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Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater speach?

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  • Dan Minettte
    In responding to Doug s comment on me being full of it on energy, I mentioned my experience with technological innovation as a counter. Later I thought of
    Message 1 of 23 , Sep 1, 2007
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      In responding to Doug's comment on me being full of it on energy, I
      mentioned my experience with technological innovation as a counter. Later I
      thought of another way of looking at it. The question is, if developing
      practical renewable energy is just a matter of standing up to Big Oil etc.,
      why hasn't _any_ country or region made more than token progress during this
      time?

      Let's first look at major economies in three groups: the US, Japan, and the
      EU. Given that the US has, by far, the largest domestic fossil fuel
      industry (Japan has all but zero), one could see the influence of this
      industry on policy. But, why would Europe and Japan eschew practical
      innovation when it so much in their national interest: including their
      national corporate interest.

      I'll look at this two ways. First, I'll look at imported energy as a
      percentage of the total; then I'll look at the percentage of renewable
      energy in the total energy package. The latest dates may differ, but I'll
      try to compare apples to apples when possible.

      The percentage of energy from outside sources is:

      US 20%
      EU 50%
      Japan 82%

      (The US and EU numbers are for 2005, the latest I could get for Japan was
      2002, but the % was trending up from 2001...so that shouldn't be much of an
      overestimation).

      My point is that industries in both Europe and Japan have tremendous
      incentives to develop new energy technology...because the money for energy
      is flowing out of the country. We see, especially with Japan, no shyness in
      developing industry to compete with...heck overwhelm in the case of autos,
      US industries. Given the inherent vulnerability of Japan to a cut of
      foreign energy supplies (it was important enough to cause Japan to attack
      the US at Pearl Harbor), one would be hard pressed to see how the
      government/industry alliance in Japan would eschew development of practical
      domestic sources of energy.

      Now, lets look at the use of renewable energy.


      US (2004)
      Hydro 2.7%
      Geothermal 0.3%
      Biomass 3.2%
      Solar 0.1%
      Wind 0.1%

      Total: 6.4%


      EU (2004)
      http://dataservice.eea.europa.eu/atlas/viewdata/viewpub.asp?id=2628

      Hydro: 1.5%
      Biomass: 4.1%
      Geothermal: 0.3%
      Wind: 0.3%
      Solar 0.04%

      Total: 6.2%





      Japan (2004) http://www.cslforum.org/japan.htm


      Hydro: 5%
      All Other Renewables: 1.2%

      Total: 6.2%

      The use of renewable energy (at least in '04) was remarkably constant across
      the board. The only standout is that Japan's renewables are 80% hydro.

      The other thing worth investigating is biomass. What is it, what's the
      trend in its use?

      Unfortunately, I had to patch together different sources to get the EU and
      the Japanese data, so it will be very hard to get that sort of detail from
      these countries. For the US, on the other hand, a wealth of information
      exists.

      In 2004, the overwhelming majority of biomass use was wood and wood
      byproducts for industry. Ethanol raised the use of biomass in the US
      recently, so I'd expect the renewable % of the US to creep up a percentage
      point or two. But, with half the corn crop going to ethanol now, there
      isn't room for a factor of 5 expansion of this program without a
      breakthrough in the basic science....not just the technology.

      So, the upshot is, by all accounts, the US will be leading the use of
      renewable energy resources this year. The question I'd like to ask is, if
      it is just big oil that lobbies to stop available alternatives, why is the
      country that has, by far, the biggest oil industry leading in alternative
      fuel uses....and the country that imports almost all of it's energy has the
      lowest non-hydro use of renewable energy?

      I think I have the answer...the US is the only country/region in the
      developed world with an abundance of food and wood producing land.

      Dan M.



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    • Robert Seeberger
      ... From: Dan Minettte To: Killer Bs Discussion Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 11:05 AM Subject: Why
      Message 2 of 23 , Sep 1, 2007
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Dan Minettte" <danminette@...>
        To: "'Killer Bs Discussion'" <brin-l@...>
        Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 11:05 AM
        Subject: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
        speach?


        >
        > I think I have the answer...the US is the only country/region in the
        > developed world with an abundance of food and wood producing land.
        >

        Canada?
        <G>

        I think too that you have to stress (as we have over the years) that
        as long as energy prices remain low (and even as high as they
        currently are, they are still low) there is little impetus to
        investigate much less deploy alternative energy sources.

