0
   

Whitewashing energy to neutralize climate critique

 
 
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2019 08:30 am
Business wants energy and lots of it. Since the industrial revolution, economic growth depends on machines powered by external energy sources. Pre-industrial energy sources such as wind for sailing ships and food for manual laborers and working animals are still used by generally dismissed in significance relative to the more concentrated and thus powerful fuel sources harnessed by industrialism, i.e. fossil fuels and nuclear power.

So now we are gaining awareness that intensifying industrial power use brings consequences to the environment and climate. That is a problem not just for people who care about sustainability, but also for business interests that care about maintaining growth of industrial economic business. I.e. if reform prompts the full realization of the need to reduce overall energy use and not just replace it with sources that emit less CO2, that would indicate a need to restrict and reverse economic growth as part of a broader strategy to reign in energy use generally, as well as expanding the use of renewables for essential needs.

Business harnesses the power of greed to control the mind. It is part of the fundamental brain function of humans to pursue desire at the expense of longer-term concerns and whitewash harm in various ways to justify allowing otherwise harmful activities. As such, business/marketing resorts to whitewashing of various energy sources as a response to calls for reform out of fear that actual reforms would burst the balloon of revenue growth.

Nuclear power, therefore, becomes the go-to alternative for replacing fossil fuel energy because it appears superficially better than CO2-emitting fossil fuels within the narrow perspective that CO2 is the only thing that matters. Radioactive waste proliferation and buildup has made nuclear power unpopular since its inception, but business has focused on overcoming this critique by devising methods for supposedly burning up fuel more completely. Even if such fuel-efficiency techniques are successful, the mining of nuclear material from underground is still unsustainable in the long-term and, what's more, because water vapor behaves as a greenhouse gas as it condenses into clouds where temperatures are falling, the waste heat that will grow as nuclear fission and fusion would expand would continue to cause climate change even in the absence of high CO2 concentrations.

If you read much about climate reforms and sustainability, you may notice that rarely if ever do articles mention the gradual systematic reduction of overall energy generation as part of a solution to climate and unsustainability. This is because of 'growthism,' the unrelenting pursuit of economic growth and the absolute denial of the possibility that human life can be prosperous when global GDP is shrinking instead of growing. Why the denial? Because investors withdraw money from markets when they fear recession, and their withdrawal can cause such scarcity of cash flow for businesses and households that many people and businesses could simply end up without any revenue or income. At that point, if there are no options for economic participation and survival that don't involve making and spending money, people are left to beg on the streets.

But should fear of another Great Depression and street poverty block energy reforms that result in negative economic growth? The answer is no; it should motivate us to create alternative economic mechanisms that allow people to survive when they run out of money. Specifically, people need to be able to either move somewhere or go somewhere local to work where they can exchange labor for basic necessities that they produce for themselves. Growthist economic bulls don't want such options to be available because they want fear of bankruptcy to motivate people to keep economic growth happening even if it is blocking the evolution of climate reform and sustainability.

So the question is how to: 1) stop the whitewashing of nuclear power and other forms of power that are ultimately unsustainable because they result in overall net energy growth instead of per-capita energy reduction; and 2) stop the socialist approach to economic fears that require spending and taxation of money rather than direct labor-productivity solutions to poverty.

In short, how do we allow energy reform to include overall decrease in energy-generation and power-use while simultaneously protecting human life, but in a way that doesn't rely on money as a means of (re)distribution?

In other words, how to have a Green New Deal without socialism?
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 226 • Replies: 12
No top replies

 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2019 09:20 am
@livinglava,
Quote:
that doesn't rely on money as a means of (re)distribution?

In other words, how to have a Green New Deal without socialism?
Do you not realize that every advanced nation in the world - every one - redistributes wealth? There are no exceptions. It is not a marker for national failure, it is a marker of national success.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sun 24 Mar, 2019 07:00 pm
livinglava wrote:
Radioactive waste proliferation and buildup has made nuclear power unpopular since its inception, but business has focused on overcoming this critique by devising methods for supposedly burning up fuel more completely.

Those methods have always existed. The environmental movement just insists that we treat fuel as waste to be disposed of instead of using it to power our reactors.

And there is nothing supposed about it. Sodium-cooled reactors can completely consume all actinides.

If we go with carbon-moderated helium-cooled reactors (the prism variants) for their perfect safety, TRISO pellets can indeed be designed for a high burnup.


livinglava wrote:
Even if such fuel-efficiency techniques are successful, the mining of nuclear material from underground is still unsustainable in the long-term

It'll last long enough for us to put giant mirrors in space to redirect tons of sunlight to the earth.

