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Dagon Akujin
24th October 07, 06:12 PM
Conversing with my sifu this last week, he really got me thinking about the promises of energy independence, and what it would actually mean for our country. Think about it; the great majority of Democrats love this idea, as it would be a chance to invest in cleaner technologies.

Likewise, the great majority of Republicans love this idea, as it would free the U.S. from the stranglehold of Middle-Eastern oil and bloody politics.

So we'd be saving the world and saving ourselves at the same time. Sounds great, and most people seem to agree in one way or another. I mean, liberals don't like oil in the first place for being dirty and connected to large mega-corporations, and conservatives know that it can be utilized as a weapon by Islamofascists through embargos having the ability to completely shut our economy down.

Yet at the same time, soccer moms are being pushed to drive Hummer 2s and Expeditions, and for most top-level politicians the idea is a non-issue or at most worthy of being some schluck pet-project for an ineffective mid-level manager. High oil prices seem to be a boon to many of these top people, despite having 90-some-odd percent of people in the country thinking it'd be a great idea to work towards.

So my sifu asked me what would happen if we were actually energy independent, and it got my head reeling about geopolitical economics and global industrialization. I figured it might be an interesting idea to bring up here.

Dagon

bob
24th October 07, 06:30 PM
Define 'we'. Do you mean if every nation was energy independent or if each household or small community were self sufficient and didn't need to rely on a centralised supply?

WarPhalange
24th October 07, 06:40 PM
If I were energy independant, I would get some energy slaves to do my energy work for me.

Cullion
24th October 07, 06:50 PM
Conversing with my sifu this last week, he really got me thinking about the promises of energy independence, and what it would actually mean for our country. Think about it; the great majority of Democrats love this idea, as it would be a chance to invest in cleaner technologies.

Likewise, the great majority of Republicans love this idea, as it would free the U.S. from the stranglehold of Middle-Eastern oil and bloody politics.

You're suffering from the fallacy of the excluded middle state 'either we don't buy their oil or we fucking steal it by force'. You could just try buying it at market prices without demanding to be special and threatening to kill people. Just a thought.



So we'd be saving the world and saving ourselves at the same time. Sounds great, and most people seem to agree in one way or another. I mean, liberals don't like oil in the first place for being dirty and connected to large mega-corporations, and conservatives know that it can be utilized as a weapon by Islamofascists through embargos having the ability to completely shut our economy down.

You don't have any technologies that will save the world yet. You dream about them, and they may well come, but they are not yet here.

'liberals' (i.e. american socialists) don't like oil money because they don't get much in the way of donations from south-western based oil corps. They like Hollywood, Wall street,trial lawyer and public sector union money just fine. Don't fucking kid yourself that the 'liberal' political elite are less in somebody's pocket than those mean looking middle-aged white guys from the south.



Yet at the same time, soccer moms are being pushed to drive Hummer 2s and Expeditions

You're not too clear here. What do you mean by 'pushed' ? do you mean 'advertised to'?



and for most top-level politicians the idea is a non-issue or at most worthy of being some schluck pet-project for an ineffective mid-level manager. High oil prices seem to be a boon to many of these top people, despite having 90-some-odd percent of people in the country thinking it'd be a great idea to work towards.

High oil prices are a boon for politicians who:-

a) were highly vested in oil before the current boom (one might even venture so far as to say they encouraged instability of supply for their own financial interest)

b) Receive a lot of donations from the oil business in the current campaign.




So my sifu asked me what would happen if we were actually energy independent, and it got my head reeling about geopolitical economics and global industrialization. I figured it might be an interesting idea to bring up here.

Dagon

Assuming the technology was available to break away from oil and other fossil fuel cleanly, you'd have to invest enormous sums in new power plants and refineries.

Cullion
24th October 07, 06:52 PM
P.S. your sifu's political advice is about as valuable as my dentist's financial advice.

Arhetton
24th October 07, 09:35 PM
for the money that the iraq war has cost, the U.S gov could have commissioned a 'great wall of china' of solar panels across the USA and eliminated its energy problems.

Shawarma
25th October 07, 08:44 AM
Alternatively, they could have used the money to construct a huge orbital relay of solar pannels to generate power, which could also double as a solar-powered laser to fry and jihadi on the ground.

Cullion
25th October 07, 08:48 AM
for the money that the iraq war has cost, the U.S gov could have commissioned a 'great wall of china' of solar panels across the USA and eliminated its energy problems.

For that money, they'd have probably got several working fusion plants and be producing surplus electricity for sale to Canada and Mexico out of seawater.

TM
25th October 07, 10:23 AM
It's a mute point because the powers that be will NEVER let us be energy independant.

Cullion
25th October 07, 10:28 AM
It's a mute point because the powers that be will NEVER let us be energy independant.

'They' don't get a choice once the technology is available.

patfromlogan
25th October 07, 11:04 AM
You don't have any technologies that will save the world yet. You dream about them, and they may well come, but they are not yet here.


