Global warming denial

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Agent Smith
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#61
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#61
(Original post by Vienna)
I said that it would involve a small elite 'dictating'. You agree with this.
No, I don't. Unless you regard any elected government as a small elite, in which case that criterion applies to the entire Western world. Oh, and sorry for getting the words mixed up. Somewhere along the line I got the idea into my head that you'd used the word dictatorship, but you didn't.
No. If Mr. Y makes cars, he is likely to make cars for which the fuel or technology is profitable to him. If we want Mr. Y to supply clean cars we make that profitable to him, either by goods at a lower price, by taxing him less or taxing those that supply him with goods less. He is free to choose.
Isn't moving the tax goalposts like that just another way of effecting the very same enforced green-ness that I suggested?
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Vienna
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#62
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#62
(Original post by Laika)
I don't have the authority to comment on that, as I do not know. But I would rather pursue a plan of action to alter our current lifestyle using existing technology now, then wait around scrabbling to find alternatives while our current energy supplies run out. As we must consider the length of time it takes to plan and consturct alternative energy outlets, it is not wise to continue searching for alternatives when we need fairly rapid change.
Free minds were able to put some black sticky stuff in the ground to some use, why do you hold such contempt for humans to find solutions to these new challenges?

Well the technology already exists - albeit it is incompatible with the extent of our current fuel usage. Which is exactly my point - we need to change our lifestyles
So instead, as mankind has done for thousands of years, of improving on the advances in technology already made, we should accept that we cannot improve this technology any further and go back to the stone age in the hope it will buy us a few more years? Yikes. Arent you depressed?

But we don't have complete and utter personal freedom. There are laws regulating our individual actions to protect and pursue the interests of other citizens.
I dont think you should be lecturing me on liberty.
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Vienna
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#63
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#63
(Original post by Agent Smith)
No, I don't. Unless you regard any elected government as a small elite, in which case that criterion applies to the entire Western world.
So they dictate, but theyre not dictating. Hmm

Isn't moving the tax goalposts like that just another way of effecting the very same enforced green-ness that I suggested?
Removing a tax burden implies an increase in private investment.
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Laika
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#64
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#64
(Original post by Vienna)
Free minds were able to put some black sticky stuff in the ground to some use, why do you hold such contempt for humans to find solutions to these new challenges?
I don't. My point is, fossil fuels will run out in the foreseeable future, and we already have the technology for renewable energy sources. In much the same vein as you ask me, why put our resources into finding new technology when we could our resources into using the existing technology?

I dont think you should be lecturing me on liberty.
It was a perfectly valid point on my part, not a lecture. If it is shown that our current lifestyle and society is unsustainable, we have a collective duty as a society to make changes.
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Vienna
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#65
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#65
(Original post by Laika)
I don't.
"But I would rather pursue a plan of action to alter our current lifestyle using existing technology now, then wait"

So instead of encouraging new technological developments and harnessing the power of capital(the free mind), you want to take us back in time? Clearly then you dont have faith in mankind's ability to once again, escape "the end of the world".

My point is, fossil fuels will run out in the foreseeable future, and we already have the technology for renewable energy sources.
Fossil fuels will run out if we continue to use them at a rate that exceeds their replacement. We thus need to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels to avoid them running out. Youve decided that, as Charles Duell claimed in 1899, "Everything that can be invented has been invented" and thus we need to gradually return back to the stone age, through state imposed coercion and force(since you also assume that noone will "willingly" make choices that benefit the environment otherwise you wouldnt need state intervention), as fossil fuel levels decrease.

I, on the other hand, believe that we should harness the capital of free thinking minds to find alternatives to fossil fuels, so that we may consume even more. Clearly the technology does not exist otherwise we would not be concerned for fossil fuel consumption, unless of course you claim that huge swathes of the population have sentimentality for crude oil?

Im actually interested to know what measures you would like to see implemented as part of this positive change?

