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Babbling from Reno and Methane Hydrate

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  • David Bergeron
    I too agree that Claude could have used more tack, but I think it very valuable to not discount an argument or position based on the tact of the presenter. We
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 21, 2001
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      I too agree that Claude could have used more tack, but I think it very valuable to not discount an argument or position based on the tact of the presenter.  We must strive to stay objective, even under attack.
       
      I also agree that the trade between managing the use of nuclear energy and CO2 emissions is an important issue and way beyond my pay grade. 
       
      Has anyone seen the estimates of the reserves of methane hydrate at the ocean floor?  Scientific America first began reporting on methane hydrate a couple of years ago.  The DOE now tracks/estimates these reserves in it annual reports along with the other fossil fuels.  The Scientific American article estimated that there is 127X the amount of energy stored in methane hydrate than the total cumulative fossil fuels we've consumed on a world-wide basis to date. 
       
      The good news is that if we learn to recover it, we will have no shortage of fossil fuels for a long time, but the bad news is that the total reserve contains enough carbon and hydrogen to consume all the oxygen in the atmosphere 7X.  (CH4+2O2=CO2+2H2O)
       
      What really worries me about the methane hydrate is that it is a fragile compound.  If warmed, it melts and the methane bubbles up to the surface.  How much would the oceans have to warm to begin large releases of this trapped methane?  Can you image the result? To quote ghost busters, it would be a disaster of Biblical proportions. 
       
      My gut tells me the only way out of this mess is to discreetly raise taxes on fossil fuels.  This should drive conservation.  Then use the extra revenue to fund renewables research (it the fuel tax doesn't stall the economy) and plant lots of trees and other green things!
       
      I am so happy tonight because I just got my latest electric bill.  We used 385 kWhrs this past month (~$40).  Training the kids to turn off lights and buying a new high efficiency refrigerator seems to be doing the trick.  $40 might not sound too low, but consider we live in a very very large house with 5 kids ages 3 to 11.  Living in a cool dry climate does wonders for one's electric bill!  Everyone should move to Reno!
       
      Of course, I may be singing a different tune this winter when I get my gas bill.
       
      David B.
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2001 10:32 PM
      Subject: RE: [hreg] America Under Attack

      I fully agree with the idea of keeping personal attacks of this list.
      At the same time, let me say that I've appreciated Claude's past efforts
      to inject a little science into the discussions, and while there are
      certainly disagreements in our society, and even among scientists and
      engineers, about the safety and usefulness of nuclear energy and its place
      in our energy future, I hope that this discussion group doesn't adopt a
      "group think" mentality that rejects opinions and arguments that differ
      from some group orthodoxy.

      The arguments against nuclear power are in many cases arguments against
      forms of nuclear power that would no longer be practiced had the technology
      been pursued/developed more vigorously over the past couple decades instead
      of attacked.  I think Claude was trying to make the point--albeit not as
      tactfully as he might have, especially considering all the Diane and
      Jonathan
      have contributed to HREG and this discussion group--that we do in fact live
      off nuclear power (from the sun) and that there is no such thing as complete
      recycling or sustainability in our entropically increasing universe.  There
      certainly is no such thing as conservation of atoms, if one accounts for
      fusion processes occuring in the sun and other stars.  Fission processes
      occur as well, Jonathan, over time, and these are in fact used for
      radiometric
      dating.

      Attacks against nuclear power may have been well-founded, but at the same
      time
      now we have global warming.  Which is worse?  Manage nuclear waste over the
      next 1000 years or so, or destroy the climate that sustains life?  I'm not
      arguing for one solution or the other, but if one is not willing to shut
      down the economy and lifestyles to reduce carbon fuels drastically (as
      America
      obviously is not--I'm talking about the public here, not HREG), then a
      stop-gap
      technology is needed to sustain us until we have an efficient and viable
      solar-
      based energy supply (PV, thermal, biomass, wind, etc.).  I think Claude is
      not being unfair to argue that nuclear can serve as part of that stop-gap
      just
      as well as coal or gas, and in some ways better (and other ways worse).

