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Alternative energy looking better - but only in reality

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatsFanInVa, May 15, 2010.

  1. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Saw on the "Captivate" screen in the elevator that we might have lower gas prices this summer.

    Yah.

    Your buddies the oil companies are taking a bath in loose crude in the gulf of Mexico, oh and by the way, we all have to take that bath with them, wildlife included.

    Yet somehow, magically, our supply of gasoline will be higher than demand for it.

    Market manipulation, anybody?

    We're dealing with corporations with profits in the billions... price fixing is a natural. There's enough padding to lower or raise our prices on a whim.

    At any rate, as we go through this summer's idiotic posts talking about how the oil corporations are really very nice guys when you get right down to it, I hope at least some of us will remember BP, Halliburton, and Oceanic all pointing fingers at each other while the hole they poked in the sea bed belches crude oil all over the coast, the coastal wildlife, and the yummy seafood we all know and love, at least for now.

    Windmills do not do this. Neither do solar panels.

    Of course what matters is when alternative energy sources are cost-competitive. Of course, if we count the cost of oil wars in our gas prices, well, the numbers start to look different, though not different enough.

    When the go-juice runs dry - or when it's only available in places where we have no clue what we're doing, like the deep water drilling in the Gulf - and when the oil companies are liable for any amount of cleanup costs (currently capped at the decimal-dust figure of $75 million per incident,) maybe the economics will get in line with common sense.

    Build fu(king windmills. Build fu(king solar farms. I'm tired of it. I was tired of it as a kid in the mid 70s, and everybody was talking about how unfeasible it was then - even though the technology, though crude, was there.

    10 million people without jobs. Billions of gallons of crude spilling into the gulf. Vast wind-swept and sun-drenched plains and deserts. You do the fu(king math.

    The CCC built public works like the Hoover Dam. Eisenhower built the Interstates. China is out-investing us in green energy, because they want to own the future.

    We apparently want to own the past, and pretend it's the future.

    Note to our president, congress, and policymakers of all varieties: structure our bloody incentives to things we need like alternative energy, not to pay unproductive farmers and ranches to be even less productive, then pay them again to lease their land for hunting and fishing use (yeah, that's in our system too.)

    Do. Stuff. We. Need.

    Nation-building: It's not just for Somalia.

    PFnV
  2. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    Good post, patsfan.

    This is one where the right fails. For all the talk of national security, they fail to realize that this is a national security issue.

    I'm for smaller government, but this is an area where the government can and should play a role. The market is certainly demonstrating more interest in this area, but the government should (and is, to an extent) supplement the market.

    (btw, funny how you never hear those "small govt, fiscal conservative" repubs complaining about the funding you mentioned for farms and ranchers, huh? I guess it's because they're the "real America"...)

    only thing I disagree with is your take on the oil cos. They're doing what they're supposed to do. It's our government that's to blame if we limit their liability to relatively trifling amounts. BP, for example, should be paying for all of the cleanup costs as well as damages to everybody whose livelihood they're now affecting.
  3. SanAngeloState

    SanAngeloState Banned

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    None of that makes any economic sense.

    Prices of oil have fallen as the european mess has gotten bigger...smaller economies have lower demand for oil so the price has fallen.

    That one well in the gulf hasn't actually produced any oil and when it does produce it will probably be about one tenth of one percent of the world's 80 million barrel per day oil demand.

    So I don't get your logic. They lose money (or one does) so prices SHOULD go up (why?), but they go down which means collusion? IE they shouldn't have been that high in the first place! How is that remotely logical?

    Oil companies don't set oil prices. something like 3/4 of all oil production is held by state oil companies, saudi aramco, iran, venezuela, kuwait...did you know that? Or are you operating under the ridiculous assumption that US oil companies produce all the oil in the world?

    "But OPEC is a cartel! They restrict supply". They do, but in the long run prices probably wouldn't be any lower. The price has to be high to develop new oil fields which are very expensive...and new oil fields have to be developed as the old ones run out. Prices could fall lower with no cartel, but they'd probably rebound higher. And US companies aren't in OPEC.

