Patterico's Pontifications

3/31/2008

Al Gore Kicks Off Campaign

Filed under: 2008 Election,Environment — DRJ @ 10:56 am

[Guest post by DRJ]

Today in Nashville, former Vice President Al Gore kicked off his campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

“Former Vice President Al Gore on Monday launched a three-year, multimillion-dollar advocacy campaign calling for the U.S. to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

The Alliance for Climate Protection’s campaign, dubbed “we,” will combine advertising, online organizing and partnerships with grassroots groups to educate the public about global warming and urge solutions from elected officials.

“We’re trying to get a movement happening to switch public opinion so that our leaders feel, ‘Wow! We really need to make this a top priority issue,'” Alliance CEO Cathy Zoi told The Associated Press.”

Excitement and PR. Wow!

There was also this statement from Al Gore:

“When politicians hear the American people calling loud and clear for change, they’ll listen,” Gore, the former Tennessee senator and 2000 presidential candidate, said in a statement. Gore’s staff did not respond to calls seeking further comment.”

I think Gore kicked off another kind of campaign, too.

— DRJ

102 Responses to “Al Gore Kicks Off Campaign”

  1. How much money do you think Gore is going to make from this?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  2. This is simply propoganda, using the mechanics of capitalism to make a few bucks off the backs of those that suspend critical thinking for the good of Mother Gaia.

    JD (75f5c3)

  3. Gore is campaigning for jerk of the year.

    PCD (5ebd0e)

  4. National Review Online has a horribly unflattering yet strangely appropriate picture of Gore on its Planet Gore Blog.

    JVW (0b3fa7)

  5. So what do you call it when Al Gore spends $300 million on a public relations campaign to pressure the government to make laws that make people buy carbon credits from his $5 billion dollar investment firm. I’m looking for the legal term here … Surely one of you lawyers know the answer.

    bill-tb (26027c)

  6. Where does the $300 million come from?

    davod (5bdbd3)

  7. a good start to cutting down on greenhouse gases would be for him to shut his pie hole….

    redc1c4 (a877b7)

  8. So now Gore’s just a big lobbyist for his numerous “carbon offset” scams. Classy. Maybe some day someone in the press will call him on his bullshit, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    gabriel (6d7447)

  9. I don’t get it.

    We have thousands of corporations working tirelessly with the elected officials they’ve sponsored for decades to destroy public health, environmental, and safety regulations, and Al Gore comes along trying raise public interest in standing against that corrosive current, and he gets 100% of the ire because he stands to maybe make a bit of money?

    You really don’t get the environmental problem we’re facing here. We don’t need to regulate businesses into bankruptcy and we don’t need to tell people what to do, but the balance is severely out of whack on this issue. One side is winning, the other is losing, and trust me, we don’t want the environment to be losing any more than it already is.

    Levi (76ef55)

  10. That 60 minutes piece was pure fluff, its like they are not even trying.

    A real reporter would have dug into the financing of this thing, because we all know that no one is throwing in millions for the feel-good effect it brings, they are expecting a return of some kind.

    This whole thing is going to make the Eugenics movement look tame in comparison. It will happen in my lifetime, and I hope I’m alive to see it, Al Gore will be held up as the biggest fool in existence. History if its written by rational and logical people will not be kind to this attention whore.

    gabriel (6d7447)

  11. Levi

    You really don’t get the environmental problem we’re facing here

    Would that include the biofuel boondoggle? You know that “green solution” that enriches people like the excreble Soros while food prices go up and the Amazon rainforest is stripped?

    The best energy solution is nuclear, but you know, cheap/clean energy is not really what Goracle and his ilk want.

    Darleen (187edc)

  12. gabriel

    “fluff” doesn’t quite describe the verbal Lewinsky Gore received from Leslie Stahl.

    Darleen (187edc)

  13. LEVI KNOWS MORE THAN ALL OF YOU COMBINED IF ALGORE HAD NOT HAD THE 2000 ELECTION STOLEN BY THE DUMMEREST PRESIDENT EVAH! ALGORE WOULD HAVE HEALED THE WORLD BY NOW

    JD (75f5c3)

  14. The advertising is going to be purchased through Tipper’s new PR firm, right?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  15. I hope the FCC or appropriate bodies take a real hard look at the advertising before letting it run on our airwaves or else add the same kind of disclaimers the British started requiring before allowing Gore’s infomercial to be shown to their schoolchildren.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  16. You really don’t get the environmental problem we’re facing here

    Would that be the environmental strains caused by 20 million illegal aliens?

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  17. JD,#13, I’m sure you’re right and that is why we are all just “dumb hillbilly f***ing retards” (I believe those were his words…).

    Three words that make responsible people shudder, especially when earnestly expressed:

    Educate the public”

    (Lefty code for higher taxes)

    Dana (fba430)

  18. I think Gore may be staffing a skeleton organization while waiting to see if this guy can handle a real campaign and how the convention turns out.

