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Old 05-07-2012, 02:58 PM   #21
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:08 PM   #22
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It is unreasonable of you to expect reasonable discussion on this or any other political issue.
Ftfy.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:16 AM   #23
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I think we got a little mixed up between recycling and renewable energy.

I do really like the idea about the landfills selling the methane gas, I mean why not use it for something instead of just burning it off.

I am still a big proponent of nuke power though, when I was really up on this stuff, I read that nuke power was the most power dense, as it can make the most power from the same area and solar and wind were at the bottom by a pretty large margin.



Solar: $117 Million for 18 MW of rated capacity
Wind: $1.2 Billion for 420 MW of rated capacity
Nuclear: $14 Billion for 2210 MW of rated capacity
sourced from http://thisweekinnuclear.blogspot.co...-showdown.html
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:23 AM   #24
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioactive_waste

I dig the wind power units. They also need to harness and use some of the power the Mississippi river has to offer.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:38 AM   #25
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I read that wind power wasnt near as good for the environment as people believe, something about changing wind currents and forcing hot air down affecting the local ecosystem.

I dont know, I pretty much dont like them because I think they are a waste of resources,

I do think solar is a good idea on a micro scale, like putting solar panels on your roof, but i dont think its a good idea to try and use it on a macro scale because it just takes to much space, but really cant think of a good use of wind power

I have a bunch of friends in the nuke business and its cool to listen to them talk about the stuff you never hear in the media, like how inefficient some of the "green" energy sources are.

I had a buddies dad say that the new green movement is mostly a political movement, not an actual green movement. Its to make people feel like they are doing something positive to give them a warm fuzzy feeling, but they really arent doing anything. Prius is a perfect example, alot of people think they are decreasing pollution by driving one but its been said because of the battery manufacturing they are actually worse for the environment than a big gas guzzling truck.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:24 AM   #26
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I have a bunch of friends in the nuke business and its cool to listen to them talk about the stuff you never hear in the media, like how inefficient some of the "green" energy sources are.
Yeah I know what you mean. My brother is an engineer at a nuke plant so I hear similar stuff. Nuclear is your friend! It sucks to see the world turn on it because of the emotional stigma. It is the most realistic energy source while we develop useful alternative means of energy. Some places need stronger infrastructure like countries in the ring of fire like Japan known for earthquakes.

Most US plants were built in the 70s... things have improved since then and efficiency would be even higher with new tech. Too bad the scary feeling that the word 'nuclear' brings will keep us from upgrading.

In the meantime the gov't will promote hydrofracking for a nominal energy source. You're welcome, environment.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:57 AM   #27
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Green initiatives and certification often have unintended consequences and can often do more harm than good--not just to the economy but to the environment as well.

And the House the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, on Tuesday, is holding a hearing on the "science behind green building rating systems." Witnesses include officials from the United States Green Building Council and the embattled General Services Administration.

Recently, USGCB has sought to ban Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from government buildings even though studies have shown that PVC outperforms other alternatives. And the unintended consequences of these “green guidelines” could do more harm than good to the economy and the environment.

Leadership in Energy Development (LEED) is a certification process run by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGCB), a non profit, that certifies buildings as being “green” enough. And the USGBC has announced, in guidelines which can be seen here, that it will attempt to stipulate hat builders use "materials that do not contain" polyvinyl chloride (PVC). But the science LEED uses is flawed.

The embattled GSA would adopt the guidelines, which is no surprise since the GSA, which oversees the leasing and administration of all government buildings and properties, has direct ties to LEED. In fact, the GSA’s deputy director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, Donald Horn, is an adviser to LEED’s board of directors.

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that the agency is accused of demanding “a share of the federal energy-efficiency tax breaks it was offering to contractors in order to spend money on other projects,” which could have been “special projects” such as lavish trips and conference to Las Vegas.

The proposed regulations will “outright ban the use of all materials containing PVC” and, if approved, could harm chemical, manufacturing, building industries; increase the cost of newly constructed buildings and materials; eliminate jobs; and even harm the environment.

Environmentalists have long wanted to ban PVC.

Groups like Greenpeace have waged campaigns to get PVC banned. All this is consistent with the person who founded LEED, a liberal environmentalist named Rob Watson who once proclaimed, “buildings are literally the worst thing that humans do to the planet.”

