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Renewable energy idealism and reality clash

That’s not me, that’s a NYT Opinion piece by Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, titled The Gas Is Greener, and pointing out how fantasy eventually goes south when reality and real science come into play.

IN April, Gov. Jerry Brown made headlines by signing into law an ambitious mandate that requires California to obtain one-third of its electricity from renewable energy sources like sunlight and wind by 2020. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have renewable electricity mandates. President Obama and several members of Congress have supported one at the federal level. Polls routinely show strong support among voters for renewable energy projects — as long as they don’t cost too much.

But there’s the rub: while energy sources like sunlight and wind are free and naturally replenished, converting them into large quantities of electricity requires vast amounts of natural resources — most notably, land. Even a cursory look at these costs exposes the deep contradictions in the renewable energy movement.

First a clarification: no, the reference to “mandates” isn’t about two guys dating, but in this case about a governor’s royal decree. Sorry to disappoint those of you into that sort of stuff. Anyway, here is the killer: renewable energy projects have both a cost and a foot print, and when they replace real and viable technologies that meet real world requirements, the problems become instantly evident. But let me not get ahead of the facts and, man are they fun ones:

Consider California’s new mandate. The state’s peak electricity demand is about 52,000 megawatts. Meeting the one-third target will require (if you oversimplify a bit) about 17,000 megawatts of renewable energy capacity. Let’s assume that California will get half of that capacity from solar and half from wind. Most of its large-scale solar electricity production will presumably come from projects like the $2 billion Ivanpah solar plant, which is now under construction in the Mojave Desert in southern California. When completed, Ivanpah, which aims to provide 370 megawatts of solar generation capacity, will cover 3,600 acres — about five and a half square miles.

The math is simple: to have 8,500 megawatts of solar capacity, California would need at least 23 projects the size of Ivanpah, covering about 129 square miles, an area more than five times as large as Manhattan. While there’s plenty of land in the Mojave, projects as big as Ivanpah raise environmental concerns. In April, the federal Bureau of Land Management ordered a halt to construction on part of the facility out of concern for the desert tortoise, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Wind energy projects require even more land. The Roscoe wind farm in Texas, which has a capacity of 781.5 megawatts, covers about 154 square miles. Again, the math is straightforward: to have 8,500 megawatts of wind generation capacity, California would likely need to set aside an area equivalent to more than 70 Manhattans. Apart from the impact on the environment itself, few if any people could live on the land because of the noise (and the infrasound, which is inaudible to most humans but potentially harmful) produced by the turbines.

That bolding is me. Where to begin? So a solar energy project that has the footprint of Manhattan Island will generate ½ of the 1/3 required by mandate (sorry don’t get excited again), at the cost of $46 billion – that’s the $2 billion cost multiplied by 23 to preempt CM’s demands for a dissertation to prove my point – and the environmental impacts be damned! To do it with wind we would need a tract of land 70 times that of Manhattan Island? Do the math to figure out what it would take to produce 100% of the 52K MW Cali is burning right now, then factor in the needed growth to keep up with the economic demands. Don’t bother looking at the cost. Obama already told us it will cost us a shitload more. But it’s for a good cause!

So then I get to something that actually gave me some enjoyment: reality smacking stupid in the face. I got a huge kick form how these watermelons are eating each other up, the greenies are pitted against the animal lovers & eugenicists that think anyone but them should be made to live in caves if not exterminated to save the spotted owl or some other such nonsense. As if nature doesn’t already have a mechanism built into it to make sure that only those that can adapt survive. Anyway, here is the fun stuff.

Industrial solar and wind projects also require long swaths of land for power lines. Last year, despite opposition from environmental groups, San Diego Gas & Electric started construction on the 117-mile Sunrise Powerlink, which will carry electricity from solar, wind and geothermal projects located in Imperial County, Calif., to customers in and around San Diego. In January, environmental groups filed a federal lawsuit to prevent the $1.9 billion line from cutting through a nearby national forest.

Not all environmentalists ignore renewable energy’s land requirements. The Nature Conservancy has coined the term “energy sprawl” to describe it. Unfortunately, energy sprawl is only one of the ways that renewable energy makes heavy demands on natural resources.

Consider the massive quantities of steel required for wind projects. The production and transportation of steel are both expensive and energy-intensive, and installing a single wind turbine requires about 200 tons of it. Many turbines have capacities of 3 or 4 megawatts, so you can assume that each megawatt of wind capacity requires roughly 50 tons of steel. By contrast, a typical natural gas turbine can produce nearly 43 megawatts while weighing only 9 tons. Thus, each megawatt of capacity requires less than a quarter of a ton of steel.

WTF? This stuff isn’t going to magically save Gaia and actually might do just as much if not more harm? Who woulda thunk that? So what then?

All energy and power systems exact a toll. If we are to take Schumacher’s phrase to heart while also reducing the rate of growth of greenhouse gas emissions, we must exploit the low-carbon energy sources — natural gas and, yes, nuclear — that have smaller footprints.

Yeah, good luck with that. If this shit was for real we would already be furiously working with these technologies, especially nuclear, which is the only one that is completely CO2 free, but we all know how likely that is to ever really get a shot at anything. Instead what we get is taxation. And don’t worry California! At the rate you are going you probably go bankrupt long before the date Brown has mandated – there we go again – and then you won’t have to worry much about anything like this. That is if the enviromentalists don’t end up at war with each other over all this first.

144 comments

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  1. bgeek says:

    They’ll pay for it by requiring all of those greedy property owners to pay for solar/wind rights ala water/mineral rights. Also, Californians (and everyone else for that matter) need to keep a close eye on their eminent domain laws before they’re changed for the greater good.

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  2. Hal_10000 says:

    Damn, I was going to post this one. Another part of the NYT wrote an op-ed disguised as news about how we’re falling way behind on green energy, how other countries are investing trillions and OBama is dropping the ball. Left out is how these investments are in questionable technologies and fueling a tech bubble hat’s going to explode all over fragile economies.

    Oh, and Italy voted to keep nuclear power illegal. Just in case you thought they might be tired of bombing LIbya.

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  3. AlexInCT says:

    Hal, you owe me a monitor plz.. I spewed my drink all over it laughing man.

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  4. CM says:

    My simple question is why has the author ignored the micro-site solutions that be applied to most buildings? In the LA Times he links to it even mentions:

    The new mandate also requires utilities to draw some of their power from small local projects based near customers –- known as distributed generation. Often situated on rooftops and parking lots, such installations don’t require the long transmission lines necessary for sprawling wind and solar plants in the deserts and mountains.

    Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry said she will introduce legislation this week to launch a pilot program that would put 75 megawatts of solar on rooftops around the city.

    Los Angeles could place 300 megawatts on apartment rooftops –- enough to power 30,000 homes — within the next decade, according to a study Tuesday from the Los Angeles Business Council, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, USC and UCLA. Many panels could be situated in economically disadvantaged areas.

    Did he just not read that far? Did you consider it at all?

    They ARE real and viable. But only if you consider the issues properly.

    BTW where is the “real science” here Alex? As opposed to what?

    If this shit was for real we would already be furiously working with these technologies

    Well we are, to some degree. But the whole situation is complicated. There is no quick fix. Even nuclear (as if that was the only possible and reasonable solution) isn’t quick.

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  5. CM says:

    So then I get to something that actually gave me some enjoyment: reality smacking stupid in the face. I got a huge kick form how these watermelons are eating each other up, the greenies are pitted against the animal lovers & eugenicists that think anyone but them should be made to live in caves if not exterminated to save the spotted owl or some other such nonsense.

    Not much of a cult then is it Alex.

    As if nature doesn’t already have a mechanism built into it to make sure that only those that can adapt survive.

    No doubt we can adapt to whatever climate change and the end of non-renewable energy brings (we’ll have no choice). The point is reducing the degree that we’ll be forced to adapt, by both reducing our impact on the climate, and starting a transition to a more sustainable world now so that it isn’t as costly and difficult later.

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  6. Seattle Outcast says:

    It all boils down to one thing: people that go on about how “green energy” or “green jobs” are the future have all failed basic physics.

    Those of us with a background in engineering and/or the sciences have all done the math and know better.

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  7. CM says:

    It all boils down to one thing: people that go on about how “green energy” or “green jobs” are the future have all failed basic physics.

    Those of us with a background in engineering and/or the sciences have all done the math and know better.

    Wow, that’s an incredible thing to say. I can’t even begin to see how that makes any sense. Unless I haven’t understood it properly…..

    Who are these people that “go on” about “green energy” and “green jobs”?
    Are you suggesting that alternative energy systems don’t work, and have only been invented by people who have no knowledge of engineering or science? Really??!

    The argument that solving the global warming problem by reducing human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is “too hard” generally stems from the belief that (i) our technology is not sufficiently advanced to achieve significant emissions reductions, and/or (ii) that doing so would cripple the global economy.

    Pacala and Socolow (2004) (PS04) investigated the first claim by examining the various technologies available to reduce GHG emissions. Every technology they examined “has passed beyond the laboratory bench and demonstration project; many are already implemented somewhere at full industrial scale.” PS04 examined what would be required to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations at 500 parts per million (ppm), which would require that GHG emissions be held near the present level of 7 billion tons of carbon per year (GtC/year) for the next 50 years.

    PS04 used the concept of a “stabilization wedge”, in which “a wedge represents an activity that reduces emissions to the atmosphere that starts at zero today and increases linearly until it accounts for 1 GtC/year of reduced carbon emissions in 50 years.” Implementing seven such wedges would achieve sufficient GHG emissions reductions to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide at 500 ppm by 2050, and emissions would have to decrease linearly during the second half of the 21st century. PS04 identifies 15 current options which could be scaled up to produce at least one wedge, and note that their list is not exhaustive.

    Improved fuel economy: One wedge would be achieved if, instead of averaging 30 milesper gallon (mpg) on conventional fuel, cars in 2054 averaged 60 mpg, with fuel type and distance traveled unchanged. Given recent advances in hybrid and electric vehicle technology, this is a very plausible wedge.

    Reduced reliance on cars: One wedge would be achieved if the average fuel economy of the 2 billion 2054 cars were 30 mpg, but the annual distance traveled were 5000 miles instead of 10,000 miles.

    More efficient buildings: One wedge is the difference between pursuing and not pursuing known and established approaches to energy-efficient space heating and cooling, water heating, lighting, and refrigeration in residential and commercial buildings.

    Improved power plant efficiency: One wedge would be created if twice today’s quantity of coal-based electricity in 2054 were produced at 60% instead of 40% efficiency.

    Substituting natural gas for coal: One wedge would be achieved by displacing 1400 gigawatts (GW) of baseload coal power with baseload gas by 2054. Given recent natural gas price decreases, this is another very plausible wedge.

    Storage of carbon captured in power plants: One wedge would be provided by the installation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) at 800 GW of baseload coal plants by 2054 or 1600 GW of baseload natural gas plants.

    Storage of carbon captured in hydrogen plants: The hydrogen resulting from precombustion capture of CO2 can be sent offsite to displace the consumption of conventional fuels rather than being consumed onsite to produce electricity. One wedge would require the installation of CCS, by 2054, at coal plants producing 250 million tons of hydrogen per year (MtH2/year), or at natural gas plants producing 500 MtH2/year.

    Storage of carbon captured in synthetic fuels plants: Large-scale production of synthetic fuels from carbon is a possibility. One wedge would be the difference between capturing and venting the CO2 from coal synthetic fuels plants producing 30 million barrels of synthetic fuels per day.

    Nuclear power: One wedge of nuclear electricity would displace 700 GW of efficient baseload coal capacity in 2054. This would require 700 GW of nuclear power with the same 90% capacity factor assumed for the coal plants, or about twice the nuclear capacity currently deployed.

    Wind power: One wedge of wind electricity would require the deployment of 2000 GW of nominal peak capacity (GWp) that displaces coal electricity in 2054 (or 2 million 1-MWp wind turbines). This would require approximately 10 times the current (as of 2010) deployment of wind power by mid-century. Note that global wind power deployment increased from approximately 40 GW in 2004 to 158 GW in 2009.

    Solar photovoltaic power: One wedge from photovoltaic (PV) electricity would require 2000 GWp of installed capacity that displaces coal electricity in 2054. This would require approximately 100 times the current (as of 2010) deployment of solar PV power by mid-century. Note that global solar PV power deployment increased from approximately 3 GW in 2004 to 20 GW in 2009.

    Renewable hydrogen: Renewable electricity can produce carbon-free hydrogen for vehicle fuel by the electrolysis of water. The hydrogen produced by 4 million 1-MWp windmills in 2054, if used in high-efficiency fuel-cell cars, would achieve a wedge of displaced gasoline or diesel fuel. However, use of renewable energy to power electric vehicles is more efficient than powering hydrogen vehicles with hydrogen produced through electrolysis from renewable power.

    Biofuels: One wedge of biofuel would be achieved by the production of about 34 million barrels per day of ethanol in 2054 that could displace gasoline, provided the ethanol itself were fossil-carbon free. This ethanol production rate would be about 50 times larger than today’s global production rate, almost all of which can be attributed to Brazilian sugarcane and United States corn. The potential exists for increased biofuels production to compromise agriculturaly production, unless the biofuels are created from a non-food crop or other source such as algae oil.

