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On Russian Gas Exports and Western Encroachments on Russia

This is just how I feel Wilem,

I can't imagine why the hopes of Countries and non-Russian speakers who have been dominated and at times abused by the Russia during the Soviet era should be ignored just to placate Russian egos/paranoia. 

Russia is already Huge geographically as it is, and they are very militarily powerful. So, just what exactly are they worried about is hard to grasp.

It's one thing for Putin to demand payment for Russian Gas, but stiring up ethnic troubles and scaring Russia's peaceful but weaker neighbors is hard to excuse in my mind. Anybody who remembers Russian tanks rolling into Czechoslovakia in 1968, can understand the fears of Russia's smaller neighbors.

 

April 19, 2014    View Comment    

On How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

Clifford, It's been fun prognosticating with you, and for the record, I don't expect everyone to see things same as I do (what would be the fun of that?), don't think I'm always right either.   :)

April 18, 2014    View Comment    

On How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

To answer your questions, I have a long range view, and I like to prognosticate on where things will go after everything has been said and done.

Recently I saw on MSNBC website as aprt of their

Global Warming, Oklahoma, Rachel Maddow Show Climate Change and Solar Power 

discussions, I saw an article which headlined by stating that, QUOTE:  Oklahoma moves to discourage solar power

I scoured the article and read some of the comments of the readers. It didn't take too long for me to conclude that The state of Oklahoma wants a flat rate fee on users of solar power who are connected to the grid and thus benefit from the utilities.

 

Here are some thoughts of the readership:

"Can we just charge the Koch brothers with crimes against humanity? How many millions will die so that oil interests can make billions from oil? The tabacco companies just killed their direct customers but the oil companies are affecting the survival of humanity. Name a fraud that is worse..."


Quote:

" This sounds like something that Inhofe cooked up.  This is an obvious attempt to discourage green technology, not as something impractical but as too expensive, so as to counter the argument environmentalists have always made about how solar power is a (relatively) free source of energy...."


Quote:

"this is the same state that only yesterday forbade any local municipality from raising the wages paid the peons, er, loyal republican voters. considering the brain dead cow they anointed governor, you really have to wonder if democracy is as crackpot an idea as marxism. "

 

Can you catch my drift? Pretending that matters like growth and hating the rich are not intertwined in this energy debate is self delusion.

On Growth:

It seems to me that there is a limit on prime locations for Wind Power and solar power, after these locations are tapped, where will additional energy (for future growth) come from. Isn't there a diminishing returns on renewable Energy and hence growth?

April 18, 2014    View Comment    

On How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

I have a problem with changing society on 2 accounts.

1) Life keeps getting hader, real incomes get lower with each new "improvement"/Change.

2) Growth both here (US) and in the Third World will be stiffled.


BTW.

Growth is not a dirty 4 Letter Word (like some think it is). Growth to me means , less suffering, less hard work (in the life shortening sense), and it also means new discoeries being fully exploited for the betterment of mankind.
 Examples of real growth would be lower costs for educaation, food, transportation (driverless cars?), all without turining the world into a Tax the Rich to death hell hole. (an I am not rich). I just see hating the rich as pointless,

April 18, 2014    View Comment    

On How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

Proliferation risks are way Overdone and overstated, and Countries which bent on pursuing proliferation will do so, with varying success, regardless, Witness Iran.

My beef is that clearly a lot of people simply reject nuclear power out of bias and ignorance, and others have worked dilliigently to cripple development of advanced and safer reactors (example, IFR), while having an irrational love affair with renewables that cannot get the job done, and may lock us into a Natural Gas dependency, or may even lead to future rationing of power with heavy handed government regulation of power useage and higher prices.

My preference is for a Carbon free source that is a plug-in replacement for coal, and that will allow freedom and economic development all over the world. In other words, if we were to use nuclear power, we won't have to change society itself or create hardly any new restriction on energy use, nor would we have to dramatically alter the landscape.

Unfortunately, the more time that is being spent on hating and delaying nuclear power, the smaller the window of opportunity when it comes to reducing CO2. My guess is that in the end, we won't really do anything about CO2, rather many countries will simply replace older plants with newer Natural Gas or Coal, just like the Germans are doing. Then over time, other nations will mix in some wind and some nuclear as adjuncts to their coal and Natural gas.

April 18, 2014    View Comment    

On How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

Not at all.

I am merely Savouring the hypocrisy of "Clean Tech" puritans, while wagering that on a MwH versus MwH basis Nuclear plants probably use less, and expose less of these materiel to the environment.

April 18, 2014    View Comment    

On How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

Clifford, 

Renewables supporters love to point to 1940's technology waste pools for nuclear minning while tutrning a blind eye to same or worse from Minning of Materials for Neodynium magnets, in Wind mills, and Toxic soups of Metals like Lead, Cadmiun, selenium etc.

