His highness wants us to cut back on oil in cars and trucks. Good lord.. He burns more on one of his UN NECESSARY airplane trips than the whole bunch of us on this forum burn in a couple months OR LONGER. Does he even THINK?.. I doubt it..
> nuclear power plants but the total cost is cheap
Well, only if you ignore the disposal of highly toxic waste, and the amount of safety precautions that are required, and in some cases ignored.
And if you discount the cost of cleanup and damage to the local area and life itself if something should go wrong. Think Chernobyl (the city was abandoned for 1000 years), Fukushima Daiichi (which they're still dealing with), and of course Three Mile Island.
If there was a way to contain the danger, manage the waste properly and safely, and possibly even distribute the generating plants locally to minimize the damage a single massive plant could create (look up Nuclear Batteries), then perhaps it would be fully adopted.
Until then, the danger is real. Our own Yankee plant is operating way out of its engineered range, and beyond its life expectancy. It's only time before something really bad happens there. And then we will have to evacuate.
It continually surprises me that the business-oriented conservative movement in this country doesn't demand more solar investment by the government, knowing full well that in 50 years it will be everywhere. We need to be in the lead on this. Oil is 20th Century technology. We're in the 21st Century now. Time to grab the ball with both hands and run with it.
True, but one day it will be, so we should get started ASAP to bring that day sooner. All infrastructure projects cost money and take time. Today solar is the most expensive. Some day it will be the cheapest. Then it will be everywhere. Roof tiles. Road surfaces. Etc. No emissions. Cheap energy.
on nuclear use in other countries, I wonder if they consider anything that is near the nuclear power plant as radioactive whether it is or isn't like the United States? Big costs of nuclear power is getting rid of the waste.
All forms of making electricity has some negative impact.
When it comes to electric cars the biggest hurdle right now is the batteries that are currently used. (charge rate vs discharge rate, maintaining voltage, weight, and safety and disposal of used batteries.
How much higher would gas be at the pumps if we switched government subsidies from oil to developing batteries and solar?
Final ranking of energy sources on actual costs to produce a trillion kWhrs over their lifespan is
3.3¢/kWhr for hydro,
3.5 ¢/kWhr for nuclear,
3.7 ¢/kWhr for natural gas @ $2.60/mcf,
4.1 ¢/kWhr for coal,
4.3 ¢/kWhr for wind,
5.1 ¢/kWhr for natural gas @ 4/mcf, and
7.7 ¢/kWhr for solar.
My conclusion is that natural gas is the best option considering we have a huge supply and it produces lower amounts of CO2
Solar has a long way to go to be viable
Hydro is limited and decommissioning is more expensive than any of the others
Nuclear has a lot of social pressure even though other countries think it is the way to gol
This is a good thread. Complex subject, good posts both for and against. My favorite description of the tar sands project is "an alcoholic trying to get drunk off cough syrup." But I agree with Mr. Landry, probably someone will "drink" it regardless.
As for me, having accepted the inevitable collapse of the American way of life, I'd prefer that the pipeline not be built. Instead, let's shut down the nuclear reactors, cask up the fuel rods, and get busy preparing to survive the next economic depression.
> We need more solar power, more electric cars,
> and get rid of the internal combustion engine
> which has proven to be useless.
Well, that's not very helpful, Mark.
Of course the internal combustion engine has been useful. It's what helped make America, and every other industrialized nation. However, just like freon and lead paint, fossil fuels have to go. Not just in terms of pollution, but in terms of supply. Cheap oil is almost gone, and we'll be left with only shale and tar sands, which are as efficient as ethanol in terms of bang for buck.
We all know that electric power is the future, and that at some point we'll have to take the first serious, concerted step. We should do it now. Just like Eisenhower and the highways, and Kennedy with the space program, it's time to get serious about solar. I mean, someone is going to take the lead on this, why not us?
We are walking down a dead end, while Germany and Denmark are on the path of the future. China will soon join them. All Happy Leader has to do is wave his hand and they'll start carpeting every building with solar panels.
