Obama, listen to yourself
September 26, 2008
Obama, listen to yourself
September 5, 2008
I love watching the ridiculous nature of the MSM (mainstream media) when they pull their keystone-cops routine, just like they’ve been doing with Palin lately. I really do. Sometimes I can’t decide which is funnier … David Letterman (who mirrors MSM political leanings) while he’s trying to be funny, or the MSM while they’re trying not to be funny.
Never is this more apparent than when things don’t go their way. When things don’t go their way the double standard they set up is hilarious. Maybe it’s just because I listen to NPR and watch non-Fox channels but I can’t tell you how many times over the last 24 hours I heard pundits disparage Palin for having remarks that were “belittling” to Obama.
Oh No! Horrors! She made Obama seem less than what he thinks he is (that is the definition of belittling incidentally)! She might have hurt his feelings! Surely he can’t defend himself so that was dirty pool. Shame, Palin! For shame! As a side note: I seem to remember the MSM saying similar things about Romney for attacking his opponents records .. but in the end the MSM got their favorite Republican candidate: McCain, who’s ironically more likely to beat their favorite candidate than Romney was likely to do.
Of course, belittling the opposition is a VP candidate’s main job, and it always has been – it’s called “Good Cop” vs “Bad Cop” and it leaves McCain the role of playing good cop. Palin was dutifully playing her part.
Incidentally McCain played the “good cop” very well tonight in dealing with multiple hecklers. Funny how democrats try to crash republican assemblies, but republicans never do the same to democrat assemblies – but again I’m getting off topic.
Yes, there’s hypocrisy in the MSM … feigning shock that she’d desecrate their idol, Obama. What I found even more humorous though is the MSM was then so foolish to prove her belittling attitude by showing a snippet where she mocks Obama for saying that small-town people “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them”.
Okay. All right. So … apparently it’s okay for Obama to self-righteously belittle half the people in the US by making a mockery of their faith and their right to personal defense, but Palin “belittled” Obama! OH THE HORROR!!! How could she!
What’s even funnier is all the so-called feminists who’ve ever since have been saying the most sexist remarks about Palin imaginable … claiming that either her kids will get the short end of the stick (ha! as if they really care), or the nation will get the short end of the stick. Meanwhile I’m sure her husband’s thinking “what am I … chopped liver?”, but the most ironic things is nobody on the left has stopped to ask “Why doesn’t anyone say that about any of the men running for office”?
I mean, aren’t liberal democrats supposed to be the last bastion of equal rights? Aren’t they the ones who pretend to champion the idea that men should be held to the same familial standards as women (a perspective I actually agree with)? So why would they say that about Palin, but not Obama. You know … he has young kids too.
And are they so stupid as to think that her kids will sit in squalor without any assistance from White House staff or more importantly without love and affection from a Father who’s been an excellent Mr. Mom for these last few years. I’m guessing those kids will be doted on no less than Bush’s kids, Clinton’s kids, or any other White House kids and in many if not most cases receive just as much guidance and care from their father as the others received from their non-political parent. Hey, wait a minute … Chelsea didn’t even have a non-political parent. Amazing she hasn’t turned out to be some kind of axe-murderer.
Which brings up the other hilarious point. I loved watching David Letterman last night – being his funniest (maybe “funny” is too flattering of a word … he was more like “ludicrous”) when he was trying to be his most serious. You had to watch it to see just how clueless he was. The audience was shocked really at what he said … his guest, Dr. Phil was a deer-in-the-headlights. Both Letterman and Dr Phil commented on how silent the audience suddenly was, after which Letterman quickly realized he was way off base from all of his viewers.
I don’t remember Letterman’s exact words but in summary, Letterman was very harshly criticizing Palin for letting her daughter get pregnant. That’s right folks … it was Sarah Palin’s fault her daughter got pregnant according to Letterman (apparently her husband was off the hook – but then I already mentioned the sexist views of the hypocritical left so let’s not delve further into that). Essentially he went on to suggest that only an idiot would send their 16 yr old daughter out on a date without a condom.
Now I’ve seen Letterman say dumb things before where he’s revealed too much about his ridiculous ideas, but even I was a little surprised at this comment, but what’s more I was really dismayed by Dr. Phil’s response.