    The carbon offset stuff goes on while the real technology that may solve the energy problem, or a big part of it, is going along beneath the radar. Google “Archaea” and read a bit about the discoveries of these organisms that can make oil from waste and natural gas from coal without burning it or even digging it up. The science is coming and the politicians know nothing about it.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  19. I don’t get it.

    that was the most sensible part of your post….

    redc1c4 (a877b7)

  20. Excellent redc1c4

    daleyrocks (906622)

  21. What are the implications of campaign finance reform laws?

    Will Al Gore be prohibited from running because he’s spent so much money on what are effectively campaign commercials?

    Or can Hillary raise $100M from a single anonymous donor, who would then cut a bunch of ads showing Hillary talking about the importance of climate change, or saving Social Security, or some other such controversy?

    Do campaign finance reform laws only kick in the moment someone officially becomes a candidate?

    These seem like crazy loopholes that could be exploited in future elections if Gore isn’t barred from running for president in this race.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  22. “the balance is severely out of whack on this issue”

    When that river (or was that Lake Erie?) in Cleveland caught fire and the Boston Harbor smelled of sewage and chemicals and LA routinely had dozens of ‘bad air’ days each year and Old Orchard Beach had more trash on it then seaweed – what was that?

    I can see how someone under 40 might not be aware of how much progress we’ve made, in America anyway, on the environment but anybody over 40 that’s bemoaning how corporations have ruined our environment is either deluded (with a memory hole that goes to forever) or lying. Enviornmentalists get the credit for this. Or they would if they weren’t so busy hiding these facts. After all, an enviornmentalist without a cause is just a hippie.

    Sweetie (2fd7f7)

  23. “You really don’t get the environmental problem we’re facing here.”

    Levi, can you summarize the problem as you see it in a few quick bullet points, or link such a summary? You sound genuinely concerned.

    gp (b7b196)

  24. The best energy solution is nuclear, but you know, cheap/clean energy is not really what Goracle and his ilk want.

    Oh my god, something smart, first I’ve seen all day!

    I think nuclear power is great, and it’s one of the great failures of late 20th century politicians that we let something like Three Mile Island and that Soviet high school experiment at Cherynobyl prevent us from building more plants. It’s insane how better off we’d be.

    My fantasy environmental solution involves fully or partially supplanting airlines and highways with a nuclear-powered mag-level train network, like the Japanese use. Rail is the most energy efficient and cost effective way of moving both people and freight, and that’s what we need to be striving for here, optimum efficiency.

    Levi (76ef55)

  25. For as long as I remain pregnant, I will continue to make my contributions to increasing the amount of greenhouse gasses into the air (anyone who has been pregnant will know exactly what I mean :) ).

    Scoop11 (58ca0a)

  26. “it’s one of the great failures of late 20th century politicians that we let something like Three Mile Island and that Soviet high school experiment at Cherynobyl prevent us from building more plants.”

    Sheesh, this is hilarious. Where do you come up with these fatuous statements?

    It is the failure of silly twits who believe the nonsense that the “environmental” movement say – blaming politicians is just another silly statement by you.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  27. “My fantasy environmental solution…”

    Oh dear.

    Dana (fba430)

  28. When that river (or was that Lake Erie?) in Cleveland caught fire

    That was the Cuyahoga River in Ohio.

    Steverino (e00589)

  29. Turning off the lights on the western span the Golden Gate Bridge for an hour saves as much electricity as Al Gore shutting off the lights in his mansion for thirteen minutes.

    Oh, yeah, Gore really really believes in energy conservation.

    For us little people.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  30. Don’t hold it against Levi that he wasn’t even born when Three Mile Island happened and that he was still a baby when the Chernobyl accident occurred. Everything he knows about the incidents is colored by after the fact impressions of others including the leftist cant of whomever pissed in his Wheaties to give him his current worldview.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  31. If CO2 is the problem, nuclear is the answer.

    bill-tb (26027c)

  32. Today in Nashville, former Vice President Al Gore kicked off his campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    Why?

    N. O'Brain (9056e2)

  33. gabriel wrote: This whole thing is going to make the Eugenics movement look tame in comparison. It will happen in my lifetime, and I hope I’m alive to see it, Al Gore will be held up as the biggest fool in existence.

    You forget: two of the most prominent figures of the eugenics movement — Margaret Sanger and Alan Guttmacher — have been whitewashed by liberal academia, crypto-socialist historians, and their sycophants in the MSM. Instead of being recognized as American advocates of fascism and bigotry on scale with the Ku Klux Klan, Sanger and Guttmacher are advertised as visionaries fighting for the “reproductive rights” of women and for the betterment of society through the prevention of “overpopulation.” The only worse examples of such revisionist history I can cite at this moment are Che Guevara and Fidel Castro.

    The education and news industries don’t have the honesty to address their own bias. Knowing that any substantive scrutiny could only be done with their consent and cooperation, they simply decline, and do their damndest to make those who recognize what they really are seem like the oddballs. The new media has helped blunt their overwhelming influence, but not nearly enough to make a difference…yet.

