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Oil, coal, things we positively can't do without

ricksfolly

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Oil and coal is is here to stay, no matter how many negative things are said about it, so why not admit it. It's all right for the people to live in their make-believe world, but not our elected leaders who are supposed to see things the way they actually are.

So leaders, put politics aside and let the people know the facts. Try leading for a change?

ricksfolly
 

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So true.

Even if we had a magic bean energy source tomorrow, it'd take many decades to replace the buildings, HVAC systems, automobiles, power plants, etc, so that we could actually use the new energy source.

It's just a bunch of grandstanding and hyperbolic-placard waving nonsense to keep people focused on elsewhere so politicians don't actually have to work or solve anything.
 

Catz Part Deux

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I heat all of the water in my house with solar power and will eventually power my entire house with it, too. Yes, it will take time, but that shouldn't stop us from doing what we can do right now.
 

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In reality, we could do without them, but there would be alot of dying going on, and most people can't handle that.;)
 

Deuce

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Here to stay? You're aware that this stuff is not limitless, right?

Forget global warming, let's just work with one fundamental mathematical issue here: We consume fossil fuels faster than the earth produces it. Eventually, our energy needs will exceed our energy reserves.

What exactly should we do about that?
 

spud_meister

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i'd prefer nuclear power over coal, any day, and hasn't honda produced a car that runs on nought but hydrogen? both are easy alternatives to coal and oil.
 

Deuce

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i'd prefer nuclear power over coal, any day, and hasn't honda produced a car that runs on nought but hydrogen? both are easy alternatives to coal and oil.
As I've often said, nuclear power is the only truly viable solution to our energy requirements. There's enough uranium in the world to power any conceivable power draw for hundreds of thousands of years. Millions of years if we drop this idiotic policy against reprocessing. (we can basically recyle radioactive waste, it's like 99% still usable) The energy density difference between oil and nuclear is staggering.

Switching to hydrogen fuel cells isn't "easy" but it's definitely an option. There are no easy options. What we really freaking need is a major breakthrough in battery technology. Something that can rival or beat the storage ability of lithium-ion batteries without being so damned expensive. Generating electricity is easy, storing it in a manner that makes it viable for powering vehicles isn't.
 

rathi

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Coal and Oil are dead ends. They are absurdly expensive to renew, they are grossly polluting and we have nearly maxed out their technological development potential. In the long run, Coal is useless, while oil will likely only be useful as jet fuel and maybe military applications. Solar and Nuclear power are the most likely replacements, as they both could be scaled up to replace our current energy uses. If we were wiling to pony up for a bit of long term investing, there is nothing stopping us building us an energy grid that runs solar for peak demand and nuclear for night-time use today. If you factor in the healthcare costs from pollution and political cost of importing oil, the deal gets even better. Most importantly, there is vast room for improvement in both solar and nuclear technologies, so as time goes on they become better and better options.
 

obvious Child

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There's enough uranium in the world to power any conceivable power draw for hundreds of thousands of years.
Screw the uranium. We're better off with Thorium. Uranium has a whole host of problems associated with it, from waste to insane cost, to large footprints needed for adequately large plants not to mention the weaponization of it. Apparently, according to some recent protoypes, we can build thorium reactors that are self regulation in something like 1/100th of the space with 1/100 of the cost of a similar sized uranium/plutonium plant. And no waste. I honestly don't see how we can go wrong with thorium. The sole reason we are uranium based is due to WWII and the massive desire for nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

against reprocessing. (we can basically recyle radioactive waste, it's like 99% still usable) The energy density difference between oil and nuclear is staggering.
True, France reprocesses and can store all of its waste in a tiny space. But given the recent testing of security around US plants and even government facilities, I'm very hesitating to push for reprocessing. We cannot even protect the waste we have. Turning that into usable fuel for low grade bombs doesn't seem like a good idea. A better idea would be for small MOX-like production facilities at all nuclear plants to automatically take waste and reprocess it rather then how we do it now.

Speaking of MOX, it always makes me laugh at American cities are powered by Russian warheads once destined to destroy them.

