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Guest Post: In The Head Of Energy Secretary Chu

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Submitted by Fred Banks of OilPrice.com

In The Head Of Energy Secretary Chu

As most readers of this short paper probably know, Dr Steven Chu is the energy secretary of the United States, a physicist, and a Nobel Laureate. Discovery Magazine, in its latest issue (2011), selected what it called  the "100 top stories of 2010", one of which was authored by an editor of Discovery, and whose main purpose was  to verify Dr Chu's green credentials.

Some important observations of the Econ 101 variety were missing from Dr Chu's answers to editor Corey Powell's questions, which unfortunately prevents me from recommending his 'piece' to serious readers.

Mr Powell began this Q&A with a reference to the Gulf Coast oil spill, asking how an accident of this magnitude could happen. I won't bother to discuss Dr Chu's answer, because both question and answer were irrelevant. Statistically, accidents of that type are unavoidable, and have always taken place. If we go back to the Second World War, we can look e.g.  the unnecessary invasion of Peleliu Island and the attack on Manila, the failure to clear the approaches to the port of Antwerp as soon as possible,  and perhaps the worst blunder of all, which was adopting the Sherman as the main American battle tank. Compared to those 'accidents', the Gulf Coast tragedy was small beer.

For long term energy investments, Dr Chu pictures the U.S. moving toward the electrification of personal vehicles. So do I, only I don't have a clue as to the details, nor how rapidly a large-scale electrification could be completed if deemed necessary.  I therefore wonder if the secretary and his foot soldiers could provide us with the kind of information that we can use in our teaching and publications, and to do so as soon as possible - assuming that they, unlike my good self, have examined this issue sufficiently to tell us something beyond public relations hype.

His thoughts on nuclear energy bother me somewhat, because he states that large reactors will cost 7 to 8 billion (US) dollars. I regard that estimate as completely and totally wrong, and suggest that he should have a talk with Anne Lauvergeon about her plans for her firm Areva, as well as what she knows about the new Chinese reactors. Evidence from the nuclear past and present leads me to insist that "large" reactors, whose construction is organized by competent managers, will soon cost a maximum of  5 billion dollars. This is because the time span from ground break to grid power will be less than 5 years, and when the nuclear renaissance moves into full swing, perhaps much less.

"Future-gen" (in the form of zero-emission coal power plants) evidently plays a prominent role in Dr Chu's vision of an optimal energy structure. It plays none whatsoever in mine however, and  I never use the expression "future-gen" nor listen to anyone discussing it.  Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is an element in this activity, and the Swedish firm Vattenfall once made certain optimistic promises to the German government and newspaper readers concerning their efforts in that direction. Jeffrey Michel, an MIT graduate and energy consultant living in Germany, calls CCS a thermodynamic travesty, and remembering my own long and delightful study of thermodynamics and engineering economics causes me to say that Michel's judgement is much too mild.

A carbon-free United States in 2050 seems to be one of Secretary Chu's more abstract notions. Interestingly, a recent large energy meeting in Berlin was on the same wave length, where the emphasis was on solar and wind's place on the German energy scene in the same year. As far as I am concerned, the German intentions are strictly off-the-wall, and in 2050 the German nuclear intensity will match or overmatch that in France. The nuclear equipment will be breeders, and I sincerely hope that the security problems associated with those reactors are solved the way that they should be solved, because if not somebody could be in a world of hurt.

Finally, Dr Chu mentions that "there is no law of physics which states that the whole society can't benefit", and unlike the contention of e.g. Gordon Gekko (in the film Wall Street), he says that "there is no zero sum game here". It was really very decent of the Secretary to inform us of his interest in the subject of game theory, because in a world of 9.5 billion souls - which is his prophecy for 2050 - a  complicated version (or extension)  of the zero sum paradigm is going to be the order of the day, and there is very little - or more realistically nothing - that  he or all the Nobel Prize winners since Adam and Eve can do about that.

 


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Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:37 | Link to Comment Dinghy Dumper
Dinghy Dumper's picture

I agree that the future has to be nuclear, but I do not think it has to breeders (i.e., U238 -> Pu239).

I think what everyone should push for is this:

http://energyfromthorium.com/

Th232 is abundant (Colorado is practically made out of it) and the fuel cycle does not directly connect to U235/Pu239 weapons.

 

... to paraphrase James Lovelock:

 

"The single largest obstacle to solving our most pressing problems today is the environmental movement."

(... due to their mis-guided opposition to nuclear power).

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:38 | Link to Comment TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

For people who are unfamiliar with the Thorium reactors and their multiple benefits over Uranium reactors, there is a great Google Tech Talk available on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHs2Ugxo7-8

 

and apparently China has begun work on Thorium reactor technologies with an eye for implementation, beats the hell out of mining coal.

 

http://energyfromthorium.com/

 

 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 19:24 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

DD (oh the thoughts!):

"Th232..."

Yep, but USNRC hasn't gone through the fuel cycle in all of its tangy, meaty, goodness to start thinking about approving this type of design.  ==> no industry 'investment' in this approach. ==> $/Mwh greatly exceed ALWR experience.  'Madame Non' is writing checks on the Frog Gov't. that are, well, unplanned.  Flamaville e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flamanville_Nuclear_Power_Plant and Fin5 not doin' so well.

But, well 'Madame Non' is almost as cute as Sarkozy's wife. e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carla_Bruni

I'll let you do the extra 'in depth investigation' into available images ;-)

But she has had a glitch in her marketing vision with the practicalities of nuclear safety.