    Forest management: At least one wedge would be available from reduced tropical deforestation and the management of temperate and tropical forests. At least one half-wedge would be created if the current rate of clear-cutting of primary tropical forest were reduced to zero over 50 years instead of being halved. A second half-wedge would be created by reforesting or afforesting approximately 250 million hectares in the tropics or 400 million hectares in the temperate zone (current areas of tropical and temperate forests are 1500 and 700 million hectares, respectively). A third half-wedge would be created by establishing approximately 300 million hectares of plantations on non-forested land.

    Agricultural soils management: When forest or natural grassland is converted to cropland, up to one-half of the soil carbon is lost, primarily because annual tilling increases the rate of decomposition by aerating undecomposed organic matter. One-half to one wedge could be stored by extending conservation tillage to all cropland, accompanied by a verification program that enforces the adoption of soil conservation practices that work as advertised.

    PS04 concludes “None of the options is a pipe dream or an unproven idea….Every one of these options is already implemented at an industrial scale and could be scaled up further over 50 years to provide at least one wedge.” While the study has identified 15 possible wedges, PS04 argues that only seven would be necessary to stabilize atmospheric CO2 at 500 ppm by mid-century. The list in the study is also not exhaustive, for example omitting concentrated solar thermal power and other renwable energy technologies besides wind and solar PV.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solving-global-warming-not-easy-but-not-too-hard.html

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  8. Kimpost says:

    I’m a mechanical engineer, and I believe that green energy is the future. Or more importantly, that fossil fuel most definitely is not.

    Damn, I must be stupid! :)

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  9. CM says:

    According to Seattle Outcast that means you failed basic physics.

    I think it instead boils down to basic logic, that anyone should be able to understand. We haven’t been operating sustainability. We now have a very good idea where that will lead. We now have to decide if we want to do anything to help us out later, or whether we’ll hope for a miracle to save us. Logic dictates that the likelihood of a miracle is extremely small. Ergo, we should start transforming the way we live and work and travel now. The longer the transition period, the less disruptive it will be. Again, that’s nothing but logic.

    Of course basic logic suggests that we should have been operating sustainably from the beginning – but man (and the free-market) doesn’t look for the most sustainable way of doing anything; they look first and foremost at the bottom line. Considerations of the future never trump the bottom line, even if they do form part of the equation. Nobody has had the incentive to look beyond the end of our noses before.

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  10. Hal_10000 says:

    I agree with you guys that we need alternative energy. But I’m extremely dubious of the government’s involvement.

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  11. Hal_10000 says:

    Just to pile on … the UK government concluded today that electric cars will probably use more CO2 because of the energy costs of making the batteries.

    Now that doesn’t mean we should abandon electric cars. But i means they are no yet a mature technology by any stretch.

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  12. AlexInCT says:

    Really Kimpost you are a ME? So what happened? You failed the basic math courses or have things changed so drastically since I went to school that engineering math isn’t all it’s cut out to be anymore? Because the math is indusputable if you do real world examples. Not the pie-in-the-sky stuff that these green job advocates push. The basic laws of theromodynamics and energy don’t change, and right now we have no technology that can generate the energy we need reliably and cheap enough to displace fossil fuels other than nuclear, and as I already pointed out, the watermelons hate nukes.

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  13. AlexInCT says:

    Did he just not read that far? Did you consider it at all?

    I will believe this when I see it CM. I have heard or seen many claims about how awesome this stuff is, only to, when I finally get to look at the real facts, discover that the capabilities were massively exaggerated, the costs are astronomical, making the whole thing unsustainable economically, the risks and side effects are so far out insane that whatever savings or breakthroughs were promised basically become worthless, or more frequently, a combination of all of the above.

    Besides, the fact that I find the claim they are able to generate that amount from panels on rooftops, if they are able to do 300 MW production on apartment roof tops why aren’t they using the same tech to gain the same efficiencies in their panel farms? Or is that 300 MW number if they place cells on ALL rooftops (I bet this is the reality)? Then the problem is the other several million homes, not to mention the hundreds of office complexes, that would suck power at rates that are orders of magnitude higher than homes.

    But you can keep deluding yourself that this stuff is the big game changer. More likely than not, it is just bullshit as I already pointed out.

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  14. AlexInCT says:

    Just to pile on … the UK government concluded today that electric cars will probably use more CO2 because of the energy costs of making the batteries.

    Where is that electricity going to come from? Well burning fossil fuels! And once they ban all of them…. Unicorn farts!

    Wait until all those electric vehicle drivers go in and find out they need to replace their batteries and find out how much it will cost, even with massive government subsidies that can disappear at any time, to dispose of them properly. When most of them start dumping them wherever they can get rid of them and drop the shitty vehicles in droves, causing a toxic wasteland, it will be a hoot.

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  15. AlexInCT says:

    If you are so confident in this stuff, buy stock. You should be a billionaire sooner than later. Me, I see things like this, and I know better.

    Evergreen Solar Inc. will eliminate 800 jobs in Massachusetts and shut its new factory at the former military base in Devens, just two years after it opened the massive facility to great fanfare and with about $58 million in taxpayer subsidies.

    The company announced yesterday that it will close the plant by the end of March, calling itself a victim of weak demand and competition from cheaper suppliers in China, where the government provides solar companies with generous subsidies.

    If this stuff is all so viable, but can’t survive without an unbelievable level of commitment of tax payer dollars, then they aren’t that big a deal of a technology. If they were, they wouldn’t need money from us tax payers/government but would be attracting investments like mad. Of course, that concept is apparently foreign to you and your kind.

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  16. CM says:

    I will believe this when I see it CM. I have heard or seen many claims about how awesome this stuff is, only to, when I finally get to look at the real facts, discover that the capabilities were massively exaggerated, the costs are astronomical, making the whole thing unsustainable economically, the risks and side effects are so far out insane that whatever savings or breakthroughs were promised basically become worthless, or more frequently, a combination of all of the above.

    Can you please give me some examples (links)?
    These micro systems are fairly basic, take a minimal amount of capital investment (so they pay for themselves fairly quickly) and provide a greater degree of power security (you’re not relying on anyone else). They’re already everywhere, so you can believe it already.

    Besides, the fact that I find the claim they are able to generate that amount from panels on rooftops, if they are able to do 300 MW production on apartment roof tops why aren’t they using the same tech to gain the same efficiencies in their panel farms? Or is that 300 MW number if they place cells on ALL rooftops (I bet this is the reality)? Then the problem is the other several million homes, not to mention the hundreds of office complexes, that would suck power at rates that are orders of magnitude higher than homes.

    That figure is quoted as being possible “within the next decade”. And perhaps they are more efficient than panel farms. Would have to look at the detail. Perhaps the panel farms will be able to produce at the same level, but the improvements haven’t been factored in by Bryce or his source. Something to look into.
    Yeah I read it to mean placing them on more than one rooftop. But again, would have to look at the details of the relevant study (rather than assume and consider the assumption fact).

    But you can keep deluding yourself that this stuff is the big game changer. More likely than not, it is just bullshit as I already pointed out.

    Micro-solutions are already big game changers. They can produce MORE power, at LESS cost.

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  17. CM says:

    I would also prefer the government to play as little role as possible. It’s clear to me that the market wouldn’t have gotten to this point by themselves. It just doesn’t operate that way. The market needs a nudge (incentives, disincentives), and it can be argued that it’s just a case of correcting a market failure (pollution, carbon), so it isn’t socialism or capitalism in any shape or form – in the same way as anti-monopoly regulations aren’t.

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  18. CM says:

    Why not stick to the arguments and leave the rest (accusations, personal abuse, conspiracy theory) out of it Alex? Honestly, it’s getting really tiresome. How about if we ALL agree to just stick to the arguments from now on? Agreed? If your arguments are as water-tight as you think they are, they should be able to stand on their own? Shouldn’t they?

    Because the math is indusputable if you do real world examples. Not the pie-in-the-sky stuff that these green job advocates push. The basic laws of theromodynamics and energy don’t change, and right now we have no technology that can generate the energy we need reliably and cheap enough to displace fossil fuels other than nuclear, and as I already pointed out, the watermelons hate nukes.

    To the contrary. Have a read of this and see what you think:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/solving-global-warming-not-easy-but-not-too-hard.html

    Nuclear has some mountains to climb to be comparable. They’ve priced themselves out of the market to a large degree.

    But did you know that Obama’s proposed 2012 budget includes about $2 billion for renewable loan guarantees and $54 billion for the nuclear industry? How does that fit your narrative?
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/15/idUS319943339520110315
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-03-16/obama-seeks-to-expand-loan-guarantees-for-reactors-chu-says.html

    Anyway, why do we need nuclear?

    When going over the renewable options available to supply that energy, one finds that the real bottleneck is in the fuels part of demand. Unless we can move to new fuels (like hydrogen) on a massive scale, which we did not consider likely for this period, much of that will have to come from biofuels. And for biofuels, we have to be very strict on avoiding competition with food production, dependence on irrigation (aggravating water supply problems), and destruction of forests.

    So it makes a lot of sense to focus on electrification first: urban transport can be moved from fuel to electricity, and so can a lot of domestic heat demand. After stringent insulation of the home, and a solar heater for domestic hot water, an electric heatpump can be an efficient source for the remaining heat demand. These measures, combined with a strong growth in (energy efficient) appliances, lead to a growing fraction of electricity, for which a host of renewable options is available, like wind, solar, and geothermal power. Of course we’ll need smart grids to accommodate a growing fraction of supply-driven sources; 25 percent is no problem in present grids, but we’ll need to go to 60 percent by 2050.

    After that, bio-energy comes into play, especially for fuels in shipping and aviation. Here we start with maximizing the use of residues from the forest and field, the food industry, and household waste. Then we introduce a limited amount of bio-crops, applying strict sustainability criteria. In the meantime, we phase out traditional biomass that is now used for cooking, often unsustainable. And from 2030, biomass from algae enters the scene: technology is available now, but needs to go a long way to become cost-competitive.

    SEE LINK FOR GRAPH

    If you watch the graph closely, you will see that we’ve actually found 95 percent of the solution. The remaining part is in processes for which we found no suitable renewable technologies available now. But hey, it’s only 2011! Continued strong technological development can be expected in the decades to come.

    Economically, following this road means that the world needs to divert up to 3 percent of GDP to investments in materials and energy efficiency, renewable energy, and necessary infrastructure. But savings on fossil fuels grow larger year by year, and the net cash needed peaks at 2 percent of GDP, before turning around into net savings by 2035. In 2050, we’ll leave behind a system with immensely lower operating cost than the “business-as-usual” fossil-based system.

    In the meantime, the effort will bring energy-related greenhouse-gas emissions down by 80 percent compared to their 1990 levels, providing a reasonable chance to limit average global warming to below 2 degrees C (3.6 F), as generally deemed necessary. This will obviously have big advantages in avoided climate change damage and adaptation costs.

    And it will have a host of other benefits, like reduction of environmental pollution.

    http://www.grist.org/article/2011-02-03-how-to-get-to-100-percent-renewables-globally-by-2050

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  19. Seattle Outcast says:

    Energy density of solar, wind, wave, etc is too small to be of practical use on a large scale. I doubt anyone is going to ever get past the EIS phase of wide scale geothermal energy.

    If by “green” you mean “fusion”, then I’ll back you up on it being the future….

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  20. Seattle Outcast says:

    Quite honestly, I’d rather listen to Alex’s screed – by and large, he’s right far more often than he’s wrong…..even about YOU….

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  21. Kimpost says:

    My degree has little to do with my analysis of our global energy situation. Other than that it helps me separating actual science from pseudo science. You might not see it, but your latest lengthy reply to CM in a thread close to this one, is riddled with fault. It’s difficult to respond to even, since many of the points you are making just keep repeating themselves. Frankly, most of your posts on AGW are flawed. Not necessarily while you are objecting to policy, since that area actually is worthy of debate, but very much so when you’re attacking very basic science. You clearly don’t know much about the subject. I hate putting it as bluntly as that, but I’m sorry, I can’t see it any other way.

    Seems to me like you are so infuriated with what you regard as a leftist agenda, that it makes you blind, deaf as well as unable to read braille. My advice to you is to read up on the subject, if you really are interested. Would you do so, I’m fairly convinced that you would also accept what science is saying. Science fully answers the questions you have about water vapor, sun spots, Milankovitch cycles, CO2 from volcanoes, and CO2 trapped in oceans. Science also fully answers your doubts on hidden declines and whatever more myths that are out there regarding the letters of East Anglia.

    It would actually be nice, because after that we could move on to discussing policy. You don’t have to love government intrusion and/or massive green energy programs, just because you accept that AGW is factual, you know…

    I know that I’ve most likely written this in such a manner that it will only further alienate you. You’re clearly a stubborn and proud guy. I respect that, believe it or not, but for fucks sake – someone has to tell you. Sorry It had to be me, because I hate seeming arrogant.

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  22. CM says:

    If you are so confident in this stuff, buy stock. You should be a billionaire sooner than later.

    I have debt (mortgage). I’m conservative with money. I’ve a better chance of a higher return paying off debt. But if I could, I might.
    But in one way I AM investing – I’m probably going to buy a hot water heat pump and save 70% on the amount of electricity I require to heat my hot water.

    If this stuff is all so viable, but can’t survive without an unbelievable level of commitment of tax payer dollars, then they aren’t that big a deal of a technology. If they were, they wouldn’t need money from us tax payers/government but would be attracting investments like mad. Of course, that concept is apparently foreign to you and your kind.

