Energy Independence – Stop With the Excuses

Two years ago, when the price of gasoline hit $3.00, there was a great deal of sound and fury by the politicians about energy independence. And, as usual, all it amounted to was “sound and fury.” Absolutely nothing was done. Not one thing.

With the exception of the “new find” in North Dakota, there has been precious little domestic exploration. Drilling offshore on the Atlantic, Pacific and Florida shores remains banned. Development of the huge oil field in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) remains banned. The oil shale in western Colorado and Utah remains untapped. Coal production remains at a fraction of its potential. Coal bed methane gas remains largely untapped. There have been no new oil refineries constructed in over thirty years. There have been no new nuclear plants built in over twenty years. The only increased supply of energy is more hot air from Washington, D.C.

And when the price of gasoline dropped back to the low $2.00 range, the “sound and fury” abated. No the problem wasn’t solved, it was just shoved to the back of the shelf in hopes that no one would notice. Two years have been wasted and we are no closer to achieving energy independence. Two years have been wasted and now we are at gasoline prices in the mid-$4.00 range and moving rapidly toward $5.00.

And still nothing but mindless bickering and pandering to special interests. John McCain, at long last, has conceded that we need to increase exploration including offshore drilling. Inexplicably, however, he remains opposed to opening ANWR so a herd of caribou can copulate with privacy. The same arguments heard in opposition to ANWR were used in opposition to the Alaskan pipeline and proved to be absolutely untrue. The caribou (or reindeer or whatever they are) have multiplied at a much faster rate than they did pre-pipeline. McCain supports new development of nuclear facilities — the greenest of green technologies.

In contrast, Barack Obama and his far left supporters have no solutions other than to increase the pain. (Turn down your thermostat in the winter, turn up your thermostat in the summer, don’t use your car, don’t use the convenience of modern electronics, and so on and so on.) They oppose every new source of energy. Oh, yes, they talk about “renewable energy” — wind, solar, and biofuels — but as often as not, they oppose most of the actual deployment. The land mass necessary for solar panels and wind farms make them a blight on the landscape and thus they have opposed wind farms in the Columbia Gorge and the new proposal for wind farms west of Battleground, Washington. Most of it is “not in my backyard” opposition rather than any legitimate concern.

But there are several parts of this unrelenting opposition by the left that drive me nuts. First, a constant rejoinder from the left is that development of oil fields, natural gas fields, refineries and nuclear facilities will take too many years to have an impact on our current energy crises. For instance, they claim that a nuclear facility would take twenty plus years to bring on line and that a new oil refinery would take at least twelve years.

What a crock. It would take less than two years to construct a new oil refinery and less than five years to construct a nuclear facility. The only reason that there is an extended time frame is because the people who are claiming it would take too long are the same people that have imposed the bureaucratic process that imposes ten to twenty year approval processes. That’s right. The long lead time for constructing additional energy resources is not construction — it’s government delay.

And don’t insult my intelligence by claiming all of this is necessary to build “safe” facilities. They have been building “safe” nuclear facilities in Europe for twenty years. There are established protocols that will produce “safe” facilities whether they are nuclear, oil refineries, new energy fields, whatever. Most of the government delays in the “permitting process” are designed to ensure that no new facilities are build — and they have succeeded.

Second, the opposition to most development offshore is confined to American development. China, that totalitarian state so admired by the left, is drilling and producing oil off the Florida coast currently and have you heard a single word of protest from those Democrat members of Congress who seem to get the vapors anytime someone suggests American firms drill offshore? Apparently environmental degradation is a uniquely American caused phenomenon. If this was actually about the environment rather than just more anti-business angst, those who organize protests in Portland for everything would happily ship out to Florida.

And third, while the left has successfully blocked domestic energy production in fear that someone might (gasp!) make a profit, they have allowed that lack of production to trigger enormous profits for foreign governments — many of which are hostile to America’s interests (read Chavez in Venezuela, Ahmadinejad in Iran and the Saudis). The cost of production in Saudi Arabia and Iran is estimated to be less than twelve dollars per barrel. At the current price of over $130 per barrel that represents a thousand percent profit. And while Congressional Democrats wax ignorant about the profits of American oil companies not one word is said about the obscene profits being garnered by many of the nations who are directly and indirectly funding terrorism throughout the world.

Please, just once, how about a little balance?

So while the left dawdles — with the help of Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike — we have moved farther and farther away from energy independence. Energy consumption continues to grow and domestic supply is stagnant or declining.

While we wait for “hope” and “change” from the nation’s current crop of barely able politicians, it would be nice if just one of them listened to the common sense solutions that every man, woman and child (with the exception of those currently serving in any capacity in government) most assuredly know. Here it is again for you simpletons in Salem and Washington, D.C.

Energy independence is not so simple as growing more corn or flax. It is a complex organism that requires the utilization of all of the available sources of energy in a measured and disciplined manner that will maximize the period of availability. To that end, we should not only be looking at increasing our use of biofuels (and wind and solar energy) but also increasing the production of coal, coal bed methane, natural gas, oil and gas in Alaska and the coastal areas, refinery capacity, distribution networks and nuclear energy. It also requires improving the efficiency of our current consumption — most particularly in transportation — electric cars, hybrids, natural gas cars, even bicycles for the willing. America has the technology and the resources to achieve energy independence within a five-year period. Only the politicians are preventing us from obtaining it.

We have wasted two years already, let’s not waste any more.

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  • Rupert in Springfield

    I think it is a pretty fair conclusion that we are going to start drilling, and drilling soon. Most people remember the start of the ANWR debate, and most probably pretty quickly realize that had we started drilling there and elsewhere then, we wouldn’t be in this situation now. I think most also realize that while drilling might take a few years, that’s far less time than it will take to invent all these new and fabulous technologies some have so much faith in.

    The dark side does have one valid point. Were we to start drilling, and all these wells produced, oil is a commodity, its price is set on the world market. So although it does increase supply, how much could it really affect the price?

    Good point. I personally see no real advantage to having a Chinese oil well sitting in the gulf sending oil to China versus a Shell oil well doing the same.

    One could try and restrict whatever new oil wells we gain to only selling within the US, but then that would drop the price, which is sort of the point. Once the price drops below a certain level, a lot of these wells become non profitable.

    What to do about that problem is indeed a quandary. However the United States not drilling in its own backyard, and therefore exporting whatever environmental concerns drilling might bring is a solution whose time has passed.

    • David

      > Most people remember the start of the ANWR debate, and
      > most probably pretty quickly realize that had we started drilling
      > there and elsewhere then, we wouldn’t be in this situation now.

      That’s just rubbish. ANWR contains at most about 12 Bb. The world uses that in just 5 months. The US uses it in about 1.5 years. So the totality of ANWR oil — all of which will be sold on the world market at market prices and not reserved for Americans — might be about 1 Mb/d for a decade or two. That’s a mere 1% of world production. That might lower gas prices by about a nickel a gallon, for perhaps a decade or more. Chump change.

