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 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 76
green energyPage 4 of 8    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)
How is his eliminating a bureaucracy that obviously wasn’t unstalling anything a bad thing to do at that point?


Let's look at the timeline. There is always a lag between new primary research and the commercialization of products derived from those findings. I'm not sure how long it took after the reduction of the internal-combustion engine to practice before it became a dominant force in the economy, but my guess is that it was around 50 years.

The commercialization of microcomputers went somewhat faster, from the mid '60s to the early '90s, probably as a result of better communication. So, if you take into account that same rate of increase, a constant development of energy-efficient technologies would lead to the rapid commercialization of at least one significant product going into widespread deployment long about ... now.

Where is it? And given that we have KNOWN of the incipient need, eventual market, and any number of promising lines of research for such products (including cellulose-based plastics, photovoltaics, and others) , why can't we point to ANY?

a) Either the market doesn't work, or
b) The market has been rigged against their emergence by special interests

And if you pick b, how does b differ in practice from a?


As to the auto industry, you assign the failure of GM, Chrysler and Ford to the political Conservatives and their alleged preference of private sector versus government coordination as to developing energy efficiency.


Maybe I wasn't clear enough. The failure of the American auto companies is a direct result of their entrenched resistance to building more efficient cars. Now that people understand that the current recession is just a temporary lull in the ever-increasing price of fuel, nobody will ever want to buy their gas hogs again. 'bout time, too.


I strongly suspect that the current mountain of problems we face is being used as an excuse for government expansion...


Yes, you've made that clear. And I agree that those who want to expand the government could well make hay under these circumstances. But again, there is a right way and a wrong way to intervene in a screwed-up economy. Primary research into next-generation technologies is the right way. In fact, that is the one thing that will do more to prevent an economy from getting screwed up than any other investment the taxpayers could make.

Appropriate regulation that holds people accountable is also the right way--unless you really want to share that third bedroom with undocumented invaders.

Adjusting the distribution of investment income to optimize long-term growth is the right way, unless you really want all of our free capital to be siphoned off to China, or wherever else labor markets are cheaper.

Earmarks, bailouts, and such are, at best, short-term band-aids for problems that arose from inadequate regulation, and should be eliminated as quickly as possible.

Every time we let people speculate with unregulated derivatives, some market or other collapses. When are we going to learn from that?

Or are we really going to have to stay stuck in the, "market good, government bad" ideology no matter what?


I would just mandate that all energy producers and distributors must have 20% green sourced product by 2013 or so, then add a point or three per year. Limit the government to that decree, then let the private sector do what they do best--make money by letting THEM choose how to best allocate resources.


I see no ideological problem with that. Makes sense to me. And if the major players would rather go bust than get with the program, no doubt they'll try to blame it on the Liberals and Unions when the doom they wreak overtakes them. However, I must point out that what you propose is, fundamentally, a government regulation that will require an enforcement bureaucracy. Who should foot the bill for it?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 77
green energy
Posted: 4/18/2009 10:41:39 AM

Anyway, I'm done with that... I only wish we would wise up, look at all of what we need to do to get this country back on track, We should have been doing more to drill here, We still should do more to drill here... 10 - 25 years from now we can still be having this conversation on Green energy, and still sucking big time on foreign fuel.


Jack,

What you don't understand is that we can drill here, we can drill there, we can drill everywhere (and eventually will), but if we don't fund basic research into more efficient technology and adjust our cultural practices to use it, there won't be anything else to talk about. We'll still be sucking oil at the same rate from whatever source we can find until those sources are exhausted.

And if you think things are tough right now, you will not believe what it will be like when oil supplies get truly low.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 78
green energy
Posted: 4/18/2009 5:57:10 PM

But you talk like we can only do one and not the other.


Well, here's the thing. If we drill, we _won't_ adapt. You can say that we will, but our track record says differently.

We need oil to fuel our process of adaptation. When there's a clear commitment on the part of the mainstream to adapt, then we'll be well positioned to drill.

But as long as y'all want to run your ATVs and to hell with the environment, that oil is better left in the ground.

There is a difference between wasteful spending and productive investment. That is just as true in the private sector as it is in the governmental sector.

When you tell me that you, personally, are willing to make the changes necessary to reduce your carbon footprint to zero (carbon footprint being the best proxy we have for the fossil fuel required to power your lifestyle), then I'll be more than happy to cut loose with all the oil you need to get there.

Until then, it's just wasteful spending of borrowed resources--resources that you'll never be able to pay back.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 79
green energy
Posted: 4/18/2009 8:07:28 PM
What would happen if all businesses and apartment buildings were required to install solar to power all external lighting like for outdoors or hallways?


You'd get every Republican schill and every Conservative dupe in the country screaming about socialist dictatorship and protesting in the streets. You'd get every oil-company lobbyist in the country descending on Washington and every state capital to call in every favor they've ever done to delay it as long as possible. And when that tactive finally wore out, then you'd get every Conservative lawyer on the case to defend their clients' rights to waste as much fuel as possible, as quickly as possible, lest the Chinese or Indian economies get a drop of "our" oil.

Jack, please tell me that I am mistaken ... if you can.

Here is an admirable quote from an iconic Republican:


I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us."

Theodore Roosevelt

Source:"The New Nationalism" speech, Osawatomie, Kansas, August 31, 1910

 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 80
green energy
Posted: 4/18/2009 11:34:30 PM
But the point is. We will need oil, for a long time, wether you or anyone else likes it.


Of course we will. It is our capital, and we can invest it in the development and deployment of systems that will actually be sustainable, or we can waste it on systems that we all know are not and never can be.

When I see a will to treat our oil supply as a precious asset to invest and not an inexhaustible entitlement to piss away, I'll feel a lot better about drilling.


What would you rather do, keep buying it from foreign countries that use that money for very bad things... or drill for it here. I'm only being a realist, and don't have my head in the clouds.


Speaking as a realist, what answer would your grandchildren want you to give?

As long as we see it as an entitlement, we should exhaust the supplies that are farthest away from us geographically first, because, strategically, that will impoverish our potential enemies in the long run and leave us with a greater relative supply of potential energy to apply we need to project military power later on. That is the ugly calculus of geopolitical strategy.


Honestly, I think people who think the way you do are being self righteous and not seeing the big picture.


What aspect of the big picture is it that you think I'm missing?