Assuming the technology was available to break away from oil and other fossil fuel cleanly, you'd have to invest enormous sums in new power plants and refineries.

Importation of oil is rather new to the US. It hit 50% in the nineties and 60% in 2005. We could stop 75% of imports by switching to hybrid vehicles. And with wind powered electricity charging auto batteries, we'd be independent.

What is lacking is political will. At the start of WW2 FDR called in the auto execs and explained the need for arms production. They said groovy, give us a year or so to retool. FDR said, you don't get it, tomorow it will be against federal law to sell a new car in America. They then "got it."

Asking oil fucks like Cheney and Bush to do anything of course, is ludicrous. Since the House passed the War Profiteering Prevention Act, Halliburton has moved to Dubai, where the US Navy will protect them, while they continue to profit and continue to avoid taxes. While brave soldiers get their balls blown off.

Bushco wouldn't want to upset Bandar:
http://salon.glenrose.net/img/kissyface.jpg
http://my.telegraph.co.uk/VirtualContent/91225/20070607114026.jpg

patfromlogan
25th October 07, 11:08 AM
'They' don't get a choice once the technology is available.

see above post. It's been around for some time.

It would be helpful to remember that these are the same mother fuckers who bought up the commuter rail lines in American cities back in the '30s and, as in LA, got fined $5000, total, five fucking grand for MAKING LA a giant freeway. It's by design. For profit. To sell oil, cars and tires.

Dagon Akujin
25th October 07, 01:16 PM
Define 'we'.
Sorry. The U.S. Though I'm sure Brits and Aussies are waiting for our lead in the matter.


'They' don't get a choice once the technology is available.
The countries who currently are energy independent did not do it accidentally.


P.S. your sifu's political advice is about as valuable as my dentist's financial advice.
:P My sifu didn't give me any advice. He just asked me a couple of questions and it got my head thinking.


It's a mute point because the powers that be will NEVER let us be energy independant.
Why? Why is it that even though an incredibe majority of Americans see it as a good goal to work toward, top level government officials consider it completely unimportant? Here are some key-words that came to my mind:

#1. Global Industrialization
#2. Militerized Japan
#3. Iran
#4. Cold War
#5. China
#6. U.S. Naval build-up

bob
25th October 07, 04:06 PM
Sorry. The U.S. Though I'm sure Brits and Aussies are waiting for our lead in the matter.


The countries who currently are energy independent did not do it accidentally.


:P My sifu didn't give me any advice. He just asked me a couple of questions and it got my head thinking.


Why? Why is it that even though an incredibe majority of Americans see it as a good goal to work toward, top level government officials consider it completely unimportant? Here are some key-words that came to my mind:

#1. Global Industrialization
#2. Militerized Japan
#3. Iran
#4. Cold War
#5. China
#6. U.S. Naval build-up

I'd posit that there's a strong popular mandate for maintaining the status quo in most Western countries, simply because it's cheaper in the short term to the consumer. People get really pissed off with rises in the cost of energy.

The kind of political will it takes to convert to alternative sources is pretty rare, especially with a global shift towards free market supporting governments in the anglophone world.

I suspect that a lot of the instinctive aversion some people have towards the whole climate change issue is that they feel they're being 'sold' a reason to change by means of a clear and present threat to security and prosperity - they associate it with the WMDs that Iraq 'possessed'.

Sun Wukong
25th October 07, 05:23 PM
http://salon.glenrose.net/img/kissyface.jpg
http://my.telegraph.co.uk/VirtualContent/91225/20070607114026.jpg



As a side note, bush just gives this shit away. Could it be any easier to make fun of a president? I'm almost disappointed that whoever the next president is, it's going to be oh so much harder to make jokes at their expense.

Cullion
25th October 07, 05:25 PM
P.S. it's 'moot' point, not 'mute'

jubei33
26th October 07, 04:01 AM
does your sifu wear sandals or no shoes at all? just asking

DAYoung
26th October 07, 05:31 AM
P.S. it's 'moot' point, not 'mute'

Meow.

Fssk. Fssk.

Scrapper
26th October 07, 07:53 AM
for the money that the iraq war has cost, the U.S gov could have commissioned a 'great wall of china' of solar panels across the USA and eliminated its energy problems.

Please tell me you are joking. You don't really think Solar is the key, do you?

This is so stupid a statement MY IQ actually dropped 2 points.

I could fill volumes with how much you DON'T know about Photovoltaic systems.

Scrapper
26th October 07, 08:01 AM
Modern PV systems only produce 30-60% of their rated capacity. The weather has to cooperate. They require SIGNIFICANT maintenance, and are pricey. You would have to cover an area the size of Nebraska to handle Rhode Island's power needs. The tech just isn't there.

Fuel cells (in a few years, when they iron out those stupid, pricey, sacrificial, platinum anodes), fuel switching, serious efficiency research funding, better drilling and refining tech, and opeining up Alaska and other domestic areas, are all going to be key. It is possible to be enerfy independent...but it's going to cost some money, and everyone will have to play along.