    L.N. Smithee (28bb98)

  34. Levi, can you summarize the problem as you see it in a few quick bullet points, or link such a summary? You sound genuinely concerned.

    It’s just time. We’re going to have to get rid of oil as the lifeblood of our economy sooner or later, and we might as well do it in the most sustainable way possible. Industrialization has brought us tremendous wealth at the expense of our environment, but I think we’re clever enough to figure out how to keep generating that wealth without the huge costs on the environment at this point.

    Levi (76ef55)

  35. Levi wrote: We’re going to have to get rid of oil as the lifeblood of our economy sooner or later

    …and the vacuum will be filled by…WHAT?

    L.N. Smithee (28bb98)

  36. Environmentalism is a fad that only the wealthiest of nations can afford.

    A point most “environmentalists” are completely ignorant of.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. L.N. Smithee, soybeans. We’ll have soybean based plastics, soybean based clothing, soybean based lubricants, soybean based dyes, and our homes will be heated by soybeans.

    Of course, we’ll have to cover every continent including Antarctica with soybean farms.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  38. …and the vacuum will be filled by…WHAT?

    A combination of things, hopefully, so that our economy could better absorb fluctuating fuel costs.

    But lots of things have to change that you’re probably not thinking of, like smarter community planning and giving tax credits to keep affluent people in cities. We just don’t need to be driving this much. The suburbanization of America and the extended commutes that that process necessitates is what’s made us the biggest consumer of oil.

    Levi (76ef55)

  39. In response to my query of what would be “the lifeblood of our economy” once we “get rid of oil,” Levi wrote:

    A combination of things, hopefully, so that our economy could better absorb fluctuating fuel costs.

    But lots of things have to change that you’re probably not thinking of, like smarter community planning and giving tax credits to keep affluent people in cities. We just don’t need to be driving this much. The suburbanization of America and the extended commutes that that process necessitates is what’s made us the biggest consumer of oil.

    What society should America use as a model for such drastic change of not only the American way of life, but the American psyche? Do you have any ideas, or is your concept strictly utopian?

    L.N. Smithee (28bb98)

  40. In other words, Levi, you have no idea how to replace a petroleum based economy.

    You seem not to even actually understand how much of petroleum uses are not automobile fuel.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  41. giving tax credits to keep affluent people in cities.

    Levi – you do not give tax credits to the rich, that has been one of the stoopiderest aspects of the Bush tax cuts for Paris Hilton. You tax the affluent into submission. Teh Narrative must be maintained.

    JD (fc3e1d)

  42. After all, an enviornmentalist without a cause is just a hippie.

    Sweetie,
    Can I steal use that?!?

    X_LA_Native (3eed8d)

  43. I think nuclear power is great, and it’s one of the great failures of late 20th century politicians that we let something like Three Mile Island and that Soviet high school experiment at Cherynobyl prevent us from building more plants.

    Levi, go rent The China Syndrome to see just who really was the culprit in stopping the building of nuclear power plants in the US.

    It isn’t a coincidence that three of Hollywood’s biggest liberals of the 80s are in the starring roles.

    Paul (b8f307)

  44. Levi’s self-contradictions…

    In #24, he revealed himself as the Marxist he must be when he said “… that’s what we need to be striving for here, optimum efficiency.”
    Sounds strangely like an advocate of Scientific Socialism to me.

    And then, in #38, he’s revealed as an advocate of Welfare for the Rich, when he says “… giving tax credits to keep affluent people in cities…”.

    A Marxist who advocates a giant central plan, but who wishes to allow the “affluent” to maintain, if not improve, their lifestyle of conspicuous, urban consumption.

    BDM!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  45. Paul wrote of The China Syndrome: It isn’t a coincidence that three of Hollywood’s biggest liberals of the 80s are in the starring roles.

    Jane Fonda, check. Michael Douglas, check.

    Jack Lemmon? News to me.

    BTW — what many people missed about China Syndrome is that in the end, despite the evil plot from the utility company and the contractors who falsified the welds, the plant held up despite a purposeful act risking a meltdown.

    Propaganda or not, it was a great movie. Lemmon as Jack Godell was never better, and Dustin Hoffman said as much as he accepted the Best Actor Oscar for the ridiculously overrated Kramer vs. Kramer. Whatever happened to Justin Henry, anyhoo?

    L.N. Smithee (28bb98)

  46. If a Black messiah collides with a Green messiah, do they cancel each other out in a violent burst of Sanctimony?

    Or do they collapse into a Strange Brew the size of Jupiter?

    mojo (528dd1)

  47. Solar panels. Millions of solar panels, covering vast tracts of otherwise useless states (like Nevada, or Montana… or New Mexico, I suppose, though I’m loathe to admit such).

    I’m fine with nuclear energy, but solar energy (unlike limited nuclear fuel) is going to be around forever, and there’s plenty to go around (if you can harvest it).

