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Split from YOU!: Fix the US Energy Crisis

  1. Sep 17, 2004 #1
    I think your erasure of my comments was cavalier, and disrespectful. But, I will post again. I challenge you to actually have dialogue.

    The planet and the web of life is a large, but closed, system. We have artificially heated this system and stressed many other life forms, including our own, with this process.

    Just doing more of the same, with some different fuel source is not the answer to the "energy crisis."

    There needs to exist international regulation of human kinds ability to influence climate. We need to sigh the Kyoto Protocol, and make that stick, and then get even better. Indigenous peoples, and people who want to live on the Earth in it's natural state, should be able to do so. I would call this a fundamental right.

    Use of Nuclear energy on a broad scale to continue to heat the world, is ill advised. There is cataclysm, earthquake, weather, war, all kinds of things, that can lead to the release of enriched Uranium into our world. We need to on a broad scale address how we should live on this world, to conserve it.

    1. we need to legislate that private passenger vehicles will by a certain year, function at a high level of efficiency. Passenger vehicles will have no more than 4 cylinders, and be hybrid type vehicles.

    2. All new buildings will be built green. In areas of extreme climate, will be Earth sheltered.

    3. All new refrigerated warehouses for produce and foods, will be earth sheltered, and sun shaded, to decrease energy use.

    4. Other warehouses, that store non perishable, or non freezable items, will neither be heated nor air conditioned. Workers will wear heated clothing.

    5. Food Producers will be encouraged to produce, sell, and preserve locally grown foods as much as possible to decrease shipment, and cooling of crops.

    6. foods that can be grown, in one locale, will not be imported from another, especially over long distances. For instance, we will not import apples from China. We will control trade, for the sake of energy conservation. Free trade, means unlimited burning of fossil fuels to ship goods for trade warring. In Utah, where we grow a lot of apples, we could not export apples to Colorado, because we could not compete with produce shipped from China, grown with slave labor. Oil and slavery, and profiteering hurt the ecosphere.

    7. Trade that depends on astronomical use of fossil fuel, to achieve marginal profit, will be discouraged.

    8. Education will ephasize simplified living, and an ethic, in regards to planetary health.

    9. Nationalize our energy resources. Make it illegal for foreign corporations, to deal in energy within the boundaries of the United States. Buy out foreign power companies, coal companies, and oil companies. Disallow foreign water management companies to do business in the US.

    10. Insist that corporations that contract for the United States Government, be solely held by American Citizens.

    11. Make it a goal of this nation, to lead the world in energy conservation, wildlife conservation, clean air, and water, instead of the opposite as we currently stand, in many of these categories.

    12. You will have to legislate, and enforce your way out of the "energy crisis", it will be more government, more American involvement, at every level, from elementary school education, to the highest levels of government.

    There is this other ethic. That is this, not everyone wants the Earth to be covered with Nuclear Plants, or even power grids. Not everyone wants the world to become completely mechanized, or be downwind of that. Will we use our powers to dictate that the natural world has to die? This is a big question. The issue of what kind of world we all want, has to be addressed among the peoples of the world. Just because there is an energy crisis, in regards to how the oil economy will play out into some kind of other economy, ignores the fact that there are fundamental things about the way we are being forced to live, world wide, to accomodate this economic system, that is remorselessly destructive to us, on every level.

    I read one very interesting statistic, that was profound to me. There is an energy crisis, yet 50% of the people in this world, have never made a phone call. Not everyone is playing the same game, yet we are trying to define the game, when we use energy in such a way, when we set up an economy where those outside the pale we build, will perpetually be downwind, and hungry, and living in the wastes we create.

    China's new prosperity is a classic example of this, everyone outside their cities, is being poisoned, by the waste products of their prosperity. Tibet is now a mining dump.

    I was driving on the industrial side of Salt Lake City, and I looked up and saw the mountains. I looked at this asphalt I was driving on, and it struck me. One hundred years ago this valley was basically empty. Of all the things that could have been created here, of all the visions they could have had, of all the things they could have done, they created this. Who pushed us to leave an agrarian society?

