Why would we believe, when lies are the most significant output of our planet? Some of the new nuclear energy technology is likely great, most of it hype. Even if I was an expert with some humility, how could I identify the good stuff? Neil
We held the 2nd Time for Leadership teleconference today, 10/28/08 from 2-4 Pm EDT on Skype. We had a strong and meaningful discussion with views expressed by inventors, passionate Pick fans and bloggers, a former head of one of NSF and DOE's renewable energy programs, and proponents of action and change. The agenda began with an open forum on what was most important for each participant to express, and we all interacted and shared our reactions and viewpoints. The second phase opened the floor to concrete suggestions as to whether we should form or support a 3rd party for public office, or should we find ways to leverage our beliefs to convince the new government to act in the public interest. This keyed a spirited discussion about what can and cannot work. Skepticism about the nature of our legislative leaders intentions led us to the consensus that a march on DC may be required to bring about the results desired. Precedents of Earth Day and peace marches, the Million Man march, and earlier marches for equality and women's rights all brought about change and energized the electorate to follow. We also agreed that alliances with various factions now represented by lobbyists and PACs might help with building partnerships to bring about change that will help all of us to succeed.
Some mentioned were environmentalists, education, construction, labor, community service, veterans, engineering and science associations, manufacturers, Lions Clubs and other civic groups, children's groups (boy and girl scouts, etc.), and anyone that will listen. We agreed to a centrist platform for America. rebuilding America and its base of strength, repairing its infrastructure, becoming more self-sustaining, frugal, fair, and honest in dealings with each other.
We then talked about focusing on technologies that we need to push, and those that must be left behind because it will cost too much or take too long to achieve commercial viability. Without taking too much from the discussion, it was noted that nuclear is too expensive and takes too long, and is phasing out by 2025 all existing capacity, before any new plants will come on line. We talked about the futility of adding natural gas demand when we are short 5 TCF per year of capacity now, and two more TCF if you count imported ammonia. We talked about solar thermal as one great source, and new wind power concepts that will revolutionize wind power to compete directly with coal on an economic basis. We discussed weather modification, ocean power, and ammonia as a new generation transportation fuel.
It was generally agreed that because so many Americans refuse to believe that global warming is a man-made event, that we should downplay that plank of a platform until the news is better understood and accepted. We need centrist views on every front.
Rather than a new party, we felt that a new partnership was the best way to begin. Alliances with lobbying forces that feel the same as we do may be more effective, since no 3rd party has won an American national election for over a century.
Centrist philosophy will be the key concept. The next step is to prepare such a platform. Next meeting, after the election, we will discuss this issue in more detail.
This is a brief comment on one paragraph of your thoughtful report, namely the paragraph on Global Warming. I have a suggestion which I believe is consistent with what you said, but with different reasoning. We should take the attitude that it is irrelevant whether man is the big cause or just a small cause of global warming. The question is what can be done in the future by man for the benefit of mankind on the issue of climate change. Point being is that if climate change is real, and if the measurable climate change is projected to be "bad" for mankind, THEN what can we do about it? That is, the issue is how can we slow it down and reverse it, no matter whether the warming is caused by solar output cycles, removing particulate air polution, greenhouse gases, etc. When the pandemic of flue arives, no one will ask if man caused it - the only question will be, "how do we fix it?" It is true that understanding the cause can help find a solution; BUT if arguments about the cause prevent or delay action on the solution, THEN forget the cause and focus on the solution. This is just my humble opinion.
Hi Dr. Curto: I suggest that Sierra Club keep their "victory" secret, otherwise millions of Americans will "thank" Sierra Club each time our lights dim, flash, flicker and go out. It will take ten years to replace the 150 plus new coal fired plants that would have been built by 2018 with alternative energy at twice the cost of the coal fired plants. Some of us will also "thank" Sierra Club for the opportunity to pay more taxes, and bigger electric bills, to subsidise these "clean" coal plants and new alternative energy ideas, some of which will prove to be as unwise as ethanol made from corn. If Sierra Club succeeds in shutting down old dirty coal fired electric plants, USA may have more rolling black outs than all the third world countries put together, if we also succeed in returning our manufacturing jobs to the USA and getting 20 million plug in electric and electric hybrids on the road by 2018.
Centrist may be good on most issues, but finding the center of such diverse opinions is difficult; Aim for the mean opinion, perhaps some sort of weighted average?
USA becoming more self sufficient is good, If you mean we should manufacture at least a few percent of each kind goods we need, plus a significant amount of the fluff. Honest and frugal is very good, but fair is bad, if that means taking from the rich and giving it to the poor who will mostly squander the wealth on fluff and vice, rather than create jobs and produce useful services.
We should build a few nuclear power plants, so we don't forget how, but they should get only minor federal funding.
How did they arrive at a natural gas shortage of 5 trillion cubic feet. Who went without natural gas last winter? What percentage of the 2007 usage is 5 trillion cubic feet?
Did they specify which great demonstration of solar thermal? I thought all of the completed systems cost at least 10 cent per KWH for the electricity produced, More for electricity during peak demand about sunset?
Which ocean power concept was believed most promising?
I think Clyde Dana Thomas is saying, "we should not try to stop man's contribution to global warming and concentrate on reducing natural contributions to global warming which may give more off set per dollar". ie At some locations a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide comes from the ground with hardly any nitrogen, unlike flue gases which are typically 80 % nitrogen and very hot.
Hi Steve: In ten years, these mini nuclear plants may have proved to be low cost, efficient, low maintenance and practical, or not. Either way, we need to go big time with proven windpower, now. Yes we should build a few of several nuclear designs, to determine if they are as good as they look on paper. Neil