- Ned

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:39 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

I used to work with Chu, had several one on one conversations with him, and  his main concerns were global warming followed by finding a carbon neutral fuel. Nuclear power plants and NG powered cars were completely off the table for him. (which always boggled my already befuddled mind)

He's an academic ideologue and his energy policy is suicide for this country...Hard for me to imagine someone more disconnected from reality than Chu.WASS (we are so screwed)

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:46 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

There is no way to that carbon free nirvana without a natural gas bridge. Nuclear is here to stay.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 19:29 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

contemplate the 'carbon free nirvana' carefully, s'il vous plait.  contemplate a routine source of CO2 generation and emission.  Contemplate the thought of painting roofs and roads white to increase the albedo of US (disregarding the rest of the globe's ground surface vs. the ~2/3 globe covered by water.

Then, separation of effects: H20 v. CO2 GHG temperature contribution.

wow.

- Ned

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:09 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Ahh Chu. At least his academic ideology is consistent with his boss' approach to everything

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:16 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

You called it perfectly...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:43 | Link to Comment TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

ahhh Chu -

gesundheit

 

(to your health)

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 19:52 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
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hi!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:44 | Link to Comment A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Gesundheit!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:46 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

If he's concerned about the effects of catastrophic global warming he can stop worrying.

Monitored global satellite temperatures are in free fall. There has been now NO warming since 1998 (and actually quite a bit of cooling) as Trenberth's 'Climategate' emails confirmed.

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/rss_v32-v332.png

Meanwhile the Dr. Michael MannGas charts are now looking hideously silly. Kinda like the administrations future GDP projections. Check it out for comparisons sake... government sponsored sources at that (NSIDC). How long until people figure out they are being lied to?

http://nsidc.org/sotc/images/proxy-based_temperature_rec.gif

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:02 | Link to Comment Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Absolutely correct, but be careful the chicken littles will come out and they are mean little chickens around here..  Non-falsifiable statements are not science but they are when you thirst for meaning and reject the true path.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:32 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

This little kitty loves chicken.

And non-falsifiable multibillion dollar climate models based on flawed feedback assumptions are less than useless.

And seeing NASA (Hansen) dropping rural stations out of the global temperature calculation data sets in favor of unadjusted urban heat island readings is FRAUD people.

Want to see a couple of the land based official USHCN stations used to illustrate how they keep getting higher temperatures year after year?

Enjoy!

http://www.treehugger.com/20100129-surface-stations.jpg

http://www.globalresearch.ca/articlePictures/fulton5.jpg

http://www.jgc.org/blog/uploaded_images/rome_italy_airport_weather_station_large2-789953.jpg

BEWARE!!!

These are where your temperature data (and record 'high' temps) are coming from children!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:34 | Link to Comment Nootropic
Nootropic's picture

 

http://climate.nasa.gov/news/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=467

"The analysis produced at GISS is compiled from weather data from more than 1000 meteorological stations around the world, satellite observations of sea surface temperature and Antarctic research station measurements. A computer program uses the data to calculate temperature anomalies — the difference between surface temperature in a given month and the average temperature for the same period during 1951 to 1980. This three-decade period acts as a baseline for the analysis."

 

Patently wrong.  You are looking at local meterological stations, like the ones they use to read from for the local news.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:28 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Let me help you out a bit with this link... here are the USHCN stations that are used for the land component of the American temps. The American stations are known to be the worlds best... I strongly suggest you check out the siting issues indicated at the site.

http://www.surfacestations.org/

The USHCN data are then sent to UEA where they are combined with the data from other global land stations in conjunction with the relevant satellite data to create a homogenized 'global' product.

The NASA GISS numbers are 'seperately' derived from the UEA HadCRUT data set and then adjusted UPWARDS by Mr. James Hansen to create the GISS final product.

NASA GISS and UAE HadCRUT are NOT independant data sets.

GISS IS derived from HadCRUT my friend.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 19:35 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

ZerOhead:

"And non-falsifiable multibillion dollar climate models..."

...er... are you actually suggesting that these models aren't, well, science?

- Ned

(u have Popper and Khun on your side-you win!)

(i'll help, but i'm so small)

- Ned

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:11 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Science fiction is more like it.

 

And how have their super-computing climate models performed to date?

Remember GIGO my friends...Garbage in... Garbage out!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:55 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

falsifiable-baby.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:56 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Which is why they appropriated multi-millions in the "shovel ready jobs stimulus" for NASA's brand new exciting models with new & improved super glue to hold it all together...LOL.

For your review if you haven't seen it yet.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/05/new-peer-reviewed-paper-shows-just-how-bad-the-climate-models-are/

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:56 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

Can't say anything bad about Reagan either. Welcome back ZerOhead!!!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:12 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Thanks Hulkster... it's been a while.

Now let's find something to be disagreeable about and have some fun! :)

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:23 | Link to Comment Nootropic
Nootropic's picture

Your first graph actually does show an increase in global temperature way above any reconstructed natural rate, actually.

 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:54 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Above any previous natural rate? Serious? Even the variations during the recent Maunder and Dalton minimum events? Come on now.

And it's higher now than in 1998? (My eyes must be shot! :)

Anyone with even the slightest passing background in paleoclimatology will inform you that past climate swings have been much larger in the past and the trend during the latter part of this interglacial (Holocene) which we are currently in...

90% of the time during the last 500,000 years most of the North American continent (and all of Canada pretty much) has been under up to 2 miles of ice.

10% of the time we are in the warm interglacial periods... usually for around 10,000 years which incidentally we are likely to leave shortly (in geological timeframes anyway... :)

http://www.water23.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Ice_Age_Temperature1.png

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:08 | Link to Comment Nootropic
Nootropic's picture

Actually, yes.  Dalton and Maunder minimums didn't change at the rate of decades, but at centuries or millenia.  Sorry about your broken eyes, I'm not quite sure how your eyes extend into the infrared range, but I hope you feel better.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:44 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/b/bb/Holocene_Temperature_Variations_Rev.png

Above you will find the Holocene temperature record. So you think the planet has never been warmer?

Guess again.

