O'Brien
                              ... Well, cheap currently. It is just one carbon tax away from being expensive. And to my mind the only question is when that tax comes, not if. Regards, --
                              Message 14 of 29 , Nov 30, 2012
                              • 0 Attachment
                                On 11/30/2012 8:49 AM, Dan Minette wrote:
                                > So, they were fired up when the windmills were down due to low
                                > wind. Now, with cheap natural gas, the building of windmills has slown down
                                > to a virtual halt.
                                Well, cheap currently. It is just one carbon tax away from being
                                expensive. And to my mind the only question is when that tax comes, not if.

                                Regards,

                                --
                                Kevin B. O'Brien
                                zwilnik@...
                                A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


                                _______________________________________________
                                http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                              • Wayne Eddy
                                On the subject of black swans, what do you guys think about LENR? Is it all smoke & mirrors or is it a game changer? On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:08 PM, ALBERTO
                                Message 15 of 29 , Nov 30, 2012
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  On the subject of black swans, what do you guys think about LENR?  Is it all smoke & mirrors or is it a game changer?


                                  On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:08 PM, ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO <albmont@...> wrote:
                                  Dan Minette wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Wind just needs one, effective storage.  The lack of it is why
                                  > wind power cannot be counted on as part of peak demand.
                                  > It only made sense when natural gas was expensive.
                                  >
                                  Here in Brazil, Wind is used as part of the electric grid (there is a
                                  country-wide electric grid, only some parts of the Rain Forest are
                                  outside it). It helps save "water" and not consume natural gas when
                                  the wind blows. So, Wind is _not_ one black swam away, it can be used
                                  complementary to other sources of energy.

                                  Alberto Monteiro

                                  _______________________________________________
                                  http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com


                                • Klaus Stock
                                  ... Of course, certain critical businesses will be exempt from that tax. - Klaus _______________________________________________
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Nov 30, 2012
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    >> So, they were fired up when the windmills were down due to low
                                    >> wind. Now, with cheap natural gas, the building of windmills has slown down
                                    >> to a virtual halt.

                                    > Well, cheap currently. It is just one carbon tax away from being
                                    > expensive. And to my mind the only question is when that tax comes, not if.

                                    Of course, certain critical businesses will be exempt from that tax.

                                    - Klaus


                                    _______________________________________________
                                    http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                  • Dan Minette
                                    ... yourself. I have actions that, given historical precident, have a much better chance of suceeeding. ... working on power satellites ... I m not sure if you
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Dec 1, 2012
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      >If you have a better way to get humanity off fossil fuels, don't keep it to
                                      yourself.

                                      I have actions that, given historical precident, have a much better chance
                                      of suceeeding.

                                      >Make a good case that it's cheaper and I will support that instead of
                                      working on power satellites
                                      >and laser propulsion.

                                      I'm not sure if you will like my case because it's not a quick fix. But,
                                      we've been trying quick fixes since the oil shock of 1973, almost 40 years
                                      now, and haven't made any significant progress. So, I'd argue we need a
                                      plan that will work in the long run as well as remediation in the short run.

                                      Short run: give nuclear power a level playing field...the same safety
                                      requirements as any other industry, and allow the testing of new safer,
                                      cheaper designs in the US and Europe. Practically speaking, it is unlikely
                                      that the Communist party/the government of China is a good source for
                                      innovation. Princelings tend to not want to vary from the tried and true
                                      much. So it is up to Europe and the US to do this. (I've had experience
                                      both with Chinese tech. goods and as a potential vendor for China and you
                                      can see the fingers of the Communist party holding back the wheels of
                                      progress in both cases).

                                      Short run: improve fuel efficiency standards. Add a tax to gasoline and
                                      electricity. Have rebates for low income people to balance the tax. If
                                      they spend it elsewhere, find.