There was none. I kept waiting for it but nothing happened. I kept expecting Dr. Phil to at least fix things a little. Dr. Phil is generally pretty straight forward even as a guest and will try to nicely shed some healthy balance in such situations like gently mentioning that perhaps not everyone shares Letterman’s wacky views, but Dr. Phil did nothing of the sort. Instead they both quickly changed the topic and thereby perpetuated a myth that only idiots believe that morality is more important than birth control, and that a baby born into a very loving home where the mother is only 17 is a horrible horrible thing that should be avoided … perhaps aborted at all costs, even if the father is a good reliable kid who loves the daughter and wants to make it right.
So by-in-large I found the MSM responses to Palin hilarious – with a few moments of disgust here and there where I saw the ugly little underbelly and bizarre beliefs that underlie those responses. It has been overall, delightful to see the MSM squirm. Say what you must about the woman, but Palin has been making the MSM and their pundits run around like a bunch of decapitated chickens.
I only wish this show would have started sooner. Sadly I don’t think she has her guard up or anticipates the onslaught being prepared for her. She’s not an expert in foreign affairs and that along with other weaknesses she shares with Obama will be exploited by the MSM while Obama will get a pass. Just you wait and see.
July 30, 2007
A friend of my recently started working for Waterfurnace – a company that makes geothermal heating systems. Being one who’s worked in the Green-energy industry and blogging frequently about it you’d think I’d have been apprised of what a slam dunk it is. I wasn’t. I figured it was like Solar PV – something people do to feel good about themselves. No, this is a true money saver within 7 years complete payoff (probably 5 years now, given oil costs), and so I think we can expect massive growth here. What’s more important payback is done without government subsidies (unlike solar PV), and the suppliers are profitable. Profitability means scalability, and as far as I know wind-turbines and geothermal are the only profitable renewable companies out there – and geothermal is by far the most affordable one. So you’re going to see geothermal explode in the next 10-20 years – it’s all economics. Check out this clip:
Wouldn’t you know it … the best solutions are the simple and cheap ones. While Pres. Bush throws your tax $ toward a fabled hydrogen-based economy involving the most complicated, expensive, and energy wasting distribution methods, most people can cut their heating and cooling costs by 75% by planting a bunch of pipes in their backyard and retrofitting it with a heat exchanger.
On average you’ll save enough to pay it off in 5-10 years. The payoff for solar PV (the other homeowner-owned renewable) is closer to 10-20 years even with 50% government subsidies – what a waste of our taxes – that money should go toward CSP, wind turbine farms, or geothermal plants. If you do a payment plan & have good credit you can possibly do geothermal with no money down and then see your monthly heating/cooling bills significantly drop immediately. Lending companies like it better too for multiple reasons. What’s not there to love?!
Lastly, you’ll also get that”feel good” warm fuzzy I mentioned above, knowing you’re doing something to help out. As much as 30% of our nation’s energy is spent on heating & cooling. If everyone utilized geothermal then that could be nearly as high as a 20% reduction in our country’s energy consumption, plus that savings goes back to drive the economy.
July 26, 2007
I realized something obvious today. At least in retrospect it seems obvious to me, though I don’t know why this concept alludes others. It happened while I was hopelessly searching for a decent radio station to listen to in the garage, and in the process happened upon a “Christian music” station where they were singing some song about how great their God was. It wasn’t about “God” in general, or “the” God, but they consistently used the term “my God” with as much or more gusto on the word “my” as they did on the word “God”. I then thought – if you believe in only one God why even mention “my”, or “our”? The phrase “my God” implies that there is more than one God. That’s an oxymoron if you’re a monotheist (someone who believes in only one God).
|“The obvious problem with this claim, of course, is that these people who are comparing Gods also claim to be monotheistic.”|
I’ve also heard so many times from many (but not all) religions people claim that their God is better than another person’s God. As a Mormon person I hear this a lot from mainstream Christians directed toward me. I’ve always responded that we worship the same God, although we understand the physical/spiritual nature of the Godhead to be different from their concept. To which they usually respond vehemently that no way is our God the same being as their God. The obvious problem with this claim, of course, is that these people who are comparing Gods also claim to be monotheistic.