    The best minds created the mess we are in. This is not a wonderful world, unless you ignore virtually everything we have done to it. I am a photographer, every single day, I look around the mess to witness the fugitive beauty of this world. The "energy crisis", is a symptom of a much grander dysfunction. To pigeonhole this discussion to doing more of the same, or finding new energy futures, or finding a better way to do the same old thing, is suicide for the planet.

    The DOE, is currently under the thumb of an administration, that believes there is no such thing as planetary ecology; doesn't believe there is a problem with global warming. The solutions they want, are going to be energy industry friendly, not just friendly, but serving.

    When the President Of The United States drives a giant suv, in his down time, then you know his DOE, isn't being asked to save the world, it is being asked to save the ability to profit, at any cost.
     
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  3. Sep 17, 2004 #2

    russ_watters

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    Do some quick calculations on how much heat nuclear power has adds to the world compared with how much the sun adds to the world and get back to me if you want to be taken seriously.

    The reason I split this and deleted the last post was that this just isn't relevant to the topic I posted and isn't an engineering solution to the problem.
     
  4. Sep 17, 2004 #3

    enigma

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    To not discuss finding new ways to get energy is suicide for humans.

    Using the restrictions you have proposed, while I'm sure you mean well, would result in the deaths of millions to billions of people. Without trade and the high levels of energy use, the world cannot support the population it has on it. All your proposal would do is institute a Malthusian 'positive check'.
     
  5. Sep 17, 2004 #4

    russ_watters

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    As bad as killing 3 billion people sounds, what Dayle Record proposes is actually worse. After killing half the population of the world, we'd go back to an 18th century agrarian society. Forget energy efficiency - if we get rid of 90% of our energy use (that's a guess, since she didn't quantify it, but thats what you get if you get rid of coal, oil, and nuclear power and most transportation) there is no energy for air conditioning at all. No energy for computers. Forget efficient cars: we won't be able to build cars. Medicine? Sorry, that takes energy too (Merck's manufacuturing headquarters is 1 mile from my parents' house - they have a 50 mW power station on site). Running water/sewer? Nope. After killing half the population, we'd inflict a new Dark Age on the survivors.

    Dayle, you're right that not everyone wants the world to be modern: but virtually everyone who doesn't also doesn't really understand what being modern means (or rather, how awful -and short- life was hundreds of years ago). Dayle Record, if you really think that way of life is better, try it sometime. But recognize that even with your best efforts to avoid it (some people have started living in national parks, you could try that), you will still get a lot of the benefits of modern life. You won't have to worry about the Plague, for example.

    And your ignorant assertions about nuclear power/waste/pollution aside, I asked for real solutions for eliminating those problems while maintaining the modern way of life. You want to decrease pollution by 99.9%? SO DO I. But I want to do it without destroying the past 400 years of progress.
     
  6. Sep 17, 2004 #5
    I know about the weird inconsistancies on this planet. I know how everyone likes what they like. For instance, the Swedes are the largest per capita consumers of Bananas, and Coffee, in the world. I know that these items, can't arrive in Sweden without, fossil fuels or nuclear energy use, or can they? You see, shippers won't be responsible for their cargos, or acts of God at sea, there is a vessel full of Lindane, at the bottom of the English Channel, that will not be unloaded. There is enough Lindane there, to kill the entire North Sea. Commercial Nuclear vessels are not an option. Where do you draw the line, regarding the relative ability of a society to safely use technology like this?

    We have been sold on this society of convenience, at the inconvenience of the world at large.

    If you want to use nuclear energy, I suggest that this is how it is done.

    A not for profit, international consortium, creates nuclear tug ships, and nuclear train engines. Governments of the world, fund this universal solution to fossil fuel use for the shipment of goods, including fossil fuels.

    All products shipped on the open seas will be towed in strings of barges, on a continuing basis by these Nuclear engines. There will be no vessel at sea over a certain size with motors that run on diesel, or fossil fuels. The armies of the world will become the facilitators of clean and safe, energy use. The armes of the world will become trained technicians that facilitate, transport of the worlds goods. Each nation will fund an army that facilitates, rather than anihilates.

    All goods will be shipped on nuclear railroads, rail lines will be secure. Electric train engines will handle freight in yards, no diesel or fossil fuel burning semi truck will handle freight between municipalities.

