California electric rates are getting ridiculous

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dpb wrote:

all houses with at least some passive solar capability for the last 30 years. It ain't rocket science or gee-whiz tech- the sunnier, less-electrified parts of the world have been taking advantage of the sun for thousands of years. Electric and gas have simply been so damn cheap since central HVAC for the masses came along, that nobody bothered to think about it. Build the house right, and you can reduce your need for electric and gas a bunch.
-- aem sends...
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aemeijers wrote: ...

The key word there is "reduce". But, it ain't gonna' go away (the need that is) and the change towards hybrid/electric vehicles is a whole new demand arena...
--
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

The reprocessing of our nuclear fuel sources is equally inexhaustible in that context as well.
As for the game being over when the sun runs out of juice, that is very much dependent on how far we progress in space travel and colonization in the millenias until the sun does go kaput.
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Pete C. wrote:

Space travel to go where?
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Chris wrote:

Who knows? There is more than one "sun" in the universe and who the heck knows what progress humans will make in getting out there in all the time before this "sun" kicks the bucket.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

For those who think the country can run on sunbeams, it's reality-check time.
The amount of solar radiation that falls on the earth's surface is about 745 watts/sq meter. At the equator. At noon. With no clouds.
Assuming you could conjure up a solar convertor (electric, steam, etc.) that's 40% efficient, and adjusting for latitude, 12 hours of darkness, clouds, dust, etc., it would take a solar collector facility the size of the Los Angeles basin (~1200 sq miles) to provide power for the state of California (~50 Gw).
The entire Interstate Highway system is 50,000 miles. Assuming 60' of roadway, that's 568 square miles of concrete, less than half our required solar collector. Imagine the cost to construct such a monster and the expense to maintains something that massive!
On the plus side, everybody in Los Angeles would be in the dark.
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Nahhhh, haven't you seen the movie Contact?! "Wanna go for a ride?" :-)
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just to throw more fuel on the fire
enter these keywords into googel and read a few of the hits
radioactivity from coal
Mark
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on 12/4/2008 8:34 PM David Nebenzahl said the following:

All life on earth will be dead millions of years before the Sun finally dies.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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All life? That is a rather bold statement. Do you think it is impossible for other forms of life may evolve along the way? Or if there is a Creator, that he may make some other form?
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on 12/6/2008 12:12 PM Ed Pawlowski said the following:

Any life on Mars, or any other planets in our solar system? We are at the optimum distance from the Sun to sustain life as we know it. The less - or more - solar energy, the less life. As the Sun burns out over the course of gigennia, it will become a 'Red Giant" star and all the planets will gradually vaporize. Nothing on Earth will experience this event. I don't believe in invisible entities, nor any afterlife.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Mars has a different composition and we don't know that it ever had any life to evolve to another form. Right now we have penguins and polar bears. They may run rampant over the rest of the earth if it cools down some. Plant life ma take some other forms that is cold resistant. Life as we know it, I agree, but it can change. How did we get here? What existed before, during, and after the ice age? I just don't think that any of us can make a definite statement about the future. Could be space ships on the way here from a distant galaxy a million years away.
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Pete C. wrote:

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wrote Re Re: California electric rates are getting ridiculous:

Well said.
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BobR wrote:

This is straw-man argument.
No decision has been made on the disposal of nuclear waste because a decision is not yet necessary!
There are several seemingly-excellent disposal techniques: Imbedding the waste in molten glass and sinking the ingots in the Marinaras Trench, shooting the waste into the sun, pumping the stuff into abandonded salt mines, yak-yak-yak. There is almost no end to possible fixes.
Until we HAVE to make a decision, it is best to DELAY the decision on the chance a better solution will present itself.
Suppose, for example, the glass-ingot method were put into play. Then, ten years from now, somebody discovers you can turn radioactive material into burgers and feed the world. Can you imagine the effort and treasure necessary to retrieve all those ingots from five miles under water? If, on the other hand, we had shot the waste into the sun, we'd NEVER be able to get it back (unless we went at night).
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I believe there are safe ways to dispose of it but until a valid plan is in place to do so, we have no damn business creating yet more waste. Right now, there is nothing but stockpiling the stuff in holding areas that are an ever increasing hazard to everyone. Find a solution, prove it, implement it and then lets talk about building new facilities. Until then, NO!
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BobR wrote:

We HAVE a plan!
The plan is to NOT dispose of the stuff until we HAVE to dispose of the stuff. At the moment we can no longer safely store the waste, we'll pick from competing alternatives. Until then, it is prudent and responsible to wait for any alternative methods that haven't yet made it to the party.
NOT disposing of nuclear waste is far preferable to disposing of it the wrong way.
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That's not a plan, its a disaster just waiting to happen. It just plain stupid and anyone with half a brain would recognize that. What you have just said is that you don't have a valid alternative for disposal so you just ignore the problem in the hope that some way will eventually be found BEFORE a disaster occurs.
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BobR wrote:

There are MANY valid alternatives - some I've mentioned here. It is incorrect to say there are no alternatives in the disposal matrix and it is likewise incorrect to say there is no plan. The plan is to wait until it is time to make a decision.
Fortunately, with the new administration, the official plan becomes "Hope." The strategy to achieve the goals of this plan is "Belive," and the principle tactic to implement this strategy is "Yes, we can!"
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BobR wrote: ...

Unfortunately, we need the power now and the problem to be solved is primarily political, not technical.
As noted upthread, Reid has been using Yucca Mountain as his own personal populist whipping boy to his personal advantage for nearly 30 years. Once it does finally open and we can move stuff from the spent fuel pools, there really is no crisis as far as ultimate disposal by whatever means is finally allowed. Again, that will primarily be a political, not technical decision.
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