    I think energy companies could make a HUGE killing off solar energy if they were willing to make that first capital-intensive investment. Processing costs on solar energy are essentially nil (which leads to huge profit margins for anyone willing to take the first step).

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  48. but solar energy (unlike limited nuclear fuel) is going to be around forever, and there’s plenty to go around (if you can harvest it).

    Yeah, but you can’t run on solar 24/7…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  49. Euthanasia and birth control.

    Kill everyone over sixty, limit births to one child per parent. Should any parent contribute genetic material to more than one child, kill him or her to make room for the child.

    nk (34c5da)

  50. “Yeah, but you can’t run on solar 24/7…”

    – Scott Jacobs

    Yikes.

    You can harvest solar energy. You take in more than you need during the day, and you store it for subsequent use.

    Besides, the sun’s always shining on one part of the planet or another. If companies spread solar farms across several different countries, they can harvest energy 24/7/365.

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  51. I hope you weren’t kidding. If you were, I’ll feel stupid.

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  52. Leviticus – Surely, Ted Kennedy will oppose that based on the decrease in property values near the sun farms.

    JD (75f5c3)

  53. Is that supposed to dissuade me? I’ve yet to find a politician in either party for whom I have a genuine liking.

    Anyway, what makes you say that? To what past action of Kennedy’s do you refer?

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  54. You can harvest solar energy. You take in more than you need during the day, and you store it for subsequent use.

    And you really think we can collect enough in the US to power us at night?

    Do you have any idea how much power NYC alone uses?

    God, it’s like I’m watching some sory of retarded butterfly when I look at you. Neat to watch, but yet, it’s still retarded…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  55. To what past action of Kennedy’s do you refer?

    Why, that would be his blocking of wind farms near his home, my dear dunce…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  56. You can harvest solar energy. You take in more than you need during the day, and you store it for subsequent use.

    Solar cells are still ridiculously inefficient. The best of the prototype bleeding edge deals that I’ve seen still only capture around 40% of the energy they recieve, not to mention that they cost absurd sums of money. Then you have to take into account care and cleaning.

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  57. Leviticus – Look up what he and his fellow robber baron neighbors did to the wind farms near his home.

    BTW – You really ought to get Levi to change its name.

    JD (75f5c3)

  58. nk wrote (in jest): Kill everyone over sixty, limit births to one child per parent. Should any parent contribute genetic material to more than one child, kill him or her to make room for the child.

    No can do, my friend. People are going to live to be 150 or even forever, according to Barbara Walters. She should know — she visited the people that have Ted Williams in a deep freeze.

    Something just occurred to me — if Barbara Walters lives to be 150, we’ll have to see her on TV for another 55 years. Heh-heh!

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  59. “And you really think we can collect enough in the US to power us at night?”

    – Scott Jacobs

    Yes.

    “Do you have any idea how much power NYC alone uses?”

    – Scott Jacobs

    Also “Yes”. Now, do you have any idea how much energy the sun emits every second of every day? Compare the two. Even you should be able to figure out where I’m going with this.

    Taltos – the point is, once you get a strong solar infrastructure into place, you have an essentially timeless source of clean energy. Insofar as care and cleaning go: we could use the jobs.

    In re: Levi changing his/her name – Why? It’s a free country, and everyone who’s been here a while know’s difference the two of us.

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  60. Scott Jacobs wrote: Yeah, but you can’t run on solar 24/7…

    Leviticus responded: You can harvest solar energy. You take in more than you need during the day, and you store it for subsequent use.

    Hydroelectric, wind, and nuclear never sleep. Solar does.

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  61. JD wrote regarding Ted Kennedy: Leviticus – Look up what he and his fellow robber baron neighbors did to the wind farms near his home.

    It’s a classic Orwellian scenario: Some animals are more equal than others. In this case, pigs.

    L.N. Smithee (e1f2bf)

  62. An interesting exercise for those enamored with solar energy is to calculate the amount of solar energy that reaches the ground in terms of watts per square foot … and the average household’s usage.

    Ignoring just the problem of photovoltaic efficiency mentioned, you’ll be amazed at how much acreage we’d have to cover in solar collectors. Its really not a replacement for coal, nuclear etc.

    And that does not even begin to discuss the toxic waste disposal problems of PPV cell manufacture.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  63. AL GORE is going to spend several million dollars to brainwash people with his radical ideas he is becoming more like a fnatical cult leader and he is a cult leader the leader of the cult of pagan earth worshipping new age crack-pots he is radical fanatic he needs to be brought to heel from his inister plot

    krazy kagu (6c9901)

  64. An interesting exercise for those enamored with solar energy is to calculate the amount of solar energy that reaches the ground in terms of watts per square foot … and the average household’s usage.

    If I remember my physics from college (and, no, Isaac Newton was not my professor), that’s roughly 100 watts per square meter. A square meter is roughly 10.8 square feet.

    I am not certain whether there’s enough raw material to create enough photovoltaics to power the country.

