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By Robert Rapier on Jul 18, 2011 with 96 responses

Book Review: Energy, Convenient Solutions

I read two books on my recent trip to Europe. The first was Cracking the Carbon Code by Terry Tamminen. l reviewed that book here, and indicated that while I disagree with the notion that we will come up with a viable solution to rising carbon emissions, some of the steps that Tamminem suggested — like improving energy efficiency — are worthwhile in any case. And I felt that the book as a whole was well-written.

Energy, Convenient Solutions: How Americans Can Solve the Energy Crisis in Ten Years

I had mixed feelings about that book, and I have mixed feelings about Howard Johnson’s book Energy, Convenient Solutions: How Americans Can Solve the Energy Crisis in Ten Years. Johnson is a self-described “chemical engineering graduate of Purdue University in 1949.” On the one hand, I feel like Johnson and I are on the same page with respect to many of his ideas. I felt like he did a good job of explaining our many energy systems in detail. But I found the overall delivery pretty rough. For instance, he might spend half a paragraph explaining how butanol might work as a fuel, but then shift and go on a rant about liberal politicians. At times, a paragraph had no seeming relation to the previous paragraph, as if it was simply plucked from somewhere else in the book and randomly placed in that spot.

The book contains a large dose of conspiracy theory; many of which I have never heard before. For example, Johnson claims that the Obama administration used “virtually all of the [stimulus] money to reward party faithful”, and he goes on to claim that as part of the auto bailout the administration closed successful auto dealerships run by Republican supporters. Another incredible claim he makes is that Islamic terrorists were likely behind the BP blowout in the Gulf of Mexico. (I am still puzzled why a book on energy had a section on an Islamic invasion of India in the year 638). Most of the time, these sorts of claims are not referenced, so one is left scratching their head over the source of these information.

At times he discusses ideas that are quite consistent with some of my own writing. He stresses the risks to society — as well as the likelihood — of much higher oil prices in the future. He notes the probability that demand will continue to grow due to the expanding economies of India and China. But the delivery of the overall message is extremely inconsistent, and at times repetitive. He must have repeated his claim that hydrogen fuel cells are a scam a dozen times. Ditto for his argument that readers should go read John Stossel if they wanted to hear the truth.

Sometimes his criticisms were correct (I agree that there is no hydrogen economy in sight) but then at times he embraced companies that even now are already out of business. So at times he failed to himself distinguish between what was overhyped and what has real potential. The appendix is full of blog postings and press clippings touting nanotechnology or lithium-ion batteries — and treating these topics on equal footing.

I was curious as to what other readers thought about the book. Joanna Schroeder, in a book review here, described the book as “unusual” and said it was “part Energy 101, part manifesto, part conspiracy theory.” I would have to agree with those comments. A book review in a Tuscon paper was somewhat more positive, calling the book “a good primer for anyone wanting to learn about energy systems, their potentials and problems.”

If I had to describe the book in one word, it would be inconsistent. One could also say that it is informative, but the inconsistent nature and delivery detract from the useful information in the book. It has the potential to be a good book, but before I recommended it to people I would have to see some pretty heavy editing of the content.

Could I have written a better book on the same theme? We shall soon see. After critiquing books like this for years — and contributing a number of chapters on energy to various books — I am now in the process of writing a book on energy for a division of one of the world’s leading publishers of books on science and technology. The schedule has me delivering the book by year-end, so maybe next year readers will have a chance to turn the tables on me by reviewing my book. My primary goal in writing the book is to present our energy situation in an objective fashion, and then cover the many options (and false solutions) for mitigating what I believe will be difficult years ahead in the same objective fashion. But the book won’t be a simple collection of dry facts. As I try to do in my blog, I want to challenge the way people think about energy, and I want to provide insights they won’t find elsewhere.

  1. By rate-crimes on July 18, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Good luck with your book!

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  2. By doggydogworld on July 18, 2011 at 9:14 am

    as part of the auto bailout the administration closed successful auto dealerships run by Republican supporters.

    A couple bloggers at the time cross-refereneced the closed and spared dealerships (and their owners) against electrion contribution filings. The findings were amazing. Political machinations were roundly denied by all participants, of course, but the Chicago machine from which Rahm Emmanual and other Obama staffers sprang is legendarily unapolagetic for such tactics. I also remember one blogger diving deeper into a couple of specific situations, including an area in Missouri or Arkansas in which a major Obama supporter’s eight or so dealerships were all spared while every other dealership within 20 miles was closed.

    I didn’t spend much time on the dealership issue, as there was no way for me to profit and no one without subpeona power could ever get to the truth, anyway. But everything about the GM/Chrysler bankruptcies stank. Dealership closings were unnecessarily harsh, government treatment of bondholders was illegal and yet the UAW came out unscathed. The sense that “after bailing out all those rich bankers it feels good to help out the common worker”, but two wrongs don’t make a right.

     

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  3. By Bill Batton on July 18, 2011 at 9:29 am

    You mentioned that you share a common goal with the author of the book: energy efficiency.
    How will ‘energy efficiency’ solve the problem of rising greenhouse gas emissions?
    According to Jevon’s Paradox, as energy efficiency increases, we end up using more of the resource because we can derive a greater return on investment, which allows us to spending investments elsewhere.

    I would like to know your rationale for why energy efficiency can solve the problem of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

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  4. By Kit P on July 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I am a liberal Republican so I fundamentally do not have a problem government spending stimulus money of things governments can do better that individuals or corporations like some forms of energy efficiency.

     

    For example, it would be great to hear that 10,000 old oil heating systems were replaced by efficient heat pumps in low income homes. Or maybe provide insulating materials to volunteer groups to help old people who for whatever reason did not insulate their attic.

     

    If you gave me the money. I would also provide a report to the tax payers showing how their money was spent wisely and will provide long term benefit in the form of lower energy cost to everyone. For example, I have read a analysis by GE of how a federal PTC reduces NG prices by building wind farms.

     

    The absence of such reports makes me think that the money was not well spent. I was in a class room of a government building where the temperature of the room was controlled by a computer. Hell is mandatory training in a room that is too warm. Try to stay awake when you are being told that wearing a seat belt is required when driving on government property.

     

    So on one hand you have well meaning programs created by people who were never interested enough in energy or the environment to take any science classes in school and on the other you have out right political pandering.

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  5. By rufus on July 18, 2011 at 11:21 am

    There is exactly one program to bring the U.S. back from Armageddon. One cellulosic/enzymatic ethanol/electricity plant in EVERY county.

    The sooner we start, the sooner we’ll be out of the soup.

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  6. By Wendell Mercantile on July 18, 2011 at 11:37 am

    One cellulosic/enzymatic ethanol/electricity plant in EVERY county.

    Every county? Don’t be hyperbolic.

    * Cook County, IL?
    * Sweetwater County, WY?
    * Mineral County, NV?
    * San Bernadino County, CA?
    * Ector or Winkler Counties, TX?

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  7. By rufus on July 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Put a “double” in the adjoining county.

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  8. By rufus on July 18, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Or use Municipal Solid Waste. Don’t be a dick; it’s the “thought” that counts.

