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The "Scientific American" energy solution

by Dragon / September 14, 2008 1:00 PM PDT
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Interesting proposal
by grimgraphix / September 14, 2008 1:43 PM PDT

I doubt if there is any chance that this might happen any time soon. The US population is not under enough pressure to call for any real push to alternative energy resources at this time and the only way private industry will invest in it is if the Fed creates generous tax breaks for investment.

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The "Scientific American" energy solution?
by taboma / September 14, 2008 3:27 PM PDT

That would be GREAT!!! I would be 110 years old!
Good for my kids and further generations.
I do not think it will happen at all by 2050 or even 3050.
I am a member of the Scientific American Society.


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It could happen sooner
by Dragon / September 15, 2008 12:54 AM PDT

Just need public awareness and will.

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Pie in the sky
by critic411 / September 15, 2008 1:20 AM PDT

"But $420 billion in subsidies from 2011 to 2050 would be required to fund the infrastructure and make it cost-competitive."

Given the way the feds work, I would expect that number to triple very quickly.

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One of the authors, Ken Zweibel says:
by Dragon / September 16, 2008 2:01 PM PDT
In reply to: Pie in the sky

Here's a number to think about - $500B.

That's about how much we would be transferring off-shore per year to buy oil at $100 per barrel.

Sometime sooner than we think, we have to stop doing this.

If we domesticate energy supply, that money stays here and most of it gets invested in our own resources and labor.

These practical facts may mean more than anything else. We just can't afford to do this much longer.

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"... do this much longer,
by drpruner / September 16, 2008 4:00 PM PDT
and fight a couple of wars.
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It's NOT a transfer
by critic411 / September 16, 2008 8:56 PM PDT

You are BUYING something.

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500 billion in oil purchasing is not an investment
by grimgraphix / September 16, 2008 10:28 PM PDT
In reply to: It's NOT a transfer

Yes, you are "buying something"... and the money you are buying the oil with be going towards the GDP of countries other than the USA.

At least the fallacious idea of trickle down economics recognizes money needs to stay within an economy to benefit that economy.

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Who cares where the money goes?
by critic411 / September 16, 2008 10:38 PM PDT

Other countries buy products FROM us

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by Dragon / September 17, 2008 2:14 AM PDT

Built a bunch of standardized nuclear plants and ended up selling surplus electricity. Now, they are going to upgrade all plants with new technology.

Looks like we could build our own energy production instead of buying it from other countries, which BTW, can't continue that production forever.

For some time, I've considered energy to be a national security issue. Palin agrees with me, too. Happy

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Easy answer
by critic411 / September 17, 2008 2:25 AM PDT
In reply to: France

"Drill here, Drill NOW"

We have more untapped energy supplie then we know what to do with.

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I don't think so.
by Dragon / September 17, 2008 1:08 PM PDT
In reply to: Easy answer

Well, maybe NOW we do, but this plan is talking about decades from now. The cost of oil is not going to be static, and the supply will be dwindling. The plan would be equal to thousands of nuclear plants -- I'd have to look it up to find out. Each plant costs billions of dollars.

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I don't think so.
by taboma / September 17, 2008 4:35 PM PDT
In reply to: I don't think so.

Dragon, about a year ago there was a post on Speakeasy referring to the dwindling oil reserves from countries such as Saudia Arabia. Their oil reserves will probably run out in 2050.
Meanwhile the vast amount of the US oil reserves have not even been tapped. When the US starts producing and selling the oil reserves to the rest of the world?"the rest of the world will hate us even more!!!"

I remember that post. Sadly, probably true.

Off Subject: I canned my oil burner and installed a heat pump for heat and A/C as of Aug. 23rd. The A/C works great. I hope we will have a mild winter in New England. My oil bill last year was $3470 for home heating. My last quote for home heating oil was $4.799 per gallon in August. Not good.


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I like solar (includes wind, BTW).
by drpruner / September 17, 2008 4:52 PM PDT

Corruption and folly will be a part of any proposed system, just as it is now. At least solar is cleaner physically, if not politically. Happy

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I just wonder how much Gov money
by Dragon / September 18, 2008 10:19 AM PDT

is going into nuclear power, or for that matter, farm subsidies. Solar would pay for itself.