        I foresee some movement toward decentralization of energy generation,
        but it will be very slow and not too likely to amount to even a
        quarter of total generation in the best case scenarios. One quarter is
        a very optimistic (read that as unrealistic) projection.


        xponent
        Since Fire Maru
        rob


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      • Dan Minettte
        ... Fair enough....I guess I tend to think of Canada as a US suburb. ... OK, I didn t explicitly mention that alternative means are now available but at
        Message 3 of 23 , Sep 1, 2007
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          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
          > Behalf Of Robert Seeberger
          > Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 4:06 PM
          > To: Killer Bs Discussion
          > Subject: Re: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
          > speach?
          >
          > ----- Original Message -----
          > From: "Dan Minettte" <danminette@...>
          > To: "'Killer Bs Discussion'" <brin-l@...>
          > Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 11:05 AM
          > Subject: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
          > speach?
          >
          >
          > >
          > > I think I have the answer...the US is the only country/region in the
          > > developed world with an abundance of food and wood producing land.
          > >
          >
          > Canada?

          Fair enough....I guess I tend to think of Canada as a US suburb. <grin>

          > I think too that you have to stress (as we have over the years) that
          > as long as energy prices remain low (and even as high as they
          > currently are, they are still low) there is little impetus to
          > investigate much less deploy alternative energy sources.

          OK, I didn't explicitly mention that alternative means are now available but
          at prohibitively high costs explicitly....and I probably should have. The
          cost would be so high that going to sources that are considered green for
          the majority of world power need would cause a horrendous, long term world
          depression. So, we are sorta talking about flip sides of the same
          thing....not really differing much at all....if I read you right.

          Dan M.

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        • Dave Land
          ... It is not necessarily a foregone conclusion that using less-polluting energy sources will lead to global economic collapse or depression. It may even be
          Message 4 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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            On Sep 1, 2007, at 8:40 PM, Dan Minettte wrote:

            > OK, I didn't explicitly mention that alternative means are now
            > available but
            > at prohibitively high costs explicitly....and I probably should
            > have. The
            > cost would be so high that going to sources that are considered
            > green for
            > the majority of world power need would cause a horrendous, long
            > term world
            > depression. So, we are sorta talking about flip sides of the same
            > thing....not really differing much at all....if I read you right.

            It is not necessarily a foregone conclusion that using less-polluting
            energy sources will lead to global economic collapse or depression. It
            may even be that by reducing our current energy-spendthrift ways, we
            may actually improve the global economy. It's not like we're going to
            burn money to drive our cars: much of that money will merely be spent
            differently. It seems to me that there is a bundle to be made.

            Then again, assuming economic collapse as a downside of taking
            action to curb global warming can be useful to determine whether to
            take action or not...

            You may have seen the "Pascal's Wager" analysis of whether we
            should act to curb global warming:

            +-----------------------------------------+
            | | Act | Don't Act |
            |------+---------------+------------------+
            | | | |
            | GW | Unnecessary | Everybody's |
            | False| Costs... | Happy! |
            | | Economic | |
            | | Depression? | |
            | | | |
            |------+---------------+------------------+
            | | | |
            | GW | Necessary | Global |
            | True | costs, but | catastrophies: |
            | | Environment | economic |
            | | saved | political |
            | | | health... |
            | | | |
            +------+---------------+------------------+

            So, the argument goes, Global Warming due to human activity is either
            true or false, and we can choose either to take action to mitigate
            those effects or not. Each spot in the resulting truth table has an
            expected outcome.

            If we hold the truth of global warming as an unknown, we can only
            choose to act or not act, and decide whether the combined risks and
            benefits of the "Act" column or the "Don't Act" column are more
            onerous.

            The downside of the "Don't Act" column includes global
            environmental, economic, political and health disasters in the event
            that global warming is true.

            The downside of the "Act" column is
            global economic dislocation in the event that global warming is false,
            but the healthy condition of the environment benefits recovery.

            Dave

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          • Robert Seeberger
            ... I think that the focus on global warming when considering a non/minimally polluting energy generation strategy is a problem. I think the idea should be to
            Message 5 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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              On 9/2/2007 1:11:48 PM, Dave Land (dmland@...) wrote:
              > On Sep 1, 2007, at 8:40 PM, Dan Minettte wrote:
              >
              > > OK, I
              > didn't explicitly mention that alternative means are now
              > > available but
              > > at prohibitively high costs explicitly....and I probably should
              > > have. The
              > > cost would be so high that going to sources that are considered
              > > green for
              > > the majority of world power need would cause a horrendous, long
              > > term world
              > > depression. So, we are sorta talking about flip sides of the same
              > > thing....not really differing much at all....if I read you right.
              >
              > It is not necessarily a foregone conclusion that using
              > less-polluting
              > energy sources will lead to global economic collapse or depression.
              > It
              > may even be that by reducing our current energy-spendthrift ways, we
              > may actually improve the global economy. It's
              > not like we're going to
              > burn money to drive our cars: much of that money will merely be
              > spent
              > differently. It seems to me that there is a bundle to be made.