What I see you saying is that it is what it is, and that's all that there is, so let's do whatever will make the pain go away right now. But that won't work in the long run.

Whether the crunch comes in 30 years or 50 or a hundred, it is coming. And whether it is accompanied by a man-made climate change, a sun-made climate change, or no climate change at all, the crunch is coming. And the one thing, the _only_ thing that stands between us and the full brunt of that crunch is our collective intelligence and our willingness to use it.

Of course we need to burn some oil in order to fuel the communication networks and lubricate the transition period. But if all we do is fuel the system as it stands until we can't fuel it any more, the crunch will be hard, sharp, sudden, and devastating. I have no problem with using the worldwide oil reserves to grease the track to a sustainable future. The futher down that track we get the softer the impact will be when the crunch does come.

We have already drilled out our biggest and best reserves in the US. Modeling the rise and fall of the domestic fuel supply gave us the model for predicting the rise and fall of world oil production--which the best public estimates indicate reached its peak in December of 2005. Those domestic reserves that are left are small and marginal by comparison. Many of the reserves most coveted by the oil companies would provide only a few short years of supply before being exhausted. We're importing oil because it's cheaper, because we're arrogant in our sense of entitlement, and because it's in our strategic military interest to do so.

Those who cry out for cheap local oil are diverting your attention away from their own malfeasance in not supporting the R&D necessary to wean us off of as much of our dependence on oil from every source as quickly as possible. And you, my friennd, are buying it.

Why? After 20 years of the same nonsense, is it just that it's such a familiar theme?

How many times to I have to reiterate that I understand the free market model and agree that it is a better model than the socialist model, even with its limitations, to earn some legitimacy for my critiques of right-wing ideology?

How often must I concur that there are ideologues on the Left as well to avoid the charge of being a Leftist schill myself. I have absolutely no interest or desire to live in a country that resembles the Soviet Union in any way. People have RIGHTS. But their rights do not entitle them to skim off all the profits in the name of the market, use them to speculate in such a way that it undermines the entire economy, and then use the political influence that those profits bought to force the taxpayers to bail them out.

When people act like that, how am I supposed to repsond?

If you can't see Rush as a schill and dittoheads as dupes, then whose been drinking the Kool-Aid? I advocate that people think for themselves. I honestly don't care if you agree with me. So long as you think it through, understand my position, and contrast it with your own, we're good. But to dismiss me as simply bitter is below the belt, and you know it. If you're going to dismiss me that way, do the same with Rush.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 81
green energy
Posted: 4/18/2009 11:58:02 PM
Here's a market-based solution for you!


A Solar Revolution May Be Coming to Your Town

By Mariah Blake, Washington Monthly. Posted April 11, 2009.

A little-known policy is turning sleepy central Florida into a green energy hub. Could it do the same for America at large?

This winter, as Congress was scrambling to pass the stimulus package, the bottom fell out of the renewable energy sector -- the very industry that lawmakers have held out as our best hope of salvaging the economy. Trade groups like the American Wind Energy Association, which as recently as December was forecasting "another record-shattering year of growth," began predicting that new installations would plunge by 30 to 50 percent. Solar panel manufacturers that had been blazing a trail of growth announced a wave of layoffs. Some have since cut their workforces in half, as stock prices tumble and plans for new green energy projects stall.

But there is one place where capital is still flowing: Gainesville, Florida. Even as solar panels are stacking up in warehouses around the country, this city of 120,000 is gearing up for a solar power boom, fueled by homegrown businesses and scrappy investors who have descended on the community and are hiring local contractors to install photovoltaic panels on rooftops around town.

One of those investors is Tim Morgan, a tall fiftysomething man with slicked-back hair and ostrich-skin boots who owns a chain of electrical contracting companies. His industry has been hit hard by the downturn, but he has a plan to salvage his business, which he explained over a drink at the Ballyhoo Grill, a gritty Gainesville bar with rusty license plates nailed to the wall and Jimmy Buffett blaring on the jukebox. Morgan intends to rent roof space from eighty Gainesville businesses and install twenty-five-kilowatt solar generating systems on each of them, for a total of two megawatts -- a project that would nearly double Florida's solar-generating capacity. He estimates the venture will cost between $16 million and $20 million and bring in $1.4 million a year. Already, he has lined up financing, found local contractors to do the installation, and staked claims to the rooftops of at least fifty businesses. "And we're just one tiny player," he told me. "Look around. You can see how fast this thing is going to move."

Indeed, around Gainesville similar projects abound. Paradigm Properties, a residential real estate company, plans to install photovoltaic arrays on fifty local apartment buildings and its downtown headquarters. Achira Wood, a custom carpentry outlet, is plastering the roof of its workshop -- roughly 50,000 square feet of galvanized steel -- with solar panels. Interstate Mini Storage is doing the same with its sprawling flat-roofed compound. Tom Lane, who owns ECS Solar Energy Systems, a local solar contractor, told me he's planning to expand his staff from eleven to at least fifty. "The activity we've seen is just explosive," he said. "I've been in the business thirty years and I've never seen anything like it."

Why is the renewable energy market in Gainesville booming while it's collapsing elsewhere in the country? The answer boils down to policy. In early February, the city became the first in the nation to adopt a "feed-in tariff" -- a clunky and un-descriptive name for a bold incentive to foster renewable energy. Under this system, the local power company is required to buy renewable energy from independent producers, no matter how small, at rates slightly higher than the average cost of production. This means anyone with a cluster of solar cells on their roof can sell the power they produce at a profit. The costs of the program are passed on to ratepayers, who see a small rise in their electric bills (in Gainesville the annual increase is capped at 1 percent). While rate hikes are seldom popular, the community has rallied behind this policy, because unlike big power plant construction -- the costs of which are also passed on to the public -- everyone has the opportunity to profit, either by investing themselves or by tapping into the groundswell of economic activity the incentive creates.

Though Gainesville is the first to take the leap, other U.S. cities are also moving toward adopting feed-in tariffs. Hawaii plans to enact one this summer, and at least ten other states are considering following suit. Among them is hard-hit Michigan, where Governor Jennifer Granholm has promised that the policy will help salvage the state's economy and create thousands of jobs by allowing "every homeowner, every business" to become "a renewable energy entrepreneur." There is also a bill for a federal feed-in tariff before Congress.