So while environmentalists and the government attempt to ban PVC, Allen Blakey, vice president of Industry and Government Affairs for the Vinyl Institute, thinks the proposed rules have more than caused concern, especially since PVC is a material that the USGBC had once looked at more favorably than it does now.

Blakely noted that the “USGBC has failed to live up to its claim of ‘technical rigor’ in LEED credits as well as its own procedures for balance, fairness and ‘consensus.’ It has ignored scientific studies (including its own TSAC review), as well as studies for the European Commission and others, that found PVC’s life-cycle health and environmental performance as good as, or better than, the performance of competing materials.”

According to Blakely, the USGBC has “turned their backs on their own their own studies.”

It seems like Blakely is right.

In 2007, a USGBC study found that “PVC outperforms a number of alternative materials in ecotoxicity, eco depletion and contribution to climate change.” The study found that “relative to the environmental impact categories (acidification, eutrophication, ecotoxicity, smog, ozone depletion and global climate change), PVC performs better than several material alternatives studied,” and alternatives such as aluminum siding or cast iron pipe “could be worse than using PVC.”

Further, PVC is most commonly used for sewage pipes and alternatives would not only be more expensive but potentially more corrosive. Needless to say, sewage is a serious public health concern.

In fact, as the Washington Post noted, “builders and architects known for their ‘greenness’” implied that a product's durability can actually be better for the environment in the long run than some “green” materials that are not as durable.

Peter Pfeiffer, whom the Post referred to as “a nationally recognized green architect who is based in Austin,” said he's discovered "that many certifications raise as many questions as they’re supposedly answering.”

And yet, environmentalists would risk, by banning PVC, the corrosion of sewage pipes, all in the name of making environmental and “green” statements.

And that’s not even taking into account the economic havoc and harm such regulations will potentially create.
expensive and ...
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:58 AM   #28
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I read that wind power wasnt near as good for the environment as people believe, something about changing wind currents and forcing hot air down affecting the local ecosystem.
it's certainlly not good for the bird populating. Meanwhile farmers cant get access to fresh water in CA because of a minow.
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Old 05-08-2012, 10:15 AM   #29
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Just don't send out too many harvesters.


Exactly.

Renewable is a term used to compare replenishment of the resources that naturally renew themselves against our current rates of consumption.

Many people confuse this with reclamation, or efficiency increases. It's simply a measure of whether or not we'll deplete a resource before it can replenish, much like a water well.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:41 PM   #30
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expensive and ...
Brainy I tried but I couldnt read it all. I caught the cliff notes but I missed why they banned PVC if it performs better. Care to share
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:25 PM   #31
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This came across my reader the other day, thought it was interesting...

The Case for Energy Optimism

Quote:
Rob Bradley has a really good essay at EconLib this month. He leads off with this amusing quote:

“I’m sorry for you—coming to Texas [in 1915] to look for oil. Don’t you know there is no oil in Texas?!” —Wallace Pratt, Consultant.

Then he drops some facts on us:

Quote:
Petroleum…is an example of an expanding “depletable” resource. The first estimate of proved crude oil reserves worldwide, made in 1944, was 51 billion barrels. Today, that number is 1.4 trillion barrels, and cumulative production in the last 66 years has been twenty times the original estimate. Natural gas and coal proved reserves have also increased several-fold despite decades of production. Reserves of tin, copper, iron ore, lead, and zinc were also higher in 2000 than in 1950, despite the fact that production in the half century in between substantially exceeded reserves in 1950.6 The story would be similar for other minerals, from bauxite to uranium.
If you want to see an eloquent explanation of the theoretical framework for the above, counterintuitive results, read Rob’s essay. (NOTE: Rob wrote his dissertation under Murray Rothbard, though Rob wasn’t at UNLV.)

In related news, the Institute for Energy Research (IER), which was founded by Rob Bradley, has recently come out with “Hard Facts.” It includes information (largely relying on the U.S. government’s own reports, for better or worse) such as (bullet points taken from Rob’s post at his own blog):

Quote:
• In 2011, the United States produced 23.0 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making it the world’s largest natural gas producer.

• In 2011, the United States produced 5.67 million barrels of oil, making it the world’s third largest oil producer.

