Global warming

Things that don't belong anywhere else. (Check first).

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

holyyakker
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:30 pm UTC
Contact:

Global warming

Postby holyyakker » Sat Sep 30, 2006 3:05 am UTC

Just to chime in, Bjorn Lomberg should be read. Global warming is occuring, but the costs of fighting it, and efficacy of fighting it, do not measure up. Instead, by working to develop poorer countries infrastructure we can make it so that the effects of global warming do not harm their lives anywhere nearly as much.
7, 8, 9 - the punchline to the worst joke ever.

Tropylium
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:40 am UTC
Location: Finland

Postby Tropylium » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:37 pm UTC

But how about us? I mean, not too many politicians are going to think of the well-being of peeps who aren't elijible (sic) to vote for them.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Postby Belial » Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:42 pm UTC

The *cost* of fighting it?

"We were going to counteract global ecological catastrophe, but we decided it was too expensive. We might've had to, like, pool our resources with *foreigners* or have a fundraiser or something.

Or raise taxes.

Screw that."

User avatar
Umlaut
Everybody's a diacritic
Posts: 504
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:48 pm UTC
Location: Longmont, CO
Contact:

Postby Umlaut » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:22 pm UTC

Is it worth crippling industry based on inconclusive evidence?

CptCitrus
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:49 am UTC

Postby CptCitrus » Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:10 am UTC

The "crippling of industry" would only be temporary, and only until we're able to adopt a more sustainable energy source. The main reason why we haven't already made the switch to a more environmentally friendly energy source (from carbon-based fuels) is because the research, and much of our society, is funded by the very people whose wealth lies in the carbon-based fuel industry. Ya, the oil tycoons are controlling our research.

Maybe 3 years ago we could have gotten along by saying something about "inconclusive" evidence, but not now. The majority of scientists have agreed that global warming is occuring at a rate never seen before, that the warming is largely due to human action like burning fossil fuels and leveling forests, and that if we don't do something about it we'll have to deal with severe consequences.

If I had to choose between a raise in taxes, or maybe having to drive a hydrogen cell vehicle, and the decimation of our planet, I think I'll fork over the taxes.

Or, I guess, we could just screw the planet. Bite it, future generations.

User avatar
Peshmerga
Mad Hatter
Posts: 2061
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:56 am UTC
Contact:

Postby Peshmerga » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:14 am UTC

I'm just waiting for scientists to invent dark energy so I can keep my ipod on longer than 3 hours.

TBH, terraforming mars sounds like a stellar idea.

Ho-ho-ho.
i hurd u liek mudkips???

User avatar
davean
Site Ninja
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:50 am UTC
Contact:

Postby davean » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:32 am UTC

CptCitrus wrote:The "crippling of industry" would only be temporary, and only until we're able to adopt a more sustainable energy source. The main reason why we haven't already made the switch to a more environmentally friendly energy source (from carbon-based fuels) is because the research, and much of our society, is funded by the very people whose wealth lies in the carbon-based fuel industry. Ya, the oil tycoons are controlling our research.


You prepresume we are capable of coming up with a better one. Things like solar would count as permanently crippled as they take space and produce less energy hence limiting industry. Just because they might be able to get on doesn't mean they wouldn't be crippled.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Postby Belial » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:26 am UTC

Is it worth crippling industry based on inconclusive evidence?


The evidence is only inconclusive if you listen to people who have no qualifications talk about things they barely understand.

You prepresume we are capable of coming up with a better one. Things like solar would count as permanently crippled as they take space and produce less energy hence limiting industry. Just because they might be able to get on doesn't mean they wouldn't be crippled.


First off, photoelectric cells are inefficient ways of harnessing sunlight. Solar thermal plants are much better. However, they require a fair amount of flat sunny territory, so they're not for everywhere.

However, bringing nuclear energy back would be a good idea. All-told, it's probably, sad to say, better for us than oil and coal.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Postby Belial » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:29 am UTC

And ultimately, I *would* be in favor of crippling industry to save the planet. If our current level of development is unsustainable, then we need to take a few steps back, and redevelop in more sustainable ways.

Otherwise, we're going to...you know...die, and whatnot.

Jerf
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:10 pm UTC
Contact:

Postby Jerf » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:44 am UTC

The *cost* of fighting it?

Yes. The cost of global warming isn't infinite, and the value of prevention is subject to a standard cost/benefit comparision.

If you deny that, it's not science to you, it's religion.