                                      Short run: build a natural gas infrastructure for truck transportation in
                                      the US. The decline in US emissions to 1992 levels (even though the
                                      population increased 23%) is mostly due to the switch to natural gas from
                                      coal.

                                      But, the critical area is the developing world. China puts out more CO2
                                      than the US and EU combined, and the new coal plants on order from China and
                                      India will add this amount again. So, we need to make nuclear power cheap.
                                      It may not be enough to be as cheap as coal, and in that case the west could
                                      switch but India and China would be far less likely to. In the west, the
                                      small difference in cost would not be a barrier. The difference is larger
                                      in India and China because coal is very cheap with no pollution control or
                                      mining regulations.

                                      Mid term, offer subsidies for synthetic biofuels that do not displace
                                      cropland. Right now, several companies are in pilot to initial commercial
                                      appplication. I'd give this field the highest chance of working: say 25%
                                      chance of being close to competitive with gasoline while using concentrated
                                      waste CO2, sunlight, bioengineered life forms, and brackish water.

                                      Then, the goverments should support research in areas that would allow for
                                      alternative energy in decades. This would be developing our knowledge in a
                                      lot of different fields so someoone could put the knowledge together to
                                      develop either a power source or effective power storage.

                                      They include

                                      Plasma physics
                                      Mesoscopic physics
                                      Synthetic biology
                                      Material sciences

                                      And more engineering oriented, but still experimental:

                                      Development of capacitance
                                      Development of compact accelerators

                                      This is not exhaustive, I'd welcome suggestions. It's putting governments
                                      back in the business of funding fundamental research at, say, 1% of GDP.
                                      There will be scores of possibilities that all have a 1%-2% chance of
                                      working. And when one does, venture capital and small companies can be the
                                      mechanism for picking winners and losers. The government's job is to
                                      prepare the field.

                                      Dan M.


                                      _______________________________________________
                                      http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                    • Dan Minette
                                      ... probably even using the wind ... not technology. I beg to differ. The obvious problem is geography. Pump storage is highly used in Switzerland, and they
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Dec 1, 2012
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        > Of course, it would make sense to integrate water and wind plants,
                                        probably even using the wind
                                        >turbines to power the pumps directly. But that's a problem with politics,
                                        not technology.

                                        I beg to differ. The obvious problem is geography. Pump storage is highly
                                        used in Switzerland, and they have moutainous terrain and have hydroelectric
                                        dams which are perfect for combined generation/pump storage. But, most good
                                        windfarm locations are offshore or on the plains (e.g. Iowa or the Panhandle
                                        of TX) where high winds blow. The energy from a wind turbine is
                                        porportional to the cube of the velocity of the wind. Yes, there is high
                                        wind on ridge lines, but I've seen windmills there, and there is just one
                                        line, not row after row. So, pump storage needs to be located in very
                                        specific geographical locations (wherever there is a quick change in
                                        elevation from one large area to another....mountaintops aren't good because
                                        you can't put a big lake there), while the flat plains and the oceans, seas,
                                        and the Great Lakes are the best place to locate wind turbines. If it were
                                        easy, the German company that already has 10% of its nameplate capacity in
                                        wind would be doing water storage already.

                                        Dan M.


                                        _______________________________________________
                                        http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                      • Dan Minette
                                        ... From: brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-bounces@mccmedia.com] On Behalf Of Kevin O Brien Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 8:13 AM To:
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Dec 1, 2012
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                                          Behalf Of Kevin O'Brien
                                          Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 8:13 AM
                                          To: brin-l@...
                                          Subject: Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

                                          On 11/30/2012 8:49 AM, Dan Minette wrote:
                                          >> So, they were fired up when the windmills were down due to low wind.
                                          >> Now, with cheap natural gas, the building of windmills has slown down
                                          >> to a virtual halt.


                                          >Well, cheap currently. It is just one carbon tax away from being expensive.
                                          And to my mind the only
                                          >question is when that tax comes, not if.

