But...there's still some fun to be had...
Though when for example this paper states:
"Any notion which might suggest that hydrocarbon molecules
spontaneously evolve in the regimes of temperature and
pressure characterized by the near-surface of the Earth, which
are the regimes of methane creation and hydrocarbon
destruction, does not even deserve consideration."
it kind of ignores the fact that methane can trivially be produced in
anaerobic digesters at around atmospheric pressure. In short it's
industrial strength bollocks.
And who said anything spontaneously evolved ? WTF do they mean by that
I know the theory, but (a) it doesn't suggest the supply is unlimited
(Uranium isn't a result of rotting matter either, but it isn't unlimited);
and (b) if true it still requires considerably more expense to get at it
(iirc, the originator of this theory believes that the main reserves are
much deeper than we usually drill, and that what we have so far discovered
is simply stuff that's seeped closer to the surface), so using it will
still make alternative sources more attractive.
One drawback has always been aesthetic. Mounted solar panels look ugly,
which is what first turns poeple off to the idea of solar.
There is a new, thin, flexible solar panel that doesn't require mounting,
it's in a polymer sheet, I think it was under 1/2" thick. You can just put
that puppy right onto a roof, or pretty much any surface; it's also *very*
efficient in low light, where regular solar fails. It's a bit less
efficient in full midday light on cloudless days - but in the final
average, more efficient overall.
I saw it on that show Alan ALda "hosts", I think Scientific American
Frontiers", but I'm sure I also saw it online, it was just a number of
If I remember correctly, it's also rahter less expensive than traditional
Why it isn't being pushed/marketed...? Heh, not while Big Oil is running
the nation. There are very powerful people who *don't want* highly-
efficient solar power easily and relatively inexpensively available.
Product availability, but most especially, *product marketing*, does not
operate in a sociopolitical vacuum.
I dunno about "vastly conspiratorial", but IMO it's extremely naive to not
realize that there is a lot of money (hence a lot of political and economic
decision-making power) behind the oil industry. THere are also a lot of
jobs therein. One could argue that the jobs would simply shift to the new
technology arenas, but the people currently in those older jobs might not
be able to learn how to work in the new technology.
So, there is a lot of inertia there, a lot of people have a stake in
conserving the status quo re: solar - i.e., keeping it limited to "the
weird fringies", and the traditional products for "normal average everyday
Photoshythesis is a very complex process - the chlorophyll molecule is a
long chain capped by - oy, it's been like 20 years - I *think* a porphyrin
structure - some sort of rign, at any rate. It has a coresspondingly
complex charge profile along its length. That charge profile is what
creates the energy cascade (meaning, the exchange of electrons between
several differnt molecules that results in a net gain of energy which the
plant can then apply to converting C H and O into complex carbohydrates
such as cellulose).
I'd have to crackout my biology and botany texts to offer anything
resembling any detail, but that's the quick'n'dirty version. Living
systems are generally extremely complex - although one process might be
simple, no biological process occurs separately from the system as a whole,
so, the replication of a process can turn out to be much more difficult
than was first anticipated.
Aesthetics is hardly the reason why people are turned off solar. Mounted
panels can look quite attractive on a house if installed with even the
slightest care to appearances. Certainly they are no more ugly than any
of a wide variety of tacky lawn ornaments or poorly chosen paint colors.
What turns people off is cost and performance. It's very expensive
and won't perform very well in high density housing tracts where one
property is shaded by buildings or trees on the neighboring lots.
Getting one's neighbor to take down a beloved tree or their office
building is very difficult.
It's not that new and it's not that efficient. It's an amorphous PV
technology and runs about half the efficiency of other PV cells.
You would do better advocating PV which is integrated with roofing
products like tiles and steel panels. These become part of the structure
and, unless you know how to look, they do not appear to be PV panels.
I would be surprised if it were less expensive. Perhaps you could show
us some price comparisons?
Perhaps it IS being pushed and marketed but it's not as good a product?
Certainly not all but it's a comment I've heard a lot from people I've
known (when the topic came up about solar power). It might be more of a
"final straw", tho' i don;t know. It's just what I've personally hear
people say (not that I know everyone in the world <G!>)
I'm sure there are ways to handle them well, in terms of appearance.
"But that costs more..."
Ugh, lawn ornaments and colors etc. - all I can say is, there are reasons
why people form Neiaghborhood Taste Police Committees.