And the Dalton/Maunder minimums were NOT millenial events.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:39 | Link to Comment steve2241
steve2241's picture

Recent newscasts have pointed out that an increasing portion of the polar icecaps are no longer frozen, during a period of the year when everything should be frozen solid. Aren't the polar caps the canary in the coalmine regarding this "global warming" issue?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:55 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

The arctic has been burning up this winter... in Greenland/Davis Straight/ Baffin Island primarily.

Global sea ice extent is relatively stable. Losses in the Northern hemisphere are balanced by gains in the Antarctic.

Deep solar minimums produced jet stream blocking events that cause extreme weather differentials. They have led to atmospheric circulation pattern disruption and that is what we are witnessing now.

I suggest you read this study released last year by solar physicist Professor Mike Lockwood... a very strong AGW proponent and member of the IPCC panel by the way.

http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/5/2/024001/fulltext

Go long argicultural futures my friends... things may be chilling down for the next two solar cycles! (20-30 years)

 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:57 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

Too much global warming research money at stake to admit GW is a fraud...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:15 | Link to Comment ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

And too much money injected into the banks by the Fed at stake to admit this RECOVERY is a fraud!

The parallels are ominous...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:46 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

Converging disasters, I call em

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:43 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
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For the future of distributed nuclear power check out the 4S from toshiba and the other mini nukes. I think ge has one also. Scale-able also.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 22:59 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

You're the reason I have so much missing time in my memory and why I build diatomic bombs for the little gray men who beam me up to their spaceship every month.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrc9siok3IU

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:42 | Link to Comment topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

For the future of distributed nuclear power check out the 4S from toshiba and the other mini nukes. I think ge has one also. Scale-able also.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:41 | Link to Comment macfly
macfly's picture

I'm totally with him on electric cars, we are very close already, the Leaf being the first mass market one. I live in LA with enough roof space to solar charge mine, and since my home is my office, this is my intention in the not too distant future. 

I don't see electric being so useful for commercial vehicles though, unless there is some kind of shared overhead power rail like trams and trolleys use.

In terms of electrical generation nuclear is tied to the availability of uranium, and we are already way past peak uranium, so ramping up reliance on another 'out of the ground' energy source isn't so smart. We have the sun, the winds, the tides, and the rain, as these are 'eternal' (yes, I know the sun will go red dwarf in 4 billion earths and melt earth).

 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:51 | Link to Comment william the bastard
william the bastard's picture

Electric cars. yes sustained by coal powered power plants. Thats the ticket!

 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:56 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

Coal fired cars... His solar panel charging scheme for his leaf will work as long as he only works from home. Pity the poor commuter...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:25 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  That is one of your better missives...now run along and provoke a gold bug..

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:09 | Link to Comment CynicLaureate
CynicLaureate's picture

Obviously the solar panels need to be at the office, not at home.  You can't charge your car at night by solar.

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:49 | Link to Comment TheMerryPrankster
TheMerryPrankster's picture

That is part of the beauty of Thorium, Uranium is only used to begin the fission process, which is continued by Thorium and it can be used to reprocesses or consume the current uranium waste products and other radioactive waste stored on site at most Nuclear generating facilities.

 

The great part is the U.S. already has about 300,000  tons of Thorium reserves as a byproduct of its nuclear program, this is the energy equivalent of about a trillion barrels of oil.

 

The Cliff Notes are here:

http://www.wellhome.com/blog/2010/12/thorium-the-next-generation-of-nucl...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:04 | Link to Comment Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

You must have one hell of a roof.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:27 | Link to Comment Nootropic
Nootropic's picture

Li/air batteries might have the energy density required to replace petrol.  It does have some serious engineering questions to address before being mass marketed, however.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 08:59 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

ka-boom

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:19 | Link to Comment Dinghy Dumper
Dinghy Dumper's picture

Actually with Th232 -> U233 LIFTR technology there in no issue with "peak uranium".

 

Th232 is ABUNDANT and isotopically pure  - please read my earlier (first) post and peruse the link. This should clarify this further.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:43 | Link to Comment terryg999
terryg999's picture

Jesus! I can't fucken stand the amateurs that populate this administration 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:52 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yeah, don't forget that the head of DOE has a defacto gag order imposed. He is the last person who can talk honestly about the US energy situation. As bad as Chu might be, we could have seen what a "professional" like Kenneth Lay would be like. Recall that he as on the shortlist to be W's candidate for head of DOE...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:47 | Link to Comment NOTW777
NOTW777's picture

thats the ticket change the subject and blame Bush for everything

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:55 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  Wasn't blaming "Shrub" for anything... just commenting that the head of DOE is constrained in what he can say, and though I don't think much of Chu, god forbid if we got a real sociopath like Lay....

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:02 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

as long as we agree to blame all of them for everything. Each boy (and girl) has their fetish, but we could not get this screwed up, this deep in the hole without decades of effort, evil, and incompetence from everyone. There is no way in hell this country is going to come out of this without destroying both of these criminal parties. We seem too historically infantile to grasp this, but other places with longer stories demonstrate that path.   

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 09:06 | Link to Comment New_Meat
New_Meat's picture

"Yeah, don't forget that the head of DOE has a defacto gag order..."

Hazel O'Leary had a de jure gag order: she wouldn't permit the word "Plutonium" to be uttered within her hearing.

- Ned

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:44 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Paging fusion trolls in 3, 2, 1....

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:56 | Link to Comment Blindweb
Blindweb's picture

Personally all my money is invested in infinite motion machine R&D.  Although I've been thinking about moving it to R&D on machines that create energy from gravity.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:05 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

  Any form of fusion actually....if any one worries about how "dirty" fission is, it's got nothing on fusion...

LOL, isn't here is a Silicon valley startup working on gravi-magnetic gyroscopes?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:45 | Link to Comment Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

There was a joke during the last presidential campaign saying that if McCain becomes president he won't survive the next 4 years but if Obama becomes president the USA won't survive the next 4 years.

