Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity


No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

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Monday, November 23, 2009

Energy, What To Do?

While I do disagree with those who believe that anthropomorphic global warming I do support many of the things they endorse, though for economic reasons. Thus, in North America, we have enough coal to last for at least the next 400 years at conservative estimates, that doesn't mean we should be using it to produce our electricity.

There are other means to do so, that don't harm the environment, or least are greatly reduced in their impact. Hydroelectric power has just about reached it's limits, though many areas are beginning to explore mini dams with relatively low power turbines to supplement local energy needs.

Additionally, by recycling many of the products we use, we decrease the amount of energy necessary to produce those same items. My wife and I recycle most everything I can because quite frankly our land fills can't hold the huge amounts of garbage that we fill them with. And by recycling we reduce the amounts of raw materials we need to make many of those products we use on a constant basis such as paper products, plastic, glass, and metals.

I think we need to seriously increase the funding for alternative sources of energy especially geothermal, wind and solar (including methods of obtaining same from space). But we also need to reinvest in nuclear power.

By investing in Nuclear power, we can greatly reduce and even end our dependence upon coal fired electrical plant. France and Japan both use nuclear power plants for 75% or more of their electrical energy needs. Even Dr. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Green Peace believes that we need to fully exploit nuclear power as a solution to many of our energy needs.
Going back to the early days in Greenpeace in the 1970s and 1980s, we were totally focused on nuclear war and nuclear testing in the Cold War. We failed to distinguish between the beneficial uses of the technology and the evil uses of the technology.

It became clear to me that there was a logical disconnect. The people who were most concerned about climate change were most opposed to nuclear power. Greenpeace is against fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power. Those three technologies produce over 99 percent of world energy. What kind of a path to a sustainable future is that?
By building wind farms in those areas which sustain the minimum amounts of air necessary to run large scale wind farms, North and South Dakota, Northern Texas, off the coast of Rhode Island, Southern Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, North and South Carolina, and other areas, we can further reduce our dependence upon fossil fuels for energy generation. Recently, the Kennedy family successfully, through the offices of the late Edward Kennedy, senior Senator for Massachusetts, defeated the creation of a wind farm to the south of their family compound on the belief that it would be an eye sore and reduce the property values of the family holdings. Hopefully, the companies that were deterred before, will try once more. While wind generation isn't the complete answer, it is one of many.

Yet another source of energy that we have only begun to explore is tapping the power of the earth's core. While it isn't the "millions of degrees" temperature recently claimed by Al Gore, it is several thousand and is more than ample to super heat water, or other appropriate liquids to the temperatures necessary to power turbines. While this technology is still in its "infancy," once it is properly explored and sufficiently developed there is no reason not to use it as part of our arsenal of energy production.

The last promising area of energy generation is solar power. At the present time, it too is still in its early stages of development, costing roughly $1.28 for every $1.00 of energy produced. However, with continued funding and research it should be possible in the next 10 years to reduce the cost to roughly $0.33 for every $1.00 generated.

So, while I don't accept the science of anthropomorphic global warming, I do agree that we need to reduce our impact upon climate in general. One merely needs to see pictures of the industrial waste lands in China and portions of the former Soviet Union to understand that our planet cannot continue to support us if we poison it. By developing more efficient ways of supplying energy needs, and using several sources of renewable energy we will be able to sustain economic growth for decades to come.


Anonymous said...

You said: Additionally, by recycling many of the products we use, we decrease the amount of energy necessary to produce those same items.

As it turns out, this is false (you've fallen for the lie that's been spread about this, so it isn't your fault). For instance, compare the price of two pads of paper, one recycled, the other not. The recycled one is more expensive because it takes MORE energy to produce than doing so from scratch. At the post-consumer level, aluminum is about the only item that it is energy effective to recycle.

What we really need to do instead of recycling is produce more trash burning power plants. They reduce the land fill volume required by 90%, produce inexpensive electricity, and are very clean in their operation due to their air scrubbers (the one near St. Petersburg, FL, for instance, was found by the EPA to have exhaust that was cleaner than the ambient air; in other words, not only was it NOT polluting, it was removing pollution that was already present in the air; hard to beat that).

Rich Vail said...

There is an incinerator in Bay County, Florida as well...though I've never looked into how efficient it is.