Sunlight is only going to be free energy for a finite period you know. The day will come when there is no more sunlight in the universe.

What do you expect our descendants to do when that day comes? Just lie down and die? Or start consuming non-renewable energy?


livinglava wrote:
and, what's more, because water vapor behaves as a greenhouse gas as it condenses into clouds where temperatures are falling, the waste heat that will grow as nuclear fission and fusion would expand would continue to cause climate change even in the absence of high CO2 concentrations.

I doubt that water vapor will ever be a serious cause of climate change.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Mon 25 Mar, 2019 05:24 am
@blatham,
blatham wrote:

Quote:
that doesn't rely on money as a means of (re)distribution?

In other words, how to have a Green New Deal without socialism?
Do you not realize that every advanced nation in the world - every one - redistributes wealth? There are no exceptions. It is not a marker for national failure, it is a marker of national success.

I think socialism deserves to be discussed fully and openly as part of democratic discourse, but let's de-couple that discussion from the pursuit of sustainability/climate reforms.

I would like it if people who are for liberty and against socialism as the proper means of effectuating societal good to not be tricked into thinking that sustainability is only achievable by accepting socialism.

Another related discussion is to what extent all things are possible within the paradigm of liberty and what to do when people and businesses take advantage of liberty as an opportunity to exploit and abuse each other and the environment(al future).

If total energy use must stop growing and start decreasing to reverse the crescendo of climate change and unsustainability, is liberty sufficient as a platform for achieving that? Or is the free speech of businesses and investors who favor economic growth and revenues over true sustainability reforms always going to result in the whitewashing of nuclear power and/or any other fake 'solution' that temporarily satisfies the public desire for reform/hope while simultaneously perpetuating unsustainability in ever-new, slightly-different ways?
0 Replies
 
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Mon 25 Mar, 2019 05:38 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

And there is nothing supposed about it. Sodium-cooled reactors can completely consume all actinides.

Even if it was true and the nuclear mining and reactor industries could expand indefinitely into the future, what would the long term effect on the climate and planet be of gradually moving the radioactive underground energy of the planet above ground and accelerating its decay?

Quote:

It'll last long enough for us to put giant mirrors in space to redirect tons of sunlight to the earth.

Increasing Earth's sunlight input and thus daily energy absorption would also intensify the water cycle and cause warming. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas. You can't have more energy without more entropy.

Quote:
Sunlight is only going to be free energy for a finite period you know. The day will come when there is no more sunlight in the universe.

What do you expect our descendants to do when that day comes? Just lie down and die? Or start consuming non-renewable energy?

I hope they will look for the most permanently-sustainable solutions available to them in their circumstances at that time.


Quote:
I doubt that water vapor will ever be a serious cause of climate change.

ALL heat adds water vapor to the atmosphere. ALL energy ends up as waste heat after it is used. That is basic thermodynamics, i.e. the law of energy conservation. When the temperature of air increases, its relative humidity decreases. That means warmer air holds more water. When the temperature of warm, humid air begins dropping at night, it condenses. The more water vapor is suspended in the air, the less degrees it has to cool down before it begins condensing into misty cloud cover, which blankets infrared heat from radiating away at night. Clear nights allow energy to escape as infrared radiation radiates away into the night sky. The more water vapor we dissolve into the atmosphere by adding heat to it, the less night-cooling will take place and warmer morning temperatures will allow daylight to raise temperatures more each day into the afternoon, not withstanding other conditions.

Another aspect of this to consider is the way thin, misty nighttime cloud cover scatters moonlight. On a clear night, the moon lights up the ground and that light can reflect back away from Earth. When it scatters due to thin, misty cloud cover it must either all get absorbed by the ground or it will reflect back up to the clouds, where it will again reflect back to the ground. In other words, moonlight also blocks nighttime cooling of the land.

oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Mon 25 Mar, 2019 06:44 pm
@livinglava,
livinglava wrote:
Even if it was true

It is true.


livinglava wrote:
what would the long term effect on the climate and planet be of gradually moving the radioactive underground energy of the planet above ground and accelerating its decay?

Zero.


livinglava wrote:
Increasing Earth's sunlight input and thus daily energy absorption would also intensify the water cycle and cause warming.

I doubt that the increase will be by a significant amount.


livinglava wrote:
ALL heat adds water vapor to the atmosphere. ALL energy ends up as waste heat after it is used. That is basic thermodynamics, i.e. the law of energy conservation.