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  9. By Wendell Mercantile on July 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Don’t be a dick; it’s the “thought” that counts.

    Rufus~

    No, you be realistic. If you’re going to put every county in all-caps (as in: “One cellulosic/enzymatic ethanol/electricity plant in EVERY county.”), that must mean you really believe every county in the U.S. can support it’s own plant. If you had ever been in Wyoming’s Sweetwater County (home of the Red Desert, county population 43,000, of which 37,000 live in the City of Rock Springs) you’d know there is not going to be a cellulosic/enzymatic plant in Sweetwater County. (Or in several other counties in Wyoming.)

    I do appreciate your thought, but you have to temper that with realism. It would be better for you to say a plant in every county east of the 100th meridian, but there are even some counties in that part of the country that couldn’t support their own plant.

    When are we going to see the Tunica County plant?

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  10. By rufus on July 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    There are over 200 Counties in the U.S. that are already producing anywhere from 50 million gpy, to 230 million gpy. So, I guess we could give a couple of desert counties a pass, . . . or, maybe not.

    The ugliest county in the U.S. could grow agave cactii. There’s Always something. Hell, even tumbleweeds would have some value.

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  11. By rufus on July 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I used to play golf like I sold, Wendell. I NEVER left a putt Short.

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  12. By rufus on July 18, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    You can’t get 3,000 cellulosic refineries unless you Aim for 3,000 cellulosic refineries. :)

    I’ve seen a lot of people hit’em too hard, and make’m, but I never saw anyone hit one “too easy” and make it.

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  13. By rrapier on July 18, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Bill Batton said: I would like to know your rationale for why energy efficiency can solve the problem of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.


     

    Well that isn’t my rationale. I have stated quite clearly that I don’t think anything is going to solve the problem of rising greenhouse gases. What efficiency will do is buffer against price shocks. For instance, here in Hawaii we use oil to produce most of our electricity. We are highly susceptible to oil-induced price shocks. If we can improve our efficiency and use more local resources, we will be less susceptible to such price shocks even if we did end up using more overall electricity (which I don’t think will be the case).

    The world as a whole is going to continue to try to use more energy. As countries prosper, their energy consumption climbs. But if the use it at the highest possible efficiency, price shocks will cause less of a shock to economies.

    RR

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  14. By Benny BND Cole on July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    I find both left-wingers and right-wingers unconvincing, doubly so when they apply their partisan politics to the energy sector.

    If you listen to liberals, all new production is bad; if you listen to conservatives, any conservation or environmentalism is for the feeble-minded.

    Based on RR’s review, this book is not worth reading. I look forward to RR’s book!

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  15. By Wendell Mercantile on July 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I’ve seen a lot of people hit’em too hard, and make’m, but I never saw anyone hit one “too easy” and make it.

    Don’t you think you should first take a little swing and get one built in Tunica County before you take such a big swing at the other 3,142 counties? Even Henry Aaron had to start in the Class-C minor leagues in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

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  16. By rufus on July 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I’m a “talker,” Wendell, not a “doer.”

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  17. By PeteS on July 18, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Rufus said:

    I’m a “talker,” Wendell, not a “doer.”


     

     

    LaughLaughLaugh

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  18. By Douglas Hvistendahl on July 18, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    Saturday, July 16th, we ran the first test of our attic to underground heat transfer loop. We have had summer air blown through the basement and into the house for some years now – with a noticeable improvement in basement winter temperatures (and house summer comfort). The backyard garden is producing so heavily that we are having problems keeping up with the harvest. Simple things like this can pay off now, at least for DIYers. There is always something that can be done, but we don’t see any sense in waiting to be told what to do on things that work now!

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  19. By mac on July 18, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    “There is always something that can be done, but we don’t see any sense in waiting to be told what to do on things that work now!”

    Thank you Doug and “Amen”

    My electric bill last month was an outrageous $33 dollars.

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  20. By Wendell Mercantile on July 18, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    My electric bill last month was an outrageous $33 dollars.

    A bit more than a dollar a day. I hope you were smiling when you wrote that, and that your “outrageous” was with tongue in cheek.

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  21. By mac on July 18, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Wendell.

    That was my actual bill !!! When my electric company (Entergy) gets really frisky and sometimes charges me $35 bucks a month, I become alarmed. And the AC roars here in Central Texas 24/7, non-stop for about 5 months out of the year.

    Mac

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  22. By rufus on July 18, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    How did you do it, mac?

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  23. By rufus on July 18, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    A Canadian oil sands plant capable of producing 100,000 barrels per day costs between $10 and $20 billion dollars to build today.

    $20 Billion is just about what we spent for 900,000 bbl/day of Ethanol.

    And, That money went to Local people, using U.S. produced products.

    The Sales, Income, Property Taxes went to American Communities, for Local projects, and the Salaries went to buy from Local merchants, and vendors.

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  24. By mac on July 18, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Rufus,

     

    “How do you do it ? ”

     

    In a word “Cheap coal fired electricity !!!.

     

    Just kidding Rufus…..There’s a lot more to it than that. 

     

    And to be truthful. I don’t know what the nat gas/coal mix is with Entergy.  Most of our power here near Bryan-College Station comes from the Beaumont area. I think Entergy purchases most of their electricity from coal fiired plants, but I’m not sure, so please don’t quote me.

     

    Insulating your attic is a tremendous way to cut down on winter heating and summer AC  bills.  Forget the walls,  Atiic insulation (as thick and as deep as you can afford) is way better than wall insulation.

     

    More next time.

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  25. By Kit P on July 18, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    “How did you do it, mac? ”

     

    It is called cherry picking data, a favorite of pastime of California wanna bees. If you want to discuss energy, first tell us how many energy you used.

     

    How many kwh did you use? Then how many people are in your family using that energy? How do you heat how water and house?

     

    “And the AC roars here in Central Texas 24/7, non-stop for about 5 months out of the year. ”

     

    The thermostat is set at our house where the wife wants it. I suspect that is where it is set at the Whitehouse too. For my money there is nothing better than not trying to sleep when the house is 90 degrees and 90% humidity. With an efficient heat pump, we are not talking about that many kwh either. Ceiling fans help too.

     

    From Florida to North Dakota is it protect the old people hot. If power goes out emergency response needs to get rolling. Before AC, people dropped left and right. The interesting thing about hot days is that no one dies in Barstow but in Duluth they are not prepared for the heat.

     

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  26. By mac on July 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    What ?

    “It is called cherry picking data, a favorite of pastime of California wanna bees. If you want to discuss energy, first tell us how many energy you used

    Look, you misanthrope, that’s my energy bill !!!! Thirty-three bucks a month. i will be glad to FAX it to Robert.

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  27. By Benny BND Cole on July 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    OT, but a reminder we have plenty of oil–just unlucky in that thug states control it.