    It will be easier and more comfortable to travel between cities by rail, than it is by car, and less expensive.

    All garbage will be recycled, all metal recycled. Land fills will only receive waste that is biodegradable. Garbage recycling will replace mining operations, plastic recycling will decrease the energy used in initial creation, by a large percent.

    The ten hour day, and four day workweek, will become a national standard. Decreasing commuting by 1/5 th. Air travel will be discouraged, high speed train travel encouraged. In Utah, the biggest anti mass transit lobby, is the Auto Dealers.

    All new buildings will have super insulated roofs, and overhead water holding cisterns, that hold water for preheating via building energy loss, prior to being heated. This is for all water destined to being heated. All buildings under construction, will have air tunnels underground with metal fins to transfer cold ground temperature to air before the air is passed through air conditioning units for cooling, or warming in the winter season.

    Birth control, abortion, and voluntary sterilization will be free, to any interested party. There will be a world accounting for every living child, who will be fed and educated, so that their conscious participation in the process of living on this world, will be assured. Industrial free, self sustaining communities will be encouraged world wide. The grid will be diminished as these self sustaining organic low energy use communities rise in number.
     
  7. Sep 17, 2004 #6
    In direct reply to your last post Russ Watters, some of the discoveries of the last 400 years brought progress, and some didn't.

    Don't forget that there are farming families, that have been in place for hundreds of years, growing olives, or pistaschios, or grapes or peaches, or cork, and still live very close to the land.

    It is up for grabs if traditional farming methods are better than chemical methods. I have been interviewing farmers for months regarding organic/vs chemical.

    I am not ignorant. But on the Farm Bureau pages in Utah there is organized rejoicing over the speeding up of the process of pesticide testing, and approval, and ultimately the use of poorly tested products. They say that it is because of those pesky endangered species, as if it were a frivolity. The endangered species is us, however.

    My average electric bill is 25 dollars a month, and my average water bill is about the same. I don't use much. I drive a 4 cylinder car, I have never driven a bigger engine than that. Even running my computer all day, my electric bills are low. Personally, I bought all my produce this summer from organic farmers at market.

    Funding one B1 bomber would buy the beans to keep hundreds of thousands of already born and starving children alive, but our energy policies keep us at war, and our resources end up being used this way. If you see the world as one phenomenon, then you see that our choices are wildly out of line with the needs of the world at large. In our own nation the elderly choose whether to eat, or take meds that they have been told they need, by Doctors that have been deliberately misguided by drug company reps for profit enhancement.

    It is the same with energy companies, chemical companies, telling us that with out supporting the status quo, millions of us, billions of us will die. The population of this world has been bumped way up by artificial means to fund this "ever growing" economic system, that is in place in a finite system. The big carrot in front of this donkey, is that we will find some other world to take this glorious show to. We will burn down this world to get to another one?

    You say I am ignorant, but, that is not the case. This is a forum for ideas, and my ideas deal with the macro issues of the world at large, our energy crisis and policies are intimately linked to large patterns of behavior, and the blind nature of corporate doings.

    Agrarian society is not evil, agrarian society was hijacked by agro business for profit. Then they wrote the history, as if it were a horror story.

    The name calling here is terrible. You can laugh about my suggestions, but Europe is sitting where it is, with great mass transit, and a vibrant economy, a new peace, a new union, and it is still much the same as it was, in terms of development, and habitation twenty years ago. Population is actually decreasing in Italy of all places, the population is lower there than when I was there in the sixties.
     
  8. Sep 17, 2004 #7
    Near where I live there was an experiment a few years back called "Five Acres of Independence." The idea was you bought this little 5 acre farm, stocked it with animals for food, grew some vegetables, kept cows for milk, sheep for wool, basically once the farm was paid for you would be independent of most of your needs. The experiment failed, the lots were sub-divided, people just didn't have the knowledge, time, money, desire, etc. to make it work.

    It sounds like you are proposing this same experiment be performed worldwide. Scary.

    In a free society, there are only so many things you can legislate individuals to do and still remain a free society. They have to be willing to make this happen. Don't look for it any time soon.
     
