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permanent energy crisis

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  • J.H. Crawford
    Hi All, I ve only skimmed this, but it looks interesting: http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0210-20.htm If anyone spots any real bell-ringers, please advise
    Message 1 of 19 , Feb 11, 2006
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      Hi All,

      I've only skimmed this, but it looks interesting:

      http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0210-20.htm

      If anyone spots any real bell-ringers, please advise
      on the list. (I suspect that this is mostly old news.)

      Regards,



      ----- ### -----
      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
      mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
    • On the Train Towards the Future!
      From: J.H. Crawford (mailbox@carfree.com) Subject: [carfree_cities] permanent energy crisis Date: 11/2/2006 14:43:48 ... WELL, the writer makes it clear we are
      Message 2 of 19 , Feb 11, 2006
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        From: J.H. Crawford (mailbox@...)
        Subject: [carfree_cities] permanent energy crisis
        Date: 11/2/2006 14:43:48

        > Hi All,
        >
        > I've only skimmed this, but it looks interesting:
        >
        > http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0210-20.htm
        >
        > If anyone spots any real bell-ringers, please advise
        > on the list. (I suspect that this is mostly old news.)

        WELL, the writer makes it clear we are in quite a predicament, but right after he says we should "adopt heroic measures" such as shifting all funding from roads to PT, he says "...all new cars sold in America after 2010 should have minimum average fuel efficiencies of 50 MPG or higher..." and nothing about changing urban design, about turning the global parking lot into streets again... so I wouldnt recommend forwarding this to anyone unless you want to confuse them.

        - T

        ------------------------------------------------------

        Todd Edelman
        International Coordinator
        On the Train Towards the Future!

        Green Idea Factory
        Laubova 5
        CZ-13000 Praha 3

        ++420 605 915 970

        edelman@...
        www.worldcarfree.net/onthetrain

        Green Idea Factory,
        a member of World Carfree Network
      • kiwehtin
        Perhaps this article on a speech by Dave Hughes of Natural Resources Canada in Calgary at the beginning of the month might be slightly more useful:
        Message 3 of 19 , Feb 11, 2006
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          Perhaps this article on a speech by Dave Hughes of Natural Resources
          Canada in Calgary at the beginning of the month might be slightly
          more useful:

          http://www.postcarbon.org/node/2256

          There's an interesting quote in the third to last paragrap about
          "demand destruction", but I don't know what he intended it to refer
          to...

          There's a quite interesting audio file here (in MP3 format) of a
          translated interview with a Pemex (Petroleos de México) engineer who
          requested anonymity. Note the title: Pemex exclusive 'We are in the
          middle of Hubbert's curve'. The recreation of the interview starts
          slightly before halfway through the file, preceded by a lot of oil
          price shop talk. Interesting quote at the very end: "We need to give
          our children a new vision: that it might be better on a bike than it
          is to drive a car.".

          http://www.oilcast.com/article.php?story=20051130145749661

          On Feb 11, 2006, at 11:56 AM, On the Train Towards the Future! wrote:

          > From: J.H. Crawford (mailbox@...)
          > Subject: [carfree_cities] permanent energy crisis
          > Date: 11/2/2006 14:43:48
          >
          >> Hi All,
          >>
          >> I've only skimmed this, but it looks interesting:
          >>
          >> http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0210-20.htm
          >>
          >> If anyone spots any real bell-ringers, please advise
          >> on the list. (I suspect that this is mostly old news.)
          >
          > WELL, the writer makes it clear we are in quite a predicament, but
          > right after he says we should "adopt heroic measures" such as
          > shifting all funding from roads to PT, he says "...all new cars
          > sold in America after 2010 should have minimum average fuel
          > efficiencies of 50 MPG or higher..." and nothing about changing
          > urban design, about turning the global parking lot into streets
          > again... so I wouldnt recommend forwarding this to anyone unless
          > you want to confuse them.



          Christopher Miller
          Montreal QC Canada
        • mauk_mcamuk
          That areticle is typical fearmongering. Completely unproductive. There are vast amounts of usable resources still in and on the Earth. We are on the verge of
          Message 4 of 19 , Feb 12, 2006
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            That areticle is typical fearmongering. Completely unproductive.

            There are vast amounts of usable resources still in and on the Earth.
            We are on the verge of moving from one energy source to another.
            There is nothing exceptionally unusual about this. We already shifted
            from wood to coal, and from coal to oil, and I'm sure there was lots
            of angst those times as well.