• Proved conventional oil reserves worldwide more than doubled from 642 billion barrels in 1980 to more than 1.3 trillion barrels in 2009.

• The United States is home to the richest oil shale deposits in the world—estimates are there are about 1 trillion barrels of recoverable oil in U.S. oil shale deposits, nearly four times that of Saudi Arabia’s proved oil reserves.

• The United States has 261 billion tons of coal in its proved coal reserves. These are the world’s largest coal reserves and over 27 percent of the world’s proved coal reserves.

• The United States has 486 billion tons of coal in its demonstrated reserve base, enough domestic coal to use for the next 485 years at current rates of consumption. These estimates do not include Alaska’s coal resources, which according to government estimates, are larger than those in the lower 48 states.

• The federal government leases less than 3 percent of federal lands for oil and natural gas production—2.2 percent of federal offshore areas and less than 5.4 percent of federal onshore lands.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:32 PM   #32
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Brainy I tried but I couldnt read it all. I caught the cliff notes but I missed why they banned PVC if it performs better. Care to share
cliffs: it performs too well, is cheap, doesnt corrode or fail...so exactly why we should ban it AND require buildings to rip it out of wall and replace with inferior products like clay.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:26 PM   #33
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This came across my reader the other day, thought it was interesting...
On my "to read" stack is a hypothesis from an energy analyst that I respect who, IIRC, has proposed that the US could theoretically be "energy independent" by the early 2020s through a combination of increased energy supply and decreased demand (through increases in efficiencies).

Once I dig through it, if it looks reasonable, I'll pass some of the highlights along.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:39 PM   #34
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On my "to read" stack is a hypothesis from an energy analyst that I respect who, IIRC, has proposed that the US could theoretically be "energy independent" by the early 2020s through a combination of increased energy supply and decreased demand (through increases in efficiencies).
I know you haven't read it yet, but I wonder if the author is assuming some kind of energy tax to curtail increased consumer usage? Otherwise, wouldn't increases in efficiency (and the resulting price drops) encourage more demand?

For example, if oil production becomes more efficient, absent some kind of tax, we'd expect to see gas prices fall. If gas prices fall, people drive more, purchase less fuel-efficient vehicles, stop carpooling, etc...
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #35
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I know you haven't read it yet, but I wonder if the author is assuming some kind of energy tax to curtail increased consumer usage? Otherwise, wouldn't increases in efficiency (and the resulting price drops) encourage more demand?

For example, if oil production becomes more efficient, absent some kind of tax, we'd expect to see gas prices fall. If gas prices fall, people drive more, purchase less fuel-efficient vehicles, stop carpooling, etc...
This was my gut reaction to reading that post. Our energy consuming products have become more efficient over the last 20 years by leaps and bounds, but our energy use continues to increase, and while I expect we could mathematically become energy independent, (net energy exports equal or exceed imports) I suspect that it would take another 2-3 decades at minimum before we could actually become independant (all energy requirements are produced internally) - at which point we're still going to be selling that energy to the highest bidder and thus still not in control of our own energy prices
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:11 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
I know you haven't read it yet, but I wonder if the author is assuming some kind of energy tax to curtail increased consumer usage? Otherwise, wouldn't increases in efficiency (and the resulting price drops) encourage more demand?

For example, if oil production becomes more efficient, absent some kind of tax, we'd expect to see gas prices fall. If gas prices fall, people drive more, purchase less fuel-efficient vehicles, stop carpooling, etc...
You are correct, I have not read it. I imagine a base scenario in which I normally drive 12k miles per year for work and a couple of trips while gas is "affordable" (whatever that means to me).

If gasoline doubled in price, I might work hard to find ways to curb my useage like you said via car pooling, ride a bicycle, possibly buying a more fuel efficient vehicle for my next replacement, etc.

If gasoline suddenly dropped to half price, I am not going to just go randomly drive an extra few thousand miles per year over the base case or trade my current car in for one with shitty gas mileage (considering almost all newer models get better relative mileage than their predecessors).