    Steverino (e00589)

  65. I am not certain whether there’s enough raw material to create enough photovoltaics to power the country.

    So what, we shouldn’t build solar panels? It’s not like we have to put all of our eggs in one basket, and power the whole country on one thing. That’s an impossible standard to meet.

    Anti-solar panel arguments, I mean, you guys are a brain trust.

    Levi (76ef55)

  66. Hydroelectric, wind, and nuclear never sleep. Solar does.

    Well, wind definitely does sleep–it doesn’t blow all the time. Hydroelectric is inherently limited due to the tendency of reservoirs (especially in the Southwest US, the best place to have ’em) to silt up.

    Solar of course only takes in during the day. That’s why we have batteries–the first problem with solar. One of my friends in the chemistry department here is working on a new lithium ion battery using V2O5 in ambigel form. If he succeeds (and he’s getting close), then we could drastically reduce the cost and increase the effectiveness of batteries for solar. His theoretical calculations are pretty convincing–something like a 20% increase in the amount of electricity stored, and more importantly, a five-fold longer lifespan of the battery. Lithium ion batteries should work really well, but most of the existing technologies use lithium metal, which is highly reactive (remember that huge battery recall a while back? That was the problem there).

    The other problem with solar is the expense and efficiency of the cells themselves. The best technology in use today takes like 10 years to make back the energy it took to make the thing in the first place. I just heard a seminar a couple weeks ago about quantum dots (the math gets hairy for these suckers), which if they work out, could potentially be made into a paintable form. Imagine that–a solar panel you could paint onto your roof!

    In other words, Levi, you have no idea how to replace a petroleum based economy.

    You seem not to even actually understand how much of petroleum uses are not automobile fuel.

    Well, I think we can all see that we’re going to have to move past petroleum at some point, and I mentioned the energy issue already. There’s only so much of it and we’re using it up faster and faster. SPQR, you’re right about petroleum being in literally everything–pretty much all plastics are petroleum based. I work in a synthetic organic chemistry lab, and all the reagents and solvents and so forth we used are either petroleum based or used lots of petroleum products to be created. I’ve been reading recently about biological plastics (not an expert here by any means), but apparently you can make some plastics (called bioplastics) from natural oil sources or bacteria. It’s nowhere near to replacing crude oil, but it’s a start.

    Millions of solar panels, covering vast tracts of otherwise useless states (like Nevada, or Montana… or New Mexico, I suppose, though I’m loathe to admit such).

    I think the roof plan is better. I’m not going to volunteer to run the Montanaites off their land. *shiver*

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  67. So what, we shouldn’t build solar panels?

    That’s not at all what I said, and it’s rather stupid of you to infer it.

    I was responding to Leviticus’s statement at #47 where he called for millions of solar panels.

    Adults are talking here, go and play somewhere else.

    Steverino (e00589)

  68. “An interesting exercise for those enamored with solar energy is to calculate the amount of solar energy that reaches the ground in terms of watts per square foot … and the average household’s usage.”

    – SPQR

    And heaven forbid that the average household’s usage should have to drop at all, right?

    Leviticus (c0fabb)

  69. You first. I like my lights, TV, computer, and microwave oven…

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  70. Storing solar energy…
    We have enough trouble coming up with batteries that can effectively run a car for a useful length of time/effort; how in hell do you think we’re going to be able to come up with storage batteries to power a city, let alone the country?
    Where will we put them? Since all batteries have a duty-cycle life, where will we dispose of the worn-out ones (something that was never considered by the elec car creeps)?

    Also, changing hats, shouldn’t the phrase 24/7/365, actually be 24/7/52?
    Logical progressions anyone?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  71. That’s not at all what I said, and it’s rather stupid of you to infer it.

    I was responding to Leviticus’s statement at #47 where he called for millions of solar panels.

    Adults are talking here, go and play somewhere else.

    Calm down buddy, I’m just getting into the conversation here.

    It’s just the general nay-saying that confuses me. The constant,subtle, yet all-permeating anti-environmentalism. I mean what are your solutions, if solar panels are so bad? Criticism only counts for anything if you provide some alternatives. But most of you seem content with ‘ my lights, TV, computer, and microwave oven.’

    Levi (76ef55)

  72. Leviticus, I have an 1100 square foot house, three bedrooms, one bath, no garage. For me to meet the energy usage I have now I would have to have approximately 900 square feet of solar cells, with enough batteries for storage to take up the space of about 700 more square feet. The costs of the batteries alone is about $6,000. The solar cells needed would cost about $24,000. The batteries would have to be replaced about every three years, and they are NOT DISPOSABLE, meaning we have to create a place for their disposal that will cost 5-10 times more than the batteries themselves. I’ve been in my house 26 years, meaning I’ve had 8 sets of batteries, and replaced my solar cells at least once, probably twice. Total costs so far, about $100,000 in current costs, and they won’t get cheaper, and that doesn’t include costs of disposal of the batteries. So, we’re looking at $150-200,000 costs for just one house to use solar power on an annual basis.

