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Five Myths about “Green” Energy

by Greg Krehbiel on 30 April 2010

This is a good article.

Five myths about green energy

I particularly liked this line.

The electric car is the next big thing — and it always will be.

Thanks to Dave for the link.

And here’s another good article about Bryce’s ideas.

2010-04-30  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 8

  1. pentamom
    30 April 2010 @ 10:04 am

    “Gasoline contains about 80 times as much energy, by weight, as the best lithium-ion battery.”

    If we can send a man to the moon, we can develop a low-mass, low-volume car battery.


  2. pentamom
    30 April 2010 @ 10:09 am

    HA! Right in the comments thread, someone actually takes a similar line:

    “To take his first point as an example, with creativity and innovation, wind and solar need take up no space whatsoever. ”

    Yes, we’re all one innovation away from lemon drops and gumdrops. “No space whatsoever?” LOLOLOL!!!! Someone else pointed out that you can put all the solar cells “out in the desert.” Yes, everyone knows, the desert is not an ecosystem.

  3. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    30 April 2010 @ 10:42 am

    I am 100 percent in favor of new technologies and innovation and energy from solar and wind and tide and anything else we can come up with.

    What irritates me is the policy decisions that get in the way of real-world, working solutions because of the promise of some as-yet illusory technology. E.g., not drilling in Alaska because we can just make wind farms, or something like that.

    The environmentalists have a history of opposing real-world practical energy solutions because they’d rather believe fairy tales about allegedly clean energy.

  4. pentamom
    30 April 2010 @ 12:10 pm

    I agree. But it’s also not helpful if public support for those things is based on the kind of ignorance that thinks there’s zero environmental cost to putting solar panels or turbines on top of buildings, that putting things “out in the desert” doesn’t affect anything, or that if we only try hard enough, we can increase the per-volume carrying capacity of batteries by factors of ten, either because we’ve managed ridiculously expensive and impractical space travel, or because we’ve invented the iPod.

    By all means pursue the new technologies, but let’s not blind ourselves to the issues with those new technologies because “coal and oil are evil” and “other things are good.” And certainly, as you say, let’s not cripple our ability to pursue all the options because of ignorant and/or wishful thinking.

  5. moronikos
    30 April 2010 @ 5:26 pm

    Off topic…but I don’t think we should drill in Alaska. Let’s use up the Arabs, Mexicans, and South Americans oil first before we use up our strategic reserves.

  6. John Krehbiel John K
    1 May 2010 @ 9:03 pm

    carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation in 2007 were at about the same level as they were back in 1990,

    Isn’t keeping CO2 emission stable a pretty good thing, given that electricity use is most likely higher? Reduction would be better, but how does that compare with our own change in CO2 emissions for electricity generation?

    Neither are many of the “rare earth” elements that are essential ingredients in most alternative energy technologies.

    Two words: metallic asteroids. One more reason for a permanently manned base on the Moon as a platform to get to the rest of the Solar system. (Seriously, it’s a good point, and one that is often overlooked)

    Meanwhile, the very concept of a green job is not well defined. Is a job still green if it’s created not by the market, but by subsidy or mandate?

    Lose the subsidies on fossil fuels, than we’ll talk about that. As it stands, new technologies have to compete price wise against heavily subsidized entrenched industries. Then people say “They can’t compete in the real world.”

    What real world?

    Government Accountability Office reported that about 40 percent of consumers do not have access to an outlet near their vehicle at home

    And an extension cord is a problem … how?

  7. pentamom
    3 May 2010 @ 12:11 pm

    “And an extension cord is a problem … how?”

    For a lot of people, you’re talking about on-street only parking. So now you’re talking about a 50 foot extension cord, possibly. I think that begins to get into the realm of “problem” to have your ability to drive dependent on a 50-foot extension cord not getting stolen, plus leaving a door or window cracked all night to let the cord through, in the dead of winter. Wonder how much heating energy goes to waste that way, let alone security issues. And we’re not talking about rare cases hear, but 40% of the population dealing with this to one degree or another? That adds up to a “problem,” though probably a solvable one.

  8. pentamom
    3 May 2010 @ 12:12 pm

    “rare cases here,” that is.