Author Topic: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face  (Read 13191 times)

East Coast Hustle

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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #45 on: July 19, 2011, 12:22:04 am »
So they're giving up on fuel cell technology alltogether as a viable energy source?

Fuel cells require hydrogen to produce energy, and right now we don't have a way to make hydrogen that leaves it cost-competetive. The other problem is that while it could be immediately useful as a fixed-point power source if the cost of the hydrogen production processes could be brought down, the technology hasn't developed yet to the point where the power-to-size ration makes it really useful as an alternate means of powering vehicles. Yeah, you can use a hydrogen fuel cell to push a compact car down the road (with a relatively large battery compared to teh size of the car) but the fuel cell that would be needed to push a fully-loaded semi truck would be about half the size of a semi trailer. Then there's the catch-22 of "we can't build a hydrogen fueling infrastructure until there are enough fuel cell cars on the road to justify the cost but we can't market enough fuel cell cars until we have a reliable hydrogen fueling infrastructure".

Really, as far as I can tell, one of (if not THE) biggest impediments to a reliable alternative-energy economy is the costs of replacing the deeply-entrenched infrastructure of the hydrocarbon economy. That might change if something was introduced to the market that caused the true cost of carbon emissions to be factored into hydrocarbon energy costs, but for now that looks pretty unlikely.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 12:26:17 am by Fuck You One-Eye »
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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #46 on: July 19, 2011, 01:51:19 am »

If you can store energy efficiently, we have a limitless, cheap, clean source; the sun. But if you can't, you're SOL.


Was that pun intended?
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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #47 on: July 19, 2011, 03:34:37 am »
So they're giving up on fuel cell technology alltogether as a viable energy source?

I didn't think energy cells were an energy source. More an energy storage medium.

Since Ethanol requires more caloric input than it has contained in it, it is also a storage medium.  Not an energy source.
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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #48 on: July 19, 2011, 04:50:27 am »
So they're giving up on fuel cell technology alltogether as a viable energy source?

I didn't think energy cells were an energy source. More an energy storage medium.

Since Ethanol requires more caloric input than it has contained in it, it is also a storage medium.  Not an energy source.

What???

Go play with your toys. The big kids are talking here.
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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #49 on: July 19, 2011, 06:23:42 am »
If one really wanted to be pedantic about it, there's no such thing as an energy "source" unless you count the big bang, or whatever all this energy came from.

The sun is an energy storage medium. Atoms are energy storage mediums. Your mom is an energy storage medium. etc...

For "source" to have any meaning, you have to define a system with boundaries, and then energy coming into the system from outside the boundaries is a source.

Within the boundaries of an engine, the gas tank is an energy source. Within the boundaries of the earth, the sun is an energy source.

Or something like that.

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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #50 on: July 19, 2011, 07:04:20 am »
If one really wanted to be pedantic about it, there's no such thing as an energy "source" unless you count the big bang, or whatever all this energy came from.

The sun is an energy storage medium. Atoms are energy storage mediums. Your mom is an energy storage medium. etc...

For "source" to have any meaning, you have to define a system with boundaries, and then energy coming into the system from outside the boundaries is a source.

Within the boundaries of an engine, the gas tank is an energy source. Within the boundaries of the earth, the sun is an energy source.

Or something like that.

Holyshit.. you mean that in order to heave MEANING we have to have CONTEXT?    :fnord::1fap:
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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #51 on: July 19, 2011, 02:58:52 pm »
So they're giving up on fuel cell technology alltogether as a viable energy source?

Fuel cells require hydrogen to produce energy, and right now we don't have a way to make hydrogen that leaves it cost-competetive. The other problem is that while it could be immediately useful as a fixed-point power source if the cost of the hydrogen production processes could be brought down, the technology hasn't developed yet to the point where the power-to-size ration makes it really useful as an alternate means of powering vehicles. Yeah, you can use a hydrogen fuel cell to push a compact car down the road (with a relatively large battery compared to teh size of the car) but the fuel cell that would be needed to push a fully-loaded semi truck would be about half the size of a semi trailer. Then there's the catch-22 of "we can't build a hydrogen fueling infrastructure until there are enough fuel cell cars on the road to justify the cost but we can't market enough fuel cell cars until we have a reliable hydrogen fueling infrastructure".

Really, as far as I can tell, one of (if not THE) biggest impediments to a reliable alternative-energy economy is the costs of replacing the deeply-entrenched infrastructure of the hydrocarbon economy. That might change if something was introduced to the market that caused the true cost of carbon emissions to be factored into hydrocarbon energy costs, but for now that looks pretty unlikely.

So we're pretty much screwed? 

Or we can run the planet into a wasteland at which point we will be completely screwed? 

Damn.  :|

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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #52 on: July 19, 2011, 03:43:53 pm »
Well, it's more like our grandkids are pretty much screwed. It's doubtful that we'll live long enough to see the climate change hit the "irreversible and totally catastrophic to human life" point.

Rabid Colostomy Hole Jammer of the Coming Apocalypse™

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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #53 on: July 19, 2011, 04:25:33 pm »
Well, it's more like our grandkids are pretty much screwed. It's doubtful that we'll live long enough to see the climate change hit the "irreversible and totally catastrophic to human life" point.