This is almost comical. Sorry to say this, BUT Generally...There is Way Too Much Hypocrisy in this Debate.

April 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

Dear Jesse,

Firstly thanks for the leadership role you and Geoffery Styles play here in terms of tone and cordiality, much much, appreciated indeed.

Secondly, Yes the two can co-exist. I think I stated as much. Where I am comming from is whether it is even wise to do so and whether that co-existence is not in fact a contrived Rube Goldberg solution.

My thinking is that Both RE and Nuclear energy solutions should/will be developed to their Zenith by Nations which favour either. The Germans, perhaps will show us the extent of how renewables technology is employable, and someone else, perhaps the Chinese will show us the same for nuclear power. Then the rest of the world will pick and choose as they wish as per their needs and or sentiment.If they decide on RE in after rational evaluation, that really is fine with me.

It matters not the source of our electrical power, save that it be carbon free, it works reliably, it is  without rationing, and it supports growth well into the future.

For my money though I really see no particular advantage in a combined solution, although I could be wrong,  whether in terms of costs, and/or effectiveness.

I do believe that Nimbyism can and should be overcome.

April 15, 2014    View Comment    

On Can Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy Learn to Get Along?

Jesse,

Here is my 2 cents. I am afraid that I agree with those who say that Nuclear Power and RE do not play well together. The reason is not that it is impossible in the first place, but that with the exception of Tiny/ Impoverished/ Isolated areas, such a concoction appears to be a Choice invented soley to allow RE to be able to participate in a National Grid environment, if they chose thusly, then So Be It.

I say the above because when I ask myself, "WHY" , I get stuck.

1) Why would a  RE oriented grid want/need Nuclear Power if it had adequate  storage. Doesn't that just add complexity and Headaches  for them?

2) Why would a Nuclear powered Grid want/need RE, if excess power could be diverted to other purposes, like Water Desalination or process heat, as need be?

3) Why would any National Grid give itself more headaches with different kinds of technologies and manpower expertise, by inclussion of both Nuclear and RE?

 

It is not that the 2 absolutely cannot co-exist, but it's rather that such coexistence is a forced and/or poorly planned choice. I suppose truly Vast (large and spread out population and geographical base) grid like the Chinese can afford to play around a little with both/each.


In the end Some Nations will choose primarily nuclear others will choose RE, and others will mix both. Over time the  experience from these different grids will help other grids determine how best to proceed under their own uniques circumstances..

April 15, 2014    View Comment    

On How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

 

One Last attempt to communicate:


In plain English:

Solar Power with storage is fine in the desert or similar places with abundant sunshine. The reason we have arguments is because certain renewables advocates don't want Nuclear power to exist anywhere at all. The reverse is not true of Nuclear advocates.

This is plain as day.


April 12, 2014    View Comment    

On How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

Have it your way,

However, by ignoring the  fact that there is a visceral antagonism, and disproportionate attribution of danger from toxic waste etc, coming primarily from renewables advocates, and directed toward Nuclear Power,  won't change the fact that it exists.

And responding to your analogy, it is not quite like schoolboys arguing which team is better, it is more like one team demanding that the opposing team should be even allowed to participate, at all.

I'd be willing to wager that many Nuclear proponents can see a rational role for Solar power (where there is ample/exceptional sunlight), while the inverse would be exceedingly rare Solar proponents and renewableists.

 

April 12, 2014    View Comment    

On How Big Is The World's Biggest Solar Farm?

Robert,

this question would have carried far more impact, had you posed it to Clayton instead. To understand why, please review these quote from Clayton:

"However that commenter then went on to describe the footprint of a nuclear power plant as trivial in comparison to that of a solar array.  Oddly, they neglected to associate the footprint of mining, processing and disposal of nuclear waste in the discussion of footprint.  Are they "fraudulently" missleading us or is it simply enthusiasm about their point of view that led them to paint such a distorted picture of reality.  Hopefully they can have a laugh at their own expense and then get back on topic. "

and

"It would be interesting if we could develop an environmental damage scale.  What is the relative damage of a mirror array or solar array compared to mountain top removal or open pit mines with toxic waste pools.  When the mirror array is removed, the land can revert relatively quickly to its natural state.  When a mountain is ripped apart or a 1000 ft deep pit is dug, the land is gone."

 

He is Obviously SELECTIVELY implying that Nuclear Power alone generates toxic waste that "Clean" renewables don't.  He himself has oddly, neglected to associate the footprint of mining, processing and disposal of renewables waste in the discussion of footprint.

Invalidly selective and exclusive fearmongering associations like this one are routinely hurled at Nuclear Power by followers of Renewables(ism?)

As I said you should be posing the question to them.

 

While Claton has somewhat backpedalled from his initial thrust, It is quite revealing. There is now and has been for a very long time, a Fearmongering effort amongst Renewableists against Nuclear power, which is self-evident and in plain sight.

April 12, 2014    View Comment