It’s Not Easy Being Green

Here’s where the rubber hits the road, policy- wise, for Barama. He has had a lot of fun screwing up our way of life, and pretty much having a blast living in the White House, but now we get down to the real hard stuff- this is the stuff that even Democrats are saying, ” Are you Freaking Nuts?” about- carbon taxes, and this ridiculous Cap and Trade bill that would, in essence, create another layer of thievery. Government- selected businesses could get rich off of the backs of the working people who would pay as much as double the amount for their energy. This would be ALL energy, from switching on a light to running a fax machine, from gassing up to setting your thermostat for your comfort.

Because of the “Smartgrid” technology that Barama’s new friend (and Energy Czar) Jeffery Immelt, the CEO of GE- General Electric (Who just happens to make the smartgrid ) has been pushing on the government, the government will be able to track your energy usage and will determine if you are an energy hog. If the government determines that you are using too much energy (in their opinion), they will tax you far and above the regular rate, causing you financial pain, and hopefully changing your mind about using energy, even if you are freezing to death. Just wonderful. Pavlovian behavior modification as regards your energy usage. Our government at work.

The trouble with this cap and trade gimmick, is that several western lawmakers who are Democrat, are objecting to the burden this bill would put on the citizens of their states, disproportionately.

You see, most of the western states have no mass transit, and a lot of space in between destinations- so just on gasoline used, the tax would be overly burdensome. In addition, many of the western states have temperature fluctuations that cause the use of energy in the wintertime to counter the cold temperatures. If these people want to be warm, they will have to pay extra- oh, and that wood burning fireplace? If you use that, you’ll get a carbon surcharge- a fine for burning wood that causes Co2 and soot to rise in the air. No chestnuts roasting over an open fire for you.

I see that the Democrats have passed a “cash for clunkers” program that will allegedly give cash for older cars, if you buy a new car that is more fuel efficient- this might be a good thing, except that a lot of these hybrids cost so much more than regular cars, and most of any alternative fuel tech cars have no place to fuel.

I mean, let’s face facts here- there is NO infrastructure for electric cars to refuel on the road, so their use is extremely limited to near home. As for ethanol, do you know where your E85 filling station is? I certainly do not, although I did hear of one 30 miles away, on the county line. Gee, I think (and I could be wrong, but i don’t think so) that if I have to travel 30 miles to fill up, that’s kind of inconvenient. No, we need the infrastructure before the demand for cars that are alternative will begin to pay off.

And as for the “alternatives” to coal fired power plants, and those that use natural gas, the only one that makes sense is nuclear energy. Wind turbines seem to be rather weak, they kill many, many birds, and you still have to lay transmission lines that disturb wildlife and deprive people of their property through the use of eminent domain, where the government pays you what they say your property is worth, but they DO take it.


Solar power- ahhh, sounds so easy, I mean, the sun will shine, and all we have to do is put up the panels, and we have instant energy, right? Not so fast.

First, the solar panels are unbelievably inefficient, you need acres and acres of them, they need a LOT of water to operate, and once again, you have that nasty problem of the transmission line route. All of this takes an unbelievable amount of money. Private enterprise would do this eagerly, because private enterprise loves to make money, but the inconvenient facts say that this alternative technology is so grossly inefficient that private enterprise wants to tinker with it some more before they try to make money with it. That seems reasonable to me, but Barama’s administration wants to cram inefficient technology down our throats, hoping it will improve on its way down- it will not.

So now the Sainted one and his posse are getting blowback from the Democrats in the western states, and this is shaping up to be a fight- there can be no super- majority if Democrats defect and join Republicans in resisting this bill, and they should, because this is the one bill that could be the one that actually breaks the back of the economy.

This opposition should take advantage of it’s power, and insist on drilling off of the east and west coasts, because until we do get this alternative energy right, we need a common sense approach to our energy needs, and drilling off of the coasts, plus nuclear home and business needs. Common sense should prevail here- we have coal, we have oil, and we have natural gas. Now, I know, because I am old enough to have lived through the 60s and 70s, that our air now is demonstrably cleaner than back then. This is due, in part, to aggressive enforcement of emissions, and our ability to buy newer cars that emit less.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not against alternative energies, just alternative energies that do not work well. I believe that we can make existing technologies work better, and more efficiently, all while researching and perfecting the alternative energies that, when perfected, will give us the true independence we need.


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6 Responses to “It’s Not Easy Being Green”

  1. Blake says:

    In addition, the emphasis on corn- based ethanol is bad in several ways, one of which is the amount of water needed to refine this type of ethanol. Brazil has a fine ethanol industry, in which sugar cane is used- sugar beets would also be good for this instead of corn. We are allowing a segment of the farming industry to dictate what is to be used, and if the subsidies for corn are withdrawn, as they might be, that would be a good thing.
    Anytime a product diversion causes the prices of foodstuffs to rise 10- 15% in a year, that diversion of the product from food to fuel is a bad thing.

  2. Randy says:

    Alright, where to start? I am taking a break from my break from contributing to these discussions. After taking a long moment out of my day a few weeks ago to attend the local “tea party” I just felt I had better ways to spend my time. I feel compelled to say something here because I have participated in a great deal of exhaustive study regarding power generation. I could write a book on the matter, but I will try and keep this reasonably short.