It was a perfectly valid point on my part, not a lecture. If it is shown that our current lifestyle and society is unsustainable, we have a collective duty as a society to make changes.
Ah, and I suppose I should support this "collective" for my own good?
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Laika
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#66
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#66
(Original post by Vienna)
So instead of encouraging new technological developments and harnessing the power of capital(the free mind), you want to take us back in time? Clearly then you dont have faith in mankind's ability to once again, escape "the end of the world".
Back in time? We have technology to produce renewable energy that will last mankind for the duration of its existence, and we are not using that technology to its full potential. I am merely proposing that for the sake of reducing our fossil fuel consumption and subsequent damage to the environment, we use 'clean' sources of energy. If we fail to act now, we are relying on the sudden emergence of a new energy source, which is not a realistic hope for this point in time. If we fail to act now, and an alternative energy source is not discovered, then our reliance on fossil fuels will bring catastrophe when they begin to run out.

Fossil fuels will run out if we continue to use them at a rate that exceeds their replacement. We thus need to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels to avoid them running out. Youve decided that, as Charles Duell claimed in 1899, "Everything that can be invented has been invented" and thus we need to gradually return back to the stone age, through state imposed coercion and force(since you also assume that noone will "willingly" make choices that benefit the environment otherwise you wouldnt need state intervention), as fossil fuel levels decrease.
I agree that we need to reduce our fossil fuel consumption. But if, as you propose, we reduce it to a level that correlates to the availability of new fossil fuel, we may as well work towards renewable energy sources that can meet this lowered demand. The reasons for this are that it eliminates the dependence on fossil fuels and does not damage the environment to the extent that fossil fuels do. I am not proposing that there is no alternative to be discovered; merely that, as we have not discovered any alternative, we should not rely on hope alone. We have the technology for renewable energy, and I do not think it wise to postpone using it to its full potential on the hope that a better alternative will emerge.

I, on the other hand, believe that we should harness the capital of free thinking minds to find alternatives to fossil fuels, so that we may consume even more. Clearly the technology does not exist otherwise we would not be concerned for fossil fuel consumption, unless of course you claim that huge swathes of the population have sentimentality for crude oil?

Im actually interested to know what measures you would like to see implemented as part of this positive change?
If you seek to continue using energy to the current extent, then a viable alternative to fossil fuels is essential, presumably nuclear power can meet that demand. I am suggesting that for environmental reasons (i.e., reasons that do not damage the environment or create long term problems of waste storage) we should reduce our energy demands and attempt to convert to renewable energy (solar, wind, wave power). Of course these sources of energy couldn't sustain our current consumption habits, which is why I propose an overhaul of our lifestyle is necessary.

Ah, and I suppose I should support this "collective" for my own good?
It may become necessary for you to do so once our dependence on fossil fuels becomes futile. Regardless of how you portray it, you are not an individual free to live by your own will and rules. You are a member of society and as such you have a responsibility to live in such a way that contributes to society in some way. To ignore the needs of society for the sake of your own consumption needs is ultimately selfish and unrealistic, as your dependence on energy consumption is dependant on the state anyway.
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Vienna
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#67
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#67
(Original post by Laika)
Back in time? We have technology to produce renewable energy that will last mankind for the duration of its existence, and we are not using that technology to its full potential.
Why not? How do you plan to fly planes, power cities on wind and solar power? You admit that we dont have sufficient technology which is why we have to sacrifice our lifestyles.

"Of course these sources of energy couldn't sustain our current consumption habits, which is why I propose an overhaul of our lifestyle is necessary."

So what sacrifices are we going to have to make?


I am merely proposing that for the sake of reducing our fossil fuel consumption and subsequent damage to the environment, we use 'clean' sources of energy. If we fail to act now, we are relying on the sudden emergence of a new energy source, which is not a realistic hope for this point in time. If we fail to act now, and an alternative energy source is not discovered, then our reliance on fossil fuels will bring catastrophe when they begin to run out.
So if we already have the renewable energy technology to replace fossil fuel consumption, why do we need to change our lifestyles?

