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Old 05-25-2007, 09:03 AM   #61
The Eschaton
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New Scientist had a recent issue devoted to answering the climate change objections. Nothing new but its well organized.

Climate change: A guide for the perplexed
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Old 05-25-2007, 04:56 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by bluesdave View Post
Here you go Bruce, some positive news in the fight against Global Warming:
I have been a supporter of hydrogen cells, but I accept that the cost is not reasonable, nor the length of mileage between "top-ups". Here is the full story (at least it is the press release). These guys are heading in the right direction.
Yes, but even if it was ready to go technology, to build a fueling network and the cars, would take some time and a ton of money.

I don't mean to rain on your parade, although you would probably welcome it down there, I'm just looking at the practical application aspect. It is a breakthrough, though, and a new direction for development.

What we really need is a way to store electricity, so we could utilize the generating capacity we're wasting. Also a way to catch and store lightning would be great, but the power companies wouldn't be happy.
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Old 05-25-2007, 05:03 PM   #63
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everytime I see this thread, the term "global warmists" gives me a smile.

More fun than the topic, surely, which is a serious one, no matter which side you're on.
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Old 05-25-2007, 06:00 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by duck_duck
The fact you think we are changing the climate at this stage is arrogant.
The that fact that you think that we pose no threat and that we shouldn't try to stop in case we are doing something is ignorant.

The fact that you think it is impossible for humans to screw up the enviornment is ignorant.

The fact that you think we are arrogant is arrogant.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:19 PM   #65
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The fact you think we are changing the climate at this stage is arrogant.
I assume that you have been working in a research project on climate change, and have the requisite qualifications. Otherwise; you would not have made that statement, would you?
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:27 PM   #66
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I assume that you have been working in a research project on climate change, and have the requisite qualifications. Otherwise; you would not have made that statement, would you?
bluesdave - don't you think it's a bit discriminatory to expect one to have an understanding of the topic of debate before posting an opinion to that debate?

But seriously, do you know what the level of consensus is among climate scientists on the issue of human-caused global warming? I've been to several meetings in the past few weeks that were sponsored by and attended by people who are very concerned about this, and who are committed to taking action. At an ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) meeting last Friday, the President of ASHRAE, Terry Townsend, gave a very dramatic speech about working to reduce the energy footprint of buildings in the US and around the world.

He said that he was talking to the leaders of China about how the Chinese could reduce their energy consumption. They stopped him and said "Don't tell us what to do. Don't tell us. Show us." I assume by this they meant that they want to see the US take action before they will.

Three days ago I was at a ConocoPhillips meeting called "A Conversation About Energy" and they are also concerned about global warming. There were some skeptics in the audience, but when a vice-president of one of the largest oil companies says, "We want people to use less oil," it gives you some feeling, if you're not too much of a skeptic, of the seriousness of the situation.

There seems to be a group of scientists who are not convinced that human activities are contributing to climate change, but I don't know if the doubters represent 80% or 50% or 10% of their peers. And I don't know if they are sincere, or if they have a financial interest in convincing people, like duck_duck, that nothing we are doing, or can do, will have any influence on the Earth's climate.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:19 PM   #67
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bluesdave - don't you think it's a bit discriminatory to expect one to have an understanding of the topic of debate before posting an opinion to that debate?
Of course I do not expect everyone to have the training, but they should at least have the sense to do some reading before posting outlandish comments (not you, I mean duck). Bruce is a prime example of what people should be doing. He reads as much research as he can, and has reached an opinion. I disagree with some of his opinions, but I highly respect him for at least putting the effort in.

Quote:
But seriously, do you know what the level of consensus is among climate scientists on the issue of human-caused global warming?
You will never obtain 100% agreement between large numbers of people, regardless of the topic, but by far the majority of scientists who actually work in the field of climate change research, believe that man has contributed to global warming. The whole planet is still coming to terms with climate change, and there is going to be debate for years to come. As you obviously know, we cannot design an experiment that will prove the extent of man's contribution - I have said this many times before. Cleaning up our act will at least make our natural environment a more pleasant place to live in.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:46 PM   #68
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Yes, but even if it was ready to go technology, to build a fueling network and the cars, would take some time and a ton of money.
I agree Bruce. I do not think that "we" have found the answers yet. As you point out (and I did too in my post), the cost of current alternative technologies is too great to be practical. This does not mean that we should stop looking for solutions.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:58 PM   #69
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I think hydrogen is a very bad idea. Hydrogen is not free, its very energy intensive. Its only a energy transport and the most inefficient one you can get. Its not an energy source.

This article by zubrin is a very good one and explains why this is so.

The Hydrogen Hoax

I think biofuels and ethanol is the way to go. If anyone knows a different point of view on hydrogen i would like to hear it.
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:49 PM   #70
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I agree Bruce. I do not think that "we" have found the answers yet. As you point out (and I did too in my post), the cost of current alternative technologies is too great to be practical. This does not mean that we should stop looking for solutions.
Oh, hell no. Even after they have come up with a cheap, clean, doable solution, they shouldn't stop looking. There's always room for improvement in any invention/discovery/thing.... 'cept you and me.
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Old 05-26-2007, 03:24 AM   #71
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I think hydrogen is a very bad idea. Hydrogen is not free, its very energy intensive. Its only a energy transport and the most inefficient one you can get. Its not an energy source.
Robert Zubrin is relying on the readers of his article to be untrained in chemistry. It sounds impressive to those readers. His costings do not reflect potential savings in mass production if hydrogen was widely used in our day to day lives. Do not forget that plasma televisions were several times their current price, only a few years ago. The same economic principle applies to nearly all manufacturing.

