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View Diary: Romney's energy independence plan is an election year snipe hunt (67 comments)

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  •  Carter's plan would have worked (10+ / 0-)

    Lest we paint everyone with the same brush, Jimmy Carter put so much emphasis on Solar/Wind and other ALT-E energy sources, that his plan would have worked, and we wouldn't be having the discussions about this today.  We also would be well on our way to preventing the looming Global Warming disaster.

    Ronald Reagan reversed what Jimmy Carter was doing, and stuck the oil needle deep into Americas arm.

    •  Agreed about Carter. His focus put me into ... (3+ / 0-)

      ...a job for three years at the Solar Energy Research Institute.

      But, it should not be forgotten that he also pushed synthetic fuels (oil shale, which is not the same as shale-oil) and "clean coal."

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 03:27:58 PM PDT

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      •  In Golden CO. ? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, Churchill, David54

        Also remember the long gas lines and tripling of oil prices.  The conditions back then were much more severe than they are now.  Everything was on the table back then, but it seems we learned nothing.

      •  Just out of curiosity, how many hundreds (0+ / 0-)

        of billions euros, dollars, yen, yuan, pesos have gone into paying for these "x year stints" at "Solar Research facilities" and the like?

        The solar PV cell was invented in 1954, almost 60 years ago.   Presumably hundreds of thousands of salaries have been paid - often from government budgets that might have gone to provide medical care for the poor, food for the poor, basic shelter for the poor, education for the poor and middle classes alike, and even to support more parochial things, like the development of medical science, and support for the arts - and how much energy, with this kind of investment being carried out around the world, does solar energy produce?

        Humanity now uses 520 exajoules of energy each year, and this with more than half of humanity lacking access to basic needs, like sanitation, like clean water, like shelter, like food.

        It is 2012.    This year, much of the American grain crop failed.   In Europe, crops also failed this year.   The 2003 crops also failed in Europe, and as can be found many places in the primary scientific literature, the death toll exceeded 70,000 in Europe during the summer of 2003 (with this one link to Comptes Rendus Biologie being representative) from heat.

        In the last ten years there have been heat/drought related crop failures in Australia (several years), Russia, Argentina and of course in the United States.

        You're, um, proud of your work at the Solar Research Institute?

        Do tell.

        How many of the 520 exajoules of energy did solar energy provide in 2010, after 56 years of unrestrained cheering?

        How many?

        Do tell.

        You look it up on the EIA website, or if your a qualified energy researcher, in lots of other places.

        I know.   I do it all the time.

        I hate to repeat the obvious, but there's that very famous Einstein quote, "Repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity."

        Solar energy continues to be an expensive and wasteful failure by which, in effect, the bourgeois rob the poor.

        You had a lot to say, as I recall, about your journalistic investigation of the fate of uranium miners.   I believe over a 50 year period a few people actually developed cancers from these mining activities - although we had an interesting talk at the recent American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, about houses that were built from uranium containing stones hundreds of years ago, but we won't discuss that.   It's science, after all, and why should science count in this culture?

        Where I live, on the, reading pronge - a huge natural uranium formation that has been in equilibrium with its decay products for millions of years, gas companies are shattering the rocks to get gas.     How come we don't have any concern troll journalists looking into the radon from this enterprise, Radon that will now leach out - until the uranium is removed - for millions of years, if not billions of years?

        I guess we can't raise a fetish for these people, any more than we can raise a fetish for the 70,000 dead in Europe in 2003.

        But the radioactive tuna?   That we can all care about.

        Humanity is getting what it deserves mostly because the conversation is about the radioactive tuna as opposed to stuff that really matters, and because many people who want to pretend they care do so in an environment of repeating chants and rhetoric that makes no sense.

        And one form of the chant goes like this:   "If only we'd listened to Jimmy Carter about solar energy?"

        We can all deplore - easily Romney's glib garbage - but, speaking for myself, and apparently, from what I gathered at the nuclear sections of the American Chemical Society meeting that I was able to squeeze in while I did my real job - for much of the rest of the scientific community that gathered to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Glenn Seaborg, who besides being one of the greatest American scientists who every lived, also oversaw, at least in the United States, the construction of the world's largest, by far, source of climate change gas free primary energy to this day.

        You took money for the solar enterprise and you're proud of it.

        Last spring, I asked David Eaglesham, the former CSO of First Solar - he gave a talk at Princeton's Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment - whether he favored the phase out of natural gas.   He had just completed a great talk about First Solar's plants next to gas plants, the point being that the solar industry would collapse in a New York second without gas.

