Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by fistofan1, May 18, 2010.
So it really doesn't matter, you say? Just shove every disaster and complication aside and accept we're all going to die anyway and the world will go on without us?
Not like humans aren't a scourge on the planet to begin with, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't at least try to change and improve our situation today. The less we think about it, the more likely we'll end up in some post-appocolyptic world. I would rather that kind of world happened later than sooner. Maybe that's just me being selfish, wanting to die before the world really does go to hell; but I would prefer that the world remain relatively intact for at least another 75 years. I wouldn't want to live to watch the US empire collapse, but I've pretty much accepted that's going to happen soon enough. As for when the rest of the world goes up in smoke... I would rather not see that happen.
Dang, and back in the day we were worried about nuclear annihilation. I guess people are all right with the world ending, as long as it doesn't happen all at once
I acknowledge that there have been so many times in history when people thought the world was going to end, but I feel as though peak oil and other consequences of unsustainable development will trump everything else. I will admit that nuclear war was a very real danger, it was an all-or-nothing kind of devastation. And we were lucky that the Cuban Missile Crisis didn't end in catastrophe, although it could very well have spelled nuclear winter. What we're facing today has always been imminent; the question is how significantly will it impact our way of life.
Although this is getting off topic, I think the most recent oil spill is just a consequence of a much greater problem that we've been facing since... ever. The more desperate we are for such resources as oil, the further we'll go to obtain them. Never a hundred years ago would deepwater oil drilling have been considered, even with the level of technology we have today. As favorable oil sources are difficult to find anymore, we're forced to extend our reach into extracting such resources from more dangerous and less-profitable wells. Technology can't keep up with the mounting challenges we're bound to face.
I like the idea of those travel pods they were using in Minority Report.
The British Empire doesn't exist anymore. Hasn't existed for 60 years. WWII put paid to that. Once all those countries saw how weak we'd become they all wanted independence and we gave it to them. And to be quite honest we shouldn't have had an empire in the first place. It brought us nothing but trouble in the end.
Colonies had brought great prosperity to Britain; only after its collapse did everything go to hell for the UK. The US as an empire makes us more powerful, but we're eventually going to collapse under our own weight. When we became dependent on resources from around the world, suddenly our military was needed all over the world. This latest war in the Middle East was driven more because of our oil dependence than anything else.
I would agree it's better if we were to voluntarily back off and invest in better solutions than maintaining our supply lines as we have been; we need to be more self-sustaining.
What will be, will be.
Bp could be doing more or atleast Advertising first hand what it is they are doing instead of advertising how they are human.
But I'm just a kid so what do I know?
Well even a kid knows you can't trust people who close themselves off and openly lie to stakeholders.
And I totally agree that their whole approach to painting a rosy picture about everything doesn't help. If they just screwed up big time, I could understand that such disasters happen. When we learn that they kept their activities to themselves long before the leak became a problem, suddenly I lose all sympathy. Had they kept everyone in the light about the condition of the well, and this disaster still took place, then I would be more willing to just accept it to be an unfortunate and unavoidable accident.
It's BP's secretive nature and willingness to take shortcuts that really enrages me.
Yep, that's what I was saying. In the short term it was good for the country, but now, now we're just a tiny little island, the chickens are coming home to roost. Now we have the problem of things like ex colonials who've, ironically, come here to live and are turning the place on its head! Payback for the Empire me thinks?
Like I said, in the long run the Empire was terrible for the country. And I have a very bad feeling that worse is to come...
Come to think of it, can I come to the States to live?!
Haven't we had a theme here already called the gov't is bad at doing the right thing on energy policy because it's controlled by big business? As I recall, big agribusiness and regional special interests lead to corn ethanol continuing to get support even though it, imo, shouldn't. We're pumping resources into what is, to my knowledge, one of the least desirable options. A comparison from National Geographic [link=http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/10/biofuels/biofuels-interactive]here[/link]
Not great on numbers, but found it easily, so using it.
Well, I don't see cars being long term EITHER. Rebuilding the entirety of Los Angeles, for example, would cost massive amounts of money, involve relocating massive numbers of people, and would take several decades to complete. If we start coming out with electric cars that are practical in, say, 2015, I would expect that it would take us about 15 years to get the majority of the population using electric cars. This is presuming that they make cars that are just as good as what we currently have that's gas-powered. For an idea of numbers, Denver has the following statistics: http://www.greenprintdenver.org/docs/DenverClimateActionPlan_P2.pdf
For a city NOT being currently restructured, cement represents 2% of the greenhouse gases, cars represent 7%, light trucks and SUVs represent 12%. I would suggest that getting rid of the greenhouse gas share of cars, light trucks, and SUVs by 2030-2035 by switching over to electric cars would do more than delaying that for a few decades more as you increase concrete production as well as you try to restructure an entire city.
Not to say that I'm opposed to designing NEW areas to be more compact or better suited to mass transit, just that I think there are major flaws (both in terms of the financial/ecologic sense, as well as the pragmatic sense) in trying to restructure existing cities in a way that eliminates cars.