Could this approach help revive our renewable energy market, and give a needed jolt to the U.S. economy? There is reason to believe it could. In Germany, which pioneered the modern feed-in tariff, it has given rise to the world's most vibrant green energy sector. More than forty countries, from Nicaragua to Israel, have followed Germany's lead, often with dramatic results. Study after study has shown that not only do feed-in tariffs deliver more renewable energy than other market incentives, they do so at a lower cost. "People hesitate to call anything a panacea," says Toby Couture, an energy and financial markets analyst at the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory. "But if you're interested in creating jobs, getting capital flowing, and expanding renewable energy, feed-in tariffs get the job done -- often more cost effectively than other policies."

To understand why feed-in tariffs are potentially revolutionary, you first have to understand how they differ from the system we've been using to drive investment in renewable energy so far. For the last fifteen years, the United States has relied on a patchwork of state subsidies and federal tax breaks -- mostly production tax credits for wind power, which let investors take write-offs for the energy produced. When Wall Street was riding high on mortgage-backed securities, this made green energy an appealing option for big banks, which funneled billions of dollars into sprawling wind farms as a way of lowering their taxes. But when the market collapsed and corporate profits dried up, so did the incentive to invest. Since last year, the number of tax equity investors -- mainly big investment banks -- sinking money into wind farms has dwindled from as many as eighteen to four, and the remaining players have scaled back.

This tax-based system has other drawbacks as well. Because Congress has to renew the tax credits -- and has often failed to do so -- renewable energy is a risky market. Frenzied bursts of investment are followed by near-total collapse, a pattern that has hampered the growth of our domestic green manufacturing sector. Also, tax incentives (and the quota systems in place in about half of U.S. states) end up favoring large-scale projects, mostly monster wind farms concentrated in remote places like the Texas panhandle. This has been lucrative for the companies, like GE and Siemens, that build them, but of limited economic benefit to local communities. What's more, a lot of energy is wasted transporting power from the sparsely populated areas where it's produced to the cities and coasts -- assuming it can be transported at all. Transmission lines are in such short supply that turbines (and occasionally entire wind farms) sometimes have to be shut down because of bottlenecks in the grid.

Feed-in tariffs promise to solve many of these problems by encouraging small, local production, driven not by Wall Street banks but by ordinary entrepreneurs -- a system that boosts efficiency and fortifies local economies.

Feed-in tariffs are not a new idea. In fact the United States tried them once before, in the 1970s. At the time the global economy was in shambles, the result of OPEC choking off the world's oil supply. In a bid to ward off future oil shocks, Congress passed the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA), which required power companies to buy electricity from small renewable generators. This spurred a green energy boom, especially in California, which offered producers long-term contracts at rates that were tied to the then-soaring price of natural gas (specifically, they were linked to future-cost projections). Virtually all of the renewable generating power the state has today came online under the policy. More importantly, the technical breakthroughs made in California during this era helped give rise to the modern renewable energy industry.

But this approach also had some glaring flaws, which came into focus in the early 1990s, when the price of natural gas tumbled. Rates for renewable energy sank so low that there was no incentive to invest, and the industry collapsed. Power companies were also stuck with high-priced contracts, which stirred a well of public resentment. Several key states, including California, rolled back the contract requirements, essentially taking the teeth out of PURPA.

But not every nation had the luxury of cheap, abundant fossil fuels. Even in the 1980s and '90s, when the United States was flush with energy, Germany was struggling to meet its demand -- a by-product of its scant oil and gas reserves and the groundswell of opposition to nuclear power after the Chernobyl meltdown. One of the solutions the country settled on was dusting off the feed-in tariff model. The original German bill, passed in 1991, only created an incentive for wind and hydropower. Still, it doubled the share of renewable electricity the country produced, from 3 to 6 percent, over the next nine years. In 2000, the incentive was extended to all renewable energy sources. The pricing structure was also overhauled so rates were tied to the cost of production and varied by energy source -- a key point of distinction from PURPA. The aim of the policy was to cultivate a broad enough portfolio of renewable options that Germany could one day replace fossil fuels entirely, and do so outside conventional energy markets. "Big power companies have too many vested interests against renewable energy," explains Hermann Scheer, a member of the German parliament, who championed the policy. "They will never be the driving forces behind its development."

The policy has allowed Germany not only to meet but to exceed its renewable energy goals. Initially, the aim was to get 12 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2010. But it passed that milestone three years early, and has since reached the 15 percent mark -- the most rapid growth seen in any country. By mid-century, Germany aims to increase that share to 50 percent. Already, the nation, which is about as sunny as Juneau, Alaska, is home to almost half the world's solar generating capacity, and churns out more solar power than any country except Japan. Although it is half the size of Texas, and far less windy, it is also vying with the United States for the number one spot when it comes to generating capacity for wind power.

The driving forces behind this boom are local communities and small entrepreneurs. If you travel the country top to bottom, you'll see the signs of this everywhere, from the drizzly port of Hamburg, where wind turbines are tucked between stacks of rusty shipping containers, to villages in the Black Forest, where farmers are ripping out ancient waterwheels and replacing them with modern turbines. In Freiburg, a walled medieval city full of cobbled streets and Gothic spires, there are roof-mounted photovoltaic panels everywhere, from churches and schools to train stations and factories, even the local soccer stadium. Some residents have also found more creative ways to harvest energy. Among them is local architect Rolf Disch: his home, which looks like a squat upside-down rocket, has a billboard-sized solar array on the roof and wrap-around balconies with liquid-filled railings that double as solar heat collectors. It also rotates to follow the sun. All told, the building generates five times more electricity than it uses. Disch has also designed solar gas stations and a suburban housing development, where the homes act like mini power stations. But he is careful to note that his clients are not hippies or eco-rebels. "These are doctors, teachers, engineers," he told me when I visited Freiburg last June. "In other words, ordinary people."

What inspires ordinary Germans to invest in renewable energy? Part of the answer is that it's about as safe as government bonds -- and brings a better return. Under the German system, renewable energy producers are given long-term, fixed-rate contracts, designed to deliver a profit of 7 to 9 percent. This makes green energy a secure bet for both investors and banks.

The German system contains another ingenious feature: every year, the rate paid for new contracts falls, so a company that installs a large rooftop solar array this year will lock in a rate that is nearly 20 percent higher than one that waits until 2011. This has two salutary effects. First, it creates an incentive for would-be entrepreneurs to get in the game as soon as possible, thereby spurring a rush of investment (which helps explain why Germany was able to meet its renewable energy targets three years early). Second, it forces the green energy sector to innovate. If they want to stay in business and hold on to their margins, manufacturers have no choice but to continually seek out new efficiencies.