You probably wouldn't believe me if I quoted the optimistic Kyoto numbers by way of example, so go look them up. Huge costs, minimal gain, and that's using the numbers the advocates are using. Rather than being a crime(/sin?) to think that we'd be better off spending the money hardening ourselves than stopping the inevitable, it's hard to rationally hold any other position.

User avatar
ulnevets
Posts: 186
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:45 am UTC
Contact:

Postby ulnevets » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:30 am UTC

ban smoking

User avatar
davean
Site Ninja
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:50 am UTC
Contact:

Postby davean » Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:29 am UTC

Belial wrote:And ultimately, I *would* be in favor of crippling industry to save the planet. If our current level of development is unsustainable, then we need to take a few steps back, and redevelop in more sustainable ways.

Otherwise, we're going to...you know...die, and whatnot.


Why exactly would global warming and such cause us to die? It would just lead to changes. Changes I'm not personally against.

User avatar
davean
Site Ninja
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:50 am UTC
Contact:

Postby davean » Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:31 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Is it worth crippling industry based on inconclusive evidence?


The evidence is only inconclusive if you listen to people who have no qualifications talk about things they barely understand.

You prepresume we are capable of coming up with a better one. Things like solar would count as permanently crippled as they take space and produce less energy hence limiting industry. Just because they might be able to get on doesn't mean they wouldn't be crippled.


First off, photoelectric cells are inefficient ways of harnessing sunlight. Solar thermal plants are much better. However, they require a fair amount of flat sunny territory, so they're not for everywhere.

However, bringing nuclear energy back would be a good idea. All-told, it's probably, sad to say, better for us than oil and coal.


Nuclear is far better, you just have to be willing to actually spend the money to build non-shitty power plants. Which we aren't. And I'm well aware of solar thermal, it sucks compared to any real energy source. Hell, not even all that much energy from the sun hits the earth.

kira
I hate bananas.
Posts: 904
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 4:21 am UTC
Location: school
Contact:

Postby kira » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:40 am UTC

davean wrote:And I'm well aware of solar thermal, it sucks compared to any real energy source. Hell, not even all that much energy from the sun hits the earth.


Well, that's an easy problem to fix! Just put the solar panels ON the sun. Presto. Lots of free energy.

Now, excuse me, I have to go to Home Depot and find a bunch of really long extension cords.

User avatar
wisnij
Posts: 427
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:03 pm UTC
Location: a planet called Erp
Contact:

Postby wisnij » Wed Oct 04, 2006 3:49 pm UTC

davean wrote:Nuclear is far better, you just have to be willing to actually spend the money to build non-shitty power plants. Which we aren't. And I'm well aware of solar thermal, it sucks compared to any real energy source. Hell, not even all that much energy from the sun hits the earth.

Are you kidding? The global energy consumption for all of human civilization in 2004 was around 446 quadrillion BTU, or about 15 terawatts. Taking a conservative average solar flux of 340 W/m^2, assuming only half of that is absorbed by the surface, and given about 30% of the Earth's surface being land, that comes out to about 26,000 terawatts on average for land. That's more then 1700 times as much energy as we collectively use.

It's downright stupid to not take advantage of such a huge (and essentially free) influx of power. I like nuclear, and I think we should be using it more. Especially we should be researching fusion. But fission fuel is as finite as oil. And whether we use it or not, that 26,000 TW will be raining down on us, day in and day out, pre-paid for billions of years.
I burn the cheese. It does not burn me.

User avatar
Hawknc
Oompa Loompa of SCIENCE!
Posts: 6986
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:14 am UTC
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Postby Hawknc » Wed Oct 04, 2006 5:40 pm UTC

All we need is a solar panel that's slightly more than 20% efficient...

Grincement
Should have Boobs (In theory)
Posts: 1483
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:23 pm UTC

Postby Grincement » Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:44 pm UTC

Nuclear energy seems like a sensible option and I often find that the objections originate from the fear of the unknown mixed with rumours about nuclear power.
I believe that fear comes from not understanding so if people were just told the truth about nuclear powerstations, like that the chernobyl happened because the powerstation was not being used for what it should be used and that is why the horrific "accident" happened.
Seems simple doesn't it but then of course the real world does not work like that but I stil feel governments should start promoting nuchlear power in a positive light.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes - Douglas Adams

User avatar
xhuxus
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:53 am UTC
Location: funkland, usa
Contact:

Postby xhuxus » Wed Oct 04, 2006 9:44 pm UTC

my brother is working as a grad student (physical chemistry) at berkely on some project to develop an organic compound to be used as an alternative to the silicone in solar cells. something much, much cheaper, and ideally more efficient. don't ask for details, beause i ain't gots none; i just know it would probably be going better if they could get some substantial funding from the oil-happy government.
whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it

User avatar
davean
Site Ninja
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:50 am UTC
Contact:

Postby davean » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:21 pm UTC

wisnij wrote:
davean wrote:Nuclear is far better, you just have to be willing to actually spend the money to build non-shitty power plants. Which we aren't. And I'm well aware of solar thermal, it sucks compared to any real energy source. Hell, not even all that much energy from the sun hits the earth.

Are you kidding? The global energy consumption for all of human civilization in 2004 was around 446 quadrillion BTU, or about 15 terawatts. Taking a conservative average solar flux of 340 W/m^2, assuming only half of that is absorbed by the surface, and given about 30% of the Earth's surface being land, that comes out to about 26,000 terawatts on average for land. That's more then 1700 times as much energy as we collectively use.

It's downright stupid to not take advantage of such a huge (and essentially free) influx of power. I like nuclear, and I think we should be using it more. Especially we should be researching fusion. But fission fuel is as finite as oil. And whether we use it or not, that 26,000 TW will be raining down on us, day in and day out, pre-paid for billions of years.



And, oddly, we where energy constrained :) Also, we require a steedy supply of electricity. Take into account that you need uncovered surface area, that oceans are mostly unusable, that the needed power storage takes space and is inefficient and you aren't looking at all that much power. enough to "get by" like we are currently, which as I stated above was not fulfilling our power demand, but not not nearly as much as you think.

User avatar
davean
Site Ninja
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:50 am UTC
Contact:

Postby davean » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:28 pm UTC

wisnij wrote:
davean wrote:Nuclear is far better, you just have to be willing to actually spend the money to build non-shitty power plants. Which we aren't. And I'm well aware of solar thermal, it sucks compared to any real energy source. Hell, not even all that much energy from the sun hits the earth.

Are you kidding? The global energy consumption for all of human civilization in 2004 was around 446 quadrillion BTU, or about 15 terawatts. Taking a conservative average solar flux of 340 W/m^2, assuming only half of that is absorbed by the surface, and given about 30% of the Earth's surface being land, that comes out to about 26,000 terawatts on average for land. That's more then 1700 times as much energy as we collectively use.

It's downright stupid to not take advantage of such a huge (and essentially free) influx of power. I like nuclear, and I think we should be using it more. Especially we should be researching fusion. But fission fuel is as finite as oil. And whether we use it or not, that 26,000 TW will be raining down on us, day in and day out, pre-paid for billions of years.


As a point of note, 340 W/m^2 is actually quite high. Basicly no where on earth goes above 350 W/m^2 and most is around 100 W/m^2

Note the highest http://www.ez2c.de/ml/solar_land_area/ lists is 275 W/m^2. Also, if you read the article ALL those black dots need to be used. , each larger then many countries. And thats just to fill the usage that didn't fill demand years ago.

User avatar
Jesse
Vocal Terrorist
Posts: 8635
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:33 pm UTC
Location: Basingstoke, England.
Contact:

Postby Jesse » Thu Oct 05, 2006 8:19 am UTC

I believe now that we are at the point where we should be putting money into adapting to the changes. Somewhere in this past week I read an article that talked about new evidence discovered showing vast changes in temperature in the past. If so, then adaptation seems the only way.

User avatar
davean
Site Ninja
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:50 am UTC
Contact:

Postby davean » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:36 am UTC

Jesster wrote:I believe now that we are at the point where we should be putting money into adapting to the changes. Somewhere in this past week I read an article that talked about new evidence discovered showing vast changes in temperature in the past. If so, then adaptation seems the only way.


We have know there is a very long term temperature cycle for the planet for a long time now. Thats hardly news. And as I recall, the earth would normally be becoming warming around now anyway, a nice bonus for anything we do do.

Teaspoon
Posts: 351
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:37 pm UTC
Location: Where you least expect me

Postby Teaspoon » Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:21 am UTC

I'm really impressed with this forum. Somebody suggested nuclear power would be a good upgrade, and nobody bitched about the effect it would have on the environment.