So corn is used because of people in high places pushing its use for their own interests. The next logical step would be?
I know. There are no optimal steps which don't get shot to hell by some limiting factor or another. Either way, I consider ethanol a dead-end for US transportation demands. Using waste products for biodiesel fuel isn't a large contributor, but it's probably the best way to produce such sources of energy.
I suggest you reassess that. No form of energy of any kind is 'clean.'
Excuse me? Where did I ever suggest increasing the number of roads in a city? When you build more roads, you ultimately facilitate an increase in traffic congestion.
The idea would be more along the lines of tearing up old roads to replace one or two lanes of a 6-lane roadway for light rail. Then when you gentrify a neighborhood, you don't have to increase road capacity, as the light rail will more than compensate for the loss of those two freeway lanes. Portland successfully did this, and they proved the concept works.
Anything to support these figures? Last I checked, electric hybrids were more expensive than traditional cars. And then there's that extra ~40% or more for batteries. And then batteries only last for so many years. Not everyone may be so optimistic about these kind of cars. Just these are still years away from being standard.
Now as for pure electric cars, the batteries are a given. You can't really drop those without an onboard generator. So they're going to be expensive, have limited range, extended recharge periods, additional load placed on the US power grid, and I'm not even sure when we can really expect to see the electric car market take off. Plug-in hybrids are a better way to go.
Actually you'd find that Denver has been in such a state for a long time. Once such project called FasTracks is happening right now. They've implemented light rail in only the last two decades as well.
So in reducing demand for paved roads, you reduce greenhouse gasses in the form of concrete. What is your point? Compare a city like London to Chicago, with about the same population. Which city has more land area that's been paved over with roads? Remember that the Chicago hinterland is more than four times the size of London's. To go back and relay a city to have fewer roads will result in lower greenhouse gas emissions in the long run.
You don't just dump concrete and then just forget about it, as you have to maintain transportation and utilities to a certain standard. And within a decade or two, you have to repa
Oh, by the way, I'd just like to make a crucial edit to the post I made above. I should've said that the British Empire was good for the RICH of the country, not for the people in general, especially not for the poor.
And would you believe it, I've been proven right about what I said about our upper-classes! For those who missed the post I said that they're ruthless criminal profiteers who have no care for anyone or anything just so long as they themselves get rich. Well, it seems that Mr. "Oil Slick" Hayward was glancing at his watch in court because he was desperate to set off to do some yachting off the Isle of Wight! So much for caring about the oil slick in the Gulf, aye? I guess his other major worry is the size of his next bonus (he will get one)! Now don?t say I didn?t tell you Yanks about the upper-classes here. I just can?t help but feel sorry for the naivety of the American courts.
I should've said here that I don't see gasoline-powered cars as long term.
I used Los Angeles as an example. I never said increasing the number of roads, and I'm not sure why you thought I did. You did, however, bring up shortening the distances people travel to what seemed to be denser living, and also fewer commutes. In Los Angeles, at least (and I'll acknowledge we're a bit odd of a city) that would require leveling and redesigning huge swathes of the city and massive relocations to create a situation where no one commutes simply because of how the dozen or two cities (possibly a bit more) that make up the L.A. area.
The recharging is definitely what I consider to be the largest issue with electric cars, as that presumes rather a lot about where one lives in that you'd have somewhere TO charge it. So much so that I'd step back and say that potentially speaking there indeed might be a very large benefit to keeping gas as an option, although that does increase the cost of the car.
That said, I did say it would depend on if they can get something competitive out in the next several years, which at the rate they've been going, I think is a possibility, but not a certainty. I have also, in the other thread, been arguing that we need to improve the infrastructure of power transmission anyway because it's not capable enough as it is. I'd think that unquestionably needs modernization. One area of focus has been figuring out how to make the cars so that they charge faster and better, though, and hold a greater charge, to address the issue of range. I do think that, again, as that's been increasing fairly well, that that will still have some more improvement ahead of it.
Just take into consideration exactly why renewable energies haven't been developed yet. Wind and solar power are moreorless free energies. Why do they still constitute less than 1 % of total US energy production?
Speaking of nuclear energy, I'm afraid that this doesn't hold a very bright future for the US. Certainly better than coal in the long run, nuclear energy has a long way to go before it can start to replace oil and natural gas. The US has over a hundred commercial reactors, but most are reaching the end of their life expectancy. These are going to have to be replaced, while there is yet to be a solution for a nuclear waste repository. With a weak economy, simply replacing these hundred would be an enormous undertaking.
Nuclear energy is a long-term investment for a nation that is $11 trillion in debt. The Yucca Mountain facility had been closed before any radioactive waste products could be collected. Without a solution to the spent nuclear material, few are willing to invest in new nuclear power plants. For those that do, practical results in nuclear energy are years away. And let's not forget that legal and political limitations in the US are not a favorable environment for a nuclear revival.