I agree that we need to reduce our fossil fuel consumption. But if, as you propose, we reduce it to a level that correlates to the availability of new fossil fuel, we may as well work towards renewable energy sources that can meet this lowered demand.
You seem to have misunderstood. Reducing demand for fossil fuel doesnt mean we reduce the demand for energy and power. I dont intend to sacrifice anyones lifestyle choices.

Regardless of how you portray it, you are not an individual free to live by your own will and rules. You are a member of society and as such you have a responsibility to live in such a way that contributes to society in some way. To ignore the needs of society for the sake of your own consumption needs is ultimately selfish and unrealistic, as your dependence on energy consumption is dependant on the state anyway.
Nonsense. Top to bottom.
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Laika
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#68
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#68
(Original post by Vienna)
Why not? How do you plan to fly planes, power cities on wind and solar power? You admit that we dont have sufficient technology which is why we have to sacrifice our lifestyles.

"Of course these sources of energy couldn't sustain our current consumption habits, which is why I propose an overhaul of our lifestyle is necessary."

So what sacrifices are we going to have to make?

So if we already have the renewable energy technology to replace fossil fuel consumption, why do we need to change our lifestyles?

You seem to have misunderstood. Reducing demand for fossil fuel doesnt mean we reduce the demand for energy and power. I dont intend to sacrifice anyones lifestyle choices.

Nonsense. Top to bottom.
You don't need to take that overly aggresive approach to debating with me because I am not some sort of rabid enviromentalist or Greenpeace member or anything.

I am merely stating that fossil fuels will run out, and thus we need to find alternative energy sources to replace those sources. Our current technology (in terms of renewable energy) is not enough to meet the demands of our current consumption rate, and thus when fossil fuels run out changes to our lifestyle will become necessary. If an new, alternative source of energy was discovered, I would be open to its use, but the fact is, we don't currently have another alternative (other than nuclear), and thus I see it is a sensible approach to work towards harnessing clean, renewable sources of energy, which unfortunately will mean we will have to cut back our consumption habits.

In addition to these simple facts, our current lifestyle is damaging to the environment (grossly so depending on which side of the scientific debate you take.) Thus it is a further long-term benefit for us to use renewable energy sources, as these do not produce any such damage.

Continuing our current habits has only short term positives - we can continue our current lifestyles and people in control of fossil fuels will make obscene profits. This is surely outweighed by the fact that we are damaging the environment and that these sources of energy will expire, leaving our current lifestyle impossible to continue anyway. Your sole hope in this scenario is dependant on the discovery of a new source of energy - which is not guarenteed. Thus continuing without some sort of shift towards renewable enrgy is a significant gamble in terms of environmental impact and long term problems with energy sources.
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Lemonsoul
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#69
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#69
(Original post by Vienna)
Removing a tax burden implies an increase in private investment.
If you remove a tax burden on the producers of 'green' technology, this is effectively equivalent to imposing a tax burden on those who are not producing green technology. Consumers therefore have an extra incentive to buy green, and are not completely 'free to choose' as you claim. This is clearly an example of government interference, or 'dictatorship'.
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Vienna
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#70
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#70
(Original post by nhdb13)
If you remove a tax burden on the producers of 'green' technology, this is effectively equivalent to imposing a tax burden on those who are not producing green technology. Consumers therefore have an extra incentive to buy green, and are not completely 'free to choose' as you claim. This is clearly an example of government interference, or 'dictatorship'.
Removing a tax burden increases private investment. Introducing a tax burden squeezes it out. They arent the same thing.
If I sell my privately owned and baked bread for less than my neighbour, you have an incentive to choose my bread if the quality is identical. Yet you're not free to enter into a private, consensual agreement to your own benefit/profit?
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Vienna
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#71
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#71
(Original post by Laika)
I am merely stating that fossil fuels will run out, and thus we need to find alternative energy sources to replace those sources.
I dont disagree.