    They are so popular that they’re struggling to compete with China and you conclude with that that “they aren’t that big deal of a technology”? Huh? I don’t understand.

    Even if well spent, state aid and current federal tax incentives for solar manufacturing are dwarfed by manufacturing subsidies and cheap labor abroad.

    American investment in clean energy in 2009 was only about half that of China, according to a Pew report. The United States only ranks 11th among the G-20 nations in clean energy investment as a percentage of gross domestic product. Spain leads the way on that score, followed by the United Kingdom, China, and Brazil.

    …analyst Christine Hersey of Wedbush Securities said that while Evergreen may have had unique, self-inflicted problems

    http://articles.boston.com/2011-01-15/bostonglobe/29344532_1_solar-panels-solar-firms-evergreen-solar

    My kind?
    Again, why don’t we just stick to the specific arguments and leave all the personal rubbish and accusations out of it. I’ll agree to that if you do.

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  23. CM says:

    Perfect Kimpost. Well said.

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  24. CM says:

    We get 10% of our power from geothermal, although that’s because we’re uniquely able to do so. It’s our most reliable renewable energy source.

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  25. CM says:

    Hal, have you got a link (Google isn’t working for me today for some reason)?

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  26. CM says:

    Try selling nuclear power to the people of Christchurch today.

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  27.   
  28. CM says:

    Interesting. Some good comments after the article. People raise the following points:

    * Does it take into account the costs of fuel distribution? Electric power lines are built once, and distribution is far more efficient than running tanker trucks of petrol around the country to distribution centres (petrol stations) surely this would be the biggest savings in CO2, not in the output per unit.
    * We need electric cars because we are approaching peak fuel (seems to neglect the fact that where the power comes from is the other part of the equation, if its all sustainable whats the problem?)
    * Over time as new improved methods of producing lithium batteries are found and these batteries start being mass produced, they will last longer, cost less and produce a smaller Carbon footprint. Remember this is very new technology which will only improve.

    Comment 15 seems to suggest the study has been partly misreported:

    Funny, the study by British advisory group LowCVP that I read, which was released on the 8th of June, stated pretty clearly that Electric vehicles produce up to five tonnes less carbon than your average medium sized petrol guzzler over their lifetimes. Also, that they produce 8.8 tonnes of carbon during their production to a petrol cars 5.6 tonnes, and not 12.6 as quoted here. I guess it’s easy to misquote studies and manufacture numbers if you don’t supply the source.

    Here is the press release:
    http://www.lowcvp.org.uk/assets/pressreleases/LowCVP_Lifecycle_Study_June2011.pdf

    This would seem to be what they’re referring to:

    For a standard mid-sized gasoline ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle the embedded carbon in production will be around 5.6tCO2e, around three quarters of which is the steel in the vehicle glider. This highlights the importance of deploying low weight, low carbon alternatives to current steels in the ultra-low carbon vehicles of the future. A similar electric vehicle will have embedded production emissions of 8.8tCO2e, 43% of which arise from the battery. Decarbonising both electricity supply, through renewables; and the production of batteries will therefore be essential for electric vehicles to deliver ultra-low carbon lifetime emissions.

    So looks like it is indeed an error – I wonder where the author of the newspaper article got 12.6 tonnes?

    The article also claims:

    It found that a mid-size electric car would produce 23.1 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, compared with 24 tonnes for a similar petrol car.

    But the press release says:

    a typical medium sized family car will create around 24 tonnes of CO2 during its life cycle, while an electric vehicle (EV) will produce around 18 tonnes over its life.

    Why the discrepancy?

    The third bullet point above would seem to be supported by the following(again, from the release):

    “Greg Archer, LowCVP Managing Director, said: “This work dispels the myth that low carbon vehicles simply displace emissions from the exhaust to other sources. However, it does highlight the need to look at reducing carbon emissions from vehicles throughout their lifecycle.

    “The automotive industry is already taking positive steps to address this issue – the recent announcement by Toyota of a solar array to provide electricity to power the hybrid Auris production facility and wind power at the Nissan Leaf plant are excellent examples of this..

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  29. Seattle Outcast says:

    naturally occurring geothermal energy is one thing – I think that the amount of messing around required to get the megawatts of power needed to run cities isn’t going to pass muster with the ecofreaks.

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  30. CM says:

    We should ackowledge that there are undoubtedly (very high) risks inherent in investing in any single technology as opposed to (super-low) risks of placing a large bet across the full portfolio of green tech.

    As outlined here

    Geothermal is looking promising in West Virginia.
    http://www.register-herald.com/todaysfrontpage/x1557866203/Legislators-eye-W-Va-geothermal-potential

    And nationally:

    “According to one of the researchers, the geothermal potential beneath the United States could match current U.S. demand for 10,000 years.”

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  31. sahrab says:

    This is the same ….. idiotic? thinking that leads to ethanol in our fuels (US based at least). Stick with me.

    Government (for whatever reason) decides we should include/increase ethanol to our fuels, as a means to reduce emmissions. Whiskey Gas is made from Corn, for those that dont know. Corn being a major staple crop, for MOST of the world, has now become an additive to one of (if not THE) major consumable in the world.

    Corn growers shift their yeilds from consumable (for Man/Animals) to corn for fuels. Food production lessens, prices grow. Corn isnt just used for Man to eat, it is also THE major ingredient in animal feed, my feed bill went from 250(ish) to 350 a month. Thats just for me, a hobby farmer (horses, chickens goats and pig), the commercial farmer increase will be exponential. Before someone claims the farmer will raise his own feed, that is still just at the hobby level, corn has a HUGE footprint, the commerciall farmer is not typically able to raise his own corn and maintain feed stock (would have to run 2 seperate operations). The commercial farmer, will not eat the additional costs, they will be passed onto the consumer (back to the basic economy model again). Additionally for those that grow corn as a human food product, the subsidies for ethanol can be higher, because its more lucrative to sell to Exxon, Green Giant gets less. Less means more expensive and another shift in prices.

    This does not factor in the farmers who have switched from some other food product to corn. Now there is less of that product and an increase in those prices.

    Now the irony.

    Because selling corn for whiskey gas is so lucrative, and because corn has such a large footprint, they are clearing acres of forest in South America to raise corn. Raising corn, to be added to gas to reduce the impact on the environment…. by clearing land and impacting the environment to raise corn.

    Another benefit of ethanol, a decrease in the MPG’s. While ethanol may decrease the emmissions, in order to use it you have to burn more of the ethanol laden fuel. Not only does that seem counter productive (surprise there, why else would the government be involved) the lowering of MPG’s leads to higher fuel costs to get the corn anywhere, which is passed onto the consumer, and MORE higher prices.

    Dont even get me started on the idiocy of emission regulations on Diesel and the impact these have had on prices

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  32. loserlame says:

    There are a few green ones out there made from 100% recycled German beer coasters and wireless industrial hemp, but they’re still pretty expensive due to the lobby keeping you from knowing they exist.. Theyre on the Internets, tho.

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  33. loserlame says:

    I have debt (mortgage). I’m conservative with money. I’ve a better chance of a higher return paying off debt. But if I could, I might.

    But in one way I AM investing – I’m probably going to buy a hot water heat pump and save 70% on the amount of electricity I require to heat my hot water.

    Cop out, I’m afraid. From the link you provided

    It means that the notion that “solar is too expensive” doesn’t hold up anymore. When financing providers can offer a home or business owner solar electricity for less than the cost of their current services; when utilities start investing in solar themselves to reduce operating costs; and when the technology starts moving into the range of new nuclear and new coal, it’s impossible to ignore.
    According to SunPower’s Tom Dinwoodie: “The cross-over has occurred.”

    If this has occured in the fat, gluttonous, rabidly oliophile US, surely it can and indeed must’ve happened everywhere else, too, by now?

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  34. loserlame says:

    And in the end, it’ll all come back to the good old “Well, its Americans who profit from and use the most of this corn stuff with their huge SUVs, driving back and forth to McDonalds all day.. Take the bus, gringos. Take a walk, fatties.”

    So, what do with the space on my roof – corn or solar panels? Damn SUVs…

    Again, what about the pollutant that is the human population? Everyone on earth gets free health care, a green home and SUV, vacations in Europe for 6 six weeks per year, hows it all supposed to work?
    Do we all take to holding our breaths for x seconds/x times a day to lower CO2?

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  35. sahrab says:

    Well at least Australia is getting serious with the Camel culls

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  36. CM says:

    Huh, where is the cop out?

    If this has occured in the fat, gluttonous, rabidly oliophile US, surely it can and indeed must’ve happened everywhere else, too, by now?

    You keep asking the same question even though the answer it obviously YES IT HAS.

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  37. CM says:

    Hal, what are your thoughts on those aspects?

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  38. CM says:

    This is the same ….. idiotic? thinking that leads to ethanol in our fuels (US based at least). Stick with me.

    I agree that idiotic thinking would be to continue with a policy that has had unintended and serious consequences. I think most people agree on this issue now (it has lead to price increases as you rightly point out, for a number of reasons). It should have been at least somewhat foreseeable. But this is another good example of how we shouldn’t put all our eggs in one energy-source basket. Some will turn out to be better than others.

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  39. CM says:

    hows it all supposed to work?

    I’ve already given you some links which set out how it could work.

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  40. AlexInCT says:

    Micro-solutions are already big game changers. They can produce MORE power, at LESS cost.

    See CM, if there was any truth to this I would suspect/expect investors – those evil capitalists – would be all over this cuase no matter how much they might hate you AGW cultists, they are about making money first. That’s what greedy capiltalists do. When they see something that is going to add serious value, making everyone want it, and they realize there is an opportunity to make money, they go for it, without abandon.

    But I have not heard anyone pushing for this stuff other than the same usual crop of companies and big corporations that can not produce this garbage sans huge government support, both at the tax payer’s expense and through idiotic legislation that bans or destorys the competitiveness of better options. so you will excuse me for not believing any of this.

    Breakthrough technologies that make sense do not need government to make them happen. Did Apple need the government to push their PCs or their iPhone? What about Mercedes, Saab, Rolls Royce, or Ferrari? Do they need government to sell their products? No. The ones that need help are the ones that usually produce a crappy or uncompetitive product nobody realy wants.

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  41. AlexInCT says:

    Not much of a cult then is it Alex.

    What do you mean by that? That because the cult has different factions at odds with each other it isn’t behaving very much like most cults & religions? Are you that historically challenged?

    No doubt we can adapt to whatever climate change and the end of non-renewable energy brings (we’ll have no choice). The point is reducing the degree that we’ll be forced to adapt, by both reducing our impact on the climate, and starting a transition to a more sustainable world now so that it isn’t as costly and difficult later.

    Really? By destroying the economies & freedoms of the people of the west? Because that remains the only clear agenda & objective that I see these morons able to actually get done. Nothing they are doing will prevent any warming, or cooling for that mater, because their solutions are ideological, not technological. Take some time to read some Lomborgh. I know the church of AGW now brands him a heretic, but he is dead on when he points out that warming or not, what’s being done by the cultists is suicidal, and will not only not stop anything, but cause more harm. Your claim that this is about being better positioned to adapt to the changes not only rings hollow, it is insulting.

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  42. AlexInCT says:

    Why not stick to the arguments and leave the rest (accusations, personal abuse, conspiracy theory) out of it Alex?

    He is the one that brought up he is an ME, and I am baffled that anyone with such an educational background so easliy fails basic logic. You might think that’s an insult, but then it is because you have the same reaction to logic & facts as a vampire has to holy symbols/water and garlic.

    Honestly, it’s getting really tiresome.

    What’s getting tiresome CM is you pretending this shit you spout isn’t a display of religious fantisicim. You are immune to logic or facts. You ignore what what you don’t like and demand people limit the discussion to only those things you hope will allow you to force them to your conclusions. When they don’t play – like I do every time – you just keep repeating your stupid and pretending that the issue is with them instead of you wanting to not only control the debate and the facts allowed in the debate, but to force them to accept your nonsense as valuable.

    How about if we ALL agree to just stick to the arguments from now on?

    QED.

    Agreed? If your arguments are as water-tight as you think they are, they should be able to stand on their own? Shouldn’t they?

    Shit, this is rich. Are you for real? You keep linking to biased green agenda sites that are so full of holes they make the rip that sank the Titanic look like a micro fracture. I on the other hand linked you a video of Obama telling the reporter his CO2 emission agenda is top priority and that as a result of that energy prices are about to skyrocket in the US, and you not only dismissed it as irrelevant, but then vehemently denied that was Obama’s agenda. How much water tight do things have to be for you to buy them?

    Don’t bother. I know that the only things you consider water tight are the ones your faith tells you are so, and that anything else is just leaking like a sift. And that request is just the usual leftist’s debate tactic/attempt to control the boundaries of the argument. I pass. I have no intention of letting you pull this shit. Here is some advice for you. If you come at me with this green garbage, prepare for a shit storm.

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  43. AlexInCT says:

    My degree has little to do with my analysis of our global energy situation.

    Can you tell me what you think that is Kimpost?

    Seems to me like you are so infuriated with what you regard as a leftist agenda, that it makes you blind, deaf as well as unable to read braille. My advice to you is to read up on the subject, if you really are interested.