If it ever becomes a problem, efforts can be undertaken to artificially cool the earth.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Tue 26 Mar, 2019 05:59 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

livinglava wrote:
what would the long term effect on the climate and planet be of gradually moving the radioactive underground energy of the planet above ground and accelerating its decay?

Zero.

You can't take a planet and gradually move the radioactive material up to the surface and convert it into kinetic energy without killing the long-term viability of the planet. Look at Mars. It has barely any core heat or magnetic field. That is what Earth will eventually become if nuclear power is maintained to satisfy unsustainable energy/power consumption by humans.

Quote:

livinglava wrote:
Increasing Earth's sunlight input and thus daily energy absorption would also intensify the water cycle and cause warming.

I doubt that the increase will be by a significant amount.

Humans always expand their economic activities to the limits of the margins they have to operate within. If you keep expanding the energy supply, they will keep using more energy and eventually cause scarcity, which pushes the price up and thus stimulates more generation.

ALL heat causes water to evaporate and/or remain suspended in the air as vapor. As night falls, it will take less and less temperature drop to cause misty cloud cover to form and thicken. That night-coat of water vapor will blanket nighttime infrared losses, the same as CO2, methane, or any other greenhouse gas. The Earth will not cool as much at night and it will cause warming and intensify storms, etc.


Quote:
livinglava wrote:
ALL heat adds water vapor to the atmosphere. ALL energy ends up as waste heat after it is used. That is basic thermodynamics, i.e. the law of energy conservation.

If it ever becomes a problem, efforts can be undertaken to artificially cool the earth.
[/quote]
The problem with industrial solutions is that they always rely on releasing stored potential energy as kinetic energy. We need to take stock of how the planet works in terms of natural cooling that occurs due to night and winter shading, which allows atmosphere to compress under its own weight and thus cool and condense/precipitate water, which clears the air and allows infrared to radiate away from the planet.

Our technologies have to support that basic planetary function, among others. That means focusing technological solutions on ways satisfy needs while reducing overall energy use, not generating and using more energy.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Wed 27 Mar, 2019 08:10 pm
@livinglava,
livinglava wrote:
You can't take a planet and gradually move the radioactive material up to the surface and convert it into kinetic energy without killing the long-term viability of the planet. Look at Mars. It has barely any core heat or magnetic field. That is what Earth will eventually become if nuclear power is maintained to satisfy unsustainable energy/power consumption by humans.

We're not even capable of removing uranium and thorium from the mantle. And if we were, it would take a very long time for us to remove enough to make a difference.

At any rate, we only need to use nuclear reactors until we get giant mirrors in space to redirect sunlight to the earth.


livinglava wrote:
Humans always expand their economic activities to the limits of the margins they have to operate within. If you keep expanding the energy supply, they will keep using more energy and eventually cause scarcity, which pushes the price up and thus stimulates more generation.

Yes. Good.


livinglava wrote:
ALL heat causes water to evaporate and/or remain suspended in the air as vapor. As night falls, it will take less and less temperature drop to cause misty cloud cover to form and thicken. That night-coat of water vapor will blanket nighttime infrared losses, the same as CO2, methane, or any other greenhouse gas. The Earth will not cool as much at night and it will cause warming and intensify storms, etc.

The impact will be weak though, and we'll be able to counter it if it causes a problem.


livinglava wrote:
The problem with industrial solutions is that they always rely on releasing stored potential energy as kinetic energy.

I don't agree that they always rely on kinetic energy, and I don't agree that kinetic energy is a problem.


livinglava wrote:
We need to take stock of how the planet works in terms of natural cooling that occurs due to night and winter shading, which allows atmosphere to compress under its own weight and thus cool and condense/precipitate water, which clears the air and allows infrared to radiate away from the planet.
Our technologies have to support that basic planetary function, among others.

Fine with me.


livinglava wrote:
That means focusing technological solutions on ways satisfy needs while reducing overall energy use, not generating and using more energy.

I do not agree that it means less energy. I think more energy is fine.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Thu 28 Mar, 2019 06:02 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

We're not even capable of removing uranium and thorium from the mantle. And if we were, it would take a very long time for us to remove enough to make a difference.

The crust insulates the mantle. As we mine away the crust, the upper mantle will cool faster. You have to think in terms of long geological time. As long as we think in terms of a few centuries at a time, the centuries of unsustainability will build up into millennia and so forth. Sustainability is about living in the now in such a way that it doesn't degenerate as it progresses into the distant future.

Quote:
At any rate, we only need to use nuclear reactors until we get giant mirrors in space to redirect sunlight to the earth.

