Renewable Energy: Not Where We're Headed

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by 9anda1f, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    While Germany has its problems, like all nations, taking care of their citizens' basic needs is not one of them. Germany also promises its citizens jobs and housing. Yes, that's right. If you don't have a house, you get one provided to you. If you don't have a job, they'll find you one or take care of you. And of course they have socialized medicine. There are still poor people, but their basic needs are met by the government unlike, well...just about any other country. I was quite impressed actually.
     
  2. Donkey32

    Donkey32 Junior Member

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    For about the last century (give or take), we've been ruled by big energy moguls, pushing the idea of "forever, cheap energy". Back in the fifties, we were warned that oil was a finite resource. In the seventies, here in the States, we had our own personal "peak oil" moment. I remember it clearly, back then the writing was up large on the wall; "The Resource is Finite, the US will no longer be a major exporter"...
    Are energy corporations gaming the system for more money?? Of course they are, they're out to skin us all before it's all over.
    Believe you me, if the Powers That Be had ANY control over the situation, the US would have continued to export oil at the same rate. Just you watch as Saudi Arabia's (and everyone else shortly after) reserves go the same way.

    As I said, the age of cheap energy is over.
    You will very likely, NEVER see energy prices much lower (than they are now) in your lifetime. The alternatives don't really exist yet as no one has had the foresight or political will to invest in them. There is NO single fuel (yet known) that has the energy density of gasoline or is as cheap as oil-based fuels have been (in the past). What you experienced in these last decades of your life was a party.. An irresponsible party, thrown by BIG ENERGY and attended by us. We were having SO much fun that no one bothered to check the time.. Now the beers all but gone and the man of the house is about to yank the tap and send the crowd packing.

    Here in the States, we pay between $10 and $50 billion (depending on whom you believe) annually to subsidize oil production, police the pipelines and prop up despotic regimes. You wanna talk about governments NOT caring for its people?? Don't get me started!

    Agreed. I've been saying that we needed to START the transition since 1975! No one listens to little 'ol me..
    If we wanted to make a "soft landing", we would have dumped BILLIONS into energy research DECADES ago. Unfortunately, I'm afraid we're in for a "hard landing" instead, we spent the money building bombs and fighting to keep control of the means (and areas) of production. We spent our time, resources and blood propping up a doomed system.

    Oh, I've had a good long look. I've been studying this train-wreck-in-progress for some while.
    Unfortunately, we are ALL completely unprepared for what is in the process of occurring, what is about to happen. The public is UTTERLY asleep to the reality of the situation. The cheap oil is gone and Big Money is in the process of sweeping up the last beens off the table before it all collapses.
    Hold on to yer hats kids, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.
     
  3. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    all i can say is as i hate dissected answers much to hard to keep the context and all you want to do is fog it with your personal science, we all know we are in trouble donkey, now how do we ease the carnage if not stop it, no good people continually say this or that, the only reason cheap fuel and coal is gone is through manipulation by gov' and do gooders with no reality, aided by the aforementioned supporting the greedy corporates. of course the public masses have no idea that is caused by gov' indoctrination, but this is not about punishing teh innocent, this is about where are the affordable alternatives, so we can switch from the old then the gov and their bush ranger mates would suffer, so come on bring it on donkey.

    sounds like you also don't have much to offer.

    i don't think i'm totally unprepared might be a couple hundred thousand give or take just like me, i know 4 or 5 around here and about that many more further away. we are humanitarians by heart and aren't going to sit in the bleachers and watch and wait for your turn to come.

    len
     
  4. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Yeah, I agree Donkey - managing the transition is going to be the challenge. I think Permaculture has a role in that. Unfortunately, if you look at the pattern of people (society) in the past, they have a lot of difficulty making change as a proactive choice. I have often said nothing will be done about environmental damage, climate change, etc until it starts to actually hurt them significantly. I think we are seeing the early signs of the pain, more so in some areas than others. But, if the wound is left untreated, it will fester and soon become septic. Again I suspect that by the time it starts to hurt the people who pull the strings it will have gone too far.

    We shall see I guess, no one really knows how this thing is going to pan out. I think there is certainly a lot more attention given to this in recent years and there is still a chance we can change... I'm doing my thing as though it will change and my kids will get an inheritance worth having...
     
  5. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    That's my plan too. If I can make other people a little more permaculturally literate along the way, then all the better.
     
  6. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    Stop confusing the thread discussion with factual statements and the truth! :D
     
  7. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    MY BAD! Lol.
     