                                          How is that going to happen. Are you arguing that the US will impose a
                                          carbon tax that is so high that we will be paying more in carbon taxes than
                                          fuel costs? Given the fact that we've been unable to raise the gas tax in
                                          decades, how will we impose a severe carbon tax. A modest carbon tax will
                                          benefit natural gas, because it will facilitate the switch from coal to
                                          natural gas. Nuclear power might benefit, but I'm guessing that real reform
                                          of nuclear regulations will not be popular. Taxes in the US are not
                                          popular....even going back to the tax levels of the Clinton era is too much
                                          for Obama to propose.

                                          Given the fact that Kyoto was rejected by the US Senate 95-0, I can't see
                                          carbon taxes at 5x the European level. At the present level of Europe's tax,
                                          it would cost an extra 0.6 cents/kwH for natural gas and 1.2 cents per kWh
                                          for coal. That's peanuts compared to the extra cost for wind/endergy
                                          storage which is by far the cheapest form of energy. And for gasoline, it's
                                          an extra 11 cents/gallon, well within the weekly variation in price.

                                          And, this is just the US. China will just use coal. But, windmills will
                                          not be effective until the total cost, with energy storage, becomes within a
                                          2-3 cents/kwH of other sources.

                                          Dan M.


                                          _______________________________________________
                                          http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                        • Klaus Stock
                                          ... Only for an ideal wind turbine. In real life, current designs have to be turned out of the wind if the wind gets strong. They actually have a rather small
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Dec 2, 2012
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            >> Of course, it would make sense to integrate water and wind plants,
                                            > probably even using the wind
                                            >>turbines to power the pumps directly. But that's a problem with politics,
                                            > not technology.

                                            > I beg to differ. The obvious problem is geography. Pump storage is highly
                                            > used in Switzerland, and they have moutainous terrain and have hydroelectric
                                            > dams which are perfect for combined generation/pump storage. But, most good
                                            > windfarm locations are offshore or on the plains (e.g. Iowa or the Panhandle
                                            > of TX) where high winds blow. The energy from a wind turbine is
                                            > porportional to the cube of the velocity of the wind. Yes, there is high

                                            Only for an ideal wind turbine. In real life, current designs have to
                                            be turned out of the wind if the wind gets strong. They actually have
                                            a rather small range of wind speeds in which they can operate; both
                                            weak and strong wind is a problem.

                                            Vertical wind turbines, like the Savonius design, are less efficient,
                                            but can cope with a wider range of wind speed (including weaker wind
                                            and turbulent wind). Advocates of vertical wind turbines often cite
                                            conspiracy theories as the reason for the limited use of these designs
                                            in large scales.

                                            > wind on ridge lines, but I've seen windmills there, and there is just one
                                            > line, not row after row. So, pump storage needs to be located in very
                                            > specific geographical locations (wherever there is a quick change in
                                            > elevation from one large area to another....mountaintops aren't good because
                                            > you can't put a big lake there), while the flat plains and the oceans, seas,
                                            > and the Great Lakes are the best place to locate wind turbines. If it were
                                            > easy, the German company that already has 10% of its nameplate capacity in
                                            > wind would be doing water storage already.

                                            Nope. In Germany, political reasons are the real reasons, not common
                                            sense. Electricity from wind turbines was highly subsidized, with the
                                            result that it became "commercially efficient" to erect wind parks at
                                            location which made absolutely no sense. After this had been found
                                            out, the subsidies have been reduced. But still you can make more
                                            money by producing electricity than by pumping water.

                                            - Klaus


                                            _______________________________________________
                                            http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                          • Keith Henson
                                            On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM, Dan Minette wrote: (Keith) ... I make a case that going to laser propulsion and power sats would get
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Dec 2, 2012
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM, "Dan Minette" <danminette@...> wrote:

                                              (Keith)
                                              >
                                              >>If you have a better way to get humanity off fossil fuels, don't keep it to
                                              > yourself.
                                              >
                                              > I have actions that, given historical precident, have a much better chance
                                              > of suceeeding.
                                              >
                                              >>Make a good case that it's cheaper and I will support that instead of
                                              > working on power satellites
                                              >>and laser propulsion.
                                              >
                                              > I'm not sure if you will like my case because it's not a quick fix.