Hands up who's still laughing

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:55 | Link to Comment Blindweb
Blindweb's picture

You can't run the worlds car fleet off of wind and solar.  There just isn't enough energy created from it.  The Eroei on nuclear isn't much better.  Anyone who hasn't figured this out, but opens their mouth on the future of energy, should have their credentials stripped from them.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:04 | Link to Comment NaN
NaN's picture

Not enough solar power? You are repeating a nonsense meme.

The big fusion reactor in the sky, at the safe distance of 93M miles, imparts tremendous energy, is self-maintaining, and lights up half the earth at any one moment. It *is* possible to completely power the US with photovoltaics. By one detailed estimate, the area required is 310 square miles, and that would be much lower if only southern states participated and transmitted power elsewhere.

It sounds big, but for perspective, the US has 3.8M miles of roads and 46K miles of interstate highways. If each road is 20ft wide, the total road surface area is 14,772 square miles.

The proof of concept estimate I found is here:

http://americansolareconomy.blogspot.com/2009/04/percentage-land-area-re...

It links to a google-apps spreadsheet.

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 19:12 | Link to Comment A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Have they solved for the lack of quality sand problem yet?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:23 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

CSP is the way to go....

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:51 | Link to Comment buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

Chu is irrelevant. Two more years and the entire owebama (loser) team is history.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:40 | Link to Comment dbach
dbach's picture

Only if the repubs can put together a decent candidate. I won't vote if its Palin/Obama. south park -> (http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/154582/debate-2004)

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:29 | Link to Comment bankruptcylawyer
bankruptcylawyer's picture

i would go further to say that u.s. non-military based energy policy is irrelevant because political administrations shift every 4 if not 8 years. the only energy policy we have that is long term is military energy policy. de-fact that means we are long term oil and natural gas reserves by our 'investment' in iraq, and domestically. it also means darpa is chugging along. 

the wierd thing about the doe, is that their mandate is mostly securing our nukes and making sure they work and making sure the nuclear sector works. what a mess. 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:54 | Link to Comment lead salad
lead salad's picture

Aaaaahhhh...Chu.  Just another member of the keystone cop admin....

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:13 | Link to Comment DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

crap, you beat me to it.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:59 | Link to Comment Hedgetard55
Hedgetard55's picture

Lots of empty space in Chu's head. Can't reason his way out of a paper bag. Book smart, no common sense.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 15:59 | Link to Comment Rogerwilco
Rogerwilco's picture

Chu is smart, but Chu is also a token, an "x" on one of Obama's checklists. As long as he doesn't stray too far from the party line or rape children on video tape, his views and advice will be dutifully ignored by the ruling elite.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:20 | Link to Comment Hulk
Hulk's picture

He's a smart academic, but completely impractical. There is a place for academics and its not the real world. Consider the spherical cow...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:25 | Link to Comment Mercury
Mercury's picture

For long term energy investments, Dr Chu pictures the U.S. moving toward the electrification of personal vehicles. So do I, only I don't have a clue as to the details, nor how rapidly a large-scale electrification could be completed if deemed necessary.

-How "green" exactly is trading tail pipe emmissions for power plant smoke stack emissions (plus the energy/waste involved in making the extra gear that goes into electric cars)?

Finally, Dr Chu mentions that "there is no law of physics which states that the whole society can't benefit", and unlike the contention of e.g. Gordon Gekko (in the film Wall Street), he says that "there is no zero sum game here".

-No but the laws of thermodynamics 1 through 3 inclusive will prove to be a significant obstacle to most of the silly shit he has in mind.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 03:33 | Link to Comment John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

Its the old "out of sight out of mind" mentality.  Of is it "out of sight, I'm out of my mind"

Chu to stick to opinions on optical tweezers (his nobel work) and review the concept of energy density which is why chemical bonds beat electrons from batteries and nuclear bonds (fission, fusion) beats them all.

As far as photovoltaics, he needs to review the idea that it cost energy to get energy and solar panels are just too expensive and too spatially diverse (require too much land area).  That and the intermittant nature make any pure solar solution silly.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:01 | Link to Comment Piranhanoia
Piranhanoia's picture

current energy patterns aside,  a sea change in generation of power will take place. 10 years tops. If we have that much time, and if we need it then.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:10 | Link to Comment papaswamp
papaswamp's picture

Guess they forgot to ask Dr. Chu about his $500 million grant he got from BP? Or his best buddy Under Secty of Science (which he choose) was former Chief scientist for BP (who awarded him the grant)? Great article in the NYT about Chu and his relationship with BP.

"WASHINGTON — Three years ago, the national laboratory then headed by Steven Chu received the bulk of a $500 million grant from the British oil giant BP to develop alternative energy sources through a new Energy Biosciences InstituteDr. Chu received the grant from BP’s chief scientist at the time, Steven E. Koonin, a fellow theoretical physicist whom Dr. Chu jocularly described as “my twin brother.” Dr. Koonin had selected the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, over other universities in the United States and Britain in part because of Dr. Chu’s pioneering work in alternative fuels.

 

Today, Dr. Chu is President Obama’s energy secretary, and he spent Tuesday in Houston working with BP officials to try to find a way to stop the unabated flow of oil from a ruptured well a mile beneath the Gulf of Mexico.

Dr. Koonin, who followed Dr. Chu to the Energy Department and now serves as under secretary of energy for science, is recused from all matters relating to the disaster because of his past ties to BP, said Stephanie Mueller, an Energy Department spokeswoman."

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/26/us/politics/26energy.html

 

 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:23 | Link to Comment CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

FYI, re solar power in Germany.

Germany is generally thought of, in solar circles, as on average one of if not THE cloudiest place on Earth.  