Our current technology (in terms of renewable energy) is not enough to meet the demands of our current consumption rate
I agree, although you claimed the technology existed.

"We have technology to produce renewable energy that will last mankind for the duration of its existence"

I then asked why we need to change our lifestyle if that technology existed. You now recognise that we havent developed alternative energy sources enough.

and thus when fossil fuels run out changes to our lifestyle will become necessary.
If we ASSUME that no further technological advances take place in the field of alternative energy sources or the efficiency of energy consumption!

If an new, alternative source of energy was discovered, I would be open to its use, but the fact is, we don't currently have another alternative (other than nuclear), and thus I see it is a sensible approach to work towards harnessing clean, renewable sources of energy, which unfortunately will mean we will have to cut back our consumption habits.
Well I'd like to have some examples. If we put an end to all aviation transport, we would reduce global CO2 emissions by around 2%. Bearing in mind that would, over a period of decades, delay global warming by a matter of years(Kyoto would delay global warming by 3 years) and we would have slowed but not ended the approach to fossil fuel extinction, what would could we have acheived by 2050: The earth would be, debatably, slightly cooler, only to continue warming in the years ahead and we would still be moving towards the extinction of fossil fuel. These results would be your argument in favour of restricting a lifestyle choice(through government force because noone is going to give up on air transport voluntarily).

Yet, while you've been preventing air transport, I've allowed private investment to continue. Investment that over 50 years, has seen faster, more fuel efficient jet engines, ones that run on renewable energy sources perhaps. So not only are more people able to afford to take cheaper flights, my planes in 2050 dont use fossil fuel and dont pollute. Of course, I've encouraged the sharing of such technology with other developing nations in order to reduce their emission levels without sacrificing their desire to attain the same quality of life.(this of course is a refutation that the US is doing nothing on climate change - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_Pa...t_and_Climate). Additionally, the success of such technology has seen the growth of the domestic economy and the creation of new jobs.
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Lemonsoul
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#72
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#72
(Original post by Vienna)
Removing a tax burden increases private investment. Introducing a tax burden squeezes it out. They arent the same thing.
If I sell my privately owned and baked bread for less than my neighbour, you have an incentive to choose my bread if the quality is identical. Yet you're not free to enter into a private, consensual agreement to your own benefit/profit?
If the reason why your bread is cheaper is because you are under less of a tax burden than your neighbour, then the resulting extra incentive to buy your bread is a result of government interference (by taxing your product less than your competitor's). This is a distortion of the free market. I agree with the idea of green taxes, but I don't think you can say that we can achieve the same results without a significant amount of government interference.

(Original post by Vienna)
Yet, while you've been preventing air transport, I've allowed private investment to continue. Investment that over 50 years, has seen faster, more fuel efficient jet engines, ones that run on renewable energy sources perhaps. So not only are more people able to afford to take cheaper flights, my planes in 2050 dont use fossil fuel and dont pollute. Of course, I've encouraged the sharing of such technology with other developing nations in order to reduce their emission levels without sacrificing their desire to attain the same quality of life.
How can you guarantee that this approach will do the most for greening the economy? Perhaps an approach where government heavily restricts the use of fossil fuels would encourage more investment in technological innovation, the government could even use the income from increased aviation taxes to accomplish this. Also, what incentive would these private companies, that you have given free reign, have to share the secrets of their success with the developing world?
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Laika
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#73
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#73
(Original post by Vienna)
I dont disagree.

I agree, although you claimed the technology existed.

"We have technology to produce renewable energy that will last mankind for the duration of its existence"

I then asked why we need to change our lifestyle if that technology existed. You now recognise that we havent developed alternative energy sources enough.
No, you're misunderstanding me. We do have the technology to produce 'green' energy forever. However, this technology is not enough to meet the consumption rates we are used to with fossil fuels. Those two statements are not contradictory. The technology exists for us live comfortably and environmentally friendly - at the expense of some modern luxuries like frequent air travel and general wastefulness.