I've seen a lot of that happen on other forums, and I always get really frustrated with these people because they just don't get that while nuclear power will give us a bunch of dangerous waste that we won't know what to do with, burning coal and oil for our energy supply is fucking things up now. Which would you rather be dealing with? A pile of nasty solid shit, or an atmosphere full of nasty gaseous shit?

We already know how to do nuclear power. We know how to do it fairly efficiently. We even know how to do it in remarkably safe and reliable ways (like the PBMR). I know that nuclear fuels, like carbon ones, are only available in limited amounts, but that doesn't mean that nuclear wouldn't be a far better energy source to use than coal while we're working on a sufficient renewable one. Or producing a big enough supply of over-unity engines.

User avatar
davean
Site Ninja
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:50 am UTC
Contact:

Postby davean » Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:47 am UTC

Teaspoon wrote:I've seen a lot of that happen on other forums, and I always get really frustrated with these people because they just don't get that while nuclear power will give us a bunch of dangerous waste that we won't know what to do with, burning coal and oil for our energy supply is fucking things up now. Which would you rather be dealing with? A pile of nasty solid shit, or an atmosphere full of nasty gaseous shit?



And unlike the coal, the radioactive waste doesn't rain down on you! Yah, for coal releasing more radioactive waste then nuclear!

Anyone know if each coal power plant releases more nuclear waste in it's life then all of nuclear power ever? I wouldn't be surprised if it where true, they release a lot.

EM-002.rv-L "Tem Cu
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:30 am UTC
Location: Seattle

Money makes the world go round

Postby EM-002.rv-L "Tem Cu » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:44 am UTC

Umlaut wrote:Is it worth crippling industry based on inconclusive evidence?


YES!!! For more details, see "Pascal's Wager", bearing in mind that this issue is a yes/no question.

Additionally, there's plenty of reason to begin relying more and more upon solar and wind power - we should've started doing this back at the start of the 80s, in fact. But no, we still rely upon Coal, Oil, and Nuclear (Led by the Society for MOre Koal Energy, the Society of Petroleum Industry Leaders, and the Key Atomic Benefits Office Of Mankind, respectively) for our energy-guzzling needs.

If you remember where those names came from, give yourself a cookie. ...Wish I could think of some solar and wind energy lobbyist/advocate group acronyms.
Last edited by EM-002.rv-L "Tem Cu on Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:48 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
When you have at your disposal a hammer made of three spacefaring battleships, do you still need to pay taxes?

User avatar
wisnij
Posts: 427
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:03 pm UTC
Location: a planet called Erp
Contact:

Postby wisnij » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:46 am UTC

davean wrote:
wisnij wrote:Are you kidding? The global energy consumption for all of human civilization in 2004 was around 446 quadrillion BTU, or about 15 terawatts. Taking a conservative average solar flux of 340 W/m^2, assuming only half of that is absorbed by the surface, and given about 30% of the Earth's surface being land, that comes out to about 26,000 terawatts on average for land. That's more then 1700 times as much energy as we collectively use.

It's downright stupid to not take advantage of such a huge (and essentially free) influx of power. I like nuclear, and I think we should be using it more. Especially we should be researching fusion. But fission fuel is as finite as oil. And whether we use it or not, that 26,000 TW will be raining down on us, day in and day out, pre-paid for billions of years.

As a point of note, 340 W/m^2 is actually quite high. Basicly no where on earth goes above 350 W/m^2 and most is around 100 W/m^2

Doesn't matter. We're talking about a total energy input three orders of magnitude greater than total consumption. A factor of two doesn't change that much.

davean wrote:Note the highest http://www.ez2c.de/ml/solar_land_area/ lists is 275 W/m^2. Also, if you read the article ALL those black dots need to be used. , each larger then many countries. And thats just to fill the usage that didn't fill demand years ago.

Man, did you read that link? "Solar power systems installed in [six areas] could provide a little more than the world's current total primary energy demand". Even a tiny amount of land (on a global scale) can produce a lot of power. In practice it'd be better to have a large number of installations, and maybe use them to convert electricty into a more readily transportable fuel such as hydrogen. Supplement that with nuclear plants and OTECs to reduce the land burden. But the principle is the same.