              I think that the focus on global warming when considering a
              non/minimally polluting energy generation strategy is a problem.
              I think the idea should be to minimize/eliminate pollution of any
              kind, at least to a degree that is environmentally and economically
              feasible.
              If we were to reduce pollutants substantially, I would expect that we
              would see significant health benefits and increased quality of life in
              industrial areas.

              Of course one has to distinguish between the pollution from energy
              generation sources (power plants and autos) and pollution from
              industrial process and manufacturing. They are two very different
              subjects.

              I suspect that minimizing pollution from energy generation is a more
              immediately achievable goal. Industrial and manufacturing sources
              entail a much greater dedication in that it means much greater changes
              to our lifestyles.


              xponent
              Acid Reign Maru
              rob


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            • Alberto Vieira Ferreira Monteiro
              ... As it has been discussed here many times, there are no such sharp dichotomies. The world is not blackwhite, it s shades of gay. You can act, don t act, or
              Message 6 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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                Dave Land wrote:
                >
                > So, the argument goes, Global Warming due to human activity is either
                > true or false, and we can choose either to take action to mitigate
                > those effects or not. Each spot in the resulting truth table has an
                > expected outcome.
                >
                As it has been discussed here many times, there are no such sharp
                dichotomies. The world is not blackwhite, it's shades of gay. You can
                act, don't act, or postpone the decision. GW can be true, false or
                something in the middle.

                And it's absolutely irrelevant what we [me, you, my country, your
                country] do while China keeps the pace of one new thermoelectric
                coal power plant each week.

                Alberto Monteiro

                PS: despite my pessimism, I'm doing my part to save the planet.
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              • Andrew Crystall
                ... No, not really. The first means, bluntly, nuclear power plants. 5-6 years minimum to build those. A good degree of industrial polloution is controllable by
                Message 7 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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                  On 2 Sep 2007 at 19:48, Robert Seeberger wrote:

                  > I suspect that minimizing pollution from energy generation is a more
                  > immediately achievable goal. Industrial and manufacturing sources
                  > entail a much greater dedication in that it means much greater changes
                  > to our lifestyles.

                  No, not really. The first means, bluntly, nuclear power plants. 5-6
                  years minimum to build those.

                  A good degree of industrial polloution is controllable by regulation
                  of acceptable levels and helping companies set up sustainable
                  processes - for example, recovering valuable but toxic metals used in
                  catalysts like silver is often cost-neutral, but could come with a
                  tax break which makes it revenue-producing and thus attractive to
                  shareholders.

                  There's also a huge case for rubbish sorting plants rather than
                  expecting everyone to sort their waste to a great degree. It simply
                  doesn't happen as-expected. For example, trial pay-as-you-throw
                  systems have ended up with reduced recycling rates and increased
                  poloution, as a LOT more people then use small "garden incinerators*"
                  to ash organics, paper, cardboard etc... not to mention increased
                  dumping and tipping of waste, and so on.

                  (*burning this sort of waste is only a good idea, environmentally,
                  when you do it at a rubbish sorting plant, for power)

                  AndrewC
                  Dawn Falcon

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                • Dan Minettte
                  ... No, there is always the possibility that we will have a serendipitous discovery tomorrow, the next year, the next decade, etc. ... That s an easy sounding
                  Message 8 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                    > Behalf Of Dave Land
                    > Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 1:12 PM
                    > To: Killer Bs Discussion
                    > Subject: Re: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
                    > speach?
                    >
                    >
                    > It is not necessarily a foregone conclusion that using less-polluting
                    > energy sources will lead to global economic collapse or depression.

                    No, there is always the possibility that we will have a serendipitous
                    discovery tomorrow, the next year, the next decade, etc.

                    >It may even be that by reducing our current energy-spendthrift ways, we
                    > may actually improve the global economy.

                    That's an easy sounding thing to do, that belies the magnitude of the
                    changes we would need to consider. You know, I presume, that the US would
                    have to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about a factor of 5 as part
                    of a global effort to stem global warming.....and per capita by about a
                    factor of 6 in 20 years or so. This sort of reduction is not a matter of
                    using mass transit, car pooling, switching to 60 mpg hybrids, etc. It
                    involves an overwhelming change in how we do things.

                    I hope you remember my suggestion of a fossil fuel tax that would...as part
                    of it...add about $5.00 per gallon of gasoline as an incentive to conserve
                    and use other energy forms. This is very similar to the British
                    government's proposal of a carbon tax (but I came up with it and posted her
                    about it years before that report was written. :-) ) My estimate is that
                    this would result in US cutting its fossil fuel use by about 10%....unless
                    we go full out using nuclear power. That alone would probably allow us to
                    cut fossil fuels by about 30%. We'd have to shut down every fossil fuel
                    electrical generation station and replace them with another source. Of this
                    number, about 95% would have to be nuclear.