      You drilling proponents fail to realized that we are in a different era, and the numbers no longer add up. Yes, you are desperate for more oil. It just isn’t there. And even if it were, we should consider saving it for something important — fertilizer, or the next world war perhaps, or future applications as yet unseen.

  • Joey Link

    I agree with Rupert.

    Honestly, I think I’d be supportive of just selling our oil here in the states. The article above says production costs the Saudi’s less than $12 per barrel. Even if we drilled and sold locally I can’t imagine it getting down to a point where it would be unprofitable, though the profits wouldn’t be close to what the oil companies are realizing now. I think someone would step into take advantage of it, even if it’s not the big oil companies we’re used to hearing about.

  • Steve Plunk

    Just a minor quibble but I think energy “independence” is nearly impossible. Energy “security” is very possible and entails the same strategies of developing our own resources. Any increases in production will do us good.

    Rupert’s point concerning exporting the environmental risks is an especially good argument against the Green’s objections to domestic drilling.

  • dean

    The Bakken Formation in North Dakota is not a “new find,” unless 1951 is counted as new. The problem with the Bakken, and with many other areas in the continental US, is that the oil is mostly locked up in sand and shale, making it very expensive and energy consumptive to extract. It is squeezing liquid oil out of asphalt basically. Canadians are using more BTUs in natural gas than they are getting in oil to extract the stuff from tar sands in Alberta. You want to know why your natural gas bill has gone way up? Because the gas is being used to create steam to heat rock to melt the oil out so you can drive an over sized personal vehicle.

    But if oil prices stay above $100 a barrel, then it pays to use up the gas to squeeze it out from rock. But…we can import even more expensive liquified gas from Arabs to keep the game alive. This is what the energy world has come down to.

    Larry’s tirade on Obama and his “far left supporters” is a bit over the top. What happens when Obama wins in November with 55% of the vote? Does that mean 55% of the people will be “far left?” That makes zero sense, since left and right are relative terms. Kucinich is far left. Nader is far left. They don’t win many votes. You Larry, are far right, and you don’t win many votes either.

    A solar, wind, and other renewable energy shift combinded with better conservation (i.e. plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) is not a “no new energy policy.” It is a smart, forward thinking, about dang time energy policy.

    There are no new nuclear facilities being built in the US because they are far too capital intensive and unsafe to be profitable to utility companies. They are free to build them but they don’t. Why? Because they are inherently dangerous, extremely expensive, and rely on insurance underwriting from the government…meaning you and me pay the costs if one melts down. And you and me are responsible for finding a place to store waste and guard it for…oh…a few thousand years into the future.

    Energy “independence” and “security” is right in front of us. But it is not about domestic oil, which even if we did drill in the deep ocean and ANWR it would not get us close since we use several times the most optimistic available production, which we would exhaust in a few years anyway.

    But there is nothing preventing you or me (other than investing the capital) from installing solar panels on our roofs, buying an electric car, insulating the attic, and so forth. Nothing. “Everything you need is right here” (as God said to John Denver in “Oh God.) We each have individual choices to make, and we have public policy choices to make. For supposedly small government people, I am amazed how many of you blame the government for not solving a problem your yourselves could solve in mere weeks.

    Rupert…what is it you think we need to “invent?” Most of what we need is all or nearly all already invented. Wind energy is just about at parity with coal. The cost of solar electricity will equal that of coal in a decade. And IF we get large scale production up by retaining tax breaks for alternatives, and impose a modest carbon tax on ourselves, it is within a few short years.

    There is no Chinese drill in the gulf. You have bought yet another urban legend my friend. Cuba has auctioned some exploration sites, China has not bid on any, and there are no drills. Cheney admitted he “mispoke” (lied) about it, yet it now freely circulates and confuses those who do not bother to look things up.

    “The left” is not “dawdling” Larry. “The left” is riding bicycles, voting for transit, living in modest sized, well insulated homes in walkable neighborhoods. THe left is buying hybrids, and will soon be buying plug in hybrids. The left is signing up for green energy through PGE so that we can speed up deployment of wind power. The left is buying locally grown food that is trucked 10 miles instead of 1000. The left is trying to get us out of a $12 billion a month occupation of Iraq so we have some resources left to invest domestically.

    “The left” is right here wasting time trying to talk some sense into you knuckleheads on the right.

    • Steve Plunk

      Not a lot of time to respond but I’m curious why France continues to lead the world in nuclear power and how they make it profitable?

      If the capital expenditures are too high how do they do it? With pebble bed reactors meltdowns are impossible and the French are also learning to reprocess spent fuel into usable fuel.

      I’m sorry my friend it seems there are no good arguments against nuclear energy except a movie from the seventies.

      • David from Eugene

        Years ago the French Government decided to move from a dependence on imported coal and oil for electric generation to nuclear power. It appears that energy independence and air quality were of greater concern then cost.

        In doing this they made a number of decisions that have a major impact on their operation and the public’s acceptance. First they picked a proven basic reactor design that was one generation behind state of the art and developed just three sizes of reactors; a power plant has the mix of sizes that will provide the amount of electricity needed in the area. This reduces design and construction costs. They developed a single control room design simplifying training and reducing costs; a trained operator can move from one to another and know where all the controls are.

        They promoted the system in a manner that the best and brightest graduates of their engineering programs actively seek operator positions. Whenever there is an event, after it is over, the crew is transported to a simulator to debrief the incident, the goal being not assign guilt but to determine what happened, why and if changes to procedures are needed. And if the change to procedures is required, it is made and credit is given to the crew on whose watch when the event happened.

        In addition to building the reactors they also built all the needed support facilities, fuel reprocessing, contaminated waste handling and long term storage of waste. And lastly they operated a major public education program to bring the public on board.

        As to the movie from the seventies, the movie itself is not the problem; the problem is that much of the public when asked what happened at Three-Mile Island responds with the movies plot. When one considers the ratio between the handful of nuclear accidents (all Russian) and the years of reactor operating hours world wide it is a safe way to generate electricity.

    • Anonymous

      Maybe you better go for another bike ride. You don’t use gas either

    • jim karlocik

      *Dean:* You want to know why your natural gas bill has gone way up? Because the gas is being used to create steam to heat rock to melt the oil out so you can drive an over sized personal vehicle.
      *JK:* Get real, its because natural gas is being used to make electricity because of the climate paranoids’ discouragement of coal. Combined with the anti pipleine Luddites restricting supply.

      *Dean:* There are no new nuclear facilities being built in the US because they are far too capital intensive and unsafe to be profitable to utility companies.
      *JK:* WRONG again – they are only too expensive because of the constant lawsuit by the eco nuts.

      *Dean:* And you and me are responsible for finding a place to store waste and guard it for…oh…a few thousand years into the future.
      *JK:* Oh, GOD!, not that lie again. Dean, please learn some basic science:

      Nuke radiation is the result of atoms self destructing. That means that if the radiation is intense (ie:dangerous), the atoms are self destructing at a high rate and soon run out of atoms. If the atoms slowly self destruct, they give out little radiation and thus will take a long time to run out of atoms. That is low intensity, long life. Those 50,000 year scares you hear are low level radiation. For instance, water has an infinite half-life because it is not radioactive.