The Solar Constant is 1000 watts per square meter most places on Earth's surface as an averate.  It's 880 watts in Germany.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:31 | Link to Comment Nootropic
Nootropic's picture

That's AM 1.5 calculations, not Germany's specific insolation.  Generally the method of calculating this is "average number of hours of full sun per day" X "AM 1.5" which is ~880 W/m2. 

 

A whole lotta people here don't know science.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:24 | Link to Comment tempo
tempo's picture

I don't have any idea about 2050 (neither does Dr. Chu but it probably gives him a real high to talk about it) but I do know that the tight gas frac drilling boom in the US and the rest of world is about getting some liquids (propane etc.) which sell at about $90/bbl.   The world short oil, wheat, corn and water.   The world is full of BS about things that don't matter and things (like QE2 and qe3 and deficits) that will lead to rapidly rising commodity prices and rioting in many parts of the world. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:24 | Link to Comment the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

I am surpised he did not mention Space-based solar power since Chu is out there allready.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:25 | Link to Comment Mefistofeles
Mefistofeles's picture

Honestly I think Chu is insane.  The United States hasn't built a nuclear power plant in over three decades.   First of all where will the technical expertise come from to build all this nuclear power.

Second electric cars?  I live in the greater LA metropolitan area,I've been in situations where I've been caught in traffic at 8:00 pm.  My friend who occaisionally works in Los Angeles proper has been caught in traffic on Sunday proper.  Is having more cars such a great idea, I don't think so.

Let's not forget about the current rare earth crisis.  China controls 90% of the rare earth market.  Where are we going to get the raw earths needed build all of these electric cars.  Then there is the issue of battery disposal,I have a five hundred pound battery pack in my hybrid.  When all these batteries go bad how are we going to dispose of them?

Personally I think real investment in mass transit would be far superior to building all these electric cars, which is something the Chinese are doing with zeal. 

Also there is the issue of grid capacity.  Having plug in vehicles will strain the grid and if you live in any city in the western United States on a day where temperatures can hit 99 or 100 degrees the grid is already under pressure already.  Having electric vehicles is only going make this problem worse.

Then there is the issue of building nuclear power.  Unless someone commits some real money it's just talk.  The United States hasn't built a nuclear plant in over 30 years.   With all the permissions required to build a nuclear facility I can't imagine that it would take less than a decade to build a nuclear plant.  Who's going to spend 5 billion dollars and wait 10 years for ROI, I don't think any utility would invest that kind of time or money.

Although I agree we need to go a post carbon future because of the reality of oil resource depletion I think we need to put our money where our mouth is.  There are a number of technologies that have immense promise.  Polywell's fusion reactor (versus ITER's fusion reactor) and methane hydrates but they will require tens of billions of dollars of initial investment to test for viability and even more to bring online.   But we need to spend money instead of just talk.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:16 | Link to Comment jmc8888
jmc8888's picture

What expertise? We still have expertise in Nuclear energy. *we invented it*

In fact while off hand I forget the exact U.S. multinational that signed a deal to export nuclear tech (G.E. I think), it still exists.

As for nuclear power plants....it's the amitorization laws (which can be CHANGED) can alleviate many cost problems.

As for insurance and other 'green bs' laws can also be changed.

We need about 10k plants (of current output) to be successful.

Yes fusion is the way AFTER that, with 30-50 or so years of research, now is the time. (and along the way like the fucking space program we get ROI in the form of spinoffs...think tang, computers, materials, superconductors)

If we want to do all of this, we better stop selling off our maching tools for scrap metal.

LaRouche understands our energy needs.  Nuclear until fusion, with massive projects for both.  (not paid for by the TBTF's, but by credit uttered by the gov't, an American credit system, rid of monetarism's scourge through the glass-steagall standard)

Money is not the issue.  Wind/solar are a boondoggle.  Going down that road is akin to the stupidity of bailouts. 

It's nuclear until fusion.  We aren't serious about energy until that is the discussion. 

On top of this, there's mag lev which if done correctly can make UPS shipping look like Pony Express.   We're already decades behind.  Lots of wasted energy in lieu of having a working mag lev system in place..unlike say China.

Credit Creation uttered by the Federal Gov't can do this.

NO need for TBTF to in any way fund this.  They are not needed.  Never have been.  Only in bizarro monetary world do we prevent ourselves for doing what is necessary to survive for no reason.  Even against our constitution.

Glass-Steagall and you'll have the tools for dealing with our energy problems.  I also sugest NAWAPA for immediate jobs (with real tangible long term benefits...energy, water, increasing farm land).

Nothing holds us back than believing some bankster bullshit.  Why people that hate them still believe the precursor stuff is unbelievable, but we do. 

Nuclear until fusion after Glass-Steagall

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:23 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 A pretty good rant... but the end game is not fusion. The end game is solar.

You missed something, Glass-Steagall *and* a firing squad

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:30 | Link to Comment lincolnsteffens
lincolnsteffens's picture

Since our Govt. can't understand or respond to problems as they pop up why would anyone even listen to a govt. official making predictions 40 years out???!!!

Today on Albany, NY public radio fund drive they were offering carbon offsets donated by an environmental organization. The nonsense about permanently retiring these carbon offsets would send a message  to the dirty polluting electric companies that they have to clean up their act. Well, duuh, what about the consumer cleaning up their act.

Why anyone would not include LNG in a transition to cleaner produced electric is just foolishness. It is alot easier to convert and supply LNG than it is to completely revamp the electric grid and cover the earth with solar panels.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:36 | Link to Comment gwar5
gwar5's picture

If all cars were magically converted right now to electric cars we don't have enough electricity to charge them all up.

And the commies have no intention of letting us build enough energy plants anytime soon. 

