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Old 07-01-2008, 08:51 AM
 
Location: mid atlantic
314 posts, read 847,251 times
Reputation: 199

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EuroExpat View Post
With hybrids etc. our dependency on foreign oil could also be overcome.
I dunno if that entirely true...i dont see hybrids as the way america gets off forign oil...a step yes.

I see that as the big challange this country should undertake, lets take the money away from those that hate us....No better thing could happen. I just dont see it happening for at least a couple/few generations.

Right now Nuclear is the best way to limit coal....i just feel environmentalist will fight that to the last breath. Wind and Solar are great and should be expanded to the limit but Nuke power is a key in the puzzle.

In France they recycle their nuclear waste and reuse it....we fell behind after 3 mile island and have never caught back up, largely due to envrionmentalist fighting tooth and nail to stop any progress on that topic.

I grew up near a nuke, it was scehduled to be moth balled long time ago...still running and just got another 30 year permit, now they are talking a third reactor. Its obviously a safe endeavor when managed properly, both the plant and the recycling of waste (which we dont seem to do).

I say just launch the waste out past pluto when its no longer usable.
But im sure environmentalist would find a way to fight that too.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Loudoun County, VA
1,148 posts, read 3,362,301 times
Reputation: 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by cancan View Post
I dunno if that entirely true...i dont see hybrids as the way america gets off forign oil...a step yes.
I should've put more weight on "could". Hybrids/driving less/public transportation/smaller economic cars would definitely be a step towards it. Don't get me wrong, I don't believe for a minute that a hybrid car is the answer, it's just a great stepping stone.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 16,427,393 times
Reputation: 8772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Believe it or not, I agree with this too.

But I also recognize that the market is much wiser and more powerful than regulations and taxes. The high price of oil has done more to change the behavior of the consumer in six months than all the government regulations, mandates, taxes, and carpool lanes of the last three decades - combined.
Yes, and higher prices will be an incentive for alternate fuel businesses to develop further and compete. This is what I believe terrifies big energy in the US.

I am troubled about the timing in this matter, though. I am not sure that waiting for market forces to correct this situation will happen quickly enough.

Most people in the US do not realize that they can have a geothermal system sunk under their lawns that will give them both cooling and heating for next to nothing. Just an electrical starter attached to the thermostat.

Pipes are sunk underground containing a closed cycling antifreeze sort of substance. They bring heat from the earth when needed, and in the summer they will bring coolness.

The temperature underground is a constant, once you go deeply enough, which will vary by locale. The only problems which early workers have had was the joints in the pipes underground were not both strong and flexible enough, and there are people experienced enough that this is no longer a problem if you get the right contractor.

Adding a solar system in a community that buys back excess electricity, and a person conceivably could heat and cool his house with no expenses at all.

Business hates this concept and our government always seems to present options to us that allow for a regular billing for energy.
Sometimes I think we are cutting our own throats because of all the corruption we tolerate in government.
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Old 07-03-2008, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 16,427,393 times
Reputation: 8772
Quote:
Originally Posted by cancan View Post
I dunno if that entirely true...i don't see hybrids as the way america gets off foreign oil...a step yes.

I see that as the big challenge this country should undertake, lets take the money away from those that hate us....No better thing could happen. I just don't see it happening for at least a couple/few generations.

Right now Nuclear is the best way to limit coal....i just feel environmentalist will fight that to the last breath. Wind and Solar are great and should be expanded to the limit but Nuke power is a key in the puzzle.

In France they recycle their nuclear waste and reuse it....we fell behind after 3 mile island and have never caught back up, largely due to environmentalist fighting tooth and nail to stop any progress on that topic.

I grew up near a nuke, it was scheduled to be moth balled long time ago...still running and just got another 30 year permit, now they are talking a third reactor. Its obviously a safe endeavor when managed properly, both the plant and the recycling of waste (which we don't seem to do).

I say just launch the waste out past Pluto when its no longer usable.
But im sure environmentalist would find a way to fight that too.
You can only recycle nuclear waste so many times, and with a breeder reactor you still end up with waste - and I am told it is much more radioactive still than the regular nuclear waste from other plants. France still has the waste problem. If this problem were solved I would not be worried about nuclear, but until it is I consider it very dangerous.