If we were to commit to renewable energy sources, we would be able to move closer to meeting demand, but at the moment, without being fully commited to the cause of renewable energy, we will not produce significant amounts of energy. As there is no current alternative, I believe this would be a good direction to move in. This does not rule out the pursuit of other energy sources whatsoever.

If we ASSUME that no further technological advances take place in the field of alternative energy sources or the efficiency of energy consumption!
I am not assuming that no further advances will be made. But if we were to fail to prepare for the future using our current tools, and new technology did not become available, we would be stuck when fossil fuels expired.

Well I'd like to have some examples. If we put an end to all aviation transport, we would reduce global CO2 emissions by around 2%. Bearing in mind that would, over a period of decades, delay global warming by a matter of years(Kyoto would delay global warming by 3 years) and we would have slowed but not ended the approach to fossil fuel extinction, what would could we have acheived by 2050: The earth would be, debatably, slightly cooler, only to continue warming in the years ahead and we would still be moving towards the extinction of fossil fuel. These results would be your argument in favour of restricting a lifestyle choice(through government force because noone is going to give up on air transport voluntarily).

Yet, while you've been preventing air transport, I've allowed private investment to continue. Investment that over 50 years, has seen faster, more fuel efficient jet engines, ones that run on renewable energy sources perhaps. So not only are more people able to afford to take cheaper flights, my planes in 2050 dont use fossil fuel and dont pollute. Of course, I've encouraged the sharing of such technology with other developing nations in order to reduce their emission levels without sacrificing their desire to attain the same quality of life.(this of course is a refutation that the US is doing nothing on climate change - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_Pa...t_and_Climate). Additionally, the success of such technology has seen the growth of the domestic economy and the creation of new jobs.
And clearly I would fully agree with such a course of action, as the planes would in effect, be converting to the 'green', renewable energy sources for which I am arguing for anyway. I do not understand why investment into making our current fuel usage more efficient, and investment into producing more energy from renewable sources have to be mutually exclusive.
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Vienna
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#74
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(Original post by Laika)
No, you're misunderstanding me. We do have the technology to produce 'green' energy forever. However, this technology is not enough to meet the consumption rates we are used to with fossil fuels. Those two statements are not contradictory. The technology exists for us live comfortably and environmentally friendly - at the expense of some modern luxuries like frequent air travel and general wastefulness.
There is no way current renewable energy sources could power a decent size city let alone nation.

And clearly I would fully agree with such a course of action, as the planes would in effect, be converting to the 'green', renewable energy sources for which I am arguing for anyway. I do not understand why investment into making our current fuel usage more efficient, and investment into producing more energy from renewable sources have to be mutually exclusive.
So where does the state prohibition of air travel fit into investment into the aviation industry? I notice you've deviated somewhat from your earlier position that we had no other choice but to end our current standard of living. "The current lifestyle the world enjoys is unsustainable"
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Vienna
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#75
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#75
(Original post by nhdb13)
Perhaps an approach where government heavily restricts the use of fossil fuels would encourage more investment in technological innovation, the government could even use the income from increased aviation taxes to accomplish this.
If its taxing business to the point business has no choice but to seek alternative energy sources, where on earth do you think private investment will come from?

Also, what incentive would these private companies, that you have given free reign, have to share the secrets of their success with the developing world?
Bigger markets?
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Laika
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#76
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#76
(Original post by Vienna)
There is no way current renewable energy sources could power a decent size city let alone nation.
Renewable energy sources accounted for one fifth of the world's energy in 2003 (most of it hydro-electricity), which is more than was produced with nuclear power. Granted, this isn't remotely close to meeting the demands of our current lifestyle. But further investment and planning could go some way to meeting these needs. Wind and solar power can be harnessed to power smaller communities and send excess electricity back to the grid. Hydro-electricity can provide the bulk of energy. Now, I'm not saying that this is a plausible replacement for fossil fuels, because I have no idea if it is, but I do think there is something to be said for producing more energy through renewable sources from a grass roots level as well as on a larger scale, rather than shunning these methods entirely.