This combination of a fast-growing market and rapid innovation has turned the country into a green industry powerhouse. Germany is the leading destination for green capital, with $14 billion invested in 2007 alone. It is also a front-runner in green job creation. Some 300,000 people work in the nation's renewable energy sector today. By 2020 green technology is expected pass the auto and electrical engineering industries to become the nation's top employer, with more than 700,000 workers. One of the forces driving this growth is exports. In fact, many of the windmills and solar panels that are cropping up from New York to the Texas panhandle are made in Germany.

The economic benefits of this green tech boom have reached into the poorest corners of the country, including ragged patches of former East Germany. The region between Frankfurt-Oder and Dresden was once as grim as the drabbest outpost in the American Rust Belt. But in recent years, a vibrant green energy corridor, known as "solar valley," has sprung up amid the abandoned coal mines and shuttered factories. Thousands of workers from the defunct East German semiconductor industry (some of whom had languished for years on unemployment rolls) are now gainfully employed in solar panel factories.

Most importantly, although Germany's economy has been devastated by the downturn, its green energy sector continues to thrive. In fact, Ernst & Young recently ranked the nation number one on its index of most attractive markets for renewable energy investment. "Just as cash is king," the report found, "feed-in tariffs are favored by investors," especially in uncertain financial times.

You might expect that a system like this -- one that allows countless independent producers to sell electricity at premium rates -- would come with a hefty price tag. But that is not the case. Studies have shown that even though German-style feed-in tariffs encourage the use of relatively expensive forms of renewable energy, such as solar power, they produce power more cheaply on a watt-for-watt basis than other renewable energy policies. This is because there is less investment risk, and less risk means investors can get lower-interest loans for generating equipment. This is one reason installing a solar panel in Freiburg costs less than it does in San Francisco. Renewable energy producers are also willing to accept lower profit margins because the returns are all but guaranteed. In contrast, under other systems utilities are forced to pay hefty risk premiums. This is particularly true of the quota systems (known as renewable portfolio standards) that are in use in about half of U.S. states and some European countries.

These findings are not lost on Germany's neighbors. To date, at least eighteen of the European Union's twenty-seven member states -- along with some twenty-five countries, cities, and provinces elsewhere in the world -- have adopted feed-in tariffs. Mario Ragwitz, who is spearheading a long-term EU study comparing renewable energy incentives, says three-quarters of the renewable electricity that the bloc produces each year is a direct result of this trend. "Almost everything Europe has when it comes to clean energy stems from the feed-in tariff policy," he says. "No other system compares."

In some nations where feed-in tariffs have reached critical mass, there is evidence that they have actually driven down the overall price of electricity. This may seem counterintuitive -- after all, renewable energy is more expensive on average than, say, coal power. But the price of electricity is often driven by natural gas, a costly and volatile fuel that is frequently used to meet peak power needs. If you have a large volume of renewable energy (particularly less-expensive wind power) you can cut your use of natural gas, bringing prices down across the board.

In the United States, tax credits and quotas are still the policies of choice. But this may be changing. While the stimulus package expands existing incentives, it also has some novel twists. Namely, in lieu of tax write-offs, companies that break ground on renewable energy projects (such as solar, wind, and geothermal plants) in the next two years can recover 30 percent of their project costs from the Treasury in the form of direct grants. This opens the renewable market to a wide range of players, rather than just big companies with outsized tax bills.

Investors and industry analysts have hailed this as an enormous step forward -- one that, in concept, could unclog the pipelines of capital and breathe life back into the renewable sector. "Theoretically, this approach could really supercharge the industry," says Cai Steger of the Natural Resource Defense Council's Center for Market Innovation. But they are divided over just how much investment it will attract. This is because, while the policy broadens the pool of potential investors, it doesn't thaw the frozen credit markets, which have made it difficult to get financing for renewable projects (except in places where the return is guaranteed). Also, although the green energy measures in the stimulus package are longer term than past incentives (the production tax credits were extended for three years instead of one, as has often been the case in the past) they don't entirely fix the quandary of market instability. Will the industry collapse again when the Treasury grants expire in 2010? Nobody really knows. Moreover, analysts expect the system will continue to favor large-scale projects. This means it is unlikely to spur the kind of small, local production, widespread economic development, and rapid job growth seen in places like Germany.

On this front, some lawmakers would like to see America give Europe a run for its money. "Why should Germany be dominating all this job creation?" Rep. Jay Inslee of Washington told me when I visited him on Capitol Hill in January. "It's time for us to get in the game." Last June, the Democratic congressman, who has long been pushing green energy as an engine of economic growth, introduced a bill for a federal feed-in tariff —part of a surge of interest in the policy reaching from California to Maine. In recent months, there has been a flurry of white papers, reports, and conferences on the topic. Interest is also growing in research circles. Toby Couture of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory says that six to eight months ago many of his colleagues didn't even know the policy existed. Now, he adds, "Everyone on my team is asking, `Why aren't we doing this?'"

Congress, meanwhile, is clearing away some of the logistical stumbling blocks, like our nation's aging, patchwork electric grid, which could make the intermittency of renewable energy difficult to manage, especially if large quantities come online at once. The stimulus package helps solve this problem by providing $11 billion to modernize our energy infrastructure and develop a "smart grid," with advanced sensors and distributed computing capabilities, so it can instantly reroute power to meet demand or avoid system overloads. This should pave the way for a better integration of renewable electricity—and, perhaps, open the door to strong, consistent policy that channels America's entrepreneurial drive into renewable energy.

The drive is there waiting to be unlocked. Just ask Tim Morgan. As the sun dipped behind the live oaks outside Ballyhoo, and "Margaritaville" blared over the speakers, he let me in on the grander scheme behind his Gainesville venture. As he trolls the city for rooftops where he can install photovoltaic arrays, he's purposely gravitated toward chain stores. That way as other cities and states adopt feed-in tariffs, he'll have ready-made inroads. "I wanted the system to be scalable, so I can expand," he explained. "If the incentives are right, there's no reason there couldn't be solar panels on every Walgreens and Sam's Club across the country."