        His answer to my question about a gas phase out:  "No."

        Do you favor the phase out of gas?   Any fossil fuel?  

        If so, how?   More solar and wind rhetoric?   You do realize that the portion of German electricity generation has risen since the nuclear shut down, and moreover that Germany can no longer export electricity to Eastern Europe, with the result that they are burning more coal?

        You could look it up.

        I do know how gas, oil and wind might have been phased out - although the die is cast and it will not happen - but I also know how fear, ignorance and superstition have prevented what might have been, thus dooming many, if not all, of the members of future generations to short and brutal lives.

        I keep track of the monthly data for concentration of the  dangerous fossil fuel waste carbon dioxide as measured at Mauna Loa, and have imported the data into an excel spreadsheet for analysis in particular to produce the year to year figures for each month.   This data for the 2011 to 2012 months has produced for January the 17th largest, for February, the 14th largest, for March the 12 largest increases ever recorded.

        No year to year increase in a particular month - with the exception of a few months of 2009 when many world factories shut - has been below the average recorded for the last decade has been below the half a century average at Mauna Loa but a reasonable understanding as to why the increases were not spectacular is the fact that many parts of the world - New Jersey included - didn't really have a winter, hence no heating.

        Then we get to April of 2012 compared to April of 2011.   The year to year increase was 2.05 ppm, in a single month, the second largest ever recorded, and May the 4th largest.    There has been only one month since, July, that wasn't in the top 8 for year to year increases in particular months.

        Pourquoi?   Let me tell you what I suspect:   Those were the precise months that Japan shut its nuclear plants for "stress tests" even though it is now clear that no one has died from the grand inability of Japanese nuclear plants to withstand a 9.0 earthquake and a 15 meter tsunami without producing any risks.

        Heckuva job anti-nukes.   You all must be very proud.

        How come?   Selective attention.   Twenty thousand real dead don't match the possibility of one nuclear death, just like the deaths of ten to fifty uranium miners don't count as much as the 3.3 million people who die each from air pollution.

        I suspect that the stress tests actually killed people, since there is not a single dangerous fossil fuel plant on this planet that doesn't automatically kill every time it's turned on.

        Guess what?   Japan didn't replace the shut reactors with solar and wind.    There is no industrial society on this planet that operates on solar and wind.   Zero.   None.  Zilch.

        Everything else was safe though, right?   No one died from buildings in the event with the earthquake and tsunami, no one died from dams, and no stress tests were required for buildings, and no one is talking about phasing out coastal cities, no one was injured by exploding refineries.   Am I right?

        Look it up.   Get back to me on it.   Inquiring minds want to know.

        You may look up the EIA figures for solar energy production if you wish, or you can take my word for it.    After more than half a century of unrestrained and uncritical cheering, it doesn't produce half an exajoule of usable energy on the entire planet.

        We're saved.

        Solar and wind will save us?   How come it hasn't done so after all this money and effort over the last 5 decades?

        Let me guess:  Because of Ronald Reagan.

        I am inclined to use the famous line of Joseph N Welch, used in another, completely different, context:    You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?  

        I voted for Jimmy Carter twice, but the truth is that his real energy policy involved kissing the ass of the guy who ran Savak, while all the time lecturing us on human rights.  He was also big on "setting an example" on nuclear fuel recycling because nuclear fuel reprocessing causes nuclear wars.    England, France, India and China couldn't care less about his christian example.  It seems though that France, Britain, India and Japan all reprocess used nuclear fuel.  

        How many nuclear wars have been observed since Carter was President?   How many oil wars, and oil derived terrorist attacks?

        We like to make fun of the Repukes and their scientific ignorance, but personally as a member of the party of Seaborg, I wonder about stones and glass (passively solar) houses.

        The public respect for science, left and right, is absymal, and that bodes poorly for the American - and the world - future.

        Anyway, thanks for reminding us how wonderful solar is, even if I for one doubt that solar energy could power even half the computers dedicated to telling us how great it is.

        Heckuva job.   Congratulations.   You must be very proud.

        Have a nice day tomorrow.

        •  Pretty much killed the credibility of this ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... blog post within the comment thread with:

          Solar energy continues to be an expensive and wasteful failure by which, in effect, the bourgeois rob the poor.
          Where you combine ignoring the fact that passive solar by design is already economic in much of the country, the dramatic price drops in PV solar power in the past five years and the neoliberal fantasy that government spending in an economy spending over 90% of its time far from full employment is somehow "robbing the poor".

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 05:39:39 AM PDT

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