    Venezuela Oil Reserves Surpassed Saudi Arabia In 2010-OPEC
    By Benoit Faucon
    Published July 18, 2011
    | Dow Jones Newswires
    LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Venezuela’s crude oil proven reserves surpassed those of Saudi Arabia in 2010, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its annual statistical bulletin.
    In an annual statistical report recently posted on its website, OPEC said Venezuela’s proven crude oil reserves had reached 296.5 billion barrels in 2010, up 40.4% year-on-year and higher than Saudi Arabia’s 264.5 billion barrels.”

    Iran and Iraq have soaring reserves too.

    Hopefully, someday the lulu’s will not be in charge of these nations.

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  28. By mac on July 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    How do you think we run our air conditioners here in Texas ? On bunker crude or nat gas ?

     

    Get a life,  Kit…………………

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  29. By mac on July 18, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    It is called cherry picking data, a favorite of pastime of California wanna bees. If you want to discuss energy, first tell us how many energy you used.”

    $ 33 a month you ding bat………………..

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  30. By mac on July 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    OOps Mr. Kit  “Know it all”‘

     

    Yes, my nat gas bill was $45 last month.

     

    I forgot to include that.

     

    Yi pee……………………

     

    Electric Bill  $35 bucks.  Gas bill $45 bucks

     

    Total $ 85

     

    Oh Shucks…………………………..

     

     

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  31. By paul-n on July 19, 2011 at 12:30 am

    So yet another pulp (non)fiction book about energy, with someone who preaches that they know The Truth, and we can read about it if we just buy their book.  

    There are so many books (and blogs) out there by so many people who think they know The Answers, and yet none of it ever seems to make a difference.  Whatever happens in the future, one of these people has likely predicted it, but how can we tell which one, and, unless we are a stock/commodities speculator, what difference will it make? 

    The only book of this sort that I have found worth the time to read, is David Mackay’s excellent piece Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air. (readable on line as a free web book)  What sets that apart is it is a very fact based assessement (from a British viewpoint) of all the various alternative and renewable energy solutions, and things like conservation/efficiency/EV’s, and shows very clearly the challenges, especially of scale, involved with each.  what set it apart is that he does not wax lyrical and engage in conspiracy theories or even petty politics, or even much “opinion”.

    The plethora of books (and blogs) that are around these days seem to start with a political viewpoint, and then write an energy centred narrative designed to appeal to people of that viewpoint.  Who has the time and inclination to read these?  

    For a book to justify being printed and bound (and bought) these days, it should be something of real substance that will be worth keeping, and relevant, for decades, and this one does not seem to meet that criteria

    I think RR has done  good job of keeping this blog fairly a-political, as much as you can with energy related writing, and I will look forward to the book version (R – cubed?).  But in the meantime, I am not inclined to give any of these “non fiction” writers the time of day, much less any hard earned dollars to read their political opinions – that is what blogs are for.

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  32. By paul-n on July 19, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Mac, in four separate postings since Kit asked the question “how many kWh did you use” you have not provided an answer.

    Saying “$33/mo” is in and of itself meaningless.  We do not know if your electricity rates are  cheap or expensive, if you have a big house or small, how many people live there, whether you have gas heating/cooking/hot water, or if this represents the result of doing efficiency work etc.

     

    I spent $95 on gasoline last month – what by itself, does that mean to you? Is it in any way useful information, or even related to the original topic?

     

    Why don;t you say something that adds light, not just heat?

     

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  33. By carbonbridge on July 19, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Paul N said:

    I spent $95 on gasoline last month – what by itself, does that mean to you?


     

    Paul:  $95 for a month’s supply of gasoline tells me you go to work and back each day with your thumb out, hitch hiking or something.

    My last fillup in a 3/4 ton pickup w/a 26 gal. tank cost me $84.  That wouldn’t last a week if I was commuting to/from work each day (which I don’t) but if I was – I’d probably be spending closer to $400+ monthly on gasoline.

    Unlike Rufus the talker, I’m a doer.  Working 80 hr. work weeks staying active trying to get those new higher mixed alcohol plants financed in a recession so they can be constructed with local labor.  But there would not be a new plant situated in every county.  Bigger is better regarding economies of scale.  Centralize production in optimum locations with rail transport, then consider decentralizing some of the equity ownership just like the new biodegradable fuel product itself is decentralized back to 1,000′s of motorists while 100′s of 1,000′s of citizens (rich, poor, black, white, red, yellow, Canadian, U.S., Mexican, European, So. American, African, Arab and Israeli) all get to breathe cleaner air.  Just my 2¢ worth before retiring tonight.  Good luck on writing a best-selling energy book RR!

    -Mark

     

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  34. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Paul

    Thanks for mentioning Mackays’ Book.

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  35. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 1:57 am

     Just conservation Paul.  Nothing More……

     

    Appparently, you are hacked off because your energy bills are greater than mine

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  36. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 2:23 am

    No Paul,

     

    Conservation is ‘ Light’ and not “Heat”

     

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  37. By Kit P on July 19, 2011 at 10:23 am

    “Saying “$33/mo” is in and of itself meaningless.”

    You are correct Paul. Having low cost energy delivered to your house is a reflection of how well your utility is managed. Ideally you want your utility to over charge California or New York, as the case might be, to keep your rates low.

    My utility provides a simple first page (pay this much) followed by detailed information that allows me to manage my energy use. It tells me how much I used per billing day for each of the last 12 months. It also includes heating/cooling degree days. It also provides the mix which is 90% coal.

    The amount of energy an individual uses (kwh) is a reflection of how well an individual manages their energy use. I was critical of MAC because he was doing that California thing. Cherry pricking data to compare partial energy use in a mild climate to an all electric house in a harsh climate. MAC I knew you had natural gas.

    The last number I heard for people being killed by natural gas piped to their house was 60 a year. Since I do not have natural gas piped to my house, it is not an issue I research.

    I love mixed marriages. First I get the lecture about from Mrs. pixie dust about the evils of nuke and how we could eliminate them by reducing ‘vampire’ loads. Then I walk out to the shop passing the frig, dishwasher, freezer, washer and dryer. In the shop, Mr. Harley offers me a beer from his shop frig stocked with my favorite brand. We look down the hill and toast the nuke plant where I worked 15 years ago.

    “Working 80 hr. work weeks”

    Can not get your work done in 40? One of the requirements of my end of the energy business is fitness for duty which includes limiting how many hours you can work.

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  38. By Wendell Mercantile on July 19, 2011 at 10:29 am

    The last number I heard for people being killed by natural gas piped to their house was 60 a year.

    Kit P.

    If true, that’s far more than the number of people killed in nuclear reactor accidents. We had better get Rate Crimes at work on that, don’t you think?

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  39. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Paul’

    MacKays book is very interesting. He explodes a number of “Renewable Energy Myths” including “roof-top small wind” and even geothermal.

    I think MacKay is a bit off base on geo-thermal because there are thousands and thousands of oil rigs out there,

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  40. By Kit P on July 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

    “We had better get Rate Crimes at work on that, don’t you think?”

    No Wendell, I do not want RC to have any responsibility for anyone’s safety.

    I think that the NG industry has a good safety record and that NG is safe way to heat. I do think that all electric homes are safer and cleaner assuming you do not make your own electricity.