            We'll just shift to something else. Likely, a mix of wind, hydro and
            nuclear, with various "new" hydrocarbons tossed in around the edges.

            If we want to make Carfree Cities attractive, we need to present them
            as a better option than cars, not attempt to scare people. The paper
            from the Brookings Institute I recently posted was a gold mine of
            positive, very Carfree facts from a non-biased source.

            We should be presenting Carfree Cities as BETTER than our current
            cities, and be able to cite facts and figures as to WHY.

            Just because they also may save the world should be gravy. :D


            >--- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
            >wrote:
            >
            >
            > Hi All,
            >
            > I've only skimmed this, but it looks interesting:
            >
            > http://www.commondreams.org/views06/0210-20.htm
            >
            > If anyone spots any real bell-ringers, please advise
            > on the list. (I suspect that this is mostly old news.)
            >
            > Regards,
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • J.H. Crawford
            ... Well, yes, but the total capacity of the system is likely to be quite a lot less than what we have become used to. ... exactly ... J.H. Crawford
            Message 5 of 19 , Feb 12, 2006
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              >We'll just shift to something else. Likely, a mix of wind, hydro and
              >nuclear, with various "new" hydrocarbons tossed in around the edges.

              Well, yes, but the total capacity of the system is likely to
              be quite a lot less than what we have become used to.

              >We should be presenting Carfree Cities as BETTER than our current
              >cities, and be able to cite facts and figures as to WHY.

              exactly


              ----- ### -----
              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
              mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
            • mauk_mcamuk
              Hmmm. An interesting discussion here, I think. :) ... Well, maybe, but I think that quite unlikely. A lot of this revolves around what you call the system,
              Message 6 of 19 , Feb 17, 2006
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                Hmmm. An interesting discussion here, I think. :)


                >--- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
                >wrote:
                >
                >
                > >We'll just shift to something else. Likely, a mix of wind, hydro
                >and
                > >nuclear, with various "new" hydrocarbons tossed in around the
                >edges.
                >
                > Well, yes, but the total capacity of the system is likely to
                > be quite a lot less than what we have become used to.
                >

                Well, maybe, but I think that quite unlikely. A lot of this revolves
                around what you call the system, you see. :)

                Americans right now use very large amounts of energy, but part of
                that is due to the rise of the car culture, something that is really
                only about 40-odd years old. Another large part is the sheer SIZE of
                the place: America, despite our huge population, is a pretty sparse
                place. It takes a good, flexible long-distance travel system to keep
                the place running, and highways with trucks on them are surprisingly
                efficient at it.

                But in many ways, America's situation is an aberration. Europe also
                has high energy usage, but much lower than America's, due mostly to
                the fact that Europe is quite a lot smaller and more densely
                populated than the USA is.

                Denser = less cars needed.

                However, a VERY large part of the worlds population is forced to
                subsist on VERY little energy at all, with the worst being in Sub-
                Saharan Africa and such places. If we are serious about making the
                world a better place, I think we should strive to make ALL the world
                a better place. Massive inequities in energy are the root drivers of
                much of the conflict in the world today, and put simply, it doesn't
                have to be that way.

                Wind power is nearly proliferation-proof and ubiquitous. Hydro-power
                is far more limited, unless you accept very large infrastructure
                costs. Nuclear power is hugely abundant, but is saddled with decades
                of lies, propaganda, and misconceptions (more due to Cold War
                hysteria than fact) that will take some time to reverse.

                Those three power sources, used together and tied to a massively
                upgraded grid, could provide at least European levels of energy usage
                to pretty much the entire world. The total capacity of such a system
                would be LARGE, but is quite doable.

                Indeed, one hopeful step toward such a system is the recent GNEP
                initiative kicked off in the US:


                http://www.gnep.energy.gov/


                The task that faces us is how to take this inevitable sea-change (the
                end of cheap oil and the associated societal changes it will drive)
                and ensure that car-free concepts get included in the new, better,
                cleaner ways of doing things.

                Thus, why I write my Congress-critters on a fairly regular basis. :D



                > >We should be presenting Carfree Cities as BETTER than our current
                > >cities, and be able to cite facts and figures as to WHY.
                >
                > exactly
                >
              • J.H. Crawford
                ... and a small town named Chernobyl ... The supply of fissile material is quite limited in terms of supplying most of the world s energy for more than an
                Message 7 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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                  >Nuclear power is hugely abundant, but is saddled with decades
                  >of lies, propaganda, and misconceptions

                  and a small town named Chernobyl

                  >Those three power sources, used together and tied to a massively
                  >upgraded grid, could provide at least European levels of energy usage
                  >to pretty much the entire world. The total capacity of such a system
                  >would be LARGE, but is quite doable.

