[ExI] massive "green" industrial transformation of the landscape

spike spike66 at comcast.net
Sat Jul 28 15:33:51 UTC 2007

> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org [mailto:extropy-chat-
> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Damien Broderick
> Sent: Saturday, July 28, 2007 7:28 AM
> To: 'ExI chat list'
> Subject: [ExI] massive "green" industrial transformation of the landscape
> <http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,2133896,00.html>Renewable
> Energy Projects Will Devour Huge Amounts of Land, Warns Researcher
> IAN SAMPLE, Science Correspondent - The Guardian (U.K.)
> Large-scale renewable energy projects will cause widespread
> environmental damage by industrialising vast swaths of countryside, a
> leading scientist claims today. ...

Ja, we knew that.
> The analysis showed that damming rivers to make use of hydroelectric
> power was among the most harmful to the landscape, producing around
> 0.1 watts of power per square metre. ...

Of course, dams are not *primarily* for the purpose of generating power, but
rather for water control.  For this analysis we must somehow take into
account the value of property not destroyed by flooding because of the dams.

> The world's largest dam, ...submerging land that was previously home
> to more than 1 million people...

If we take that into account, we get to add all the energy saved from those
million people not living there anymore. 

> Biofuel crops and wind energy fared better in the study, with both
> generating around 1.2w to a square metre...

Furthermore, we have just begun to find the most efficient biofuels.  That
is an area that will improve dramatically.

> Another calculation revealed that to meet US energy demands for 2005
> with wind power would require constant winds blowing onto wind farms
> covering more than 780,000 square kilometres of land, the area of
> Texas and Louisiana combined...

This is an understatement in a way.  Wind power takes a lot of area, but it
doesn't actually use up the land.  Biofuel crops can be grown among wind
turbines (an example is near the Altamont Pass in Taxifornia).  PVs can also
be collocated with the turbines.

> The report breaks what Prof Ausubel calls the "taboo of talking about
> the strong negative aspects of renewables"...

We know of the negatives, but there are many positives.  Countries all have
their own wind and their own sunlight, even if some have more than others.
No need to fight over resources.

> ... they're mistaking pleasant landscaping
> with what would be a massive industrial transformation of the
> landscape," he said.

It's all in the way it is described.  Rather let us transform massive
landscaping with pleasant industrial transformation. 

> "A fundamental credo of being green is that you cause minimal
> interference with the landscape...

So goes the dogma.

> We should be farming less land,
> logging less forest and trawling less ocean - disturbing the
> landscape less and sparing land for nature. But all of these
> renewable sources of energy are incredibly invasive and aggressive
> with regard to nature. Renewables may be renewable, but they are not
> green," he added...

If one buys into this notion, one keeps running up against the same
attitude: two legs bad, four legs good.  But there are a lot of us two
legged things who disagree, and a whole lot more coming in the near future.
For instance, as China becomes wealthier, they will want more children than
the one-child family that has been given to them.  Watch for a wave of two
child families to start showing up in China.


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