# YOU!: Fix the US Energy Crisis

by russ_watters
Tags: crisis, energy
P: 7
 Quote by Rothiemurchus It's 100 per cent reliable and an endless pollution free resource - tidal power. Initially, it would cost a fortune to build enough dams in the sea,and they would be costly to maintain, but in the very long run, they would be worth the trouble. You'd get a lot of hassle from marine ecologists though and people who like a nice view over the sea.
Being from the part of canada with highest tides in the world i agree with you for sure. Its been thought about even plans been done before.
Only bad things are the impact it would have on wildlife for example, and if it would have an impact on tidal patterns.

Whatever the solution is it has to be something that is constant in the world and will be for a very long time.... This basically leaves things like Nuclear, Tidal, Solar, and Wind...
 P: 464 Here is an article from today's Salt Lake Tribune, regarding apomixis a property of some plants that asexually produce seeds, eliminating the need for costly hand fertilization of hybrid seed crops. The potential for energy savings is huge, and the potential for organic fuel sources is also huge. This will fly in the face of those that profit from the hybrid process, holding patents and selling seed. It has great promise for the third world. There are many facets to fixing the energy crisis, and this is a big one. The article discusses the potential for better feeding one billion of the humans on earth. http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_2424248
 P: 5 i like the way you think about clean energy, but nuclear energy can cause disasters ( a hurricane in florida), plus nuclear waste cost too $$to get rid off. It has to be shipped and kept in special locations, it has to stay under controlled temperature for 10000 years or it will melt plus it has to be guarded from terrorists. and when the building has to be demolished even after xxx years after intense maintence has to be rebuild and if an earth quake take on the building you ll have contaminated water.... smaller steps can be taken : ppl dont have to drive SUVs 8 cyl and a massive fuel consumption.more solar and wind energy ( switching to those will create jobs in north america) plus lets say you wanna make fuel out of corn ( u need manpower,water,fertilizers- polluting water- and machines to get this clean fuel). in our university we r having a nice project buses that run on bio diesel ( used cooking oil) but it is always about politics and$$$. P: 312  Quote by thennigar Being from the part of canada with highest tides in the world i agree with you for sure. Its been thought about even plans been done before. Only bad things are the impact it would have on wildlife for example, and if it would have an impact on tidal patterns. Whatever the solution is it has to be something that is constant in the world and will be for a very long time.... This basically leaves things like Nuclear, Tidal, Solar, and Wind... They have one huge tidal dam in France, and it works preety well I guess. However you might right about impact on wildlife, dams always create problems. We, each one of us have to conserve energy that is the only conclusion. P: 197 Rab  i like the way you think about clean energy, but nuclear energy can cause disasters ( a hurricane in florida), plus nuclear waste cost too$ to get rid off. It has to be shipped and kept in special locations, it has to stay under controlled temperature for 10000 years or it will melt plus it has to be guarded from terrorists. and when the building has to be demolished even after xxx years after intense maintence has to be rebuild and if an earth quake take on the building you ll have contaminated water....
Nuclear power is the only solution at this time. It is easy to make a list of all the problems. It is however more productive to find solutions to the problems. There is an easy way to control the danger of nuclear power. Put the reactor core 500 to 3000 feet underground. Atom bombs have been tested at this depth and the results are well known. This also prevents theft and safeguard from terrorists. Nuclear waste is 100% recyclable and reusable. There is no need for storage. France has been doing this for the countries of the would even the US is sending material to France for recycle.

Nuclear power is less expensive today than any other form of energy, costing about 5 cents per KWH. Coal is running about 15 cents and gas 17 to 20 cents per KWH. Wind and solar are up to 35 cents per KWH.

Most of the problems with nuclear power plants are the result of trying to build to large a plant. This was done by GE to try and make nuclear power compete with oil back in 1950 when oil was $3 to 5$.

We must start to build new nuclear power plants now. Oil and gas will be above 50 cents per KWH in less than 25 years.
 Mentor P: 22,239 Rab, while it is true that in a theoretical sense, nuclear power can be dangerous, its never happened in the US. Let me be perfectly clear: nuclear power has never killed anyone in the US not associated with the power company. Coal power, on the other hand, kills roughly 10,000 a year. The difference in safety record makes he choice (based on safety alone) perfectly clear.
 P: 107 I totaly suport nuclear power. There is very little risk if you have good technology and US probalbly does. There is also very little polution created by nuclear power plants, and aldo nuclear waste are very dagerous they don't realy present a thread, if they are stored properly. The only real problem I see with nuclear energy is the reaction of the population.
 P: 312 France gets almost 80% of electricity from nuclear power stations,and it works very well.Of course all is under goverment controll and question of profit is non existent.
 Sci Advisor P: 789 Well said Rui. Couple thoughts reading your post. Tidal energy wouldn't be very simple to implement - the enviromental studies alone could hold it up for years and is the new tool used by those who wish to slow progress. Its not like I'm in support of ruining the environment, far from it, but the ability to implement large public works projects takes a lot of political savvy to keep the scope larger than focusing on a few acres of habitat. And public transportation is not a viable option in many places based on the years of poorly managed expansion. When I lived in Minneapolis the city bus was a great option as it went from my apartment in a nice suburb directly to downtown where the jobs were located. But here in Atlanta its very different as the downtown area is incredibly expensive and businesses have many advantages to being located in the suburbs and its similar for housing. So as a result of simple economics the expansion has created a massive amount of suburb-to-suburb traffic over a huge geographic area that would be near impossible to service with a train or bus system. Having a lot of land isn't a good thing when it is utilized poorly and without good foresight. Cliff
P: 30
Thank you for the words Cliff.