    See? Here we go! This is some of that elitist liberal intelligentsia bias we were pointing out existed on some other thread. You are basically dismissing me as uneducated on the subject because I do not have the same faith you have? I have read far more than you I bet. The difference is that I have done enough real scientific work and read enough real scientific work to know when I am being fed a bunch of garbage. I can guarantee you that there is no other field of hard science out there that would ever, ever, tolerate this consensus science nonsense. If you are not willing to share your work and let others, and especially those critical of it, replicate it and see if they produce the same result, and your peer review circle is comprised only of believers that shun the work of the heretics, well, then you aren’t engaged in any kind of science.

    Would you do so, I’m fairly convinced that you would also accept what science is saying.

    Actually I am angry because science has been done a disservice. What you seem to be calling science is anything but. It’s a travesty and an insult to real science.

    Science fully answers the questions you have about water vapor, sun spots, Milankovitch cycles, CO2 from volcanoes, and CO2 trapped in oceans.

    So then why do you continue to pretend that the church of AGW and the “consensus scientists” – yes, that’s in quotes to point out I consider them to be anything but – have a foot to stand on when science already points out they are full of it? Or is it you passing off the crap your faith has said that the heretics as deniers say because oil companies pay them to do so, as science now? Laughable.

    Science also fully answers your doubts on hidden declines and whatever more myths that are out there regarding the letters of East Anglia.

    Oh, that’s a good one. What science is that? A circle jerk of believers that then proceed to make excuses as to why criminal behavior that would discredit anyone else claiming to be doing scientific work doesn’t discredit the work they have produced? That science? I mean it is not as if this stuff they are doing needs to be top secret and is critical to national defense, but the way these collectivist in academia have circled the wagons to prevent their critics from getting even the smallest peek at what they are doing should make everyone’s hackles go up.

    Let me ask you honestly, if the East Anglia incident had been someone releasing that kind of damning information from the other side, would you be defending them and pretending this was much ado about nothing? I don’t think so.

    Perfect Kimpost. Well said.

    I had a clever comeback running along the parallel of asking people to pull Obama’s dick out of their mouth after they finished servicing him (meaning defending the indefensible as if it was actually meaningful), but I will refrain from applying it to you CM.

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  44. AlexInCT says:

    I agree that idiotic thinking would be to continue with a policy that has had unintended and serious consequences.

    Which are what? I have yet to have anyone prove there are any consequences. Usually I am told it will mean the end of the world. It’s always apocalyptic because those claiming the “unintended and serious consequences” always are fanatics with a watermelon agenda. The objective and solution have nothing to do with addressing the problem. It’s always about breaking the status quo, an attempt to upend the existing power structure by the collectivists because they don’t like it, and a world where we have less energy and less freedom. I pass!

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  45. CM says:

    See CM, if there was any truth to this I would suspect/expect investors – those evil capitalists – would be all over this cuase no matter how much they might hate you AGW cultists, they are about making money first. That’s what greedy capiltalists do. When they see something that is going to add serious value, making everyone want it, and they realize there is an opportunity to make money, they go for it, without abandon.

    You mean like Al Gore, who has been criticised heavily for investing in it?

    Any truth to what? That these technologies work? They’re proven to work. That’s not in dispute. The arguments are about which are best in each situation.

    through idiotic legislation that bans or destorys the competitiveness of better options

    Which better options? Better for who?

    …so you will excuse me for not believing any of this.

    As your entire premise on the issue is based on conspiracy and fraud, I don’t expect you to be objective at all.

    Breakthrough technologies that make sense do not need government to make them happen. Did Apple need the government to push their PCs or their iPhone? What about Mercedes, Saab, Rolls Royce, or Ferrari? Do they need government to sell their products? No. The ones that need help are the ones that usually produce a crappy or uncompetitive product nobody realy wants.

    Many breakthrough technologies enjoy (and have enjoyed) support by the public sector. In the case of energy technologies, it’s about helping them to penetrate the marketplace more easily and quickly. And it’s about making it more affordable more quicker to consumer. My personal situation is a good example. The government makes it slightly less expensive for me to choose an option which uses significantly less energy, and ultimately saves me money in the long run. and produces jobs.

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  46. CM says:

    What do you mean by that? That because the cult has different factions at odds with each other it isn’t behaving very much like most cults & religions? Are you that historically challenged?

    Fair enough. But I’m still waiting to hear of another cult which is based on a century of published scientific research. Or one which is based on logic and rationality and evidence rather than belief. Let me know when you come up with one.

    How are animal lovers and eugenicists are pitted against those who recognise that transitioning ourselves as quickly as possible to sustainable energies and economies is important?

    Really?

    Yes, really.

    By destroying the economies & freedoms of the people of the west?

    No, that’s much much more likely to happen if we do nothing. The whole point is to save as much as possible. But then you’ll disagree because your entire premise is deeply flawed (which is why you’re in a very distinct minority, and really only joined by fellow conspiracy theorists). There is nothing even remotely controversial about the concept of sustainability, or the acknowledgement that we can’t continue as we are. The arguments are now about how we transition.

    Because that remains the only clear agenda & objective that I see these morons able to actually get done.

    Well as you haven’t even tried to consider the issue with any degree of honesty or objectivity, that’s no surprise at all.

    Nothing they are doing will prevent any warming, or cooling for that mater, because their solutions are ideological, not technological.

    Um no, I’ve already provided information in this very thread to technological methods of mitigating future warming. There is nothing ideological about physics.

    Take some time to read some Lomborgh. I know the church of AGW now brands him a heretic, but he is dead on when he points out that warming or not, what’s being done by the cultists is suicidal, and will not only not stop anything, but cause more harm.

    Can you provide me some links?
    Do you mean Bjørn Lomborg?
    Whatever denier blog provides you with all your garbage clearly has either done some of it’s usual cherry-picking, or hasn’t kept up to date with Lomborg’s thinking.

    Read these, you’ll need to find someone else to support your ridiculous and evidence-free claims:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/aug/30/bjorn-lomborg-climate-change-u-turn
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100831/sc_yblog_upshot/noted-anti-global-warming-scientist-reverses-course

    Your claim that this is about being better positioned to adapt to the changes not only rings hollow, it is insulting.

    Your fundamental premise, as well as all the nonsense that stems from it, is just such utter nonsense and easily debunked. It’s all an insult to anyone who can think for themselves. You clearly can’t – everything you say is from the Denier 101 playbook, has been debunked years ago, and is conspiracy based. Not sure who you think you are kidding, other than yourself.

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  47. CM says:

    This is some of that elitist liberal intelligentsia bias we were pointing out existed on some other thread.

    No, this would simply be an accusation of “elitist liberal intelligentsia bias” but it’s actually your very very poor arguments and flawed premise being picked apart. But rather than accept that and change your thinking accordingly (that would be the rational thing to do), you find it far easier (and self-confirming) to just blame it on “elitist liberal intelligentsia bias”

    Anyway, I’ll Kimpost handle the rest of it, apart from this…

    I had a clever comeback running along the parallel of asking people to pull Obama’s dick out of their mouth after they finished servicing him (meaning defending the indefensible as if it was actually meaningful), but I will refrain from applying it to you CM.

    Again, I’ll request that you stop with the personal abuse. Stick to the arguments please. If they’re are strong as you think they are, there is simply no need to descend into shit like this.

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  48. CM says:

    You might think that’s an insult, but then it is because you have the same reaction to logic & facts as a vampire has to holy symbols/water and garlic.

    Let me know when you have some facts Alex. I’ve never come across anyone online yet who is so fact-free.

    What’s getting tiresome CM is you pretending this shit you spout isn’t a display of religious fantisicim. You are immune to logic or facts.

    Got any facts? Got any logic? I don’t see any from you. Prove that it’s a “display of religious fantisicim”. Every time I ask you for evidence or proof, you just repeat your accusation.

    You ignore what what you don’t like and demand people limit the discussion to only those things you hope will allow you to force them to your conclusions.

    That is simply more blatant misrepresentation. Where have I tried to limit the discussion? I’ve certainly been told off for mentioning climate change in other threads.
    All I’m usually requesting is some evidence (let alone sufficient, let alone actual proof) to back up the accusations and inneundo. But you never seem to have any.

    When they don’t play – like I do every time

    If you by ‘play’ you mean repeating your accusations and narratives, then that’s true. But, as I keep saying, I’m usually always requesting evidence.

    – you just keep repeating your stupid and pretending that the issue is with them instead of you wanting to not only control the debate and the facts allowed in the debate, but to force them to accept your nonsense as valuable.

    All facts are allowed. Any facts would be great. If you can counter what I say with a fact-based explanation as to why/how I’m wrong, then you should do it. Please. So far you’ve failed miserably everywhere.

    Anyway, I assume your answer to my request is “No, I won’t stop with the accusations, personal abuse, conspiracy theory”. Oh well, I thought it was worth asking. Your choice.

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  49. CM says:

    Which are what?

    Sahrab’s explains them, on that particular issue, in his post. That was the context of what I said in response.

    I have yet to have anyone prove there are any consequences.

    Again, the consequences I am talking about were in relation to that issue.

    Usually I am told it will mean the end of the world.

    Are you meaning climate change effects in general? Who is telling you that?

    It’s always apocalyptic because those claiming the “unintended and serious consequences” always are fanatics with a watermelon agenda.

    Can you provide some quotes? I’ve never seen or heard anything like that from anyone in the climate change community.

    The objective and solution have nothing to do with addressing the problem. It’s always about breaking the status quo, an attempt to upend the existing power structure by the collectivists because they don’t like it, and a world where we have less energy and less freedom. I pass!

    Yes, I think we’re all well aware of your narrative. We’re just waiting on the proof. Or at least sufficient evidence to make the case. Or at least some evidence at all.
    Again your narrative (as you’ve explained it before) seems to be that the elites want to use this to consolidate and extend their power. But now you’re saying the whole thing is designed to “upend the existing power structure”? I thought the “collectivists” WERE the existing power structure?
    Sure, you can given the whole thing a pass entirely. That just means you’re not part of the discussion. It would be FAR better if you were part of the discussion though. It doesn’t need to be about ideology (and this is why many people from the left and the right can come together and agree on the issue).

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  50. Kimpost says:

    You response was predictable. Mainly because of the way I addressed the issue, but I couldn’t help myself, Alex. You are so god damned stubborn in the way you are always doubling down on everything, regardless of the subject.

    You asked me about my view on the global energy situation. It would be ridiculously presumptuous of me to claim that I was sitting on some kind of overall answers to something as broad and complex as all that. I don’t. I do have some general opinions though, so here goes.

    We are way too dependent on fossil fuels, which is an ending as well as a polluting resource. I also think that they are heavily subsidized, which makes it even more difficult to move away from them. Not just through tax exemptions at national levels, but also by the militarism (seemingly) needed to secure access to much of it.

    I also believe that science strongly supports AGW. Ample evidence suggests that humans are influencing the climate, by spouting green house gasses (mainly CO2) into the atmosphere. This is a major problem, not because it will melt or explode the earth, but because it might cause turmoil, mass migration, starvation and even wars.

    I believe that we need to move towards wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, biofuels, wave etc. Towards all of them, not towards one of them. I don’t believe in one single magical energy source to replace them all. We also need to handle the transition wisely, so we don’t crush our current economies, which would not only be hurtful financially, but also ecologically. We can’t do jack shit without money.

    See? Here we go! This is some of that elitist liberal intelligentsia bias we were pointing out existed on some other thread. You are basically dismissing me as uneducated on the subject because I do not have the same faith you have?

    You made me arrogant, by your broad brush way of dismissing scientists, and their findings as non-science. You actually go so far, as to claiming, that the science behind AGW is not science at all. An incredible position to hold, by anyone’s standards. Not to you though. You just don’t see it.

    I have read far more than you I bet. The difference is that I have done enough real scientific work and read enough real scientific work to know when I am being fed a bunch of garbage.

    You sure enjoy blowing your own horn, but if you really have read more than me on this subject, you sure as hell aren’t showing it. Read what science says, instead of what anti-science blog says. Follow the scientific back and forth instead of following the politics of it. There are areas of disagreement within the science community, as there always have been. In fact that’s what advances science. The field of AGW is no different in that regard. There are disagreements, but as CM has pointed out, disagreements aren’t about the fundamentals we are discussing here. Is AGW real? An overwhelming majority of scientists says, yes.

    I can guarantee you that there is no other field of hard science out there that would ever, ever, tolerate this consensus science nonsense. If you are not willing to share your work and let others, and especially those critical of it, replicate it and see if they produce the same result, and your peer review circle is comprised only of believers that shun the work of the heretics, well, then you aren’t engaged in any kind of science.

    Well, you are just wrong on everything you just stated here. The work is openly shared within the community. Most of it is open even outside of it. In fact, even you and me could analyse temperature records if we would like to do so. I played around with Russian temperature records myself a year or two ago, to see if I could find anomalies. I couldn’t. Their data records were essentially the same as the ones from Europe and US. Not exactly the same, nota bene, but the trend lines matched up perfectly.

    You attack the peer review process, but you always do so without being specific. Which makes it impossible to respond to, other than by being a smartass arrogant jerk. You bring the arse out of me.

    I can’t help to wonder if you actually realize that you are essentially saying that everything pointing towards AGW is wrong, and how silly that makes you look?

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  51. Kimpost says:

    He is the one that brought up he is an ME, and I am baffled that anyone with such an educational background so easliy fails basic logic

    How could that possibly baffle you, when there are tens of thousands of actual scientists out there who are claiming that their work is real?