                  The supply of fissile material is quite limited in terms
                  of supplying most of the world's energy for more than
                  an interlude of a couple of generations.

                  Then there's the minor problem of nuclear waste.

                  So, no solution here. And the GNER thing is really only a
                  concept, not proven technology. And there isn't yet a new
                  generation of proven technology.

                  I agree that we'll probably see quite a few more nukes built,
                  but I don't think it's going to change very much.



                  ----- ### -----
                  J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                  mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                • Doug Salzmann
                  ... Exactly right. There is not nearly enough fissionable uranium available in the Earth s crust to power a world of 6.5-billion-and-growing humans out of our
                  Message 8 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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                    On Sat, 18 Feb 2006, J.H. Crawford wrote:

                    > The supply of fissile material is quite limited in terms
                    > of supplying most of the world's energy for more than
                    > an interlude of a couple of generations.

                    Exactly right. There is not nearly enough fissionable uranium available
                    in the Earth's crust to power a world of 6.5-billion-and-growing humans
                    out of our energy shortage.

                    Of course, fast-breeder reactors could produce an unlimited supply of
                    fuel, along with an unlimited supply of that Pu element. Imagine hundreds
                    or thousands of such facilities tucked away in every corner of the world,
                    including, oh, say, Liberia.


                    > Then there's the minor problem of nuclear waste.

                    Which minor problem continues to be utterly intractable after, literally,
                    generations of grappling with it.

                    > I agree that we'll probably see quite a few more nukes built,
                    > but I don't think it's going to change very much.

                    Yep. Nukes will be stop-gap measures in certain times and places (and
                    will continue to be extremely dangerous), but nuclear power generation is
                    not a long-term solution.


                    -Doug
                  • J.H. Crawford
                    ... Well, except that the amount of U238 is also limited, although there is a LOT more of it than U235. Even with unrestricted breeding, we still run out of
                    Message 9 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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                      >Exactly right. There is not nearly enough fissionable uranium available
                      >in the Earth's crust to power a world of 6.5-billion-and-growing humans
                      >out of our energy shortage.
                      >
                      >Of course, fast-breeder reactors could produce an unlimited supply of
                      >fuel, along with an unlimited supply of that Pu element. Imagine hundreds
                      >or thousands of such facilities tucked away in every corner of the world,
                      >including, oh, say, Liberia.

                      Well, except that the amount of U238 is also limited,
                      although there is a LOT more of it than U235. Even with
                      unrestricted breeding, we still run out of Uranium in
                      a century or so, presuming that people look on this as
                      one more inexhaustible resource, i.e., just the way we
                      have treated every other energy source we have stumbled
                      upon. Supposedly, the GNER proposal keep the Pu out of
                      the hands of terrorists, but there would be an awful lot
                      of it slinging around in the world, and it isn't all
                      that difficult to separate it from used fuel rods, esp.
                      if you have a plentiful supply of suicide volunteers
                      willing to do the work and die of radiation sickness
                      a few days later.

                      Why, oh why, can't we ever seem to talk about doing more
                      with less? It's just not all that difficult. Must be bad
                      for friends of Bush.




                      ----- ### -----
                      J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                      mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                    • Doug Salzmann
                      ... See, *even I* can be overly optimistic -- about nuclear power, no less. Now, there s a scary thought ;^) -Doug
                      Message 10 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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                        On Sat, 18 Feb 2006, J.H. Crawford wrote:

                        > Well, except that the amount of U238 is also limited,
                        > although there is a LOT more of it than U235. Even with
                        > unrestricted breeding, we still run out of Uranium in
                        > a century or so, presuming that people look on this as
                        > one more inexhaustible resource

                        See, *even I* can be overly optimistic -- about nuclear power, no less.

                        Now, there's a scary thought ;^)


                        -Doug
                      • mauk_mcamuk
                        Hmmmm. ... LOL! Okay, let s discuss Chernobyl then. I have studied the accident at Chernobyl, a LOT. (Simple rule: Never try to burn your way out of a
                        Message 11 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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                          Hmmmm.


                          >--- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...>
                          >wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > >Nuclear power is hugely abundant, but is saddled with decades
                          > >of lies, propaganda, and misconceptions
                          >
                          > and a small town named Chernobyl
                          >

                          LOL! <sigh>

                          Okay, let's discuss Chernobyl then.