They are bitter clingers to the Spanish model that has already spectacularly flopped -- with 22% unemployed

Do they really think we don't know?  Nobel prizes ain't what they used to be. 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 16:59 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

If all cars were magically converted right now to electric cars we don't have enough electricity to charge them all up.

Believe it or not, there is baseline capacity to pretty much handle charging provided it is done off-peak, i.e. in the wee hours. Not very tenable, I agree, but it is not a show stopper.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:27 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

The us electrical grid provides citizens with 246 hours of zero juice per household and business per year. It is the suck.

And off peak isn't much good. You increase the duty cycle on generators and you will roach them out so fast your head will spin.

You know your car which goes thousands and thousands of miles without much trouble. Well airplane engines are much better built and they burn up faster than Al Gores credibility. You want to know why? Cars operate at 20 and lower percentages of output. Airplanes opereate close to 100 percent on reaching altiutude and 60 percent on average at cruising speeds.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:23 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

"They are bitter clingers to the Spanish model that has already spectacularly flopped -- with 22% unemployed."

The Spanish green attempt was indeed a spectacular flop...and has been pointed out repeatedly.

"The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power - - which are charged to consumers in their bills -- translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish “green job” created since 2000, said Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at the university and author of the report.

The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices,” he said in an interview."

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a2PHwqAs7BS0 

"Do they really think we don't know?"

They really don't care.

Then there's frozen wind turbines...cloudy overcast bitterly cold days, which seem to coincide with peak demand for some strange reason...LOL.

No fear, our best and "brightest" are expending massive amounts of CO2 talking about it ;-)

More on the Don Quixote's of our time, tilting at windmills;

http://venturebeat.com/2010/02/08/minnesotas-frozen-turbines-raise-new-doubts-about-wind-power/

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:22 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

Haha electrical engineers suck at thermodynamics and chemistry.

And they forget to ask the mechanical engineers after they are done with blades and poles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX7wtNOkuHo

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 19:23 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

;-)

"And they forget to ask the mechanical engineers after they are done with blades and poles."

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all things mechanical. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later the company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multimillion dollar machines.

They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine to work but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.

The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day, he marked a small "x" in chalk on a particular component of the machine and stated, "This is where your problem is".

The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again.

The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his service. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges.

The engineer responded briefly: One chalk mark $1 Knowing where to put it $49,999 It was paid in full and the engineer retired again in peace.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YmMNpbFjp0

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:12 | Link to Comment the rookie cynic
the rookie cynic's picture

Clean coal is a thermodynamic fallacy, as is everything I've seen so far on cold fusion. It'll take up the entire land mass of several large countries to capture enough solar and wind energy to make even a small dent in our energy needs. No one has plans for popping out a new nuclear reactor every week or so for the next decade either, nor for plugging up every geyser known to man, yet we'd need all this and more to make up for the fossil fuels we are 100% dependent on in 2011. That's why the US has it's boot on the Strait of Hormuz and the surrounding land mass.

People also forget  to mention the fact that our entire infrastructure was build by and for fossil fuels. And don't underestimate the impact of diminished crop yields and damaged infrastructure resulting from a warming planet. (Man-made or otherwise.)

Obama and the other empty suits, nor the rapacious bankers, nor Secretary of Energy CHU have a clue. We are so screwed. http://therookiecynic.wordpress.com/

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:13 | Link to Comment Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

"And don't underestimate the impact of diminished crop yields and damaged infrastructure resulting from a warming planet. (Man-made or otherwise.)"

Really, heard of any warming periods ohh perhaps around the middle ages that helped out humanity??  So a colder planet is good for us?  Look at a population density map, people live where it's warm if more of the earth warms.. More plants, more co2 sucked up hmm.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:53 | Link to Comment the rookie cynic
the rookie cynic's picture

Figured that line would touch a nerve. I suppose you have a better explanation why half of Pakistan and Australia have been underwater this year or why Russia is considering a name change to Tierra Del Fuego?

The absolute temperature of the earth is not the main issue either, it's the rapidity of the change. Neither the planet's ecology, nor our man-made infrastructure, nor population can deal with it. Small changes over thousands of years we could handle. Not this.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:58 | Link to Comment Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

I do in fact have an explanation for those phenomena.  I will reveal it in a moment, now please tell me why the worlds population is highest in warm areas and why the medieval warming period was bad for the earth? 

You state we lack the ability to adapt to changes in the climate.  Why? Do you believe in Hollywood movie type rapid changes?  Stone Age man adapted to Ice Ages but we are unable too adapt?  The dichotomies in the Global Warming reasoning are indicative of a generalized lack of gestalt in the human condition.

The phenomenon you mention is called weather, it is similar to the weather earth has experienced for several million years.  You and I are but a transitory mist, a vapor upon the earth.  

If nothing else tell me one and only one thing, what set of facts could DISPROVE global warming or is it too late to disprove this religion?  Every element of religion is there, I am sure you already know that.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 20:21 | Link to Comment the rookie cynic
the rookie cynic's picture

If not sure this is what you're getting at, but if the percentage change in temperature the past 100 years fell within 2 standard deviations of the mean for comparable 100 year periods in the past guess I would be less inclined to freak about it.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 21:38 | Link to Comment Calmyourself
Calmyourself's picture

Thanks for playing: fail

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 23:12 | Link to Comment the rookie cynic
the rookie cynic's picture

I answered you. I think it's a reasoned response. Are you going to post a rebuttal or play games?

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:34 | Link to Comment NaN
NaN's picture

"It'll take up the entire land mass of several large countries to capture enough solar and wind energy to make even a small dent in our energy needs."

Can you prove that or are you repeating specious F.U.D.?

See my other comment on this article for a refutation.  

On an annual basis, Earth receives orders of magnitude more solar energy than all the energy produced by coal and oil.

Photovoltaic can already produce more energy per unit area than strip mining coal.  See:

http://americansolareconomy.blogspot.com/2009/01/solar-vs-coal-land-area...