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  41. By carbonbridge on July 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Kit P said:

    One of the requirements of my end of the energy business is fitness for duty which includes limiting how many hours you can work.


     

    Kit:  Working to spearhead something brand new consumes lots of overtime.  I’m guessing that you are now retired after living an entire career of defending early-bird statements made to consumers post Hiroshima that ‘nuke electricity would be so cheap that it wouldn’t need to be metered.’

    I’m thrilled that you as an industry insider are so self-assured that plutonium nuclear-fission waste can be contained in baseball-sized glass balls cemented securely inside of steel drums.  Personally, I hope that this is true…  So why are you and your industry colleagues not leading the charge to convert ALL of the poisonous and radioactive nuke waste standing at hundreds of locations around the U.S. and the world — and move it safely into underground mines like Yucca Mtn Nevada for storage into the millenniums to come?

    Before nukes can ever be replaced with more profitable and safer energy alternatives, the forward momentum of this pendulum has to be stopped first – concurrent with someplace to safely dispose of the last 65 years of global volumes of radioactive nuclear waste products.  Until some storage plan like this gets implemented, I think it folly to keep on promoting nuke electricity under the present guise that it doesn’t emit NOx, SOx and CO2 to the atmosphere.  [Still too cheap to meter?]  I join with others who are personally concerned about radioactive xenon, iodine131, strontium 90, plutonium 238, tritium and cesium elements now blowing around the world from three melted-down reactors in Fukushima.  Nuclear fission is one hellava way to boil water into steam.

    -Mark

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  42. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    What Mark ??

    We are using uranium to boil water with the old time Rankine steam cycle ?

    Wow, technology never ceases to amaze me.

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  43. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Here Comes the Sun…………….

    Period…..

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  44. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Robert,

    In the near term, buy Petrobas stock.

    In the long term “Here Comes The Sun”

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  45. By rrapier on July 19, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    mac said:

    Robert,

    In the near term, buy Petrobas stock.


     

    Way ahead of you, Mac: Loading up on Petrobras. :)

    RR

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  46. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Okay Robert,

    Good for you. I always thought you were pretty smart.

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  47. By rrapier on July 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Kit P said:

    “We had better get Rate Crimes at work on that, don’t you think?”

    No Wendell, I do not want RC to have any responsibility for anyone’s safety.

    I think that the NG industry has a good safety record and that NG is safe way to heat. I do think that all electric homes are safer and cleaner assuming you do not make your own electricity.


     

    I would bet, though, that more people are killed in their homes by electricity than by natural gas. As always, there is no free lunch. We can’t have it all.

    RR

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  48. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Robert;

    Yes, by all means take care of your beautiful familly.

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  49. By Kit P on July 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    “I would bet, though, that more people are killed in their homes by electricity than by natural gas.”

    I will take that bet. The wager is fatality rate for modern all electricity home compared to one with only NG piped in to do the all the tasks electricity does. We will start with explosions and CO poisoning related to ICE powered blenders, dishwashers, washing machines, cloths dryers. There is lighting too. Not heard of any houses have exploded because of electricity or had CO poisoning.

    Sorry RR no electric powered smoke or CO detectors warning devices about the gas light catching the curtains on fire. My heat pump is outside, so I guess I will concede, NG could run that safely.

    Clearly electricity in homes are safer that how we did things before electricity.

    Clearly electricity has hazards associated just like NG. For certain tasks I choose electricity. Kit P got a new blender for fathers’ days. The old one caused lots of sparks to fly on margarita night because it predated Jimmy Buffett. Consumption of ‘higher mixed alcohol’ infers an acceptance of risk based on the dose making something a poison.

    For the task of mowing the lawns I choose an ICE using a mixture of ethanol and gasoline that I keep in a red plastic container. I would never use the more poisonous ‘higher mixed alcohol’ because of the consistent practice of the ‘higher mixed alcohol’ to deceive consumers since before Hiroshima denying that it caused people to go blind. Furthermore, the process produces huge amounts of toxic waste that remains toxic forever.

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  50. By Wendell Mercantile on July 19, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    For certain tasks I choose electricity. Kit P got a new blender for fathers’ days. The old one caused lots of sparks to fly on margarita night because it predated Jimmy Buffett.

    Too bad your kids didn’t get you one of those newfangled natural gas-powered blenders. I hear they’re really the cat’s meow.

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  51. By paul-n on July 19, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    compared to one with only NG piped in to do the all the tasks electricity does. We will start with explosions and CO poisoning related to ICE powered blenders, dishwashers, washing machines, cloths dryers.

    sounds like you are talking about this – Gas Powered Everything

     

    I think I would never go to a dentist again!

     

    Or, the French version, which, of course, uses smaller, more efficient gas engines…

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..re=related

     

    And for a (futuristic) version of an all electric house (and life) there is this, from Owens Corning

    A day made of glass

     

    May we, despite the intrusions of technology, still keep at least some human factor in our lives.

     

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  52. By mac on July 20, 2011 at 3:00 am

    Okay Paul.
    My annualized bill for last year was $487.56 cents, Last month”s electricity usage was 654 kwh ,

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  53. By rufus on July 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Interesting article in Sam’s “energy ticker.”

    Solar Cells can not only Run your Air Conditioner, they can make it run Less. It looks like a building that covers its flat roof with tilted solar panels might use as much as 38% Less Air Conditioning.

    http://www.fastcompany.com/176…..ft-cooling

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  54. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    May we, despite the intrusions of technology, still keep at least some human factor in our lives.

    Thank you for posting this,, My brother, who used to work for Intel, Sun Micro- Systems, etc, said exactly the same thing to me nearly ten years ago.

    I thought he was nuts, but he actually turned out to be right.

    “They” know exactly where you are from your cell phone.

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  55. By Kit P on July 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    “Working to spearhead something brand new consumes lots of overtime.”

    I disagree. I have been working a massive new project for the last five years. Work smarter not harder! Good project management makes a big difference. Tools we did not have 30 years ago. Only worked over time to help another group who behind schedule complete their FMEA.

    “I’m guessing that you are now retired after living an entire career of defending early-bird statements made to consumers post Hiroshima that ‘nuke electricity would be so cheap that it wouldn’t need to be metered.’”

    How about I just defend what we have accomplished rather than going back and defending the fall of Rome. All of the nuke plants I have worked at produced a lot of electricity without exposing neighbors to radioactive material or radiation. That is true for all commercial nuke plants in the US.

    “So why are you and your industry colleagues not leading the charge to convert …”

    We are leading the charge! It is not the commercial nuclear industry’s responsibility; the responsibility in the US belongs to the federal government.

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  56. By Kit P on July 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    “They” know exactly where you are from your cell phone.

     

    Who is they?  I want to know in case I get lost so I can call.  Also got a GPS for fathers’s day. Have not used it yet.  I am at work or working in the yard.   I learned a long time ago to suggest something even if there was nothing I really needed or wanted.  Getting lost is half the fun in life.

     

    I figure if they are ‘watching’ me; they will get a bad case of being bored.  I did have a GPS for sailing.  Some boaters are gadget junkies but I find that it takes away from relaxation. 