    I don’t know where you got the idea that nuclear power doesn’t require just as many transmission lines as any other type of electric power. Transmission lines are an issue regardless of how your electricity is generated. Just because it is generated a certain way doesn’t change the need to transmit the generated power from its origin to its distribution network.

    Only certain types of solar power require water. There is a parabolic dish technology that focuses sunlight on pipes full of water. The water heats and creates steam that is used to generate electricity. The steam ends up in the atmosphere where it is returned to us in the normal cycle of precipitation. Photovoltaics use no water. They contain materials that react to certain frequencies of sunlight. Electrons are excited in these materials that become useful as voltage. The power generation technique that uses the most water? Nuclear. Though one could argue that hydroelectric uses more water depending on your use of the word uses.

    Now, while there is no argument that nuclear power is the most capable technology for generating massive amounts of electricity, there exist some very real downsides. Safety is one. If there were to be a building boom of nuclear power plants, it would only take one building contractor to cut one corner and the results could be catastrophic. The fact that nuclear power plants make good targets for sabotage is another. Pollution is a huge factor. While nuclear power is carbon free, nuclear waste is a byproduct. That stuff doesn’t go away in our, or our kids great-great grandkids lifetimes.

    Solutions? I am a big fan of photovoltaics. They are initially expensive, but as the technology refines, the prices will come down. I am not going to completely address your misunderstanding of smart grid technology right now, that is another very long post. To be short though, if the government wanted to raise taxes on those that use more electricity, all they would have to do is read your meter. That technology already exists and has for quite some time. Back to photovoltaics. Instead of many great big power generation stations, create incentives to put them on individual homes. Many municipalities already have a bidirectional type of grid that allows homes that generate their own power to pipe any excesses back to the grid. Power companies pay for that stuff. Existing power sources would then be more capable of supplying power to big factories and businesses. Invest a whole lot of money in energy storage technology. That is one of the next big revolutionary ideas. As it stands electricity must be used as it is generated when speaking of large scale use. Geothermal power is wonderfully efficient if your geography and geology allow for it.

    People in the U.S.A. aren’t thinking outside the box enough where meeting our future energy needs are concerned. If we don’t start committing more resources to those needs we are going to end up buying all of our technologies from European countries. I’m not kidding either.

    • Blake says:

      There are areas where I can agree with you, but any way you cut it right now, the public is being asked to pony up money it doesn’t have, for technology that isn’t ready for prime time, and in this environment, if the infrastructure isn’t there, the practicality isn’t either. I agree we should get to work, but Barama is ignoring the drilling aspect of this, and that would keep more money here for alternatives HERE.

    • Blake says:

      I also should add, that since we need the water anyway, and will desperately by 2035, and since our aquifers are being depleted, why do we not dam more lakes, and use hydroelectric power- the cleanest of them all, and kill two birds with one stone, so to speak? We WILL need more water, we will have to build more lakes, or desalination stations which require power, not produce it, so hydro electric makes good sense- better than this generation of photovoltaics do at the moment.
      All Barama has to do is have a real Roosevelt moment and go all TVA on the nation, and that would stimulate the economy, and create two things we do need desperately.

    • Randy says:

      Hydroelectric will work in some places, not in others. Pros? It’s clean and efficient. Con’s? They are expensive to build, and if eminent domain is a problem for you, as you indicated in your post, you may want to revisit the idea. I used to go camping in the TVA when I was younger. It’s a great area, but the history involved a massive relocation of a bunch of folks. there are still many old home foundations at the bottom of Kentucky Lake.

      There isn’t going to be a single answer either. The solution isn’t simply drill more, build more hydroelectric, build more nuclear, windmills, or solar. By outside the box I mean think locally. Geothermal works in many places, but not everywhere. you have to be able to drill very deep holes in the ground, and that just isn’t practical in some areas due to the geology. Big solar power generation plants may work in some areas, but in others it may be a better idea to foster policies that encourage individual homeowners to invest in generating their own power. Battery technology is already capable of storing enough energy to power a home over reasonable amounts of time. If enough homeowners installed photovoltaic panels and stored energy they weren’t using, or sold it back to the grid, then power generated by existing nuke plants and hydroelectric dams could be diverted for use in more consuming loads, such as a car factory or something.

      The ability to scale back our use of finite resources is very real and very practical. I don’t think we will ever be completely independent from oil, but we can certainly become less dependent on it.

      • Blake says:

        Individual solar power wouldn’t work here- this is a forest- same for wind. I agree that eminent domain is a sucky issue, but it’s going to have to be done sooner or later, or there’s going to be lots of people dying of thirst, and while you are digging the lakes, hydro electric dams would be in order.
        If Rahm Emmanuel says don’t waste a good crisis, why cant we say don’t waste a good dam?
        I agree one solution can’t fit all, but to ignore the oil and gas off of our coasts is willfully being ignorant, as we have the technology now- we need the power to bridge into alternatives. The same with coal- there must be a way.
        My grandmother used to say, ” Can’t never could.” We just have to keep on looking, but don’t ignore what’s under our noses.