|Mr. Purple Cat Esq. |
This free book is great if you want to get your head around sustainable energy..
I was just visiting CO and the state is riddled with coal firing plants.
Watched this a couple days ago when it was making the rounds on progressive blogs/FB pages.
I looked up the textbook they're talking about. It's available for free online, and it really is kinda evil.
Where did you find it? I can find some stuff ABOUT it but I couldn't find the book itself.
I don't know if I'd call it "uplifting" so much as "emotionally manipulative". I'd be genuinely interested to hear about what these cheaper, cleaner, more-locally-empowering ideas actually are: what they entail and whether or not there's any science to support their proposed model. But most of this video is simply an activist giving his interest group a luxurious blowjob. I'm assuming it has something to do with... wind energy? Solar panels? More dinosaur-mincing plants, only these ones controlled by the city's municipal government instead of Mister Burns? I have no idea, because the narrator can't be bothered to tell me; all he thinks that I, the mud-hovel-dwelling shmuck on the other end of his flashy media presentation, should know is that his group is small and plucky, his opponents are big and scary. Which, granted, is basically how every public debate works these days.
I won't be a jerk and one-star it out of spite, but come on, Sustainable Energy Narrator Dude. Yeah yeah, corporations are bad, community is good, but cram the weasel words and melodramatic music cues for a minute and give me some sweet sexy science.
I hope his plan involves fat people on bicycles hooked to turbines.
That was the best Black Mirror episode.
So... the plan is to decentralize the purchasing of electricity, by giving "communities" (I'm assuming this refers to individual towns, or even burroughs within towns?) the ability to get their power from smaller energy companies? Rather than entire counties or whatever being dependent upon a single, heavily regulated, energy monopoly?
That sounds reasonable. I'm always willing to support increased competition. I also like that they're willing to entertain the idea of giving individual consumers the right to opt out of community decisions - as a hippie-dippie voluntarist, my chief moral concern in policy debates like this is in seeing that policy makers respect the right of consumers to make their own choices. And although I'm no expert in economics, let alone the economics of energy markets, the economic arguments that the writers advance sound convincing enough to me. I'd be more than happy to shoulder some increased initial costs if it meant significant savings in the long run. Especially since, one way or another, increased energy costs are pretty much inevitable at this point (thanks, dinosaurs. Way to not produce enough corpses for everyone, jerks)
However, I don't see how you get from this "CCA model", to the wind-and-sun powered green utopia implied in this video. What if local communities decide that it's in their best interest to keep right on using coal? It'd certainly make it EASIER to adopt new technologies, if and when they become more cost (and ecology!) efficient. But it won't change the fact that, for now, if green technology doesn't measure up, communities will keep right on using reactionary power sources.
In fact, while I haven't read the whole report because COME ON, twenty pages? I said I wanted some science, emphasis on the SOME - like I was saying, while I haven't read the whole report yet, I don't see anything in there about greening the energy sector, aside from a few "oh yeah, and also some people might do this" asides. In fact, the only bit I can find which really touches on the subject of renewable energy, in practice rather than in theory, is a small bit on page 16 where they meekly concede that that the renewable energy segment of Massachutset's pioneering CCA failed completely.
But maybe those business-casual cellists are happily playing away because, nuclear power?
My problems with nuclear power are:
1. We still don't know what to do with the waste.
II. The costs for building the things, not to mention maintaining them, mean loads of taxpayer subsidies and the risk that the private company (because public utilities are BAD, it seems) will decide the profit margins aren't big enough to actually keep the plant running and they'll walk away.
C. The companies that want to open up nuke plants are the same ones that can't be arsed to properly run their coal-fired ones within EPA guidelines most of the time without throwing major hissy-fits over things like pollution or upgrading the infrastructure before bits start falling off.
Could we make clean nuclear energy? Maybe. Can the private sector do it? Not with its current demand for double-digit profits on everything and letting everything go to shit so long as the taxpayer can bail their asses out.
Seems like your issues are with how nuclear power is done in the US. Look at France, they have different solutions to all of the problems you bring up (some of them good ones too).
I see those as the greatest issues. I'm not well-versed on actual reactor design and what have you, but it seems every "miracle" design (what's the latest meme? Thorium?) that'll produce less or no waste is pretty pie-in-the-sky.
And even if France is doing it right, that means they can't be used as a model in this country, as the right wingers in Congress would likely scream "socialism!" or "surrender nukes!" and demand that Halliburton get more tax breaks for building nuclear plants based on a design that one of their contracting subsidies drew up for a mere two billion taxpayer dollars and counting.
I don't bother with the actual plants themselves because I can't see the better designs and/or models of running them being an asset after the bullshit that'll happen once private companies get involved.
From my friend in boulder's comments the slacktivists in that city all support this but nobody wanted to volunteer for the beta test of this new power grid. Its a city full of stoned hippies that think they can get things done without any work. This project is putting the city way into the red and isn't showing any returns.
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