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How so?
by EdHannigan / September 18, 2008 10:29 AM PDT

And why wouldn't nuclear pay for itself?

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We would need over 2000 nuclear plants
by Dragon / September 18, 2008 10:43 AM PDT
In reply to: How so?

Do you think that's feasible in the US?

BTW, DESERTEC is the European equivalent to what the SA article was talking about. I haven't had time to read their site, but I think they are ahead of the curve.

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I am in favor of many different kinds of power plants....
by EdHannigan / September 18, 2008 10:51 AM PDT

WSooner or later one kinds will probably dominate.

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re I am in favor of many different kinds of power plants...
by Dragon / September 18, 2008 12:35 PM PDT

The authors of the SA plan are, too. They believe all sources of renewable energy should be actively pursued.

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Bad link; I think this is it.
by drpruner / September 18, 2008 1:47 PM PDT
As you see by "concept" it's a consortium of some kind. Actual? Proposed? I'll look it over later.
My Yahoo search on "desertech" got as many relevant hits as the correct spelling BTW.
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I don't know that it has, at least here.
by drpruner / September 18, 2008 1:49 PM PDT
In reply to: How so?

Regulations, higher insurance since We Almost Lost Detroit, materials costs. I think it may have made money in Europe.
Probably Chernobyl, too; cheaper construction. SadHappy

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Farm subsidies is a safe topic,
by drpruner / September 18, 2008 1:43 PM PDT

because I don't know of an administration since the War (Truman, not Johnson) that has made any headway on it. It's in the Bible, even.
"The corporate farmer you will have with you always."

I think.

Maybe just seems like it.

How many scanning reflectors does it represent, do you think?

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I'd like to see one of those NY Telephone directory sized
by Ziks511 / September 21, 2008 9:47 PM PDT

analyses of the budget noting where every penny goes, and how much goes to companies who claim to believe in Free Enterprise, the bailouts of private concerns, and dozens of other non-believers in Government intervention. I can understand bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, although I think their terms of reference should have forbidden them to become exposed to sub-prime lending, because we're talking about people's homes. But how many homes are we really talking about? An awful lot of people own their homes, and surely after all this time that's a pretty large number, ?more than half? And if we did look deep into how many homes are covered by this huge multi billion dollar bail out, I think we're going to find fingerprints on the cookie jar from some people who "don't believe in government involvement in the economy".

The paradigm of Free Enterprise, after all, is piracy. Owing nothing to nobody, acknowledging no governments or alliances, no government regulation, devil take the hindmost, freebooting theft from everybody else and keeping for oneself. Even if we could talk about a production economy in the United States (and we can't), the concept of a just return on investment appears to have gone right out the window to be replaced by rapacity and greed, and there's no more perfect example of that greed than moving manufacturing off-shore because it's cheaper. Doesn't the fact that Phil Knight takes $10 worth of material, and about $6 worth of Guatemalan labour and sells his product for $200+ say anything to people (other than quick let's do it ourselves). If the price of a secure economy is paying a bit more so that Americans can have jobs at decent wages, why do we all shop at WalMart. We're cutting our own throats economically, and eventually somebody's going to catch on (probably China) and we'll all be in much deeper doo-doo than we are now.


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I like solar (includes wind, BTW).
by taboma / September 19, 2008 3:39 PM PDT

drpruner, Wind Turbines:
When the wind blows, the energy flows.
When I was visiting in Izmire, Turkey, Nov., 2005, I viewed several areas with massive wind turbine power complexes near the coast.
Same goes for Belgium, Holland, and all of the Netherlands with wind turbines that I saw last year in April, 2007.
I wonder why the U.S. is so far behind the rest of the world with adapting wind power turbines!? Cheaper than a Nuke plant and the wind is a FREE constant energy source!!


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Dragon's link, which I improved here
by drpruner / September 19, 2008 3:55 PM PDT

"Bad link; I think this is it.", above,
has some interesting worldwide setups proposed.
They have addressed a key problem- moving the juice to populated areas which are often distant from the best wind sites.

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