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Old 02-17-12, 04:50 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Underwater coal? Yeah, right.
Underwater oil? Yeah, right. Look, your threshold on credulity is not some universal benchmark on what is possible.

Coal is horribly dirty, and spews mercury, and carbon fuels are what is causing the rapid changes in the climate.
Look around you, most people don't care because they'd rather have coal energy and 1.) a job and 2.) cheaper electricity to power their ipods, cell phones, plasma tvs, etc than do without all the gadgets and lower their electrical usage. China is building a huge number of new coal plants even though they know full well that unfiltered coal emissions are polluting. Why are they doing this? They've made the informed trade-off between environmental concerns and economic well-being.

And it is limited to a specific quantity -- what do we do after it runs out? What kind a world are we leaving for all future life? No thanks.
This is simply pleading to irrational emotion. I could point to many aspects of your life and nitpick about what YOU'RE doing which will leave the world in worse shape. That effort would come up with loads more examples if I started applying my own idiosyncratic standards to your life. For instance, here's an example of how I can twist your particulars into a no win scenario by applying idiosyncratic rules, as you're doing above. Do you have one child? You're leaving the world in worse shape by only having one child for you and your wife are going to be drawing pensions that have to be paid by extracting money from the working careers of society's children and by only having one child your pensions can't be paid by his earnings thus making the world worse off for everyone else. Do you have more than 2 children? Now you're contributing to overpopulation thus increasing the marginal deprivation of future citizens.

If you want to live in an energy deprived present-day, then there is nothing stopping you. Why are you participating on this forum for your participation requires a.) electricity to power your computer and the internet infrastructure and b.) it requires a pollution emitting, and energy consuming, industrial infrastructure to produce all of the components of the computer, so your participation in cyberspace is making the world worse off for future generations.

Clearly you're not living your life in a manner which meets MY standards of making the world better for future generations, so you really have no business preaching to everyone else that they should live their lives by YOUR standards so as to make the world better for future generations.

Renewable energy has none of these challenges.
Have you look at the embodied energy and the EROEI of a silicon solar cell or a steel windmill blade? The point is that the same considerations apply to renewable energy technologies just like they apply to fuel-sourced energy technologies. The differences are in the margins and those differences come with significant trade-offs. Renewable energy is not some religious holy water which cures all that ails us.

The energy itself is free.
Look out on your street. Perhaps you have a gravel lined water ditch nearby. Go and grow some carrots in that free gravel ditch. Now compare the effort of trying to grow FREE carrots in a 10 foot deep field of baseball sized boulders to the effort of buying the carrots in a supermarket. Which is a more efficient use of your time and resources? The "free" carrots or the purchased carrots? The same principle applies to all this "free energy." All that free energy hitting Flin Flon, Manitoba, up near Hudson's Bay, doesn't do much good for the residents there because it's too irregular and too infrequent, to be put to much use. All that free energy that is hitting Phoenix, Arizona does a resident no good if they don't have the capital resources to buy solar collectors and the real estate to situate the collectors upon. In both cases, but for different reasons, these folks are better off paying for energy than collecting it for "FREE."

The fact that sunlight or wind is "Free" is not the principal driving criteria in the energy use calculations people, corporations, governments and society have to make.

We have to fit into the cycle of life. We *are* a part of it, and we cannot pretend to be separate. We cannot have "waste". We cannot poison the earth -- and when we throw something away -- it is still here.
This whole position is a religious position. It starts with the axiom that humans MUST exist as part of nature. Because you treat it as an axiom you don't question it. How to explain the astronauts who live on the ISS? How to explain sailors who live in submarines for months at a time? These environments are apart from the natural world.

There is an alternative to your religious viewpoint and that is that man controls and manages nature through the power of intelligence. That too is an axiomatic position.

My point here is that you spouting off religious viewpoints doesn't make your case strong it just highlights to us that you hold religious viewpoints that are immune from reason and alternative ways of seeing things. Further, the thing about religious viewpoints like yours is that there are always alternative religious viewpoints, opinions that are immune from challenge because they're held on the basis of faith rather than reason, so your own particular faith-based religious viewpoint is not something that is universally acknowledged.
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