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Friday, June 03, 2011


Donald Pay

Fossil fuels and nuclear energy are the fuels of the 19th and 20th centuries. While they will be around for a while yet as bridge fuels through much of the 21st century, they are simply too costly to the environment and the economy to be considered as anything but short- to medium term energy solution. Everyone understands this, but only Germany has the smarts to move on this understanding.

George Mason

Donald old boy; Fossil fuels will eventually run out (sometime in the distant future). Until then fossil fuels are (with the exception of nuclear and hydro)the cheapest and most efficient means of generating power (whether for electricity or transportation). The left for all its devotion to wind and solar has yet to develop a method(s)to produce adequate supplies of energy or to insure reliability. For the cult of global warming the question is; "how do you generate a large flow of electricity with solar without also generating greater numbers of BTU's in the process?" Wind generators will produce greater concentrations of Ozone per KW than conventional generators. The first lesson I was taught in Environmental Chemistry is; "there is no free lunch." No matter what the left wants us to believe that is still very true.

larry kurtz

Germany is shifting to geothermal: http://thinkgeoenergy.com/archives/7515

Michael (Constant Conservative)

Well said, Mr. Blanchard. When it comes to fossil fuels versus the various renewable energy sources, the math is strictly on the side of fossils.

May more people (on the right, the left, the middle and everywhere else) come to understand this.

Donald Pay

I know you like to imagine that you are not an elitist, but there is hardly a better litmus tests for elitist thought than support for fossil fuels and nuclear power. The elite in nearly all countries support fossil fuels and nuclear power. The people who are against the elites support alternative sources of energy. Merkle, after all, is a good conservative who supported nuclear power because the German elite supports it. Only recently, when mass protests erupted, has Merkle shifted positions. You can go down the list of oil producing countries, and find support for fossil fuel is strongest in the elites. All over the world now the elites in developed and developing countries are insisting on increased nuclear generation, while the non-elite masses of people are protesting it. Only in countries where citizen control of government is difficult or impossible and elitist thought predominates in the government is nuclear power advancing.

You can find one place on earth where there have been mass demonstrations of non-elites supporting nuclear power and nuclear weapons---Iran. Congratulations, KB, you keep good company.



Your have your classifications incorrect. You assumed that the support of fossil fuel is for the effect of power or control. I would suggest that the support of fossil fuel is based on economics and common sense.

If there was a reasonable alternative, the shift would have already begun, but there is not a reasonable alternative yet. Fossil Fuels drive economy's, and healthy economy's increase the standards of living.

The so called "non-elites" protesting fossil fuel are not protesting for any other reason than a political agenda, which is the attack on Free-Markets and Capitalism. Do some research on the history of the Envirnomental movement and the history of the AGW debate, and it is all clear as day. Your so called "Non-Elitist Protestors" are actually the ones attempting to dictate power and control over the civilization.

larry kurtz

More on Germany's efforts: http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=11-P13-00022&segmentID=1

Ken Blanchard

Donald: see my post on "invincible ignorance". Slogans and party line statements do not constitute arguments nor do they allow us to confront reality. Every form of energy production involves costs. Those costs have to be weighed against the cold and the dark. Other than nuclear power, which you despise, there are no alternatives to fossil fuels that can keep our bedrooms warm and well lit. There are no reasons to expect that that will change soon. Sorry for pointing that out.

George Mason

KB; A point of correction, hydro (which the left also opposes) is a very efficient form of electrical generation. The current generation of hydro turbines has a small physical footprint and limited environmental impact. The left (elites) ignores this and blindly opposes their use. The left only supports those sources (ethanol. solar, wind, etc.) that require their hand to be in the taxpayers pocket.

larry kurtz

GM: yer a dolt.

Donald Pay

Let's look at hydro in South Dakota. The loss of wildlife habitat along the Missouri River was immense. But, since the right doesn't care about that let's consider other losses. Towns, ranches, and reservations were flooded out by a socialist enterprise that ships most of the power out of state. In fact the most productive farmland in central South Dakota was lost. The right always yammers about government "takings." Well, this was a taking of immense proportions, and the right looked the other way. The Missouri River dams, of course, had other purposes as well, but even with these benefits included the dams would not be considered economic under any cost/benefit analysis. That's true of most hydro large-scale hydro projects.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: yes, damming the Missouri River was a damned bad thing to do. Only big government would have done a damn fool thing like that. Or at least on that scale. You seem to be admitting that the right has the right principles on this one, they just didn't follow them. I concur. Glad to see you coming around.