    How do we supply that type of power for a high rise condominium in New York City???

    reff (bff229)

  73. Leviticus – I propose that we implement your solution in Massachusetts, Washington DC, Chicago, New York, and the state of California first.

    JD (75f5c3)

  74. Oh, and Leviticus, my energy usage goes UP at night…I’m not home during the day, and shut off everything but the fridge and freezer….

    reff (bff229)

  75. Sorry Leviticus….misread something and posted my last….please ignore it…

    reff (bff229)

  76. It’s just the general nay-saying that confuses me.

    If someone proposes landing a spacecraft on the sun, I’ll say it can’t be done. That doesn’t make me a nay-sayer, simply recognizing the physical impossibility.

    The constant,subtle, yet all-permeating anti-environmentalism.

    Please show any quote of mine in this thread where I claim to be opposed to environmentalism. If you can’t, kindly shut your pie hole on this issue.

    I mean what are your solutions, if solar panels are so bad?

    I never said solar panels are bad. In fact, I never said anything about them. It’s my believe solar panels are inadequate, but until now I haven’t said as much and it’s not the same thing as saying they’re bad.

    Criticism only counts for anything if you provide some alternatives.

    That’s rich, given your response at #38, when you offered no alternatives at all.

    Steverino (e00589)

  77. Levi is a chicken solar-panelist.

    JD (75f5c3)

  78. Steverino – Levi’s proposed alternatives generally involve jailing President Bush, the stoopiderst President EVAH!, calling others names, taxing the holy hell out of the rich, etc …

    JD (75f5c3)

  79. The amount of energy that our society is using will only increase, not decrease. Envisioning some vague massive decrease in the amount of energy used is just a Luddite fantasy.

    Power sources such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, etc., that are being touted could not in their most optimistic undertake more than a tiny fraction of the increases needed. These misnamed “alternative” energy sources are simply not.

    Estimates for energy use in this country show that we will in fact increase our usage of fossil fuels – mostly coal – for electric generation in coming decades. There are no serious proposals that have any potential to change that with the sole exception of nuclear.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  80. I am not certain whether there’s enough raw material to create enough photovoltaics to power the country.

    Sure there are. It’d break the country, but we could do it in a couple years if we really wanted to. Existing solar cells use crystalline silicon or cadmium telluride–there’s plenty of that stuff. To power the whole country, we’d need about 10,000 square miles (according to my napkin calculation) of solar cells using existing technology. A large amount but not insurmountable, and solar cells are improving every day. The best technology now is about 40% efficient, and I bet 60% efficiency is not too far off.

    In any case, we don’t need to rely totally on solar panels and batteries. There’s still wind, biomass, solar technology that doesn’t involve cells like solar thermal towers and so forth, and coal (for a while anyway).

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  81. The amount of energy that our society is using will only increase, not decrease. Envisioning some vague massive decrease in the amount of energy used is just a Luddite fantasy.

    I think the point Levi, Leviticus, and I are trying to make is that energy consumption is going to have to decrease. Current technologies, on a very basic level, use up resources that are eventually gone. There’s only so much fossil fuel on the planet, and it will run out eventually.

    Power sources such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, etc., that are being touted could not in their most optimistic undertake more than a tiny fraction of the increases needed. These misnamed “alternative” energy sources are simply not.

    Rubbish. Of course, pressing every single form of renewable energy into service is going to be barely enough to power our needs as currently formulated, but as for solar, it can theoretically supply ~1000 ZJ (that’s 10^15 joules), while worldwide energy consumption is about 0.417 ZJ. Of course we couldn’t take advantage of more than a fraction of that energy, but don’t dismiss solar as some kind of pie-in-the-sky fantasy. Where do you think all the energy in that coal and gasoline comes from?

    Estimates for energy use in this country show that we will in fact increase our usage of fossil fuels – mostly coal – for electric generation in coming decades. There are no serious proposals that have any potential to change that with the sole exception of nuclear.

    Yes, the US has a tremendous amount of coal, more than any other country. It’s also the dirtiest and most CO2-intensive power technology. There’s going to have to be a place for coal in our power scheme, but just mindlessly increasing our power production solely on the back of more and more coal is suicidal. What are we going to do when the coal runs out? We have to take a hard look into the future and figure out something that can work in the long term and isn’t just going to collapse catastrophically.

    As Edward Abbey said, growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  82. Power sources such as photovoltaics, wind turbines, etc., that are being touted could not in their most optimistic undertake more than a tiny fraction of the increases needed. These misnamed “alternative” energy sources are simply not.

    You sound like some crackpot inventor from the 1890’s that insisted that mankind had already achieved every technological goal there ever could be.

    No one is saying we want to supplant entirely our oil based economy with any one thing. But that process will be necessary at some point, and it’s going to take decades, so we need to start doing these things as soon as possible, because we’re going to have to do them anyway.

    Even if solar, wind, geothermal, whatever, only pick up 10% or 5% of the slack, that’s good, because that is perpetually renewable energy. You people are looking for a magic bullet to excuse laziness and wastefulness. But society can only progress incrementally, and these changes will be forced on us down the road anyway, why resist so much?