Will Tim Morgan turn out to be the Sam Walton of solar power? Who knows. But hearing his plan, I definitely had the sense he was a man on the ground floor of something big.
 Janet4ever
Joined: 4/14/2008
Msg: 82
green energy
Posted: 4/19/2009 10:52:42 AM

Our government has long been big and stupid, and with the pending government-sponsored revolution in the energy sector, it’s getting even bigger and stupider.[quote/]
I agree, oh wise one. So can't we just boycott government instead of beef?

I like steak.
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 83
green energy
Posted: 4/19/2009 11:33:10 AM
Janet
Let's just boycott the weenies in government... Or the pork in the Obama/Reid/Pelosi "stimulus" spendfest buffet?

Ace

What would happen if all businesses and apartment buildings were required to install solar to power all external lighting like for outdoors or hallways?


You'd get every Republican schill {sic} and every Conservative dupe in the country screaming about socialist dictatorship and protesting in the streets. You'd get every oil-company lobbyist in the country descending on Washington and every state capital to call in every favor they've ever done to delay it as long as possible. And when that tactive finally wore out, then you'd get every Conservative lawyer on the case to defend their clients' rights to waste as much fuel as possible, as quickly as possible, lest the Chinese or Indian economies get a drop of "our" oil.


Ace, ponder what Jack said about your bias, and don’t imply that he must be a Rush-following dittohead if he thinks you have one. Personally, I enjoy your oblique viewpoints and use them to test my own views, but it is getting harder to pay attention to you after regurgitations like the aforementioned. And I noticed you essentially evaded my response to your post regarding Ronald Reagan and Detroit. But at least you didn’t bring up then try to link me to bizarre and unrelated issues like another Old lib lurking herein, so thank you for that!

Now, get this--a REPUBLICAN mayor just made the City of San Diego the state's first large city to establish a program for homeowners and small businesses to more easily purchase rooftop solar systems!!! Yes, a right-wing, conservative actually cares about clean energy and our environment!!!

San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders, pushed for AB 811, which allows city homeowners to finance the entire cost of installing solar panels on their homes, and allows for the up to 20-year loan to transfer along with the property when the home is sold. It makes the financing palatable to banks by allowing them to put primary liens on the homes when they loan the money for the solar panels. It will begin in the city on a test basis in September. This eliminates the two biggest hurdles facing homeowners who want their electricity provided by the sun. The first is the sizable down payment needed to purchase the systems -- which can cost between $25,000 and $60,000. The second is the prospect of selling your home, but still owing on the solar panel system.

So, with available state and federal rebates totaling about $12,500, a city homeowner could purchase a $30,000 system and end up with a $17,500 loan. Assuming a 7 percent interest rate, the monthly payment would be $135.68. And with a solar panel system, the typical homeowner would cut his or her monthly electricity bill of $82 to about $10. So, the homeowner would end up with a solar panel system for about $62 a month more than today's electricity bill. In the end the homeowner would have a smaller carbon footprint and a presumably more valuable house because it included a rooftop solar system. But in these harsh economic times, it is dubious that a homeowner would make that financial commitment at current electricity rates and the downward readjustment in home re-sell prices.

Solar companies, which have been burned in the past by pronouncements that home solar panels will become the norm, are taking a cautious view since there is so uncertainty. Marney Cox, the chief economist for the San Diego Association of Governments, said clean tech is not so much an industry as it is a new way of doing things. This makes it difficult to predict what kind of job growth it will deliver, since new clean tech jobs might mean that you don't have to add jobs to old industries.

There is also concern that the state and federal subsidies are masking the true cost of installing solar panels, and hiding the true cost of ownership of anything ultimately leads to problems. "Pretty soon it has to fly on its own -- if it doesn't, we run the risk of creating another bubble," Cox said. "We've had a high tech bubble and a housing bubble; we don't want a green bubble."

Richard Carson, an environmental economist at the University of California, San Diego, said the solar program, along with all large-scale green initiatives, is on shaky ground without increased taxes on energy consumption. He points to the drop in oil and natural gas prices in the second half of last year, which are meaningful because almost all of California's electricity is generated by gas-powered plants. Until green initiatives can compete price-wise with traditional technologies, they will be at a disadvantage.

"Solar deals that looked really good bets six months, or a year ago, don't look nearly as attractive now," Carson said. "This is the basic problem with lots of things that are clean, energy efficient technology. The very best thing in the long run [for green energy sources] is for energy prices to be higher."
___
We should have supplemented our fossil fuels based energy generation with solar way back in the Jimmy Carter era. But government conspires to make sure that the wishes of Big Money comes first--not the needs of society, so I have little confidence in government. I think the best approach is to somehow force the government to at least craft incentives that direct Big Money’s behavior towards the desired outcome (desired by and for society, that is), then we will make progress. Again, government should mandate an escalating percentage of green sourcing then get out of the way so Big Money cannot manipulate these government buffoons and influence-peddlers.

The shameless weenies...
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 84
green energy
Posted: 4/19/2009 12:38:49 PM
Ace, ponder what Jack said about your bias, and don’t imply that he must be a Rush-following dittohead if he thinks you have one.


Fair enough. I certainly didn't mean to imply that Jack was a dittohead and Jack, I apologize if I gave that impression.

I know that Jack many do strive to think things through for themselves, and if I come to different conclusions based on the sources I've explored and the experiences I've had, I understand that. But their good efforts are so often masked by the sheer weight and voice of the dittohead contingent that I sometimes feel besieged.

I just don't like being dismissed out of hand for being cynical, at times, about the behavior and motivations of people who the mainstream identifies with so readily. If people can readily jump to the conclusion that Obama is really out to destroy the country without being denounced as biased and bitter, I would beg leave to be accorded the same lattitude when I call into question the behavior and motives of our captains of business.

Especially when I see them as leading us down the wrong path.

Obviously, if Jack's reaction is any indication, the moderate mainstream is not yet ready to consider making the changes that I believe will be needed. I'm not sure if that's because they don't yet see a viable alternative, just don't believe that the issue is real, just don't see it as pressing, or just don't care. But if people aren't ready then they aren't, and yelling at them about it won't do any good. So Jack, if all that you got out of what I said was a feeling of having been scolded then I definitely took the wrong tack and I apologize for that.

If you had my bias and my concern, how would you handle it?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 85
green energy
Posted: 4/20/2009 12:55:44 PM
You consider all Christians as the same, they are not, and you always comment that they just follow some church leader like a cult, some do, probably... but most don't.