  9. Sep 17, 2004 #8

    russ_watters

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    Simple: You look at the actual safety record of the technology.

    For the rest of that post, I'm a little confused - are you now advocating the widespread use of nuclear power?
    My grandfather is such a farmer. He (semi-retired) farms 75 acres near Allentown, PA (2 hours from Philadelphia) and his family has been in the area for more than 300 years (seriously). He sells a significant fraction of his produce at a market owned by one of his sons (operated out of his son's home). I onced asked him if "organic" was better than chemical/genetic produce. He laughed. But then, he is, primarily a soybean farmer and virtually all soybeans are genetically engineered.

    Bottom line, there is no scientific basis for claims that "organic" is better than food grown with modern technology. Its quite simply false (feel free to start a thread about that too - we haven't had one in a while).
    I'm sorry, but thats nowhere near good enough to meet what you proposed above. You still need to cut that electric bill by 75% because without coal, nuclear, and oil power there isn't enough power to support even $10 of usage. I know it makes for tough decisions, but you'll certanly need to get rid of your tv, microwave, dryer, most of your lights, and get a smaller refrigerator. And you can't have that car: sell it and buy a moped.
    The US already has vast surplusse of grain (we produce something like double what we need, and only that little because the government pays many farmers to not farm), but I'm sorry, we can't ship it overseas: you said so in your first post. We're just going to have to let most of Asia and Africa starve to death.
    The second sentence is true, but it contradicts the first: if we do eliminate the food production that has "bumped up" the population, the population will go back down: because people will sarve to death.
    The word "ignorant", of course has a negative connotation, but its not namecalling. You really don't know what you are talking about with a great deal of what you are saying. I'm sorry if thats tough to hear, but its the truth. And while everyone is ignorant about something, knowing that you are ignorant and choosing to learn is the only way out of it. I joined this forum for that exact reason: I don't know as much about physics as I would like.
    Are you saying that you think Europe is in some way fundamentally different than the US? That they don't use coal or oil, or nuclear power there? That they don't use genetically engineered food? Europe has worked very hard in the past 50 years to match the US's political and economic model and they are very close to it. They are nowhere near what you proposed in the openng post. In fact, China (where most of those people who have never made a phone call live) is the closest to achieving your vision - though they are working hard to move away from it as fast as possible.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2004
  10. Sep 17, 2004 #9

    russ_watters

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    I'm not namecalling or laughing at you. To be perfectly honest, your point of view sickens me. Telling you to buy a moped isn't making fun of you its trying to illustrate for you the severe disconnect between what you think you want and what the realities are about the world you live in.
     
  11. Sep 17, 2004 #10
    I am sorry for your illness. My point of view is varied. I am willing to examine everything, and anything. Deconstructive thinking isn't ignorant, it is a way to take apart what is, and examine it. And it is just thinking, it isn't doing, or harming, or anything else. I tell you this, I do not worship the current paradigm, I am in it, but it is not sacred to me.

    I apologize and will leave this thread alone.
     
  12. Sep 17, 2004 #11
    One more thing. The safety record of Nuclear Technology, just became classified information. The public won't know about the safety records of Nuclear Plants, as of recent legislation. The safety record has been fudged terribly here and there, and maybe the military has done well with this technology on their Carriers and Subs, but then again, they fund full time trained individuals to do this stuff. I would imagine their safety records have always been classified information.
     
  13. Sep 17, 2004 #12
    I’m going to throw just a couple of things into this; not quite sure where this topic is going ATM...


    1) I personally agree with nearly everything in your first post Dayle, with the exception of 4cly cars - unfortunately a four-banger won’t get me up the driveway to my home, I presently drive a 6cyl and feel that I may have problems again this winter. Walking in 2-4 feet of snow is not my favourite think to do in winter; the drive is about 1.5km long. The way I plan on solving the fuel usage problem is by converting my vehicle to run on propane. It won’t 100% clean burning, but it’s a start. If the economy improves, my next project is to convert my other vehicle to run on 100% electricity. Again, one step at a time...