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  57. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    When you hit the “call” button on your cell phone.it sends a signal to the nearest repeater (cell
    phone microwave tower)

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  58. By rufus on July 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Ethanol wins, Again.

    Ethannol-powered cars have won Every Major Fuel Mileage competition for the last several years.

    You just have to have an engine with enough compression to take advantage of ethanol’s high Octane Rating.

    Another Day, Another Win

    Honda builds a car that runs on nat gas. They sell about 600/yr of them in a couple of Western States. Wouldn’t you think SOMEONE would build a car optimized for ethanol, for sale in the Corn belt? I bet they’d sell tens of thousands/yr.

    Just a standard ecotec engine with a different piston, or connecting rod. How hard could that be?

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  59. By rufus on July 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    :)

    Yeah, I agree. Whoever was “watching” me would probably take up a collection to get me a hooker, or something.

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  60. By mac on July 19, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Happy Patriot Act Day….

    The Congress passed this in a matter of minutes after 911

    Wow. !!! A new bill that runs into hundreds of page and they had it all worked out within hours …

    Cut the comedy.

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  61. By rrapier on July 19, 2011 at 7:11 pm

    Kit P said:

    “I would bet, though, that more people are killed in their homes by electricity than by natural gas.”

    I will take that bet. The wager is fatality rate for modern all electricity home compared to one with only NG piped in to do the all the tasks electricity does. We will start with explosions and CO poisoning related to ICE powered blenders, dishwashers, washing machines, cloths dryers. There is lighting too. Not heard of any houses have exploded because of electricity or had CO poisoning.


     

    That wasn’t the bet, though. You are proposing more of a hypothetical; I am talking about reality. In reality, most homes have both natural gas and electricity coming into them. And electricity kills more people in the home than does natural gas.

    RR

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  62. By mac on July 20, 2011 at 3:31 am

    Paul,

    Mistake,  Mistake   Mistake !!!!

    My electricity bill for last year was actually $475.86 cents not the outrageous sum of $487.56 cents.

     

    I think retail grid electricity is about 11 1/2 cents per kwh. here in the Bryan College Station area

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  63. By moiety on July 20, 2011 at 7:23 am

    FYI My electricity usage for last month was around 200 kWh for 2 people in a 100m2 appartment. This comes to around EUR40.

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  64. By Kup on July 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Bill Batton said:

    You mentioned that you share a common goal with the author of the book: energy efficiency.

    How will ‘energy efficiency’ solve the problem of rising greenhouse gas emissions?

    According to Jevon’s Paradox, as energy efficiency increases, we end up using more of the resource because we can derive a greater return on investment, which allows us to spending investments elsewhere.

    I would like to know your rationale for why energy efficiency can solve the problem of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    I haven’t gone through the entire thread yet but I too would like to hear RR’s (and others) perspective on this but from the other side of the debate.  I believe I understand Jevon’s Paradox relatively well but it seems to me that the reason it works is because conservation (reduced demand) causes a disequilibrium in supply and demand thereby lowering prices which then leads to increased consumption.  However, in peak oil (or peak (insert other energy sources)) it does not seem that we need to worry about conservation causing a substantial decrease in energy prices because the over riding influence on oil prices will be the reduction in supply causing a rise in oil/gas prices.  This rise in prices will eliminate any concern over Jevon’s Paradox vis a vis oil or any other peaking resource.  Thoughts?
     

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  65. By Kit P on July 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    “That wasn’t the bet, though. You are proposing more of a hypothetical; I am talking about reality.”

    I must conclude that RR agrees with my statement that an all electric homes are safer that home with NG because the risk of explosion and carbon monoxide poisoning are eliminated. Shifting the conversation to wagering or how many houses have natural gas is just a clever way to debate.

    The good news is that neither are a significant safety issue. I did some research and killing children with either electricity or NG is below the radar of children being accidentally killed by more common non-energy related causes.

    Back to the context of my original statement which is a response big strong men who are afraid of levels of radiation at are a tiny fraction of background. Doing my research it looks like about 100 are killed from carbon monoxide poisoning related to heating appliances and about 50 from NG explosions not in the workplace.

    There are numerous headlines of fireballs killing people but there is no call to rethink the use of NG as an energy source. Nor do I think there should be.

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  66. By Kit P on July 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    “This rise in prices will eliminate any concern over Jevon’s Paradox vis a vis oil or any other peaking resource. Thoughts?”

    The SUV is a perfect example. I owned two UVs back when about the only place you would see them was at campgrounds for pulling trailers and hauling workers around. It was about 1986 at a church picnic someone asked if I liked my Suburban which was the only UV too be seen. I could take 9 people skiing and put all the gear inside which saved others lots of gas.

    Look around at any parking lot and tell me what percentage of SUV or vans you see. What changed was the efficiencies of ICE that now allow people to commute using the SUV. It is an affordable status symbol. Recovering from the 70s energy crisis you would think R&T predicted the 90s would be the decade of the ‘green’ car but it turned out to decade of the SUV.

    The F150 is out selling the Leaf 10:1.

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  67. By Wendell Mercantile on July 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    It is an affordable status symbol.

    For 90% of the people that own SUVs that’s all that it is — a status symbol. Most people never take them off road, or haul anything more than their briefcase or a few bags of groceries. A lot of women also like them because they feel SUVs help them be intimidating on the road. That’s also one reason the design of SUVs has become more intimidating. Look at the design of the Buick Enclave. Ugly, ugly, but it looks aggressive.

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  68. By Kup on July 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    Kit, leaving aside for the moment whether the explosion of SUVs was caused by low gas prices which were caused by conservation efforts, the real question regarding Jevon’s Paradox is whether in the coming decades a massive effort at conservation/energy efficiency will significantly reduce consumption or will consumption actually increase due to the expected low prices caused by said conservation.

     

    I haven’t personally heard a Jevon’s Paradox proponent clearly lay out an argument that in a peak oil environment we can conserve so much that it will over whelm the supply component of the laws of supply and demand.  In short, they point to historical examples of localized conservation leading to eventual increased consumption but they can’t seem to recognize that a globalized permanent reduction in supply kills the practicality of talking about Jevons Paradox.  Now, there may be a good argument out there but I haven’t heard it.

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  69. By Kup on July 20, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Kit P said:

     

    The F150 is out selling the Leaf 10:1.

    This is also a fairly short sighted argument.  EVs will be outselling the F150 very shortly.  The problem with selling Leafs or Volts or the iMiev or EV Focus, etc. is one of production not of demand.  I’ve owned a Volt for four months, have reduced my (direct) gas consumption by over 90 percent and am just entirely satisfied with the performance of it.  It’s just a joy to drive.
     

    Only going to a gas station twice in four months isn’t all that bad either. Cool

     

     Do they make sense for tons of people right now? Not entirely.  It’s still in the early stages of the game and they are too expensive especially in the American gasoline market.  But give economies of scale a time to work and give peak oil to work its “magic” on the price of gasoline and EVs will quickly become mainstream.  I know that after experiencing the electric power train I’m never going back to a pure ICE and I’m guessing that will be true of a great many people.