Well, if that's the impression I gave you, then I guess I wasn't clear. I have tried many times to draw the distinctions between Christians who actually _do_ what Christ tells them to do, vs. Christians who feel that their faith entitles them to tell others what do to.


My thinking is more along the line of sending so much money to the Middle east, when we could get rid of that security risk. and drill here.


This is a very good point. Short term, it is very bad for us to fund people who don't mean us well. It is definitely a bad tradeoff either way.


You people on the left, and I say you, cause you admit it by your arguments , only want to force one thing, an environment agenda that leaves us stuck on middle east oil.


Well, no, not exactly. What I want, and what I think many environmentalists want, is what I asked you about so directly. I want members of the mainstream to wrap their minds around the problem of peak oil production, and start thinking about what we can do together to soften the impact of the predictable decline in global oil supply.

I don't mind burning whatever oil it takes to make the transition from an unsustainable mode to a sustainable one. Not in the slightest. But if we're just going to keep steaming full spead ahead toward the wall, I'm going to keep yanking on the emergency brake signal since that's all I can really do.

It's simple really, we need oil, we shouldn't get it from the middle east, we should drill here. At the same time, those who are working towards alternatives will. And if something is created that works, great. But nothing man is doing... is going to burn up our planet.


I don't see it as being quite that simple. What is it that we need so much oil for? How much of that use is simply waste? There is a long-term/short-term trade-off involved in where we get it. And, even if global warming is a red herring, peak oil is not.

There are also entrenched interests, who see alternatives as competition for both economic and political power, who have been undermining our ability to create anything that could possibly work.

The way I see it is this: We all need to get wise and think about where we're going and what conditions we want for our grandchildren. Your concern about how we source the oil we currently burn is valid, but it is just one part of the picture--which is not just a momentary snapshot. It has a history and a momentum that will only change for the better if we change it.
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 86
green energy
Posted: 4/23/2009 11:47:42 AM
Is the push to switch over to green energy best made by the government creating more of its own internal bureaucracy, or by issuing intelligent mandates to suppliers then staying out if it?

Does anybody out there have any memory of the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Jimmy Carter administration?

Bottom line--we've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency... the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember. It was very simple, and at the time everybody thought it very appropriate. The Department of Energy was instituted on August 4, 1977 to LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCY ON FOREIGN OIL.

But we are MORE dependent on foreign oil NOW than we were then!

Pretty efficient, huh? Here we are 32 years later, after spending hundreds of billions of dollars for this lousy performance, we will spend another $24.2 BILLION on it this year. The DOE has 16,000 federal employees and 100,000 contract employees.

Ah, yes, good ole government bureaucracy, the antidote prescribed by the loud mouths who earned an "F" in their Management 101 and Organizational Development 101 classes.

(And now the leftists are taking control of our banking system, health care, and the auto industry while claiming that the government will fix those problems.)

Amerika. Where the know-nothing sheep quietly go to slaughter.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 87
green energy
Posted: 4/23/2009 10:21:53 PM
How exactly did the mission of the DOE change from reducing our dependence on foreign oil to protecting the oil industry from any and all potential competitors?

Don't you think it's a bit simplistic to look at a government agency that has been a nonperformer without also looking at the interests who benefit most by co-opting it?

Sure we have to be careful. And yes, I agree that what a government should do is mandate and enforce standards and otherwise let the market sort out the winners from the losers--based on their performance as rated by their customers.

That being said, the DOE does appear to be a cruel joke.
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 88
green energy
Posted: 4/23/2009 11:08:40 PM

Don't you think it's a bit simplistic to look at a government agency that has been a nonperformer without also looking at the interests who benefit most by co-opting it?


Ace

That contains my point, which is that it is simplistic to believe the government is suitable to be in charge of things since--despite politicians campaign rhetoric and the just-for-show mission statements of government agencies--the government actually does not work for you and me. I assert that the government is just the whorehouse, and the Big Money are the johns, and the public gets the screwin' AND pays the bill.

Nobody can be trusted anymore: a] the government entities are sell-outs to money and their grandiose illusions of having power and importance while b] they are really just mere errand boys to the Big Monied/Big Mega-corporations; and c] the electorate is too lazy to do their due diligence and is thus naive, and seeks patronage that will hurt it in the long run. The cycle is complete as everyone plays their respective roles.

Pelosi will bring up cap-and-trade again, Obama and his congress will advocate for it absent a firestorm of protest, and the starstruck citizen's who are currently bestowing high presidential poll ratings will eventually pay even substantially more for energy whether it's source is fossil or green.

It's all just another front in the war on the middle class mounted by the government and their Big Money masters who will soon have no political resistance from a dumbed-down and strapped citizenry, thereby taking the country away from the people and sinking into Third World status.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 89
green energy
Posted: 4/23/2009 11:41:00 PM

It's all just another front in the war on the middle class mounted by the government and their Big Money masters who will soon have no political resistance from a dumbed-down and strapped citizenry, thereby taking the country away from the people and sinking into Third World status.


Well, this is where I find myself at a loss. The moneyed inerests in this country have every reason to back a vibrant middle class. People who live at a subsistence level have no discretionary income to spend. Money represents potential energy, and just like the marble traveling down the maze of slides, the shallower the descent the more activity it can produce. If it drops straight through, it doesn't produce much good along the way.

Also, their icon, Henry Ford, recognized the importance of a prosperous middle class, as should every industrialist. A middle class that prospers is the best defense against communism that the wealthy could possibly hope for. Was the threat of communism really all that kept the wealthy in check in their predations? Or was it just that the oil supplies then were so vast that we could all still prosper despite their best efforts to reduce us to subsistence and dependency?

Personally, I'd rather be a garbage collecor in heaven than a prince in hell, but that's just me. I guess if you figure this is just a hellish pit stop on your way to heaven, it doesn't much matter what you do to the place.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 90
green energy
Posted: 5/1/2009 12:56:48 AM
The Snopes.com assessment of this claim was #2 when I googled Bakken.



Origins: This item about untapped oil reserves in the Bakken formation (which lies within portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana) appears to have been taken from a tout sheet intended to sell subscriptions to an investment newsletter. It is vaguely true in the sense that geologists have estimated there is a good deal of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in that area, and as the price of crude oil increases and the technology for extracting resources from formations like Bakken improves, that area becomes more and more economically viable as a source of oil for the U.S. However, the estimate of over 500 billion barrels of oil to be recovered from the Bakken formation is an overly optimistic one based on incomplete, outdated information.