    2) Nuclear Power Plant safety records: I own shares in PP&L. So far this company has had THE best safety record for nuclear power anywhere in the world - and will furnish this information to anyone who asks for it, at any time. The NRC may not provide the people with their records, but I be if you ask the individual companies (some by force via FOIA), you’ll get your records.

    Of course, I’d like to see everything running on solar generated electricity (Wind, Water, Sun). Electric cars, electric homes... but, someone needs to either drop the price of this technology, or give me a bigger paycheque! :D
     
  14. Sep 17, 2004 #13

    enigma

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    Since this thread isn't about engineering, I'm going to move it
     
  15. Sep 17, 2004 #14

    plover

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    I don't think this was talking about the heat output of nuclear plants. It seems much more likely to be about the use of nuclear plants to provide the energy by which people heat their homes. I.e. Dayle's issue here is safety not climate.

    Dayle's meaning is not always transparent, but as far as I can tell, many of the responses in this thread have assumed readings that were not intended (and generally pick the worst possible reading) without asking for clarification.

    Arguing that indigenous peoples should have more of a say over how they relate to the modern world is not the same as arguing that everyone should live in 18th century farming communities. Arguing for more careful energy use and less dependence on fossil fuels is not an argument to get rid of manufacturing.

    This is an odd sentence. So odd in fact that I doubt the author intended the literal meaning given it by enigma. Such a reading just doesn't sync with the rest of the posts.

    I know there are people who do think in the fashion that the critiques are directed at, and for such a person the responses here are most likely warranted. I may, of course, be wrong, but I think that the evidence does not support Dayle being one of them, and that in any case, more care might have been taken to clarify things before offering strong critiques.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2004
  16. Sep 17, 2004 #15
    Dayle,

    This is the brand of honesty we are in for if Kerry wins the election.

    He didn't own a hybrid car, but was willing to buy one and parade it around as an example of his concern for the environment. What a phony.
     
  17. Sep 18, 2004 #16
    Yeah, and we all know Bush is a picture-perfect enviromentalist. No one I know doubts Kerry isn't even partially trustworthy, but he's seen as the lesser of two evils.
     
  18. Sep 18, 2004 #17
    Just a pet peeve of mine, as a car guy, the fact that many commercially produced four cylinders are weak, doesn't mean that all are, or all have to be. A reliable 100+hp/liter can be attained from a 4 cylinder, and while that leaves the problem of lower end torque that a 6 cylinder car commonly has over the 4, that is easily resolved through the use of forced induction (atleast solved enough as for getting up your driveway in the snow).

    But, with all that said, it's a bit of a moot point for our discussion because the number of cylinders is not the deciding factor in the gas mileage of a vehicle, and such discussion is really more an ignorance of "more cylinders means more power and more gas consumption". There are PLENTY of other variables at stake, but I don't want to derail this thread too much.
     
  19. Sep 18, 2004 #18
    A ten hour, 4 day week will NEVER happen as a standard. The reason is simple - people's productivity falls off too fast. I run a business, and I know that after 8 hours of work, most people start to fall off. It's just not even a possibility. Not to mention the union gripes with people working 10 hour days, having their shedules cycled off with others, and never getting overtime.

    What do you mean ORGANIC? I want you to clarify this before I respond. The grid? as in our power grid? If so, I have even more to discuss.
     
  20. Sep 18, 2004 #19
    Except that the Bush admin recently released a report stating that global warming is probably happening. :rolleyes:

    Show me this. It is my understanding he drives a truck around his ranch.
     
  21. Sep 18, 2004 #20
    Not to mention Russ, since people want ORGANIC, they are willing to let their populous die instead of have it....real humane....
    http://greennature.com/article1483.html
    We even offered to mill the grain for the "it'll contaminate organic crops" crowd. But the hippie elitist who never go hungry themselves talked the government into turning it down because it was too dangerous :rolleyes:

    For anyone proposing organic food, natural lifestyle, etc. I want to see that person be the first to go! move to the woods, farm for youself, make your own clothes, and get out. Then come back and show us from your own experience how it is better than what is going on now. Until then, GM crops, cheap elecricity, etc. allow the majority of the world to be given aid that wouldn't exist anyways, and allows lucky elitist hippies to demonize that same process.
     
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