| As for CFLs being made in China, so what? New sources of American Energy are
| nukes (blocked by environmentalists) wind energy (blocked by
| environmentalists) solar energy (blocked by environmentalists) and
| coal-based energy (blocked by environmentalists).
Yes, there are environmentalists blocking nuclear power plants. I happen to
be one of the environmentalists that is NOT blocking them. Instead, what I
am "blocking" is stupidity by corporate executives and managers. Nuclear
be safe. But in the hands of corporations that will cut costs
by reducing safety, then nuclear power _can_
be very unsafe. Letting the
government run them would be no better and probably worse. What we need is
a set of strong regulations and regular inspections with public reports.
| America needs 30 new power plants to up the capacity and replace aging
| plants. Europe has been using nuke energy for a long time, and they have no
| problems with it. But enviromentalists in this country object to it. America
| has a few windmill farms, but environmentalists object to them because birds
| fly into the vanes, and the NIMBYs object to the view. Solar energy is being
| tried in a few places, but the environmentalists object to the space they
| demand and the resulting encroachment on habitat. And, we have lots of coal
| fired power plants, but environmentalists object to the coal mines and the
| soot that is produced.
Europe also runs things differently. They have stronger regulations and
actually do inspections by people that have a genuine concern for safety.
We'll never eliminate all environmentalist objections. Europe hasn't, either.
But we can find people who do have genuine environmental concerns and do also
recognize the need for more power. We need these kinds of people to oversee
the whole thing. These people will be neither left-wing nor right-wing on the
| The American Southwest looks like it will be building new homes within the
| next decade that are Zero Net users of electricity. These homes will be
| built with solar collectors on the roof that will be able to generate
| upwards of 10kW, and this will be more than the home needs for most of the
| year. Each home will actually generate power that goes to the grid and the
| home will get credit on the electricity bill. The credit will then be drawn
| against on days when the air conditioner is used, resulting in an overall
| zero pull from the grid for most homeowners. I'm sure the environmentalists
| will figure out a complaint to lodge ...
There certainly will be environmentalists that will come up with something.
By having some "sensible environmentalists" who don't do such silliness,
things like this, and building nuclear plants, and solar farms, and wind farms
and such, can all be accomplished. Part of the problem, though, is that the
way the environment is dealt with by so many corporations (basically shunning
all environmentalists as a whole) ends up putting all environmentalists on the
same side together. Instead, what we need, is a certainly level of cooperation
to meet in the middle. Then the environmentalists that remain to object (who
probably object to everything) will be fewer in number.
As an environmentalists myself, I do object more to extending the drilling for
oil. I'm in favor of building nuclear power plants (under certain conditions,
such as stronger regulations and regular inspections, including by academic
people, with public reports ... and they must also be built reasonably close
to the areas of power demand, with consideration for risks like earthquakes,
so the ones powering California might have to be built in Utah with some big
DC feeders). I'm in favor of building solar farms (provided they are not
built in such a way as to shadow natural needs for light ... desert spaces
should be OK). I'm in favor of building wind farms.
My objection for oil and gas extraction in general (so my goal is to see less
of it used, not more) is to avoid releasing more carbon that has been naturally
sequestered. Also, known oil reserves won't last for too many more decades or
centuries (pinning down the exact figure is hard, but it's definitely not going
to last a thousand years at the rate we are growing in our use).
To the extent we can make the effort to reduce the need for oil/gas, then
whatever else we do (drilling more reserves or not), it is that much less we
end up depending on politically unstable or even criminal governments who
are the current suppliers.
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