The only logical rationale I can imagine for this implicit contradiction is that they consider “God” to be a concept rather than an actual being. I don’t think that is what they’re doing though since they, like me, claim that God lives, not that He’s just some kind of philosophical construct to make people feel better. So I must conclude that they’re just trained to reinforce this implicit contradiction, which if corrected could engender greater understanding and mutually beneficial communication.
|“…most of the problems in the middle east have their roots in the irrational My God vs. Your God mentality, instead of promoting the fact that we all worship the same God differently and simply have different ideas about Him.”|
If one is literally referring to God with the intent to compare religions the best thing they can say is “our understanding of the nature of His being and power are different”. Of course, the implied meaning is “You’re wrong about God’s nature and power, and I’m right”, but at least it’s plainly understood that there is only one God.From time to time I’ve heard the interesting accusation (from people of all religions, including my own) that certain people “don’t worship the true God” or variations on that theme. Although this is very offensive, I don’t think it is as dangerous as pitting one God against another, and besides this accusation abides by the rules of a monotheistic perspective. Of course, it is an extremely presumptuous accusation to say someone simply isn’t worshiping the true God because they don’t understand the nature of God’s being and power. Its also irrational to suggest that misunderstanding something about the object of worship instantly disqualifies the worshipful actions, making them null and void, and there are no scriptures I know of to back up that absurd claim.
|“… but can all worship the same God by simply doing good and appreciate each other for it”|
It’s also obvious that making such presumptuous and irrational accusations alienates others and engenders spite between religious groups. It can be reasonably argued that most of the problems in the middle east have their roots in the irrational My God vs. Your God mentality, instead of promoting the fact that we all worship the same God differently and simply have different ideas about Him. If the middle-east Jews, Christians, and Muslims accepted what an irrational idea that is, and that they all believe in the same God, but only interpret Him and His nature and purposes differently, then the idea of the “heathen” and the philosophy behind “Jihad” would suddenly dissolve. The challenge there is that so much of their scriptures do seem to refer to a plurality of monotheistic Gods, so that isn’t likely to happen without a new interpretation of those verses.
Sadly, that’s not going to happen as long as religious leaderships continue to senselessly pit their monotheistic Gods against each other as the Greeks or Romans did. Fortunately, those of us in the civilized world can be rational and realize we all worship just one God, the Creator of the earth, – just differently. Admittedly some might be more accurate that others in their ideas about God, but can all worship the same God by simply doing good and appreciate each other for it.
July 16, 2007
I’m sick of people saying Bush got re-elected because of his religion and his pro-Christian views. It’s just plain not true. That’s like saying Clinton was elected because America loves womanizers – just watch our sitcoms – seems America does love womanizers, but that’s not why Clinton got elected. By the same token Bush’s religious agenda has done him more political harm than good, and he was elected both terms simply because the Democrats failed in nominating someone who wasn’t an extreme leftist wacko.
|“The Democrats should have won the last election…”|
The Democrats should have won the last election, and they would have if they nominated a moderate like Lieberman, and then we would currently have a Jewish man for a president. I would have voted for him in a second. Lieberman didn’t have a chance in the primaries though as he was far too moderate for the Democrats, and he was a “Jew” – heaven forbid. It’s okay to nominate a black man or any kind of woman, but not a Jewish man. No way. The Democrats thought they had the election in the bag in both terms and so they nominated their dream candidate each time: someone way out in left field who was neither black, female, or jewish. Now it’s funny that the Republican party seems to be the more tolerant, considering their flirtations with Mitt Romney, an LDS man.
|“…the Republican party seems to be the more tolerant, considering their flirtations with Mitt Romney, an LDS man. Harry Reid (also LDS) would never have made it so far in the Democrat primaries, and he knows it.”|
So next time you want to say Americans are a bunch of gun toting Christian-proselytizing imperialists, remember it’s the Democrat’s fault that we don’t have a peace-loving, green-energy spewing, Muslim-tolerating Jewish man in that office. If religion had anything to do with american elections then Mitt Romney would have been a hiss and a byword long ago. Then again, once our beloved leftist Hollywood kingpins wreak their havoc next month with their “artistic liberties” (September Dawn) he just might be, but that’s a topic for another day.