So where does the state prohibition of air travel fit into investment into the aviation industry? I notice you've deviated somewhat from your earlier position that we had no other choice but to end our current standard of living. "The current lifestyle the world enjoys is unsustainable"
I'm not certain but I don't think I've stated anywhere that air travel should be prohibited, nor have I contradicted myself or deviated from my original argument. I am not advocating any particular course of action. I am stating two things: A. We must prepare for the possibility that when fossil fuels expire we will have to rely on renewable energy sources at the expense of our current consumtion rates. B. If other (clean) energy sources do become available, then I advocate their use, but we cannot rely on this assumption alone.

And besides, debating over the logistics of future energy consumption is a different area to the aims of the Kyoto Treaty. In spite of it's meagre success and accomplishment, its ideology is rooted in the right place; that is, to reduce omissions of gasses which are harmful to he environment.
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Howard
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#77
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(Original post by Laika)
Renewable energy sources accounted for one fifth of the world's energy in 2003 (most of it hydro-electricity), which is more than was produced with nuclear power.
Not according to the International Energy Agency. They seem to think that in 2003 13.3% of the world's energy came from all renewable sources and only 2.2% of the world's energy came from hydro.

http://www.iea.org/Textbase/publicat...p?PUBS_ID=1596
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bikerx23
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#78
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#78
Sadly such statistics are heavily tainted thanks to solar power. It does, surprisingly, produce a large amount of energy, especially in more remote locations.etc.etc. But, sadly the amount of energy required to produce a solar panel is inordinately high, hence over its 40 year operational lifespan it does not redeem the same amount of power as is required to produce it, hence being only beneficial in strategic purposes.

HEP is not going to produce sufficient energy to power a large scale grid. Also, the mechanism which maximises the productivity of these systems also relies on traditional power plants. The spare energy not desired by members of the grid, e.g., at nights is used to manually recharge reservoirs by pumping water back up to them. This is then released at more opportune moments when the more can be charged for electricity.
As a result of this, if HEP was left to power itself, its productivity would be approximately half of the figures currently prevalent. Also, HEP is not seen as renewable energy in the same light as others, since it still has significant environmental impacts which are not worth delving into at this point.

Wind power is a better idea, but still not sufficiently energy efficient. One of the better systems is the severn barrage, which would produce a massive amount of power in 6 hour pulses and also produce a transport route across this water body which would save on traffic emissions.

By far the best system though is home generation. This is comparable to having a mini power plant in your home, but it is up to 99% efficient, compared to 47% for tradional large scale power plants (mainly because the heat given off reduces the energy requirement to heat the house.etc.). This is something the government has been evading talking about, mainly because the best mechanism for its emplacement would be through subsidies since the initial cost would be great, and also the fact that they can be mass produced on a large scale with relative ease, so there is little chance of getting large contracts for multiplex...I also believe there is no patent on the system so there would be no beneficial profiteering, hence the government is reluctant to introduce it, but that could just be me being cynical.

Oh, and, Vote Conservative.
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Laika
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#79
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#79
(Original post by Howard)
Not according to the International Energy Agency. They seem to think that in 2003 13.3% of the world's energy came from all renewable sources and only 2.2% of the world's energy came from hydro.

http://www.iea.org/Textbase/publicat...p?PUBS_ID=1596
Fair enough, I got those stats from the New Scientist. Perhaps I got the wrong year or wrongly interpreted the figures.

Is anyone qualified to comment on whether a renewable energy revolution of sorts is conceivable? I'm talking widespread home generation (adapting existing homes to produce energy and making renewable energy generators as standard in new homes) and commitment to large scale renewable energy systems like tidal barrages and building more windfarms. Could this ever come close to covering a significant fraction of our energy needs?
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bikerx23
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#80
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New Scientist is rarely a reliable journal sadly and tends to deal with postulations rather than research.
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