Switching to hydrogen fuel cells isn't "easy" but it's definitely an option. There are no easy options. What we really freaking need is a major breakthrough in battery technology. Something that can rival or beat the storage ability of lithium-ion batteries without being so damned expensive. Generating electricity is easy, storing it in a manner that makes it viable for powering vehicles isn't.
One being a cheaper catalyst. Current hydrogen cars are outrageously expensive.
 

ricksfolly

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I heat all of the water in my house with solar power and will eventually power my entire house with it, too. Yes, it will take time, but that shouldn't stop us from doing what we can do right now.
That might save you some of your energy costs, but there's not near enough public interest to start a meaningful trend, less than one percent...

ricksfolly
 

Deuce

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That might save you some of your energy costs, but there's not near enough public interest to start a meaningful trend, less than one percent...

ricksfolly
It's a basic math problem. It takes like a decade for solar panels to pay for themselves. The subsidies help, but for now the solar panels aren't a very good choice, economically speaking. Problem is, if we wait until renewable sources are a clearly better financial choice, we'll be way behind the curve when it comes to infrastructure and technology. We're dependent upon foreign nations for oil right now, and if we don't get out ahead of this we're going to be dependent upon them for solar panels and wind turbines.
 

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a commitment to achieve energy self sufficiency should have been Obama's equivalent of JFK's commitment to land on the moon by the end of the decade
 

Deuce

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a commitment to achieve energy self sufficiency should have been Obama's equivalent of JFK's commitment to land on the moon by the end of the decade
A recent Daily Show clip showed a montage of the past eight presidents giving big speeches about reducing our dependency on foreign oil.
 

justabubba

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A recent Daily Show clip showed a montage of the past eight presidents giving big speeches about reducing our dependency on foreign oil.
my state's motto would work here:
to be, rather than to seem
those presidents wanted energency self sufficiency but were unwilling to do what was politically necessary to achieve it
evaulate the pols based on what they do instead of what they say
 

ricksfolly

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a commitment to achieve energy self sufficiency should have been Obama's equivalent of JFK's commitment to land on the moon by the end of the decade
Actually, going to the moon took longer than ten years, It started when Goddard invented the rocket back in the thirties.

We have 0ver 200 million gas guzzlers, 70 percent of our electrical power is coal, so keeping in mind that people won't stand for even one minute of no lights, no TV, no gas, where do you want to the green conversion to start ?

ricksfolly
 

Deuce

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Actually, going to the moon took longer than ten years, It started when Goddard invented the rocket back in the thirties.

We have 0ver 200 million gas guzzlers, 70 percent of our electrical power is coal, so keeping in mind that people won't stand for even one minute of no lights, no TV, no gas, where do you want to the green conversion to start ?

ricksfolly
Uhh, you don't need to turn things off to switch to solar power. You just need to stop adding fossil fuel power plants completely, only add solar, wind, and nuclear. Decomission fossil fuel plants as able.
 

justabubba

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Actually, going to the moon took longer than ten years, It started when Goddard invented the rocket back in the thirties.
but you have seized on the telling difference
until JFK, there was no expressed commitment to reach the moon

We have 0ver 200 million gas guzzlers, 70 percent of our electrical power is coal, so keeping in mind that people won't stand for even one minute of no lights, no TV, no gas, where do you want to the green conversion to start ?

ricksfolly
had our nation been committed to energy self sufficiency - soon after the first oil embargoes impacted our nation, evidencing how we were at a strategic risk because of energy dependency - we would likely not now be in the vulnerable circumstance you describe
but thus far, all we have received are words of warning without any political commitment to that end
 

Your Star

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Actually, going to the moon took longer than ten years, It started when Goddard invented the rocket back in the thirties.

We have 0ver 200 million gas guzzlers, 70 percent of our electrical power is coal, so keeping in mind that people won't stand for even one minute of no lights, no TV, no gas, where do you want to the green conversion to start ?

ricksfolly
They'll be even more pissed that we won't have a reliable source of energy when our fossil fuels run out. Do we wait, and start researching other energy sources then? Or do we start now when we still have the time? If we start now we can easily transition from non-renewable sources of energy, to other better sources of energy without having to rush, or have massive numbers of people without power due to the lack of resources.
 

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Here to stay? You're aware that this stuff is not limitless, right?

Forget global warming, let's just work with one fundamental mathematical issue here: We consume fossil fuels faster than the earth produces it. Eventually, our energy needs will exceed our energy reserves.

What exactly should we do about that?
Yeah, as far as we know. Problem is, we don't know everything. Biodiesel is trying to make headway, but is limited in its ability to replace petroleum.

Biodiesel handbook
 
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