July 3, 2007
We live in an amazing time with wonderful technologies to greatly improve and enhance our life styles. As always, there’s bad that comes with good, and in a world where we all live in glass houses it’s critical that parents be thoughtful and take necessary precautions to protect their children. For one, we all know there are perverts out there disguising themselves as other kids. There’s also a problem of kids becoming negatively influenced with online pornography, as soft-core pornography (which kids are more likely to be interested in) often ultimately leads to hard-core porn use with disturbing consequences.
The scientific facts are there even if you don’t have a religious foundation for such an opinion. The research to date proves conclusively that pornography is as addictive as any mind altering substance, eliciting the same biochemical response as PCP or any other highly addictive hallucinogenic drug. These studies also show that, similar to drug abuse, increasing doses of a more concentrated and vile nature are needed to provide the same biochemical response in the individual with each successive pornographic experience.
So just what does this mean for children? It means the same thing that it mean with regards to drugs. Early pornographic use can lead (and has lead many) to a lifetime of horrible addiction that can rob them of will power and adversely distort their perspective, leading to poor decisions in critical matters and causing episodes of deep depression. It’s all in the science, and if you don’t believe me, just do a search for “pornography and science” (click here).
|“Within a few hours any 13 year old can develop nearly the same computer competency level as another regardless of their background. Beyond 13 however it’s critical that kids know and use computers on a fairly frequent basis or they will be left behind.”|
How best to meet this challenge? Do you shut your children out of the digital world entirely? Actually, this is not necessarily a bad approach when kids are less than 13-14 years of age. Within a few hours any 13 year old can become nearly as computer competent as another regardless of their background. Beyond 13 however it’s critical that kids know and use computers on a fairly frequent basis or they will be left behind.
How about shutting them off from the Internet entirely? That is also a viable approach if approached right, though there are less draconian ways to do it. A child can use an unconnected computer on a very frequent basis – doing nearly everything they could do with a connected computer. Email of course would be handled through a parent/guardian – and ancient technology, like phones, for communication instead still do exist. There are even services that will convert email messages to phone messages and then send it to a cell phone. Student based research is perhaps even made easier by using an unconnected computer if it is loaded with Encarta, or Encyclopedia Britannica on DVD, etc. Teachers would far prefer those references to a reference to the wikipedia (although you can get wikipedia on DVD – a new one each year). Having them use an unconnected PC whenever they want can help them focus on really learning about the computer, computing, programming, etc… instead of surfing the net and loitering in ineffectual chat rooms.
What you should never do: Never put a net-capable computer in your kid’s bedroom. One way or another they’ll get access to whatever they want no matter how good you think they are. Don’t kid yourself, kids are kids. I kid you not.
|“Don’t kid yourself, kids are kids. I kid you not. Would you tell your kid to never play with guns and then put a loaded one under their bed? Would you?”|
Here’s the multifaceted approach we use at our house. Feel free to use as much of it as you’d like:
- Explain in detail to kids why some parts of the net is a dangerous place with dangerous people, and why porn victimizes and how it alters judgement, alters character, and is socially repugnant. Why? Because they need to protect themselves whenever you can’t because you can’t place filters on their friend’s computers libraries, etc.
- Also, give them a protected environment where they can feel safe in, and where you can feel comfortable that they’re safe. You wouldn’t tell your kid to not play with guns and then put a loaded one under their bed would you? Then get to work:
Method: KidRocket Glubble Client Based Filtering
(Blue Coat k9)
Proxy Server Filtering What is it: Dedicated kid-friendly fullscreen locked-down browser that won’t exit (not a plug-in), that we link to in the startup folder of their XP account. So when they click their account it boots straight up to this browser. See kidrocket.org. Free. A plugin for Firefox. Restricts where kids can go. You can define where it can and can’t go. Free. More flexible than Kid Rocket, and allows your kids to go to alot more places. Be sure to remove other browsers. Filter all content on each computer as it comes in from the internet or as it is requested. You can do this for free with Blue Coat k9 which is one of the best out there. It doesn’t noticeably slow down the browsing experience and is easy to administer. WHETHER YOU DO ANY OF THE OTHERS AT LEAST DO THIS! ITS FREE. Filter all content by setting up a proxy server. Every webpage viewed on your network is automatically routed through this server, There’s no way around it. Think of it as Big brother. You can do it for free with a spare computer and Dansguardian and squid. There are also retail products for doing this. How easy is it: easy somewhat easy very easy For experienced users who know a bit about servers How secure somewhat secure Not very secure, but better than nothing. Pretty secure. Can be circumvented, but not very easily. Very secure. Can’t go around this as long as they’re using your network. Downsides: Very limited. For kids under 12. I don’t think it locks down the user environment. Seems like it might be easily circumvented. Not many Downsides. It’s very easy to override and seldom gives false results, so you ought to put this on every computer in the house. Only Proxy Filtering is better. Takes some server knowledge, but nothing that you can’t learn given enough time.
