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View Diary: Global Warming - Creating the Conditions for a Cronkite Moment - Part 2: This is solvable (91 comments)

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  •  Tm Murphy is way off base (1+ / 0-)
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    ozsea1

    He is right that we need to do  before things run out, but this idea that energy density Is far o vet simplified, not least because technologies change and he vastly underestimates the energy achievable from solar and wind

    Physicists have a terrible track record in this area.   Better to leave it to the professionals, like engineers and climate scientists.  

    •  Hmm.. (0+ / 0-)
      He is right that we need to do  before things run out, but this idea that energy density Is far o vet simplified, not least because technologies change and he vastly underestimates the energy achievable from solar and wind

      I'd be interested to hear what you mean in more detail.  Would you be able to expand on specifically why you see his argument as being wrong?

      contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

      by barath on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 04:49:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A lot of his (0+ / 0-)

        Argument focuses on energy density, but seems to grossly underestimate the lifetime energy that comes from solar panels.  He seems to think they don't pay for themselves, but in fact most panels do within two years.  Secondly his analysis is really in corroborated by anyone else, leaving him as a sole physicist assuming a spherical cow while getting his facts wrong.  Physics as a culture has a strong tendency toward arrogant approaches based on over simplification.  Remember Mueller complaining about how terrible the temperature record, assuming he could do a better job than the pros?  Guess what, his results showed that the professionals got it right.  

        So he has his facts wrong on the EROI and he takes such a broad range of oversimplifying assumptions that he really has assumed away a whole bunch of energy dynamics, especially the fact that the machinery for manufacture already respesents sunk energy input he apparently ignores.  Also his accounting utterly fails to notice that photons pack a tin of energy, he misses tidal wind and geothermal as well.  He also ignores technological advances such as yet more advances in solar efficiency.

        So, until engineers corroborate his conclusions that's a whopping chunk of salt. Ultimately I have to wonder if he is funded by Koch

        •  I'd like to see the data. (0+ / 0-)
          He seems to think they don't pay for themselves, but in fact most panels do within two years.

          Do you have data on that?  (Not in terms of cost as in dollars, but data on the EROI?)  The best I've seen is a theoretical return of 40:1, and that's for lab prototypes and doesn't factor in installation, maintenance, etc.  Btw, Murphy didn't do any of those EROI calculations - he's using standard values.

          especially the fact that the machinery for manufacture already respesents sunk energy input he apparently ignores

          It's not suck energy because we'd have to massively scale up manufacturing, at which point we'd have to build new infrastructure.

          Ultimately I have to wonder if he is funded by Koch

          I don't think it reflects well to question his motives in such a fashion.

          contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

          by barath on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 06:38:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That should be ample (0+ / 0-)

            I am uncertain why a back of the envelope calculation of a physicist with no background in the area gets as much credence as he seems to. After all, a lot of people have look at the question of feasibility and reached utterly different conclusions.  So this trikes me as Mueller II. Convenient fodder for denialists, but probably not much more than that

            •  So...? (0+ / 0-)

              So I guess if they're ample, it'd be nice if you cited some in your rebuttal to Murphy.

              But I'm not sure that matters anyway, since as I mentioned, he didn't do the EROI calculations himself.  The whole point of his post on the Energy Trap isn't dependent upon specific EROI numbers anyway.  It's about general trends.

              And again, you went back to attacking the messenger instead of the message (with no real reason to do so).

              contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

              by barath on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 08:18:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Also... (0+ / 0-)
              Convenient fodder for denialists, but probably not much more than that

              Exactly what are these "denialists" denying?

              Murphy doesn't deny climate change or energy problems---just the opposite, his entire purpose for blogging is to shine a spotlight on those issues and talk about how to address them, and how peak oil and other constraints may bring us to the long-forecasted limits to growth.  If anything, it's people who deny the limits to growth that seem to be denying something fundamental.

              contraposition.org - thoughts on energy, the environment, and society.

              by barath on Sat Jan 14, 2012 at 08:22:14 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

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