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Environment & Energy

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(60,212 posts)
Mon May 21, 2012, 04:07 PM May 2012

The *official* complain about XemaSab thread [View all]

Last edited Fri May 25, 2012, 04:54 PM - Edit history (1)

We all know that I am a terrible person who has totally crushed the morale of E/E by banning people I don't like, locking threads I don't agree with, and generally throwing around my dictatorial might.

My latest outrage is petitioning to have a group started so that all the people who are opposed to nukes can have their own group where they don't have to live under the yoke of my oppressive regime.

But how evil am I really?

I used to be against nuclear energy under any circumstances, but after a few years here it became clear that renewable energy has significant problems that will keep us from going 100% renewable any time in the foreseeable future.

According to the wikipedia, this is where energy in the US came from in 2009:

Note well that solar, wind, and geothermal together were 3.6% of our electrical generation, and nuclear was 20.3%. Conventional hydro was 6.9%.

I think we should make it a priority to get off that 44.9% from coal ASAP, and right after that we should try to cut way, way, way down on that 23.4% from natural gas. (And I'm not even talking about oil, just electrical generation.)

Between coal and natural gas, we would have to replace up to 68.3% of our existing generation. If we throw nuclear out of the mix, that number goes up to 88.6%. No amount of light-bulb changing or window-replacing is going to get us there.

Meanwhile, although there have been many significant advances made in renewable technology, there are serious limitations to the existing technologies.

Wind energy is very irregular, and needs to be buffered out with hydro power or natural gas. I think there are many places that are great for wind energy, but I am very uncomfortable with the thought of putting heavy machinery in our forests and other wild places. Of the wind farms that I have seen in California (Altamont, Hatchet Ridge, Bird Landing, Tehachapi, that one up above San Luis, and that one south of Joshua Tree, the one south of Joshua Tree is the only one that isn't smack in the middle of a wide area of good open habitat. The others are in the middle of grasslands, woodlands, and forests that don't currently have a large human footprint.

Similarly, solar energy does not provide a steady source of power either. That being said, I am a huge fan of solar panels, and I think we should put panels on houses, municipal buildings, parking lots, and brownfields as quickly as possible. It costs money, yes, but it creates jobs, saves the planet, provides shade, and generates energy right where it is needed.

I don't think huge solar farms out in the desert make any sense other than from a capitalist standpoint. These solar farms are built out there because it's public land. I think there's a lot of sleaziness that goes along with these projects, and the point of a lot of the projects isn't to generate clean energy but rather to generate venture capital. Because it's supposedly "clean" and because nobody gives a shit about the desert, there isn't a lot of scrutiny of these projects, but again, why are we so willing to put industrial equipment out in wild areas? Even the supporters of these projects say that we would need 10,000 square miles of desert covered in solar panels to power the US (though I don't remember whether this is for 24 hours of energy or for just peak usage). Why is it acceptable to take 10,000 square miles of open space and pave it over so that we can run our flat screen TVs and keep our McMansions at 68 degrees all summer? If we were talking about paving over ONE square mile of ANWR or Yellowstone or the Everglades or the Amazon rainforest there would be riots in the streets, but because it's the desert it's ok to trash it.

Geothermal is great. I can see two massive active volcanoes from my house, so why should I get any of my energy from fossil fuels at all? It's good for baseload, it's totally clean, and it never runs out.

I don't see our large dams all going away any time soon, so we may as well get as much energy from them as possible for now.

In summary, I think the future looks good for renewable energy, but I am worried that we will destroy more of our open space in the name of saving the planet. I think we need to keep our nuclear plants running while we are figuring out how to scale up our renewables. Right now if we got rid of nuclear energy, it would just mean burning more fossil fuels, and that is a step backwards.