Then where will we be in the next century? Screwed.
Clark emailed through the site, responding "Eisenhower era--New England Highways--- Interstate routes 91 , 93 , 89, 84 and parts of 95 were ALL a result of the Eisehower era upgrades ! Clark"
Yes, there are FREEWAYS, but where's all the small highway renovations? Some roads around here have minimal shoulders, poorly draining ditches and never got updated from being ancient Native or deer paths, or colonial cart roads!!! I love the look of all the marble curb cutouts, but they chip easily and are slick year-round....
Also, I get that city and road planning was different in the Midwest, when the majority of population growth was post Civil War, but even the Freeways here have very short and highly graded on/off ramps. (God, I miss big ole Cloverleaf ramps!) As quaint as a rotary is, it's a accident-prone means of traffic....
Opposition to the Pipeline is not just about green energy, it's about our trade agreements, our strained relationships with Arab countries, the power and influence of Corporate oil companies, and the plain ole fact that OIL IS BAD FOR US, in any means.
My stepfather flies the pipelines in Oklahoma. It's a great retirement job for an old pilot, but think about that. They have to constantly pay pilots to check for oil leaks (while flying a gas-powered plane!) . I was shocked to see that New England somehow missed the Eisenhower era, as far as updating highways and utilities. I don't understand how it is economical for ANYONE to drive around oil or propane trucks, let alone the health risk that puts on everyone who shares a road with one of those loud diesels!!! It's hard enough, living in a digital world, with limited connectivity, but I don't understand why WMECO hasn't ever buried their lines. In the Midwest, you don't have all these poles, spaced frequently, with multiple lines running to a single house. We had Sprint HQ in KC, so we had high-speed internet in the late 90s. (Gah, they have Google Fiber right now. $300 one time build fee gets you T1 speeds FOR FREE, FOREVER!!!)
I think Obama should request that Congress make sweeping energy initiatives and building codes now. Want to jumpstart our economy? Make every streetlight in America wind or solar powered! Require not only updated energy efficiency standards for EVERY government building (including courts, post offices and welfare offices), but the installation of solar panels, or transfer to non-petroleum heating sources. We should be working on biofuels and having better filtration systems for any cars or manufacturing processes involving CO2 output. It would be like the NEw Deal and all the CCC programs, but with an emphasis on education in the sciences! We should be competing with other countries for manufacturing on all our tech devices!
I still don't understand why we're letting First Light not only destroy the supposedly protected CT River, but they aren't providing ANY resources for the town! There should be hydro-power credits for the town, or that BILLIONS of dollars bridge should have solar panels that power its own lights!!! If FL actually paid for public recycling and trash bins, it would benefit FL. I mean, bored teens are still going to throw bikes and shopping carts in the canal, but I can't help but cringe at every cigarette butt, every scratch ticket, every flattened nip or beer can, working it's way through our downtown drainage, into a river that is supposed to be a State and National Wildlife Refuge....
Green energy is the future. No one wants to destroy the combustible engine, I enjoy snowmobiling and four wheeling as much as the next guy. But using a 2-stroke engine with a biofuel is a bit smarter, no? I don't like how quiet the all-electric hybrids are and there are plenty of reasons why a battery is not any eco-friendlier than a gas powered engine. (SIDENOTE: riding a snowmobile through a cemetery, like the one near the Safety Complex, is completely disrespectful. If one of my relatives 200+ year old tombstones was damaged or destroyed, I would be livid!!!) More than anything, we need to get back to the practices of our grandparents. Want not, waste not!
The people in charge in the US believe that the Tar Sands is and will be developed.
After it has been removed from the ground the question then arises about how to get it to a refinery. The state department says the pipeline has a smaller carbon impact than if the crude was transported via railcar, tanker truck, or by ship the three modes currently imployed.
Unfortunately if there is an accident which form of transportation will have the largest enviromental impact?
The only way to get America off oil is to have a form that is cheaper than oil and that has not come to pass yet in significant numbers to be viable as a replacement.