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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:21 PM

Well, sure, there in the desert, whaddya expect?





In case you missed it: http://sync.democraticunderground.com/10022333971

22 replies, 1594 views

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Reply Well, sure, there in the desert, whaddya expect? (Original post)
Scuba Feb 2013 OP
AndyA Feb 2013 #1
Politicalboi Feb 2013 #2
Scuba Feb 2013 #4
freshwest Feb 2013 #8
steve2470 Feb 2013 #3
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #5
Chico Man Feb 2013 #10
OldDem2012 Feb 2013 #17
Chico Man Feb 2013 #19
Uncle Joe Feb 2013 #6
cascadiance Feb 2013 #7
Chico Man Feb 2013 #9
Scuba Feb 2013 #11
Chico Man Feb 2013 #14
Scuba Feb 2013 #15
Chico Man Feb 2013 #16
hunter Feb 2013 #12
Scuba Feb 2013 #13
hunter Feb 2013 #20
malaise Feb 2013 #18
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #21
MadHound Feb 2013 #22

Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:29 PM

1. We are so behind much of the world in so many ways

Germany also has universal health care. Everyone is covered, coverage is portable, inexpensive, and families there don't go broke and lose everything.

Apparently, they are more advanced when it comes to producing green energy as well.

What, the Germans don't have a bunch of politicians on the take or something?

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:29 PM

2. Didn't you hear

Germany has more sun than the US.



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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:30 PM

4. Thanks for this link!

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Response to Politicalboi (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:34 PM

8. Excellent, thanks for the video. Been pushing green since Day One. Let's support future generations.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:30 PM

3. great thread, thanks nt

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:38 PM

5. How much you want to bet that major corporations own the patents for....

...most, if not all, alternative energy in the US?

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:02 PM

10. Is this a problem?

Seems GE is on board.

http://www.ecomagination.com/

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Response to Chico Man (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:04 PM

17. If it wasn't a problem, we would have seen major wind farms decades ago. nt.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:53 PM

19. Supply and demand

If the traditional sources of energy are expensive, we would see more wind farms.

Many communities push back wind farms because they are considered an eye sore

That being said, the largest wind farms I've seen in my travels have been in Texas and France.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 03:45 PM

6. Not desert, but dessert, Germany has more German Chocolate cakes than any other nation.

All chocolate cakes baked in Germany are De Facto German Chocolate cakes, in essence, they have a monopoly on desserts.

Of course, this overwhelming advantage in desserts has enabled Germany's ascension on the solar energy front.

The U.S. may have Apple Pie but apples are seasonal and sometimes they have worms, chocolate is forever so if it isn't chocolate, what's the point?

Thanks for the thread, Scuba.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:14 PM

7. If we don't stop global warming soon, they just might be in a desert at some point!

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:00 PM

9. We still need to address the toxicity of photovoltaic cell production

http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/photovoltaic-pv/solar-powers-toxic-footprint.html

That's still significantly less hazardous waste than is produced per kilowatt-hour by conventional sources of power like coal and even "clean-burning" natural gas, of course, and much of the toxic stuff formed when fossil fuels are burned is dispersed throughout our air and water rather than sequestered in hazmat facilities.

Still, it does no one good to pretend this issue doesn't exist. And for that reason, solar trade groups' quotes in Dearen's article are dispiriting. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), for instance, is pushing a voluntary environmental responsibility pledge, but they're not pushing it too hard: SEIA has 81 member corporations that are solar manufacturers, and only 7 have signed.

Especially as manufacturing moves to countries like China where environmental and workplace safety laws are next to nonexistent, we can't afford to greenwash the actual impact of photovoltaic panels, lest someone else pay the environmental price for our green lifestyle.

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Response to Chico Man (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:11 PM

11. Yes, the production of photovoltaic cells produces hazardous waste ...

... contained, hazardous waste.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:39 PM

14. The solar waste is transported too

Nothing says it won't spill or leak.

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Response to Chico Man (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:42 PM

15. Yeah, but we don't try to get it from five miles under the ocean.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:46 PM

16. I'm not arguing with you there

The general perception is that solar and wind does not produce waste, and this is a fallacy.

There is the problem of production waste and also the waste of old panels.

While I applaud the efforts of finding new sources of energy, our true focus should be on reduction of consumption through technological innovation. We waste a hell of a lot of the energy we produce.

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:25 PM

12. What the hell is "22 gigawatts of electricity per hour?"

Seriously, that doesn't make any sense.

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Response to Scuba (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:14 PM

20. It ought to be simply "gigawatts" without the "per hour."

Somebody didn't know what they were talking about. I'll be generous and attribute the error to some nameless copy editor and not the reporter.

More importantly, since solar power plants don't run 24/7 like fossil fuel or nuclear plants, something has got to pick up the slack when the sun is not shining. In Germany this is generally coal, natural gas, or imported nuclear power. Germany has replaced its own nuclear power plants with coal and natural gas plants disguised by a pleasant veneer wind and solar.

Someone at wikipedia has fixed the Reuters report, explaining it this way:

At 25 May 2012, a Saturday, solar power reached a new record with feeding 22 GW, as much as 20 nuclear power stations, into the German power grid, which made 50% of the nations midday's electricity demand, this day.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_Germany


Solar and wind are never going to replace coal or natural gas. The only way to stop burning fossil fuels is to shut down the fossil fuel plants in the same manner that nuclear plants were shut down. But the economic "productivity" of any nation that did that would take a serious hit. Most energy intensive industries would simply die. Things like steel or aluminum are simply too expensive to make without cheap 24/7 power.

Economies are going to die anyways because of climate change (among other things) but it would be nice if we could spin down these current unsustainable economies gracefully without depending on famine, pestilence, and genocide to reduce our numbers and energy consumption to levels that are sustainable.

I usually make these discussions personal. Anyone here can cut their household electricity consumption to zero without much trouble. All you have to do is walk out to the main circuit breaker and flip it off. Then what?

My wife and I know people who live pretty close to that. There are two sorts: those who are wealthy enough to afford solar power, batteries, water heaters, etc., and those who live very simply. Not many people are wealthy enough to go all solar, and not many people are willing to live very simply. That's the root of the problem. We have a friend who doesn't heat or cool her house, and my dad was like that when I was a kid, but this is in a climate where that's possible without too much discomfort or inconvenience. Nevertheless I still find myself turning on the heat even when I'm the only one in the house. 65 degrees I can live with, but the fifties or forties (as I remember some childhood winters...), no thanks. If I can't ban my own use of fossil fuels, how am I not part of the problem?

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:12 PM

18. They just get on with it while wing nuts whine

Great thread

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Response to Scuba (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:35 PM

21. Amazing! For what it's worth, I just fact checked this graphic and the info is correct

 

In America we would need five times this amount just to replace our existing nuke plants.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:39 PM

22. Well, the funny thing is, with all our space, and all our rooftops,

 

It wouldn't be impossible at all to replace not just nuclear power, but gas and coal power as well.

But the problem with that is there is a vested interest in preserving centralized power production, a relative few, but powerful people are making a ton of money with the centralized system, and they're not going to give that pot of gold up without a fight.

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