16 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
This is a well-reasoned position
13 (81%)
I respectfully disagree with your thinking
2 (13%)
You are a cancerous tumor on the ass of humanity and you deserve to die horribly
1 (6%)
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You fail to address the "how" of an energy transition kristopher May 2012 #1
The magic hand waving is done by those championing a "renewable transition." joshcryer May 2012 #39
I must vehemently disagree.... mike_c May 2012 #2
I totally hear what you're saying, and I respect it XemaSab May 2012 #3
On what do you base your assessment of renewable energy? kristopher May 2012 #4
if we accept the graphic in the OP... mike_c May 2012 #7
See post 8 kristopher May 2012 #10
See the graph in Post #5 OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #19
Pssst. Wind is also Solar. NYC_SKP May 2012 #63
What constitutes "statistically meaningful dents" OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #5
It had better be lots more than that. FBaggins May 2012 #21
"rapid growth in wind power over the next handful of years" OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #23
You're right. FBaggins May 2012 #24
Storage solutions arenít that hard to find OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #25
We're talking 2035 here... FBaggins May 2012 #27
As I said, we have a number of technologies OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #34
Another analogy OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #37
Space-based Solar Power OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #38
If SpaceX can get grasshopper working with Falcon 9H then SBSP becomes somewhat viable. joshcryer May 2012 #46
U.S. wind generation increased 27% in 2011 OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #26
Yep... FBaggins May 2012 #28
The industry is expecting 8-10GW/yr of new capacity for the next several years. nt kristopher May 2012 #30
"The industry"? FBaggins May 2012 #32
Was it presented as unbiased fact? kristopher May 2012 #35
The reason? Because it is the EIA, they ALWAYS sandbag renewables. kristopher May 2012 #31
Except that that doesn't describe the graph. FBaggins May 2012 #33
It provides a starting point where EIA projections have a defacto lack of validity. kristopher May 2012 #36
WEO's growth predictions have been spot on, and they're not much better. joshcryer May 2012 #40
Perhaps... kristopher May 2012 #42
Yes, I do consider them accurate. joshcryer May 2012 #43
In a long list of meaningless rationalizations, kristopher May 2012 #44
We're talking about whether or not renewable production is putting a dent in CO2 production. joshcryer May 2012 #45
Whatever dud. kristopher May 2012 #47
It is a very bad thing that AGW is being white washed by people saying we're doing enough. joshcryer May 2012 #48
The world situation is just as bad GliderGuider May 2012 #6
IPCC review of 160 scientific studies kristopher May 2012 #8
"technically and politically very challenging" GliderGuider May 2012 #9
Classic... kristopher May 2012 #11
Cheer up, have some flowers. GliderGuider May 2012 #12
That's code language for "we ain't doing shit." joshcryer May 2012 #41
Most people agree with "renewable energy sources can contribute substantially to human well-being". Nihil May 2012 #16
For that post to be meaningful kristopher May 2012 #18
Well, letís let the IPCC speak for themselves OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #22
Sure they've included nuclear in many of their studies. kristopher May 2012 #29
Gen IV won't come online for another quarter century if that. joshcryer May 2012 #49
"Generation IV nuclear-energy technologies that may become operational after about 2030Ö" OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #50
I'll take that as an oblique criticism of my position. kristopher May 2012 #51
The same tack is taken against Space Based Solar Power for example OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #52
Where did I say that Gen IV *cannot* be part of a *long-term* solution? kristopher May 2012 #53
You were replying to my reply to Josh OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #54
You made a sweeping statement kristopher May 2012 #55
I did not say "it could not be done at all." I said it won't solve the problem. joshcryer May 2012 #58
There is no short-term solution, only long-term solutions OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #59
I do hate gratuitous 3-D, particularly when useful information is lost to it OKIsItJustMe May 2012 #20
There are so many things wrong in what you wrote, I don't know where to start. nt bananas May 2012 #13
So you got nothin', then XemaSab May 2012 #14
The inability to be 100% renewable in the foreseeable future does not equal.... Scuba May 2012 #15
Not evil in the slightest ... Nihil May 2012 #17
Update on my evilness: XemaSab May 2012 #56
BREAKING: XemaSab May 2012 #57
And several hours later ... Nihil May 2012 #60
Somehow I got stuck sleeping with them XemaSab May 2012 #61
I spent the day birding XemaSab May 2012 #62
I think ticks should go extinct XemaSab May 2012 #64
XemaSab's F350 CrewCab Dually Diesel, with Leather.... Excessive, IMO. NYC_SKP May 2012 #65
I need it to carry the dogs around in XemaSab May 2012 #66
I made a dent in turning a weedy mess into a vegetable garden XemaSab May 2012 #67
This morning I woke up and said to myself XemaSab Jul 2012 #68
Being a host is a thankless task. GliderGuider Jul 2012 #69
Hosting is the perfect solution for those who feel pscot Jul 2012 #70
One of the things that's a hugh bummer about being a host XemaSab Nov 2012 #71
:thumbs: stuntcat Nov 2012 #72
Your name starts with an "X." I find this intolerable. GreenPartyVoter Nov 2012 #73
A very reasoned position, and welcome to the club. wtmusic Nov 2012 #74
Several thumbs down on your opening paragraphs, ... CRH Nov 2012 #75
This is a well-reasoned position, AND I respectfully disagree. nt Speck Tater Nov 2012 #76
If we all agreed with each other all the time XemaSab Nov 2012 #77
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