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  70. By Wendell Mercantile on July 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    The problem with selling Leafs or Volts or the iMiev or EV Focus, etc. is one of production not of demand.

    The problem is also what they cost, and I just heard this morning that Nissan is increasing the MSRP of the Leaf.

    Perhaps price will come down as production ramps up. If a car like the Volt were available for $15-20,000 they’d be selling like (old cliché I know) hotcakes.

    EVs are ideal for people who drive mostly short distances, and I think eventually most families will have one for their short-range driving. But that won’t happen until the cost comes down.

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  71. By Rufus on July 20, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    The first of last week there was a 125 Day Supply of Pickemup Trucks on Dealers’ lots (compared to an average supply of 40, or 45 days.)

    The Only Pickup that’s selling is the Ford with the Ecoboost, Six.

    The only Detroit 3 vehiclles that are Really putting up numbers are the Ford Focus, and Chevy Cruze. They’re down to a 10 – 15 day supply.

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  72. By Kit P on July 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    “I haven’t personally heard a Jevon’s Paradox proponent”

    Jarvon just try to explain what he observed, that is all I tried to do. If there is a lesson here, it is things do not always work out according to theory but you can off an explanation in hindsight. I am not concerned about running out of transportation fuel because I know we will find something like,

    “I’ve owned a Volt for four months”

    Since I in the making electricity industry, I thank you but it does sound like a short sighted argument.

    “It’s just a joy to drive”

    I do not drive for joy, I drive to get back and forth to work. By choosing to live close to where I work I minimize the time spent driving and the fuel I use. I can also get by with a 23 year old in any case I do not think I would enjoy hauling batteries around unless they we in an ocean worthy sail boat. Do they make a 12 VDC blender (rhetorical question Rufus)?

    So Kup please keep sharing your experiences with your Volt. I will try to keep an open mind but I see BEV as just another form of materialism. Not there is anything wrong with materialism until you think your brand is better.

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  73. By Rufus on July 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    My understanding is: they were having a hard time getting small, high-performance (turbo, DI, VVT,) to throw a CEL (check engine light) when running E85 when they “enriched” the fuel mixture.

    If that isn’t the hold-up, I can’t imagine why in the world they haven’t thrown one of these engines in a in a lightweight car like the Focus, or Cruze, or Malibu, etc. 40 mpg on a fuel that costs $2.80, instead of $3.80.? It’s befuzzling.

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  74. By rrapier on July 20, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Kup said:

    However, in peak oil (or peak (insert other energy sources)) it does not seem that we need to worry about conservation causing a substantial decrease in energy prices because the over riding influence on oil prices will be the reduction in supply causing a rise in oil/gas prices.  This rise in prices will eliminate any concern over Jevon’s Paradox vis a vis oil or any other peaking resource.  Thoughts?
     


     

    I think you have it exactly right. There can be no continued expansion of usage because of increased efficiency if the supply doesn’t continue to expand. It won’t be long before the oil is using less oil period in any situation.

    RR

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  75. By Rufus on July 20, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    We already are (and, not just because of a, recently, slowing economy.

    Being aware that Diesel supplied (according to the weekly EIA Report) has been falling for many months, I was very surprised to find that that actual goods shipped has risen. The only explanation I could come up with was that a whole lot of merchandise has moved from truck to a much more fuel-efficient rail transport.

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  76. By jcsr on July 20, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    I also agree hydrogen economy is not in sight but what happens if in the near future Saudi Arabia goes into revolution similar to Libya? Win lose or draw in the meantime there would be a terrible snarl in the worlds oil supply.Then I think you would see a huge change in hydrogen use as a transportation fuel. i.e.car conversion kits and fuel cell locomotives.

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  77. By carbonbridge on July 20, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Book Review: Energy, Convenient Solutions

    OT:  Since we seem to be all through with the book review on this thread, I just read a good ‘wake up’ article published today from Oregon.

    Worth a quick read from the url below for those who might be interested… 

    Montana Oil Spill: Modern tragedy

    Near the refinery town of Billings, [actually Laurel] Exxon maintains the Silvertip pipeline, which crosses under the bed of the Yellowstone River.  Details are sketchy, but high water and scouring debris evidently proved too much for the pipe.  On July 1, it burst, spewing an estimated 1,000 barrels of oil — 42,000 gallons — and sweeping it miles downstream.

    http://m.eastoregonian.com/mob…..002e0.html

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  78. By Rufus on July 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    There’s been a second one, you know?

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  79. By rufus on July 20, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    First, you have This: Using Wind to make anhydrous ammonia

    http://farmindustrynews.com/bi…..us-ammonia

    Then this: Referring to pre-treatment with Anhydrous Ammonia –

    This, in turn, significantly reduced the tightness of the cellulose network and left it more vulnerable to conversion into sugar by fungi-derived cellulolytic enzymes.
    The end result is a potentially less costly and less energy intensive pretreatment regimen that makes the cellulose five times easier to attack.
    “This work helps address some of the potential cost barriers related to using biomass for biofuels,” Gnanakaran said.
    In addition to LANL, the GLBRC, and Michigan State University, the paper included collaborators from American University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.

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  80. By rrapier on July 21, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Rufus said:

    First, you have This: Using Wind to make anhydrous ammonia

    http://farmindustrynews.com/bi…..us-ammonia

    Then this: Referring to pre-treatment with Anhydrous Ammonia –

    This, in turn, significantly reduced the tightness of the cellulose network and left it more vulnerable to conversion into sugar by fungi-derived cellulolytic enzymes.

    The end result is a potentially less costly and less energy intensive pretreatment regimen that makes the cellulose five times easier to attack.

    “This work helps address some of the potential cost barriers related to using biomass for biofuels,” Gnanakaran said.

    In addition to LANL, the GLBRC, and Michigan State University, the paper included collaborators from American University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, Wisconsin.


     

    FYI, we were doing this at Texas A&M in the early 1990′s. It is part of my graduate thesis. It is true, this sort of pretreatment makes the cellulose easier to attack. We have known this for two decades, and there are no commercial plants based on this technology.

    So the moral here is to treat these sorts of announced breakthroughs with a healthy degree of skepticism.

    RR

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  81. By rufus on July 21, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Understood. There must have been some significant “downsides.” If you don’t mind, could you give a couple of them?

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  82. By Kit P on July 21, 2011 at 11:45 am

    “First, you have This: Using Wind to make anhydrous ammonia”

    Making anhydrous ammonia with cheap surplus renewable energy is not a new concept it was done more than 50 years ago. Usually ‘cheap surplus renewable energy’ comes from large hydro projects that we can expect to last more than 50 years which will support large capital investment in making aluminum.

    So far wind is neither ‘cheap’ nor sustainable from equipment reliability perspective. Let me know when you have data on the cost of maintaining 20 year old wind turbines.

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  83. By rrapier on July 21, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Rufus said:

    Understood. There must have been some significant “downsides.” If you don’t mind, could you give a couple of them?


     

    Downsides? Is that question for me? If so, the single biggest downside of these sorts of announcements is keeping the public perpetually believing that the solution to our energy problems is technology that is right around the corner. The danger is that it postpones us making some really tough choices, and just pushes us ever closer to a cliff.