Earth doesn't need more sunlight or any other form of energy. Earth receives the correct amount of energy via sunlight and the problem is we don't use it well because we addict ourselves economically to unsustainable level and intensities of energy. With energy we are like crack or opioid addicts who can't deal with normal boredom or pain because we've gotten used to unnecessary interventions that make us artificially vulnerable/sensitive to deviations from the artificial norms.

Quote:
livinglava wrote:
Humans always expand their economic activities to the limits of the margins they have to operate within. If you keep expanding the energy supply, they will keep using more energy and eventually cause scarcity, which pushes the price up and thus stimulates more generation.

Yes. Good.

No, not good. The way we should be using scientific and technological skill is to do more with less energy by reducing energy per capita in ways that increase quality of life.

Lighting efficiency is measured in lumens/watt but you could also measure other aspects of energy use and consumption in terms of more subject measures, like comfort/watt or happiness/watt and then avoid those technologies that don't produce comfort or happiness efficiently.


Quote:

The impact will be weak though, and we'll be able to counter it if it causes a problem.

Earth has a fixed mass, size, etc. that determine its cooling characteristics. A planet is basically a giant air-conditioning system that shades and compresses air to cool it down while radiating the energy away as infrared.

What we are doing is pressing the cooling system to its limits by converting potential energy to kinetic energy, and the waste products of the conversion are greenhouse gases that build up and block infrared radiation that allows the cooling system to function properly.


Quote:

I don't agree that they always rely on kinetic energy, and I don't agree that kinetic energy is a problem.

You either don't understand the physics I've explained or you're ignoring it because it doesn't suit what you want to believe.


[quote[/quote]
I do not agree that it means less energy. I think more energy is fine.
[/quote]
I'm explaining it but you're not getting it. More energy means more water vapor in the air. More water vapor in the air means more blanketing of heat at night instead of it radiating away. CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gases are a problem, but so is water vapor, so you can't keep adding more energy to the daily energy diet of the planet without getting more heat, water vapor, greenhouse effect, and stronger weathering/erosion/entropy.

oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 May, 2019 05:48 pm
@livinglava,
livinglava wrote:
The crust insulates the mantle. As we mine away the crust, the upper mantle will cool faster. You have to think in terms of long geological time. As long as we think in terms of a few centuries at a time, the centuries of unsustainability will build up into millennia and so forth. Sustainability is about living in the now in such a way that it doesn't degenerate as it progresses into the distant future.

I'm only proposing using nuclear power until we get giant mirrors in space to redirect massive amounts of sunlight to the earth.


livinglava wrote:
Earth doesn't need more sunlight or any other form of energy.

But people need it in order to drastically increase their energy usage.


livinglava wrote:
Earth receives the correct amount of energy via sunlight

Not for a civilization with dramatically higher energy usage.


livinglava wrote:
and the problem is we don't use it well because we addict ourselves economically to unsustainable level and intensities of energy. With energy we are like crack or opioid addicts who can't deal with normal boredom or pain because we've gotten used to unnecessary interventions that make us artificially vulnerable/sensitive to deviations from the artificial norms.

Space mirrors to redirect sunlight to the earth are perfectly sustainable.


livinglava wrote:
No, not good.

I disagree. I see massively higher energy usage as extremely desirable.


livinglava wrote:
The way we should be using scientific and technological skill is to do more with less energy by reducing energy per capita in ways that increase quality of life.
Lighting efficiency is measured in lumens/watt but you could also measure other aspects of energy use and consumption in terms of more subject measures, like comfort/watt or happiness/watt and then avoid those technologies that don't produce comfort or happiness efficiently.

Greater efficiency is good as well. But we can have more energy and greater efficiency.


livinglava wrote:
Earth has a fixed mass, size, etc. that determine its cooling characteristics. A planet is basically a giant air-conditioning system that shades and compresses air to cool it down while radiating the energy away as infrared.
What we are doing is pressing the cooling system to its limits by converting potential energy to kinetic energy, and the waste products of the conversion are greenhouse gases that build up and block infrared radiation that allows the cooling system to function properly.

Then we take steps to cool the earth artificially.


livinglava wrote:
You either don't understand the physics I've explained or you're ignoring it because it doesn't suit what you want to believe.

It's more that I don't think that this is an insurmountable problem.


livinglava wrote:
I'm explaining it but you're not getting it. More energy means more water vapor in the air. More water vapor in the air means more blanketing of heat at night instead of it radiating away. CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gases are a problem, but so is water vapor, so you can't keep adding more energy to the daily energy diet of the planet without getting more heat, water vapor, greenhouse effect, and stronger weathering/erosion/entropy.