                    >It's not like we're going to burn money to drive our cars: much of that
                    >money will merely be spent differently.

                    How much of energy consumption in the US do you consider discretionary? One
                    way I look at this is think of what would be changed if The British proposal
                    for cutting energy consumption is the introduction of a carbon tax. Do you
                    think we could cut fossil fuel use by a factor of 5 and per capita use by a
                    factor of six through the elimination of discretionary energy use? That's
                    what this sentence implies.

                    The analysis of the cost of stopping global warming by maintaining the CO2
                    levels in the atmosphere at about 25% higher than they are now (which is a
                    very optimistic scenario) is based on the effect on the economy of much more
                    expensive energy. One way to look at it is the inverse of productivity. A
                    great deal of productivity is tied to energy consumption. If energy
                    consumption had to be cut drastically, then much less efficient means have
                    to be used. Everything would cost a great deal more; there would be fewer
                    jobs, etc.

                    I have a hunch you, along with Doug, don't/won't believe in my economic
                    analysis. I'd be curious to see how you would cut per capita fossil fuel
                    consumption in the US by a factor of 6 without causing a depression. I can
                    quickly go through the effects in my head...but I have a hunch that you
                    would not accept my analysis.

                    What interests me is why? Do you agree with Gore that new technology is
                    merely a matter of putting our mind to it? Do you think that productivity
                    is not really as important as most economists would argue? For example, is
                    cutting costs by improving the productivity of each worker so that fewer
                    workers are required to complete a task a good thing or a bad thing? Do you
                    believe, as some people do, that we could go back to craftsmanship instead
                    of mass production of furniture, clothing, etc?



                    Dan M.

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                  • Robert Seeberger
                    ... From: Dan Minettte To: Killer Bs Discussion Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 10:40 PM Subject: RE:
                    Message 9 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Dan Minettte" <danminette@...>
                      To: "'Killer Bs Discussion'" <brin-l@...>
                      Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 10:40 PM
                      Subject: RE: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
                      speach?


                      >
                      >
                      >> -----Original Message-----
                      >> From: brin-l-bounces@...
                      >> [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                      >> Behalf Of Robert Seeberger
                      >> Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 4:06 PM
                      >> To: Killer Bs Discussion
                      >> Subject: Re: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the
                      >> sweater
                      >> speach?
                      >>
                      >> ----- Original Message -----
                      >> From: "Dan Minettte" <danminette@...>
                      >> To: "'Killer Bs Discussion'" <brin-l@...>
                      >> Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 11:05 AM
                      >> Subject: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
                      >> speach?
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> >
                      >> > I think I have the answer...the US is the only country/region in
                      >> > the
                      >> > developed world with an abundance of food and wood producing
                      >> > land.
                      >> >
                      >>
                      >> Canada?
                      >
                      > Fair enough....I guess I tend to think of Canada as a US suburb.
                      > <grin>

                      <G>
                      Thinking about it a bit, there might be some second tier candidates
                      (though I'm not too strong on this sort of geography) like perhaps
                      Georgia (in Asia), or Brazil and maybe Argentina. I'm tempted to add
                      Russia, but I'm thinking they import much of their food (or at least
                      were in recent years).


                      >
                      >> I think too that you have to stress (as we have over the years)
                      >> that
                      >> as long as energy prices remain low (and even as high as they
                      >> currently are, they are still low) there is little impetus to
                      >> investigate much less deploy alternative energy sources.
                      >
                      > OK, I didn't explicitly mention that alternative means are now
                      > available but
                      > at prohibitively high costs explicitly....and I probably should
                      > have. The
                      > cost would be so high that going to sources that are considered
                      > green for
                      > the majority of world power need would cause a horrendous, long term
                      > world
                      > depression. So, we are sorta talking about flip sides of the same
                      > thing....not really differing much at all....if I read you right.
                      >

                      To be honest, I believe I have learned a good deal of the basics from
                      your arguments over the years and have come to the understanding that
                      energy independence, reduction of pollution, and clean energy have
                      impediments in their paths that are primarily economic and secondarily
                      technical.

                      I think we have done quite well with wind energy over the last few
                      years and it may double or triple in capacity in the next decade or
                      so. But for wind to be a real "player" in energy production (5% or
                      greater) there will have to be a new method of incorporating wind into
                      the energy infrastructure that would allow for wind energy to be used
                      "on demand". (Wind energy could be utilized as stored hydrogen with
                      fuel cells as generators called into action on demand, and network
                      telemetry and control over powerline networking as part of a highly
                      decentralized power network that augments other forms of generation.)
                      Well.....that is an example of something that could help some.