    Oil is a liquid fuel, very energy dense per kg. Solar energy is electricity which can't be stored except in batteries. It's also intermittent and unpredictable. Windmills have the same drawbacks, they can't supply power 24/7 or when needed. They need expensive backup plants to even out their electricity flow. You remind me of this woman who had the brilliant idea of putting a solar cell on a car. She was sure that "big oil was stifling this!". Just a typical idiot..the solar flux in a sunny clime is 1000w/m^2 at noon...with the efficiency of solar cells you'd need about 600 square meters of it to power a 100 hp car. Brilliant! And it runs about $1000 per square meter. Just get the gov't to pay for it!
  4. Gunnails

    Gunnails Rookie

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    Not only that, but we were suppose to have Jet packs by now,,,,,
    Where is my f9ucking jet pack?
  5. Gunnails

    Gunnails Rookie

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    And nobody even talks about flying cars anymore, whats up with that.
  6. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Jet is a word that is seldom spoken here, as this is sacred, hallowed ground.
  7. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    They say this has enough redundancies to be idiot proof. I dunno if that covers Jets fans or not. Use it at your own risk.
  8. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    He really meant to say Rat pack.
  9. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You pay for profits, good times or bad. The fact that BP is fouling the entire Gulf coast was the point of mentioning the current disaster. And the fact that we subsidize this fouling of our environment, by refusing to make them foot the bill (socialism when you fail, capitalism when you succeed,) is the economic import of that fact. You will pay - again - for BP's fu(kup.

    There is legislation in the works to change this state of affairs, something our president promises will happen ("BP will pay the cleanup.")

    I take it you support such legislation?

    Really. I don't know exactly how they luck into the multibillion dollar profits they make. Do they actually give away barrels of crude? Or perhaps they never actually do any oil drilling at all, and oil is magically transported from the ground to the refinery, and so-called "oil companies" - since they never have any interaction with petrochemicals - actually manufacture cupcakes and rainbows.

    Of course I didn't "know that", because you made it up.

    "something like" 3/4 of all oil production is "held"? How do you "hold" production?

    Here are the rankings as of 2003, and feel free to post more recent rankings, showing other companies to have usurped the top spots:

    The Largest Oil Companies 2003
    By Production ( [Thousands of] Barrels Per Day)

    Company Name.........Country.......Production
    Exxon Mobil...............USA...........2,542
    Royal Dutch Shell.......UK/Neth......2,220
    Chevron Texaco.........USA...........1,959
    British Petroleum
    Amoco......................UK.............1,931
    Yukos .......................Russia........1,507
    Total Fina ELF............France........1,454
    Lukoil........................Russia........1,200
    Conoco Phillips............USA...........1,019
    Surgutneftegas...........Russia.........884
    ENI...........................Italy...........857

    Oil Industry | Oil and Gas Industry | Petroleum Industry

    Nary an ARAMCO or a CITGO among them, is there?

    By the way: do you therefore agree with, or disagree with, my premise that it's a good idea to get the fu(k off the oil express now?

    OPEC does not stand for Oil Producing and Exporting Corporations. It stands for Countries. Exxon in Saudi Arabia is not an OPEC member. But Exxon is in Saudi Arabia.

    Fail.

    To your main point: A shrinking world oil supply will indeed mean higher costs for crude; OPEC allows member nations to get a better price for what comes out of the ground, for both their national coffers and for the oil companies at work in those nations.

    The rallying cry of "Cheap Oil!" that has been for the most part accommodated by OPEC will not be possible indefinitely, and once again, that more makes my point than detracts from it.

    I.e., if I define liquid, naturally occurring, and non-renewable forms of energy as energy, I - and my favorite people, the oil companies - win!!!! YAY!

    Except other forms of energy are energy, and other forms of energy storage than pressurizing and aging 60-million-year-old animal and vegetable matter are still means of storing energy.

    Really? When was the last time the sun stopped shining globally? Oh that's right... "the sun sets... and then you have to store energy!!! THE HORROR!" So you store the energy, Einstein, or use another energy source when the sun's down where you live.

    There are a variety of storage regimes, the most familiar of which is chemical battery storage, although to my understanding any storage of energy is loosely considered a "battery." Wind is being "stored" by pumping it back into bedrock as we speak, then allowing the pressurized air back out when it is needed. Is this "the answer?" No, it's an answer, along with our more advanced storage in chemical batteries, production of biofuels, solar power, etc.

    You remind me of a zombie fellating a corpse. Wasn't that easy? Your best bet is addressing the issue, rather than telling me what I "remind you" of.

    Yah, see above. Your friend's just not particularly sophisticated, but has the right idea. You indeed need a lot of surface area to power a car, though certain very light solar vehicles are always being trotted out there. I don't think said vehicles are serious competition on the production market.

    However, you can power an increased (and smarter) grid with wind and solar. You can (horrors!!!) store that energy in batteries, and power your friend's car. The batteries can be swapped out per Shai Agassi's model at charging stations, or they can be charged daily. And when you need to take a long trip, it's not as good as a solution, but you may as well kick in the biodiesel at that point.