All we need to do is cool the earth ourselves.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 May, 2019 08:28 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

I'm only proposing using nuclear power until we get giant mirrors in space to redirect massive amounts of sunlight to the earth.

Neither the Earth nor humans need more energy. What they need to do is use their technological savvy to make do with less energy better.

The reason we fail to continue reducing overall energy use in this way is because using more produces more to sell and people think they are doing better when they get more for their money, even though they are usually just getting more junk that piles up, assuming it's not hot/cold air that literally just blows away as soon as it is produced.


Quote:

But people need it in order to drastically increase their energy usage.

That's insane. All energy results in entropy. Reducing per capita energy usage reduces overall entropy and allows nature to restore resources.

livinglava wrote:
Earth receives the correct amount of energy via sunlight

Not for a civilization with dramatically higher energy usage.[/quote]
Artificial demand has resulted in misconceptions of need. You don't need to wear short sleeves in the winter or long pants and ties when it's hot. People just need to adapt to natural conditions better as they did before the industrial revolution. Technology can benefit us, but we should be using it to reduce artificial energy dependency, not increase it.


Quote:

Space mirrors to redirect sunlight to the earth are perfectly sustainable.

All energy turns into waste heat. All heat causes more water vapor to dissolve into the atmosphere. All that energy in atmosphere results in wind and rain/storms that weather and erode the land faster into the ocean.

Instead of thinking of ways to get more energy to Earth, you should be thinking of what exactly it is you want to do/make with that energy, why, and how you could satisfy the same need with less energy and other resources.


Quote:

I disagree. I see massively higher energy usage as extremely desirable.[/quote
Why? Do you want every yard to have its own Niagara Falls? What's wrong with just allowing nature to grow and live and carving a few paths through it and little niches within it to live and work that don't displace it?

[quote]
Greater efficiency is good as well. But we can have more energy and greater efficiency.

What is it about having more energy that appeals to you? Do you understand entropy?

Quote:

Then we take steps to cool the earth artificially.

You can't. Cooling systems use energy to compress and cool air, which means the cold produced will always be surpassed by the waste heat of the machine. The planet as a whole is a cooling machine, which works by gravitational compression and radiation of heat, just like a refrigerator, but because the compression occurs due to gravity instead of a motor, there is no waste heat. Because of the natural cold/cool produced by the planet, water can condense and trees/plants can grow that reflect away more solar energy than they absorb. It is better to allow trees to perform this reflecting function than trying to build reflective roofs everywhere because all those roofs and their maintenance use and thus dissipate energy, while the trees and plants that grow do so by absorbing latent heat from the environment.

Think of living cells like nano-machines that milk energy out of their surroundings instead of requiring energy to be generated by burning/using up potential energy stored up in fossil fuels. The Earth has evolved to divert energy away and store it, even fossilizing it; not the reverse, which is what we are always trying to do because we are basically lazy and arrogant and think we can make our lives easier by improving on nature. We need to pay better attention to the negative side-effects of our fixes.


Quote:

It's more that I don't think that this is an insurmountable problem.

It's not, but the solution is to understand and harness natural living 'machines' that have already proved sustainable throughout the history of the planet. Why would you want to try to do everything with industrial machines and systems that have been evolving for the last couple centuries while ignoring all the incredibly effective machines that have been evolving for billions of years?

Quote:

All we need to do is cool the earth ourselves.

You do that by restoring forests and reversing deforestation; and by reversing fossil fuel dissipation by using up fuels at a rate slower than they form and sediment.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Sat 11 May, 2019 12:35 am
@livinglava,
livinglava wrote:
Neither the Earth nor humans need more energy.

Humans didn't "need" to advance beyond stone age hunter gatherers.

Building a society that consumes massively more energy, on the other hand, will require producing massively more energy.


livinglava wrote:
What they need to do is use their technological savvy to make do with less energy better.

"High efficiency" is good, but "massive amounts of energy combined with high efficiency" is even better.


livinglava wrote:
The reason we fail to continue reducing overall energy use in this way is because using more produces more to sell and people think they are doing better when they get more for their money, even though they are usually just getting more junk that piles up, assuming it's not hot/cold air that literally just blows away as soon as it is produced.

Producing and consuming more energy is a good thing. We just need to do it sustainably.


livinglava wrote:
That's insane.

Not at all. Increased energy use will make our lives much better.


livinglava wrote:
All energy results in entropy. Reducing per capita energy usage reduces overall entropy and allows nature to restore resources.