                      It is my opinion that the biodiesel and ethanol fuels are just stopgap
                      measures that allow vehicle manufacturers to continue doing pretty
                      much what they have been doing, and the way they have been doing it,
                      for over a century. Probably a necessary evil, but one that encourages
                      them to continue to drag their feet.
                      Unless people suddenly decide they want all electric vehicles or
                      decide to invest in a hydrogen infrastructure (that we cannot supply
                      hydrogen for) then little will change with autos.

                      We are not doomed, but these changes are going to be quite difficult
                      and more than a little expensive.

                      More nukes would help.

                      xponent
                      Small Examples Maru
                      rob


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                    • Dan Minettte
                      ... With the exception of CO2, the level of pollution in the US has decreased dramatically over the last 40 years, or so. ... It should be possible to study
                      Message 10 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                        > Behalf Of Robert Seeberger
                        > Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 7:49 PM
                        > To: Killer Bs Discussion
                        > Subject: Re: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
                        > speach?

                        > I think that the focus on global warming when considering a
                        > non/minimally polluting energy generation strategy is a problem.
                        > I think the idea should be to minimize/eliminate pollution of any
                        > kind, at least to a degree that is environmentally and economically
                        > feasible.

                        With the exception of CO2, the level of pollution in the US has decreased
                        dramatically over the last 40 years, or so.

                        > If we were to reduce pollutants substantially, I would expect that we
                        > would see significant health benefits and increased quality of life in
                        > industrial areas.

                        It should be possible to study how this has worked as pollution levels in
                        the US have fallen.

                        Dan M.


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                      • Dan Minettte
                        ... The projection that I ve seen is that China s CO2 production will be twice that of the US and the EU combined in 25 or so years. This projection is based
                        Message 11 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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                          >
                          > And it's absolutely irrelevant what we [me, you, my country, your
                          > country] do while China keeps the pace of one new thermoelectric
                          > coal power plant each week.

                          The projection that I've seen is that China's CO2 production will be twice
                          that of the US and the EU combined in 25 or so years. This projection is
                          based on a conservative extrapolation past % increases. In 2000 China's
                          emissions were 48% lower than that of the US. In 2006, they were 7.5%
                          higher.

                          Dan M.

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                        • Robert Seeberger
                          ... From: Andrew Crystall To: Killer Bs Discussion Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 8:36 PM Subject: Re:
                          Message 12 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: "Andrew Crystall" <dawnfalcon@...>
                            To: "Killer Bs Discussion" <brin-l@...>
                            Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 8:36 PM
                            Subject: Re: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
                            speach?


                            > On 2 Sep 2007 at 19:48, Robert Seeberger wrote:
                            >
                            >> I suspect that minimizing pollution from energy generation is a
                            >> more
                            >> immediately achievable goal. Industrial and manufacturing sources
                            >> entail a much greater dedication in that it means much greater
                            >> changes
                            >> to our lifestyles.
                            >
                            > No, not really. The first means, bluntly, nuclear power plants. 5-6
                            > years minimum to build those.
                            >
                            > A good degree of industrial polloution is controllable by regulation
                            > of acceptable levels and helping companies set up sustainable
                            > processes - for example, recovering valuable but toxic metals used
                            > in
                            > catalysts like silver is often cost-neutral, but could come with a
                            > tax break which makes it revenue-producing and thus attractive to
                            > shareholders.
                            >
                            > There's also a huge case for rubbish sorting plants rather than
                            > expecting everyone to sort their waste to a great degree. It simply
                            > doesn't happen as-expected. For example, trial pay-as-you-throw
                            > systems have ended up with reduced recycling rates and increased
                            > poloution, as a LOT more people then use small "garden
                            > incinerators*"
                            > to ash organics, paper, cardboard etc... not to mention increased
                            > dumping and tipping of waste, and so on.
                            >
                            > (*burning this sort of waste is only a good idea, environmentally,
                            > when you do it at a rubbish sorting plant, for power)
                            >
                            Those are all very good ideas, but having worked in chemical plants
                            and manufacturing facilities I can say with some degree of certainty
                            that you underestimate our ability to curb pollution.
                            I know you are probably thinking about running a hose from a
                            smokestack directly into a recycling center where crap gets turned
                            into greenbacks, and that probably sounds workable from a cubicle in
                            some office building. (I've worked in both environments) But when you
                            are out there on a pipe rack being burnt by an invisible flame
                            spurting out of a valve packing or a leaking flange, or find yourself
                            running from an imminent explosion caused by a leaky gasket, or arrive
                            at work to find that 2 co-workers died because they breathed the wrong
                            air for 7 seconds....well you realize that pollutants come from all
                            over the plant and not just from the stacks or burn off towers.
                            When they use the term "pressure vessel" it implies a good number of
                            things about the ability to keep things that are on the inside
                            .....*inside* over the long term and the implications do not lend
                            themselves to the kind of reliability one expects in the comfort (and
                            need I say safety) of ones home or office.