  8. Donkey32

    Donkey32 Junior Member

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    I'm doing my part.. I'm a natural building teacher, been doing it for the better part of a decade. I teach people to build passive solar, non-toxic, sustainable buildings for themselves. I also experiment with and teach about Rocket Stoves. My life, at this point, is mainly about working on this issue..

    Heating and cooling (building interiors, refrigerators, water, etc.) is roughly 2/3 of home energy use. With a little thought, a good location and some elbow grease, your home can provide up to 95% of ALL of those needs - PASSIVELY. Like Permaculture, with natural building you don't need some high-grade technological fix to live in abundance. All you need are your powers of observation, a little education, some effort and a willingness to try different things.
     
  9. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    and we are doing our part we built a design we researched, 1 desk lamp lights the whole place enough not to stub toes, at the time it cost roughly 1/2 that of a mcmansion, probably much the same we needed no heating or cooling just a pedistal fan for the arvo's as we were unable to finish the project another 6 meters for bedrooms on the western end. if solar was affordable same as now we would have gone that way, the house would have been easily run on solar.

    same here couldn't build what we wanted but it is cosy enough in winter and now with a back functioning door as a breeze trap this summer should be a lot cooler, but hey donkey the mainstream grass roots does not want to know. no need to pollute with a wood stove.

    what's the elbow grease? to lube window runners? chuckle. can't get away from fridge and freezer, we don't use a microwave, gas for hot water and cooking

    your last line, they aren't interested sadly

    len
     
  10. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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    My area stopped building climate friendly housing about 60 years ago, unfortunately. The older homes are great, we call them shotgun houses down here. All the doors in the house are lined up, so you get a breeze through the entire home when you open them. They traditionally have high, vaulted ceilings and well ventilated attics. They were built close together to provide each other shade too. Many of them were built from cypress lumber, locally harvested. They all have gas heating/cooking. Then everything changed. Luckily, I won't be living in this energy inefficient home much longer, because it does not lend itself well to retrofitting. Couldn't get gas if I wanted it. Way too big. Completely wrong solar aspect. About the only thing I could do is shade the southern wall with deciduous vines to help cooling. I've already added a ridge vent to the roof. Ah well, good thing I'm planning on moving before the next 10 years kicks in. I just hope my timing is right.
     
  11. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    yes unmutual,

    north aspect can't be beaten, the old qlder if left as is does work well in summer, icebox in winter, the farmers in the know from past days aspected the front of their houses north. high set but never to be built under wide verandahs on 3 sides east; north and west especially, again never to be built in, 10 foot ceiling with fretwork vent in the middle and 40 watt bulb dangling below, doors for cross flow air, and generally smallish bedrooms as they were only for sleeping in. unfortunately the kitchen was generally on the south side, when it should be on the north eastern side.

    served their purpose in those long hot summer we've had for the past 200 years. but need better now, our last home we designed modestly fro our own knowledge and research, didn't get it around to around 5 degrees west of mag' north got a small dose of summer solstice on rear wall in the arvo' but comfy needing no heating only a pedestal fan.

    this house quiet good builders are hopeless they have no idea and no options, they offer gable and can't even hazzard a guess at a skillion roof, which really should be cheaper and more user friendly that a vaulted gable.

    need to save for a good spinner on the roof(don't really like doing add on's on the roof in storm whatever they could compromise the roof, but gable vents, out of the question just need simple not extra large costs around $15 to $200 for the external bit and nearly that much for the internal which doesn't need to be fancy but functional. something like those older wooden little things in men's toilets would be ideal.

    anyhow a new neighbour building over the back got his orientation wrong on good aspect north land, i chatted over the fence with him when he was at bro' in laws house who will be next door then, pointed out the benefits of aspect, his bro' in law has 'A' frame cable 7X 12 app' with southern verandah as he has discovered not good on those winter morn's(they sit on kitchen chair outside northern back door for warm), southern verandah be ok for arvo summer at the eastern end so long as they have trees to the west for shade. did chat with him about maybe a full length verandah along norther wall with skillion roof flowing back to house, will get a warm spot to enjoy cuppa in a bit more sun into main bedroom, kitchen and toilet laundry area.

    anyhow new house what i saw was pegs on the north aspected which puts house(like ours and his bro' in law's with a slight angle across the block), but it didn't end up that way saw him looking at it as he was on site next door scratching his head after the sight was cut, but he let it go, anyhow he is building complex gabled roof inc' hip roof mcmansion well over capitalised for the area, might take 50 years to beak even. builders did not finish much of the roof on friday sections of tin waving in the breeze hope we don't get a blow. they would have done better to concentrate on hip roof and get it locked down properly. some of other roof open as well.