It also results in a lower standard of living.


livinglava wrote:
Artificial demand has resulted in misconceptions of need. You don't need to wear short sleeves in the winter or long pants and ties when it's hot.

Maybe not. But we choose to do so.


livinglava wrote:
People just need to adapt to natural conditions better as they did before the industrial revolution.

We don't need to do that. We can choose to use more energy and increase our standard of living.


livinglava wrote:
Technology can benefit us, but we should be using it to reduce artificial energy dependency, not increase it.

I disagree. I prefer the higher standard of living that comes with greater energy use.


livinglava wrote:
All energy turns into waste heat. All heat causes more water vapor to dissolve into the atmosphere. All that energy in atmosphere results in wind and rain/storms that weather and erode the land faster into the ocean.

So then we artificially cool the earth.


livinglava wrote:
Instead of thinking of ways to get more energy to Earth, you should be thinking of what exactly it is you want to do/make with that energy, why, and how you could satisfy the same need with less energy and other resources.

Efficiency is good too. But it's no reason to not produce more energy as well.


livinglava wrote:
Why?

Because it would increase our standard of living.


livinglava wrote:
Do you want every yard to have its own Niagara Falls?

Sure. Why not?


livinglava wrote:
What's wrong with just allowing nature to grow and live and carving a few paths through it and little niches within it to live and work that don't displace it?

Nature has its place, but we are not going to abandon most of the planet to it.


livinglava wrote:
What is it about having more energy that appeals to you?

The higher standard of living.


livinglava wrote:
Do you understand entropy?

Well I don't have a PhD in the subject. I know what it is in general however.


livinglava wrote:
You can't.

I disagree. I think we could find ways to radiate heat away from the planet.


livinglava wrote:
Cooling systems use energy to compress and cool air, which means the cold produced will always be surpassed by the waste heat of the machine.

There might be other ways to cool the planet besides giant air conditioners.

Although, if giant air conditioners were able to radiate their heat into space, that might work.


livinglava wrote:
The planet as a whole is a cooling machine, which works by gravitational compression and radiation of heat, just like a refrigerator, but because the compression occurs due to gravity instead of a motor, there is no waste heat. Because of the natural cold/cool produced by the planet, water can condense and trees/plants can grow that reflect away more solar energy than they absorb. It is better to allow trees to perform this reflecting function than trying to build reflective roofs everywhere because all those roofs and their maintenance use and thus dissipate energy, while the trees and plants that grow do so by absorbing latent heat from the environment.

I've nothing against a few more trees, but abandoning the surface of the planet to massive forests is a nonstarter.


livinglava wrote:
Think of living cells like nano-machines that milk energy out of their surroundings instead of requiring energy to be generated by burning/using up potential energy stored up in fossil fuels. The Earth has evolved to divert energy away and store it, even fossilizing it; not the reverse, which is what we are always trying to do because we are basically lazy and arrogant and think we can make our lives easier by improving on nature. We need to pay better attention to the negative side-effects of our fixes.

I've nothing against paying attention. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't advance ourselves.


livinglava wrote:
It's not, but the solution is to understand and harness natural living 'machines' that have already proved sustainable throughout the history of the planet. Why would you want to try to do everything with industrial machines and systems that have been evolving for the last couple centuries while ignoring all the incredibly effective machines that have been evolving for billions of years?

Because technology can do so much more.


livinglava wrote:
You do that by restoring forests and reversing deforestation; and by reversing fossil fuel dissipation by using up fuels at a rate slower than they form and sediment.

How would that help with the water vapor that you were worried about?

As far as "solving carbon pollution by producing fossil fuels" goes, instead of abandoning the planet's surface to massive forests, we could just manufacture artificial coal once we have an excess of solar energy from giant space mirrors.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Sat 11 May, 2019 08:32 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:

livinglava wrote:
Neither the Earth nor humans need more energy.

Humans didn't "need" to advance beyond stone age hunter gatherers.

Building a society that consumes massively more energy, on the other hand, will require producing massively more energy.

You still haven't mentioned specific applications that require more energy and why you consider them good. Is it that you just associate more energy with more money and you want to make more money? Why exactly? What do you want more money for?


Quote:
livinglava wrote:
What they need to do is use their technological savvy to make do with less energy better.

"High efficiency" is good, but "massive amounts of energy combined with high efficiency" is even better.

You're still not explaining why you think all this 'massive amounts of energy' used highly efficiently is good. You just don't like reusing the same stuff over and over so you want to throw away and recycle stuff into new stuff all the time for some reason?