      For those who are interested in solar and other renewable technologies per
      se,
      and not necessarily all the environmentalist, anti-nuclear, etc. baggage
      that
      goes with it, some e-mails of a propaganda nature that have been forwarded
      via
      this listserv get a bit tiresome, and I suspect Claude was reacting to that,
      since several were posted over the past weeks.  Maybe I'm not reading this
      right, but that's my take on it.

      Peace to all,

      Robert Johnston


      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: mike [mailto:mlandrus@...]
      > Sent: Wednesday, September 19, 2001 7:13 AM
      > To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: Re: [hreg] America Under Attack
      >
      >
      > Thanks Ryan, I fully agree with you.
      > Let's keep the personal attacks off the list.
      >
      > Mike
      >
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "Ryan McMullan" <mcmullan@...>
      > To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
      > Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2001 1:01 PM
      > Subject: RE: [hreg] America Under Attack
      >
      >
      > >          I was a bit taken back by Claude Foster's comments
      > to Diane's
      > > post.  Perhaps I am misreading his intent, but it sounded
      > hostile and full
      > > of personal attacks--something which I am not accustomed to
      > hearing from
      > > this group. [more below]
      > >
      > > At 09:11 AM 9/18/01 -0500, you wrote:
      > > >Several questions came to mind after reading your memo.
      > > >
      > > >Are you promoting a direct attack on our energy supply or
      > you following
      > > >someone else?
      > >
      > > I'm not sure exactly what they question is.  He seems to be
      > asking if
      > Diane
      > > is a terrorist.
      > >
      > > >Oh, by the way, what is the process that produces the heat
      > and light of
      > the
      > > >sun?
      > >
      > > Nuclear fusion, something which does not produce
      > radioactive byproduct and
      > > something which we are so far unable to harness for
      > constructive energy
      > > production (please correct me if I'm wrong as I'd love to
      > be wrong on this
      > > one).  Fission, the process we use to produce electricity,
      > is a different
      > > process with the nasty long-lived radioactive byproducts
      > many folks have
      > > objections to.
      > >
      > > >How do you rely on or use sustainable design or renewable
      > energy in your
      > > >lifestyle?
      > > >
      > > >How did you qualify to give testimony as an expert on industrial
      > processes
      > > >involving nuclear devices? I don't see a Ph.D., PE, CP,
      > HSDO MANW, etc.
      > > >attached to your memo.
      > > >
      > > >Please tell us about the research or engineering projects have you
      > completed
      > > >for constructive,  sustainable use of our resources (atomic, wood,
      > > >geothermal, wind, solar) ?
      > > >
      > > >In what ways do you think that you support or dampen our society.
      > >
      > > This string of questions seems to be attacking the
      > credibility of Diane,
      > > rather than addressing issues raised.
      > >
      > > Again, perhaps I'm reading this all wrong, but I was first
      > attracted to
      > > HREG by the cooperative, supportive atmosphere of the
      > group.  I'd hate to
      > > see that degenerate, and I'd hate it even more if I had
      > been silent and
      > let
      > > it happen.
      > >
      > > Ryan
      > >
      > >
      > > > > -----Original Message-----
      > > > > From: jclem412@... [SMTP:jclem412@...]
      > > > > Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2001 8:16 AM
      > > > > To:   hreg@yahoogroups.com
      > > > > Subject:      Re: [hreg] America Under Attack
      > > > >
      > > > > Hi. this is Diane.
      > > > >
      > > > > A couple of months ago, Jonathan and I traveled to
      > downtown Seattle to
      > > > > testify at a DOE hearing on energy.  Seattle was one of
      > (6, i think?)
      > a
      > > > > couple of cities chosen for these sites on public
      > hearings.  There was
      > a
      > > > > court reporter typing our comments and it was formal,
      > although at 8
      > PM, a
      > > > > little thin.  I guess they'd been busy all day,
      > however.  My part of
      > the
      > > > > testimony dealt w/ nuclear energy and how there is no
      > safe way to
      > dispose
      > > > > of
      > > > > nuclear waste at this time. Safe disposal is an oxymoron with an
      > emphasis
      > > > > on
      > > > > moron.  No amount of wishing can make it so and nature cannot be
      > changed.
      > > > >
      > > > > All we can do is make our views on energy known to
      > elected officials
      > so
      > > > > they
      > > > > know how we feel and what we think.
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > >
      > > > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
      > http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
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      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
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      > >
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