WarPhalange
26th October 07, 08:02 AM
Those are details, but the point is the money spent on Iraq could have gone to other energy sources and R&D for those sources.

There's also a new type of solar energy in the works. Where instead of converting photons into voltage (Or however solar panels work. I'm not even going to pretend to know what they do.), you focus light into a container with water. Wate heats to steam, turns turbines.

You can say "WTF???" but if you take a magnifying glass you already see how hot it can get. This would be something on a much larger scale.

Anyway, there's also wind, water, as in, those wind spinny things (God, I just woke up...) go under water (but water tight), since there is always a current for rivers, it would constantly work, etc.

jubei33
26th October 07, 08:40 AM
yeah they were also talking about convection towers in sunny locals. And they also have made improvements on the old record efficiencies for PV cells. There was an article somewhere onsite, but I can't remember the title or what the thread was about. Wave power also, but those require special areas of beach...

Lots of ideas out there. the thing that gets me is in japan we can get anywhere within a day by train for like 200$ (less on sale). America is a hell of a lot bigger, but what the hell is wrong with our train infrastructure that we can"t have efficient transport between cities. Or even a bullet train, how cool would that be? Man Columbus to Cleveland in an hour, Chicago n 4, drinking a beer mean while, that beats the fuck out of driving that in traffic.

The resources we have aren'r being used properly. None of this will replace petroleum for some things like the chemical industry, but for fuel--dag nasty.

TM
26th October 07, 11:11 AM
P.S. it's 'moot' point, not 'mute'

For some weird arse reason spelling and I lost contact a few decades ago. Thanks.

Shawarma
26th October 07, 11:17 AM
Public transportation is for communists and is highly anti-American.

If you take the bus to the mall, the terrorist have won.

Dagon Akujin
26th October 07, 12:00 PM
does your sifu wear sandals or no shoes at all? just asking
Combat boots.

And no Enya or Kenny G. It's all Man-O-War, Skinny Puppy, Finntroll (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYbc7IJagGs), etc.



Anyway, I'd suggest that the the President could wave a magic wand and make the U.S. energy independent tomorrow, he wouldn't. Of course, in reality it'd cost much, much more. But, I don't think we'd do it at the moment even if it was free.

Dagon

Commodore Pipes
26th October 07, 12:07 PM
It would be helpful to remember that these are the same mother fuckers who bought up the commuter rail lines in American cities back in the '30s and, as in LA, got fined $5000, total, five fucking grand for MAKING LA a giant freeway. It's by design. For profit. To sell oil, cars and tires.

Wait, I thought they couldn't get away with it because Marvin Acme left Toontown to the toons.

Dagon Akujin
26th October 07, 02:17 PM
#1. Global Industrialization
#2. Militerized Japan
#3. Iran
#4. Cold War
#5. China
#6. U.S. Naval build-up

What some people might not know is that we've been tilting on a Cold War with China. We've been asking Japan to re-militarize itself in order to threaten China's military might. We've also utilized a little known about Naval build-up to encircle China with aircraft carriers. And, the U.S. is now looking to control the sea routes where the majority of China's trade passes.

If the U.S. was made energy independent today, the price of oil would drop. Since the U.S. is the most able to afford a high oil price, by keeping oil high we keep China from being able to industrialize as quickly as they'd otherwise be able to (we also keep industrialization expensive for other countries). China is already quickly becoming the world's #1 economy. With cheaper gas, they'd pass us up more quickly.

Iran is China's #1 source of oil. By creating a political battle (and possibly a war) with Iran, we keep China's source of oil in doubt.

This goes without even mentioning the fact that it'd be expensive for the U.S. to convert in the first place. Our economy would shift and we'd be straddled during the converstion, while China's biggest obstacle to becoming the world's biggest super-power would be removed. We'd get out of middle-east politics, and the world would pass us by.

Dagon

WarPhalange
26th October 07, 03:49 PM
Could this keep out illegal immigrants too?

Those things reflect a bit of light, so it would blind people who are trying to get near.

jvjim
26th October 07, 04:03 PM
What about cleaner coal plants? Does anybody have any real inside info on the feasability of eventually turning that into a green process?

As far as transportation, I think the thing that's really increased our dependance on oil is the manner in how we live. How many people here live in a suburb 30 miles away from their job?

bob
26th October 07, 04:12 PM
A more interesting question than national energy independence is local energy independence. What effect would it have on society if and when we shift from centralised power production and small communities are able to produce their own power from renewable sources?

Information transfer has already pretty much broken geographical boundaries. Couple this to the supposed coming revolution in manufacturing technology where molecular self assembly will enable us to build pretty much anything from scratch and we could be seeing a vastly different world within our lifetimes.

Zendetta
26th October 07, 04:13 PM
Greener Coal is alot like Healthy Cigarettes.

jvjim
26th October 07, 04:34 PM
So it wouldn't be worth research at all? I mean, that would give some more time for the market to adjust to more comlex, less destructive sources of energy.