((THen you get the Edsel - ugh...goes round and round...making me
Yeah, there *is* that...
Oh! Ok. GLad you told me...
THat sounds like a good idea. How do they perform as *roofing* materials?
If they do both well, then at least you also get a decent roof out of the
As I'd mentioned, I saw it on Scientific American Frontiers. No hard
numbers - I just seem to remember - which means, I am not sure and can be
mistaken - they just said it was.
Probably, possibly, I dunno - it's a point of curiosity to me.
Reminds of a house in my neighborhood when I was a kid. Rather than
stay with conventional weapons like tacky lawn decorations, this lady
opted for the nuclear option. She painted the entire house in tones of
pink, and then painted red hearts all over it. It looked like a built
version of a cheap Valentines Day card. It was so obnoxious to her
surrounding neighbors that the local news got "wind" of it and did a
little story about it on tv. Since we ended up moving soon after that
I always wondered how that issue was resolved. Public lynching maybe?
Pink flamingoes are OK, they're iconic <g>
Gnomes - well, they aren't my style but IMO, you ought to have the right to
...and to be honest, I prefer those to the oft-approved fake and cheesy-
looking "tudor half timbers" that get slapped onto otherwise average
suburban tract-houses to "make them 'Tudor'". THey're especially
"attractive" <sarcasm> when they start to warp and come away from the
I do, tho', have an aesthetic objection to pink houses with purple
shutters...but more of an objection to junked cars piled in the front yard.
OTOH the neighborhood Brown Shirts "forbid" me from putting up snay sort of
solar-reduction film on my (rental house) windows. Too bad they also
refuse to pay my increased energy bills (and replace the AC unit with one
that can keep up with the total lack of insulation and the old single-pane
So if your having garden gnomes means I can also put up my solar block film
and replace the nasty crabgrass ("St. Augistine Grass") with a cultivar of
Buffalo Grass (native grass with cultivars that need no mowing because they
only get to 4" tall), then by all means, have the gnomes <LOL!>
S'long's I can still have my Buffalo Grass (well, where I don't have other
stuff - preferably, wround the periphery, some nice *spiny* ocotillo and
agave and so on heh heh heh).
Being a free citizen I figure I have the right to not have to mow a lawn
I suspect that the ordinance isn't written well enough to define
"grass." In fact, I supsect that the ordinance is probably so full of
holes he could, with a little effort, find a legal basis for growing
12"+ high grass...
The most stupid are local ordinance writers...usually a local lawyer
who's chummy with the mayor or a city councilperson.
Here is a better one. Put in pebbles and then plant variuos cultivars of
Miscanthus grasses, throw in some Big Bluestem grass, Muhly Grass, Papmpas
grass, Mexican Feather Grass, ohh, how about Ravenna grass (I think that's
the ont that gets to 12 FEET tall), and so on - and then let them try to
force you to cut it down to the nubs. Stupid little rules.
Worse yet are the morons the city/township hires to enforce the
ordinance........and they don't understand it.....
I had one occurance where, after running circles around this woman WRT
understanding and quoting specific sections......she just claimed that "the
city could do whatever it wanted" Had to go way over her head and threaten
court action before they backed down.
Slightly different angle. We got the Standard in the UPS this morning. Boss
opened it up. On page one finds proofs of multiple instances of the FedGov
moron who caused us to have to get said Standard being completely and
The kind of wrong that gets anybody but a government employee in trouble.
Yet, when we deal with this known, obvious, provable, demonstrable, really-
he just is, useless moron obstructionist skating freeloading criminal thief
we have to kowtow and fawn and placate.
It's wrong. Very very deeply wrong.
Guy walked through the door this morning. "We're from the City of Phoenix.
We're here to make your life miserable." "Hah, no you aren't. If you were
from the City we'd have had to go meet you at your office."
OK, I knew who he was and why he was coming. But tell me I'm wrong.
Suspect that going over her head didn't work because you found somebody who
knows what the city can and can't do but rather hit somebody for whom
political expedience becomes an issue.
Because I'm an excellent writer with a finely honed skill for evocative
I go to the bookstore frequently. I leave roughly around closing time and
drive home that way. And right around x and y streets pass a cruiser
frequently, more than one more often than I'd think. It's not a special
neighbourhood. My timing and their timing can't be THAT tight. I can only
imagine that they are thick on the ground.
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