    And you think that I fail basic logic?

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  52. JimK says:

    Gentlemen. Can you take a step back for a second? Do you have any idea how fucking mind-numbing this eternal, never-ending snark back and fucking forth is? No one reads this shit anymore but the people involved in it. I’ve LITERALLY started to roll my eyes when I see the names attached to these comments.

    Give it a goddamned rest. None of you are ever going to convince anyone of anything at this point. All you do is talk past each other and play the roles you’ve created for yourselves. Maybe get a fucking hobby? Take up masturbation on the regular? Stick your dicks in a blender just to shake things up a little?

    Rich, we desperately need one of your off-topic specialties around here. Something that we can maybe not turn into a 300-comment tl;dr-fest.
    JimK recently posted..Tour de Cure 2011 North Haven, CT ride report (plus thanks!)My Profile

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  53. loserlame says:

    ..but not on the scale I’d come to expect from the better people on earth who don’t care about money, just the birds trees around them – by demanding the US protect them.

    You’re so far from being qualified critics and decent examples of anything green its laughable.

    “Incentives” my arse. How about finally “practicing what you preach over and over and over and over”

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  54. loserlame says:

    CM .. and having posted expert links about how things might could might work, you’ve done all you can, now you just need to repost them, every now and then, to raise awareness?

    I’m afraid thats not good enough for me. “We all need to” needs to be replaced by “I went out and did this/that even though it cost me an assload I feel I’ve done something”

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  55. loserlame says:

    You mean like Al Gore, who has been criticised heavily for investing in it?

    Al’s a politician and borderline cultist in a suit, Clintons erstwhile sidekick, etc. which means hes bad for the Cause. I wouldn’t want him to “lead” anyone anywhere, much less a green revolution, which, in my experience, likes to throw Molotovs and spray paint walls to save the trees, resulting in harmful CO2 emissions

    Oh, wait, trees like CO2 so its all good and noble.

    The arguments are about which are best in each situation.

    You’re right, the technologies have been available for decades now. Its taking experts far too long to decide how. I say set em up and learn as you go.

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  56. loserlame says:

    Set up some windmills, put some panels on your roof. if they don’t work as advertised by the Experts, put them somewhere else, or pass them to the poor who have no electricity at all . How large and negative could the environmental impact possibly be?

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  57. loserlame says:

    lol – this is so completely beyond hilarious:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110614/ts_afp/usspacesun

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – For years, scientists have been predicting the Sun would by around 2012 move into solar maximum, a period of intense flares and sunspot activity, but lately a curious calm has suggested quite the opposite.

    According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century.

    “This is highly unusual and unexpected,” said Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network, as the findings of the three studies were presented at the annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Physics Division in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

    “But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.”

    Solar activity tends to rise and fall every 11 years or so. The solar maximum and solar minimum each mark about half the interval of the magnetic pole reversal on the Sun, which happens every 22 years.

    Hill said the current cycle, number 24, “may be the last normal one for some time and the next one, cycle 25, may not happen for some time.

    “This is important because the solar cycle causes space weather which affects modern technology and may contribute to climate change,” he told reporters.

    Experts are now probing whether this period of inactivity could be a second Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period when hardly any sunspots were observed between 1645-1715, a period known as the “Little Ice Age.

    “If we are right, this could be the last solar maximum we’ll see for a few decades. That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth’s climate,” said Hill.

    Thats as far as most Americans will read. The truly concerned can’t help but suspect that this “expert study” was paid for by Big Oil, and that, if anything, clouds of CO2 are blotting out the sun. Its all an excuse to keep burning oil.

    Alas

    “A new Maunder-type solar activity minimum cannot offset the global warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions,” wrote authors Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf, noting that forecasts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have found a range of 3.7 Celsius to 4.5 Celsius rise by this century’s end compared to the latter half of the 20th century.

    “Moreover, any offset of global warming due to a grand minimum of solar activity would be merely a temporary effect, since the distinct solar minima during the last millennium typically lasted for only several decades or a century at most.”

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  58. InsipiD says:

    But the engineering of micro solutions vs macro solutions should be what proves one more effective than the other. Obviously, if solar panels on building roofs made more power per dollar than a mirror matrix and liquid sodium collector located in the desert, they’d put panels on roofs instead. Think about what a maintenance nightmare it would be for a public utility to rely on generation from a bunch of scatter low-power panels. It doesn’t seem likely that micro solutions could even approach the efficiency of macro.

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  59. CM says:

    but not on the scale I’d come to expect from the better people on earth who don’t care about money, just the birds trees around them – by demanding the US protect them.

    That’s because you’re not even remotely reasonable.

    You’re so far from being qualified critics and decent examples of anything green its laughable.

    How so?

    “Incentives” my arse. How about finally “practicing what you preach over and over and over and over”

    What does that even mean?

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  60. CM says:

    CM .. and having posted expert links about how things might could might work, you’ve done all you can, now you just need to repost them, every now and then, to raise awareness?

    And you can keep saying “it’s not good enough” but that’s even more meaningless.

    I’m afraid thats not good enough for me. “We all need to” needs to be replaced by “I went out and did this/that even though it cost me an assload I feel I’ve done something”

    Yeah, I am spending an assload by installing a system which has a capital cost many times over the “standard” replacement.
    You’re completely unreasonable. That’s your choice. The downside of that is that when you say “that’s not good enough for me, it’s completely meaningless.

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  61. loserlame says:

    Next up would be for us, not you, to determine whether your “assload” honestly qualifies as such, in %.

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  62. loserlame says:

    You keep telling everyone what to do but aren’t doing so yourself which is wholly unreasonable. especially given how long and how often you do so.

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  63. CM says:

    Where do I tell everyone what to do???!

    What am I not doing myself? I already said it looks like I’ll buy a heat-pump hot-water system, which should reduce my household electricity usage by about 25% (70% of the power required to make hot water).

    Neither of your statements are even remotely accurate. Why would you bother?

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  64. CM says:

    Next up would be for us, not you, to determine whether your “assload” honestly qualifies as such, in %.

    If you come up with an argument as to why reducing my household energy consumption by at least 25% by taking one specific step isn’t of signficance, then present it.

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  65. CM says:

    Yep, sure. I’m more than happy to just stick to the arguments Jim. I’ve already asked him a few times if he stop with all the other shit.

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  66. CM says:

    Ok loserlame (and Alex), how about Google then?

    As part of its RE<C campaign, Google has made a few high-profile investments in large-scale solar and geothermal technologies since 2008. But the risky nature of those investments means they might not pay off for many more years.

    This week, Google switched gears and invested $290 million, its largest investment yet, in SolarCity, one of the pioneering solar services companies. Google’s $290 million will go into a fund that supports the installation of solar systems and the creation of the financial products that make solar services cost-competitive today.

    But the engineering of micro solutions vs macro solutions should be what proves one more effective than the other.

    There doesn’t need to be a choice of one or the other, particularly when you can hook your single-site solutions into the grid.

    You’re right, the technologies have been available for decades now. Its taking experts far too long to decide how. I say set em up and learn as you go.

    Again, they already are being set up. Targets are being achieved.

    Since 2004, 26 states have put long-term energy efficiency resource standards (EERS) into place. Like renewable energy standards, these programs set long-term targets for demand reductions that power providers must meet – usually by helping end-use customers save energy.

    A new report out from the American Council on Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) looks at 19 of those programs that have been in place for over two years. And guess what? Thus far, the programs are working.

    According to ACEEE, “almost every state with an EERS is on track, meeting, or exceeding goals in 2010.”

    To date, 13 states have achieved 100% of their targets, 3 states are at 90% of their targets, and only 3 others are below 80%.

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  67. CM says:

    That certainly is interesting.
    I’m missing how “this is so completely beyond hilarious” though…….

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  68. JimK says:

    Don’t pretend like you aren’t part of the problem. You poke and poke, and you ramble the fuck on and use the whole “wall of words” online debate technique. You know goddamned well you aren’t listening to anything he says, nor is he listening to anything you have to say. You *know* this, so don’t play the whole “What, me?” game.

    Give it a god damned rest for maybe a day or two. Not every fucking thing requires tens of thousands of words of comment that all say the same goddamned thing.

    You too, Alex. This shit is getting old in a big fat hurry. I’m not saying I’m gonna do anything about it if you two continue, I’m just outlining the frustration this wall of bullshit brings for everyone.

    Enough. You disagree completely. HOW MANY FUCKING WORDS DOES IT TAKE TO REALIZE THAT?
    JimK recently posted..Tour de Cure 2011 North Haven, CT ride report (plus thanks!)My Profile

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  69. CM says:

    Sorry Jim but I completely disagree that I’m not listening to anything he says. I read what he says carefully, and I ask questions to try to get him to explain things further (or support his contention). Invariably he ignores them completely, or just repeats himself. And then for some bizarre reason he just claims that’s what I’m doing.

    But anyway point taken, I’ll behave. No use continuing to bang my head on the same wall.

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  70. HARLEY says:

    A-Fucking-men……… someone finally said it!

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  71. InsipiD says:

    Eddie Haskell.

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  72. CM says:

    However, when no parents were around, Eddie was always up to no good — either conniving with his friends, or picking on Wally’s younger brother Beaver.

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

    No, that’s not me. I’m only really nice to beaver.

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  73. richtaylor365 says:

    As somebody who knew Ken Osmond, I’m glad to say that he turned out pretty well.

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  74. CM says:

    There’s an Aussie tv show about advertising and every week they have two ad people who are tasked with selling the unsellable.
    Here are the two efforts selling global warming…..
    http://youtu.be/gUuOavKonRU
    The second one clearly better.

    Selling the idea of living next to a nuclear reactor.
    http://youtu.be/QoiwIl-_PYU

    Perhaps more entertaining (and closer to home) is this one though – selling the idea of invading New Zealand.
    http://youtu.be/k9kkVo7Rv8g
    And here the Kiwis get their revenge and pitch ads against Aussie tourism

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  75. sahrab says:

    The truly concerned can’t help but suspect that this “expert study” was paid for by Big Oil, and that, if anything, clouds of CO2 are blotting out the sun. Its all an excuse to keep burning oil.

    This is one of the larger bones of contention i have in the “Debate”

    All things being equal, and if we lived in a perfect world; Scientests funded by Government Grants, with the disposition of those grants overseen by Politicians, would have the integrity to release findings that would/could run counter to the Political agenda of the Politicians dispersing the funds.

    But we dont live in a perfect world and Scientests, being human, have already shown they are reluctant to release funding that will lead to the Government Grants coming to an end. Even to the point they will suppress alternative findings, misrepresent their own findings, all with the intention to give the customer what answer it wants to ensure the Grants continue.

    So why are reportings from Scientests paid for with Government Grants, a Government that does have a *stake in the finding of “Global Warming”, any more valid than Scientests paid by Exxon?

    More simply, why are Scientests who are paid by Exxon suspect, but Scientests paid for by Government Grants not?

    *the stake for the Government is increased legislation and growth of the Government body. Government, just as any other organism, has a vested interested in the growth of that organism, anything that can lead to this growth will be supported

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  76. Kimpost says:

    The reports you are talking about need to pass a powerful filter, called the peer review process. If the science is flawed, it will likely get stuck in the filter.

    Regarding Exxon vs. Government, there are major differences between the two. The main one being that where one influence is direct, the other is at best, (or worse, depending on how you see it) in-direct. But regardless of all this, and this is important, the peer review process should be able to separate the bad from the good. A report coming from Exxon or Philip Morris isn’t invalid in itself. Its validity depends on its ability to survive scrutiny.

    Now, if a scientist or a group of scientists reject using the peer review process, then that’s an entirely different matter. I would call that pseudo science, even such findings in hind sight turned out to be correct. Because science at its core demands reproducibility.

    The article loserlame found, as interesting as it is, has nothing to do with AGW. They are separate matters.

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  77. sahrab says:

    And thats the issue.

    Exxon funded Scientest – submits to the same peer review as Government funded Scientest

    Government funded Scientest – submits to the same peer review as the Exxxon funded Scientest.

    Thanks for the lesson in obvious. But also not an issue and not the point.

    Exxon funded Scientest is immediatly dismissed, in the public and Government review, as having a conflict of interest. In the game of public politics, the same standard is not applied to the Government funded Scientest. The same standard is also missing when it comes to the validity of the peer review. Having the investigated party, investigate its own malfescence (sp?), should immediately throw warning bells. Instead they are granted an inordinate amount of …. innocence, even when common sense should warn differently.

    You do it yourself in the above:

    You rely upon the “impartial” (Government funded) Scientific findings when discussing AGW. Without regard to whether the Scientific peer Review supports it.

    You then dismiss the “vested interest” (Exxon funded) findings of anti-AGW solely based on the Public and Political peer review, without a thought on the Scientific peer Review that supports it.

    Your holding the “Vested Interest” to a much higher standard than you hold the “impartial” scientific finding. Besides the finding that Anglia determined about the Anglia ClimateGate, you dont look to the same Scientific peer Review when it comes to the discussion about whether Global Warming and AGW is the same thing.

    Thats also the important distinction. Many on here, will grant that Global Warming maybe occurring. The debate is whether its ManMade. When the debate gets heated, those that do not support AGW are accused of denying Global Warming as a whole. This shows the dishonesty of those who support the Government funded Sciences blindly

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  78. AlexInCT says:

    The reports you are talking about need to pass a powerful filter, called the peer review process. If the science is flawed, it will likely get stuck in the filter.