Quote:

Producing and consuming more energy is a good thing. We just need to do it sustainably.

I don't think you understand that there is abundance possible while reducing the total amount of energy generated. The only things that require large amounts of energy to produce/consume are heating/cooling and various industrial applications. Consumer electronics are pretty energy-conservative at this point, and refrigeration is getting very efficient because of better insulation to seal off cold longer/better.

Quote:

Not at all. Increased energy use will make our lives much better.

Energy dissipates as waste heat and waste heat causes entropy, like all energy does. Have you understood what I've explained about natural 'machines,' i.e. trees and plants,' absorbing waste heat and using it to build leaves that reflect the middle wavelengths of sunlight away? Nature has evolved to protect life from excessive energy because life thrives by protecting against entropy, not increasing it.

When you say you want to increase total energy, that means you want to increase total entropy. Entropy is destruction of order into chaos, the order of living cells functioning properly. So you are basically encouraging death and destruction of living cells. You are looking at the short-term kicks that come with increased energy use without thinking about entropy-growth as growing death and destruction, which is what it is.


livinglava wrote:
All energy results in entropy. Reducing per capita energy usage reduces overall entropy and allows nature to restore resources.

It also results in a lower standard of living.[/quote]
Only in a very narrow, subjective way. Standard of living is relative and subjective. What was once considered a high standard of living would be considered poverty today. You have to move beyond narrow, subjective understandings of life-quality and use scientific intelligence to envision good quality of life within a paradigm of decreasing-per-capita-energy-use. Think, for example, in terms of elegantly designed and positioned small indoor spaces that channel cool breeze from surrounding forest shade through as ventilation and climate control. That is a higher standard of living than cranking up a big air-conditioning system, which uses no energy while the forest outside is doing all the work of absorbing latent heat and reflecting away middle wavelengths of sunlight without consuming any industrial power plant energy sources to do so.


livinglava wrote:
Artificial demand has resulted in misconceptions of need. You don't need to wear short sleeves in the winter or long pants and ties when it's hot.

Maybe not. But we choose to do so.[/quote]
It doesn't make sense. The human body generates about 100w of heat, the same as a TV set. The only thing you really need to heat to feel comfortable is your skin. Why would you warm up all the air in a large room instead of just warming up your skin directly by insulating it a little?

livinglava wrote:
People just need to adapt to natural conditions better as they did before the industrial revolution.

We don't need to do that. We can choose to use more energy and increase our standard of living.[/quote]
When everyone insists on using more energy like this, it results in humans being a destructive/entropic species. Humans have the capacity to contribute to nature's capacity to absorb energy and reduce total system entropy, so we should do that instead of destroying our own base for sustainability.


Quote:

I disagree. I prefer the higher standard of living that comes with greater energy use.

Your preference can't prevent entropy from growing due to people like you refusing to foresee the effects of energy-use patterns.

Quote:

So then we artificially cool the earth.

I explained why that doesn't work, but you can't seem to grasp how artificial energy always dissipates waste heat. What do you think happens if you fill a house with air-conditioners and run them all at the same time? Do you think the house would keep getting colder if all those machines are running inside where their waste heat is being added to the air they are trying to cool?

Quote:

Efficiency is good too. But it's no reason to not produce more energy as well.

Efficiency is what enables you to substitute less power-hungry application for more wasteful ones and achieve comparable effects while lowering overall energy generation and thus waste.

livinglava wrote:
Why?

Because it would increase our standard of living.[/quote]
What you're saying is similar to saying that printing more money would increase standards of living. Saying that ignores inflation, and you don't seem to see that energy use/waste also causes a kind of inflation.

[quoteDo you want every yard to have its own Niagara Falls?[/quote]
Sure. Why not?[/quote]
Because of weathering and erosion. You're thinking in an aesthetic mindset that pictures things without thinking about the effects they cause. You can't just build a giant waterfall without the waterfall hammering everything it splashes against and washing away the debris. That's what powerful water does. Ever used or seen a pressure washer?

Quote:

Nature has its place, but we are not going to abandon most of the planet to it.

Nature has a much more significant place than we allow it. Nature produces machines, but we don't fully understand them yet because nano-engineering is still in its infancy. We have marveled at our engineering skills and failed to acknowledge how gross and wasteful our machines are relative to natural machines that have evolved unbelievably complex networks of nano-machinery to accomplish subtle yet incredibly effective tasks, while being permanently sustainable within the planet's natural homeostasis.

livinglava wrote:
What is it about having more energy that appeals to you?