                                              I make a case that going to laser propulsion and power sats would get
                                              humanity off fossil fuels in 20 years. Do you consider that a quick
                                              fix?

                                              But,
                                              > we've been trying quick fixes since the oil shock of 1973, almost 40 years
                                              > now, and haven't made any significant progress. So, I'd argue we need a
                                              > plan that will work in the long run as well as remediation in the short run.

                                              snip

                                              I notice you don't put either a cost per kWh or a capital investment
                                              on any of these tired proposals, Nuclear is both expensive and slow
                                              (even in China) to install. There are also scaling problems. If you
                                              are going to get off fossil fuel, do you really want to build 15,000 1
                                              GW reactors?

                                              If we are going to make a good choice, we need to cite the numbers. I
                                              have analyzed the cost of this new idea to build power satellites with
                                              laser propulsion. I get $1600 per kW and 2 cents per kWh based on
                                              6.8% discount rate. The cost information for other forms is easy to
                                              find.

                                              Offer stands, but you are going to have to cite defensible numbers to
                                              get me to switch my efforts to your concept of how to solve the
                                              problem.

                                              Keith

                                              _______________________________________________
                                              http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                            • Kevin O'Brien
                                              ... I am assuming that at some point we have enough Sandy s to tip the balance. That will come much later than it should have come, but I think it will come
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Dec 2, 2012
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                On 12/1/2012 6:36 PM, Dan Minette wrote:
                                                > How is that going to happen. Are you arguing that the US will impose a
                                                > carbon tax that is so high that we will be paying more in carbon taxes than
                                                > fuel costs? Given the fact that we've been unable to raise the gas tax in
                                                > decades, how will we impose a severe carbon tax. A modest carbon tax will
                                                > benefit natural gas, because it will facilitate the switch from coal to
                                                > natural gas. Nuclear power might benefit, but I'm guessing that real reform
                                                > of nuclear regulations will not be popular. Taxes in the US are not
                                                > popular....even going back to the tax levels of the Clinton era is too much
                                                > for Obama to propose.
                                                I am assuming that at some point we have enough "Sandy's" to tip the
                                                balance. That will come much later than it should have come, but I think
                                                it will come at some point. IF you don't think that will ever happen,
                                                just adjust your forecasts accordingly. BTW, carbon taxes are an
                                                economically efficient way of reducing emissions, which means that if
                                                you need to reduce emissions this does it with the least negative effect
                                                on the economy.

                                                Regards,

                                                --
                                                Kevin B. O'Brien TANSTAAFL
                                                zwilnik@... Linux User #333216


                                                _______________________________________________
                                                http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                              • ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
                                                ... The europeans are crazy. They don t know what to do, they add a lot of uncertainty to the economy with all those subsidies that come and go, taxes that
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Dec 3, 2012
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Klaus Stock wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Nope. In Germany, political reasons are the real reasons, not common
                                                  > sense.
                                                  >
                                                  The europeans are crazy. They don't know what to do, they add a lot of
                                                  uncertainty to the economy with all those subsidies that come and go,
                                                  taxes that come and go, and regulations that come and go.