    Oh Kimpost, thanks for the laugh. Shit, have you missed the fact that the “peer review” process for this idiotic cult’s faux-science has not only been rigged to excluded and dismiss anyone that wasn’t saying what the pushers wanted – they are in the pockets of the oil industry, so hence nothing they say is real science! – but that they didn’t even bother to pretend that was the case? This is the “scientific community” – that’s in quotes to show I find nothing scientific about this disgrace to real science and the scientific process, composed mostly of mouth pieces with no scientific background – comprised largely of watermelons, that told us the consensus wasn’t questionable and then labeled people that disagreed with their faith deniers. Oh wait, you are one of those that believes that the furor an fury generated by their disclosure that these crooks seemed to have a incredibly high level of disregard for the real scientific process and science shown by the ClimateGate emails from the East Anglia tools was just much ado about nothing. That explains it all.

    Seriously, there hasn’t been any kind of peer review allowed by the church of AGW since they got backing from governments to push this nonsense. Anyone that had an objection was removed from the “peer” circle and then, for good measures, had their reputation destroyed, not with facts, but the allegation that their work was tainted and biased because they had some connection to fossil energy. The contrary argument – the “peer reviewers” were in the pockets of governments, with resources that dwarfed the maligned energy companies, which decided to use the faux crisis to their advantage – never was taken seriously, and even dismissed, as it was here on this thread. Because, after all, governments ALWAYS are looking for our welfare, and couldn’t possibly think the peasants are just sheep to sheer.

    If the peer review process was actually allowed to work as it should be and the scientific process was honored, “Global Warming” would have suffered the same fate its predecessor excuse by the Marxists, “Global Cooling”, did. Once it became obvious these people were full of shit and couldn’t prove their ridiculous claims. Besides, I see a ton of similarities between the church of AGW and leftist governments. The more their predictions and actions result in failure, the more credibility they claim they have.

    Stop insulting science by confliting this religious fanticism with it please. Some of us still have respect for it and just are disgusted hearing people pretend the AGW cultists do any kind of science.

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  79. AlexInCT says:

    I wish I could click the thumbs up 15 times for this post sarahb. You hit it right on the head. These cultists want us to believe everyone that disagrees with them either is stupid and unable to do scientific work, starting from a desired outcome then working their “science” to reach the conclusions that favor their nefarious purposes, or doing both. Those questioning the dogma are not just committing heresy, they are doing it because they are evil. But those that believe in the holy scriptures of the church of AGW are all sainted and would never, ever, ever, evah!, have ulterior motives or be actually engaged in precisely the kind of behavior & motives they attribute to the heretics, and even when proof is obtained that is exactly the case, it is dismissed as irrelevant. After all the science is settled, and the consensus unbreakable. And the heretics better shut up and stop pointing out or asking why all the proposed solutions are massive social engineering ones, ultra light on any real technical engineering of actually value, that won’t make even a dent in the problem, as presented and predicted by the cultists.

    Thats also the important distinction. Many on here, will grant that Global Warming maybe occurring.

    It is. It has been since the dawn of time. There are no such things as optimum or average temperatures. We have had ice ages and really hot periods all through the planets history. During 99% of that time man wasn’t around. Real science has proved that. And unless someone can show me the dinosaurs driving SUVs and releasing CO2 at idioticly high levels to cause all that heat, or the early natives using massive aircondition to cause all those glaciers to form, I am going to dismiss people that blame man, ignore the primary drivers that affect thermal energy on the planet, or even worse, bastardize the science around it to blame their new devil – CO2 – and actually refuse to let real science find out what man’s real impact, is if any, outright. And if the UN tells you something, always assume they are lying to you.

    The debate is whether its ManMade.

    And so far, those making this claim have done anything but use science to prove that.

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  80. Kimpost says:

    Did you miss this?

    A report coming from Exxon or Philip Morris isn’t invalid in itself. Its validity depends on its ability to survive scrutiny.

    Which means that I’m not holding the science to different standards. Exxon science is just as valid as anything else, if it stands up to scrutiny.

    Besides the finding that Anglia determined about the Anglia ClimateGate, you dont look to the same Scientific peer Review when it comes to the discussion about whether Global Warming and AGW is the same thing.

    Is this your impression or are you asking me? If you’re asking me then I would obviously disagree. GW and AGW aren’t the same, but science suggests that both are happening. There’s no real dispute within the science community regarding if humans are influencing the climate. There is however dispute when it comes to the significance (level/degree) of that influence.

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  81. Kimpost says:

    Alex. I think it’s probably best if we just ignore each other for a while, at least on this subject. We aren’t getting anywhere, and we are polluting the board by exchanging insults.

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  82. AlexInCT says:

    A report coming from Exxon or Philip Morris isn’t invalid in itself. Its validity depends on its ability to survive scrutiny.

    By a biased and closed circle of people that refuse to even consider anything that doesn’t echo what they believe in as possible? Heh! That’s golden.

    Our disconnect is that you think there is a valid peer review process, and it is obvious to the rest of us that that’s as real as Santa Claus.

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  83. AlexInCT says:

    Alex. I think it’s probably best if we just ignore each other for a while, at least on this subject. We aren’t getting anywhere, and we are polluting the board by exchanging insults.

    I wasn’t exchanging insults. I was pointing out the fallacies in your hypotheses. You think that what’s been going on is real science, that the other side has a nefarious agenda, and that unless we let the people pushing this to recreate society as a whole, with a lot less freedom and prosperity, that we are heading for calamity. I am certain that real science is not the going – in fact, the East Anglia emails, what they exposed, and the aftermath and attempts to minimize the damage you so readily dismiss as irrelevant, prove that point – that your side has a far more nefarious agenda, and that I would prefer to keep my freedom & prosperity, even if it actually might have an impact, until they can prove to me conclusively that freedom and prosperity aren’t going to leave us a lot better prepared to deal with any changes, man made or not, than the proposed alternative. I have seen the results of collectivism, and I am neither impressed or yearning to live under that yoke. I am certain that if there is something bad down the road, the collecitivst model will only make it worse.

    You can pretend I am just insulting you BTW, but If my posts come across as such it is just my anger at how I see real science and the scientific process bastardized and abused by people that believe our salvation is an ideology that has murdered over a hundred million people and enslaved billions in misery in under a century. Tyrannical governments, even the soft western ones we have today that are hell bent on sliding down closer towards the hardcore models where government is all powerfull, never appeal to me much, and I am just naturally inclined to fight this process.

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  84. Kimpost says:

    Well, it’s clear to me that many of the arguments have become personal in nature, from both sides.

    On the subject of AGW I think you are wrong on most everything. I think you are wrong on what constitutes science, you are wrong on what the letters of East Anglia showed and you are wrong on the peer review process. I happen to think that all of that is objectively demonstrable, but my impression of this whole back and forth is that I can’t get through to you.

    In my opinion you’re not listening. I’m sure you think the same about me. So, what’s the point of going on?

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  85. balthazar says:

    The most efficient solar cells out there are the Gallium cells. They can have 40% efficiency. Too bad Gallium costs 15 bucks a gram. So a mear 460 bucks and ounce!!!! THAT is why shit like solar is a pipe dream right now. Without cheaper cells theres no way it will be cost efficient.

    The commercially available cost per watt solar panels are $1 PER WATT(not installed btw that jumps the price up to about 8 bucks per watt). By comparison power per KWH is about 18 CENTS on average in the us. The average home uses 11000 KWH per year. That s about 2000 us a year in cost.

    To totally power your house with solar it will cost you about 50k. So it will take you TWENTY FIVE YEARS just to break even. And thats if you have NO issues with the solar cells. This is all assuming you have the correct amount of sunny days and SPACE for all the damn panels you need.

    I’ll get right on that…

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  86. loserlame says:

    Computer experts didn’t think home computers would ever replace the mainframe either

    I contend that small businesses and private households should lease and maintain their own lil solar panels, whilst connected to the macro grid should some minor crises arise.

    I can’t help but picture noble jihadists in pure self-defense blowing up some huge unguarded solar farm out in the desert, to raise awareness over their lack of free, US-funded solar panels, and this taking weeks or months to repair. Who’s still got juice? A lot of small people, the good people.

    The evil, big, money-grubbing conglomerates rightfully suffer, but the noble masses live right on, posting about AGW on their home computers, not via mainframe. Talking about how the US is to blame, after all

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  87. loserlame says:

    I could (again) mention that this AGW debate is just like living in Germany. No matter what the topic, it always ended in “America this, America that”
    I’m showering after a workout at the gym. Being open and unprude to one another, one guy complains to a buddy about hemorrhoids, to wit.
    “I got ‘rhoids”
    “You been eating at McDonalds”
    “They burn a bit”
    “Been drinking that shitty Diet Coke chemical poison? Its bad for your muscles and health”
    “Nah. Yeah look at Americans. They suck it down by the liter. ”
    “Then those blacks like Haney take steroids to melt all the chemicals off again. Cheaters”
    “Typical. Tom Platz (German: “to burst”) keeps fastfood in his cheeks. We get beer bellies, they get toxic waste dumps”
    “God, their beer sucks. Its all ‘lite’ chemicals in plastic bottles Yuck”
    “Then their doctors give them more chemicals”
    “And they have to pay for it all”
    “Preparation H by the SUV load”
    “Prepare to shit calcified fastfood. fries coming out sideways lol”
    “Man, thats gotta burn. ‘Oh, no, Johnny cracked the bowl at home. Johnny, next time shit when we’re at Burger King’ ”
    ” ‘ I got 20 lb. ‘rhoids lol ”
    “Flex them for us lol, Do they have their own names lol”
    ” ‘Uncle Bob’ lol”
    “lolol”
    ” ‘I got Bob from anal sex with black man Jabar. Hes got a 16 incher.’ ”
    “Did he really cause your ‘rhoids? Is it not a massage lolol’
    “lololol”
    “Jabar passes out from too much blood leaving his brain, the other cuz Bob is bleeding like a stuck pig lolol”
    ” lolololol”

    “Hey why did you get an erection?”

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  88. loserlame says:

    Experts thought the sun spots would stay, and experts aren’t prepared to fix things if the earth gets colder and darker instead of warmer. More cold means more heating needed.

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  89. loserlame says:

    To totally power your house with solar it will cost you about 50k. So it will take you TWENTY FIVE YEARS just to break even. And thats if you have NO issues with the solar cells. This is all assuming you have the correct amount of sunny days and SPACE for all the damn panels you need.

    Despite their image-keeping, there are in fact many tens of thousands of self-proclaimed greens who can easily afford this, who could drive costs down and advertise solar’s long-term virtues.
    They could easily pass a little green cell phone charging juice to the poor.

    Do they? Is Al Gore near 0 emissions? Obama? Michael Moore?

    But no, they want it just as cheap as the poor masses and all the praise because thats only “fair” I think not

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  90. loserlame says:

    You could be making that number up, how should I know?

    I can lower my electric bill significantly just by unplugging silent “users” sitting aroundI don’t touch daily or even weekly. Which makes me a noble too.

    But – the electricity I do use is still nuke-made, or something like that.

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  91. CM says:

    You could be making that number up, how should I know?

    Around one-third of power consumption is heating water.

    The system I’m looking at:

    Saves 69.4% annually in Auckland conditions compared with standard HWC, (University of New South Wales, 2008)

    http://www.econergy.co.nz/

    70% of one-third is approx 25%.
    So nothing made up about it.
    If it was made up, I’d be more reluctant to spend all that money up-front.

    I can lower my electric bill significantly just by unplugging silent “users” sitting aroundI don’t touch daily or even weekly. Which makes me a noble too.

    I never said I was noble (this works from a purely financial perspective, as I already said). I was providing an example of how these things ARE happening. But the shorter the payback on them, the more they’ll be adopted.
    Unplugging things isn’t going to make a significant difference. It’s a good start obviously. if you want to save money, and you don’t want to have to put up capital.

    But – the electricity I do use is still nuke-made, or something like that.

    So?

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  92. CM says:

    Alex, you’ve said NOTHING new here and YET AGAIN you’ve provided nothing to support any of your claims. You’re pointed out precisely ZERO fallacies. It’s utterly impossible to have a discussion with you on this subject at all, simply because you refuse to engage in an honest manner (which is deeply ironic given your ongoing and many serious accusations against tens of thousands of professionals). I happen to think you’re attempting to insulate yourself from detail on purpose, because you’re actually not very confident on this issue. However we’ll clearly never know that for sure, because you’ll never allow us to explore it.

    Sahrab you’re in the same boat unless you can provide evidence to support your claims. You’ve also suggested that Kimpost and I hold views that are either not in evidence, or are directly contrary to what we have posted.

    We SHOULD be able to discuss this issue properly. It’s a shame that it’s not possible. But it is what it is.

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  93. CM says:

    Experts thought the sun spots would stay, and experts aren’t prepared to fix things if the earth gets colder and darker instead of warmer. More cold means more heating needed.

    Who has suggested that the “experts aren’t prepared to fix things if the earth gets colder and darker instead of warmer”?
    Who is claiming that the absence of sun spots will make things colder and darker?

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  94. CM says:

    Balt, can you tell me where your information has come from? It’s quite different from everything I’ve read and seen. If what you are saying was true, there would be hardly any solar anywhere. When in fact the market is booming.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-16/u-s-solar-jumps-66-in-first-quarter-on-incentives-low-prices.html

    There are also ways of reducing the upfront costs, such as solar lease or solar power purchase agreements.