    RR

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  84. By Kit P on July 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    “the single biggest downside of these sorts of announcements is keeping the public perpetually believing that the solution to our energy problems is technology that is right around the corner.”

    Then there is no downside. There are technical solutions to supplying energy. The cliff is not close, there is no cliff.

    While I would prefer people not waste energy and only use what they need, with fission I can air condition every person on the planet’s 10,000 square foot house and charge battery laden Hummers.

    “really tough choices”

    Which is code for people who have never had to make a tough choice, thinking they should make the tough choices for others.

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  85. By rrapier on July 22, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Kit P said:

    “the single biggest downside of these sorts of announcements is keeping the public perpetually believing that the solution to our energy problems is technology that is right around the corner.”

    Then there is no downside. There are technical solutions to supplying energy. The cliff is not close, there is no cliff.


     

    Yes, that’s why we sit here with $100 oil, record trade deficits, and an economy in deep distress. Your plan is to twiddle our thumbs while we continue to make OPEC rich. No thanks.

    Which is code for people who have never had to make a tough choice, thinking they should make the tough choices for others.

    I practice what I preach. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do something I myself wouldn’t do.

    RR

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  86. By paul-n on July 22, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Concerning Rufus’ post;

    Referring to pre-treatment with Anhydrous Ammonia –

    This, in turn, significantly reduced the tightness of the cellulose network and left it more vulnerable to conversion into sugar by fungi-derived cellulolytic enzymes.

    So the clever researchers have discovered that ammonia weakens wood (cellulose)!

    Hope they didn’t spend too much money “discovering” that, is it has been known for a long time.

    From this 1966 paper -”liquid ammonia-solvent combinations in wood plasticisation

    There is little chemical change in the wood, but physical changes include relaxation of the crystal lattice and hydrogen bonding

    If wood is treated with liquid ammonia, ammonia enters into and interacts with the entire structure; crystalline and amorpohous cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, swelling and softening the entire structure.

    Next thing you know, we will be hearing of another breakthrough that acid can weaken the structure of cellulose to make it suitable for fermentation.

    If the cellulosic industry could produce even half as many gallons of ethanol as they do press releases, the fuel problem would have been solved.

     

     

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  87. By Kit P on July 22, 2011 at 10:59 am

    “Yes, that’s why we sit here with $100 oil, record trade deficits, and an economy in deep distress. Your plan is to twiddle our thumbs while we continue to make OPEC rich. No thanks. ”

     

    Cliff what cliff, RR your were talking about a cliff were you not? Things were a lot worse in the 70s when I was in the navy on a fixed income. Check the inflation and unemployment rate rate more than 30 years ago when I got out of the navy. Trust me things are not that bad.

     

    “I practice what I preach. I wouldn’t expect anyone else to do something I myself wouldn’t do. ”

     

    That is not the point, I do not want other making choices for me especially when I do not think judgment is very good. I am sure RR thinks he is an honorable person but he say things like this,

     

    “Your plan is to twiddle our thumbs while we continue to make OPEC rich”

     

    I as I have said plenty of time I support plans that increase domestic production. We should be drilling for oil and gas off the coast of California and Virginia. We should be increasing the amount of ethanol and bio diesel. We should be mining for uranium near where I live in Virginia. We should be building enough new nukes to close down some old coal plants while ensuring the we do not have to increase imports of NG to make electricity. We should be building renewable energy power plants especially waste biomass and geothermal.

     

    We should be building wind, solar, BEV and HTGCR so that those technologies are available for part of the energy mix when we need them. I do not think we need to make energy more expansive be taxing it or requiring ridicules efficiency requirements on car and appliances. I can show you why and when conservation is a good thing.

     

    The cliff is not here. For forty years we have been hearing about the cliff. We should consider the possibility of the cliff. And we have for many years which as Paul writes,

     

    “From this 1966 paper ..”

     

    When I was a student at Purdue in the early 70s, we too were studying innovative ways to produce and use energy. The situation is a lot better than in the 70s. Energy is a affordable commodity even for the poor.

     

    As far as tough choices, I has one to make. Allow myself to be drafted, enlist, become a CO, keep borrowing money to stay in school. or move to Canada. I enlisted for 6 years to get training in the nuclear field. Later I had a choice to go back to college but I would have to stay in the navy five years after getting my degree.

     

    My path is certainly a path for everyone. It only takes a few people to produce the energy everyone else uses. Energy shortages are not caused by the ability to produce it. It is caused by things like corruption and poor planning.

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  88. By rrapier on July 22, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Kit P said:

    “Yes, that’s why we sit here with $100 oil, record trade deficits, and an economy in deep distress. Your plan is to twiddle our thumbs while we continue to make OPEC rich. No thanks. ”

     

    Cliff what cliff, RR your were talking about a cliff were you not? Things were a lot worse in the 70s when I was in the navy on a fixed income. Check the inflation and unemployment rate rate more than 30 years ago when I got out of the navy. Trust me things are not that bad.

     


     

    You only know that with hindsight. You have no idea of what is in front of us. In the 1970′s, there was a huge expansion in global oil supplies. We had cheap energy to drive the global economy. We are sitting here in very difficult economic times, and yet global demand for oil is still at record highs, and pressure on prices continues. So I do see today’s situation as very different.

    That is not the point, I do not want other making choices for me
    especially when I do not think judgment is very good.

    If you want to increase the amount of ethanol I burn in my car, you are trying to make choices for me. I think the way this has been done has been poor and has done little to relieve our energy situation. Just look at our oil imports versus what we consume. So I don’t think your judgment is good, and yet you think your choices for me are OK. You are being a hypocrite.

    RR

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  89. By Kit P on July 22, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    “You only know that with hindsight. ”

     

    That is correct which put me a step ahead of RR. Having been through hard times I am a little more confident of the future and the ability of technology to provide energy. People who have been hard times know about things like carpooling and rationing.

     

    “You have no idea of what is in front of us. ”

     

    Yes, but I have a plan which you said I did not have in your last post.

     

    “has done little to relieve our energy situation ”

     

    Well it was just part of my plan and it sure looks like pretty good into 5 years of implementing the plan.

     

    “I think the way this has been done has been poor ”

     

    So tell us how you did it better. Just for the record, my share of doing it better is a 1200 MWe that replaced an oil fired power plant 30 years ago. Beat that!

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  90. By rrapier on July 22, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Kit P said:

    “You only know that with hindsight. ”

    That is correct which put me a step ahead of RR. Having been through hard times I am a little more confident of the future and the ability of technology to provide energy.


     

    Having been through hard times? I grew up on a small farm in Oklahoma. We had no air conditioning, and I don’t know if you have noticed but sometimes there are blistering heat waves there. No central heat. I had to cut wood for the stove, but I still woke up in the winter at times with ice inside my windows. I have worked almost continously since I was 11 years old. I grew up in a rough area, and I got out. Many of my childhood friends are dead or in jail. Hard times? Give me a break.

    Yes, but I have a plan which you said I did not have in your last post.

