Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Sunday, May 17, 2009

  Thermodynamics, cap and trade

Our energy choices are ruthlessly ruled, not by political judgments, but by the immutable laws of thermodynamics.

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No;

I'd have to say that our "Energy Choices" (as such) are ruled by our really really poor energy choices.

We choose to light up huge parking lots at night, when no one is around. We do this even though good sensor technology exists that could better mitigate the 'crime' factor, and be a whole heckuva lot more energy efficient. We choose to leave lights on all the time, and I mean all the time, pretty much everywhere. We choose to use traffic lights instead of rational traffic shaping through road design (one time cost vs recurring cost) We choose to run air conditioning in really huge spaces that aren't occupied rather than design spaces that don't require nearly as much cooling, we make all kinds of choices of this type. These are the choices we make, or did I say that?

The biggest bang for the buck we have available is conservation. The biggest impact we could make on our suicidal destruction of our very own habitat, as well as the habitat of every know living creature, is conservation.

Who is talking conservation?

Can you hears your ears ringing in the silence?
 
PS, Cap and Trade is BS.

AKA, pollute as you like, pay as you go.
 
Yea! The return of reader outrage! I figured once I slowed down to only writing once a month or less

1) I agree that conservation is a pathway towards greater energy savings, and people DO talk about it and are doing things about it. The trend towards LED lighting is a strong one, for example, with everything from traffic lights to refrigerators adopting the technology.

That said, every energy saving technology I'm aware of, combined, is a drop in the bucket compared to population growth.

2) You utterly missed my point about carbon reduction's goals being impossible. (and TFA makes more)...
 
Sorry,
I didn't meant to completely 'miss my point.'

The Utah example is -in my mind- kinda pointless.

Utah isn't going to grow, it, (like California) HAS NO WATER. It isn't going to grow, it's going to crash, and crash very very hard. The harder (through stupid and ludicrious energy expendature) folks work to prop up this totally top heavy insane crap known as western growth, the much harder the fall is going to be, and it is going to be.

The End.

For the US. It's just insane. I think I've pointed this out before. Let's take the 'official numbers' (if they mean anything). http://www.censusscope.org/us/chart_popl.html Let's take 1970. US POP at 200million. Now, it's somewhere around 300million. That's 3 people, where they used to be 2 people. That's 3 cars on the road where there were 2 cars on the road. That's 3 people in line waiting for a frak'n cheezeburger, where there used to be 2 people in line.

THAT'S ALL IT MEANS.

Now, Utah. 1970, 1 million or so. today, closing in on 3 million or so. So, that's 3 people in line, where there was 1. There was barely
enough water for the 1 then. And then, there was an air conditioner at the pharmacy, and maybe the 7/11, MAYBE. Now, everything is air conditioned. Hows that going to play out? How is it playing out?

And the beloved california, where one city, LA, has done a magnificent job of killing the entire desert southwest for it's swimming pools, , grr, I just can't go there.

Over half the country is being torn apart to furnish car washes for frak'n pimped cadillac suvs. Oh, the rivers don't matter. BS. Okay, I can't expect really smart technologist to grok this, so let me tone it down some. Do you think all those small parts matter in your antimatter powered star ships? Well, all those small parts matter a whole hell of a lot more in your habitat, known as the planet. phytoplankton matter *A LOT*. Don't deal with that, and deal with it quickly, none of the rest of it will matter.

It's not about population. It's about consumption.

We're teetering on 7.5b now? yeah, that's probably about all the planet can take. Sure. I get it. According to the numbers that Lester Brown crunches, he thinks we can do maybe 9.

But, that's not 9 running about at 10mpg or less, twittering on their way to the airport to pop over to the other coast for a f**king meeting that could have been done on the phone, but didn't because we *want* to pop out to the coast.

No, that's folks living in walkable places being supported by their immediate land base.

That is the future. I promise you this. Towns and villages, perhaps a city within a weeks ride, in such places as major ports or at the bottom of large agricultural valleys. Towns and villages supported by what clean power they can generate on their own, maybe, just maybe with a grid to fall back on in times of need, but pretty much mostly, practically all being supported by their immediate land base, food shed, water shed, material shed, etc.

We can do this with up to 9 billion, or with 9 million, or a few hundred thousand or so, scattered over the globe. But it is the future none the less.
 
And
1) yeah, LED lighting is pretty cool. However, turning the f**king light off is even cooler.

2) 2.2 tons per year by 2050? Sure. for one thing, it's kinda like dear ole Uncle Albert said all those years ago. (or is reported to have said, I don't have a citation).
"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

Same thing.
We can get smart and stop pissing all over our bed, or we can get dead.
 
Hey there, love your site. I have just started up a site all about how to make money from home at http://timetomakemoneyfromhome.com/. I was wondering if you would be interested in exchanging links with me. My email address is moneymaker@timetomakemoneyfromhome.com
 
The main point of '80 by 50' is that it makes everyone feel good and want to support the politicians who promise such a thing. By 2050 those politicians who made said promises don't care if the promise is kept as they are long gone and retired or dead by then.

It's like the miracle of deficit spending. We support the politicians who lower taxes and increase services by deficit spending because we kick the bill (with interest) down the road to those currently not old enough to vote.

PS: yay google for retarded openid impementation.

- Greg
 
Okay, here's a knee-jerk snap judgment if ever there was one.

It's not the population, it's the consumption:

European Union
4,324,782 sq km
491,582,852 people

United States
9,161,923 sq km
307,212,123 people

Half the space, twice the folks, and not doing as poorly as we.

Hows that for a gross overgeneralization?
 
CPM: your idyllic viewpoint of villages and comparison to europe doesn't hold water. Stacking people up densely is more efficient. New York city is the most energy efficient city in America, with ~2% of the population, using 1% of the energy....
 
Dang Dave;

Sorry I didn't catch yer last comment earlier, I'll try to address it in a comment to your more recent post.

In a nutshell, trying to compare the staggering waste of NY to the incredibly stupid and insane and downright suicidal craziness of the american suburb is something of a red herring.
 
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