    I know I know, biofuels can't work either. Except that they do. And the military has an algae based diesel to the point where it is cost competitive with crude.
    Novel Intel: Algae Cost Parity | BIOMASS INTEL

    Then there's the false-flax-burning jet fuel the "green hornets" use...
    Highway to the Green Zone? Navy to Test a Supersonic Biofuel Jet | 80beats | Discover Magazine

    However, I do think that we have just seen (in the gulf) how idiotic it is to continue to pursue, virtually to the exclusion of other energy sources, the exploration of "new sources of oil."

    We're well down the wrong road on this, and you know this as well as I do. Once you're trying to run the car on an empty hole in the ground, it fares slightly worse than your "typical idiot's" idea of running a car on solar energy collected on that vehicle's surface.

    I know the oil company ballwashers enjoy a certain niche sport of global warming denial as well, and you're probably in that camp: "It snowed!!! I hacked an e-mail!!! It's not really happening after all!!!"

    Hey maybe that's correct :rolleyes:, and the actual exhaustion of this limited resource is the ultimate driver for the time we have no choice to change. I don't think so. I think the time to start, and to start seriously, is now.

    It's all well and good to use the military as a test-bed for bio-fuels, but what we need is a serious, society-wide incentive to build and consume outside of the fossil fuel economy.

    Donald Trump - raving socialist that he is - recommends that before you can build a home, you should have to have a certain roof area devoted to solar panels. Just for example. Me? I'd at least expand the tax credit for adding energy efficiencies for actual energy production equipment... going a little beyond the old "Look! New storm windows!" paradigm. If it costs $60K to make your home a net power producer, match what the consumer puts in, accelerating by a factor of two the consumer's justification timetable (i.e., we'll say he has a $3K/year timetable in utility savings in mind... that just went from a 20 year commitment to 10.) And while we're at it, establish green loans via HUD to purchase that portion of a home that produces (not consumes) power; if you have a 60K solar array on that home, and the purchase price is 500K, you're on your own to swing the 440K, but you get the HUD loan for 60K at a percent or two lower than the going rate. Again, this allows the installer of the production unit on the hook for less downside.

    We do it by wiping up after your buddies in the oil industry. We do it by fighting their wars. Yes, I do favor also doing it by incentivizing green energy, so we have a lower fossil fuel demand, a lower carbon footprint, and lower dependency on foreign nations to fuel our economy and military.

    PFnV
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  10. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    I hate when people try to make it sound as if alernative energy is shunned by certain people. It's not. It's simply not practical yet. It cannot (yet) serve as a replacement for fossil fuels. That's just the facts. I'm still hoping hydrogen becomes the long term replacement for gasoline. It's simply not there yet though.
  11. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Can anyone point to a successful commercial Wind project > 5 yrs old that has made it without government subsidies?
  12. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    You seem to be missing the point.
  13. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Rookie

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    wtf does that have to do with anything? The government subsidized the airline industry for decades.
  14. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Can anybody point to a multistate, four-lane road that made it without government subsidies?

    Can anybody point to one - just one - branch of the armed forces that is not heavily subsidized?

    Can anybody point to one dairy producer not propped up by government subsidies?

    Mixed economy b1tches. Learn it, live it, love it.
  15. chicowalker

    chicowalker Rookie

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    illegal immigrant loving socialist...
  16. Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Banned

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    It sure is good you're a liberal or they might actually enforce the forum rules against you...

    It's too bad the left spent most of the 70's, 80's and 90's opposing nuclear power. We sure could use the plants right about now.
  17. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No the point is that wind power is very inefficient and not economically viable all large wind energy projects have failed, that is the point.


    Wind energy will never be practical on any large scale no matter the advances in technology due to variability in wind and low energy density.


    The laws of physics tell us that . No amount of good wishes will change that.


    Basically the same for solar btw.
  18. Why?PJ

    Why?PJ Rookie

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    heh, it's your president. I am sure we could take all those trillions of wasted money he is spending on worthless crap and if he then dumped it into real science we might be able to actually have good alternative energy.

    i notice he isn't doing that.

    supposedly we're only a decade or two from having reasonably efficient solar panels. I bet some of that money our government is wasting on all the crap they have zero business spending money on, like any of those foolish bailouts, and that could come a lot sooner.

    of course, like most leftists, he doesn't actually care about any of that. he only cares about control.
  19. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #91 Jersey

    Yes, there, there ...it will be OK just another 6.5 years to go.
  20. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    "Man I can't believe we LOST..."

    I think that's about 90% of the content of the right's "ideas" these days. They're intellectually and morally bankrupt and they know it... and misdirection is the only direction they've got.

    How's that drill-baby-drill chant workin' out for ya?

    PFnV

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