I think we will see it.  The problem is not mere climate change in the "carbon = bad" sense.  It seems to me that recent volcanic activity has far outstripped our industrial activities in that kind of output.  I do not claim to know WHY the climate is changing, but it obviously is, and quickly.

The slow poison released by human industry will bring the human catastrophes.  We have produced compounds and even mutant atoms that nature would never have developed without humanity.  They are part of the systems on this planet now whether or not their introduction was accidental, planned, or incidental.  The impact of these substances is often subtle, but can be dramatic over time.  It is our poisons and the synergistic effect of natural and man made disasters that will bring us down, I think.  I also think some of will adapt in unexpected ways, but that's more of a faith statement.
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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #54 on: July 19, 2011, 05:40:28 pm »
Tentacalium is my favorite mutant atom.

All these "mutant atoms" exist in nature somewhere, just not for very long. They don't last very long in the lab either.

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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #55 on: July 19, 2011, 06:39:31 pm »
So they're giving up on fuel cell technology alltogether as a viable energy source?

I didn't think energy cells were an energy source. More an energy storage medium.

Since Ethanol requires more caloric input than it has contained in it, it is also a storage medium.  Not an energy source.

If you want to get nit-picky then most forms of energy are just a storage medium for solar power. 
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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #56 on: July 19, 2011, 07:52:17 pm »
Well, it's more like our grandkids are pretty much screwed. It's doubtful that we'll live long enough to see the climate change hit the "irreversible and totally catastrophic to human life" point.



I think we will see it.  The problem is not mere climate change in the "carbon = bad" sense.  It seems to me that recent volcanic activity has far outstripped our industrial activities in that kind of output.  I do not claim to know WHY the climate is changing, but it obviously is, and quickly.

The slow poison released by human industry will bring the human catastrophes.  We have produced compounds and even mutant atoms that nature would never have developed without humanity.  They are part of the systems on this planet now whether or not their introduction was accidental, planned, or incidental.  The impact of these substances is often subtle, but can be dramatic over time.  It is our poisons and the synergistic effect of natural and man made disasters that will bring us down, I think.  I also think some of will adapt in unexpected ways, but that's more of a faith statement.

I hate it when people who know exactly fuck-all about the subject feel the need to throw their two cents in.

Your opinion has been noted and given all the consideration that it merits.

Now, if you want to deal in FACTS rather than your half-baked ill-informed opinions, it's pretty evident given the current data that if something pretty drastic doesn't change in the way our energy economy works, we (that's humans, not volcanoes) will cause atmospheric CO2 levels to rise above 600ppm sometime around the turn of the century. All current scientific models point to 600ppm as being the threshold after which climate change will become a self-sustaining feedback loop ultimately causing an anoxic event to occur in the world ocean and more than likely causing a mass extinction on the level of the Permian-Triassic extinction.
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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #57 on: July 19, 2011, 08:36:37 pm »
Well, it's more like our grandkids are pretty much screwed. It's doubtful that we'll live long enough to see the climate change hit the "irreversible and totally catastrophic to human life" point.



I think we will see it.  The problem is not mere climate change in the "carbon = bad" sense.  It seems to me that recent volcanic activity has far outstripped our industrial activities in that kind of output.  I do not claim to know WHY the climate is changing, but it obviously is, and quickly.

The slow poison released by human industry will bring the human catastrophes.  We have produced compounds and even mutant atoms that nature would never have developed without humanity.  They are part of the systems on this planet now whether or not their introduction was accidental, planned, or incidental.  The impact of these substances is often subtle, but can be dramatic over time.  It is our poisons and the synergistic effect of natural and man made disasters that will bring us down, I think.  I also think some of will adapt in unexpected ways, but that's more of a faith statement.

I hate it when people who know exactly fuck-all about the subject feel the need to throw their two cents in.

Your opinion has been noted and given all the consideration that it merits.

Now, if you want to deal in FACTS rather than your half-baked ill-informed opinions, it's pretty evident given the current data that if something pretty drastic doesn't change in the way our energy economy works, we (that's humans, not volcanoes) will cause atmospheric CO2 levels to rise above 600ppm sometime around the turn of the century. All current scientific models point to 600ppm as being the threshold after which climate change will become a self-sustaining feedback loop ultimately causing an anoxic event to occur in the world ocean and more than likely causing a mass extinction on the level of the Permian-Triassic extinction.

You're right, I'm not totally informed. 
I only seems to me that the changes we WILL face are made much worse by our other forms of waste. 
I think CO2 is a major factor, and I don't know much about this 600ppm feedback and anoxic event you're talking about. 
I'll look into it as well as I can before giving an opinion again. 
Does this data and model you mention indicate increasing weather severity and extraordinary pattern change before the threshold is reached?
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

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East Coast Hustle

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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #58 on: July 19, 2011, 08:49:06 pm »
IIRC (and I'm not 100% sure I remember this correctly off the top of my head) we'll start to see some pretty drastic changes at or around 450-500ppm. Hypercanes are a distinct likelihood, as is massive desertification of arable land.
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Re: Some simple facts about the future people would rather not face
« Reply #59 on: July 19, 2011, 08:49:45 pm »
I remember reading an article years ago about the whole "fuel-economy" thing and how that made it really hard to move to any alternative sources of energy even if they were viable. Something about globally being "addicted to oil" Maybe someone in the know could dig up something along those lines. Mainly cos I'd be interested in reacquainting myself with the setup but also cos I think it's relevant here.
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