[nSLUG] Measured wattage of atom system

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Tue Sep 16 18:02:23 ADT 2008

2008/9/16 D G Teed <donald.teed at gmail.com>:
> On Tue, Sep 16, 2008 at 3:47 PM, Daniel Morrison <draker at gmail.com> wrote:

> What I last learned about solar panels is the raw materials to make
> them do not exist in quantities to power high quanities of homes.
> This was said on Quirks and Quarks a few years ago.

Are you a naysayer also?  Solar PV is impossible, so let's not try alternative
energies.  Hmph.

>> Man, I hope not.  Electricity is a high-grade energy; using it for heat is a
>> poor choice.

> Have you tried drying your clothes on the line in winter?

Yes, actually.

> How about walking from Chester to Wolfville as some people did years back?

Haven't done this one.

> Or if you can afford a horse and the space to keep one or two,
> are you up for the daily commute on an animal?  If you want to bring

I'm sorry, what's your point here?  My "animal" for the daily commute is a
20-year old bicycle.

> back trains, we need an energy source other than coal.  I can't see
> us going back to how we used to do things.  There will be power mowers,
> laundry machines, chain saws, electric well water pumps, lights,
> plus stuff that never existed before, demanding more electrical power.
> You can't put the genie back in the bottle, unless perhaps it is preceeded
> by a great amount of social and infrastructure breakdown and chaos.

That was the (peaceful or violent) revolution I mentioned.

Again, what is your point?

> The one thing I can see changing is the global nature of the economy.
> It could mean the end of the bargain "loonie" stores and the return
> of things built right in your home town, more local foods, less trawler
> dragging.  It might be a sort of blessing.


> I don't think solar, tide and wind power are bad.  I wish they
> could do it all, but I'm afraid the picture many have is based on
> the status quo where we merely displace the coal generating stations.

Agreed.  That was my 'option 1'.  Option 2 was "a great amount of social and
infrastructure"... let's say "upheaval" rather than "breakdown and chaos".

> I think the media and political types gathering around windmills
> and the like are political stances and nice talk about a
> positive view of our future, but they are not grounded in a realistic
> estimation of our energy needs.

Slacktivism.  We're only going to be in power 4 years, and we only need to be
popular until the election.

I'm no Obamamaniac, but it _is_ refreshing to hear a mainstream politician
_actually_talk_ about the long term future (e.g. 100 years), as he did in his
nomination acceptance speech.

> BTW, I wonder why they plant just one windmill at various locations.
> It is almost like a sort of sign post that tells everyone "don't try this
> at home - you can't afford one of these", while in reality smaller
> scale wind power solutions are available.

Totally.  I don't think the 'replace a central fossil fuel generating plant
with a renewable one' realistically has a chance of working well, especially
in the long term.  I think small-scale household or small community systems
are much more likely.  Give the control of the power generation to the
individuals who are actually using it, and all of a sudden, pride in good
work, and conservation of resources becomes an automatic tendency.


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