Every means of providing energy is going to involve the use of energy in the production of the base materials. Until we find some magic energy cell, that will always be the case. Some of the waste recycling prototypes that I have seen, produce hydrogen as a byproduct. This could be compressed and marketed. Obviously these methods would only produce large quantities of hydrogen if they were implemented on a large scale. I am simply saying that it does not have to be an expensive exercise.
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Old 05-26-2007, 05:07 AM   #72
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This could be compressed and marketed.
That is the sentence that is a death knell for hydrogen as a fuel. You have now defined a fuel that is thermodynamically inefficient.

We don't need a 'magic bullet' fuel. Somehow, what we need gets confused with 'magic bullet' solutions such as hydrogen. We need efficiency. We need solutions that maintain those efficiencies on much smaller scales.

For every 100 units of energy put in hydrogen, well less than 20 actually arrives to perform productive work.

There is no way around fundamental theories such as thermodynamics. No solution is found in political posturing - for hydrogen or for ethanol. Start instead by identifying the problem. GM remains a classic example of the problem. Technology of the late 1960s was overhead cams. Late 1980s - 70 Hp/liter engine. Late 1990s - hybrids. So what does GM have? No engines with overhead cams. Missing 70 Hp/liter engines meaning their products require more cylinders. And no hybrids.

So GM accountants promotes hydrogen as a 'magic bullet' solution. Top GM management are business school graduates - and not from where the product is developed. Problems and innovations get ignored. No wonder they promote 'magic bullet' solutions while ignoring something more fundamental - principles of thermodynamics.

In both energy and global warming, both share the same problem: doing more from less. It is called innovation. And innovation is routinely stifed when top management does not come from where the work gets done. Same naive management then promote 'magic bullets' such as hydrogen to replace petroleum. Total nonsense.

One need only look who was promoting hydrogen to know hydrogen was not a viable solution: Rick Wagoner of GM and Geroge Jr. That summarizes why problems are not being solved.
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Old 05-26-2007, 05:18 AM   #73
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I forgot to mention that methane is also a byproduct of waste recycling (I am talking about household vegetable waste and sewerage). And water. Don't forget water. We are running out of supplies of fresh water. Sewerage recycling can supply at least near drinking quality water - and if you spend extra dollars you can obtain water fit for human consumption. At a minimum, sewerage recycling would supply water for our parks and gardens, thus reducing the strain on our existing town water supply.
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Old 05-26-2007, 05:31 AM   #74
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tw, the price for environmental improvement is not cheap. No one said it is. You are correct, in that in order to reduce pollution, and clean up our environment we have to spend money. Lots, and lots of money. You are also correct about ethanol. I started to say this before, then cancelled it. Ethanol still takes resources in order to refine it, and ship it. People who push ethanol think that it somehow magically emerges from sugarcane, and can be simply syphoned off into their car. No way.

Sometimes, doing something "cleaner" does not mean "cheaper" nor easier - at least in the short term. We have to accept this. We cannot give up. Don't you care about what future generations will say about us? I know we will not be around to hear the criticism, but I do not want to be tarred with that brush, thank you all the same.
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Old 05-26-2007, 06:38 AM   #75
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Don't you care about what future generations will say about us? I know we will not be around to hear the criticism, but I do not want to be tarred with that brush, thank you all the same.
To beat that dead horse again, America has a serious innovation problem. Mostly because America still has a bad habit 'business school' attitude that stifles innovation.

Some tributes to those who fear innovation. A paper $1 bills. The penny. A 'buy American' concept. SUVs and V-8 engines. Purpose of a business is profit. Illegal immigration creates violent crime waves and economic downturns. Man to Mars and the ISS. Cost controls on quantum physics research. Intelligent design complete with swearing on a bible to tell the truth and then lying.

The history of America is about innovation. Innovate is what every great American patriot did. Just like in the 1970s, a solution to both environmental and energy problems was the same solution. Solutions today would solve both global warming and energy problems. Money is not even mentioned.

What is fundamental to stifled innovation? Every problem was "created and stifled" or remained unsolved due to 'fear and loathing'. Same people then assume big bucks will create innovation. Because some innovations require more dollars, then more dollars will create more innovation? Of course not. That business school mentality also perverts innovation.

Same mentality also promotes hydrogen as a 'blue steel' solution. Our problems start with too many lawyers, MBAs, and communication majors believing they can create innovation - only because they feel it must be so or because throwing money at it will create a solution. Throwing money like a grenade at a problem does not create innovation. Solutions are not always expensive. But solutions are routinely stifled by too many 'experts' who don't come from where the work gets done. Those same people promote hydrogen as a 'magic bullet' solution.

Not all environmental improvements are expensive. The SUV is a classic example of something that costs so much more and yet only makes things worse. One need only learn from early 1970s when the Apple Macintosh sat stifled and unsold in a Xerox lab. A solution to worldwide productivity that would remain mostly stifled for another 20 years. Why? Top management had no grasp of what that product really was. Its value did not appear on any spread sheet. Therefore it was not innovative.

More money would not solve that problem either. My post said nothing about more money to solve the problem. Money is rarely the problem. Too often, the naive promote money as a solution.

So what happened to that $100million given to GM in 1994 to build a hybrid? Where is that hybrid?
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