But you do seem to be working hard to confirm George's point. You are opposed to any form of power generation that actually produces more power than it consumes.

Donald Pay

Better find out who supported those dams, KB. "Big government," if by that you mean the various bureaucracies of the federal government, was rather divided about damming the Missouri, and would never have built the Missouri River dams without the constant prodding of those socialists in the South Dakota Republican Party.

Stan Gibilisco

Here's an interesting take on the subject, from our conservative collegagues at Fox News online ...


One can debate all of this stuff without end. One passage stands out for me ...

"As climate-change star Paul Ehrlich says: 'Whatever problem you're interested in, you’re not going to solve it unless you also solve the population problem. Whatever your cause, it's a lost cause without population control.'"

Doggone right. As our planet gets more and more crowded, we'll have less and less resources per person. Fourth-grade arithmetic.

I'm a committed radical leftist on the issue of population, except that I would not favor "control." Instead, I'd rather see education. However, I find one notion inescapable: If we (as a global collective) take no action to put a lid on the population explosion, Mother Nature will take action for us, and She will solve the problem on Her terms, not ours.

With a little imagination one can suppose that we see evidence of this action already. Gaia is perturbed if not pissed ...

In my own personal case, I can't yet make the numbers work. Fossil fuels are still cheaper than the alternatives, and down-to-earth economic factors, not pies in the sky, drive my decisions.



"The Missouri River dams, of course, had other purposes as well, but even with these benefits included the dams would not be considered economic under any cost/benefit analysis. That's true of most hydro large-scale hydro projects."

Evidence? I'm not sure if you realize how absurb this comment is. The SouthWest U.S. would not even exist without HydroElectric Power, and the dams created to maintain the water supply.

It is true that the Ecosystem along the Missouri has been modified by the four main dams, but to claim the cost out-weighs the benefit is ridiculous. The Power Generation and the Control of Flow alone have fostered the civilization and increased the standard of living from Montana to Louisiana far beyond any damage to the natural ecosystem.




It is a bit of juggling game in the coal industry and coal prices from underground mines to ensure enough electricity and steel capacity worldwide while making sure the impact on the environment and people is minimal. www.coalportal.com


nuclear plants are aclatluy very safe, their nuclear waste is however one of the big drawbacks it takes a very long time for it to become safe thousands upon thousands of years so it needs to be stored somewhere and be kept safe for that amount of time needless to say there is no structure so far that can remain secure and also contain barrels of waste for that amount of time. the safety of a nuclear powerplant is not aclatluy a big concern the scenes in movies where powerplants act like nuclear bombs are fictional as nuclear bombs use completley different principals to operate however meltdowns can occur like chernobyl but these are very rarethere is also the problem of NIMBY or (not in my back yard) where people can see the benefits of them but do not want them nearby them so finding areas near enough to send the energy without alot of energy loss without being too close to poulation centers is a difficult task. also the nuclear waste has been used by terrorists where they surround a standard bomb with nuclear waste creating what is called a dirty bomb this spreads nuclear waste over large areas and has lasting results.solar panels are very safe and efficient even in poor lighting conditions they can power a home however in order to power the entire continental united states on a full size map a post stamp represents the amount of solar panels that would be required (if they were all grouped together) also cost is a big factor while the solar panels will essentially pay electricity bills for you it can take around 20 years before a profit is seen leaving it an undesireable option for the poorer people.P.S. you could also mention hydro electric and windmills they are also goodGood luck with your project


Very much dependent on the siefpcic engineering of the wind turbine. You are losing energy to friction, so the mechanics of the device are very important. All of that is not a consideration for fossil fuels becase the earth has done most of the conversion already by using gravity (i.e., pressure), which is basically infinitely available. If you are thinking not in terms of energy cost, but financail cost, then you really need to think about the supply chain. A single high-effeicncy wind turbine might cost $5MM to build, but there is operational cost, land cost, distribution and storage costs. All of that is baked into the end user price of a gallon of processed fossil fuels. I don't know the siefpcic numbers, but I do know that none of the wind farms would be profitable without the government subsidies that they are getting ATM.That chart of 1996 California date someone posted showing that wind is the lowest cost seems highly suspect to me at a minimum it is looking at regulatory compliance costs for things like nuclear and fossil feuls, not just the cost of generating and delivering the energy. That is the problem with data "sound bites", they are a little to easy to quote without thinking about them.

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