    Levi (76ef55)

  83. I think the point Levi, Leviticus, and I are trying to make is that energy consumption is going to have to decrease.

    Then not only do you have to decrease usage by people NOW, but stop the increase in population.

    Scott Jacobs (fa5e57)

  84. Then not only do you have to decrease usage by people NOW, but stop the increase in population.

    I think you misunderstand me. I’m making a descriptive (as opposed to normative) claim. I’m saying that existing power generation technology is based on using up finite resources. Eventually these resources will be gone, and there will be no more power to be had from those technologies.

    That said, I do agree that we need to do both things you suggest. I find it heartening in Europe and Japan the birthrate has tapered off. I would want to just stabilize ours though, and not end up at a birthrate of 1 like Russia–that could cause catastrophic economic consequences. It’s something to keep in mind, though.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  85. Then not only do you have to decrease usage by people NOW, but stop the increase in population.

    Not necessarily, you can innovate and plan ahead to offset population growth.

    Slowing down the birth rate isn’t necessarily a bad idea though, either.

    Levi (76ef55)

  86. To power the whole country, we’d need about 10,000 square miles (according to my napkin calculation) of solar cells using existing technology.

    You’d need more space than that, at least another 5000 square miles worth. The panels have to be serviced, and you need space between them in order to do that.

    By the way, there isn’t “plenty” of cadmium telluride around. Tellurium is one of the 9 rarest elements on earth.

    Steverino (e00589)

  87. I have no problem with a combination of solar, nuclear, and biodiesel energy; hell, tack on as many alternative energy sources as you want to that list. I just think that

    a) It’s stupid not to prepare for an eventual shortage of fossil fuels.

    b) It’s stupid not to harness something so abundant as sunlight, particularly when that sunlight is a perfectly viable source of energy.

    c) It’s stupid to be critically dependent on any other country when we (the U.S.) are a vast and powerful nation with an abundance of natural resources.

    d) It’s stupid to stick your head in the sand in the face of all these problems. There are worse things than conservation.

    I realize that there are problems with solar energy; there are problems with all types of alternative energy. I also know that this country is home to an army of brilliant scientists, inventors, etc. I think they can work out the kinks if we give them some sort of vocal go-ahead.

    “Leviticus – I propose that we implement your solution in Massachusetts, Washington DC, Chicago, New York, and the state of California first.”

    – JD

    Fine with me. I think you’re mistakenly reading some political slant into my choice of Nevada, Montana, and New Mexico; in truth, I chose those examples because they are sunny, flat, and empty.

    I live in New Mexico, and I’ve driven across Nevada more times than I can count on fingers and toes (my grandma used to live in Reno): there’s a whole lotta nothing out there that could be put to good use.

    Question: is there any way to bypass batteries when it comes to solar panels? Some way to wire solar panels directly into a house/building, for instance?

    Leviticus (ed6d31)

  88. By the way, there isn’t “plenty” of cadmium telluride around

    Yeah, but there is loads of silicon. That’s beside the point anyway. The new solar technology I’m talking about–nanocrystal (or quantum dot) solar cells–hopefully wouldn’t require tremendous maintenance. As I said earlier, they might be incorporated into some kind of paint, which would vastly simplify those issues you bring up.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  89. Question: is there any way to bypass batteries when it comes to solar panels? Some way to wire solar panels directly into a house/building, for instance?

    Yeah, of course. One of the things you can do with solar is just have it power your house when you need it and when you don’t send it back into the grid. If you want to power your house using only solar you need batteries, but they can help out the whole electricity system quite a bit if you’ve got massive numbers doing it.

    Fine with me. I think you’re mistakenly reading some political slant into my choice of Nevada, Montana, and New Mexico; in truth, I chose those examples because they are sunny, flat, and empty.

    One problem with that idea is the amount of power lost in transmission–usually between 30-50% depending on how far. If you’re trying to power New York from Nevada it’s a real problem. Another cool development I’ve been watching recently is high-temperature superconductors (meaning like 100 kelvin as opposed to 4 kelvin), which could solve those problems. The neatest idea I’ve heard involves using big underground tubes to send electricity across the country cooled with liquid hydrogen, which can then be used to power fuel-cell cars.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  90. Leviticus-
    either batteries or capacitors are needed to even out the spikes in demand.
    new technology being worked out for “Inkjet” printed solar cells.
    Best investment IMO is Fuel Cell Tech. Once price point is brought down, you could get rid of the Electric Grid as each customer becomes it’s own generator.
    Prototype fuel cell cars could actually power a small home! Here’s a link to browse. http://www.fuelcells.org/

    paul from fl (47918a)

  91. Russell, you and Levi are just fantasizing. There are no practical proposals to do any of what you suggest. Repeating “well, we’ll just have to” is meaningless noise. The use of “alternative” power sources are just meaningless exercises in political correctness. Utility operators invest in them for politics, not to actually meet the needs of their electrical customers. More coal power plants are being built every year.

