[ExI] Whatever happened to peak oil by 2020?
spike at rainier66.com
Tue May 7 16:05:22 UTC 2013
On Mon, May 6, 2013 Tomasz Rola <rtomek at ceti.pl> wrote:
> And BTW, I am not afraid neither of nukes nor of solar. I will be happy to
have thorium in my basement and solar on the roof, please. And a computing
cluster in between, of course. But I don't want coal plant nearby, and I
don't want to live under wind turbine.
We box ourselves in with our traditional notions, such as a wind turbine
with huge electric cables carrying power to population centers. Long cables
waste power and use resources to manufacture. Wind power is capricious, and
it is noisy and ugly. Solution: put the wind turbines out in Wyoming where
there is not much of anything but coal, lots of coal. Build factories that
convert coal to liquid fuels powered by wind. Use the wind power to create
fertilizer, which can be used to promote plant life which will help
sequester the excess carbon produced by processing the coal. I don't want
to live under a wind turbine either, but we don't need to. I want to live
under rooftop solar. Nuke plants are safe, if we locate them out away from
The hardcore environmentalists will not like any of this, but the fact is we
need low-cost energy or we die. There is no point in denying the obvious:
we already have population densities that require cheap energy in enormous
quantities. We can't give up plentiful low-cost energy.
People should take a driving vacation out in America's desert western
states. You can rent a hot car and drive as fast as you want for hour after
hour and see nothing but land so desolate even the lizards don't want to
live out there. And yet there is coal available, low grade coal, but
perfectly adequate for conversion to liquid fuels. Go out there, see it:
eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, most of eastern California, Nevada,
Utah, southern Idaho, Wyoming, Arizona, New Mexico. Drive, see it for
yourself, or failing that, open Google maps, go into satellite view and just
look at all that: vast tracts of open undeveloped land, plenty of sunshine,
coal is available, water is scarce but available in the necessary
quantities, oh my, the possibilities, all of it currently just sitting still
and quiet, lonely, waiting, waiting, waiting, for us to get with the
program. There are cubic buttloads of money to be made out in that desert.
If we get on with it, we can transition from oil to multiple alternatives
and do so without a Mad Max apocalypse.
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