                            Let me say this as clearly as I can. Brand spanking new chemical
                            plants leak chemicals and the older it gets the more chemicals it
                            leaks.
                            They all leak and those leaks are pollution.
                            I've worked in nice plants and I've worked in complete shitholes. They
                            leak.
                            And that piece of Tupperware or your nice polyester/cotton shirt or
                            your laundry detergent are products of processes that leak.
                            You may be aware that you are not allowed to smoke in a chemical
                            plant. It is because the plant leaks and a fire would cause it to leak
                            faster......and hotter.
                            When you walk through a unit, you see lots of steel pipe, but you
                            don't smell steel pipe, you smell the chemicals the steel pipe is
                            leaking.
                            And that old friend is why I refuse to work in chemical plants
                            anymore. I plan to live just a little longer than if I did.
                            Just living within 20 miles of them is troublesome enough.


                            xponent
                            Today's Rant Was Brought To You By Monsanto Maru
                            rob


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                          • Ray Ludenia
                            Alberto, you better not read this; it will only aggravate you! ... As a matter of interest, roughly what is the price of petrol (gas in US)? (My car is dual
                            Message 13 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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                              Alberto, you better not read this; it will only aggravate you!


                              On 03/09/2007, at 11:40 AM, Dan Minettte wrote:
                              >
                              > I hope you remember my suggestion of a fossil fuel tax that would...as
                              > part
                              > of it...add about $5.00 per gallon of gasoline as an incentive to
                              > conserve
                              > and use other energy forms.

                              As a matter of interest, roughly what is the price of petrol (gas in
                              US)? (My car is dual fuel: petrol and LPG. Would USians have to say gas
                              and gas???). How does this compare to current European prices? Around
                              here (Australia) petrol is about 120-130 c/litre (roughly US$1 so I
                              guess about US$4.50 per gallon... WRONG! 3.78 litres to a US gallon so
                              I think about US$3.80 per US gallon.

                              Regards, Ray.

                              Gallons ain't necessarily gallons!

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                            • Dan Minettte
                              ... It varies from about $2.55 near Houston to $2.90 in the upper-midwest to over $3.00 in California..according to my daughter Beth....but the California
                              Message 14 of 23 , Sep 2, 2007
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                                > -----Original Message-----
                                > From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-bounces@...] On
                                > Behalf Of Ray Ludenia
                                > Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 11:46 PM
                                > To: Killer Bs Discussion
                                > Subject: Re: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
                                > speach?
                                >
                                > Alberto, you better not read this; it will only aggravate you!
                                >
                                >
                                > On 03/09/2007, at 11:40 AM, Dan Minettte wrote:
                                > >
                                > > I hope you remember my suggestion of a fossil fuel tax that would...as
                                > > part
                                > > of it...add about $5.00 per gallon of gasoline as an incentive to
                                > > conserve
                                > > and use other energy forms.
                                >
                                > As a matter of interest, roughly what is the price of petrol (gas in
                                > US)?

                                It varies from about $2.55 near Houston to $2.90 in the upper-midwest to
                                over $3.00 in California..according to my daughter Beth....but the
                                California contingent would know better. My suggestion is to drive the
                                price up to $8.00/gal to cut consumption.

                                Dan M.

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                              • Alberto Vieira Ferreira Monteiro
                                ... Don t say such things. Everywhere else, gas prices are higher than in the USA because g*vernments heavily t*x gasoline. The easiest way to increase gas
                                Message 15 of 23 , Sep 3, 2007
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                                  Dan Minettte wrote:
                                  >
                                  > It varies from about $2.55 near Houston to $2.90 in the upper-midwest to
                                  > over $3.00 in California..according to my daughter Beth....but the
                                  > California contingent would know better. My suggestion is to drive the
                                  > price up to $8.00/gal to cut consumption.
                                  >
                                  Don't say such things. Everywhere else, gas prices are higher than in
                                  the USA because g*vernments heavily t*x gasoline. The easiest way
                                  to increase gas prices in the USA would be g*vernment greed :-P

                                  Alberto Monteiro
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                                • William T Goodall
                                  ... It s about $7.25/gal in the UK today. Our neighbour on the left has a five litre Cherokee and our neighbour on the right has a Range Rover and a Porsche.
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Sep 3, 2007
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                                    On 3 Sep 2007, at 06:03, Dan Minettte wrote:

                                    >
                                    >
                                    >> -----Original Message-----
                                    >> From: brin-l-bounces@... [mailto:brin-l-
                                    >> bounces@...] On
                                    >> Behalf Of Ray Ludenia
                                    >> As a matter of interest, roughly what is the price of petrol (gas in
                                    >> US)?
                                    >
                                    > It varies from about $2.55 near Houston to $2.90 in the upper-
                                    > midwest to
                                    > over $3.00 in California..according to my daughter Beth....but the
                                    > California contingent would know better. My suggestion is to drive
                                    > the
                                    > price up to $8.00/gal to cut consumption.

                                    It's about $7.25/gal in the UK today. Our neighbour on the left has a
                                    five litre Cherokee and our neighbour on the right has a Range Rover
                                    and a Porsche.

                                    Two litre Merc Maru

                                    --
                                    William T Goodall
                                    Mail : wtg@...
                                    Web : http://www.wtgab.demon.co.uk
                                    Blog : http://radio.weblogs.com/0111221/

                                    "I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft." - Jim
                                    Allchin, Windows development chief, Jan 2004


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                                  • Ronn! Blankenship
                                    ... FWIW: U.N.: Americans most productive American workers stay longer in the office, at the factory or on the farm than their counterparts in Europe and most
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Sep 3, 2007
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                                      At 08:40 PM Sunday 9/2/2007, Dan Minettte wrote:





                                      >What interests me is why? Do you agree with Gore that new technology is
                                      >merely a matter of putting our mind to it? Do you think that productivity
                                      >is not really as important as most economists would argue? For example, is
                                      >cutting costs by improving the productivity of each worker so that fewer
                                      >workers are required to complete a task a good thing or a bad thing? Do you
                                      >believe, as some people do, that we could go back to craftsmanship instead
                                      >of mass production of furniture, clothing, etc?


                                      FWIW:

                                      U.N.: Americans most productive

                                      American workers stay longer in the office, at the factory or on the
                                      farm than their counterparts in Europe and most other rich nations,
                                      and they produce more per person over the year.

                                      They also get more done per hour than everyone but the Norwegians,
                                      according to a U.N. report released Monday, which said the United
                                      States "leads the world in labor productivity."

                                      <http://www.cnn.com/2007/BUSINESS/09/02/un.productivity.ap/index.html?imw=Y&iref=mpstoryemail>



                                      -- Ronn! :)



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                                    • Robert Seeberger
                                      ... From: Ray Ludenia To: Killer Bs Discussion Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 11:45 PM Subject: Re: Why so little
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Sep 4, 2007
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                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "Ray Ludenia" <lud@...>
                                        To: "Killer Bs Discussion" <brin-l@...>
                                        Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 11:45 PM
                                        Subject: Re: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
                                        speach?


                                        > Alberto, you better not read this; it will only aggravate you!
                                        >
                                        >
                                        > On 03/09/2007, at 11:40 AM, Dan Minettte wrote:
                                        >>
                                        >> I hope you remember my suggestion of a fossil fuel tax that
                                        >> would...as
                                        >> part
                                        >> of it...add about $5.00 per gallon of gasoline as an incentive to
                                        >> conserve
                                        >> and use other energy forms.
                                        >
                                        > As a matter of interest, roughly what is the price of petrol (gas in
                                        > US)? (My car is dual fuel: petrol and LPG. Would USians have to say
                                        > gas
                                        > and gas???). How does this compare to current European prices?
                                        > Around
                                        > here (Australia) petrol is about 120-130 c/litre (roughly US$1 so
                                        > I
                                        > guess about US$4.50 per gallon... WRONG! 3.78 litres to a US gallon
                                        > so
                                        > I think about US$3.80 per US gallon.
                                        >
                                        Here we would be a bit less likely to use LPG and a bit more likely to
                                        use LNG for vehicles. We already have a small LNG infrastructure for
                                        bus and fleet usage and a containerized infrastructure for forklifts
                                        and such (and patio bar-b-ques).
                                        I'm not sure about how we use LPG here. But since I only see it in
                                        train tankers and big trucks, I would guess it is used mainly in
                                        industrial processes. But I could easily be wrong about that.