      *Dean:* But there is nothing preventing you or me (other than investing the capital) from installing solar panels on our roofs,
      *JK:* Another ignorant solution from the progressives. Solar panels cost many times what merely buying the electricity costs. Look at it this way: instead of spending $20,000 on panels, invest that money at 5% and use the interest to pay your electric bill. You will ne far, far, ahead.

      *Dean:* buying an electric car,
      *JK:* Which one did you buy?

      *Dean:* insulating the attic,
      *JK:* The first rational thought in this whole message.

      *Dean:* Wind energy is just about at parity with coal.
      *JK:* Where do we get electricity when the wind doesn’t blow? The answer the progressives are hoping we don’t notice: From ramping up those coal plants that have to be on standby. Or do you propose we only have electricity when the wind blows?

      *Dean:* The cost of solar electricity will equal that of coal in a decade.
      *JK:* Then we will start using it in a decade. BTW, where do we get electricity at night? And on cloudy days?

      *Dean:* impose a modest carbon tax on ourselves, it is within a few short years.
      *JK:* Ahhh! Finally we get to the bottom line for “progressives”: SCREW THE POOR TIME AFTER TIME. Goes right alonq with their nutty land regulations driving up the cost of homes to the point that the poor are being driven out of their homes. It is a shame that the progressives don’t care about the poor.

      *Dean:* There is no Chinese drill in the gulf. You have bought yet another urban legend my friend.
      *JK:* One mistake by Larry, 100 mistakes by Dean, not too bad a record for Larry.

      *Dean:* “The left” is … living in modest sized, well insulated homes in walkable neighborhoods.
      *JK:* Which “walkable” neighborhood is you multi acre home in?

      *Dean:* THe left is buying hybrids, and will soon be buying plug in hybrids.
      *JK:* Which hybrid do YOU drive?

      *Dean:* “The left” is right here wasting time trying to talk some sense into you knuckleheads on the right.
      *JK:* Correctioin: The PROGRESSIVES are here trying to force others to live how thy say, not how they live while they live on multi acre lots.

      Thanks
      JK

      • josh reynolds

        He must be talking about Al Gore’s or Johnny Edward’s modest homes. Even Sean Hannity talks about his Hybrid he drives.

        • jim karlocik

          Dean lives on a multiacre lot.

          Thanks
          jk

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >Rupert…what is it you think we need to “invent?” Most of what we need is all or nearly all already invented. Wind energy is just about at parity with coal.

    Wind energy has some real problems most of which have to do with where do you site the damn things. The problem is, most of your real good windy areas have a tendency to be in bird migration patterns. If wind energy ever got big, the opposition to them on this basis as well as others wouldn’t grow with it. My wife is a wildlife rehabilitator and a true environmental wacko, I tend to go by her reaction to wind farms when I think about their future on any large scale.

    >The cost of solar electricity will equal that of coal in a decade.

    Great, I’m all for solar. However as an engineer I do have to tell you they have been predicting a price drop in solar forever. If it happens, great, if not, well lets keep working on it. In any event, no reason not to do that as well as drill. In any event drilling or solar both are ten year off solutions.

    >And IF we get large scale production up by retaining tax breaks for alternatives, and impose a modest carbon tax on ourselves, it is within a few short years.

    Yep, that’s where you sort of lose me. Tax breaks for alternatives led us down the rat hole that is ethanol in this country. It was bad when Bob Dole did it, when he was rightly accused of being an industry sop in the 80’s. He was derided as Mr. Ethanol for being in ADM’s pocket, I see no difference now with the current run crop of people.

    There is no Chinese drill in the gulf. You have bought yet another urban legend my friend. Cuba has auctioned some exploration sites, China has not bid on any, and there are no drills.

    Wrong – LTR

    ( Since I am now having to say it in every response at this point, LTR from hence for in replies will be an acronym for learn to read. It indicates there really is little point in continually correcting reading errors on your part through yet another reiteration on my part that I see little point in defending something I never said. )

    >Cheney admitted he “mispoke” (lied) about it, yet it now freely circulates and confuses those who do not bother to look things up.

    So now your are compounding your mistake in reading with an insult to me based upon your error?

    Do you have other ways of making yourself look as silly as you do now? This one would be hard to top.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Woops

    “If wind energy ever got big, the opposition to them on this basis as well as others wouldn’t grow with it.

    should have read

    If wind energy ever got big, who out there thinks the opposition to it on this basis as well as others wouldn’t grow with it?

    Bad when typing on a break, bad bad.

    • dean

      Rupert wrote:
      “I personally see no real advantage to having a Chinese oil well sitting in the gulf sending oil to China versus a Shell oil well doing the same.”

      LTR your own stuff Rupert.

      Ethanol was not just given tax breaks. The price of it was artificially propped up and Brazilian imports unfairly taxed to fend off competition. We don’t have to put a prop under solar, and probably shouldn’t. But we should at least even up the playing field by taxing pollution.

      Tax breaks for oil and gas in the US are estimated to be 1.7 billion per year. Coal has been tax subsidized since 1978. Nuclear power would not even exist in the US but for government insurance guarentees.

      • jim karlocik

        *Hey Dean,*
        I am still waiting for you to answer:
        1. What, in terms of greenhouse effect, is the most significant greenhouse gas?
        2. What % of greenhouse effect is due to that gas?
        3. What % of greenhouse effect is due to CO2?
        4. What % of annual CO2 emissions are due to man?
        5. How much warming do we expect from a doubling of CO2 from present levels?
        6. Historically, which rises first: temperature of CO2?

        Why are you dodging this question?

        Thanks
        JK

      • dean

        Steve…lets call it the French paradox. They made a decision to go nuke in a big way during the 70s oil embargo. It is entirely a government show, from uranium purchase to plant design to operation to waste disposal. They allow minority private investment.

        Because it is the government regulating the government, they can build plants quicker and cheaper than private industry can here, which has to conform to regulations. They regulate themselves and can cut corners. And since they are the electricity monopoly for the whole country, they can charge whatever they want to “make it profitable.” Ironic isn’t it? A socialist country has done it and we can’t. But they did it through command and control. And up until now they have not had any serious accident. Mazeltov.

        The main reason the US nuclear power industry stalled was deregulation. Basically, it cost so much to build a plant, and takes so long, that our private and public utilities opted for coal and natural gas. France does not have a market system. Lacking coal and gas they made a command decision in favor of nukes.

        Yes France does reprocessing, but they seem to generate way more waste than they can reprocess, so have lots of poison stored “temporarily” in metal canisters all over the place.

        Without government oversight, insurance guarentees, and eventual storage, nuclear cannot compete in the energy market in the US.