                          I have studied the accident at Chernobyl, a LOT. (Simple rule: Never
                          try to burn your way out of a Xenon well.) By far the most accurate
                          account of what really happened, and the real after-effects, is a
                          massive UN report called UNSCEAR 2000. I have read the whole thing,
                          which can be accessed here:

                          http://www.unscear.org/

                          While I don't expect anyone on this list to read it as well (it takes
                          a person of truly oddball interests such as myself to do that) I
                          provide the link to back up what I'm going to say, because the truth
                          about Chernobyl is hugely different from the propaganda.

                          I'm not making this up. If you don't believe me, yell at the UN. :D

                          Chernobyl has to date killed not more than 55 people. Bad, yes, but
                          certainly no worse than many other major accidents.

                          The huge majority of those 50-odd casualties could easily have been
                          prevented with a little good sense. For example, 40-odd guys
                          essentially cooked themselves trying to put out a burning nuclear reactor.

                          You CAN'T put out a burning nuclear reactor, folks! There's a reason
                          nobody but the USSR was crazy and stupid enough to build an RBMK style
                          reactor! The sensible thing to do would have been to set up some
                          hoses, pump water on it, and get the heck away from it. Nobody would
                          have been killed in the immediate effects if they'd just done that.
                          let the thing burn itself out, keep folks under the plume indoors, and
                          let the mess settle.

                          The rest of the casualties have come from a large number of childrens
                          thyroid cancer cases, over a thousand, caused by drinking contaminated
                          milk. Yes, a dozen children have died, which again, is bad, but
                          hardly worse than many other accidents that have had far less
                          propaganda spread about them.

                          Worse, even those deaths and cancers could have been completely
                          prevented if the old Soviet government had just TOLD PEOPLE not to
                          drink milk downwind.

                          Now, I note that folks on the list immediately mentioned Chernobyl.

                          Why?

                          Because it's famous.

                          Why?

                          Because it was a terrible disaster?

                          But it WASN'T. It was a disaster, yes, but we have disasters as bad
                          or worse all the time!

                          For example, has anyone here ever heard of Buffalo Creek?

                          http://www.wvculture.org/hiStory/buffcreek/mem.html

                          That was a coal-waste flood in West Virginia in 1972, killed 118. I
                          would lay odds no one here has ever heard about it. How many people
                          were killed at Three Mile Island?

                          Why not? Why are Chernobyl and Three Mile Island so famous, when far
                          worse events that were caused by coal are forgotten?

                          Buffalo Creek isn't the only coal waste disaster, either. Have you
                          ever heard of Aberfan?

                          http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/politics/aberfan/home.htm

                          That's another coal disaster.

                          How about the massive fertilizer explosion at Toulouse, France?

                          http://www.safetynet.de/Seiten/2ndSymposium/kersten.pdf

                          That was only five years ago! Killed 29, wounded 2500! Yet most
                          folks have never heard of it.

                          How about Bhopal? Or the Chinese "Iron Dam" failures?

                          Why is Chernobyl so famous?

                          Lies, propaganda, and misconceptions. The lie is, nuclear is
                          different, and more dangerous, somehow.

                          In fact, it just isn't. Really. :)

                          <sigh> Why is it I always wind up having to defend nuclear? Hydro is
                          much more deadly than nuclear is.

                          On another front, did you know that 2005 was the largest year on
                          record for wind-power installations? The average windmill size is
                          also increasing nicely. All good signs! :D


                          > >Those three power sources, used together and tied to a massively
                          > >upgraded grid, could provide at least European levels of energy >usage
                          > >to pretty much the entire world. The total capacity of such a >system
                          > >would be LARGE, but is quite doable.
                          >
                          > The supply of fissile material is quite limited in terms
                          > of supplying most of the world's energy for more than
                          > an interlude of a couple of generations.
                          >

                          ???

                          Er, sorry, but while fissile material (u235) is merely hugely
                          abundant, fertile material (U238 and Th232) is much, much more common,
                          and quite simple to burn once we stop being afraid of it. (Here's a
                          dirty secret: EVERY commercial nuclear power plant is a breeder
                          reactor, that's where the plutonium for MOX fuel comes from. Breeding
                          new fuel is very easy to do these days.)

                          Even failing that, there is far more fissile material (u235) than most
                          people think there is. In deposits that are feasible to mine once the
                          price gets high enough there are many millions of tons of the stuff.
                          The Alum Shale in Sweden, for example, or phosphate fertilizer beds,
                          or the Chattanooga Shale in the USA.

