energy

Suppressing the Truth About Nuclear Power - If you think this was bad, just wait

  • Posted on: 28 March 2011
  • By: MichaelCollins

By Joaquin posted by Michael Collins

The truth is, there is a big fat lie that the nuclear power industry and the media are foisting on the public and that has not changed. But first let's take a look at some other lies. For example, here is a picture of an exploding reactor building #3 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: (Image)

We are supposed to believe that this hydrogen explosion is no biggie; course it isn't; it's just a direct hit. WTF, there is a huge amount of concrete flying hundreds of meters in the air not a tin roof; the nature of the damage done by this explosion has proven to be the subject of one lie after another.

Post Nuclear Japan, Pre Disaster United States

  • Posted on: 14 March 2011
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins

Bumped and promoted. Originally posted 2011-03-14 04:37:12 -0400. -- GH


The Japanese disaster at Fukushima I is a human tragedy of striking proportions. As many as ten thousand citizens may be dead in the general catastrophe, with many more at risk for radiation poisoning at levels yet to be determined. The fact that Japan is a highly organized and wealthy nation in no way diminishes the intensity of the losses and pain experienced by the victims. (Image)

Political and economic implications will emerge rapidly. As the whole world watches, the Japanese experience creates windows of opportunity to learn how to avert future meltdowns at nuclear ticking time bombs placed throughout Europe, the United States, India, and China.

Events have overwhelmed the highly professional Japanese bureaucracy. In a late Saturday night report by CNN, the chief cabinet minister said that he presumed that there was a nuclear meltdown in reactors one and two, with three on the way. A nuclear regulatory official hedged by referring to the "possibility" of a meltdown, which he said could not be confirmed since workers couldn't get close enough to see. The same regulatory official told CNN,

"We have some confidence, to some extent, to make the situation to be stable status," he said. "We actually have very good confidence that we will resolve this." March 12

Experts outside the government referred to the situation as desperate given the use of saltwater as a last resort for cooling the nuclear material.

See interactive map at International Nuclear Safety Center

 

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Libya, Gas Prices, and the Big Payday at Your Expense

  • Posted on: 7 March 2011
  • By: MichaelCollins

Another Triumph for The Money Party

Michael Collins

The average price for a gallon of gas rose 30% from $2.69 in July 2010 to $3.49 as of March 6. Most of that 30% has come in just the last few days.

We're about to embark on another period of let the markets take care of it. The Money Party manipulators are again jerking citizens around in the old bottom-up wealth redistribution program. Their imagineers are writing the storyline right now.

The conflict in Libya is causing the spike in oil prices over the past ten days or so according to the media script. Take a look at the chart to the right. Can you find Libya among the top fifteen nations supplying the United States with crude oil?

Why the Current Panic Over Gas Prices?

The general explanation points to the crisis in Libya as the proximate cause. The anti Gaddafi regime revolution began in earnest on February 17. But if the Libyan revolution were the cause, we'd have to attribute a 50% drop in a 2% share of the world's oil supply as the cause of the panic. We would also have to attribute the increase in US gas prices to a nation that doesn't impact the US crude oil supply and, as a result, should not impact the price of gas here..

Wednesday Morning Open Thread, Smart Grid Energy Challenge Edition

  • Posted on: 14 July 2010
  • By: Open Thread

 

From CNET News, there's this tidbit:

GE rolls out home energy monitor, EV charger

As part of a smart-grid initiative, General Electric rolls out a home energy management system that works with smart meters and an electric vehicle charging pedestal for cities and campuses.
• GE, VCs offer $200 million in smart-grid challenge

(Posted in Green Tech by Martin LaMonica)

Anyone with a good idea that could fall under the $200 million smart-grid challenge -- this might be the inspiration you've been waiting for.

For everyone else, this is an Open Thread.

Are Concurrent Disasters Fueling Debate For Safer Alternatives?

  • Posted on: 7 June 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

And we shouldn't forget the deja-vu inducing Ixtoc I disaster from June 3, 1979 or the Exxon Valdez incident off the coast of Alaska from March 24, 1989.

There are others, but these help illustrate some of the primary factors -- and unwelcome, unexpected and unplanned costs -- that fossil fuel dependency incurs.

There are other options. There are significant changes we can make in policies and procedures that impact energy, transportation, manufacturing and construction that would drastically alter our dependency on fossil fuels while strengthening our economy and reducing waste. Before we can make these adjustments, however, we must accept that we are accountable for the decisions that we make and the policies we pursue, not only as individuals but as a nation and as a civilization.

