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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Nu Clear Realism

The Monbiot treatise du jour covers nuclear energy. Pretty fair and balanced and realistic from the POV that radical but common-sense changes in human behavior outshine any technical changes for the foreseeable future.

I emphasize the change aspect in light of some battles I have with a certain J-Mo at the Peak Oil message board. It's kind of silly to get petty about this stuff, but the ideas that J presents are all red-herrings. Lately, in the context of a green scooter thread I have started to respond with aburdities.

Case 1

WebHubbleTelescope wrote:
What's with the talk of bio-diesel and ethanol all the time? This stuff gets subsidized by petrochemical dollars, and does not have a net benefit. It probably has a worse MPG in real-world terms.

JayHMorrison wrote:
Biodiesel plants that are specifically designed for it, and that are continuous production (not batch), have been shown to have an EROEI of 6.7 so far.

WebHubbleTelescope wrote:
Typically, more energy from non-renewables goes into making ethanol than comes out. As for bio-diesel, think of this analogy. I have got a material called leadgold, which is much more valuable than the plentiful lead. Of course leadgold contains nuggets of gold, which the clever person will determine is the reason it is more valuable. So replace lead with waste vegetable oil and gold with diesel and you have the wonder fuel called biodiesel. The emperor has no clothes.

Case 2

JayHMorrison wrote:
Read this article, then re-compute your math for the amount of gasoline a day per person using this. http://world.honda.com/news/2004/2040824_01.html

WebHubbleTelescope wrote:
Whoopee, It can go up a 12 degree incline! I suppose at 13 degrees, it just gives up and you are forced to walk it up the hill. Or maybe you can just circumnavigate the hill. I guess that's entirely feasible, unless you happen to live in the Rockies. In which case you might have to look for some mountain pass. I would recommend avoiding Donner Pass however; word is that if you get stuck there on your little electric trike and don't have snow chains for the long hard winter, you might be cannibalized, or worse, mistaken for cord wood and recycled by the folks at the NREL or, heaven forbid, the Lovins clan at RMI.


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