The other thing that is NOT binary is the pricing of the finite
resources as they become less and less plentiful (whether that's in
terms of absolute supply or the costs of extraction, refinement, and
Or ... simple market manipulation by the monopoly currently in
As that cost-to-consumer curve steepens, carnage ensues. We saw it,
in micro, as gas reached -- what -- four bucks a gallon, rather
Jobs are lost. Industries are wiped out. LIVES are horrifically
The much vaunted "market" will take an immeasurable toll on real human
beings if we let it play out, vis-a-vis fossil fuels.
I'm not looking for "if we diddle with this or that", I'm looking for worst
case--we make the worst plausible choices with fossil fuels, we use them all
up, so there are no longer any fossil fuels in existence to put CO2 into the
atmosphere, what happens to the environment? It's a simple question and if
the climatologists can't or won't answer it then someone needs to hold their
feet to the fire until they can.
Spending trillions of dollars "fixing" a problem when we don't know the
consequences of not spending it is _crazy_.
On Sun, 31 Jan 2010 10:10:09 -0600, the infamous Morris Dovey
Otherwise, we'd be Up Shit Creek Without a Paddle, as it were.
We'll have cold fusion before then, I'm sure.
That's highly probable.
As it always has. That's why Thomas Malthus (and his minions such as
Paul Ehrlich) got it badly wrong each time.
Perhaps not "being a greenie", but "doing things greener" certainly
does. As pollution controls age and die, newer, greener technology is
put into its place. Old, dirtier cars die and are replaced by new,
cleaner vehicles. Fireplaces are replaced by forced air furnaces
which put out much cleaner exhaust. Old coal and fuel oil plants are
replaced by cleaner natural gas and nuclear power plants. BubbaJoe
now takes his old veeHickle oil/paper/cardboard/cans/glass to the
recycling station, etc.
Yes, "green" definitely had gray areas. Peter Huber discussed that in
depth in his book _Hard Green_.
And "How the hell do we develop those plans sanely, with all these
damned Alarmists screwing things up?"
Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire,
you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.
-- George Bernard Shaw
That would take a very long time, and economics would largely prevent it.
Coal is extremely abundant, though the ost usable quality is not. You
know of course that oil-poor countries such as Nazi Germany and a prior
version of South Africa used coal as a basis for producing oil/gasoline.
Another conversion process is the well-known conversion of coal plus
steam to CO and hydrogen, a mixture that used to be pumped around to
homes as cooking gas. SO the question will langish for an answer for a
very long time, since nuclear power, wind and water power, as well as
solar power will eventually be more economical than fossil fuel power.
Politics will need to steer economics so as to find the most acceptable
fuels/sources of power. Hence the debates, and the struggles between
Stay tuned <grin>.
The hospital I was born in, was right next to a 'Gas Fabriek" They
made gas from coal and distributed to people's houses via pipes....
and I'm not that old. I do remember the smell of sulphur.
It looked a bit like this:
Yes I too remember the smell of sulfur by the gasfabriek in Wageningen.
What you show in the picture is the reservoir of the gas, which went up
and down as the supply increased or was used up.
This is a pdf of a story about Wageningen that you made me dig up (in
I used the comma and the "and" above to indiccate independent things.
Apart from the debates (like we are having here), the coal industry, the
oil cartels, the "greenies", and the innocent consumer all are economc
interests that want to achieve goals that may somewhere along the line
conflict. Let's assume that your solar water pumps become reality on a
huge scale. Then the oil cartels might see them (you) as a threat to their
sale of their commodity. (I am exagerating of course - I do hope that your
pumps become a very useful alternative pronto!!!).
I understood that. I also understand that they aren't exactly
independent; and yes - they may, indeed, conflict (a reasonable
conclusion since those conflicts have already produced presidential
assassinations and toppled entire governments).
The oil folks are unlikely see the pumps as a threat, but the
international lenders and the infrastructure/electrical grid
builders might - which is one of my reasons for distributing the
development to independent teams spread over five continents.
From the Romans through the Middle Ages people used wood and charcoal to the
extent that there are almost no forests left in Europe. Fortunately, they
discovered coal. Coal powered the industrial revolution, but eventually gave
way to petroleum products.
When oil becomes too expensive, we'll find something else.
But CO2 is also very specific in the wavelengths it absorbs and it
doesn't take much to make incremental changes in concentration to have
less actual effect. Data indicates concentrations are at point of
already being past the knee of the curve. If so, won't make much
difference at all either way.
Differential light absorption<-->energy attenuation vs concentration is
exponential. Very low concentrations-->high (relatively) attenuation vs
concentration but reaches a plateau where adding further makes
successively little difference as the particular wavelengths are already
heavily filtered. Roughly, it's ~exp(u/x)
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