- Keep all Internet capable computers in public places. Laptops should be off limits (don’t have them take them into their rooms) unless they aren’t Internet capable.
- Provide an Internet-free computer they can do non Internet stuff on (MS Encarta, Homework, Burn Cd’s, create, print, make cards, run CD-ROMS, etc). Ideally this computer will physically have the Internet capable hardware removed so they can do anything they want. Note: once you have it just right – back it up (and create a system restore point) so you can easily to a complete reinstall (this will be necessary from time to time).
- Explain to kids that you’re using a separate program that records all the websites they visit and that you’ll check it regularly. If you have a way to really do this periodically ask them about a site or two that they visited – that will really let them know you’re not blowing smoke.
If you have any more suggestions, (please post them here – click).
June 24, 2007
Further brainstorming over a solar array / weapons defense system did produce one interesting possibility: a low-cost space-based mirror array for CSP (concentrated solar power). The idea seems silly at first glance because it seems far easier to place the optics on earth close to the energy converting apparatus – however some out-of-the-box thinking (as shown below) reveals that space-based optics could be far easier, cheaper, maintenance free, and effective than an earth-based solution (note that optics can be the biggest cost and maintenance for CSP):
1) Orbiting the earth are giant concave mirrors (parabolic in shape), each 7 square miles in area made from ultrathin reflective fabric (like mylar) stretched between 3 structural points (2 miles between each point in this example). Each mirror keeps its parabolic shape by solar wind. Secondary optics are also located at the focal point of the mirror and continually adjust to redirect the beam of concentrated light back to a receiving solar plant on the earth where the suns rays would be converted to usable energy.
Above: a small section of a giant array of parabolic reflective fabric mirrors.
2) Innumerable additional 7 sq.mile mirrors can be simply added, each requiring only one additional structural point, 7 more square miles of reflective fabric, and optics at the focal point of each mirror to send the concentrated solar power to a receiving solar plant on earth.
3) The incoming solar power would be distributed among receiving solar plants strategically placed on earth, so each plant would receive the maximum amount of suns possible without damaging the energy conversion facilities. Maintenance could be performed on these earth-based solar plants at night.
The solar reflectors, being in the vacuum of space, would never require any kind of maintenance. Periodic adjustments can be made to keep them approximately facing the sun via temporarily collapsing one mirror to let solar wind push the array back into orientation. The focal point optics necessary to send each mirrors rays to the right location on earth would be powered by solar power of course.
Oh yeah, another thing … this can indeed also be used as an anti-missile defense system if multiple arrays are used, providing round-the-clock protection, while being tons cheaper than any other Star-Wars type technology. It overcomes all the problems of the Solar Missile Defense scenario posed below and has countless advantages.
Also, nighttime surveillance in other parts of the would could be as easy as turning on a light bulb, and can you imagine the psychological effect it could have on the enemy?
June 23, 2007
Just now one of my neurons dedicated to solar power just misfired into the part of my brain reserved for missile defense technology and I had a Reese’s moment … why don’t we mix the two?!
Solar Two facility in California
All the top scientists agree that the best renewable energy is CSP (concentrated solar power), and 100’s if not 1000’s of CSP plants need to be deployed if solar is to provide the bulk of our nation’s energy. Refocusing all 1 million mirrors on the incoming missile is just a matter of a million stepper motors and calibration (could periodically done with a satellite, one mirror at a time).
|Another beautiful hypothesis destroyed by an ugly fact.|
I’m certain that focusing the power of a million suns on a warhead will destroy the electronics within a few seconds rendering the missile useless.
