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Thread: Alternate energy sources

  1. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (Casper @ June 03 2004,7:08)]Jon, I surely hope that you jest. Lets put to rest the Conspiracy theory stuff, I mean come on, the gov't has anti-gravity? The same conspiracy buffs say the us gov't is trying to take over the world with its millitary might, but they arn't going to use this marvalous anti-grav? Puh-lease.

    Now, onto 2012. Are you seriously going to tell me that you are basing your thoughts on when the world will end (What is it this week? Shifts in the poles? No wait, the Mayans where astronamers, so its a giant comet right?) on the Mayan calender. Is it an astronomicaly important date? Sure, there is a neat alignment with the Milky Way and sun that will occur. Nothing more.

    Why where we all supposed to die at 1/1/00 12.00.01 again? Wasn't the Y2K bug, although that was supposed to launch all the nukes in the world, it was something else, help me out.
    Take the time and read the ascenssion 2000 site and when you are done with their 21 chapter book, contact me. And then we'll argue points.
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    The proof's in the facts my friends.

    As for the government having anti-grav, I never said that. I said it's been done before and can be done again. No where did I say the government has it.

    But I will give you props for at least knowing or googling the date I gave.
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  2. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]But I will give you props for at least knowing or googling the date I gave.
    I read a ton of stuff involving all the conscpiracy theorys. Not that I buy any of it, just makes for fun fictional reading.

    I will check into your site in the morning, I hope it turns out to be interesting. I did actually spend a few minutes just before typing this on the Mayan "predictions" and it seems no one is sure if its going to be a comet, "cosmic shift that changes our DNA [Jesus, how can anyone buy into that, from 2 helix DNA strands to 12 in the course of a few years], or will it be the massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions?)

    Grin, at any rate, thanks for the link, I will read up and respond in the morning.

  3. #11

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    Ah yes, methane hydrate. The current poster child for doomsday scenarios.

    There are sufficient quantities of it 'buried' at the continental shelves that if suddenly cuts loose, the greenhouse effect will kill us all... or so the theory goes.

    Incidentally, it won't burn underwater, but it's the high pressures that enable it to be semi-solid at the relatively high temperatures. The rising temperature of the oceans is the motivation for the doomsday scenario above- at some point, the pressure is not going to counteract the temperature, and huge blobs of methane are going to boil to the surface. The release of pressure will cause even more methane hydrate to vaporize, and entire deposits will 'blow up'. Further conjectures have the sudden shift in pressures causing earthquakes and tsunamis.

    I am very interested in alternative energy sources as well. And claiming as my alma mater the school that set off the whole 'cold fusion' fiasco, i made a certain amount of curious inquiry into the phenomenon. The main problem was that the two 'scientists' called what they observed 'cold fusion'. It's an interesting, if rather esoteric phenomenon, and may actually produce excess energy (many other have tried to repeat the experiment, with rather low degrees of success). However, there's no justification for calling it fusion of any kind.

    When they believed they were getting energy production, they should have reported it as such, and not called their supposed discovery 'cold fusion'.

    Anyway, i think you are writing off wind power too quickly. It will never provide for all of our energy needs, but if judiciously (and without legal entanglement) engineered, a non-trivial percentage of the population could get their power locally. That's the big pro of wind power: local production, which forgoes the need for lossy transportation of the power over long distances.

    I attended a seminar on campus a few months ago about the success of a 'community' wind turbine out on the cape, and wind turbines have come a long way in the last few years.

    As with any source of energy, there's a tradeoff. In this case, it's really, really hard to convince people to put up a tall windmill in 'their backyard'. One of the observations in the presentation was that in certain european countries, where people are a little less obsessed about their view and a little more community-minded, community-owned wind turbines are common and provide a remarkable fraction of the power. In contrast, in the USA there aren't many civic turbines, and putting one up becomes a legal nightmare.

