17 thoughts on “Renewables”

  1. I think one tried-and-true renewable that a lot of the environmentalists overlook is whale oil, which must surely play an important role in any switch away from fossil fuels and nuclear.

        1. To the people who grow trees for a living trees have always been a crop. They plant, cultivate, and harvest trees. The difference is in the time scale. You wait fifty years to harvest rather than a few months.
          Your point I suppose is that everyone needs to understand that trees are a crop.

  2. Shellenberger is ignoring the new wave of pumped hydro: closed loop. Unlike traditional pumped hydro, this doesn’t have to be sited on a waterway. It involves two reservoirs constructed on dry land, one higher than the other, and reuses the same water, over and over, with minimal makeup for evaporation and seepage. With modern turbines and electronics the round trip efficiency would be ~80%.

    A recent analysis in Australia found they had 1000x more capacity for this storage than they would need to go 100% renewable for their electrical power (with storage adding just AU$ 0.03/kWh to the cost of electricity, perhaps less.)

    1. ROTFLMAO!
      That idiot Blakers and associated scumbags at ANU.
      Some of the pumped storage sites were about 1000km or more form any population that might use the electricity. There is literally nothing there.
      Now with Gang grene and their opposition to dams how are you going to get any pumped storage sites built anyway?
      Pull the other leg.

      1. The licensing issues are a big reason to look at closed loop, off-river hydro. No connection to waterways, no application of the laws involving those waterways. They can be filled with groundwater, of which we have plenty.

        Mike: I’m sure some of those sites were far away. They also found 35x more capacity than was needed.

  3. Lowering CO2 is easy- we have vast ocean which are sterile, add nutrients to these water and increase the ocean’s food supply.

    But we don’t have any need of lower CO2, it warming effect is small and warmer world is better than cold world we live in. The increase in CO2 in the atmosphere allows plant life to grow better and it has and will further increase crop production.

    If we wanted to cool Earth [and no one should want this and is not a good idea] we could use a solar shade to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching Earth. A solar shade could be simply increasing the amount dust at Earth/Sun L-1.

    Global average temperature is related to average temperature of the entire ocean, which is currently about 3.5 C.
    In the last 2.6 million years, we been in an Ice Age, which has glacial and interglacial periods. During this time the entire ocean average temperature has been in the range of 1 to 5 C.
    And if our ocean were to increase from about 3.5 C to about 4 C, sea levels would rise and the world would be much warmer. And in the past 2.6 million it’s had periods of time much warmer.
    What is global average temperature is the temperature of the surface of the ocean. The average surface temperature of entire ocean is about 17 C.
    So, average ocean surface at average of 17 C is about 70% of the Earth surface area. The 30% area of land has average air surface temperature of about 10 C. And ocean and land average temperature is about 15 C.
    Over last 100 year the average ocean temperature has increased by about 1/2 C, if the average ocean surface were become about 18 C, this would be a lot of warming, and it unlikely to warm by 1 C within the next century.
    If divide the tropical ocean from the rest of the ocean, the average tropical ocean surface is about 26 C and the rest of the ocean surface is about 11 C. And warming world is mostly about warming ocean surface water outside of tropics. Or if outside of the tropics the average surface temperature were go from 11 C to 12 C, that would a lot global warming [and would cause global average ocean surface temperature to go from about 17 C to about 18 C.
    So roughly global warming is increasing this surface water which about 11 C at the present time. And in addition to increasing the average global air temperature, making outside of the tropics ocean surface warmer by 1 C, would cause increase in average land temperatures.
    Or general rule, ocean warms land and land doesn’t warm ocean.
    Or Europe has average temperature of almost 10 C, and the warm gulf stream adds about 10 K to to it’s average temperature, without the ocean warming it, Europe would have average temperature of about 0 C. Or Canada average temperature is about -4 C, and Canada is not warmed much by the ocean.
    Though the tropical ocean warms Canada via atmospheric effects- Tropical ocean warms entire world. Tropical ocean is the heat engine of the entire world.
    Anyhow there isn’t anything scary about fairly cool water getting a bit warmer.
    Anyhow as said unlikely within 100 years that water outside tropics are going warm as much as 1 C, but it would big effect, just not scary or even noticeable in terms feeling that change in air temperatures.
    Roughly nights are less cold, winters are less cold, and sort of like traveling from the in land to towards the beaches, Or general more of an oceanic type climate.

  4. The funniest thing about Climate Change [tm] is, Progressives habitats are where the main effects would be. AOC’s house, Pelosi’s house. Washington, DC. Win-win! London, too! Nature’s own Brexit…

    As far as whale oil goes, toothed whales seem particularly easy to domesticate, and sperm whales, which were the major oil whales of the 19th century, are toothed whales. What we need to find out is if the oil is self replenishing. Then we could drain the whales periodically, without killing them. That’s a better deal than cattle get, where we breed and milk the females, and but for a few stud bulls, castrate, kill and eat most of the males.

    This makes me want to write a story about whale farming, but I don’t think I could sell it to the existing Progressive-converged magazines. I bet Gardner Dozois would have bought it. So sorry he’s gone.

    1. Might you be confusing whale oil with ambergris?

      I think the whalers ot the whale oil from rendering the whales’ flesh itself. Of course, they got ambergris by cracking open sperm whales’ skulls…

      1. That’s not correct. I was being funny above, but it’s possible to take it at least semi-seriously.

        Ambergris comes from the whale’s intestines. is the result of a gastrointestinal disorder, and is sometimes found floating on the surface of the ocean. And it smells exactly like you’d think until processed into the prefume ingredient.

        I was insufficiently specific about the term “whale oil” (being silly and all). However, while common whale oil comes from the blubber, sperm oil comes from the spermaceti organ and “melon” which are in the whales head and are part of the echolocation system. A typical sperm whale has upwards of 2,000 gallons aboard.

        And you could harvest at least some whale oil from each whale via liposuction. You’d have to be careful about both processes, though, or you’d wind up with a mute, sinking whale.

        (I don’t actually believe this would be economical. Though it’s fun imagining “whaleboys” riding dolphins on the open range of the Pacific, fighting off Japanese whale rustlers…)

      2. Actually he’s confusing whale oil with spermaceti – very high quality oil found in the heads of sperm whales. The elites had their candles made from spermaceti.

        Ambergris is created in the digestive system of sperm whales. After aging it was used in perfumes.

        So you can rest assured that once the Socialist Paradise is formed the Elites like Fauxcahntas, AOC, Schumer and Schiff will have spermaceti candles and ambergris perfume.

  5. When anyone starts talking about energy density, kWh / unit volume they are starting to think along the right track. Kudos to this guy for actually thinking through the problems. This is the inherit problem with cities where the consumption per unit volume is very high. Such a large baseline demand is constant and not easily serviced by renewable energy sources without large consumption of surface area and transmission lines (which includes the storage problem).

    This same issue in spades for a “hydrogen” based economy. A terrible idea, esp. when many plans call for electrolysis of water. Thus converting from a highly fungible energy source to a low one that is very difficult to store in useful quantities and, in passing, dangerous to do so. See combustible (read explosive when contained) fuel/air ratios, not to mention the fact that it is odorless, colorless and seeps well into anything accidentally containing it.).

    Once you *have* electricity (the most difficult to obtain from natural resources form of energy) you are far better off staying with electricity.

    1. Energy density for grid connected power only matters insofar as it affects cost. So if a source is more energy dense than another, but also more expensive, it’s a loser.

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