    Until the misnamed “environmental” movement demands the commencement of construction of one hundred new nuclear power plants, it will remain nothing but fantasy and masturbation.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  92. SPQR:

    Russell, you and Levi are just fantasizing. There are no practical proposals to do any of what you suggest. Repeating “well, we’ll just have to” is meaningless noise. The use of “alternative” power sources are just meaningless exercises in political correctness. Utility operators invest in them for politics, not to actually meet the needs of their electrical customers. More coal power plants are being built every year.

    Until the misnamed “environmental” movement demands the commencement of construction of one hundred new nuclear power plants, it will remain nothing but fantasy and masturbation.

    I fail to see how realizing the structural problems inherent in using fossil fuels is “meaningless noise.” You still seem to be unable to understand that coal doesn’t last forever (and neither does nuclear, by the way). What are we going to do when there’s no more coal?

    Your sneering dismissal of alternative energy is breathtakingly categorical. “No practical proposals?” Says who? How can you say such a thing with no evidence whatsoever? You talk as though there is absolutely no energy benefit from any alternative energy source, ever. Explain how this isn’t just blowing smoke. Denmark, for example, has gotten wind power up to around 16% of its total energy use. Brazil gets 18% of its energy from ethanol (made from sugarcane, which works much better than the awful corn versions here).

    Of course we’re going to have to use nuclear power (despite the fact that it leaves behind radioactive waste that lasts for 10,000 years), and coal, and every other technology we can possibly come up with. Of course alternative energy is not very well-developed, but the theoretical energy potential is very large, and certainly worth investing in because in the long term, it’s either alternative energy or nothing. We’re talking about making sure we’re not back to subsistence agriculture in 200 years, and you’re saying calling it “fantasy and masturbation.”

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  93. I should amend the above comment to say that our nuclear power supply as constructed today won’t last forever. If we repeal the law against nuclear reprocessing, and start building breeder reactors, the nuclear supply is essentially infinite.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  94. SPQR:

    Russell and I have faith in American ingenuity when it comes to solving the problems associated with alternative energy (not to mention reaping the benefits similarly associated).

    You don’t, apparently. I guess you hate America.

    Russell’s willing to believe that you’re too dumb to realize that coal, oil, and various nuclear sources are finite. I’m not so generous: I believe that you’re a whiny naysayer who’s too lazy to think about the potential implications of alternative energy (i.e. a disturbed comfort zone).

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  95. Russell’s willing to believe that you’re too dumb to realize that coal, oil, and various nuclear sources are finite. I’m not so generous: I believe that you’re a whiny naysayer who’s too lazy to think about the potential implications of alternative energy (i.e. a disturbed comfort zone).

    Well, let’s not be hasty. Nuclear power is essentially infinite in its most practical form (which is currently illegal). However, it does get more and more expensive as we use up the more easily obtained uranium supplies (which, if we starting building lots of nuclear plants, won’t last long). It’s going to be vital for the US to get ahead of the curve on these alternative technologies as they become economically viable.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  96. Slowing down the birth rate isn’t necessarily a bad idea though, either.

    I propose that Congress ban Levi from reproducing.

    JD (75f5c3)

  97. Russell, when you have a real alternative energy proposal that can actually replace entire coal-fired plants by the score then call me. You don’t have it today and given the long lead times to build generation plants that means you have nothing for decades to come.

    Leviticus, faith? So you are a religious fanatic while I am focusing on the engineering reality.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  98. The only thing AL GORE deserves is a swift kick in his backside for his lies and treason and spending 300 million to brainwash the public with this global warming crap

    krazy kagu (6a69d6)

  99. By the way, Russell, it is more than a little hypocritical of you to cite ethanol in Brazil given the massive environmental destruction caused by Brazil’s sugarcane production.

    As for Denmark, wow, next Lichtenstein will get one third of its electricity from alternative sources … the future is looking bright.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  100. Russell, when you have a real alternative energy proposal that can actually replace entire coal-fired plants by the score then call me. You don’t have it today and given the long lead times to build generation plants that means you have nothing for decades to come.

    You don’t have to entirely replace all coal plants overnight with some silver bullet alternative, but we can start phasing in these clean and renewable energy sources gradually to lessen the need for dirty and limited coal.

    There are plenty of alternatives, you just refuse to entertain them because they don’t meet some impossible standard you’ve set up.

    Leviticus, faith? So you are a religious fanatic while I am focusing on the engineering reality.

    There’s nothing religious about having faith in American ingenuity, because it’s proven itself.

    Levi (76ef55)

  101. Here is an interesting article showing yet another example of the kind of bogus stories that the MSM is making up to support the alarmism on global warming.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  102. Whoa – SPQR hates America and good ole fashioned religious values. What’s next? Puppies? Apple Pie? I don’t know how much longer the rest of you conservatives can afford to be associated with this menace…

    Leviticus (8873e2)


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