                          If we decide to use it wisely, there is enough to last us at least
                          many thousands of years.

                          > Then there's the minor problem of nuclear waste.
                          >

                          This is a very complicated topic, but suffice to say, the "nuclear
                          waste problem" was mainly created by President Carter with one
                          executive order, and it can be fixed quite readily.

                          There is no component of nuclear waste that cannot be destroyed,
                          recycled, or sequestered with technology we now have available. Since
                          the 70's, scientists have not been idle on this topic. :)

                          All we need do now is start using all this nifty tech we've figured
                          out. :D


                          > So, no solution here. And the GNER thing is really only a
                          > concept, not proven technology. And there isn't yet a new
                          > generation of proven technology.
                          >

                          Are you stating that nuclear is unproven?? There are hundreds of new
                          nuclear plants planned right now, you'd better tell the industry! :)

                          More importantly, yes, the technologies proposed for the GNEP closed
                          fuel cycle are indeed proven. The UREX-1a reprocessing scheme is a
                          simple enhancement of the PUREX process France uses to reprocess their
                          waste, and pyroprocessing has been tested to DEATH in the USA and
                          Japan. It definately works. :)

                          > I agree that we'll probably see quite a few more nukes built,
                          > but I don't think it's going to change very much.
                          >

                          Time will tell. :D Even people in the US nuclear industry are
                          astonished at how fast momentum is moving toward nuclear right now.
                          Oil at 60+ dollars a barrel is a MASSIVE incentive for change.

                          Carfree lifestyles need stable power supplies even more than car using
                          societies. if there is a huge blackout now, people can at least go
                          listen to their car radios, possibly leave the area of the blackout,
                          etc. If a carfree city loses power, the residents are by-and-large
                          stuck there. So, it behooves us to ensure we have abundant, safe, and
                          reliable power.
                        • mauk_mcamuk
                          Hrrrrm. ... I am terribly sorry, but this is a common misconception that is, fortunately for our grandkids, wrong. Uranium is actually quite a common metal in
                          Message 12 of 19 , Feb 18, 2006
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                            Hrrrrm.

                            >--- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, Doug Salzmann <doug@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > On Sat, 18 Feb 2006, J.H. Crawford wrote:
                            >
                            > > The supply of fissile material is quite limited in terms
                            > > of supplying most of the world's energy for more than
                            > > an interlude of a couple of generations.
                            >
                            > Exactly right. There is not nearly enough fissionable uranium
                            >available
                            > in the Earth's crust to power a world of 6.5-billion-and-growing
                            >humans
                            > out of our energy shortage.


                            I am terribly sorry, but this is a common misconception that is,
                            fortunately for our grandkids, wrong.

                            Uranium is actually quite a common metal in the crust, due to the odd
                            chemistry of the actinides, which tends to concentrate it in the
                            granitic rocks of the crust. The same also applies to thorium, the
                            "other" nuclear fuel, the one nobody ever hears about. :)

                            For example, let's look at one fairly well-studied resource, the
                            Chattanooga Black Shale.

                            The Chattanooga Black Shale contains roughly 50 parts per million
                            Uranium. Properly burned in a closed nuclear fuel cycle (which is
                            what the GNEP is moving towards) that means that every ton of shale
                            mined contains as much energy as 500 barrels of oil, or about 100 tons
                            of high-quality coal.

                            There are roughly 600 BILLION tons of shale in the Chattanooga Black
                            Shale, counting just the easy-to-mine parts. That equates to 60
                            trillion tons of coal, or 300 trillion barrels of oil.

                            Today, the world uses about 30 billion barrels of oil a year (yes,
                            that's a lot.)

                            That means the Chattanooga Black Shale can supply the entire world for
                            10,000 years at current rates of usage.

                            And the Chattanooga Black Shale is only ONE resource! There is far
                            more uranium in phosphate rocks that we'd be mining anyway for
                            fertilizer, for example.

                            If you don't like the idea of burning the uranium efficiently, then
                            reduce the above amounts by a factor of about 100.

                            Here's a very good website that works to debunk a lot of these
                            misconceptions as well:

                            http://www.nuclearinfo.net/Nuclearpower/WebHomeEnergyLifecycleOfNuclear_Power


                            >
                            > Of course, fast-breeder reactors could produce an unlimited supply of
                            > fuel, along with an unlimited supply of that Pu element.