                                                  Alberto Monteiro

                                                  _______________________________________________
                                                  http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                                • Dan Minette
                                                  I sent this to a single person instead of the list due to Killer B being changed (probably automatically) from the sender to a cc. I think this happened a
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Dec 4, 2012
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    I sent this to a single person instead of the list due to Killer B being
                                                    changed (probably automatically) from the sender to a cc. I think this
                                                    happened a couple of other times. I've gotten replies, but will not post
                                                    them, because they aren't my emails. But if the sender would, or would give
                                                    me permission to, that would be great.
                                                    In reply to Kevin, I wrote:

                                                    > The Chinese were extremely ham-handed about this. In particular,
                                                    > their stoppage of rare earth shipments in response to an incident
                                                    > involving their extrodinary claims to ocean territory (basically any
                                                    > territory claims of the Chinese over the last 1000 years are
                                                    > considered valid and enforceable by the the Chinese government)
                                                    > generated strong reaction. Given the fact that consumers rightfully
                                                    > believed that the Chinese were untrustworthy suppliers, as well as
                                                    > expensive ones, it was reasonable for them to sacrifice a little
                                                    > performance to switch to a more reliable and cheaper supply. The Chinese
                                                    overplayed their hand, as they have overall the last year.
                                                    >
                                                    > They can probably drive Western companies out of the solar cell business.
                                                    > Their entire ecconomic model, with artifically low value on their
                                                    > currency, and the disdaining of IP right of other countries, fits
                                                    > this. They may very well increase prices after becoming a near
                                                    > monopoly, but the alternatives are oil and gas and coal and wind.
                                                    > And, for certain remote applications, solar power actually works best.
                                                    >
                                                    > So, I'm guessing that it will not be the big win they see. But, they
                                                    > are caught at a GDP level where Huntington has pointed out that
                                                    > totalitarian goverments begin to get pushed by the growing middle
                                                    > class. Their reaction is to clamp down harder....especially with the
                                                    > new leadership, where all the leaders are both well filtered and the
                                                    > result of nepotism. It is a dangerous mixture. Putting this together
                                                    > with their demographic window of opportunity (the 1-child policy has a
                                                    > big demographic bubble that will be old in 20 years), a surplus of
                                                    > males, and one has a classic situation where countries become aggressive.
                                                    >
                                                    > We will be living in interesting times.
                                                    >
                                                    > Dan M.


                                                    _______________________________________________
                                                    http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                                  • Kevin O'Brien
                                                    ... And if the Chinese try to raise further, it only creates more incentives to look into alternatives. I think this may be one of the reasons why the Club of
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Dec 4, 2012
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      On 12/4/2012 9:02 AM, Dan Minette wrote:
                                                      > I sent this to a single person instead of the list due to Killer B being
                                                      > changed (probably automatically) from the sender to a cc. I think this
                                                      > happened a couple of other times. I've gotten replies, but will not post
                                                      > them, because they aren't my emails. But if the sender would, or would give
                                                      > me permission to, that would be great.
                                                      > In reply to Kevin, I wrote:
                                                      >
                                                      >> The Chinese were extremely ham-handed about this. In particular,
                                                      >> their stoppage of rare earth shipments in response to an incident
                                                      >> involving their extrodinary claims to ocean territory (basically any
                                                      >> territory claims of the Chinese over the last 1000 years are
                                                      >> considered valid and enforceable by the the Chinese government)
                                                      >> generated strong reaction. Given the fact that consumers rightfully
                                                      >> believed that the Chinese were untrustworthy suppliers, as well as
                                                      >> expensive ones, it was reasonable for them to sacrifice a little
                                                      >> performance to switch to a more reliable and cheaper supply. The Chinese
                                                      > overplayed their hand, as they have overall the last year.

                                                      And if the Chinese try to raise further, it only creates more incentives
                                                      to look into alternatives.

                                                      I think this may be one of the reasons why the Club of Rome predictions
                                                      failed (there are clearly numerous reasons). As an economist named
                                                      Hotelling pointed out early in the 20th century, there are good reasons
                                                      in economics to expect the prices of non-renewable resources to rise
                                                      over time at approximately the same rate as the interest rate. (I'm just
                                                      giving a simplified explanation here, see the Journal article if you
                                                      really like this sort of thing.) But any time a resource has rising
                                                      prices it creates incentives to look for substitutes, and the higher the
                                                      price, the higher the incentive. So a lot of products are no longer made
                                                      with steel, but with plastics or composites, for instance. The other
                                                      price obviously is to stimulate the search for new sources of supply.
                                                      Put those together and you can see why those predictions of disaster
                                                      have not materialized.