Also, I these are neat:

http://www.niho.com/tipsntales/NIHO_MiniHydro.asp

http://www.smartusa.com/

Zendetta
26th October 07, 04:36 PM
oh, it can be improved dramatically - carebon scrubbers and whatnot.

But from the way its mined to the the way its burned, it'll never be great. Better to sink those R&D dollars into wind, tide, and solar IMO.

jubei33
26th October 07, 05:04 PM
Greener Coal is alot like Healthy Cigarettes.
no, thats not entirely true. there is a process that in use that turns coal into natural gas. It is being used in quite a few plants now to make it.

They take coal and pass steam over it, this makes Carbon monoxide and hydrogen, they pass this through a catalyst and #poof# methane and water. They can also make different products, with it too.

Cullion
27th October 07, 10:09 AM
How is this 'cleaner' ?

Cullion
27th October 07, 10:10 AM
A more interesting question than national energy independence is local energy independence. What effect would it have on society if and when we shift from centralised power production and small communities are able to produce their own power from renewable sources?

Further breakdown of nation states as centralised command-and-control entities.



Information transfer has already pretty much broken geographical boundaries. Couple this to the supposed coming revolution in manufacturing technology where molecular self assembly will enable us to build pretty much anything from scratch and we could be seeing a vastly different world within our lifetimes.

This molecular self-assembly stuff isn't as close as some people seem to think it is.

jubei33
27th October 07, 06:05 PM
combustion of methane is considered cleaner than combustion of coal. Coal is rarely a pure substance to begin with, has sulfur and other compounds in it. Burning it is a major contributor to acid rain and it doesn't burn as efficiently as methane does.

the mixture of Co and h2 is usually called synthesis gas and it can be used to make plenty of other liquid fuels too. Also making it does release CO2, but not so much as burning coal outright, so its a tradeoff. some countries in Africa are using this method to make gas and kerosene.

Oh its called the fischer tropsch synthesis. heres a link to wikiworld
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fischer-Tropsch_process

Cullion
27th October 07, 06:36 PM
Where will the sulfur and other compounds go after you've converted the coal into methane via CO and H2?

WarPhalange
27th October 07, 06:38 PM
Based on my understanding, since sulfer is just part of coal as a mixture and not part of a compound of coal, then it would just be left over as residue.

jubei33
27th October 07, 07:19 PM
Yeah, when they heat it with the steam the gasses are contained and diffused to keep the important ones. I'm not sure what they do with the unused byproducts. With CO2 they probably just release it. With sulfur, maybe make sulfuric acid? Usually, they try to use everything and sulfuric acid is one, if not the most manufactured chemicals in the world. Lots of money in solvent manufacture.

I'll try to find some nonwiki research on it, but I have to check some of my books for it.

Cullion
27th October 07, 07:34 PM
Yeah, when they heat it with the steam the gasses are contained and diffused to keep the important ones. I'm not sure what they do with the unused byproducts. With CO2 they probably just release it. With sulfur, maybe make sulfuric acid? Usually, they try to use everything and sulfuric acid is one, if not the most manufactured chemicals in the world. Lots of money in solvent manufacture.

I'll try to find some nonwiki research on it, but I have to check some of my books for it.

The same amount of CO2 will get released as if they had just burned the coal.
The other stuff could just as readilly be collected after burning coal if you piped the exhaust through the appropriate processing systems. Moles in = Moles out.

jubei33
27th October 07, 07:40 PM
The difference is that some of it is converted to CO rather than CO2. Thats what makes it somewhat cleaner. its different from a straightup combustion. CO is more useful a starting reactant than CO2.

Cullion
27th October 07, 08:06 PM
Carbon Monoxide is produced during combustion too. It oxidises fairly rapidly into Carbon Dioxide, so if your goal is to reduce carbon emissions, this is a blind alley.

jubei33
28th October 07, 01:30 AM
except thats not what the reaction states, the idea is to use conditions where you get desired products. CO is produced primarily in reactions not in oxygen rich environments. Co is oxidized in combustion reactions because there is available oxygen to do so and the conditions favor it.

Reducing CO2 is fine, my point was that there are cleaner ways of utilizing the coal resources we have, re Zendetta's post. There are even better ways of reducing emissions, but the next step will be one that balances the economics and the polution.

Cullion
28th October 07, 07:52 AM
You miss the point. The Carbon Monoxide produced during that reaction _will_ oxidise to CO2 over time. You won't end up with less Carbon Dioxide being produced.

jubei33
28th October 07, 08:24 AM
yeah, after its been used a fuel. So what, that wasn't a issue of the thread. The topic was independent sources of fuels, not CO2 footprint.

Cullion
28th October 07, 11:00 AM
So what, that wasn't a issue of the thread. The topic was independent sources of fuels, not CO2 footprint.

I questioned the CO2 footprint because the original post about that method said it was cleaner.

jubei33
28th October 07, 05:33 PM
I questioned the CO2 footprint because the original post about that method said it was cleaner.