And in the long run, it's not like we really have a choice. Even if we went pure nuclear we'd just be having this discussion again in a few thousand years, except with uranium or deuterium instead of petroleum. Building big solar arrays is damn inconvenient, that's true, but the universe isn't arranged for our convenience. We have to be prepared to suck it up and pay the cost to engineer some better long-term solutions. Maybe it would be more cost-effective to build big solar farms in geosynchronous orbit and drop energy back down the well in the form of converted fuels, I don't know. But the sun's store of hydrogen is the biggest energy source in the solar system, and we can't keep ignoring that.

(Edit: while typing this I'm also watching Smallville, and I just noticed that Clark has a copy of The Millennial Project in his room. Nice. :))
Last edited by wisnij on Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:56 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.
I burn the cheese. It does not burn me.

EM-002.rv-L "Tem Cu
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:30 am UTC
Location: Seattle

Postby EM-002.rv-L "Tem Cu » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:51 am UTC

Oh, and we can't forget tidal and geothermic power, limited as they may be. They'll both run even after the Dark Sky Keikaku is put into effect.
When you have at your disposal a hammer made of three spacefaring battleships, do you still need to pay taxes?

User avatar
Jesse
Vocal Terrorist
Posts: 8635
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:33 pm UTC
Location: Basingstoke, England.
Contact:

Postby Jesse » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:07 am UTC

WHat about a worldwide solar trade? Pay African farmers to convert their farms into solar farms, and then pay these people/countries for the energy created if a country like the UK could not generate enough of its own. Is that feasible or ridiculous?

User avatar
fjafjan
THE fjafjan
Posts: 4766
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:22 pm UTC
Location: Down south up north in the west of eastern west.
Contact:

Postby fjafjan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:33 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:WHat about a worldwide solar trade? Pay African farmers to convert their farms into solar farms, and then pay these people/countries for the energy created if a country like the UK could not generate enough of its own. Is that feasible or ridiculous?


But wouldn't the energy loss of transporting power be pretty bad?
I also have a feeling that if that is done in fifty years we will discover that solar power gives people cancer and kills babies or something, but since that is based on irony and not facts i suppose it can be overlooked.

And Nuclear fission really isn't a feasable solution, way too much waste, and always the safety risk, not only at the plant itself but in fuel production, transportation aswell (and dont say radiation dun rain, the radiation levels are still way above average on a number of places here in sweden after tjernobyl, woo)

future solution ---> Solar powers, but not everywhere ofcourse, Wind, but i think possibly the most unused source would be wave power, considering the amoung of momntum each wave has.
But also eko fuel has been left out of the debate, that would be something useful america could do with all the wheat etc it grows that no one wants, burn it for fuel yo.

fusion is in the middle grounds, there is enough tritium and deterium to last for a pretty damn long time, yet ultimatly that won't last, but more importantly the danger of a fusion reactor are potentially as bad as those of fission, and the problems of making it very economical.
//Yepp, THE fjafjan (who's THE fjafjan?)
Liza wrote:Fjafjan, your hair is so lovely that I want to go to Sweden, collect the bit you cut off in your latest haircut and keep it in my room, and smell it. And eventually use it to complete my shrine dedicated to you.

User avatar
Jesse
Vocal Terrorist
Posts: 8635
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:33 pm UTC
Location: Basingstoke, England.
Contact:

Postby Jesse » Fri Oct 06, 2006 2:01 pm UTC

Chernobyl is an example of human stupidity, not the poor safety of a nuclear reactor. They decided to shut down the secuirtyprotocols to see what would happen in the event of the same thing occurring. Needless death could have so easily been avoided by them just not doing that.

And I don't know about the transportation of energy, it was just an idea that sprang into my mind and I wanted to see if it was feasible.

randommuz
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2006 1:31 pm UTC
Location: Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Contact:

Postby randommuz » Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:00 pm UTC

As wisnij suggested, by manufacturing hydrogen in locations and time where solar or wind power are plentiful, this can be transported for use in fuels cells elsewhere.

User avatar
Shoofle
Posts: 409
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:28 pm UTC
Location: Location, Location.
Contact:

Postby Shoofle » Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:41 pm UTC

Someone here should explain to me something about nuclear power. If nuclear power produces solid radioactive waste, why can't we shove that under a tank of water, and then get power from the steam? What kind of radiation comes out of nuclear waste, and why can't we harness it?

User avatar
Peshmerga
Mad Hatter
Posts: 2061
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2006 1:56 am UTC
Contact:

Postby Peshmerga » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:34 pm UTC

I was under the impression that nuclear waste is minimally damaging if done so properly. I'm not sure, but I think only certain types of waves of radiation generate the heat required to boil water. The others (gamma rays? Not sure) are just harmful to organisms. I could be completely wrong, though.
i hurd u liek mudkips???