                                                      By similar reasoning, any attempt to monopolize a resource or product
                                                      can only succeed if there is some way of preventing and competitor from
                                                      entering the market. Most commonly this requires government action to
                                                      create and sustain the monopoly. Since that will not happen in the case
                                                      of rare earth elements, I doubt there can be a lasting monopoly problem
                                                      here. In a similar way, recall how the oil prices hikes of the 70s
                                                      turned into the price collapse of the 1980s as both fuel efficiency and
                                                      increased exploration responded ot the market price signals.

                                                      > They can probably drive Western companies out of the solar cell business.
                                                      > Their entire ecconomic model, with artifically low value on their
                                                      > currency, and the disdaining of IP right of other countries, fits
                                                      > this. They may very well increase prices after becoming a near
                                                      > monopoly, but the alternatives are oil and gas and coal and wind.
                                                      > And, for certain remote applications, solar power actually works best.
                                                      Well, they can drive them out, perhaps, but can they keep them out? One
                                                      of two things seems likely:

                                                      1. China creates a temporary monopoly, then tries to raise prices to
                                                      profit from it. See above for how market forces respond.

                                                      2. China creates a monopoly, then subsidizes solar panel producers
                                                      permanently to maintain that monopoly. And permanently low prices for
                                                      solar panels cause terrible devastation to the U.S. economy...Wait, that
                                                      doesn't quite make sense. I think I rather like low prices for solar
                                                      panels. And this could create a boom in low-cost, non-polluting energy
                                                      which only benefits us.

                                                      > So, I'm guessing that it will not be the big win they see. But, they
                                                      > are caught at a GDP level where Huntington has pointed out that
                                                      > totalitarian goverments begin to get pushed by the growing middle
                                                      > class. Their reaction is to clamp down harder....especially with the
                                                      > new leadership, where all the leaders are both well filtered and the
                                                      > result of nepotism. It is a dangerous mixture. Putting this together
                                                      > with their demographic window of opportunity (the 1-child policy has a
                                                      > big demographic bubble that will be old in 20 years), a surplus of
                                                      > males, and one has a classic situation where countries become aggressive.
                                                      OK, this is where my "economist" hat no longer gives me any particular
                                                      aid. I will say that indeed it will get interesting, but the factor that
                                                      is most likely to cause aggression on a large scale is water. That is in
                                                      short supply, unless we can access abundant cheap energy to desalinate
                                                      ocean water to make potable water.

                                                      Regards,

                                                      --
                                                      Kevin B. O'Brien
                                                      zwilnik@...
                                                      A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


                                                      _______________________________________________
                                                      http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                                    • Klaus Stock
                                                      Hi, ... Well, selling products at prices below below production cost and (aggressive) disdaining of IP right of other countries has happened before. So. China
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Dec 4, 2012
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        Hi,

                                                        >> Their entire ecconomic model, with artifically low value on their
                                                        >> currency, and the disdaining of IP right of other countries, fits
                                                        >> this.

                                                        Well, selling products at prices below below production cost and
                                                        (aggressive) disdaining of IP right of other countries has happened
                                                        before. So. China is imitating the past strategies of the western
                                                        countries. So what?


                                                        Some disturbing thoughts remain, though.

                                                        We in Germany pay high fuel taxes and are told to drive fuel-efficient
                                                        and clean vehicles. OTOH, Volkswagen still produces 1980s models in
                                                        China. This way, we take care that not are responsible for pollution
                                                        and excessive oil consumption, but the Chinese. Hooray?

                                                        - Klaus


                                                        _______________________________________________
                                                        http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com
                                                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.