Ok, thats fair, yeah I wasn't clear. I was talking about sulfur and acid rain. Yeah all fossil fuels have that problem (with the CO2 footprint). Like I was saying there are better fuels, like hydrogen, depending on where you get it..

As for independent fuel though, we have lots of options.

Cullion
28th October 07, 07:10 PM
Does somebody care to work out how many Joules of energy are available in a barrel of oil (at the peak efficiency of modern combustion engines) and work out the current Joules/dollar cost?

That would be a basis to start comparing methods on for purely economic rather than environmental criteria.

WarPhalange
28th October 07, 09:46 PM
WE NEED CYBORG LINKOLN TO SIGN ANOTHER EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION!

FREEDOM FROM ENERGY!!

Dagon Akujin
29th October 07, 01:15 AM
China needs Iranian oil. (http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2004/041220-china-iran.htm)

And here's an interesting article I found about the Chinese Cold War. (http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=103&ItemID=11864) Here are some highlights.


US-China and a New Cold War
by Maryann Keady

January 14, 2007

If there was any doubt about the idea that the world has clearly moved into a Cold War paradigm, the new national space policy of the United States dispelled that notion once and for all.

"The United States will preserve its rights, capabilities, and freedom of action in space... and deny, if necessary, adversaries the use of space capabilities hostile to US national interests…

But that has not stopped the Pentagon planners. Space is now closer to being ‘weaponized’ as the jargon states, and ‘Star Wars’ quite literally, is a little closer to fruition. The question of course is how far the Chinese have advanced with their anti-satellite weapons.

It is also a paranoia that works well for the Pentagon, and the bi-partisan policy that wishes to extend American hegemony well into the mid 21st century when the Chinese economy is set to outstrip the United States and become the world’s largest economy

Hasn’t the encirclement of China in Asia (through the US ratcheting up of military and diplomatic relations with Asian countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Japan and Australia) proved the superiority of US military and diplomatic power in Asia? The answer is that this is a new ‘Cold War’ that is also economic in nature – and being fought out in territorial spheres, from Africa (Sudan) to Asia (Thailand) to Central Asia.

‘Now there is a two sided military competition underway – it’s limited and constrained compared for example to the Cold War military competition between the Soviet Union and America, but its underway and its serious and its accelerating….’ There are those that choose to argue that ‘terrorists’ and the ‘axis of evil’ are the real forces behind America’s foreign policy, but Iran or North Korea are not even close to China’s military capability, while terrorists are unable to threaten the overwhelming dominant (and extremely sophisticated) United States’ space-based military arsenal.

- Examine US policy papers since the mid nineties. The Quadrennial Defense Review of 2001 named Asia as the most important strategic area for the United States – over Europe and the Middle East. There was even the creation of a new strategic area called the ‘East Asian littoral’ which is the area from the Bay Bengal through to the Sea of Japan. This came out after September 11, which if logic was determining policy, would have Central Asia as the strategic area of importance.

- A National Energy Policy (May 2001) announced by the Bush administration which called for the President of the United States, to make the pursuit of foreign energy a major foreign policy objective, and called on the secretary of state and commerce and energy, to engage in international diplomacy for this purpose. As Michael T Klare in ‘Fueling the Dragon: China’s Strategic Energy Dilemma’ (Current History April 2006) notes ‘it would appear safe to assume that disputes arising from the competitive pursuit of foreign oil will play an increasingly critical role in the US-China relationship, possibly eclipsing such other concerns as Taiwan and the bilateral trade imbalance’. From Sudan to Venezuela, the US and China are fighting for global resources in a tussle to remain the world’s economic powerhouse. This includes oil, gas, water, steel, gold - just about any resource that either can lay their hands on. This has led to empowered ‘Chinese’ favored producers (Chavez in Venezuela) or boom time for resource rich countries like Australia (who claims to be hedging its bets but clearly a US ally.)

- The militarization of South East Asia and US support for a militarized Japan. If the ‘War on Terror’ is indeed the Pentagon’s objective, why then has there been a steady build up of naval capability by all South East Asian nations that is focused on submarine technology if China’s naval aspirations aren’t the target? Why are US ships moving to the Pacific, and a US army command being set up in Japan? Why would the US be pushing Japan to re-militarize, (something that Chalmers Johnson has said is a direct counter to Chinese growing power)iv and encouraging Japan renounce its pacifist constitution? Why has there been no outcry to the election of a Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose grandfather was a noted war criminal, something that is sure to inflame Chinese nationalist sentiments? (Indeed Bruce Cumings from the University of Chicago stated that he thought the North Korean nuclear test was linked to the election of Shinzo Abev) And why is America trying to push through large military acquisitions by both Taiwan and South Korea if China indeed, is not the target?

