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View Diary: Bush claiming 'Energy Independence' mantle already - UPDATE (189 comments)

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  •  Energy independence... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, luckydog, BruceMcF

    makes sense from whatever angle you choose to look at it from. It makes fiscal sense, it makes environmental sense and it makes security sense. If we get off carbon, we'll be richer, cleaner and safer.

    Of course, I'd love for the Dems to be the ones who benefit from fixing the problem, but in the end, politics is a lot less important than solving the problem. I don't care who gets it done so long as it gets done.

    -7.63, -7.59 "You've got to be optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one." -WR

    by droogie6655321 on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 06:24:54 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  part of the message, it seems... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerome a Paris

      ...should be the Repubs will not get it done. What the WH will propose / is proposing will be re-treads of past window-dressing.

      There's a consistent theme in WH-Repub efforts over the last six years*...they keep saying the same things, and those things don't work to solve the problems.

      • it's actually alot longer than six years, tho' using six years probably hangs this on BushCo's neck better.
    •  There is no existing technology (0+ / 0-)

      to get us off carbon based fuels.  Even the IAE understands that carbon emissions are going to rise for the next 25 years unless there is a technological breakthrough.

      The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

      by deathsinger on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 07:16:32 AM PST

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      •  Spectrum of solutions (0+ / 0-)

        Plug-in hybrids using clean electricity from nuclear plants.  A railway system that uses clean electricity instead of diesel.  Better renewables technology and energy storage technology.

        We might not be able to wean ourselves completely but we could go a long way.

        The problem is that hydrocarbons are such efficient and portable energy containers.

        ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

        by Plan9 on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 08:38:25 AM PST

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        •  There are so (0+ / 0-)

          many people in opposition to nuclear power I don't know if that can even get off the ground.  Furthermore there is so much opposition to transmission lines (NIMBY) I don't see how we can make plug-ins work on a massive scale.  Even with plug ins, you run into the huge, unresolved problem of battery disposal.

          The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

          by deathsinger on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 08:51:09 AM PST

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          •  53% of Dems favor nuclear power; 72% of (0+ / 0-)

            ...people under the age of 30 do.  This is according to a recent LA Times survey.

            A survey of over 1000 people who live within a ten-mile radius of a number of nuclear plants around the US indicated that over 80% approve of expansion of nuclear power.  Their electric bills have remained low because nuclear power is cheaper per kwh than coal in some areas.

            Nuclear power is the only clean, large-scale electricity source we have.  It is the biggest displacer of greenhouse gases in the world.  

            People are also opposed to wind farms (NIMBY).

            I agree that there are problems due to misperceptions and history.

            It's true that battery disposal is already a problem, but I don't see how it's insoluble.  Many other objects we use are destined for toxic waste dumps--like photovoltaics and semi-conductors.  We must develop better battery technology.  It CAN be done if we focus on that.

            Agree about transmission lines being a problem too.  Is there some reason they can't be buried?

            ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

            by Plan9 on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 09:03:52 AM PST

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            •  I wasn't speaking so much (0+ / 0-)

              about the general public, I was speaking about the environmental lobby.  Too many people want a 100% guarantee about nuclear power.  I think the major objection is the waste.  What do you do to keep it out of hands of people haters?  Post a diary here on dKos and see the vehement objections you get from people to nuclear power.  They might be in the minority, but they are VERY vocal.

              High voltage transmission lines are rarely buried.  They are run under water in some cases, but if you wanted to bury the lines of any decently sized power plant you are talking about a massive amount of cabling to be buried.  HV lines are not insulated, so they are dissipating heat (which is the line loss).  There is a company working on a solution (increasing the capacity of the existing towers) to get more power to places fighting the right of way for lines, but it is still in the research phase.

              As for battery technology, my father is supposed to give me something about Russian capacitor technology this weekend.  Batteries don't work in Siberia too well so the Russians designed high capacity capacitors.  Because they don't have the cycle problems that batteries have they could be the future.

              The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

              by deathsinger on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 09:24:19 AM PST

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              •  Enviros (I am one) are coming around (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                deathsinger

                All your points are well taken.  It's true that some parts of the environmental lobby remain stuck in a welter of misconceptions.  But because of the enormous implications of global warming, people are beginning to understand that nuclear energy is going to be an important  factor in terms of new energy production.  Patrick Moore, a founder of Greenpeace, now supports it.  James "Gaia" Lovelock, a principal member of Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy does.  Stewart Brand is an advocate.  Al Gore has said that nuclear power has a role to play.  He knows very well that there is no way to meet Kyoto protocols without it.