    Wishes aren’t plans. You mentioned many of the same things I have advocated right here many times — and you complain about me making decisions for others. You are one of the most inconsistent people I have ever seen.

    So tell us how you did it better. Just for the record, my share of

    doing it better is a 1200 MWe that replaced an oil fired power plant 30

    years ago. Beat that!

    Is this a joke? An anonymous guy on the Internet is challenging me to a pissing contest over things he claims he did but that nobody can verify? Read my resume if you need to know what I have done.

    RR

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  91. By carbonbridge on July 22, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Robert Rapier said:

    Is this a joke? An anonymous guy on the Internet is challenging me to a pissing contest over things he claims he did but that nobody can verify?


     

    The entire internet is FULL of anonymous people bellowing hot air.  Just like little cowards getting behind the wheel of a huge Hummer and driving hard and tough.

    Your blog RR.  Deal with it or pull his plug.  Nobody would blame you for tossing a few who disrupt otherwise legitimate exchange and civil dialogue.

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..k84TiMa_C0

    Black rain in Japan and scientists who were there say things are much worse than has been admitted!  Enjoy a few invisible rads for dinner.  See ya!

    -Mark

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  92. By Anon on July 23, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Here are the uses for corn…  Does it effect our energy?

     

    Food, Inc. excellent documentary

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..r_embedded

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  93. By Kit P on July 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    “legitimate exchange and civil dialogue ”

     

    Mark throwing a grenade in the room and running for cover is neither a an exchange nor civil.

     

    If you would like to go to one of the threads I have started

     

    When was the last time you heard of an American diagnosed with scurvy?

     

    “Food, Inc. excellent documentary ”

     

    This ‘crocumentary’ is an indicator of the state of investigative journalism. A family with obesity issues in a SUV does to the drive through orders junk food then they go to a beautiful super market and complain about the price of fresh vegetables.

     

    Did not hear about one modern technology for making food safer and reduce the need for refrigeration. High levels of radiation will kill living pathogens. Seal it up before it can be recontaminated leave the food will have a long shelf life.

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  94. By Anon on July 23, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Kit P said:

    “Food, Inc. excellent documentary ”

     

    This ‘crocumentary’ is an indicator of the state of investigative journalism. A family with obesity issues in a SUV does to the drive through orders junk food then they go to a beautiful super market and complain about the price of fresh vegetables.

     

    Did not hear about one modern technology for making food safer and reduce the need for refrigeration. High levels of radiation will kill living pathogens. Seal it up before it can be recontaminated leave the food will have a long shelf life.


     

    Anytime you can interview all sides for any documentary it is excellent in my opinion.  I’m disappointed non of the companies would do interviews except the one making the meat additive to kill the contamination in food.  It was interesting to see him glow with pride over his control of that market and prediction that his chemical could reach 100% of the beef (and pork?) market.  At least he was honest that the industry needed his product to save people’s lives.  The other side of the story seem to show it is all unnecessary if we return to traditional farming and ranching.

    Now I call reaching out for both sides investigative journalism even if one side refuses to go on camera for legal reasons.

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  95. By carbonbridge on July 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    CarbonBridge said:

    The entire internet is FULL of anonymous people bellowing hot air.


     

    Dear Mr. Annonymous (Kit P.)

    You have repeatedly incensed the author of this blog for months and he’s deleted many of your previous posts.  RR has heard offline from many readers of this blog about you and others who spoil civil energy discussion here and begin calling people out in challenging flame wars – all from your anonymous positions as pseudo-experts.

    This isn’t my blog.  I occasionally participate.  Then instead of furthering civil discussions – I’m typically challenged and called out by you, an anonymous poster and quasi-nuke electric production expert…

    When I co-authored an internet blog back in 1999 concerning emerging Direct Methanol Fuel Cells – it was password protected.  Thus the only people who could access it where those who deliberately chose to unmask, publish their real name, real physical address, working email addy plus a real working phone number.  The co-author to this blog and I double checked to make sure that people who participated in our online discussion topic were who they said they were.  This was twelve years ago.  The ensuing discussion, Q&A, etc., was all quite civil, very educational and was appreciated by those choosing to be involved.

    About 15-20 of us actively participated in this DMFC technology discussion.  Another 70 folks (investors primarily) were content to review our online discussion and were not active posters.  Yet they published their real names and contact information to this online blog in order to read and learn from it.  That way, participants in this online discussion could ALSO engage privately with other members who were also co-reviewing this same energy technology discussion.  It worked very well.  After a couple of years, I disconnected myself when co-managing this site began to take up too much volunteer time.

    These same rules are what I’d instigate IF I were to take the time to sponsor another online blog.  RR obviously doesn’t feel this same way and he allows anonymous posters like you to begin flame wars on this public discussion site [to some degree] before unplugging people and deleting their posts as he’s repeatedly done with you in particular…  He’s also allowed certain people to sign up as ‘members’ to this site while still remaining and participating as anonymous persons.  Not my cup of tea.

    While it is obvious to you and many others reading here that I personally do not care for nukes nor for you who polishes the nuclear apple – I really do think you should author your own blog somewhere and see who wishes to follow your pro-nuke example and participate directly with you.  What I’m suggesting is that you go START YOUR OWN BLOG and not instigate your own new discussion threads from RR’s site which he maintains.  Instead, create a discussion site of your very own, OK?  And then you can set your own rules regarding participation instead of arguing with and upsetting so many people attempting to participate here.  Simple…

    It seems to me that you’ve made a career of working in the nuclear industry and like others employed there, have spent your entire career defending your own actions and beliefs to others… 

    I [and perhaps many others] would leave you alone to discuss the safety of radiation used to ‘disinfect’ food, the benefits of using man-made plutonium to fission and boil water into steam to generate electricity – and perhaps even discuss the wonders of DNA splicing to genetically-modify food products.

    While you bully your way around on this site as an anonymous poster – I have no interest in engaging in your responses.  Please go unmask, author and manage your OWN blog instead of disrupting this public discussion authored by someone else. 

    Thank you very much.

    Mark C. Radosevich

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  96. By Kit P on July 23, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    “Anytime you can interview all sides for any documentary it is excellent in my opinion.”

     

    The ‘crocumentary’ was well done, I watched the whole thing. It was very slick. Not very informative however.

     

    “if we return to traditional farming and ranching. ”

     

    Who is we? I had a chicken coop for a while. I learned that I prefer to get my chicken wrapped in plastic at the supermarket. I have been invited onto both organic and inorganic farms and CAFOs. These people were all interested in producing health food and protecting the environment. I sure I would not be welcome if my intention was to make a biased movie.

     

    Aside from the depressing music, I saw nothing wrong with how we produce food. If some want to claim their product is better by putting an ‘organic label’ on it, it is free country. I am not going to pay more because of some marketing gimmick.

     

    “Now I call reaching out for both sides investigative journalism ”

     

    ANON that is not investigative journalism. No facts were presented that anyone did anything wrong but just a lot of inferring. For example, if a rich entertainer (Opra) damages your ability to earn a living with false statements, taking that person to court to recover damages seems reasonable.

     

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