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Originally Posted by fooger03 View Post
This was my gut reaction to reading that post. Our energy consuming products have become more efficient over the last 20 years by leaps and bounds, but our energy use continues to increase, and while I expect we could mathematically become energy independent, (net energy exports equal or exceed imports) I suspect that it would take another 2-3 decades at minimum before we could actually become independant (all energy requirements are produced internally) - at which point we're still going to be selling that energy to the highest bidder and thus still not in control of our own energy prices
Has US oil demand been continually increasing? From what I have seen US oil demand peaked in 2005 around 21 MMbpd. Even in the relatively good years of 2006 and 2007, oil demand was falling. Depending on the source, 2012 will see a 2.5% - 6% YoY decline in US oil demand.
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:49 PM   #37
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You are correct, I have not read it. I imagine a base scenario in which I normally drive 12k miles per year for work and a couple of trips while gas is "affordable" (whatever that means to me).

If gasoline doubled in price, I might work hard to find ways to curb my useage like you said via car pooling, ride a bicycle, possibly buying a more fuel efficient vehicle for my next replacement, etc.

If gasoline suddenly dropped to half price, I am not going to just go randomly drive an extra few thousand miles per year over the base case or trade my current car in for one with shitty gas mileage (considering almost all newer models get better relative mileage than their predecessors).
Hmm. If that's the argument the author is making, I'm not sure I buy it.

Yes, if we looked at one end product in isolation (my fault for bringing up gasoline as an example), we'd quickly reach a point where continued drops in prices would not generate increased demand.

However, if we're looking at significantly increased efficiency across the board in the energy sector, then we have to consider not only price drops for all the ways in which consumers purchase (comparatively) raw forms of energy -- gasoline (cars, RV's, rec vehicles), electricity (A/C, appliances), natural gas (heating) -- but also the indirect ways that energy is used (airfare reductions, for example) as well as the secondary price reductions in all products as the costs of production and transport fall.

Given that scenario, I'd think the point at which increased efficiency in the energy sector fails to result in increased consumer demand is quite a ways off.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:34 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
Hmm. If that's the argument the author is making, I'm not sure I buy it.

Yes, if we looked at one end product in isolation (my fault for bringing up gasoline as an example), we'd quickly reach a point where continued drops in prices would not generate increased demand.

However, if we're looking at significantly increased efficiency across the board in the energy sector, then we have to consider not only price drops for all the ways in which consumers purchase (comparatively) raw forms of energy -- gasoline (cars, RV's, rec vehicles), electricity (A/C, appliances), natural gas (heating) -- but also the indirect ways that energy is used (airfare reductions, for example) as well as the secondary price reductions in all products as the costs of production and transport fall.

Given that scenario, I'd think the point at which increased efficiency in the energy sector fails to result in increased consumer demand is quite a ways off.
I believe the basic premise is that there is enough room for growth in energy-source supply - whether it is natural gas, coal, crude, biofuel, etc - and a predicted continued decline in US oil demand - via a shift to more natural gas in petrochemicals, rising fuel economy, changing driving habits and more natural gas vehicles.

If the trend continues - and making predictions on trends out more than a couple of quarters is hard, making them out several years is not usually very useful - the US could be using less oil by the end of this decade than in the late '80s.

There was a greater relative increase in fuel economy in the average passenger car from 2006 - 2011 (+3.7 MPG) than from 1990 - 2005 (+ about2.2 MPG). The same is true with light trucks. Those pre-2006 vehicles will regularly "roll off" the roads as they are generally replaced with more fuel efficient replacements that will only serve to broadly improve the average vehicle efficiency.

Toyota sold triple the number of Priuses in 2011 as it did in 2004. You can argue about the environmental benefits of battery cars, but they will reduce US oil demand. Same with plug-in and EVs. You can substitute the relatively global crude oil input with domestic natural gas or coal-fired electricity.

There are other automotive trends involved (stagnating vehicles per household and vehicle miles travelled, CNG-powered fleet vehicles, etc).

And that's just the automotive demand element.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:32 PM   #39
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cliffs: it performs too well, is cheap, doesnt corrode or fail...so exactly why we should ban it AND require buildings to rip it out of wall and replace with inferior products like clay.
Probably has something to do with the proven health risks to people from what pvc emits in confined spaces.

Most of the pvc products that groups have a problem with are other general products that we are exposed to. Not plumbing products.

Stuff like shower curtains and other interior products that have a large surface area apparantly emit toxic fumes that are harmful.
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