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Old 09-14-2018, 08:15 PM   #61 (permalink)
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:24 PM   #62 (permalink)
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I'm going to call up my local friendly regional coal fired power plant and see if I can't get a few tons of coal this winter.
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:11 PM   #63 (permalink)
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You can do concentrated thermal solar with blown glass and steel.
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Old 09-15-2018, 08:00 AM   #64 (permalink)
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But it doesn't work at night with out huge thermal storage.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:05 AM   #65 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Coal - How is This (coal) Still a Thing?
I have been trying for a year now to help you understand the relationship between energy/ economy/ population. Which for our purposes of discussion can generally be stated as being around 1:1:1. There is a slight decoupling of energy as we move more into a service economy, and slight efficiency gains are available. ie. in personal transportation (which is only 15% of total energy at most in the most car-centric USA). So eliminating any particular energy source is not just a matter of choice. If the height of this energy graph goes down, the population, or size of the economy must go down. And the population is still set to increase another 30% by 2100 before education of family planning that we are now promoting worldwide will slowly start to cause a reduction in population. The "peak child" born whenever that may be, has to reach 80 and die before the population can begin to drift down. Even at fertility rates of less the 2.
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If the economy contracts, by even just a few percent/ year, high unemployment in the double digits and defaults occur leaving 30% of the people standing in a soup line with nowhere to live. Worldwide. We have no economic system that can function on less than exponential 2% world growth at the minimum. So, when energy availabilty goes down, which it will within 20-30 years for liquid fuel which is the most useful of all energy, the economy will go down. No amount of long term forecast degradation of the ecosystems or inevitble resource depletion will be enough to cause humans to adopt a completely new social system now. Until it is forced on us by a complete crash.
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Coal is part of what we are now, and have been for 150 years, using. To keep all of the economic plates spinning. It is not just a matter of choice to abandon it. Without first replacing it. We have taken some baby steps. But examining the scale reveals an effort of futility thus far.
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New energy magazines are continually greenwashing the progress of rebuildables. Keep in mind that the green areas of this chart are not just solar and wind. They include biomass for energy. Which even in Germany with it's unprecidented massive build out of wind and solar over the last 2 decades, 2/3 of what is showing green is biomass. I imagine China would be that much or more since 3 Billion people in the world are still relegated to burning wood or dung for cooking and heat. So the 1/3 of the visible green areas representing wind and solar is still a tiny spec on the scale of total energy consumption. Don't think the 2015 date of the data renders it obsolete. Doubling nearly nothing, is still nearly nothing.
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Even if we could scap or retrofit our $100 Trillion in bult out heavy machines, and who knows how much for a complete retrofit of heavy industrial processes like steel and cement, to run on electricity, would we gain an efficiency of 50% off of that chart's total energy value? How many times would 1/3 of the little green slice at the top of the chart have to grow to replace carbon fuels. 100X?
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We are not even close to just leaving coal in the ground without causing a complete crash in the world economy. China is forecast to be still using 95% of it's current rate of coal in 2040. Rebuildables plus nuclear will barely outpace growth. And then it will be time to rebuild the first sets of wind and solar farms again.
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India is forecast to be using 2X it's current coal in 2040. Vietnam will be well beyond that since it has decided to invest heavily in coal to grow it's economy.
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Until we can implement an entirely new social system with an equitable distribution of wealth that can function on degrowth, and all go back to a much simpler lifestyle with less, there is no way to just leave any energy in the ground. We will be using all that we can get our hands on.
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Just for electricity in China which is only 20-30% of total energy. How much more for heat intensive industrial processes?
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:29 AM   #66 (permalink)
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Quote:
I have been trying for a year now to help you understand the relationship between energy/ economy/ population.
I, for one, appreciate your efforts. My just repeating 'the hippys were right' isn't enough.

The stated purpose of Buckminster Fuller's Design Science Revolution was to raise everyones standard of living, rich or poor, higher than anyone's present experience. Revolutions that tear down the top just create a new top.

So we know what needs to be done, there's no excuse.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:27 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Wow, we're screwed.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:21 AM   #68 (permalink)
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We're not getting that pony for christmas. But we can still get something nice. Like a new bicycle or pair of shoes. If we wake to Reality 101. Quit consuming just to keep up with (and pass) the Joneses. Everyone. Focus our remaining carbon wealth on building what we need to move forward as best we can.
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Old 09-16-2018, 08:44 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
I'm going to call up my local friendly regional coal fired power plant and see if I can't get a few tons of coal this winter.
I wonder how realistic a concern might be over the coal soot coming out of your chimney (containing lead, mercury, arsenic, and other heavy metals) coating your plans and contaminating your land.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:04 AM   #70 (permalink)
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Not much, since during the winter the wind blows from the north when it would be cold enough for me to want to burn coal and to my south is an empty field, that I do not own.
So in this case the solution to pollution is wind direction.

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