After trying EVERYTHING possible, THEN polluting fuels should be considered. Our government gets this backwards. Instead of having all sorts of encouragement for people to use solar and geothermal and wave and wind powers first, they talk about the polluting fuels first. This is why there is so much of a fight against the polluting fuels, because there is so much pressure coming in to the government by industry, to use the polluting fuels. This prevents rational dialog because people feel propagandized and as though they are being pushed into a corner by powerful interests.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,458,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
You can only recycle nuclear waste so many times, and with a breeder reactor you still end up with waste - and I am told it is much more radioactive still than the regular nuclear waste from other plants. France still has the waste problem. If this problem were solved I would not be worried about nuclear, but until it is I consider it very dangerous.

After trying EVERYTHING possible, THEN polluting fuels should be considered. Our government gets this backwards. Instead of having all sorts of encouragement for people to use solar and geothermal and wave and wind powers first, they talk about the polluting fuels first. This is why there is so much of a fight against the polluting fuels, because there is so much pressure coming in to the government by industry, to use the polluting fuels. This prevents rational dialog because people feel propagandized and as though they are being pushed into a corner by powerful interests.
Two good posts, goldengrain. I do believe the market can react fast enough. I am more afraid of government mandates on the wrong things. Look no farther than ethanol.

You concern about nuclear waste made me remember an article I read a while back about bacteria to could break down the waste. I googled the topic and found these:

Bacteria that bind toxic metals: Are they the future of nuclear waste cleanup?

AMNH Genomic Revolution (http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/genomics/5_reshaping/environment.html - broken link)
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Jax
8,204 posts, read 32,158,255 times
Reputation: 3392
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post

Most people in the US do not realize that they can have a geothermal system sunk under their lawns that will give them both cooling and heating for next to nothing. Just an electrical starter attached to the thermostat.
In some areas of the country, this might be a viable option. I looked into it since my relatives in Europe use geothermal for their homes, but it would not work for me here .

1) You need a large enough piece of land area for the unit and I live on a small city lot...not much land to spare.

2) Florida's high water table. You only have to dig 5 feet in my backyard to hit the first level of the aquifer. We can't even have basements here. So I don't think we could sink geothermal into the ground.

I haven't verified for sure that there's no way to manage installing geothermal, but since no one else is installing them here either (that I know of), it seems to make sense that we have some obstacles in this part of the country. Lucky for us, solar works very well here .
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Old 07-04-2008, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 16,427,393 times
Reputation: 8772
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niners fan View Post
Two good posts, goldengrain. I do believe the market can react fast enough. I am more afraid of government mandates on the wrong things. Look no farther than ethanol.

You concern about nuclear waste made me remember an article I read a while back about bacteria to could break down the waste. I googled the topic and found these:

Bacteria that bind toxic metals: Are they the future of nuclear waste cleanup?

AMNH Genomic Revolution (http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/genomics/5_reshaping/environment.html - broken link)
Thank you. Very interesting articles, but it would be good to see what progress they have made in the three subsequent years. I would think if there were any real progress in this area we would have heard about it because of the great boon it would represent to our economy and the environment.

Troubling is the statement in the second site:

'The cost of studying the effect of a single product—corn—on just one species—monarch butterflies—could be greater than the U.S. Agriculture Department's entire annual budget for assessing environmental hazards. And even if such tests were required for all modified organisms, their full environmental effects might not show up until years later. So the potential benefits of modified organisms must be weighed against risks that are simply unknown.'

It's a shame that we have no enclosed domed area as a mini-environment in which to test these things. Washington State has reported birds with deformed beaks, the butterfly population in my area is definitely down, weather patterns are becoming alarmingly altered, hive collapse, there are all sorts of signals that something is dreadfully wrong. We can wait until it is impossible to recapture some things. I would so much appreciate some immediate action right now, no matter how tough it could be. I don't think we have much wiggle room left.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 16,427,393 times
Reputation: 8772
Quote:
Originally Posted by riveree View Post
In some areas of the country, this might be a viable option. I looked into it since my relatives in Europe use geothermal for their homes, but it would not work for me here .

1) You need a large enough piece of land area for the unit and I live on a small city lot...not much land to spare.