The higher standard of living.[/quote]
What do you consider higher about such a standard of living? What do you think is necessary to have a good life, exactly?

livinglava wrote:
Do you understand entropy?

Well I don't have a PhD in the subject. I know what it is in general however.[/quote]
Is is the progress ordered/organized systems make toward destruction and chaos as energetic processes continue. It is the reason that machines always wear out and break and need repair and replacement the more you use them. It is the reason the water cycle causes weathering and erosion, which gradually demolishes even the tallest mountains and washes their debris downhill into the ocean.

If Earth would only progress in an entropic direction, the mountains and continents would gradually all wash into the oceans and the ocean floor would be a level bed of sedimented debris. For some reason, Earth has the ability to lift up solid matter to form land masses and mountain ranges above sea level, and plants and trees have evolved to lift up nutrients and water from the soil to absorb carbon from the air to shield energy from sunlight so animals in the shade of the forest canopy can survive without having the water baked out of them and their surroundings by direct sunlight.

If you can fully understand the relationship between energy and entropy, you will see that entropy and energy is something you want to minimize, not maximize. Reflecting away energy to protect against dehydration is how living ecosystems on Earth have evolved to survive. We have to accept the duty of towing the line on this basic life-function if we want to survive as a species and keep the planet from gradually degenerating into chaos and ultimately a pile of dead ash and rubble.

Quote:

I disagree. I think we could find ways to radiate heat away from the planet.

Sure, but to do that you need clear night skies. To have clear night skies, you need the water vapor to precipitate out of them before they condense into fog at night. If the atmosphere is pumped up with artificial heat every day, water vapor is not going to condense as easily and then you can shine all the lights you want out into space to get rid of Earth's energy, but a lot of it will get blocked and reflected back by the mist, which will make the process less efficient and cause energy to be wasted and more waste heat to build up in the atmosphere, thus further intensifying the fog-cycle.


Quote:

There might be other ways to cool the planet besides giant air conditioners.

You need to think more practically. You like a business person who always thinks there are magical technologies to be discovered to make more money and achieve whatever you want. Learn physics and apply it to exploring all the possible engineering applications you hope are possible. You will start to see patterns in what is actually possible and what is just magical realism.

Quote:
Although, if giant air conditioners were able to radiate their heat into space, that might work.

Air-conditioners run on electricity. As the electric motors run, they get hot. You can't take that heat and turn it into higher-frequency light because light breaks down into lower frequencies, which is another form of entropy. Infrared light is the wavelength of heat, which has to radiate away from the planet. It is blocked by greenhouse gases like CO2 and H2O, which precipitate out of the air under certain conditions. CO2 only precipitates out of the air by being absorbed by trees and plants. It doesn't have a liquid state like water, so it has to get extremely cold to condense into ice.

Quote:

I've nothing against a few more trees, but abandoning the surface of the planet to massive forests is a nonstarter.

You don't have to abandon anything to trees. You just have to reform architecture so it doesn't prevent healthy soil and trees from surviving between narrow foundations with more vertical height than lateral breadth.


Quote:

I've nothing against paying attention. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't advance ourselves.

Your concept of 'self-advancement' defies advancement into understanding nano-technology and how biological cells are tiny factories that are useful producers.


Quote:
livinglava wrote:
It's not, but the solution is to understand and harness natural living 'machines' that have already proved sustainable throughout the history of the planet. Why would you want to try to do everything with industrial machines and systems that have been evolving for the last couple centuries while ignoring all the incredibly effective machines that have been evolving for billions of years?

Because technology can do so much more.

Like what?


Quote:
livinglava wrote:
You do that by restoring forests and reversing deforestation; and by reversing fossil fuel dissipation by using up fuels at a rate slower than they form and sediment.

How would that help with the water vapor that you were worried about?

Water is absorbed by trees/plants/ecosystems. Watershed absorbs water like a sponge covering the land and allows it to gradually trickle underground. Basically, nature vastly expands the number of shaded crevices where liquid water can resist evaporation into the atmosphere. It is sort of similar to the way a water-cooled motor protects against evaporation of coolant by keeping it locked in the radiator and mixed with anti-freeze chemicals that lower the freeze point and raise the boiling point.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Local Food Movement: Boston - Discussion by littlek
Green New Deal - Discussion by livinglava
Describe a Maximally Ethical Person - Discussion by sozobe
Green Wheels: Hybrids vs Used Cars - Discussion by failures art
Cool Packaging - Discussion by djjd62
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Whitewashing energy to neutralize climate critique
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/22/2019 at 12:07:05