A November 2006 report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) stated that:
With new horizontal drilling and completion technology taken into account, the technically recoverable resource base for the entire Bakken Formation is potentially much larger. A draft study by the late organic geochemist Leigh Price provides estimates ranging from 271 to 503 billion barrels (mean of 413 billion) of potential resources in place. The study represents Dr. Price's work as it stood at the time of his death in August 2000. It was conducted while he was working for the USGS, but it did not receive a complete scientific peer review by the USGS and was not published as a USGS product. A new assessment of the entire basin, due out in about a year, will provide an updated USGS estimate of the technically recoverable oil resources in the Bakken Formation.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released its assessment of undiscovered oil resources in the Bakken formation in April 2008, and although it reported a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that could be recovered from that area compared to its 1995 estimate, the 2008 USGS estimate was still far short of the 503 billion barrel volume cited above:
North Dakota and Montana have an estimated 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil in an area known as the Bakken Formation.

A U.S. Geological Survey assessment, released April 10, shows a 25-fold increase in the amount of oil that can be recovered compared to the agency's 1995 estimate of 151 million barrels of oil.

New geologic models applied to the Bakken Formation, advances in drilling and production technologies, and recent oil discoveries have resulted in these substantially larger technically recoverable oil volumes. About 105 million barrels of oil were produced from the Bakken Formation by the end of 2007.

The USGS estimate of 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil has a mean value of 3.65 billion barrels. Scientists conducted detailed studies in stratigraphy and structural geology and the modeling of petroleum geochemistry. They also combined their findings with historical exploration and production analyses to determine the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil estimates.
Certainly 3.65 billion barrels of recoverable oil is nothing to sneeze at, but a little perspective is in order. The U.S. currently imports an average of about 10 million barrels of oil per day (for a total of about 3.65 billion barrels of oil per year), so even if all the estimated undiscovered oil in the Bakken formation were extracted today, it would only be enough to wean the U.S. off of crude oil imports for one year. That's still a good thing, but it's not nearly "enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight" as claimed above.

As for the second part of the article, a 2005 study co-authored by James T. Bartis for the RAND Corporation (a nonprofit research organization) noted that estimates had placed upper range of shale oil resources to be found within the Green River Formation range of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming at between 1.5 and 1.8 trillion barrels. However, the report also stated that not all of that oil was recoverable and offered a midpoint estimate of about 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil shale resources. Moreover, the report also noted that even under "high growth assumptions," an oil shale production level of 1 million barrels per day (about 10% of the amount of oil the U.S. currently imports daily) is "probably more than 20 years in the future," and depends upon scientists overcoming some substantial obstacles first:
But development of the resource hinges on overcoming economic, technical and environmental obstacles, Bartis said.

"No work has been done on the impacts of development and ways to mitigate those impacts," he said.

For example, shale development requires large expenditures of water and energy, produces air pollution and carbon emissions and leaves toxic byproducts that could endanger the environment.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 91
green energy
Posted: 5/5/2009 8:22:19 PM
This is an excerpt from the Global Trends 2025 Report, published by the National Intelligence Council in November of 2008--during the Bush administration.

http://www.dni.gov/nic/PDF_2025/2025_Global_Trends_Final_Report.pdf, page 44.



Timing is Everything

All current technologies are inadequate for replacing traditional energy architectures on the scale needed, and new energy technologies probably will not be commercially viable and widespread by 2025 (see foldout). The present generation of biofuels is too expensive to grow, would further boost food prices, and their manufacture consumes essentially the same amount of energy they produce. Other ways of converting nonfood biomass resources to fuels and chemical products should be more
promising, such as those based on high-growth algae or agricultural waste products, especially cellulosic biomass. Development of clean coal technologies and carbon capture and storage is gaining momentum and—if such technologies were cost-competitive by 2025—would enable coal to generate more electricity in a carbon-constrained regulatory environment. Long-lasting hydrogen fuel cells have potential, but they remain in their infancy and are at least a decade away from commercial production. Enormous infrastructure investment might be required to support a “hydrogen economy.” An Argonne National Laboratory study found that hydrogen, from well to tank, is likely to be at least twice as costly as gasoline.

Even with the favorable policy and funding environment that would be needed for biofuels, clean coal, or hydrogen, major technologies historically have had an “adoption lag.” A recent study found that in the energy sector, it takes an average of 25 years for a new production technology to become widely adopted. A major reason for this lag is the need for new infrastructure to handle major innovation. For energy in particular, massive and sustained infrastructure investments made for almost 150 years encompass production, transportation, refining, marketing, and retail activities.
Adoption of natural gas, a fuel superior to oil in many respects, illustrates the difficulty of a transition to something new. Technologies to use natural gas have been widely available since at least the 1970s, yet natural gas still lags crude oil in the global market because the technical and investment requirements for producing and transporting it are greater than they are for oil-based fuels.

Simply meeting baseline energy demand over the next two decades is estimated to require more than $3 trillion of investment in traditional hydrocarbons by companies built up over more than a century and with market capitalizations in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Because a new form of energy is highly unlikely to use existing infrastructure without modifications, we expect any new form of energy to demand similarly massive investment.

Despite what are seen as long odds now, we cannot rule out the possibility of a transition by 2025 that would avoid the costs of an infrastructure overhaul. The greatest possibility for a relatively quick and inexpensive transition during that period comes from better renewable generation sources (photovoltaic and wind) and improvements in battery technology. With many of these technologies, the infrastructure cost hurdle for individual projects would be lower, enabling many small economic actors to develop their own energy transformation projects that directly serve their interests—e.g., stationary fuel cells powering homes and offices, recharging plug-in hybrid autos, and selling energy back to the grid. Also, energy conversion schemes—such as plans to generate hydrogen for automotive fuel cells from electricity in a homeowner’s garage—could avoid the need to develop complex hydrogen transportation infrastructure. Similarly, non-ethanol biofuels derived from genetically modified feed stocks may be able to leverage the considerable investment in liquid petroleum transport and distribution infrastructure.
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 92
green energy
Posted: 5/7/2009 3:48:04 PM
I did confirm this through Snopes.com to be true because I was a little skeptical about it.