    I believe the problem with tidal generators is that the power is very 'dilute', if you'll excuse the expression. Not only is the tide a phenomenon with a cycle measured in hours, but the amount of power to be garnered from any random square meter section of ocean is very small with each cycle. How do you capture the energy when it is so spread out? Add to this the tremenduous strength and corrosion-resistance required for any mechanism in turbulent ocean water, and i think the engineering challenges are quite significant.

    Of course the tradeoff for tidal power is loss of coastline and loss of habitat.

    One idea that has always appealed to me, but is not likely to happen any time soon, is using solar energy- but collecting it from orbit, where it's not subject to clouds or night. The tradeoffs here are relatively minor, except for the initial cost and.... and this is the real problem... the issue of transportation. Beaming it to earth as microwaves or any other waves has all sorts of worst-case scenario nightmares.

    If we ever refine the manufacture of carbon nanotubes sufficiently to build the space elevator (another cool campus presentation from the founder of http://www.liftport.com/), we can pipe it down the elevator.

    So, it's either wait for super-nanotubes, or i think we're going to have to wait for useable fusion generators before we have a completely suitable alternative energy. If that doesn't happen soon, we may all have to tighten our belts a bit.
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  4. #12
    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]...Beaming it to earth as microwaves or any other waves has all sorts of worst-case scenario nightmares. ...
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  5. #13

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    I heard that the gas is a lot cheaper in US then here, up tp 4 times the total cost we pay here in Norway... how much is gas in US?

  6. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (BjørnNorman @ June 03 2004,10:44)]I heard that the gas is a lot cheaper in US then here, up tp 4 times the total cost we pay here in Norway... how much is gas in US?
    Bjørn,
    Gas here in the US just hit the $2.00 mark, its hovering around $2.10 now, which everyone here considers insanely expensive! but yes, I know we STILL pay much less than many other parts of the world..

    If I did the conversion correctly, $2.00 American is equal to
    13.40 Kroner.
    what are you paying over there?
    Scot

    http://www.xe.net/cgi-bin/ucc/convert

    Oh..and thats $2.00 per US Gallon..
    I assume you use liters?
    and 1 US gallon = 3.7854118 liters.
    so our gas costs 53 cents (.53 dollar) per Liter.
    So the US cost of Gas is equal to 3.22 Kroner per Liter.

  7. #15
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    i dont veiw methane hydrate as a "dooms day" thing. eruptions of it could cause tsunamis, but that only affects coasts and while it would be horrible if alot of the east or west coast was wiped out by some major waves BUT lets face it it wouldnt be the end of the world. man kind would survive. i also think man kind will survive the "greenhouse effect" caused by such an event. the population might crash but mankind would adapt. lets face it we are like roaches. our population is so large and so spread out that its going to take one heck of a blow to wipe us out. also a point that hasnt been brought up, which i find wierd being this is a forum about some highly evolved plants, homo sapiens are an animal that is constantly evolving like any other organism. adapting to or changing the enviroment to suit our needs is why we have succeeded, we should be able to adapt to a lousy raise in global temps. just because things have only been documented over the last 2000 or so years means NOTHING. thats a blink of the eye for organisms in most all ecosystems. nature can go through some rapid changes when its pushed to extreams. i think nothing short of a large metior or astroid splitting the earth in half will be truly effective in knocking us out for quite some time.

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  8. #16

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    I disagree about humans evolving- at least in a good way. It's pretty obvious if you look around that humans are de-volving. We have successfully removed almost every selective pressure on our population, and each generation more individuals that previously wouldn't have lived to reproduce are doing so. I for one wouldn't have survived two hundred years ago, or at least not very productively. If the current miracles of medicine and technology are removed, there are few humans that could survive, let alone prosper.

    I have to agree that to kill all Homo sapiens would be extremely difficult (something that only us or something like a large meteor could do), but i don't think most of us see the survival of small hunter-gatherer communities as a viable option. When we talk of doomsday, it's usually in terms of the end of the world as we know it.
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