                The countries in Europe with the lowest per capita carbon emissions are those that rely on nuclear (France) or on a combo of nuclear and hydro (Sweden, Switzerland).

                Nuclear waste (defense-related) is being safely stored half a mile underground in a remote salt bed in NM. The site is impermeable thanks to the geological attributes of the area.  Once the repository has been filled it the shafts will be sealed.  It would take a great effort to get the waste.  The most radioactive of it will decay the most rapidly.

                Yucca Mountain, where spent nuclear fuel will be stored, is quite inaccessible.  It's in a sacrifice zone where dozens of nuclear weapons were tested, the repository is deep inside a mountain, and the spent fuel will be put in special corrosion-resistant canisters and protected from the small amount of water that might leak in over the eons.  The shafts will be sealed, etc.  Only about 0.01% of the waste will remain toxic in the long run.

                It's likely that in a few decades that instead of our discarding spent nuclear fuel after one trip through the reactor, its remaining energy--over 98%--will be recycled.  After several trips through reactors, the waste is of a very small volume.

                Even without recycling, all the spent nuclear fuel since the inception of nuclear utilities in the US could fit into a single football field.  You sure can't say that about the trillions of tons of coal waste generated during the same 40 years of operation.

                Until I understood these facts (as opposed to erroneous claims made by the anti-nuclear people) I was opposed to nuclear energy myself.  But the specter of catastrophic global warming concentrates the mind wonderfully.

                Interesting about the Russian capacitors.

                ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

                by Plan9 on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 10:10:18 AM PST

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                •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                  Here is some quote on Gore's views on Nuclear power as an energy alternative:

                  Gore touched on nuclear power as a palliative for global warming but made it clear that this is at best a partial solution. Nuclear power inevitably raises questions of nuclear arms proliferation, he said.

                  http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                  While I am not opposed to nuclear power and expect to see some modest increased use of nuclear reactors, I doubt that they will play a significant role in most countries as a new source of electricity.

                  http://atomic.thepodcastnetwork.com/...

                  ``I have disagreed with those who would classify nuclear energy as clean or renewable,'' Gore said in a letter to Harvey Wasserman of the Ohio-based Nuclear Information and Resources Center.

                  http://www.commondreams.org/...

                  I interpret his statements as: Nuclear power maybe a necessary temporary measure, but it is not renewable or the "go to" approach.

                  ~~~~~~~~

                  I am personally open to all options, but the devil is always in the details on these things.

                  •  correction: 'are some quotes' (0+ / 0-)

                    trust me, my typos are are all my doing, not my teachers' :)

                  •  Haven't seen you in forever (0+ / 0-)

                    how are things?

                    Gore is a politician, not a scientist.  I don't think he understands that there is simply no way to lower worldwide total carbon emissions at this time.  The technology just doesn't exist.  The global warming argument really needs to be about spending money on R&D for the future.  Bio-fuels, nuclear, even wind can't get us there.  Scientists and economists know this.

                    The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.

                    by deathsinger on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 01:45:12 PM PST

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                  •  Gore is being very careful (0+ / 0-)

                    He may be running for office, and may worry about losing his base if he endorses nuclear power.His concerns about the drawbacks are legit.  And he may be correct about reactors playing only a minor role in many countries.  

                    But he also said in 1996 at a dedication of a memorial at Chernobyl that safely run nuclear power has a place in the world's energy supply.

                    The most optimistic predictions about wind suggest that by 2050 the US could be getting 20% of its electricity from wind.

                    That leaves about 75%.  Is it going to come from fossil fuels, or is it worth expanding nuclear power to fill in?

                    Gore's father was instrumental in setting up commercial nuclear power in this country.

                    I love what Gore has done to promote global warming, despite some errors in fact in his film.  I hope he continues.  Because at some point he may come to the same conclusion that Hugh Montefiore, on the board of Friends of the Earth, did:  That nuclear power is  the only large-scale way we have at present to mitigate greenhouse gases.

                    ...it always turns out that no one is in charge of the things that really matter.--Deborah Eisenberg, Twilight of the Superheroes

                    by Plan9 on Fri Nov 10, 2006 at 01:50:48 PM PST

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            •  I wonder if you can give me a reference for the (0+ / 0-)

              polls.   That is if you see this message.

              I would appreciate it.

              I think it is absurd that the entire planet is not devoting enormous effort to the expansion of nuclear energy.    Reactors are being planned and built, more than 200, but its hardly enough

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