                            Er? I'm sorry, but plutonium IS reactor fuel, and a very good one.
                            Indeed, EVERY element, and almost every isotope, in the actinide
                            elements sequence (Uranium, Plutonium, Neptunium, Curium and
                            Americium, mainly) makes excellent reactor fuel if you just build your
                            reactors to burn them.

                            In the GNEP proposal, the "Advanced Burner Reactors" are designed to
                            do just that. Once the burners are finished with the stuff, there is
                            no plutonium left to worry about, aside from the amount that cycles
                            around in the system.

                            More importantly, this is kept commingled. IE, the plutonium is kept
                            mixed with the Uranium and the Curium and the Neptunium, etc. This
                            makes it very, VERY hard to divert it or make it into a weapon.
                            Seperating and purifying this stuff is non-trivial under ideal
                            conditions, and when you deliberately mix it up, well, it is quite
                            proliferation resistant. :D


                            >Imagine >hundreds
                            > or thousands of such facilities tucked away in every corner of the
                            >world,
                            > including, oh, say, Liberia.

                            No, imagine thousands of very small reactors with 20 year cores tucked
                            away like so. When a core burns out, the whole thing is shipped back
                            to maybe five or six central reprocessing plants, likely one each in
                            the USA, Japan, France, Russia, and China. That's the whole point of
                            the GNEP: New nuclear countries get free or discount fuel for ensuring
                            a closed fuel cycle.

                            The total volume to be shipped would be amazingly tiny, too, about as
                            much as one coal train a month, worldwide.

                            >
                            >
                            > > Then there's the minor problem of nuclear waste.
                            >
                            > Which minor problem continues to be utterly intractable after,
                            >literally,
                            > generations of grappling with it.
                            >

                            Heh. If you call "grappling with it" "sticking it in a hole and
                            waiting" then sure. :)

                            As I said before, President Carter created the whole nuclear waste
                            issue with one executive order, and the problem can be untangled about
                            as quickly once we decide to stop fiddling around. :)


                            > > I agree that we'll probably see quite a few more nukes built,
                            > > but I don't think it's going to change very much.
                            >
                            > Yep. Nukes will be stop-gap measures in certain times and places >(and
                            > will continue to be extremely dangerous), but nuclear power
                            >generation is
                            > not a long-term solution.
                            >
                            >

                            Er, you DO know the Sun is powered by nuclear power, right? Nuclear
                            power is THE long-term solution, period. In a very real sense, wind
                            and hydro are both nuclear powered. :D

                            We will embrace nuclear power, or learn to love the cold and the dark
                            once more. :(
                          • J.H. Crawford
                            Hi All, OK, this is not a nuclear energy site, let s can this. I DID say that I thought that we were likely to build new nukes notwithstanding public
                            Message 13 of 19 , Feb 19, 2006
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                              Hi All,

                              OK, this is not a nuclear energy site, let's can this.

                              I DID say that I thought that we were likely to build
                              new nukes notwithstanding public opposition and known
                              issues about nuclear power. (And did anyone read the
                              note in Carfree Cities on page 113?.)

                              Regards,


                              ----- ### -----
                              J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                              mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                            • J.H. Crawford
                              Hi All, After my last message, I happened to read today s Wash. Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/18/AR2006021801059.html
                              Message 14 of 19 , Feb 19, 2006
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                                Hi All,

                                After my last message, I happened to read today's Wash. Post:

                                http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/18/AR2006021801059.html

                                which seems to be an even-handed summary.

                                Regards,


                                ----- ### -----
                                J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
                                mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
                              • Ian Fiddies
                                Why, oh why, can t we ever seem to talk about doing more with less? It s just not all that difficult. Must be bad for friends of Bush. In Sweden there have
                                Message 15 of 19 , Feb 19, 2006
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                                  "Why, oh why, can't we ever seem to talk about doing more
                                  with less? It's just not all that difficult. Must be bad for friends of
                                  Bush."



                                  In Sweden there have been several houses built without heating systems. By
                                  use of improved insulation and heat exchange systems coupled to ventilation
                                  and wastewater you get sustainable buildings with low running costs. The
                                  constuction cost is about the same as a conventional building as the savings
                                  made by not having to install central heating offsets the other costs.



                                  Most new building in Sweden however doesn't take advantage of this
                                  technique. In fact not only is a heating system usually needed but also a
                                  cooling system for the summer months in most cases. Why cooling systems are
                                  necessary in Sweden is entirely due to architects designing (and winning
                                  prizes for) structures that are essentially more suitable for growing
                                  tomatoes than as offices and homes.