Then the other neuron in my brain kicked in and reminded me that solar arrays only work 10 hours/day (oh yeah, duh!). Besides, due to the curvature of the earth it won’t work until the missiles are nearly in striking range (again, oh yeah, duh!).
Okay. Another beautiful hypothesis destroyed by an ugly fact. Make that 2 ugly facts. I’m sure I could think up some more ugly facts if given more time. Back to the drawing board. I suppose we could always use solar purely for the far less glitzy cause: saving the planet. Ho hum.
June 14, 2007
Earlier this year Deamonte Driver, a 12 yr old boy from Washington DC, suffered from tooth aches for months but couldn’t get the care he needed. It resulted in a bacterial infection that spread to the brain and killed him. Death by tooth decay. People blamed medicaid and high dental costs, but the root of the problem and it’s solution lie elsewhere. The problem and the solution lie with the established and heavily promoted methods of dental hygiene; Brushing and flossing your teeth three times a day is tedious, time consuming, often ineffective (due to bad toothpaste formulation says this scientist) and aggressive flossing seems almost medieval when you consider modern chemicals and pharmacology. Other research dubbed “the invisible toothbrush” has correllated dental hygiene with Vit C Plasma levels indicating that significant vitamin C consumption (swallowed, not chewables) has almost as large of an impact as brushing twice daily does (see here). Strange how nobody has heard of this research.
|Dental Literature admits that 25% of people over 43 have absolutely no natural teeth (teeth without root-canals or crowns) while that figure is 42% those over 65.|
Now of course, I’m not advocating ditching the toothbrush, but 3 times daily along with flossing seems rediculous when many poorer societies do none of this and have better teeth (Uganda for example). United States dental hygiene methodologies have stagnated for 50+ years; Brush and floss after every meal they say. Who brushes and flosses after every meal?! Why are we still expected to do that when everything else has gotten easier over the last 50 years? Capitalism has spurred truly ground-breaking useful innovation in all other health fields, then why not in dental hygiene?
As a result, public dental health also hasn’t improved in 50+ years. Dental Literature admits that 25% of people of 43 have absolutely no natural teeth (teeth without root-canals or crowns) while that figure is 42% those over 65. Polio, smallpox, pneumonia, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, cholera, and strains of influenza have been abolished however everybody has root-canals and crowns today like they were an evil necessity, and most people sill have horrible dental stories to tell. It’s enough to convince me that dentistry is in the business “controlling” tooth decay, not the prevention of it despite what the ADA (American Dental Association) has to say.
|I’m not an anti-dentite … but dentists only do what they’ve been taught and they’ve been taught wrong by the ADA … The whole organization seems built upon a package of lies|
Don’t get me wrong … I’m not an anti-dentite. One of my best friends is a dentist and I’m sure he’d promote a better hygiene solution if they made it available. Dental health professionals make up some of the best people I know, but they only do what they’ve been taught and they’ve been taught wrong by the ADA. The ADA has their grubby hands in all-things toothwise, and their lobbying power is mind boggling. The whole organization seems built upon a package of lies:
- Lie #1: Conventional hygiene methods always work. That’s pure baloney.
- Lie #2: Conventional hygiene is easy enough. Also … baloney.
- Lie #3: Even poor people can afford to do conventional hygiene. Again, that’s baloney as many families can’t afford the floss.
- Lie #4: Bacteria and tartar can never be neutralized and dissolved, but must always be physically removed. I refuse to believe that.
- Lie #5: Daily brushing and flossing will always be the best thing that anyone can do for their teeth. I’m convinced that there’s got to be a better way.
All lies, but that’s what you get when all the authorities in a given field are getting rich by maintaining the status-quo. What if the status quo changed, and cavities disappeared from something as simple as a special mouth spray or gel cap that you’d bite into?
|yacht-wielding expense accounts would evaporate … 3 of the 6 highest paid professionals in the United States would have to settle for normal wages … demand will disappear when cavities disappear.|
Let me tell you what would happen: yacht-wielding expense accounts would evaporate, that’s what would happen. Oral surgeons, orthodontists and prosthodontists who comprise 3 of the 6 highest paid professionals in the United States would have to settle for normal wages. As it is, the average dental professional (excluding their assistants) pulls in about $180,000 annually – some more, some less. It’s all supply and demand – and that demand will disappear when cavities disappear.