- US pressure for Taiwan to push through an 11 billion dollar US arms package (which includes a Patriot anti-missile system, eight diesel submarines and 12 anti-submarine aircraft) despite protestations in Taiwan that the US is simply ‘unloading’ old weapons. The pro-independence Taiwanese President Chen Shui Bian in 2005 dismissed opposition to the package ‘irrational’ saying ‘the weapons were essential to protect against China, and the purchase needed to protect the island's close relationship with Washington.’

- The promotion of a pro-US alliance consisting of Japan, Australia and India as the three major powers that leverage against the might of China. India’s close relationship with the United States (they are not only working on nuclear cooperation, but joint space projects as well) is the obvious response geo-political response to a rising China with India much touted in business circles as the ‘alternative’ to China.

- The maritime and naval preoccupations of Washington. This is in direct response to the naval aspirations of China, who sees naval power as vital to their ongoing economic resurgence. Using Alfred Thayer Mahn as their guide, American strategists are making sure that strategic waterways are under their control from the Straits of Hormuz to the Malacca Straits. One third of the world’s trade passes through the Malacca Straits, not just crucial energy supplies destined for Japan and China. Thus we see naval power as the crucial ‘force projection’, and US allies scrambling to achieve what is known as naval ‘inter-operability’. Analysts have talked of an ‘arms race’ in the Asia Pacific, and even Bill Gertz from the Washington Times has been open about the naval positioning of the US. ‘ The Pentagon is moving strategic bombers to Guam and aircraft carriers and submarines to the Pacific as part of a new "hedge" strategy aimed at preparing for conflict with China, Pentagon officials said yesterday…… Adm. William J. Fallon, commander of the Pacific Command, has visited Guam and told reporters that the island will become a pivot point for U.S. forces in the Pacific because of the relatively short distances to the Taiwan Strait, South Korea and Southeast Asia.

If in case you believe that the battle for naval supremacy was small fry in the Asia Pacific, then perhaps the sudden and inexplicable move of China-friendly Burma’s capital from Rangoon to rural Pyinmana, (400 kilometres north of Rangoon) may help you understand just how fearful China has become of any attempts to ‘interfere’ in its strategic alliances. Burma is the site of a Chinese naval port, a rather important one close to the Malacca Straits and the Bay of Bengal. It is also the site of an important listening post, many others in the Asia Pacific having been compromised by flourishing Taiwanese and US diplomacy.

- The United States desperation to control and patrol one of the world’s vital sea lanes - the Malacca Strait - indicates just how advanced the US China geo-political containment policy is. A third of all world trade goes through the Strait, as well as eighty percent of China’s oil imports. If hypothetically, during a crisis, either power was to control the Strait – then the other would suffer. China clearly has more to lose than America, with its economic clout clearly dependent on the oil imports and international trade that keeps it growth in double digit figures. Due to threats of ‘terrorism’ and ‘piracy’ America has set up the PSI (Proliferation Security Initiatives) and RMSI – the ‘Regional Maritime Security Initiative’ which is designed to ‘protect’ and ‘patrol’ this waterway.

Thus, the real reason American wants to bolster its presence in the region, and specifically the Strait of Malacca, is to limit China's access to oil, raw materials, technology and industrial equipment, and to contain the Chinese influence in the region. Using the threat of terrorism and piracy to strengthen the Proliferation Security Initiatives is the most likely strategy.’ Whilst US ally Singapore has jumped on board, Malaysia and Indonesia in the past have justifiably seen any joint patrolling as an infringement on their sovereignty, and have concerns about it violating their policy of ‘non-alignment’. ‘Non-alignment’ of course, is a reference to the choice given them of being ‘either with us, or against us’. States like Malaysia and Indonesia understand that to enrage the Chinese dragon by entering a ‘US coalition’ on the Malacca Strait could have unpleasant side effects – not least, economic repercussions down the track. The United States, however, keeps increasing the pressure, indicating just how important control of this Strait is to its global maritime and trade power in the 21st Century.xi (There was intense speculation over US aid efforts in Aceh, a province at the tip of Indonesia near the Malacca Strait, following the devastating 2004 tsunami. The public backlash to the world’s largest naval aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln sitting off Indonesian waters was not helped by media reports that US base Diego Garcia was given prior warning of the impending disaster. xii The aircraft carrier left Indonesian waters after the Indonesian government refused to allow pilots to conduct air patrols and training flights. The sensitivity of the US aircraft in the Straits can only be comprehended after understanding the disputes in the region over who has the right to ‘patrol’ these waters in light of growing US and Chinese maritime competition.) All of this goes without discussing the rise of ‘nuclear’ power among the Asian countries – Japan, South Korea, Australia, India and of course, North Korea. The emerging nuclear programs in India and Australia suggest that the 21st Century is not one that is going to be predicated on a geo-political landscape of ‘failed states’ but one of regional powers flexing their ‘nuclear’ muscles and sending serious warnings to the challenging peer ‘China’ and her allies. The recent signing of the ‘Henry Hyde United States-India Peaceful Atomic Energy Cooperation Act," between India and America is just one signal that ‘nuclear’ power will play a major part in this geo-political power stand-off. xiii We can no longer pretend that the world is not in the midst of a New Cold War. The 21st Century battle is two giant powers fighting for supremacy using any means necessary. Ideology may be dead, but the naked grab for power by these economic and political titans is determining the boundaries of Asia.