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/06/15/245944/solar-service-companies-make-solar-affordable-and-accessible/

    These companies aren’t just installers; they provide the services that allow a home or business owner to invest in solar without the up-front cost. These UpStarts install solar panels on homes for as low as $0 down – while also sheltering a homeowner from having to spend time and money thinking about tax credits, rebates and utility interconnection requirements.

    In the end everyone profits: energy consumers get solar with no upfront costs and lower energy bills, and the solar-services companies benefit from taking advantage of incentives, making solid returns.

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  95. CM says:

    In direct contrast here is an example of SPECIFICS being discussed. A significant proportion of the entire 82 pages are discussions about SPECIFICS. Including about the actual science itself, but also climategate, politics, economics, etc etc.

    Or:
    http://moorewatch.right-thinking.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/3751/
    http://moorewatch.right-thinking.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/3478/
    http://moorewatch.right-thinking.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/3306/
    http://moorewatch.right-thinking.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/2485/
    http://moorewatch.right-thinking.com/index.php/forums/viewthread/1888/

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  96. CM says:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-would-Solar-Grand-Minimum-affect-global-warming.html

    Solar physicists have issued a prediction that the sun may be entering a period of unusually low activity called a grand minimum. This has climate skeptics speculating that solar ‘hibernation’ may be our get-out-of-jail-free card, cancelling out any global warming from our CO2 emissions. However, peer-reviewed research has examined this very scenario, “On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth” (Feulner & Rahmstorf 2010). What they found was even if the sun fell into a grand minimum, global temperature would be diminished by no more than 0.3°C. The sun is not our get-out-of-jail-free card.

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  97. balthazar says:

    First off, since I cant reply to the quote tunnel above I’ll put it here.

    I got my numbers from simple math. 8 Dollars a watt to install, the average US household uses 11000 KWH per year. That equates to about 50k. Again this assumes NO ISSUES AT ALL for yearly maint and repair. People go on and on about the “subsidies” for installing solar. they arnt “subsidies” they are tax credits. The bottom line is you still have to pony up the dough up front. You then get the money back when you do your taxes.

    Even with the 30% tax credit, it still means 16 years before you break even. It also means that if you sell your house before that time you actually lost money. Your better off taking the 50k and investing it in a damn CD for 16 years. Youll get a better return.

    Try to get one of these companies to install “with no initial outlay” it doesnt happen. I dont care what your supposed link claims. Ive looked into it, even had an estimate. NONE of the companies will do it without a significant deposit and the remainder due at completion. Some will take the tax credit off of the price bnut there some wierd contract involved that you need to pay the remainder at some time after taxes are due, and if your tax return dont cover it you are liable for the remainder immediatly.

    Unicorn farts dont work.

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  98. loserlame says:

    CM, you must understand I’m going to have to wait until a few experts of MY choice issue papers, online, proving all of this true/false?

    Also, experts call this occurrance a “Little Ice Age” which is misleading to non-experts.

    But the experts still don’t know why the spots are disappearing. They were pretty confident about their being around for a while longer. Papers can be found online proving this. How can I be sure we won’t freeze, after all?

    Again, who said stuff about lack of/presence of sunspots coinciding with temperatures? The experts:

    Experts are now probing whether this period of inactivity could be a second Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period when hardly any sunspots were observed between 1645-1715, a period known as the “Little Ice Age.”

    “If we are right, this could be the last solar maximum we’ll see for a few decades. That would affect everything from space exploration to Earth’s climate,” said Hill.

    So tell me, how would the global warming experts respond to a significant decline in the earths temperature?

    “Its okay, now. CO2 can be our friend – if we only let it”

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  99. CM says:

    CM, you must understand I’m going to have to wait until a few experts of MY choice issue papers, online, proving all of this true/false?

    Yeah I certainly understand that.

    Also, experts call this occurrance a “Little Ice Age” which is misleading to non-experts.

    How so?

    But the experts still don’t know why the spots are disappearing. They were pretty confident about their being around for a while longer. Papers can be found online proving this. How can I be sure we won’t freeze, after all?

    Because they have a good idea about what effect sun-spots have.

    Again, who said stuff about lack of/presence of sunspots coinciding with temperatures?

    Not significantly, they’re far from the only driver. Particularly now.

    So tell me, how would the global warming experts respond to a significant decline in the earths temperature?

    What do you mean “how would they respond”? You mean “how would they explain it”? I don’t know. You’d have to ask them. Presumably they’d respond by explaining what has happened. Or if they don’t know, they’d say “we don’t know”.

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  100. CM says:

    If they are so uneconomic (even with govt assistance) then how do you explain the significant uptake? To the point where it’s “one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy“?

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  101. Miguelito says:

    I don’t think it’s necessarily uneconomic, but it’s not nearly as much a win/win situation as a lot try to make it out to be.

    I’ve looked at doing solar myself (I probably will, just slow at getting started on big stuff like this). But that’s because I can afford it up front, coupled with the fact that I use a LOT of electricity (several computers on 24/7, tivos and other gadgets, plus a pool) and I don’t plan on moving anytime soon, so I’ll be able to get back a lot in the savings I should see.

    For most average homes though, solar doesn’t seem like all that great an idea. Unless power costs continue to go up a lot, and people are able to somehow secure financing up front (that part is hard for a lot of people now that HELOCs are handed out like candy).

    I also figure that, with my luck, sometime shortly after I do finally put in solar, some new product will come out that’ll cut the cost for a similarly sized system by a sizable chunk. I seem to do that every time I do any big purchases.

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  102. CM says:

    So how to explain the huge uptake of the technology then (and the falling costs as a result)?
    Of course there are more options than just solar. Again, heat pump hot water.

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  103. loserlame says:

    lol. Iin my old science book it said “stimulus – response, stimulus – response” nowadays its “negative stimulus – expert explanation”

    What was it back in the old days

    E(Y) = α + βx

    a is now capitalized, to raise awareness = A
    β has increased to γ = Gamma
    x now truly means “ex, former, less” has become less, ergo x-1, the letter “W”

    So whacha got?

    E(Y) = AGW

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  104. loserlame says:

    F(u)
    CO2 (USA)

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  105. HARLEY says:

    If they are so uneconomic (even with govt assistance) then how do you explain the significant uptake? To the point where it’s “one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy“?

    Because teh FED gov is throwing TONNES of money at the problem, and many eager peole are following the trail of coins, hoping to snag a bit of the game.

    So how to explain the huge uptake of the technology then (and the falling costs as a result)?
    Of course there are more options than just solar. Again, heat pump hot water.

    Again the Massive Gov influx of funds, and the eagerness to innovate to get those funds.

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  106. CM says:

    But they’re attempting to argue that EVEN WITH GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE the economics don’t stack up. So the answer to that clearly just can’t be: “GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE”……
    Who is installing these and why are they doing so if they lose so much money?

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  107. HARLEY says:

    i geuss these people cant or wont do the math.

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  108. CM says:

    i geuss these people cant or wont do the math.

    WTF?!

    I think you’re both talking garbage.

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  109. balthazar says:

    How about instead of wanting it SPOON FED TO YOU, you go look up the math yourself. Jesus christ man people who HAVE LOOKED INTO IT like myself with actual estimates TELL YOU what the actual cost is, yet you still dont believe it.

    Again, its simple fucking math. The current cost(even taking into account the “incentives” which really arnt) means you need to run with NO ISSUES or additional cost for 15 years or more, and NOT sell your house in that time in order to break even.

    So fucking what if you can buy a panel for 1 buck a watt. Its 8 bucks or so TO HAVE IT INSTALLED.

    You really never fucking read what anyone but Kim posts do you?

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  110. balthazar says:

    Here from a site INVESTED in selling you the solar panels, EVEN THEY SAY ITS A MINIMUM OF 10-15 years to break even.

    http://www.solartradingpost.com/solar-panel-roi.html

    That took 5 fucking seconds to find. Your welcome.

    Heres another thats all pie in the sky about how “its getting better” but has no firm dates on when

    http://smallbiztrends.com/2010/08/solar-energy-your-business.html

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  111. CM says:

    How about instead of wanting it SPOON FED TO YOU, you go look up the math yourself. Jesus christ man people who HAVE LOOKED INTO IT like myself with actual estimates TELL YOU what the actual cost is, yet you still dont believe it.

    Again, its simple fucking math. The current cost(even taking into account the “incentives” which really arnt) means you need to run with NO ISSUES or additional cost for 15 years or more, and NOT sell your house in that time in order to break even.

    So fucking what if you can buy a panel for 1 buck a watt. Its 8 bucks or so TO HAVE IT INSTALLED.

    You really never fucking read what anyone but Kim posts do you?

    Please calm down and stop making things up. I’m not asking for anyone to spoon-feed me anything. I’m looking to see how this could be one of the fastest growing industries in the United States if it was so obviously uneconomic (as you Harley claim). On the face of it, that makes no sense. How are people being convinced to spend money on a bad investment?

    I read all the posts. And if I’m asked a question I will always respond.

    As for your claim about 15 years, it seems that you didn’t read the second part of your link. That time period is reduced once you take into account the fact that electricity prices will keep rising, and the additional value added to your house. Your own link concludes:

    By taking this into account, many solar panels can be seen to break even after a few short years.

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  112. JimK says:

    Sweet motherless Jesus.

    How are people being convinced to spend money on a bad investment?

    Seriously? Have you met any people?

    As for your claim about 15 years, it seems that you didn’t read the second part of your link. That time period is reduced once you take into account the fact that electricity prices will keep rising, and the additional value added to your house. Your own link concludes:

    By taking this into account, many solar panels can be seen to break even after a few short years.

    So things have to get significantly worse in order to make the numbers work.

    BRILLIANT, LET’S ALL GET SOLAR PANELS, WOOT WOOT FUCK MONEY IT’S ALL IMAGINARY ANYWAY
    JimK recently posted..Game of Thrones recut as a bromantic comedyMy Profile

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  113. CM says:

    The second link also concludes that:

    Some businesses will now find paybacks of five years or less, while others may still have to wait more than a decade.

    Obvious “five years or less” would explain the growth of the industry.

    Sweet motherless Jesus

    .

    What?

    Seriously? Have you met any people?

    Yes. And some people make bad decisions. But I’m sure idiots can explain why it’s one of the fastest growing sectors in the US economy, and why the uptake is booming. It makes much more sense that it works, and IS economic.

    So things have to get significantly worse in order to make the numbers work.

    No, but rises in electicity prices are inevitable. Everywhere. Notwithstanding the inherent rises via inflation. It makes sense that the payback gets even shorter as prices increase.

    BRILLIANT, LET’S ALL GET SOLAR PANELS, WOOT WOOT FUCK MONEY IT’S ALL IMAGINARY ANYWAY.

    Well you can just get solar panels for heating water. That’s cheaper. The payback period is shorter. Or you can get a heatpump. Even cheaper/shorter again. There are numerous options. And much of it makes economic sense so it’s financially sensible. It’s the opposite of “WOOT WOOT FUCK MONEY IT’S ALL IMAGINARY ANYWAY”.

    And people are coming up with different ways of making it more affordable still:

    Innovations in financing as much as in technology have proven to be crucial in deploying renewable energy at a scale that will make it competitive with fossil fuels. (CleanPath is currently pursuing another financing mechanism called “community solar” that allows people to own a specific piece of a solar farm.)

    http://blogs.forbes.com/toddwoody/2011/06/21/green-energy-financier-raises-200-million-to-build-solar-farms/

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  114. Jim says:

    I looked into solar panels a few years back. Based on moderate estimates of output and assuming absolutely no issues, breakages, etc, it would have taken me 25 years to break even. Even with rising electricity prices, 15 would have been highly optimistic. It may be different if more southern latitudes, I’m not sure. And they advance technology all the time, so cost may be lower.
    I’ve heard mixed reviews as to the environmental impact of *making* solar panels.
    One other item of note, we’ve had *3* major hailstorms in my neighborhood this spring alone. More than that in the bi-state area. God only knows what that would do to solar panels on the roof considering what my *car* looked like after the *smaller* hailstorm.
    In regards to why the industry is increasing so fast, I’m sure there are various reasons.
    For some people, it may be economical. For some, it’s a matter of believing it is worth the money just to help the environment. For some, they just want to be off the grid as much as possible. For some, it’s an investment. For some businesses, they take the government incentives into account but they also take the good PR into account “We’re a Green/Carbon Neutral company!” I would imagine businesses may make a huge slice of the market (complete speculation.) If so, I again point to PR over and above actual cost savings. Government mandates also can drive the industry. (See California passing laws for 1/3 of power being renewable.) If the government cuts you off at the knees, you buy prosthetics or you limp behind.
    Personally, I really hope these forms of energy *are* becoming exceptionally economical. It helps everyone in the long run.

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  115. HARLEY says:

    so, how many solar panels do you have on your place?

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  116. CM says:

    Yep they’re not for every situation or location. Our roof faces the wrong way, and we have tall trees. So it’s not really going to work for us, which is why I’m going with a heat-pump hot water solution. As I keep saying, solar is only one renewable clean energy source. However in situations like ours, it looks like people are working out ways that we CAN still use solar – e.g. the “community solar” scheme in my previous post.