        Here are some good arguments for you:
        1) nuclear costs too much…can’t compete with other sources.
        2) Few people want to live next to or downwind of a plant
        3) The government has to insure the plant against the risk
        4) The government has to find and manage a storage site for thousands of years
        5) The government has to guard the plutonium creates so terrorists don’t get it and kill us with it.
        6) The government has to provide secure tansport of waste through communities to a repository if there was a repository
        7) Decomissioning of old plants is very costly and not factored in. Who pays?
        8) WHPPS, 3 Mile Island, and Trojan.

        Those are pretty good arguments against. Particularly for “small government” advocates.

        • jim karlocik

          *Dean:* Here are some good arguments for you:
          1) nuclear costs too much…can’t compete with other sources.
          *JK:* Only because of the constant lawsuits from the eco nuts.

          *Dean:* 2) Few people want to live next to or downwind of a plant
          *JK:* So, put them in Eastern Oregon

          *Dean:* 3) The government has to insure the plant against the risk
          *JK:* So what? The job gets done.

          *Dean:* 4) The government has to find and manage a storage site for thousands of years
          *JK:* Pure Sierra Club lie, or ignorance of basic science. See my 4.3 above.

          *Dean:* 5) The government has to guard the plutonium creates so terrorists don’t get it and kill us with it.
          *JK:* We are already doing that with plutonium taken from weapons, a very small additional will be no problem. Besides we will eventually be using plutonium as fuel if the Luddites don’t get in the way.

          *Dean:* 6) The government has to provide secure tansport of waste through communities to a repository if there was a repository
          *JK:* So what? No big deal. We do it all the time with other stuff.

          *Dean:* 7) Decomissioning of old plants is very costly and not factored in. Who pays?
          *JK:* Why decommission? We are now renewing the licenses of old, existing plants. Nobody knows how many more decades they will continue to produce our lowest cost power.

          *Dean:* 8 ) WHPPS, 3 Mile Island, and Trojan.
          *JK:* What is you point? 3 Mile island’s safety measures worked and no one was harmed.

          Thanks
          JK

  • Jerry

    I don’t know about you guys, but The China Syndrome sure scared me plenty. I don’t want any power from anything that can melt all the way to China and cause who knows what to happen in the earth’s core.

    Plus, what about the waste? Where can we put it?

    I say wave, hydro, wind, and sun are the only ways to go.

    I am very worried about a return to the nuke way of life that our country wisely abandoned many, many years ago.

    • dean

      JK…yes…radioactive waste decays. It is perfectly safe after 10,000 years acording to the EPA. not to worry. The GOVERNMENT can safely manage it.

      Wind always blows somewhere. With an integrated grid, if it is not blowing in the Gorge it is blowing in the Dakotas.

      Solar thermal systems that store energy for nights and cloudy periods are already being desinged and built.

      I don’t have an electric car….yet. But I will someday. So will you if you have any sense.

      The poor are in the same boat with the rest of us. They are paying $5 a gllon for gas. We can rebate a carbon tax directly tback o them through a payroll tax credit, as your friend James Hansen has proposed.

      Yes Jim…”put them in eastern Oregon.” Great. Like the Hanford downwinders eh? And big problem. Nuclear power plants need water for cooling….lots of it. That is why we don’t have many nukes in deserts.

      Why decomission? You think concrete lasts forever? Not. You are currently paying for decomissioning Trojan, that paragon of the wisdom of private enterprise by the way.

      Yes, no one died at 3 mile island. The core only melted half way and the containment vessel held….barely. Scared the sh** out of everyone…including the power industry and about 75 million down winders.

      No…I don’t want to force you to do anything. Relax. If you want to move out here, buy a few acres, be my neighbor, buy a tractor, grow organic fruits and veggies, harvest rainwater, and so forth…you are as free to do so as I was when I invested in this place. Just save your sheckles and roll up your sleeves.

      Rupert…I have to meet that wife of yours someday. Ask her how many birds she has rehabed due to wind turbine encounters, versus how many she has rehabed due to domestic cats and patio door crashes. I’ll bet far more of the latter.

      Also…take a look at the map on this link: https://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/maps/chap2/2-01m.html

      We seem to have a fair bit of terrain that averages the wind speeds needed for power generating (9MPH minimum). Most of that terrain is not bird migration route. The larger issue is nearness to the grid. The Oergon coast for example has lots of wind but poor grid access, which is why we have so many proposals in the east Gorge (BPA power lines).

      Jerry…NUCLEAR POWER = BIG GOVERNMENT. Plus, if the French socialists are doing it, then it must be bad. See…very simple.

      • jim karlocik

        *Dean:* JK…yes…radioactive waste decays. It is perfectly safe after 10,000 years acording to the EPA.
        *JK:* Got anything credible to show that it REALLY is dangerous for 10,000 years? (other than a Sierra club handout) My PhD source says otherwise.

        *Dean:* Wind always blows somewhere. With an integrated grid, if it is not blowing in the Gorge it is blowing in the Dakotas.
        *JK:* More pie in the sly dreaming passed of a available today. Please quit lying to us.

        *Dean:* Solar thermal systems that store energy for nights and cloudy periods are already being desinged and built.
        *JK:* Which grid are they currenty supplying major amounts of power to. Otherwise, they are just pie in the sly dreaming from the Luddites who hope to crash modern society.

        *Dean:* I don’t have an electric car….yet. But I will someday. So will you if you have any sense.
        *JK:* You demand others get one, but you don’t.

        *Dean:* The poor are in the same boat with the rest of us. … We can rebate a carbon tax directly tback o them through a payroll tax credit, as your friend James Hansen has proposed.
        *JK:* That will really discourage consumption – rebate the tax.

        *Dean:* … And big problem. Nuclear power plants need water for cooling….lots of it. That is why we don’t have many nukes in deserts.
        *JK:* If we can come up with all the magic technology you are trying to claim is here today, we can figure out how to cool hot water in a power plant.

        *Dean:* Why decomission? You think concrete lasts forever? Not.
        *JK:* We have lots of centuries old concrete.

        *Dean:* If you want to move out here, buy a few acres, be my neighbor, buy a tractor, grow organic fruits and veggies, harvest rainwater, and so forth…you are as free to do so as I was when I invested in this place. Just save your sheckles and roll up your sleeves.
        *JK:* NOTE THE ADMISSION: *DEAN LIVES ON A FARM WHILE HE WANTS THE REST OF US IN TINY LITTLE LOTS.* Probably to keep the city riff-raff out of his neighborhood.

        *Dean:* … The larger issue is nearness to the grid.
        *JK:* No Dean, the larger issue is grid stability as the wind and solar comes and goes. That is the reality that is proving wind & solar to be worthless on a large scale. (exception is where hydro is available as it can be turned on and off quickly.)

        Of course the enviro nuts don’t have clue about what is practical. They are mostly scientifically illiterate fools who are trying to set national policy. The last time this happened millions of people died. (Lysenko) That is where the fools and liars that you follow will lead us.