ii Hambali, the key to the Asian ‘War on Terror’ was previously holed up in a US naval base, with no journalist able to interview him. He is now in Guantanamo Bay. US authorities will not hand him over for questioning by Indonesian or Australian authorities which makes for difficult investigation. As the Sydney Morning Herald reported on December 23 2006 ‘No US official has ever given a reason for the refusal to allow access to Hambali .Initially it was suggested that outsiders would interfere with the delicate interrogation and potentially destroy "actionable intelligence" on future attacks. But six months after Hambali’s capture this excuse was largely seen as irrelevant’

Scrapper
29th October 07, 06:40 AM
Does somebody care to work out how many Jules of energy are available in a barrel of oil (at the peak efficiency of modern combustion engines) and work out the current Jules/dollar cost?

That would be a basis to start comparing methods on for purely economic rather than environmental criteria.


There are 139000 BTUs of thermal energy in a gallon of #2 Heating oil (or Diesel). Standard household oil furnace in good repair burns at about 82-84% efficiency.

Joules output has more to do with the mechanical advantage of the machine said oil fuels.

jubei33
29th October 07, 07:54 AM
Fuel type, MJ/L, MJ/kg, BTU/Imp gal BTU/US gal
Regular Gasoline / Petrol
34.83, ~47, 150,100, 125,000,
Ethanol
23.5, 31.1, 101,600, 84,600,
Methanol
17.9, 19.9, 77,600, 64,600,
Gasohol (10% ethanol + 90% gasoline)
33.7, X, 145,200, 120,900,
Diesel
38.60, X, 166,600, 138,700,
Biodiesel
35.10, 39.89, 151,600, 126,200,
Vegetable oil (using 9.00 kcal/g)
34.32, 37.66, 147,894, 123,143,
Aviation gasoline
33.5, 46.8, 144,400, 120,200,
Jet fuel, naphtha
35.5, 46.6, 153,100, 127,500 ,
Jet fuel, kerosene
37.60, X, 162,100, 135,000,
Liquefied natural gas
25.3, ~55, 109,000, 90,800,
Liquid hydrogen
9.36, 140.4, 40467, 33696,


Here's some heats per liquid volumes for stuff I don't know the costs of them. Edit: takes all the spaces out, makes it hard to read sorry. numbers end at commas

Cullion
29th October 07, 07:41 PM
Found some US prices for some things. Anybody else want to fill it in?


Regular Gasoline / Petrol ~ $2.87 per gallon

Ethanol ~ $2.40 per gallon
Methanol ~ $2.00 per gallon
Gasohol (10% ethanol + 90% gasoline) ? -- guess it's 9/10ths between ethanol and petroleum
Diesel ~ $3.15 per gallon
Biodiesel ~ $3.15 per gallon (plenty of scope to come down)
Vegetable oil (using 9.00 kcal/g)
Aviation gasoline
Jet fuel, naphtha
Jet fuel, kerosene
Liquefied natural gas
Liquid hydrogen


Here's some heats per liquid volumes for stuff I don't know the costs of them. Edit: takes all the spaces out, makes it hard to read sorry. numbers end at commas[/QUOTE]

WarPhalange
29th October 07, 11:49 PM
All I can say is that the gasoline seems right for my area.

Cullion
30th October 07, 08:32 AM
All I can say is that the gasoline seems right for my area.

I got that from a site that tracks various averages across the US. That was their average for the whole US this month.

WarPhalange
30th October 07, 06:53 PM
So you finally learned what an average is, huh?

Cullion
30th October 07, 07:01 PM
So you finally learned what an average is, huh?

Yeah, they explained it in one of the graduate school math courses I read on Washington State's Univerisity's website.

WarPhalange
30th October 07, 08:01 PM
You went to collage!? NO WAI!!!

elipson
31st October 07, 03:12 AM
A lot of coal burning plants in Western countries are using low sulfur content coal. Guess who is using all the left over, cheap, high sulfur content coal?

China.

I did a little research into this last year. One thing I found really interseting was a spreasheet of the costs/benefits of individual wind turbines with a two way power meter.

In the end, a single turbine could produce about 5% of its costs per year in power savings. Therefore, it would take 20 years of producing electricity to pay for the cost of a single turbine.

If the government were to invest in these technologies, then advances in the technology and economies of scale could be used to decrease the price so that it would become a viable option for home owners. Samll turbines on the roof of every house would greatly reduce the amount of electricity required from coal and other generation sources.

Just a thought.

bob
31st October 07, 04:11 AM
One of the great problems with most alternative energy sources is that, unlike fossil and nuclear, they don't produce base power. That is, the consistent, 24 hour a day load that every huge grid needs. They produce inconsistent power which can vary dramatically according to weather conditions for instance.