I like nuclear energy, both environmentally and economically; but it's not something we can count on to save us.
I have never been able to feel comfortable with nuclear power. It seems so..unsafe. If one person makes a little mistake, disaster could occur. Just look at Three Mile Island. In my opinion, nuclear power is not the way to go.
Very often, it's not just one person making a little mistake. Three Mile Island happened because technicians were being fed inaccurate readings by a device that wouldn't be acceptable in today's reactors. Chernobyl, Simi Valley, and Windscale were all disasters caused by deliberate human intervention. Disengaging safeties, overloading a reactor beyond its intended capacity, and downright experimental use of fast-breeder reactors ALL ignored safety standards, which directly lead to the events. No nuclear reactor accident in the US has ever happened a second time, as new safety features become incorporated to prevent the same mistake from happening twice.
Nuclear power is the way we must go, although there are numerous problems that have to be addressed... all human-generated.
But that's my point exactly: while those events never ended in catastrophe, one wrong move could have caused that to happen. If small human mistakes caused all those to happen, that just proves how unstable the situation is.
Do we really have another choice?
Solar/wind/geothermal and the rest of that bunch could never take over all energy production from fossil fuels in just a couple decades.
We can't afford to wait any longer for fusion power, or other theoretical solutions.
France is 75% nuclear, they haven't had a problem.
You misunderstood my point. It wasn't by small mistakes, but through significant and deliberate actions that these accidents happened. It may not have been their intent to cause such accidents, but it was through deliberate violation of safety measures that they happened. And even if we were to measure the number of deaths from nuclear energy, it still comes to far fewer than those caused by coal. Mining and emissions bring about a far greater loss of life and damage to ecosystems than nuclear.
And despite the perception that renewable energy can replace oil and coal, you really can't hope to replace more than 20% of the power grid reliably. Nuclear and geothermal are clean and reliable sources of energy, but only nuclear isn't affected by geography.
I feel it's worth pointing out this comment in a thread about an OIL spill that is likely going to have fairly devastating long term effects. And even then, something like Three Mile Island is very questionable on if there were even any measurable negative effects on that, as that was very nearly a nonevent entirely from what I've read of it.
I'm not sure what point you're going for, although at least on solar, the biggest stuff I've read has been issues on improving efficiencies, and cost issues that will drop when you get into more massive production. There are also some promising solar tech that's not developed yet, but I forsee will be in near future.
Scientific American, I believe it was, had an article recently that looked at how there was a proposal on how to get the California grid entirely off fossil fuels because when solar is less effective tends to be either when energy demands are lower (night) or when wind power becomes more effective (cloudy, morning, evening). There's also some additional work being done on ways that energy can be stored so that you can even out the energy load we're getting.
So Muslim extremists are the fault of the colonial past? Was the Middle East even a major British colonoy?
It is of great advantage to have a Commonwealth Union. Australia & Canada are fine nations and are great allies to have in times of need. India has been very good to us in the past and has prospered well from trade with us.
7/7 terrorism was in response to the invasion of the Middle East with the US, not some anti-Imperialist attack.
Nobody touching on the Joe Barton Apology to BP?
Solar & wind power is pretty inefficient and has to be done often on a very large scale to produce anything like enough energy to be useful. That is partly because of where they are placed but really I don't think antions like the US or UK are going to get more than about 10% national energy consumption out of them.
Solar panels should move along with the Sun in the sky in order to get enough energy. Normally they only get about 2 hours worth of energy. Add to that the fact that many solar panels have only a few years life, so replacing a field of many thousands is expensive and time-consuming.
The UK is big on wind power, but it seems to have handles it badly. We need energy the most during winter when it is darker longer and we need lights and it is colder so we need heating. Problem is, during winter we get big spells of high pressure.
High pressure = No Wind which makes wind farms wildly inefficient.
Add to that the fact that you need big wind farms with hundreds of huge turbines in the sea which is not good for the sea floor or the ecosystem around it.
I think hydro-power is a big thing for the future. The Hoover Dam in the US is a great example of this, it generates a great deal of energy.
Britain being an island and therefore surrounded by water should make more use of wave power.
Actually, while I very much like solar power, I don't think photovoltaics will turn out to be the best use of it.
I?m saying that once they got independence a lot of them, ironically, came here. Once here a lot of them refused to integrate and treated, and still treat this country as a holiday home, hence a lot of the terrorist bombers actually coming from here. They know fully about this country?s Imperial past, because they?ve been indoctrinated by their parents and ?mad mullahs? who our lousy governments have also freely allowed over here, all in some misplaced belief that a leopard will change its spots and a false belief that a multicultural society, especially in a country the size of this, will eventually work. A man can?t have more than one allegiance. If someone feels that they?re more committed to another country/culture then maybe they?d be better off back there.
And I'm not talking about our cousins, where most of their populous originally came from here and hold mostly the same cultural values as us, but rather people from alien cultures who have little or nothing in common with us.