        *JK:* Why are you refusing to answer simple questions about climate – are you afraid of learning something?
        1. What, in terms of greenhouse effect, is the most significant greenhouse gas?
        2. What % of greenhouse effect is due to that gas?
        3. What % of greenhouse effect is due to CO2?
        4. What % of annual CO2 emissions are due to man?
        5. How much warming do we expect from a doubling of CO2 from present levels?
        6. Historically, which rises first: temperature of CO2?

        Thanks
        JK

        • David

          Jim, you keep asking these same questions over and over again, but when you are presented with answers you never acknowledge them. Why is that?

          You’re clearly too smart not to find these answers themselves — they’re all over the scientific literature and, now, the Web. Instead of pretending that these decades-old answers don’t exist — which doesn’t convince anyone and is quite a weak defense — why don’t you take the answers and criticize than on scientific terms, if you disagree with them?

          Otherwise you are just yanking people’s chains and it’s simply not worth going over the same ground time and time again.

          • jim karlocik

            *Dean:* Jim, you keep asking these same questions over and over again, but when you are presented with answers you never acknowledge them. Why is that?
            *JK:* Wrong again. You only answered the first one then got off on a tangent claiming that water vapor caused 60-85% of the warming but that is somehow didn’t count. I countered and you ignored it.

            *Dean:* You’re clearly too smart not to find these answers themselves — they’re all over the scientific literature and, now, the Web. Instead of pretending that these decades-old answers don’t exist — which doesn’t convince anyone and is quite a weak defense — why don’t you take the answers and criticize than on scientific terms, if you disagree with them?
            *JK:* I did criticize your answers and you ignored it.

            See :
            oregoncatalyst.com/index.php?/archives/1467-Invited-Testimony-on-Carbon-Taxes-and-Limiting-Greenhouse-Gases.html#extended (#13.1.1)

            *Dean:* Otherwise you are just yanking people’s chains and it’s simply not worth going over the same ground time and time again.
            *JK:* The reality is that you are afraid to give simple, straightforward answers because it would show that the warmers have no case.

            The mere fact that you are avoiding answering the most basic questions about your warming religion, shows that you know the warmers have no case, but are desperately trying to hang on to global warming as an excuse to remake the world.

            So, Dean, we are still waiting for your straightforward answers to the 6 simple question.

            Thanks
            JK

          • David

            Jim, whether I personally answer these questions or not, the answers exist. You are clearly too smart and have read too much not to know that. I could answer about half of them right off the top of my head, but that doesn’t really matter — these are old questions, well answered. See New Scientist’s site, by Coby Beck, by RealClimate.org, or just by studying the scientific literature and, especially, the IPCC reports.

            I’m more interested in asking why you keep asking them. Are you just trying to play gotcha? Is that all this is about?

            Perhaps you are only trying to score debating points. But what is the point of that? You might as well be arguing about the fundamental laws of thermodynamics or Maxwell’s laws of electromagneticsm.

            There *are* currently interesting questions about climate science. But the questions you ask are 20-30-50-180 years old. Why are you doing this?

          • jim karlocik

            *David:* I could answer about half of them right off the top of my head,
            *JK:* ONLY ½!! As a true believer, advocate for reshaping the world and science writer you should be able to answer all of them.

            *David:* I’m more interested in asking why you keep asking them. Are you just trying to play gotcha? Is that all this is about?
            *JK:* I am trying to force you to look at facts.

            It is now apparent that:
            1) You know the facts.
            2) You realize that the facts show the bankruptcy of your beliefs
            3) You have decided that your beliefs are more important then the facts.
            David, that is not science, that is religion.

            Lets look at the real answers to these questions:

            1. What, in terms of greenhouse effect, is the most significant greenhouse gas?
            *Water vapor.* (realclimate.org/index.php?p=142)

            2. What % of greenhouse effect is due to that gas?
            *the maximum supportable number for the importance of water vapour alone is about 60-70% and for water plus clouds 80-90% of the present day greenhouse effect. * (realclimate.org/index.php?p=142)

            3. What % of greenhouse effect is due to CO2?
            *the maximum supportable number for CO2 is 20-30%* (realclimate.org/index.php?p=142)

            4. What % of annual CO2 emissions are due to man?
            *Man emits about 3% of the CO2.* (add up the numbers on NASA’s the carbon cycle drawing at: earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/CarbonCycle/printall.php)

            5. How much warming do we expect from a doubling of CO2 from present levels?
            You can find various opinions on this, but most agree that, at present levels, CO2’s effect is pretty much saturated and has little potential to cause more than an additional degree or two.

            6. Historically, which rises first: temperature of CO2?
            *At least three careful ice core studies have shown that CO2 starts to rise about 800 years (600-1000 years) after Antarctic temperature during glacial terminations.* (realclimate.org/index.php?p=13)

            In summary, the warmer’s believe that putting mankind in poverty by cutting the 3% of total annual CO2 emission due to man,will stop warming while ignoring the fact that 60-90% of the warming is caused by water vapor.
            LAUGHABLE.

            And they claim CO2 causes warming, while history shows that warming causes CO2 increase!
            EVEN MORE LAUGHABLE

            (PS: I use realclimate as a source because it is run by a NASA guy to defend the fraudulent hockeystick, so it is the warmer’s bible.)

            Worried about the Arctic melting?
            It may be due to Undersea volcanos — see: eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-06/haog-fut062508.php
            But it would be nothing new: — Amundson Navigates Northwest Passage (1905), – see: tinyurl.com/5ubpxl

            Thanks
            JK

          • David

            Jim, climate science has been dealing with these very same questions for over 100 years, and people far smarter and more educated than either of us have been considering them and answering them. They are basic questions discussed in a sophomore level class on environmental science, and hardly groundbreaking. They are no longer even discussed in the scientific literature or at conferences, but taken for granted.

            You know the answers to all these questions as well as I do. Researching them takes 3 minutes apiece, literally. You well know what modern climate science has to say about them.

            So why are you pretending that you do not? What do you hope to accomplish by this pretending?

          • dean

            Jim…you are 1/2 a bubble off of level on this topic. Past post glacial periods have zip to do with present warming tied to a measured increase in greenhouse gasses that is resulting in increasing temperatures. You are debating with yourself and simply cherry picking anything that will help you keep yourself convinced of what you probably know in your heart is wrong. Go back to school, get your PhD in climatology, and fight it out on that level.

          • jim karlocik

            Dean,
            David an I are having an adult conversation, please don’t interfere.

            Thanks
            JK

          • jim karlocik

            *David:* Jim, climate science has been dealing with these very same questions for over 100 years,
            *JK:* Climate science is not 100 yeas old. (The CO2 – warming hypothesis may be that old, but not “climate science.)

            *David:* They are no longer even discussed in the scientific literature or at conferences, but taken for granted.
            *JK:* You are so wrong again. The CO2 follows temperature proof is relatively recent. There was (or is in pre-publivation) a new paper on historical CO2 levels. The effectiveness of H2O is still hotly debated. Apparently you missed the recent paper on the “iris” effect where water vapor acts as a thermostat. We are constantly seeing new papers. The fact that you missed them indicates that you need to broaden you reading beyond the Sierra Club weekly reader.