 Tidal energy wouldn't be very simple to implement - the enviromental studies alone could hold it up for years and is the new tool used by those who wish to slow progress. Its not like I'm in support of ruining the environment, far from it, but the ability to implement large public works projects takes a lot of political savvy to keep the scope larger than focusing on a few acres of habitat.
I understand your concern, but i don't really know to what extent environmental studies would prevent the implementaion of tidal energy, i'm saying this taking into account the Azores example i stated because i don't recall hearing or reading objections in terms of environmental impact, i'm not saying there wasn't any but i don't recall. And, at least here, it had the support from politicians.

 And public transportation is not a viable option in many places based on the years of poorly managed expansion. When I lived in Minneapolis the city bus was a great option as it went from my apartment in a nice suburb directly to downtown where the jobs were located. But here in Atlanta its very different as the downtown area is incredibly expensive and businesses have many advantages to being located in the suburbs and its similar for housing. So as a result of simple economics the expansion has created a massive amount of suburb-to-suburb traffic over a huge geographic area that would be near impossible to service with a train or bus system. Having a lot of land isn't a good thing when it is utilized poorly and without good foresight.
That's very intersting to hear, i wasn't familiar with those situations or at least never thought of them. It sure would be complicated to have a effective system of public tranportation in those areas, i would be very intersted in reading any studies regarding that. Do you know if there is any available?

Rui M.
 Sci Advisor P: 789 For the tidal generation I don't have any direct examples but a large number of improvements ranging from cleaning beaches to rebuilding highways seems to get bogged down in enviromental concerns. If it is going to be built on the beach and have access to the water, it better have a lot of public support so the politicians can support it without fear. Many people living on the western coast are strong enviromental supporters and make haste decisions that would likely not include proper information - for example they increase smog controls on their cars but yet do little to control the power generation plants that creates 80% of their pollution. (and without sounding like too much of a cynic, if you watch/read any of what's happening here for the elections, a lot of the country makes decisions based on little information) For the suburb phenomenon I don't have any sources but the concept of changing traffic patterns was mentioned on a Discovery program about traffic. It went on to inteview the guy who came up with congestion pricing which allows people to pay for using the carpool lane even if they are not qualified. It speeds up the commute for everyone else with less traffic in the other lanes, raises money to help build more roadways, and cuts pollution. Sounds good to me! But here in Atl they voted down the "Lexus Lane" saying it discriminates. All my neighbors want to vote down a measure to expand the local roadway. There seems to be a lot of info on the net about suburban sprawl and its negative effects but not as much on studies in terms of costs and solutions to fix it. If you find something would you please post a link. Cliff
 P: 655 [deleted] Sorry, but we won't be discussing politics or conspiracy theory in this thread. -Russ
P: 30
 For the tidal generation I don't have any direct examples but a large number of improvements ranging from cleaning beaches to rebuilding highways seems to get bogged down in enviromental concerns. If it is going to be built on the beach and have access to the water, it better have a lot of public support so the politicians can support it without fear. Many people living on the western coast are strong enviromental supporters and make haste decisions that would likely not include proper information - for example they increase smog controls on their cars but yet do little to control the power generation plants that creates 80% of their pollution. (and without sounding like too much of a cynic, if you watch/read any of what's happening here for the elections, a lot of the country makes decisions based on little information)
It's somewhat disturbing to me how people are against effective and positive measures but at the same time are not against big real problems... Cynism and hypocrisy (not referring to you) is how US citizens are perceived by the Europeans and it seems correct. Of course and fortunally not all US citizens don't fall into that category and there are many Europeans with those charecteristics too, just to make sure people understand what i just wrote...

 For the suburb phenomenon I don't have any sources but the concept of changing traffic patterns was mentioned on a Discovery program about traffic. It went on to inteview the guy who came up with congestion pricing which allows people to pay for using the carpool lane even if they are not qualified. It speeds up the commute for everyone else with less traffic in the other lanes, raises money to help build more roadways, and cuts pollution. Sounds good to me! But here in Atl they voted down the "Lexus Lane" saying it discriminates. All my neighbors want to vote down a measure to expand the local roadway.
I see, the traffic patterns should be interst to study.

I don't really know what a carpool lane is? I went searching into the dictionary what a carpool is but can't find a translation...

I'll try again to look for some information on the net.

Rui M.
Mentor
P: 22,239
 Quote by RuiMonteiro I don't really know what a carpool lane is? I went searching into the dictionary what a carpool is but can't find a translation...
Some cities have special lanes for cars carrying 2 or more passengers. When a group of people get together and take turns driving each other to work, that's a carpool.
P: 30
 Some cities have special lanes for cars carrying 2 or more passengers. When a group of people get together and take turns driving each other to work, that's a carpool.

Thanks for the information. It's really intersting and an imaginative solution.

Now i can answer what Cliff said more properly regarding carpool lanes.
It does sounds good the idea of people who are not qualified paying to have access to this lane but in practise i don't see it working properly because a great amount of people either would join that system and pay to use the lane and therefore congestionating both the carpool lane and the other lanes or people wouldnt simply join and making this new method useless. I am taking into account that people would vote "yes" primarly, but of course they vote yes as an opinion that it would work but they aren't necessarly going to use it.

This could work however if it's set up a maximum of users that don't qualify but want to pay to use the carpool lane so that there isn't a saturation in the special lane, and as i see it this is the only solution that could work because it would prevent the system to become pointless. In the begining the number of users should be an estimative and then if this works properly the number of users should be adapted to the time of the year and the results of the first test.

And i don't see this being discriminatory.

Rui M.
 P: 312 I don't think there is any real energy crisis,everything is made for profit.We could switch at any moment to the hydrogen or some other form of cleaner economy ,but as long as oil makes more money for energy companies,humanity will live in misery.