The medicaid savings from eradicating tooth decay among the poor should be enough to pay for the needed development. Heck, give me a couple free weeks and I bet I could invent a superior hygiene myself. Plus, no more dead kids from tooth decay. That’s always a bonus.
May 22, 2007
Will energy conservation ever make any difference? I wish.
Leonardo DeCaprio’s “11th Hour” eco-doomsday docu-drama has just been unleashed. This is following Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth”, which I recently saw. Undoubtedly DeCaprio will propose that we solve a very real problem with the equivalent of stopping a fire hydrant with a stick of buble gum, ie: better light bulbs, less driving, more trees, more efficient appliances, and more efficient cars.
|“…we are spending far too much energy and time on squeezing out energy efficiency … what we really need is more energy and it has to be clean and it has to be cheap.” – Dr Klaus Lackner|
Instead of spending big bucks on those 2 movies why don’t you watch a video of Physicist Dr. Klaus Lackner from the “earth institute” at Columbia University for free (http://www.earthinstitute.columbia.edu/crosscutting/energy.html). It’s over 1 1/2 hours, but is so worth it. He demonstrates how futile most “energy conservation measures” are while providing you with the truly viable solutions to the greenhouse gas problem. At a minimum, I can guarantee you that you will be far more empowered after watching Dr. Lackner than you will after watching any Hollywood produced film. Why? Because afterwards you’ll know what you need to do to really make a difference: Change the way we make electricity, not just the way we use it.
You’ll learn that (based on math) Americans will have to reduce CO2 emissions by 97% just to keep the current environmental levels of CO2 constant. That means driving your car only 1day/month. That means only using electricity 2 days / month. If you wanted to plant enough trees to compensate for existing levels using reforestation only then you’d have to quadruple the # of full grown trees currently in existence.
|The math says that even if severe energy conservation efforts are legislated, doing so will only buy us an extra 5 years before it’s too late.|
The math says that even if severe energy conservation efforts are legislated, doing so will only buy us an extra 5 years before it’s too late. What we need is practically ZERO emissions from both power plants and vehicles. What we need is massive energy generation restructuring for both grid power and vehicles. Within 50 years (preferably sooner) all power must be generated by renewable sources, and cars must use that power be it through hydrogen or electric.
If everyone could put solar panels on their roof they you’d have a solution, but that costs 40K per roof – completely nonviable for 99% of Americans (and the subsidies would bankrupt the government). Don’t get me wrong … solar is the answer, but it will be solar at $0.03/kWh from a power-plant (most likely thermal, not PV), as compared to the true cost of today’s rooftop solar panels (PV) that average $0.33 kWh over their lifetime.
|Americans will have to reduce CO2 emissions by 97% just to keep the current environmental levels of CO2 constant|
In the meantime, scrubbers can be added to existing power facilities to totally remove all carbon emissions, at a cost of about 0.03$/kWh. That’s a 30% increase in energy costs, but for clean energy that’s pretty good. Not as good as current solar thermal rates, but it is close. Nuclear is also a viable alternative in the meantime (though not my favorite choice, when existing solar thermal can produce similar rates to nuclear).
Vehicles are a much more challenging problem because the operating costs of zero-emmision cars will never be competitive with fossil fuel cars. Why because nearly half of the power of fossil fuel is lost in the process of converting to electricity or hydrogen, sending that medium to the point of consumption, and then discharging that power through a motor. The only way around the problem is that at some point most fossil-fuel based vehicles will have to be made illegal. Now we’re talking about 40-50 years down the road, but that’s not too far away.
So should you conserve electricity? Heck yes. It may only make a few years of difference, but from what I can see, we’re going to need every year possible. Just remember to spend more time writing your elected officials and telling your friends about real solutions. And watch Dr. Lackner’s presentation from the earth institute (see the video on the right of this page) if you haven’t done that yet. You’ll be glad you did.