The question is, are we mature enough as a species to make the commitment to growing up and making the difficult adjustments required to review, alter and adjust our current consumption and utilization toward sustainable alternatives?

And if not now, then when?

How much damage do we need to do, how scared or large the negative impact must we witness before we decide that there are options we must explore, develop and adopt?

The White House, Big Oil, and the "American Power Act"

  • Posted on: 23 May 2010
  • By: MichaelCollins

Michael Collins

This analysis looks behind the scenes at how the ban on offshore drilling was lifted and what that had to do with the ultimate prize for big oil, the American Power Act. It focuses on the current administration.  That in no way implies that the problem originated in January 2009.  The out sized and destructive influence of the oil monopoly has been with us for since the 1870's.

Banning Offshore Drilling

In 1969 a Unocal oil rig off the coast of Santa Barbara, California began leaking oil.  The extent of the leak, damage to wildlife, and the shoreline caused considerable outrage.  The state of California banned offshore drilling shortly after the leak.  In 1980, Congress banned offshore drilling in most federally controlled waters.  President George H.W. Bush reluctantly banned off shore drilling in 1990 for California, Florida, Oregon and Washington and in the North Atlantic.

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Disruptive Solar technologies

  • Posted on: 17 December 2009
  • By: Unenergy

Yesterday I wrote of a technology called concentrated photovoltaics, which if all goes well, may bring the retail cost of solar panels down from at present, $4.31 per watt, to 30c per watt.

Moore's Law for Solar - 30c watt in years to come

The technology I discussed was the concentration of the sun, using fresnel lens or mirrors like in a telescope, being able to reduce the area of active semi conductor material down to 1000th of that of Silicon to produce equivalent electricity.

Today I'd like to look at Silicon solar cells and what happens if we concentrate sunlight onto them.

Overcoming Apathy in Australia - Project Omelas

  • Posted on: 4 December 2009
  • By: Unenergy

2006-07 Australian bushfire season
The 2006-07 Australian bushfire season was one of the most extensive bushfire seasons in Australia's history. Victoria experienced the longest continuously burning bushfire complex in Australia's history, with fires in the Victorian Alps and Gippsland burning over 1 million hectares of land over the course of 69 days.

January 2009
The early 2009 southeastern Australia heat wave was a heat wave that commenced in late January and led to record-breaking prolonged high temperatures in the region. The heat wave is considered one of, if not the most, extreme in the region's history. During the heat wave, 50 separate locations set various records for consecutive, highest daytime and overnight temperatures.

According to a Monash University study of funeral notices, more than 200 people died as a result of the heat wave. A 45% increase in the death rate was noted during the time. A subsequent report by Victoria's chief health officer, Dr John Carnie, put the final figure at 374.

February 2009
As many as 400 individual fires were recorded on 7 February. Following the events of the 7th of February 2009, that date has since been referred to as Black Saturday.

173 people died as a result of the fires and 414 were injured.

November 2009
Senior climatologist Blair Trewin said 68 long-term weather stations recorded their highest November maximum temperature and 39 stations recorded their highest overnight minimum temperature.

''That represents 10.2 per cent of Australia recording record highs, including 41 per cent of NSW and 29 per cent of South Australia,'' Dr Trewin said.

In Adelaide, the eight consecutive days above 35 degrees doubled the previous November record. It also had a record high of 43.

So records are broken, two years later they are broken again. Not the kind of record you want to break though. When temperatures are causing multiple heat related deaths and bushfires causing loss of life and property, you'd think we'd realize something is up with that. And just as Australia is about to head into Summer, we see the same conditions occurring at the start of Summer which we just saw at the end of Summer immediately prior to the worst bushfires in Australia's history earlier this year.

Scary stuff hey?

Yesterday I wrote of my visit to a solar thermal power station in the Nevada Desert, at Boulder City, near Las Vegas. The plant produces 65 MW of electricity which, during the day, would be close to supplying the needs of 65,000 homes.

The accumulation of CO2 emissions we have been told for over 20 years would create conditions like those described above. So from a risk management point of view, seeking alternatives to where the source of those emissions comes from makes sense. In other words reducing or replacing the source of those emissions is the optimum outcome without eliminating the benefit of the plant itself.

What I would like to talk about is what I think Australia can do to meet energy generated from some of these types of means.