            *David:* You know the answers to all these questions as well as I do. Researching them takes 3 minutes apiece, literally.
            *JK:* Knowing those answers, you have to realize that around 99% of the greenhouse effect is not man caused and thus beyond man’s control. So why do you keep repeating the mindless rantings of scientifically illiterate bible-college preachers like Al Gore, fraud artists like Mann and well paid “sky is falling”, data manipulators like Hansen.

            Thanks
            JK

          • David

            Jim, Fourier discovered the greenhouse effect in 1824. So, indeed, climate science is almost 200 years old.

            Lindzen’s iris effect was much discussed around 6 years ago, but not so much today. Most climate scientists do not buy it, and I no longer see even Lindzen advocating it. See the Sci Am profile of Lindzen for counterarguments.

            The CO2 vs. temperature relaationship is also well-known, as you are aware (or should be).

            Most of the greenhouse effect is certainly natural. Natural CO2 accounts for 9% of it. But water vapor percentages remain unaffected by human activity (except for positive feedback effects), but CO2 levels do not. If a 280 ppm CO2 atmosphere can cause 9% of the natural greenhouse effect (15-30 C), why isn’t it plausible that a 35% increase in this gas would raise temperatures a couple of degrees?

            Do you honestly think that in a couple hundred years of climate science, scientists have somehow overlooked these simple, elementary questions? As I wrote, they are taught in sophomore-level courses on the environment. They are in no way on the cutting edge. So why do you keep raising them? What is your motive — just to plant doubt in people who don’t know any better?

          • jim karlocik

            *David:* Jim, Fourier discovered the greenhouse effect in 1824. So, indeed, climate science is almost 200 years old.
            *JK:* Discovered? Or speculated about it? That is hardly the start of a new field of science.
            It has also been known for over 200 years that there is a relationship between the price of wheat and sunspots. (IE; Between climate and sun spots.) (Herschel, W., 1801, Philosophical Transactions, 91, 265.)

            *David:* Lindzen’s iris effect was much discussed around 6 years ago, but not so much today. Most climate scientists do not buy it, and I no longer see even Lindzen advocating it.
            *JK:* Then how Come Geophysical Research Letters published this in 2007: *The increase in longwave cooling is traced to decreasing coverage by ice clouds, potentially supporting Lindzen’s ‘infrared iris’ hypothesis of climate stabilization.* (Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations” GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L15707, doi:10.1029/2007GL029698, 2007)

            *David:* See the Sci Am profile of Lindzen for counterarguments.
            *JK:* Please try to keep this above a grade school level of sources.

            *David:* The CO2 vs. temperature relaationship is also well-known, as you are aware (or should be).
            *JK:* Yeah, really well known – at least you didn’t try to claim it was settled science. Try these examples of “well known” (bold added):

            *1.* “… temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide are significantly correlated over the past thirty years. *Changes in carbon dioxide content lag* those in temperature by five months.” (NATURE . VOL—343 ‘7 22 FEBRUARY 1990, pg 709)

            *2.* “We propose that the recent disproportionate *rise and fall in CO, growth rate were caused mainly by interannual variations in global air temperature* (which altered both the terrestrial biospheric and the oceanic carbon sinks), and possibly also by precipitation. “(NATURE • VOL 375, 666)

            *3.* Even Schneider dismissed CO2’s effects in his 1971 paper that was part of the coming ice age hysteria:
            “It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, *the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.* ” (SCIENCE. VOL. 173, 138) (This article was the basis of “U. S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming” Friday, July 9 , 1971 THE WASHINGTON POST)

            *4.* “Over the full 420 ka of the Vostok record, *CO2 variations lag behind atmospheric temperature changes in the Southern Hemisphere by 1.3+/-1.0 ka* ,” (Quaternary Science Reviews 20 (2001) 583 -589)

            *So, David, please tell me how CO2 lagging temperature can cause global warming.*
            Also, David, you will recall that I have repeatedly asked you for evidence for the CO2-temperature link & you never produced any. Well now we know why – the link is in the direction that disproves your position. *please quit wasting our time with you unsubstantiated drivel about CO2 causing warming.* (Or provide some peer-reviewed citations.)

            *JK:* Then there is this:
            *1.* “we obtain a global warming signal of almost 0.2 degree K attributable to the 11-year solar cycle. *The statistical significance of such a globally coherent solar response at the surface is established for the first time* .” (GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L14703, doi:10.1029/2007GL030207, 2007)

            *2.* “A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th and early 21st centuries have produced *no deleterious effects upon Earth’s weather and climate. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth* . Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in hydrocarbon use and minor greenhouse gases like CO do not conform to current experimental knowledge. “(Journal of Amer ican Physi cians and Surgeons (2007) 12, 79-90.) (JPandS is the official journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons – jpands.org/)

            *David:* Most of the greenhouse effect is certainly natural. Natural CO2 accounts for 9% of it. But water vapor percentages remain unaffected by human activity (except for positive feedback effects),
            *JK:* Thanks for making my case. CO2 is a tiny part of any greenhouse effect. You only forgot to add that man is responsible for a tiny part of the tiny part attributable to CO2.

            *David:* … but CO2 levels do not. If a 280 ppm CO2 atmosphere can cause 9% of the natural greenhouse effect (15-30 C), why isn’t it plausible that a 35% increase in this gas would raise temperatures a couple of degrees?
            *JK:* Lets see (using your numbers.) 30 C x 9% = 2.7 C due to CO2. A 35% increase in 2.7 C is an additional 0.95 C. OK that is probably a number we can agree on. It’s probable effect can best be described as *trivial!*

            Now lets discount that to account for man’s part of CO2: 0.95 x 3% = 0.03 C

            * 0.03 degree!!! – that is the amount we can reduce warming be shutting down modern civilization.*

            *David:* Do you honestly think that in a couple hundred years of climate science, scientists have somehow overlooked these simple, elementary questions?
            *JK:* No they haven’t – that is why more and more are coming out against the Gore – Hansen- Mann “chicken little” garbage.

            *JK:* Here is a complete debunking, of the current climate models that people like you are using to try to hurt people by cutting off CO2:

            “We examine tropospheric temperature trends of 67 runs from 22 ‘Climate of the 20th Century’ model simulations and try to reconcile them with the best available updated observations (in the tropics during the satellite era). *Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere* , being separated by more than twice the uncertainty of the model mean. In layers near 5 km, the modelled trend is 100 to 300% higher than observed, and, above 8 km, modelled and observed trends have opposite signs. These conclusions contrast strongly with those of recent publications based on essentially the same data.” (A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions, Royal Meteorological Society, DOI: 10.1002/joc.1651)

            Dave, the line “ Model results and observed temperature trends are in disagreement in most of the tropical troposphere” says it all. I’ll put that in plain English for you:
            *The climate models’ results do not match the real world an thus the climate models are complete garbage.*

            I hope that you do remember one of the basic tenets of science is that it only take one fact to lay waste to a whole field of science. This is one such fact (of many, that you are ignoring).