What about storage for solar?  Well, it turns out hydrogen looks pretty good after the myths are tossed out:

http://www.rmi.org/cms/Download.aspx?id=1360&file=E03-05_20HydrogenMyths...

(a peer-reviewed article from the brilliant Amory Lovins who sets the standard for comprehensive, system-level energy analysis.)

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 21:46 | Link to Comment realitybiter
realitybiter's picture

Lovins is not the standard.

http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/2009/08/amory-lovins-discredited-lovins...

He is a committed zealot who refuses to think honestly.  He has an agenda, green at ALL costs (as in soylent green)  Driving the price of corn so high due to converting 40% of your crop to gasoline and forcing poor people to starve to death is ALL cost, no?

 

Wed, 02/16/2011 - 21:43 | Link to Comment NaN
NaN's picture

If you think Amory tows any lines for the Greens, you have been misled.  The Greens don't like him because he promotes highly efficient, fast, and safe cars; is willing to analyze nuclear (Lovins previously worked in the nuclear industry), and comes up with market based solutions.  

That one blogger is pissed because he has not gotten a full response from Lovins?  That is not enough to invalidate the huge body of work at rmi.org (Lovin's has around 50-60 full time staff).  The bar is much higher than you think.

The nuclear energy debate is complicated, especially when all externalities are included, but the gist of Amory's argument against nuclear is that it is significantly more expensive than viable alternatives when government subsidies and indemnifications are absent.  He points out that the market is not willing to price that in, and that is real evidence about the future of nuclear energy.  

Note that there is no need to adhere to the "precautionary principle" here or over-react to radiation to come to the conclusion that lifetime cost per KW produced by nuclear energy is much higher than solar or wind.

Can you point out he caused food to be diverted to ethanol (not gasoline) production?  Lovins is an analyst, not a politician. 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:02 | Link to Comment Winston Wolf
Winston Wolf's picture

The bigger problem with electric cars is the added residential infrastructure required to support night time charging of vehicles - plug in and pop the transformer.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:05 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

   Yeah, might have to cut back on the Netflix subscribtion, or maybe, god forbid, limit one's self to basic cable...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:17 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture

Shit, I'd be happy if the lights didn't dim when my neighbors garage door goes up.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 19:56 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

snowball...wow.....................................

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:03 | Link to Comment born2bmild
born2bmild's picture

Fusion troll here. It's ok if you don't want to read or consider it but The American Chem Society is the world's largest professional scientist organization and they say it's real, cheap and safe: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-03/acs-fr031709.php 

1.5 years after the publication of that ACS paper 4 times the amount of scientist in the world became believers (than were before the paper) and a well attended ACS convention on that topic was held at Moscone center in SF in 2010

Here is a resource site

www.lenr-canr.org

http://blacklightpower.com/ was verified 3 times at Rowan University (last verification was last year), they've been at it 10 years.

 

 

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:16 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture

I want to believe. C'mon Tokamaks!

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 03:49 | Link to Comment John_Coltrane
John_Coltrane's picture

"4 times the amount of scientist in the world became believers"   Real scientists are skeptics especially about their own work.  Scientific agreement, like that of capital markets is a great counterindicator.  The vast majority of scientists at the turn of the last century believed Newtonian physics was a completely adequate description of the world-then a few skeptics like Plank, Bohr and Einstein developed quantum mechanics.  And good scientists are still skeptics and actively testing those ideas.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:14 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture

I was going to read this article, but it seemed like a waste of time. So I didn't.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:27 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture


100 percent renewable energy possible by 2030

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-percent-renewable-energy.html

4M 5Mw Turbines + 1.7B 3kw PVs + 90k Mw solar plants

(and all we'll have to do is wipe out China in a war to get the raw materials ;)

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:48 | Link to Comment born2bmild
born2bmild's picture

We (in the US) are in the process of re-opening Mountain Pass mine

http://mgx.com/blogs/2009/10/18/mountain-pass-rare-earth-mine-reopening-in-california/

You like Li? http://www.wealthdaily.com/articles/afghanistan-mineral-discovery-a-1-trillion-find/2553

I like ultracapacitors. http://www.ultracapacitors.org/index.php?option=com_content&Itemid=77&id=106&task=view

You like Neodymium? I like Iron and Nitrogen magnets http://www.physorg.com/news188458077.html

 Looks more do-able daily.

Even if YOU don't feel like reading the article

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 17:59 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

 Nice link, re: Fe_16 N_2, read it a little more closely though. Definately not ready for prime time, let alone a dress rehersal. "Unstable crystals" smack of it being laboratory curiosity. We wait and see....

Refurbishing MCP's property is a step in the right direction, but Mountain Pass is light on the heavy rare earths. We'll still be hostage to China for a while...

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:04 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture

Now now...don't shoot the messenger (especially when he agrees with you).

Ferrous magnets will help quite a bit (I've mentioned them several times in other posts), but I don't think that will help us build hybrids, que no? China having 97% of the market is problematic, even with nifty mines in my home state.

And the 'article' I was referring to was the one posted here on ZH; I was making a (bad?) joke about the several times the author made an allusion to something while dismissing it without actually saying why.

Lighten up! :)

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:00 | Link to Comment proLiberty
proLiberty's picture

More command and control, top-down central planning that thinks real economics can be dismissed by government action.

 

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:07 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture

Don't worry; your "right to be stupid" will remain intact and the option to buy $12/gallon gas will be yours until it becomes like hen's teeth.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 18:16 | Link to Comment Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

This is no zero sum game has to be the new code for we don't believe in equality. We won't tolerate equality and we will bury it under a pile of bullshit.