                                        xponent
                                        More Stuff Maru
                                        rob


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                                      • Alberto Vieira Ferreira Monteiro
                                        ... You mean natural gas , not liquified natural gas , right? There s still no commercial technology to use LNG in vehicles (it must be kept at -162 deg,
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Sep 4, 2007
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                                          Robert Seeberger wrote:
                                          >
                                          > Here we would be a bit less likely to use LPG and a bit more likely to
                                          > use LNG for vehicles.
                                          >
                                          You mean "natural gas", not "liquified natural gas", right? There's
                                          still no commercial technology to use LNG in vehicles (it must
                                          be kept at -162 deg, sort of). Here in Brazil, cars that use
                                          gasoline (with 20-25% ethanol) can be adapted to use natural
                                          gas (under pressure).

                                          BTW, Otto cycle motors can easily use anything from natural
                                          gas to gasoline, including LPG or ethanol. Brazilian new "tetraflex"
                                          cars can use ethanol, E25 blend (25% ethanol, 75% gasoline - the
                                          standard "gasolina" in Brazil), natural gas or pure gasoline (not
                                          available in Brazil, but available in our neighbouring countries). They
                                          just don't use LPG because it's forbidden by law (LPG is "social",
                                          the price is kept low, because if the poor people don't use LPG for
                                          cooking, they will destroy the forests and use wood).

                                          Diesel cycle motors, OTOH, require a different type of fuel, like gasoil,
                                          standard biodiesel (esthers of fatty acids and methanol or ethanol)
                                          and even vegetable oils (esthers of fatty acids and glycerol).

                                          Alberto Monteiro
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                                        • Robert Seeberger
                                          ... From: Alberto Vieira Ferreira Monteiro To: Killer Bs Discussion Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 5:26
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Sep 4, 2007
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                                            ----- Original Message -----
                                            From: "Alberto Vieira Ferreira Monteiro" <albmont@...>
                                            To: "Killer Bs Discussion" <brin-l@...>
                                            Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 5:26 PM
                                            Subject: Re: Why so little renewable energy 30 years after the sweater
                                            speach?


                                            > Robert Seeberger wrote:
                                            >>
                                            >> Here we would be a bit less likely to use LPG and a bit more likely
                                            >> to
                                            >> use LNG for vehicles.
                                            >>
                                            > You mean "natural gas", not "liquified natural gas", right?

                                            Almost!
                                            I should have said CNG.
                                            You'd think I'd remember these things since I used to paint the
                                            letters onto train cars.


                                            xponent
                                            Thanks Though Maru
                                            rob


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                                          • Ray Ludenia
                                            ... The big advantage here is the price of LPG, (approx US$1.50/gal) about 40% that of petrol. Not only that, but car conversions to run on dual fuel (petrol
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Sep 5, 2007
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                                              On 05/09/2007, at 7:24 AM, Robert Seeberger wrote:

                                              > ----- Original Message -----
                                              > From: "Ray Ludenia" <lud@...>Around
                                              >> here (Australia) petrol is about 120-130 c/litre (roughly US$1 so I
                                              >> guess about US$4.50 per gallon... WRONG! 3.78 litres to a US gallon so
                                              >> I think about US$3.80 per US gallon.
                                              >>
                                              > Here we would be a bit less likely to use LPG and a bit more likely to
                                              > use LNG for vehicles. We already have a small LNG infrastructure for
                                              > bus and fleet usage and a containerized infrastructure for forklifts
                                              > and such (and patio bar-b-ques).
                                              > I'm not sure about how we use LPG here. But since I only see it in
                                              > train tankers and big trucks, I would guess it is used mainly in
                                              > industrial processes. But I could easily be wrong about that.
                                              >
                                              The big advantage here is the price of LPG, (approx US$1.50/gal) about
                                              40% that of petrol. Not only that, but car conversions to run on dual
                                              fuel (petrol and LPG) are strongly subsidised by the Federal Gov. In my
                                              case, I was refunded A$2000 of the total cost of under A$2700. It
                                              doesn't take long to break even at that rate!

                                              Regards, Ray.

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                                            • Mauro Diotallevi
                                              ... Katee Sackhoff, the blond in the trailer, was also Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica. She absolutely rocks. Even if this trailer wasn t as good as it has
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Sep 5, 2007
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                                                On 9/1/07, Gary Nunn <garynunn@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > I was never a fan of the original Bionic Woman, but I have to admit the
                                                > trailer for this series looks very promising.
                                                >
                                                > Look for the one labeled "Bionic Woman - Trailer", It's 9 minutes long.

                                                Katee Sackhoff, the blond in the trailer, was also Starbuck in
                                                Battlestar Galactica. She absolutely rocks. Even if this trailer
                                                wasn't as good as it has turned out to be, I would probably watch just
                                                to see her performance.

                                                --
                                                Mauro Diotallevi
                                                "Hey, Harry, you haven't done anything useful for a while -- you be
                                                the god of jello now." -- Patricia Wrede, 8/16/2006 on rasfc
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