So you can have a massive percentage of solar or wind or hydro in your energy production and you'll still have to have a consistent base power supply from traditional sources, otherwise you get a really inconsistent supply which is a major problem.

Cullion
31st October 07, 05:30 AM
Inconsistent supply can be smoothed out with storage.

Scrapper
31st October 07, 07:35 AM
Inconsistent supply can be smoothed out with storage.

WARNING TL;DR WARNING TL;DR WARNING TL;DR

Which has it's own HUGE cost and environmental problems. The problems (as have already been stated) is that alternative sources can produce only a fraction of base load, have payback periods measured in decades, and have absolutely NO prayer of covering peak loads. They just don't produce enough energy.

So what's the solution? First of all: the evil, oil-loving, imperialistic federal government is doing a great job subsidizing alternative sources to bring those payback periods down, but they still have a long way to go. That's right...our Texas oilman prez is actually giving out government grants to companies that use green tech. Hell, his own house is solar and fuel-cell powered. As honky-dory as that is, it ain't enough. Demand is rising, and thanks to de-regulation, costs are way up.

Step 2: Reduce base load.

It works like this (Pre de-regulation): Power generator A makes 1 megawatt-hour at the cost of about 3 bucks (Standard nuclear plant). Distribution company (utility) buys this power and sells it to consumer. Government makes sure that Utility is not gouging in exchange for having a monopoly on a geographical area.

Post de-regulation: Power generator A produces 1 megawatt-hour for 3 bucks. Brokerage Firm on wall street buys every single MWH that plant makes. Distribution company now has to buy from the brokerage. The brokerage is unregulated, and can set the price at whatever it wants. If the local utility does not want to pay, than the brokerage will sell to some other utility somewhere else. Power is on a grid, and a megawatt made in New York can easily be sold to California.

But it gets worse. De-regulation was supposed to create competition, and drive prices down. But Proponents of De-reg underestimated the purchasing power of large Wall Street brokerages. these firms immediately started buying EVERY watt on the grid in a region creating de-facto monopolies and little fiefdoms. You have to pay what they want, or no juice. Now, when you buy power, you buy form your local utility, and they get the blame for the rate hike. But they are not without blame. Most utilities are using this situation to slip even more profit margin into their pricing. Who loses? us.

And now we comet to the REAL problem. Despite all this TL;DR crap, Americans will not conserve energy. We won't shut the AC off. We won't turn the Thermostat down. We won't drive a smaller car. We will bitch and moan about the price, but our "play now pay later" society simply will not give up the comfort, status and gratification. My Thermostat is set at 60 when I am home and 40 when I am not, 55 for sleeping. My AC only comes on when the outside temp gets over 90. My average electric bill is 40 bucks a month. I can go all Winter in CT on 65 gallons of heating oil. I am not uncomfortable...I just can't lounge around the house in my underwear in January is all.

Look for your energy bills to double in the next 3 years. Barring significant change...This is the track they are on.

I work for an energy consulting firm. My father owns it. Check out his book "Simple Solutions to Energy Calculations" by Richard Vaillencourt (google it). It's very technical, and for engineers, but a good read.

He wrote the book on energy conservation. Literally.

Cullion
31st October 07, 09:30 AM
I'll read it.

Cullion
31st October 07, 04:30 PM
You went to collage!? NO WAI!!!

University of Google.

elipson
31st October 07, 05:28 PM
I think governments should make flourescent light bulbs mandatory. Big energy savings there.

Geothermal heating and cooling could also be a big benefit.

Scrapper
1st November 07, 07:18 AM
I think governments should make flourescent light bulbs mandatory. Big energy savings there.

Geothermal heating and cooling could also be a big benefit.

Compact fluorescents are excellent. 40% of the energy, 4 times the usage life. People get turned off because they are about 3 times the price of incandescent lights, but the payback period on a CFL is about 2 months in New England.

(That means that the savings from using it pay for the price of the item. Anything under 5 years is considered excellent.)

Ground source heat pumps (Geothermal) are excellent if you live in a fairly temperate area. The problem is that they cannot handle extremes. They are next to useless North of Boston or south of Atlanta; with varying degrees of efficacy in between. They are also monstrously expensive, putting paybacks over ten years at most latitudes.

I do believe that ground and water source heat pumps are the next big thing though. Just have to iron the bugs out, and make them cheaper.

nihilist
4th November 07, 04:47 AM
P.S. it's 'moot' point, not 'mute'

LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!

elipson
12th November 07, 04:38 AM
Heat pumps work great on pools (worked for a pool company for two years). Expensive as hell to put in, dirt cheap to run!

I also remember reading about what they are doing in toronto, using cold water from the Great lakes to cool large buildings in the city. Now thats smart.

Scrapper
12th November 07, 02:31 PM
The high cost of installation paid by the municipality is the way to go on heat pumps. Toronto's system is excellent. But commercially speaking, the paybacks are still too long. Current energy pricing is shortening that up considerably though...