Another nobel laureate in energy scamming.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 19:38 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

one of the stupidest thing this country ever did was nuke the trolley system.  think about that for a minute.  an electric train system which went all over the place, and worked!  and cost, what, a nickel a ride?

gm, ford, chrysler, the interstate construction mob?  sorry ike, ya blew it.  m.i.complex?  was nixon really in charge?

i don't know what the answers are here.  but i know what i have done:  2 cheap chinese schwinns; old toyota that i don't use much, unless i leave town.  buses. feet. funky = functional.

btw: hasn't germany been slamming up solar, big time, for a long time?  from what i understand they are so far out in front of the whole rest of the curve as to make big Haha's of everybody else.  they do have quite a few engineers.  either i'm misinformed or somebody else is.  maybe they're just singin this song for the nuke engineering brother and sisterhhood. 

somebody tell me how much waste and how it is to be handled safely, OK?  it's probable here and i just missed it. about a year after i left the city or berkekely, the open ward, i went back for a meeting and to help some people who were getting uk-fayed in a non-profit corp. game try to figure out who to kick in the crotch, first.  i see this guy who is bald, and looks a little unhealthy.  then i recognized him!  J!  is that you?  yeah, slewie.  what tf happened?  he looked like he had leukemia or something. 

slewie, i'm walking down the street on the North Side a few months ago, and then i didn't feel right.  turns out this guy was doing a nuclear experiment in his garage (!) and something went wrong.  i got dosed as i was walking by.

What?  in the garage?  yeah, s.  turns out there are 28 LICENCED nuke projects around town, in houses.  you know, all those lawrence livermore lab people LIVE here.  me: well, so do we, for pete's sake!  after they revived me i got the hell out dodge and thought: my children lived right there!!!  with me.  hi!  i'm from the nuclear energy indistry and i'm here to help.  put the google on 3 mile island, if you can't remember that.   

how tf can sane people do that tarsand stuff or whatever it is in canada, at huge expense,  & so much water that they could just pump it into our deserts and grow anything? probably just insiders and goobermint subsidies and stock manipultors.  again. as general patton might put it:  what the HELL is going on here?  slewie thinks they're probably buying up the deserts in huge tracts and when they fini w/ the acquisitions. they'll decide the shit in vancouver or wherever isn't "economic" and ship all 'their' water into 'their' deserts.  how crrrazzee is that?

LNG seems ok 2 me, but what tf do i know? i've been in the dark, dodging shitballs, and eating mushrooms for so long...

dylan was doing his road-runner thing about this time; he called it the Rolling Thunder Revue. that's roger mcguinn of the byrds in the blue, isn't it?  who is the "she" in this song?  after 30+ years, i think it is The Goddess Venus.  what would you say?  THEY're certainly drssed 4 success! 

YouTube - Bob Dylan - Shelter From the Storm

small is beautiful.  EF Schumacher wrote that book. stewart brand (whole earth catalogues, co-evolution quarterly).  if this b.s. is sustainable, i'll eat my jib.  get your gear and head squared away.  we live in very interesting times. peace.

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 21:32 | Link to Comment realitybiter
realitybiter's picture

I wonder if we will get back that $535 million loan guarantee that the DOE gave Solyndra in 2009?  Why didn't they give that money to small scale modular reactors?  They could not give a rip about nuclear power.  Follow the lack of money.  The Chinese are building 2000 MW reactors in less than 5 years for $1650 a kw.  Of course, they don't have 100 lawyers and 1000 environmentalist for every nuclear engineer either.

 

We are going to be broke and what little power we generate from solar will have to be protected with razor wire due to the rioting proletariat.  

 

Hope and change rocks!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 21:34 | Link to Comment realitybiter
realitybiter's picture

I wonder if we will get back that $535 million loan guarantee that the DOE gave Solyndra in 2009?  Why didn't they give that money to small scale modular reactors?  They could not give a rip about nuclear power.  Follow the lack of money.  The Chinese are building 2000 MW reactors in less than 5 years for $1650 a kw.  Of course, they don't have 100 lawyers and 1000 environmentalist for every nuclear engineer either.

 

We are going to be broke and what little power we generate from solar will have to be protected with razor wire due to the rioting proletariat.  

 

Hope and change rocks!

Mon, 02/07/2011 - 22:05 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Then of course, there's always this;

BEIJING—The maker of China's new stealth fighter jet has teamed up with a tiny, >>>unprofitable<<< California company to try to launch bids for U.S. defense contracts, possibly including one to supply Chinese helicopters to replace the aging Marine One fleet used by the president, according to people involved in the partnership.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704775604576119811508921144.html?mod=WSJ_hp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

What could possibly go wrong? ;-)

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 00:05 | Link to Comment Joe Sixpack
Joe Sixpack's picture

Here is an overview of the type of land mass required to make up our current energy deficit (~19 QBTU) with different forms of energy:

 

http://energysolution.us/US_overview.html

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 00:26 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture

WTF is wrong with Texas?  2/3 the population of CA, but they use 50% more energy.

Idiots.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 01:08 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

 

really?  they must have those vibrators converted to 220.

everything is bigger in texas!

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 01:50 | Link to Comment snowball777
snowball777's picture

Damn bull dykes...3-phase!

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 01:00 | Link to Comment BlakeFelix
BlakeFelix's picture

There is no reason for the gov to micromanage this. Tax carbon and pollution, eliminate an annoying distortionary tax to balance out tax burden and let the market decide how to respond.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 01:12 | Link to Comment slewie the pi-rat
slewie the pi-rat's picture

 

xlnt

+4

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 06:45 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

@ BlakeFelix

(Golf clap)

"There is no reason for the gov to micromanage this. Tax carbon and pollution, eliminate an annoying distortionary tax to balance out tax burden and let the market decide how to respond."

An excellent rebuttal to your own proposal.

Tue, 02/08/2011 - 10:04 | Link to Comment Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The problems are political, not scientific or economic.

Get the political class out of the way.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!