    len
     
  12. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    just further to donkey,

    in the late 70's we had a fuel scare as well that was when super fuel was still sold, everyone unloaded their V8's and big 6's, we picked up a 6 year old V8 almost clean swap of 76 model hopeless for family capacity corona we had didn't notice much difference in fuel consumption, well tuned V8 gave us 12 to 15 mpg on a run. until people realised like now it was so much hype and ammunition for highway robbery at the bowser.

    anyhow

    len
     
  13. Donkey32

    Donkey32 Junior Member

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    Rereading, this statement just caught my attention..
    Burning wood doesn't NEED to be polluting. Rocket stoves REALLY help to solve this problem. Wood heat is comfortable AND sustainable if done properly.
    The stove I posted about here is VERY clean. Smoke can-not be seen coming from the chimney and hardly smelled even with your nose right over the chimney itself.
     
  14. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    meant to look at the rocket stove after reading you earlier post, at time like this post a link maybe? looking forward to when power very short on and too expensive and gas also expensive.

    len
     
  15. Unmutual

    Unmutual Junior Member

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  16. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    70s fuel prices was in response to the Israeli War... war ends OAPEC, starts selling, so it was short term
    Today's fuel prices are a result of supply and demand ...China and India now have lots of cars ,so its forever.
    The only thing holding the prices down is global recession any sign of recovery and they will spike and bring on the next recession...rinse and repeat
    I wouldnt recommend getting a cheap V8 this time.
    Unless you want to turn it into a good chicken coup
     
  17. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    right grasshopper,

    in teh late 70's fuels was not yet 40c per litre, about 33 or 35, late 90's to 06 was around 67 cents mark, with china and india getting their impoverished living standards up is just another excuse for oil cartels to test the envelope and cause gouging, if we had an already developed alternative then we could leave india and china to keep polluting(they have offered feel good words but no real action that we know of for sure), with a viable affordable alternative we could snub our noses at the cartels and their greedy oil co' mates.

    but no all we hear about is experiments and hounding down non believers of the co2 climate thingy, ll fear hype along with peak coal and oil. without oil the world stops, commerce, tourism, shipping, cars, boats and plains. do others get what that means our mining driven economy stops, hospital, medical dental education all grinds to a halt, i've asked here before but been hounded down even now my posts are firewalled many get trashed, great democracy supported here hey?

    anyhow be good for others who know heaps to be less bigoted and discriminatory, we could maybe just maybe fix these doomsays.

    no no more v8's for this family that last one was still going with original power train some near 700k miles, MILES that is later, my son got it. back traded from 03 4cyl to 01 4 cyl, nothing new anyone can really afford in aus', bbig reason why propping up car industry is a huge waste, make them build affordable 5 seater(adults) family car that can tow a 6'X4' box trailer. and these stupid V6 sixes how ridiculous and engine where eh 3 back plugs can't be replaced, make them north/south; east/west only suited to 4 cyl's, oh! forget the battery idea in the alternative(lots of reasons why).


    len
     
  18. Donkey32

    Donkey32 Junior Member

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    I suspect there were a LOT of factors that contributed to the energy issues of the 70s.
    One of the main ones that I am aware of is that the United States was no longer able to produce oil cheaply enough to export. At that time, the US had mainly stopped finding (and drilling) sweet, light crude. We simply could NOT compete with the volumes of sweet-light found in other places around the world.
    (sweet, light crude is among the easiest (less energy, less hassle, cheaper) feedstock for petroleum products We were unable to even compete on the domestic market.
    What is causing the US to (now) once again be an oil exporter is that prices have risen enough to make fracking and mining for tar-sands, economically feasible (new technologies
     
  19. Rick Larson

    Rick Larson Junior Member

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    I don't think the US is an oil exporter. What the US is exporting are refined products. No doubt someone is making money putting that rumor (the US is exporting oil) out there. Also, the tar sands is a Canadian product.

    I have been learning about these issues by regularly reading this website's posted articles: https://www.resilience.org/
     
  20. gardenlen

    gardenlen Group for banned users

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    i have heard that the US is storing oil whatever to hedge the bet??

    also heard solar cells are only about 87% efficient then some other doomsayer told me more like 17 to 22% efficient, not good hey, now factor in not many keep their panels clean, and as one crowd online said cleaning dirty panels could increase panel efficiency by 40%, and people say solar is ready and able??

    len
     

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