Project Omelas - Finding a cause

  • Posted on: 29 November 2009
  • By: Unenergy

On a daily basis there are louder and louder calls for us to begin to act on Climate disruption. With stories about sea-ice almost completely gone, Australia's food bowl continues to dersertify, temperature rise threatening the Barrier Reef one could get overwhelmed with the sheer scale of these challenges to even contemplate doing anything at all. Couple this up with the denialosphere and its easy to get paralyzed in fear.

I have a different idea.

Intentional economic paralysis?

  • Posted on: 16 November 2009
  • By: Unenergy

In two articles I've written HERE and HERE I have laid out the importance of energy in our everyday lives and how where we obtain the primary energy we use, governments around the world do have an input in. I have also shown that decision making on how and what form of energy systems we will have has been kept behind closed doors without transparency for a number of years which has resulted in behavior which politicians ought not partake in if they truly have free market principles and public good at heart.

With the research I have conducted one of the things which I have often questioned is why countries such as Spain and Germany have such a strong renewables sector, when Australia with more wide open country, uninhabited sunny areas than almost any other, we have not developed a strong domestic solar industry. Equally strange is lack of offshore wind, geothermal or wave power resource utilization.

Drawing A Line in the Black Sand

  • Posted on: 4 October 2009
  • By: Unenergy

Crossposted from DailyKos. (Thanks!) Promoted. It's quite long, but well worth it. -- GH

I think it was maybe a year ago I was flicking through cable TV, and I happened across a movie called "There Will Be Blood."

There Will Be Blood is a 2007 American drama film directed, written and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film is loosely based on the Upton Sinclair novel Oil! (1927). It tells the story of a silver-miner-turned-oil-man on a ruthless quest for wealth during Southern California's oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

I'd read a few books, watched a few documentaries and done a ton of internet research not long before this and had been slowly coming to the conclusion that we genuinely had a whole bunch of powerful people who knew that emissions of C02 were endangering the ability of life to survive on our planet. The frightening thing was many of these people were working hard to make sure we kept burning fossil fuels at ever increasing rates and making sure the transition to cleaner sources of energy never happened.

I didn't really understand why though until I watched this movie and a few pennies dropped.

Health Care Series: Six Degrees of Intertwining

  • Posted on: 6 August 2009
  • By: A Siegel

THURSDAY NIGHT IS HEALTH CARE CHANGE NIGHT, a weekly Health Care Series. I have this private mantra: it's all about energy, it's all about climate. Somewhat like six degrees of separation, no matter the issue area, I can (I will ...) bring any and all conversation items back to our energy and climate challenges. But, when it comes to health (and health care) and energy, we're not talking about six degrees of separation but, in fact, at least six ways they're intertwined ...

 

Now I'm outraged ... are you ...

  • Posted on: 6 August 2009
  • By: A Siegel

The breaking news in the lobbying world last Friday: lobbying firm Bonner & Associates had forged letters from minority organizations to send to Representative Tom Perriello (D-VA) in opposition to the American Clean Energy & Security Act. Now, of course, it is all an intern's fault (or is it a temp worker ... or a contract employee ... oh, it really doesn't matter since this goes against Bonner's long-standing practice of, well, engaging in deceptive and questionable lobbying practices.


This is a story that won't go away, for any number of reasons.


A gift that keeps on giving ...


 


Gas Price Map and 2004 Election Results Comparison: Coincidence?

  • Posted on: 1 June 2008
  • By: GreyHawk

Becca of DelphiForums noticed an interesting coincidence between the current gas price temperature map and the results of the 2004 Presidential election: can you spot it, too?

Could this simply be a coincidental reflection of relative demand, population density or other economic demographics, or could it reflect potential market manipulation by commodity traders, now under investigation?

What do you think? It's not as thought there's any kind of evidence of Republicans ever gaming the system, right?

Continental-Scale Climate Studies, Climate Change on Mars and Miscellaneous Science News

  • Posted on: 15 May 2008
  • By: GreyHawk

From the Wall Street Journal,

_____

Global-Warming Study Weighs Impact of Human Action

By GAUTAM NAIK

May 15, 2008; Page A10


A new study says humans have changed the world's environment more by warming the climate than by directly encroaching on habitats.

The research, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, also establishes a link between climate change and narrower, continental changes such as the earlier spring flight of butterflies in California, the earlier release of pollen in the Netherlands and the increased growth of pine trees in Mongolia.
_____

An international team of over a dozen scientists, led by Cynthia Rosenzweig of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the Center for Climate Systems Research at Columbia University in New York, showed very strong indications based on studies done on a continental scale.

In other news,