    Here is a piece about whether solar works (for the average consumer) and whether there is a PR problem or not. Interesting read.

    Companies like SolarCity, SunRun Homes, and Sungevity are remaking and retaking financing, installation, and system maintenance – and delivering power often at prices lower than the customer’s current electricity bill.

    In regards to why the industry is increasing so fast, I’m sure there are various reasons.
    For some people, it may be economical. For some, it’s a matter of believing it is worth the money just to help the environment. For some, they just want to be off the grid as much as possible. For some, it’s an investment. For some businesses, they take the government incentives into account but they also take the good PR into account “We’re a Green/Carbon Neutral company!” I would imagine businesses may make a huge slice of the market (complete speculation.) If so, I again point to PR over and above actual cost savings. Government mandates also can drive the industry. (See California passing laws for 1/3 of power being renewable.) If the government cuts you off at the knees, you buy prosthetics or you limp behind.
    Personally, I really hope these forms of energy *are* becoming exceptionally economical. It helps everyone in the long run.

    I think that’s a great reply to my question.

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  117. CM says:

    Me? None.

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  118. CM says:

    I would imagine businesses may make a huge slice of the market (complete speculation.)

    Yep, 72% are non-residential:

    Commercial and government projects accounted for 59 percent of the installations, compared with 44 percent a year earlier. Residential projects were 28 percent and the remaining 13 percent came from utility-scale plants.

    The cost of installing solar power is falling, driven by lower costs for components, greater economies of scale and streamlined development and installation, the report said. Prices of solar panels in the first quarter fell about 7 percent from a year earlier.

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  119. loserlame says:

    So, since its taken the sadly immensely complicated solar 40+ years to get this far, thus far, how far away might geothermal still be, technologically – namely: zero impact, and free for all? 30 years?

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  120. loserlame says:

    “I won’t harm a single tree to meet my energy needs” is a pretty familiar cop out. Building your home necessitated the removal of some native fauna and flora, and deciding “This far and no further” doesn’t wash.
    Trees can and will grow back elsewhere even after you’re gone. Tomorrows another day for someone else and the trees will grow just fine without your care and worry.

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  121. CM says:

    “I won’t harm a single tree to meet my energy needs” is a pretty familiar cop out. Building your home necessitated the removal of some native fauna and flora, and deciding “This far and no further” doesn’t wash.

    Sorry, I wasn’t around in 1926 when the house was built. Short of knocking it down and starting again I can only retrofit.

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  122. CM says:

    http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/05/23/208160/five-hot-rockin-geothermal-companies/

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  123. loserlame says:

    On a side note, I was forever told by the oil lobby that Russians were evil and needed to die via nuclear holocaust, proudly Made in USA, until Euros like Sting revealed that Russians love their children too. And then Gorbi, not Reagan, tore down the (anti-Imperialistischer Schutz-) Wall.

    Russia Profile – Print edition

    A Country of Beggars and Choosers

    The Number of Millionaires in Russia Will Grow in the Next Decade, While Income Inequality Will Remain on the Level of African Countries

    May 16, 2011 … Moscow has become the world capital of billionaires (79 billionaires) ahead of New York City (58 billionaires). …

    I take it they’re in it for the people and green, clean energy? Theyre Euros, after all?

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  124. loserlame says:

    Thats still no excuse. Trees were removed, and trees were used to built it. I say cut the trees, add some solar and build the woods back around it. Cutting trees doesn’t cost much over here, maybe cuz most folks are clamouring to cut for oil and profit and another space for another SUV?

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  125. CM says:

    Ah, I misunderstood what you were saying. You’re saying I should chop down 15m high trees so that solar would work better. Seems a bit silly given the other benefits those trees provide. And it still doesn’t fix my orientation issue.
    If solar was the only option, I’d probably consider it. But it’s not.

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  126. loserlame says:

    Cop out. You can cut down a tree and plant several others anywhere; they don’t have to be on your property to be equally “good”. And keeping them for shade etc is selfish.

    Yer solar could offer backup, and also be diverted to neighbors’ homes to raise awareness, gratis. Thats what I’m always told.

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  127. balthazar says:

    I like how they go into specifics about HOW they are going to get ROI in 5 years or less, wait whats that? THEY DIDNT well shit. I guess ill stick to the FACT AND NUMBERS that blow your dumb fuck argument RIGHT out of the water.

    The only reasons costs would go up that dramatically is if the government was playin a roll in driving the prices up… wait. NM im going to buy Solar now! Well Ill wait till the 2012 election, if dumbo is still in office then I’ll buy it. Since as Dumbo said “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

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  128. balthazar says:

    Well, I like how the lump “cmmercial and government” togeather. Cuz as we all know, if the government is spending money on it, its GOTTA be cost effective…. RIGHT!

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  129. balthazar says:

    As an aside, the largest solar power plant in the US is in the Mojave desert. It produces 354 MW on 1000 acres.

    In contrast the largest Coal power plant is 3500 MW and uses 2000 acres. 10x the production.

    So a solar plant to produce the same amount of electricity would use up 5000 acres.

    Oh and alot of the land around the Bowen Plant is not used. Almost all of the land in the solar plant is covered with mirrors.

    Real efficient that……

    Solar is still not mature enough to meet the power density needed to be cost effective.

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  130. balthazar says:

    Oh and one more point, there are ADDITIONAL subsidies other than tax incentives for “renewable” energy in the business sector. Take a look at this report, specifically the graph on page 6

    http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/servicerpt/subsidy2/pdf/execsum.pdf

    subsidy per unit of production for Solar and Wind is over $23.
    subsidy per unit of production for Coal is 44 CENTS
    subsidy per unit of production for Oil is 25 CENTS

    As for the “refined coal” im not sure what them mean by that. Maybe Clean Coal?

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  131. CM says:

    Seriously balthazar, the discussion might be imprroved significantly if you started acting like an adult and not a 15 year old emo with a chip on his shoulder the size of a house. Seriously, what is your problem here? I’m sorry that you didn’t even read your own links and therefore missed the fact that the said the opposite of what you’re trying to argue, but how is that my fault at all?

    I like how they go into specifics about HOW they are going to get ROI in 5 years or less, wait whats that? THEY DIDNT well shit. I guess ill stick to the FACT AND NUMBERS that blow your dumb fuck argument RIGHT out of the water.

    Which link are you talking about? Your own one?
    How on earth is my “dumb fuck” argument (which isn’t really an argument so much as a series of links about the enormous growth of the industry and how costs are plummeting) blown out of the water? Which “FACTS AND NUMBERS” have you presented which negate all that information? The ones you’ve plucked out of the air, and which also seem to ignore all the available rebates and methods of financing (not to mention that it seems you don’t even have to put solar on your house, you can link into a community-based system)?

    The only reasons costs would go up that dramatically is if the government was playin a roll in driving the prices up…

    Since our electricity market was deregulated about 10 years ago retail prices have almost doubled.

    …wait. NM im going to buy Solar now! Well Ill wait till the 2012 election, if dumbo is still in office then I’ll buy it. Since as Dumbo said “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

    Well yeah I think the pricing of carbon everywhere is pretty much inevitable. There has been a huge market failure. Pricing carbon, so that the actual costs are included in the price, would be a market solution to a market failure.
    I’m not telling you or anyone else to BUY SOLAR NOW.

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  132. CM says:

    I don’t think they are being added together to suggest anything.

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  133. CM says:

    Only if you ignore the all the costs associated with non-renewable energy (e.g. carbon emissions) and concentrate solely on MW per acre.

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  134. CM says:

    Sorry, I’m not sure I understand your point with those numbers.

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  135. Jim says:

    What I’ve never noticed in the discussions I’ve seen on large-scale solar fields is environmental impact. It may be that I just haven’t seen it, I don’t know. Specifically, I’m wondering if there’s any impact on local weather because of changes in the albedo and thermal retention of the solar fields. Basically, law of unintended consequences and all that, such as birds dying in wind farms.
    I remember reading about tidal generators a few years back (planted underwater and the tides would “roll” the generator fins) but then it just disappeared. But a similar thought struck me then, you can’t just take energy out of a system and expect it to function normally. Butterfly flaps its wings and all that. Have you seen any info on such things, CM? I’m curious from a scientific perspective.

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  136. CM says:

    There are many tidal power projects under development here in NZ (as with geothermal, we have the conditions for it).

    The Mojave Desert is seeing the largest deployment of this technology on a large scale. Google is investing heavily as mentioned. The world’s largest solar-thermal power plant project currently under construction there currently (Ivanpah).

    (Interestingly that Wikipedia entry points out that solar plants actually use less land than coal-fired plants when you include the amount of land required for mining and excavation of the coal)

    In terms of your actual question though…..

    The most significant environmental impacts caused by solar power plants result from occupying large expanses of land. Even in a desert environment, disturbing and shading hundreds or thousands of acres of land can impact biological, cultural and paleontological resources, and can affect drainage, runoff and percolation of rainfall.

    http://www.energy.ca.gov/2008publications/CEC-700-2008-013/FSA/31_Ivanpah%20Efficiency.pdf

    It’s a good question and the effects need to be carefully considered (and researched). But then we need to compare the effects to the alternatives. I’ll look into it some more.

    Here is an environmental effects report on the Amargosa Farm Road facility in Nevada. Pretty detailed.

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  137. JimK says:

    I know little about engineering, so this may be a stupid question, but:

    If covering hundreds upon thousands of acres of desert with solar panels could (might, may have, note I did not say *does*) cause environmental havoc…

    Can we build up? Is anyone doing that already?
    JimK recently posted..Game of Thrones recut as a bromantic comedyMy Profile

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  138. Rann says:

    I don’t think I can picture doing that. The sort of building it would require for the panels to not get in each others’ way and negate the benefits… I dunno, I don’t know much about engineering either, but it seems like that just wouldn’t work too well. I mean… maybe if you effectively did it like a single skyscraper but instead of mirrored glass it was solar panels, maybe…

    I’ve seen one (patently ridiculous) idea to put a ring of solar panels around the moon and then laserbeam the energy back to Earth, that a lot of people squealed and cooed over as the best idea ever. When I pointed out all the ways it was unfeasible and would cost far more than it would ever return in cash, resources, and even energy, the mob turned ugly and started raging, the mods deleted the whole thing, and reposted it to pretend it had never happened.

    Here is the reposted image. It does seem to be someone’s serious idea.

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  139. CM says:

    Yeah I’m not sure of the details about going up, but I assume (given the money being ploughed into this technology, and the environmental concerns which are always required to be assessed) that they’ve considered it. I guess, as Rann points out, there is the issue of reduced efificiencies (getting in each other’s way). They can’t just be stood vertically (end on end, making effectively a large glass wall) because I assume the shadow they create is then unusable. Probabaly adds manufacturing (structural support) and maintenance costs too.

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  140. balthazar says:

    In other words, the cost on the backend as well as the front end is reduced.

    Front end, Tax credits to the buyer.
    Back end, reducing costs due to federal(and sometimes state) subsidies for the manufacturer.

    The cost is actually much higher than is represented by just using the end number.

    The technology STILL isnt ready for mass production scaling

    And WIKI as a source for how much space it takes for a solar farm vs a coal plant? Really?

    Let me go change that, right now.

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  141. CM says:

    The cost is actually much higher than is represented by just using the end number.

    I’m still not seeing the overall point you’re making there. Are you saying that subsidies to the renewable sector is higher than reported (because the front end needs to be added to the back end), and therefore a comparison with subsidies to non-renewable sector is an apples/oranges situation?

    The technology STILL isnt ready for mass production scaling

    The number and size of the solar plants would suggest otherwise. As would the growth in residential. However if you’ve got some contrary information, I’d certainly be interested in checking it out.

    And WIKI as a source for how much space it takes for a solar farm vs a coal plant? Really?

    How about dealing with the actual argument, rather than the source (and why are you hassling me about a source when you didn’t even bother to provide one AT ALL)? Are you suggesting that it’s unreasonable to consider the amount of land required for mining and excavation of the coal when determining the amount of land used to produce energy?

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  142. loserlame says:

    THE GORACLE HAS SPOKEN. OBAMA HAS FAILED THE GREEN EARTH AND ITS NOBLE THNKER INHABITANTS . END OF STORY.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/22/gore-obama-has-failed/?iref=allsearch

    Former vice president and environmental advocate Al Gore sharply criticized President Obama’s “failed” approach to global warming Wednesday, forcing the White House to defend its record on climate change.

    Uh, okay… what else did the noble Goracle say?

    “Assuming that the Republicans come to their sense and avoid nominating a clown ,” Gore wrote.

    BUAHAHAHHA! NOW AL’S REALLY DREAMING!!! REPS WHO AREN’T: CLOWNS??? HAAHAHAHAHA! Save the trees! Legalize marijuana, let all Mexicans work wherever and for whatever they want!!!!

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  143. balthazar says:

    Yes it does, since just about every high school in the US is getting solar panels on the peoples dime. That severely inflates the numbers.

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  144. balthazar says:

    How many tax CREDITS do people get for their conventional non-renewable electric bill?

    ZERO.

    Solar and wind get HUGE front end and back end subsidies and they are still more expensive unless your willing to wait 15 years.

    It seems like you really did have Al Gore’s diseased brain implanted in your skull. Any time someone gives you links that refute or outright bury your non-sourced arguments, you either play the “I dont understand your point” or the time tested “Thats unscientific and the authors a hack.” lines.

    You really are useless.

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