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  Topic: The Global Warming Thread, Featuring Rep. Sheila Butt (R-TN)< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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Joined: Oct. 2009

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 11 2012,15:45   

Quote (midwifetoad @ Sep. 11 2012,15:33)
I've watched this debate from several perspectives, and I'm convinced it isn't at all the same as the general anti-science, religious fundamentalist anti-science response.

I don't think it's even about money in the usual sense.

First of all, technological luddism is not typically a conservative thing. Conservatives may object to science when it targets specific religious beliefs, but they are generally happy with technology.

I think even the oil companies would be more than happy to enter alternative energy markets if opportunities really existed.

I think the problem is that good alternatives simply don't exist.

Before that claim is summarily dismissed I would like to point out that manufacture of wind and thermal generators depends on rare earth elements that are really messy to produce, The United States has simply banned all the mining technologies needed to produce the materials needed for high efficiency magnets. China produces the raw materials, but at a horrendous environmental and human cost.

I am not fully up to speed on solar electric, but it does not seem like a mature technology. The one big effort in the United States went bankrupt.

Batteries are still not a mature technology.

The only proven technology that could quickly replace coal and oil is nuclear, and the Japanese tsunami seems to have set that prospect back about thirty years.

So the political opposition to AGW amelioration seems to be motivated by a lack of alternatives that would not induce a massive global recession. If there were some mature technology that simply required lots of labor and investment, I think we would see support. Unfortunately, the only real solutions all seem to call for making people poorer.

I disagree.  We have a solar PV station going in down the street.  It's going to be a 30 Megawatt system.  Yeah, not much, but it's a start.  Texas generates something like 10% of its total electricity needs from wind.

There are production solar thermal stations going up in Spain as well.  That one is particularly interesting, but solar mirrors melt a chemical salt, which boils water.  The system can run at full power for up to 14 hours without sunlight... meaning it works at night.  It can store the heat energy for like 3 days without boiling water for electricity.

My understanding is that wind is fully competitive with coal and natural gas... without the fossil fuel subsidies.  If they subsidies are not included, wind beats fossil fuels, solar is about 5 cents more than fossil fuels, and nuclear is roughly equivalent.  With the subsidies in place, fossil beats them all... of course, the subsidies really shouldn't count, since we're paying for that too... just as taxes instead of electricity costs.

Think about it.  Major oil companies are getting 10 billion dollars a year from the government AND bringing in record profits.  If they spend their subsidy money on politicians, then they get to keep every dime of the income and still control the entire debate.

Here's some more.

And companies are getting involved in clean energy.

Ignored by those who can't provide evidence for their claims.

  203 replies since April 15 2011,16:21 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  

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