Tale of Two Houses

House #1
A 20 room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house, all heated by gas. In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2400 per month. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home.. This house is not situated in a Northern or Midwestern "snow belt" area. It's in the South.
________________________________________

House #2
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every "green" feature current home construction can provide. The house is 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on a high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat-pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it consumes one-quarter electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Surrounding flowers and shrubs native to the area enable the property to blend into the surrounding rural landscape.

~~~~~
HOUSE #1 is outside of Nashville , Tennessee ;
it is the abode of the "environmentalist" Al Gore.

HOUSE #2 is on a ranch near Crawford , Texas ;
it is the residence of ex President of the United States , George W. Bush.

An "inconvenient truth."
 robin-hood
Joined: 12/2/2008
Msg: 93
view profile
History
green energy
Posted: 5/8/2009 7:32:37 PM
fzrhusker,

I would say Al Gore's house uses more energy, but then again when was it built. When you compare energy consumption you shouldn't be quoting $dollars as the dollars per unit of energy vary by company and rate structure.

The cistern has been around for years and is a very good idea for irrigation and hose bibbs, and if taken care of for personal use, but if you have city water near by one should use it for drinking water at least.

Actually the water at 67 degrees is the heat sink. A water source heat pump (heating cycle) extracts the heat from ground water and returns it to the ground at probably 55 degrees. If the ground is right (sandy) then it will begin to cool and when summer rolls around the heat pump ( air conditioner mode) begins to heat the water about 15 to 20 degrees and returns it to the ground. One must still use mechanical equipment and also pump the water. Over all its more efficient than a heat pump/AC that extracts and releases heat through an outside condensing unit. One must remember that the net effect of the heatpump is to increase the ground water temperature over time.

But back to your point. Shouldn't Al be practicing what he preaches ?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 94
green energy
Posted: 5/10/2009 2:16:53 AM
fz,

Yes, that sort of hypocrisy is irksome. But dwelling on the irony of it all still doesn't change the fact that we still don't have a plan in place for making a comfortable and workable shift to a lower-energy-consumption logistical system.

So, we can all feel smug and superior, or betrayed, by Big Al's house, or we can apply our minds toward the problem at hand.

How will your grandchildren eat? How will they stay warm? How will we move the things they need to them, and recycle the things that they need no longer?

Do you have any clue as to how they'll be able to do it?
 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 95
green energy
Posted: 5/10/2009 6:12:45 PM
here's a link

http://nextbigfuture.com/2009/05/nuclear-fusion-and-new-nuclear-fission.html

What's cool about this is all the new approaches being taken. For years it seems that we were stuck on one approach. We're finally getting smart.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 96
green energy
Posted: 5/10/2009 8:15:25 PM
Those new approaches to nuclear energy sound much more promising than previous technologies. They have an advantage over hydrogen fuel in that there might actually be enough net energy produced to backfill the eventual decline in oil.

So that could be part of the answer, but it will be expensive and the risks of those technologies still need to be assessed. We will still need to streamline our consumption profile and develop other sources for capturing energy. Transportation without gasoline or diesel will still be a challenge.
 OldFolkie
Joined: 6/8/2008
Msg: 97
view profile
History
green energy
Posted: 5/12/2009 6:14:35 PM
Actually there is no need to be "irked" by what Conservative's call Gore's hypocrisy.
The Gore's bought the 80 year old, 20 room, two building and heated pool property in 2002 for 2.3 million. Nice house, but as the Conservative's claim, it was an energy HOG. The Gore's have in the last two years spent a fortune renovating and applying "green" technology to the house, and that is a process that is continuing.

Fz, it's your turn to check your facts before buying into Conservative think tank mudslinging. You don't like Gore or his message, so you choose to believe political rants without bothering to check on the facts. He, unlike all too many of us, is putting HIS money where his mouth is.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22248699/
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 98
green energy
Posted: 5/12/2009 6:31:26 PM
In fairness, fz did say that he checked snopes. That is often a reliable source when it comes to rumors. But apparently it's not perfect!
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 99
green energy
Posted: 5/13/2009 6:22:21 AM
Ace thanks for the backup but I got this one. I do check my facts and I check the dates and source, MSNBC wow real unbiased.

June 17, 2008
Al Gore's house still an energy hog.

Remember last year when the report came out about how much energy Al Gore's big huge house was using?

The Goracle told us he was going to have all this energy saving technology installed in his home. Well the results are in. One year later and the Casa de Gore is sucking up 10% more energy than before.

From the Tenessee Center for Policy Research:

Energy Guzzled by Al Gore’s Home in Past Year Could Power 232 U.S. Homes for a Month Gore’s personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite “energy-efficient” home renovations

NASHVILLE - In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.

“A man’s commitment to his beliefs is best measured by what he does behind the closed doors of his own home,” said Drew Johnson, President of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. “Al Gore is a hypocrite and a fraud when it comes to his commitment to the environment, judging by his home energy consumption.”

In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month.

In February 2007, An Inconvenient Truth, a film based on a climate change speech developed by Gore, won an Academy Award for best documentary feature. The next day, the Tennessee Center for Policy Research uncovered that Gore’s Nashville home guzzled 20 times more electricity than the average American household.

After the Tennessee Center for Policy Research exposed Gore’s massive home energy use, the former Vice President scurried to make his home more energy-efficient. Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the “green” overhaul.

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month –1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533. By comparison, the average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

In the wake of becoming the most well-known global warming alarmist, Gore won an Oscar, a Grammy and the Nobel Peace Prize. In addition, Gore saw his personal wealth increase by an estimated $100 million thanks largely to speaking fees and investments related to global warming hysteria.

“Actions speak louder than words, and Gore’s actions prove that he views climate change not as a serious problem, but as a money-making opportunity,” Johnson said. “Gore is exploiting the public’s concern about the environment to line his pockets and enhance his profile.”

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a Nashville-based free market think tank and watchdog organization, obtained information about Gore’s home energy use through a public records request to the Nashville Electric Service.
 fzrhusker
Joined: 10/8/2005
Msg: 100
green energy
Posted: 5/13/2009 10:39:46 PM
I am all for green and think that industry and the environment should go hand in hand, there said that. We need to use all sources of energy, but oil and NG is what I refer to here.

My question goes to some of you that have allot more knowledge of the technical aspects of law and mineral rights and such.
Question: Why isn't this a matter of states rights. Not sure why Alaska can do what they do, but in the end don't the natural resources of this country belong to us. I believe somewhere along the way the Feds got control of stuff and sell the rights back to companies to mine it.

Can anybody expand on this?
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