User avatar
wisnij
Posts: 427
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:03 pm UTC
Location: a planet called Erp
Contact:

Postby wisnij » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:39 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:future solution ---> Solar powers, but not everywhere ofcourse, Wind, but i think possibly the most unused source would be wave power, considering the amoung of momntum each wave has.
But also eko fuel has been left out of the debate, that would be something useful america could do with all the wheat etc it grows that no one wants, burn it for fuel yo.

Eh... wind and biofuels are basically just highly watered-down solar. Why not just get it straight from the source?

fjafjan wrote:fusion is in the middle grounds, there is enough tritium and deterium to last for a pretty damn long time, yet ultimatly that won't last, but more importantly the danger of a fusion reactor are potentially as bad as those of fission, and the problems of making it very economical.

Tritium is rare and expensive. It's got a half-life of only 12.5 years. You can produce it (if memory serves) by bombardment of lithium-6 with neutrons, but that just moves the bottleneck. D-D fusion is hard, but deuterium (being nonradioactive) is the only isotope that's actually plentiful. (Proton-proton fusion isn't really feasible in anything less than stellar masses.)

Shoofle wrote:Someone here should explain to me something about nuclear power. If nuclear power produces solid radioactive waste, why can't we shove that under a tank of water, and then get power from the steam? What kind of radiation comes out of nuclear waste, and why can't we harness it?

To some extent you can, but not quite that directly. Doing it requires specialized reactor designs and is consequently more expensive. Transuranic wastes could be used indirectly in some reaction cycles, but I don't think any currently operating reactors can take waste as fuel input. I think it's something we should definitely be doing, though.

Breeders and other reprocessing reactors haven't been developed all that much because regular uranium is relatively cheap, and because people get all up in arms (no pun intended) about possible proliferation. It's mostly an issue of politics, rather than physics or engineering.

Peshmerga wrote:I was under the impression that nuclear waste is minimally damaging if done so properly. I'm not sure, but I think only certain types of waves of radiation generate the heat required to boil water. The others (gamma rays? Not sure) are just harmful to organisms. I could be completely wrong, though.

Any type of radiation will raise the temperature of whatever material absorbs it; that's just thermodynamics. But we don't build reactors that just absorb the passive heat from normal radioactive decay. You get a lot more power if you actively hit the nuclei with neutrons to coax them into fissioning immediately. The trouble is some radioactive isotopes absorb neutrons and turn into stable isotopes, basically sucking up a neutron without giving anything back to the reaction. That's called "poisoning" and can stop a reaction cold if it gets too bad.
I burn the cheese. It does not burn me.

User avatar
fjafjan
THE fjafjan
Posts: 4766
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2006 12:22 pm UTC
Location: Down south up north in the west of eastern west.
Contact:

Postby fjafjan » Fri Oct 06, 2006 8:24 pm UTC

wisnij wrote:
fjafjan wrote:future solution ---> Solar powers, but not everywhere ofcourse, Wind, but i think possibly the most unused source would be wave power, considering the amoung of momntum each wave has.
But also eko fuel has been left out of the debate, that would be something useful america could do with all the wheat etc it grows that no one wants, burn it for fuel yo.

Eh... wind and biofuels are basically just highly watered-down solar. Why not just get it straight from the source?


Well wind because most wind is 'created' as sea (or near sea) and since having solar panels out in the ocean is a big bother ---> Wind
As for bio fuel, to my knowledge Plants do a better job of it through photosynthesis than our power plants do (because they can only use the really high frequancy light no?)
And I could imagine plants are more adaptable, in places where solar power simply wont do due to too little sun light plants can still grow. But clearly solar power is a good alternative of the future, but in many ways still the future.

fjafjan wrote:fusion is in the middle grounds, there is enough tritium and deterium to last for a pretty damn long time, yet ultimatly that won't last, but more importantly the danger of a fusion reactor are potentially as bad as those of fission, and the problems of making it very economical.

Tritium is rare and expensive. It's got a half-life of only 12.5 years. You can produce it (if memory serves) by bombardment of lithium-6 with neutrons, but that just moves the bottleneck. D-D fusion is hard, but deuterium (being nonradioactive) is the only isotope that's actually plentiful. (Proton-proton fusion isn't really feasible in anything less than stellar masses.)