                                  "if there is a huge blackout now, people can at least go
                                  listen to their car radios"



                                  Back to the business of cars. I can't take the radio in a power cut argument
                                  as a serious reason to own a car but it leads to an interesting point. When
                                  I'm discussing carfree with caroholics they always have a long list of
                                  reasons why just they need their car (denial). I'm sure I'm not the only one
                                  who's noticed this. Common reasons for needing a car are; I've got kids, I
                                  don't have time, I've got a dog, the bus service doesn't work, my spouses
                                  needs to regularly visit the hospital.

                                  What they don't dare to say is; I like speeding, I'm too lazy to even think
                                  of walking to the bus stop, I look like I'm really something behind the
                                  wheel.



                                  My point is that people are generally defensive of their cars while being
                                  well aware of the damage they're doing. Even in a city with an excellent
                                  public transport system, people will find an inaccessible corner they need
                                  to get to and can only use a car as an excuse. I'm afraid that the only way
                                  to stop some people driving is to wait for them to die. In the way drug
                                  addicts are given methadone it would be reasonable to give carohoics low
                                  environmental impact cars.



                                  Most people find paying heating bills and buying petrol unpleasant
                                  activities. The savings made in not heating houses goes into the pocket of
                                  the user instead of the builder. This means there's little fiscal incentive
                                  for the builders to embrace energy efficient techniques. At the same time
                                  there's no financial disadvantage in building energy efficient. A parallel
                                  can be drawn with the auto-industry.



                                  Why is it case that house and car builders are not producing low energy
                                  products? It could be explained by conservative attitudes and a refusal to
                                  change but this I feel can only be a partial answer as most profitable
                                  companies nowadays are defiantly more innovative and dynamic than
                                  conservative.



                                  If you give someone a choice of two alternatives of achieving the same thing
                                  and the choice has no effect on the chooser, they will usually make the
                                  choice that is ethically best. It you have the choice of stepping on a snail
                                  or not on the way to the bus, most people will choose not to crush the
                                  snail. What would make someone a snail crusher would be if they got a euro
                                  for every squashed invertebrate.



                                  I know it's dangerous place human ethical values on capitalist corporations
                                  but I think it's quiet reasonable to assume that some of the profits from
                                  selling energy is somehow getting into the pockets of builders and car
                                  makers. Finding proof of this theory would make a very nice scandal indeed
                                  wouldn't it?



                                  Ian Fiddies
                                • Mike Neuman
                                  ... friends of ... (snipped) We are told from day one that more is better, that s why. Most people will not accept the notion that less of anything (of
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Feb 20, 2006
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                                    --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Ian Fiddies" <v03fiia@...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    > "Why, oh why, can't we ever seem to talk about doing more
                                    > with less? It's just not all that difficult. Must be bad for
                                    friends of
                                    > Bush."
                                    (snipped)

                                    We are told from day one that "more" is better, that's why. Most
                                    people will not accept the notion that "less" of anything (of value)
                                    is better. That's why they will always want and therefore use, more.

                                    To break this line of thinking, you have to offer them something else
                                    if they use less. Money is what most people respond to most
                                    readily. So offer them monetary "rebates" if they use significantly
                                    less energy (per capita) over the month/year than others.

                                    Just as individuals and families should be paid for driving and
                                    flying less (Message #9547), households should be paid for using
                                    significantly less energy per capita in the household than average
                                    household energy use today.

                                    Utilities need to be more highly regulated by the government than
                                    they are now. Economists have argued for this for decades, since
                                    utilities are monopolies. The utilities should be forced to offer
                                    positive financial incentives to encourage people to use less energy
                                    in heating, cooling and lighting their homes, and for minimizing uses
                                    of other forms of electricity in their daily lives. This would
                                    reduce cumulative power demands, reducing the need to build more
                                    power plants, transmission lines, fuel lines, and thus reduce all
                                    other expenditures and environmental costs associated with satisfying
                                    increased energy capacity demands.

                                    Depending on the amount of the reductions, significant cutbacks in
                                    global greenhouse gas emissions might be possible from power plants
                                    that burn fossil fuel for electricity, or from other utilities that
                                    distribute fuel and natural gas for direct burning in household
                                    furnaces.

                                    Households using low per capita annual energy amounts would be
                                    eligible to receive monetary returns at the end of the year for
                                    conserving on energy. The money "earned" could be used to supplement
                                    family income, rewarding families who consumed the least amount of
                                    energy over the year with a financial "rebate" for the year.