2) Florida's high water table. You only have to dig 5 feet in my backyard to hit the first level of the aquifer. We can't even have basements here. So I don't think we could sink geothermal into the ground.

I haven't verified for sure that there's no way to manage installing geothermal, but since no one else is installing them here either (that I know of), it seems to make sense that we have some obstacles in this part of the country. Lucky for us, solar works very well here .
Yes, but counter to much of the country, Florida seems so well suited to solar. I saw a documentary, and for the life of me I forget which channel it was on. It went through each of the non-polluting alternatives, cited countries in which they were being used, and referenced the parts of the US which were ideally suited for that sort of energy gathering.

I really think this is rapidly approaching, or is already, a crisis. I remember France, in response to a really bad heat wave, installing air conditioners in the homes of all citizens that could not afford them, and even going to the extent of rewiring their homes. Then I think of the US, and how I think this country would just let people die, as happened in Katrina.

I know the types of government are different, but I think when our citizens are threatened by catastrophe, especially when the government certainly knew this day was coming and did next to nothing, I think they should step up and if necessary stop funding for space exploration and other projects until they have devised and implemented the use of alternate fuels.

Our Constitution restricts federal functions to defending the country from invasion. Ok, to me that translates into citizens in danger. I consider our climate problems tantamount to that, only it impacts the rest of the planet as well.
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:20 PM
 
955 posts, read 1,952,092 times
Reputation: 401
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldengrain View Post
Yes, and higher prices will be an incentive for alternate fuel businesses to develop further and compete. This is what I believe terrifies big energy in the US.


Most people in the US do not realize that they can have a geothermal system sunk under their lawns that will give them both cooling and heating for next to nothing. Just an electrical starter attached to the thermostat.

Pipes are sunk underground containing a closed cycling antifreeze sort of substance. They bring heat from the earth when needed, and in the summer they will bring coolness.

The temperature underground is a constant, once you go deeply enough, which will vary by locale. The only problems which early workers have had was the joints in the pipes underground were not both strong and flexible enough, and there are people experienced enough that this is no longer a problem if you get the right contractor.
As far as the first point about alternative businesses getting on board, you are right. But I'm not sure if your comment about big energy being worried is true. Vesta is a company that is big time into wind, I guess you can call the industry big wind. They made a gross margin of 17% and over nine percent operating profit (from their financial reports). They are actually making a better return than big oil.

Your comments about geothermal are very good. I'm seriously considering this option, combined with an outdoor wood burning system (it's cold where I come from). You do need a lot of land, and that's not the problem for me but the initial cost of the drilling / piping makes the return on investment not so good (like probably past my lifetime). So the minimum heating bill is the good news, the bad news is the huge investment. So I'll pull the trigger when the government forks up enought incentive money.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,411 posts, read 16,427,393 times
Reputation: 8772
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpperPeninsulaRon View Post
As far as the first point about alternative businesses getting on board, you are right. But I'm not sure if your comment about big energy being worried is true. Vesta is a company that is big time into wind, I guess you can call the industry big wind. They made a gross margin of 17% and over nine percent operating profit (from their financial reports). They are actually making a better return than big oil.

Your comments about geothermal are very good. I'm seriously considering this option, combined with an outdoor wood burning system (it's cold where I come from). You do need a lot of land, and that's not the problem for me but the initial cost of the drilling / piping makes the return on investment not so good (like probably past my lifetime). So the minimum heating bill is the good news, the bad news is the huge investment. So I'll pull the trigger when the government forks up enough incentive money.
Thank you for the info on Vesta. Although it is encouraging, I believe in the US it is only a subsidiary of a Calgary company.
We really have a problem in the US of business interfering and at times controlling what should be public policy, even dangerously so.

That documentary that I saw also said the commonly seen windmills have been killing birds. They proposed a newer, more efficient one that had long fins, large long rectangles which, when the wind hit them took the appearance of a cylinder.

Yes. If I were to live here in my home for about 10 years I would be seriously looking at geothermal. The constant caveat I got was to be sure
the fittings were insured, and not just the pieces. It is strange to me that not more attention is given to this because it seems like a great solution. Also, those solar panels are now made by a company in thin, rollout sheets.

I remember seeing something on tv saying solar panels should be hosed down every now and then so their collection abilities are not dulled by dust. I don't thing that need be done now.
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