True, i had forgotten that, but then what is wont with D-D fusion?

The classic problem with solar power for me is always the rainy days, how does it solve that? I mean not the fact that one of the solar power plants in the world will always be clouded but just a case of bad luck and really many of them are, power outages or whaddup?
//Yepp, THE fjafjan (who's THE fjafjan?)
Liza wrote:Fjafjan, your hair is so lovely that I want to go to Sweden, collect the bit you cut off in your latest haircut and keep it in my room, and smell it. And eventually use it to complete my shrine dedicated to you.

User avatar
wisnij
Posts: 427
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 5:03 pm UTC
Location: a planet called Erp
Contact:

Postby wisnij » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:28 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:fusion is in the middle grounds, there is enough tritium and deterium to last for a pretty damn long time, yet ultimatly that won't last, but more importantly the danger of a fusion reactor are potentially as bad as those of fission, and the problems of making it very economical.

True, but those are the same types of problems experienced by any power source. As long as you can get past breakeven, safety and efficiency can be addressed by good engineering. I'm mostly concerned about long-term availability of fuel, and in that regard fusion wins.

fjafjan wrote:
wisnij wrote:Tritium is rare and expensive. It's got a half-life of only 12.5 years. You can produce it (if memory serves) by bombardment of lithium-6 with neutrons, but that just moves the bottleneck. D-D fusion is hard, but deuterium (being nonradioactive) is the only isotope that's actually plentiful. (Proton-proton fusion isn't really feasible in anything less than stellar masses.)

True, i had forgotten that, but then what is wont with D-D fusion?

The cross section is smaller -- all other things being equal, the strong nuclear force attracts a deuterium nucleus more strongly to a tritium nucleus than to another deuterium nucleus, so the activation energy is higher. The D-D reaction is harder to start and harder to maintain than D-T.

fjafjan wrote:The classic problem with solar power for me is always the rainy days, how does it solve that? I mean not the fact that one of the solar power plants in the world will always be clouded but just a case of bad luck and really many of them are, power outages or whaddup?

With a buffer. Design the power grid to produce more than the average expected amount of power, and store excess power for future use. We already do that for meeting peak demands.
I burn the cheese. It does not burn me.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30450
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Postby Belial » Fri Oct 06, 2006 9:56 pm UTC

Why exactly would global warming and such cause us to die? It would just lead to changes. Changes I'm not personally against.


Collapse of ecosystems. Food shortages. Shrinkage of liveable areas.

Yeah, humanity probably wouldn't die, but for any given human on earth currently, the likelihood of that *specific* human dying would go up severely.

And, honestly, if mass species extinction is a change you're not personally against, there's very little use in talking to you. We have vastly different scales as to what is acceptable and will likely never reach any sort of agreement. I can only hope that people like me outnumber people like you.

User avatar
xhuxus
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 9:53 am UTC
Location: funkland, usa
Contact:

Postby xhuxus » Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:02 am UTC

politics: tearing people apart by trying to get them to live together since the dawn of humanity =)
whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it

User avatar
davean
Site Ninja
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:50 am UTC
Contact:

Postby davean » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:03 am UTC

Belial wrote:
Why exactly would global warming and such cause us to die? It would just lead to changes. Changes I'm not personally against.


Collapse of ecosystems. Food shortages. Shrinkage of liveable areas.

Yeah, humanity probably wouldn't die, but for any given human on earth currently, the likelihood of that *specific* human dying would go up severely.

And, honestly, if mass species extinction is a change you're not personally against, there's very little use in talking to you. We have vastly different scales as to what is acceptable and will likely never reach any sort of agreement. I can only hope that people like me outnumber people like you.


No, but I'd personaly prefer to loss the outside and move to a more enclosed and controlled enviroment.

User avatar
davean
Site Ninja
Posts: 2498
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 7:50 am UTC
Contact:

Postby davean » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:05 am UTC

wisnij wrote:
fjafjan wrote:The classic problem with solar power for me is always the rainy days, how does it solve that? I mean not the fact that one of the solar power plants in the world will always be clouded but just a case of bad luck and really many of them are, power outages or whaddup?

With a buffer. Design the power grid to produce more than the average expected amount of power, and store excess power for future use. We already do that for meeting peak demands.


That is horribly inefficient though ... to need that on a massive scale would screw off your entire power network. Better to transport it at that level, and transport isn't efficient ether.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 30 guests