            Thanks
            JK

  • David from Eugene

    The first thing to understand is about half the current price of oil is a speculative bubble that will burst. When that happens, the price of oil is going to drop and with that the cost of all energy. Exactly when it will burst is not known, but it is likely to happen before new production is on line. This is not to say we should not develop new production, but when the cost benefit analysis for that production is done that it be made using real not speculative oil prices. At that price point, oil shale and hard to develop fields don’t pencil out.

    Second, because the world wide demand for oil is going to grow over time as the middle class in China and India grows and there are a number of uses for oil that will be difficult to replace (i.e. aircraft fuel, powering military vehicles); we need to be using everyone else’s oil and save our domestic sources for future use.
    Third, because the resources necessary to support our current standard of living are finite and insufficient to provide that standard of living to the rest of the worlds population particularly the growing Chinese and Indian middle classes, our standard of living will need to change. We can make the necessary changes gradually or we can have them forced upon us.

    This means we need to do a number of things; first, move from an oil powered economy to an electric powered one. There is no reason that ground movement of freight and people could not be done with electric powered vehicles (i.e. electric powered cares trucks and trains). The development of electric powered high speed rail could reduce reliance on airline travel.

    Second expand our electric generation and distribution systems to support this transition. We need to develop solar wind, geo-thermal, and nuclear based electric generation. For pollution reasons (including CO2) coal and natural gas should be limited to zero emission generating plants.

    Nuclear power needs to be facilitated by the creation of a National Nuclear Power Generation Authority, developed on the French model, to design, build and operate the power plants and supporting facilities.

    Third, we need to reduce the amount and type of resources necessary to support our standard of living. And make this change in a manner that causes as little economic disruption as possible.

    • dean

      I mostly agree with David. If we want a serious nuclear program we need a big, expensive, highly trained government agency to deliver the goods and guard the waste. That is the price France has paid, and they seem happy with the tradeoffs. Maybe we should just hire them and have them bring some wine and cheese over with them.

      I do not believe that have solved their long term waste storage however, and will have the same trouble here.

      I also agree much of the run up in oil prices is likely a bubble. But the bubble itself likely reflects global demand exceding production capability. We are in for a roller coaster on oil prices, but the trend line will be up more than down unless and until we conserve and substitute.

      Jim…the EPA is my source. Environmental Protection Agency. Government scientists. Like the ones you want running nukes.

      Okay…when the wind dies in the Gorge, it dies everywhere else as well. Its called the Periodic Global Doldrums. Whatever you say Jim.

      Luddites? Solar thermal is quite high tech. And since it is new, so it is not supplying “major” amounts of electricity anywhere as of yet. We have to actually invest in it, bring it on line, ramp it up. No instant gratification here. You seem more like the luddite for wanting to remain reliant on 19th century fuels.

      I don’t demand anything. Drive a hummer if you want. Just pony up for the polluting privledge, same as me.

      If we tax carbon and rebate through the payroll tax, the incentive is to cut back on carbon, because one would get the same rebate no matter how wastefull or conservation minded they were. Smart, adaptive people will come out way ahead.

      Nukes in Eastern Oregon are your idea. Solve the water in the desert problem yourself.

      Yes…centuries old spalling concrete. Like the Sellwood Bridge.

      I don’t want you stuck on a tiny lot Jim. Live wherever you darn well please and can afford. There are dozens of large homes on acreage for sale near my place right now….today. Take a drive out here and look around. No shortage. Even cheaper acreage in Eastern Oregon. the Great Plains are a major bargain. Also very windy and sunny.

      Yes…grid stability is a challenge. Especially when the wind dies everywhere all at once (global doldrums). See solar thermal.

      Jim…why don’t you save me the effort and just TELL ALL
      of US the answers to your pop quiz?

      • David from Eugene

        Regarding how much speculation has added to the price of Oil. Last night an economist being interviewed on the News Hour estimated that the true price of oil is in the 80-90 dollar a barrel. He predicted that when the speculative bubble bursts that oil will drop below that value. That value seems to be consistent with statements attributed to unnamed Saudi oil ministry officials and Saudi OPEC staff that state that the current demand for oil would support a price in the 70-80 dollar range.

        • David

          $80/b oil would still be seriously stressing our economy. Any such fundamental commodity that increases by 100% in four years would.

          • David from Eugene

            But not as much stress as $140-150 a barrel puts on the economy . And please take note of the prediction of less then the 80-90 when the bubble bursts.

            Speaking of economic stress consider the 1,900% increase (13 billion to 260 billion dollars) in the investment in the food commodities market between late 2003 and March 2008.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Dean said:

    >”Rupert wrote:
    “I personally see no real advantage to having a Chinese oil well sitting in the gulf sending oil to China versus a Shell oil well doing the same.”

    LTR your own stuff Rupert. “< You absolutely can not read can you? No where in that sentence do I claim the Chinese have an oil well in the gulf. Good God man, get it together, I mean do something, this is absurd I mean really, how many times are you going to do this? LTR

    • dean

      Depends on what the meaning of “sitting in the gulf” is. I suppose it could mean it isn’t really “sitting” in the gulf. Could be floating. Or it could mean it is “sitting”somewhere else entirely. Or maybe a different gulf. There are tons of gulfs in the world. Maybe “China” means fancy dinner ware, not a country. But why would we send oil to dinner ware? That is a puzzle. Could be a metaphor. A fancy dish floating in the sea, covered in gooey oil. Scary imagery. It could mean Rupert is secretly an environmentalist and is against drilling in the ocean! Too risky! Ruin the dinner ware! Get it?! No…not that. Could mean darn near anything. Or nothing at all. (Picture a Pete Seeger-like figure scratching his bearded chin, gazing out at the weedy organic garden.)

      I see your point now Rupert. My apologies. I’ll work on my reading comprehension skills after I get done practicing the banjo.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    Look, you simply just need to take more time and actually read what someone is saying before going off half cocked as you did.

    Clearly the sentence doesn’t say what you thought, a re-read should have cleared that up for anyone when prompted to, as I did you.

    Obviously you didn’t do that and decided to cut and paste, compounding your error. You had a teleological construct in your mind based upon the fact that I made the argument, and not what the argument was in fact about.

    This mode has gotten you in trouble numerous times in the past. Why you persist in it is a mystery and how you think it is serving you is a greater enigma still. Perhaps those questions will not be solved, but one thing can be deduced with fair certainty. Someone who makes reading errors on such a consistent and profound basis clearly is not a well read person. For if they were, such errors of reading of the oppositions views would not be present on such a regular basis. Rebuttals would be thought out, reasoned, and the tactic of mis-reading and re-directing would not have to be employed. Clearly that is not the case with you.

    Who knows if you will consider this. I personally doubt you will. But if you think that your tactic of mis-reading and then trying to rebut an argument never made is fooling anyone, you are quite mistaken. It imparts little but provincialism. Someone who has heard and read only that with which he agrees, leaving him totally unprepared to argue confidently and so reduced to misdirection and folly.