                                    The methodology used for computing the incentives for low energy use
                                    can be found in the paper: "Conserve, NOW!: Reducing Greenhouse Gas
                                    Emissions and Other Environmental Costs by Offering Financial
                                    Incentives that Reward Less Driving, Flying and Home Energy Use",
                                    along with the methodologies to reward less driving and less flying
                                    by the public. (Flying is also a significant contributor to
                                    greenhouse gas emissions in U.S. - see Conserve, NOW!...)

                                    "Conserve, NOW!" ... can be now be accessed as a file document at:
                                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ConserveNOW/
                                  • dubluth
                                    I agree with the use of financial incentives to achieve many environmental benefits. However, rebates come at a cost -- revenues to fund the rebates must come
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Feb 20, 2006
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                                      I agree with the use of financial incentives to achieve many
                                      environmental benefits. However, rebates come at a cost -- revenues
                                      to fund the rebates must come from somewhere. Also, allocating
                                      rebates accurately also requires a LOT of administrative effort and
                                      complexity. We must somehow accurately account for energy non-use in
                                      order to reward potential energy users.

                                      Why not tax carbon emmissions to achieve the financial incentive? I
                                      think you answer "political acceptability". Can carbon taxes achieve
                                      political acceptability? Because it costs less and guides behavior
                                      towards energy conservation rather than detection avoidance, it should
                                      be more acceptable.

                                      We could use the revenue from carbon taxes to fund other desirable
                                      aims like reducing other taxes, funding schools, or providing services
                                      to the needy.

                                      Bill

                                      --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Neuman" <mtneuman@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Ian Fiddies" <v03fiia@>
                                      > wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > "Why, oh why, can't we ever seem to talk about
                                      > > doing more with less? It's just not all that
                                      > > difficult. Must be bad for friends of Bush."
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > . . . Money is what most people respond to most
                                      > readily. So offer them monetary "rebates" if
                                      > they use significantly less energy (per capita)
                                      > over the month/year than others.
                                      >
                                    • Mike Neuman
                                      Public surveys suggest that people respond more favorably to positive incentives (rebates) than to negative ones (increased taxes). But if the revenues from
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Feb 21, 2006
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                                        Public surveys suggest that people respond more favorably to positive
                                        incentives (rebates) than to negative ones (increased taxes). But if
                                        the revenues from the taxes could be used to fund the positive
                                        incentives (rebates), then that might help to overcome some of the
                                        opposition to the higher taxes. But I'd put the increased taxes on
                                        gasoline purchased at the pump, aviation fuel and therms of energy
                                        used, rather than a carbon tax, for simplicity's sake.

                                        My other comment is that your assertion that issuing
                                        rebates "requires a LOT of administrative effort and complexity" is
                                        unsupported. It would not be that terribly difficult to monitor
                                        things like annual vehicle miles of travel, airline travel and
                                        electricity and natural gas burning. Insurance companies,
                                        transportation agencies and utilities have already been tracking this
                                        kind of information. It would not be an insurmountable task to
                                        gather this information for individuals who apply for the rebates.
                                        The only other thing left to do would be to issue them a check at the
                                        end of the year if they stayed under the identified threshold levels
                                        for miles driven, flown and energy consumed per capita in the home.

                                        Mike

                                        --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "dubluth" <dubluth@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > I agree with the use of financial incentives to achieve many
                                        > environmental benefits. However, rebates come at a cost -- revenues
                                        > to fund the rebates must come from somewhere. Also, allocating
                                        > rebates accurately also requires a LOT of administrative effort and
                                        > complexity. We must somehow accurately account for energy non-use
                                        in
                                        > order to reward potential energy users.
                                        >
                                        > Why not tax carbon emmissions to achieve the financial incentive? I
                                        > think you answer "political acceptability". Can carbon taxes
                                        achieve
                                        > political acceptability? Because it costs less and guides behavior
                                        > towards energy conservation rather than detection avoidance, it
                                        should
                                        > be more acceptable.
                                        >
                                        > We could use the revenue from carbon taxes to fund other desirable
                                        > aims like reducing other taxes, funding schools, or providing
                                        services
                                        > to the needy.
                                      • Randall Hunt
                                        ... It s all in the definition of value. One might frame the argument as a discrimination between standard of living and quality of life -- there is no direct
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Feb 22, 2006
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                                          >...Most people will not accept the notion that "less" of anything (of value)
                                          >is better. That's why they will always want and therefore use, more.

                                          It's all in the definition of value. One might frame the argument as a
                                          discrimination between standard of living and quality of life -- there is
                                          no direct correlation.
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