    • dean

      Yes Rupert. Full agreement. Me not well red. You obviously did not mean that Chinese were actually sitting there in Gulf sending oil to China. This is clear as a bell in retrospect. I can’t believe I was that dumb! Doh!

      Also…your earlier “justices making wild pronouncements” post, after which you pointed out you did not really write what you wrote, was equally my fault. I should have noticed that you did not actually write what you wrote. I only imagined it. Dreamed it. Misunderstood the real meaning. Everything is my fault. I am liberal…I am guilty.

      I promise to work on it. Please don’t give up on me. But since I don’t seem to have this problem with others, only you, I am proposing I work on it within the framework of a slight modification to your acronym. I add an R, as in LTRR….Learn To Read Rupert.

      I’m committed to this Rupert. Work with me.

  • Jerry

    I, for one, am still haunted by the nightmare of The China Syndrome. I am very scared about any nuclear power of any kind anywhere.
    VERY AFRAID.

  • John in Oregon

    OK lets take a shot at replacing 20% of Oregon’s energy needs with solar.

    Presently solar panel cost is around $9 to $10 per watt. That works out to something like 30 cents per KiloWatt if we assume a service life of at least 30 years in properly located dessert solar farms, more like 40 years would be needed to break even on a house or building.

    Dean, the exciting development that you didn’t look up is an announcement by Nanosolar Technology. The announcement of the worlds first and only 1,000 MegaWatt solar manufacturing facility. It will be capable of producing 1,000 MW of solar panels each year. Existing plants are 10 to 30 Megawatt at best.

    Although the panels are a fairly poor 14% efficiency, the mass production technology will drive the cost per watt down to $5 and the company hopes to reach the $ 1 to $2 per watt range ultimately.

    This is a huge breakthrough.

    The twenty five percent electric power required in 2025 for _Oregon only_ is equal to 19,375,000 Megawatt hours per year. Solar generates power for an average of 8 hours per day or 33% of the time. And for properly located desert soar farms 300 days of sun is a reasonable assumption.

    So we need 8,073 Megawatts worth of panels to generate that 25%. If we get _all_ of Nanosolar Technology’s production it will only take 8,073 / 1,000 or 8 years to get that capacity manufactured for _Oregon_ only.

    Anyone who says wind and solar are the solutions coming on line in the next 10 years is dreaming. And that *totally ignores the problem of storing huge amounts of power for use at night. That technology doesn’t exist.*

    But that isnt the worst problem. Wind projects are being roadblocked across the country. And now solar is stalled as well.

    *Citing Need for Assessments, U.S. Freezes Solar Energy Projects*
    New York Times 6/27/08

    “Faced with a surge in the number of proposed solar power plants, the federal government has placed a moratorium on new solar projects on public land until it studies their environmental impact, which is expected to take about two years.”

    So there you have it folks. The dams must be ripped out, coal is not allowed, hell no to nuclear, and we have no practical way to store power if we could get solar on line. The lawsuits haven’t even started yet and the government answer is *NO solar* for at least two years. Once the lawsuits start then its what, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, Never?

    • dean

      John…no one says they are THE solutions. They are PART OF the solution, along with attic insulation, more efficient personal vehicles, lowering waste, and so forth.

      The demand for oil has run past available supply. We are going to have to pay more for it and learn to do with less of it. We need to stop whining, stop fighting amongst ourselves, stop trying to prop up a 19th century technology, and get busy with the future. It will be okay. We can do this.

  • Anonymous

    In looking through my collection of papers I again ran into the Naomi Oreskes article which David or Dean had previously mentioned and I decided to “pick some low hanging fruit” so to speak:

    Naomi Oreskes wrote: “That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords ‘global climate change’

    She missed these, that some might agree are relevant to the “global climate change” debate:

    *1.* “The resulting CO2 signal exhibits no systematic correspondence with the geologic record of climatic variations at tectonic time scales.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 99, No. 7, (Apr. 2, 2002), pp. 4167-4171

    *2.* “Surface winds and surface ocean hydrography in the subpolar North Atlantic appear to have been influenced by variations in solar output through the entire Holocene.” (Persistent Solar Influence on North Atlantic Climate During the Holocene, (SCIENCE, 7 DECEMBER 2001 VOL 294)

    *3.* The influence of solar variability on climate is currently uncertain. Recent observations have indicated a possible mechanism via the influence of solar modulated cosmic rays on global cloud cover. Surprisingly the influence of solar variability is strongest in low clouds #3 km, which points to a microphysical mechanism involving aerosol formation that is enhanced by ionization due to cosmic rays. If confirmed it suggests that the average state of the heliosphere is important for climate on Earth. (VOLUME 85, NUMBER 23 PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS 4 DECEMBER 2000)

    *4.* “We observe large, rapid climate fluctuations throughout the last galcial period..” Nature 366, 9 Dec 1993

    *5.* “Over the full 420 ka of the Vostok record, *CO2 variations lag behind atmospheric temperature changes in the Southern Hemisphere by 1.3+/-1.0 ka,*” (Quaternary Science Reviews 20 (2001) 583 -589)

    Conclusion:
    Naomi Oreskes criteria missed many relevant papers. *The claim that no peer reviewed articles oppose man caused warming is proven wrong.*

    So, please DO NOT EVER AGAIN CITE NAOMI IN A CREDIBLE LIGHT.

    Thanks
    JK

  • Jerry

    One thing I notice all the time is that no one seems to credit human bodies with global warming. This is nonsense. Have you ever been to a large sporting event in an enclosed area? The place heats up like crazy just from the bodies. If people are around 98 degrees, doesn’t it stand to reason that if you have 6+ billion of them things would warm up???
    And guess what comes out of our lungs???
    Wow – people do cause global warming. Just not in the way most suspect.

  • Anonymous

    dean said,
    “The demand for oil has run past available supply”

    Oh Bull.

    Supply is plentiful. It’s extraction that is not keeping pace with demand. The reason is there are too many deans using their left wing agenda to block it.

    • dean

      Correction. The demand has outrun the available production capacity. Prices will stay very high or keep going higher unless and until demand comes down or production capacity goes up.

      I’m honored to be attributed so much power. But I think my fellow left-winger John McCain has done more to block ANWR drilling than little old me, And my other fellow left-wingers Arnold the Schwartz (coastal Californial) and Jeb Bush (Florida Gulf) have guarded the beaches.

      JK…you need to let go of this at some point. Its not healthy for you.

      • Anonymous

        *David:* JK…you need to let go of this at some point. Its not healthy for you.
        *JK:* Just trying to de-program some of Gore’s zombies.

        Thanks
        JK

        • dean

          So many zombies, so little time. Anyway…we are not unreasonable. All we want to do is to eat your brain.

  • Jerry

    What about my theory on the real cause of global warming above???
    I think I may be on to something.
    Can someone do the math?
    6+ billion times the heat output of one body?
    Add that in to the mix and you have got warming for sure!!
    Am I the only person to have thought of this? I have never seen this theory anywhere!
    A little help here…

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