PDA

View Full Version : Solar Thermal Power - power for the next century



Arhetton
2nd April 08, 02:53 AM
There is a major difference between photovoltaic power (a solar cell) and solar thermal power.

Solar thermal power uses non sophisticated materials (glass lenses and mirrors) to focus light over a broad area onto a narrow area - and the thermal energy heats up a medium such as water or oil to a very high temperature - which is then used to convert a liquid into a gas and power a turbine.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d7/Solar_Array.jpg/180px-Solar_Array.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7f/Fresnel_reflectors_ausra.jpg/300px-

http://www.genexe.com/uploads/2007/09/ps10.jpg

http://hubpages.com/u/34609_f520.jpg

The energy from Nuclear fission, Nuclear reactors and Coal powered stations is all produced by heating water and generating electricity from turbines.

Solar thermal is a viable solution to the worlds energy demands - there are enough raw materials to provide the infrastructure (there is enough raw material to make all of the mirrors, all of the plumbing, all of the turbines) - and the land required to do so is approximately less than 1% of the area in all of the worlds deserts (less than 1% of a fraction of the worlds land mass).

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/59/SolarStirlingEngine.jpg

This is in direct opposition to photovoltaic arrays - at the moment, PV cells are made out of expensive and rare materials and it cannot be scaled to a global level. If more abundant materials could be used (plastic pv cells or carbon nanotube pv cells) then photovoltaics would be a more attractive option.

Solar thermal power has been operating for years in california, where the largest solar power plant in the world provides up to 200,000 homes with electricity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_thermal

in 2011, the current ongoing construction of the worlds largest solar power network will be completed in California, a facility that generates almost 560 Megawatts of power - using up 9 square miles of land (23 square kilometres)

For comparison, a nuclear power plant provides around 1,100 Megawatts of power.

Almost all forms of energy in the world are stored solar energy. Wind and waves are created by temperature differences in water and air masses (and to a small [negligable] extent, gravitiation) - they are solar energy. Biofuels are fuels made from plants - they are another form of stored solar energy.

The petrochemicals we use today are the stored solar energy that has accumulated for millions of years.

The two exceptions are nuclear power - radioactive isotopes and the nuclear fusion reactors such as ITER. There isn't enough plutonium to provide nuclear power for the world, so radioactive isotopes are not a sustainable solution - however nuclear fusion from hydrogen, which is a current international scientific project - there is enough hydrogen in the world to provide power for thousands of years - energy in abundance, even if the whole world had the energy demands of the U.S - and there is enough hydrogen in our solar system (jupiters atmosphere) to provide power for probably millions of years.

Successful Nuclear fusion will be a crowning achievement of humanity, until then, there is a very inexpensive, abundant and long term (for at least the next 100 years) solution to the worlds energy demands - and that is solar thermal power.

There are already large scale succesful models in california and spain, and many other smaller projects around the world.

http://www.energiaspain.com/energy_explained/solar_thermal_clip_image005.jpg

jubei33
2nd April 08, 03:29 AM
I like your pictures. whats going to happen in 100 years?

Arhetton
2nd April 08, 04:03 AM
well, it is pretty logical to predict that energy and fossil fuel demand will increase as developing nations grow in consumption needs.

There isn't actually enough known fossil fuel reserves to provide fuel for india and china - assuming more people become car owners in those countries (certainly not all, but even 250 million car owners in each country would be 500 million more cars, and the fuel consumption that goes with it each year).

Coal reserves might last 150 years (because of course current electricity demand will increase)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal#World_coal_reserves

This isn't even considering the environmental impact of the different methods of producing energy.

Most of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is eventually absorbed by the ocean and the effect of that is largely unknown - solar thermal technology is certainly more environmentally friendly than coal with no carbon emissions, and although there is some land usage there is no strip mining like there is for coal, so overall I think it is also a more environmentally friendly way of generating power.

So basically, the underlying assumptions are that in the next 100 years

1) fossil fuels reserves will dry up
2) current world electricity demand will increase

Heres a great video, its not about solar thermal, but it is about oil/energy needs and its very interesting.

kMTCNOlozTA

elipson
2nd April 08, 08:29 AM
There is enough uranium to power the earth for a VERY long time.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
2nd April 08, 08:34 AM
how are we going to kill secret agents when we use up all the radioactive isotopes dumbass

Arhetton
2nd April 08, 08:57 AM
There is enough uranium to power the earth for a VERY long time.

Not the known reserves.

if you want to bring up the huge quantities of uranium in the oceans I would like to point out that it is too diffuse to be of any practical use. If there was a way to literally funnel all of the worlds water system through some sort of extractor then fantastic , but the whole thing is just a nightmare. If someone could find a practical way to even extract 5 grams of uranium from the ocean - with a positive ROEI*, I would be impressed.

* Return on Energy Investment

The reality is that its just too difficult to go 'looking'(extracting) for all the uranium. Why would you bother looking for a few particles in a metre cubed sample of ocean water when more power is falling on the surface of that cubic sample than you would ever get out of the uranium in the sample?

Riddeck
2nd April 08, 09:39 AM
There is enough uranium to power the earth for a VERY long time.

Yep. We definately need more depleted Uranium to be used as weapons against other countries.

Think of consequences much?

ironlurker
2nd April 08, 09:43 AM
Not the known reserves.

if you want to bring up the huge quantities of uranium in the oceans I would like to point out that it is too diffuse to be of any practical use. If there was a way to literally funnel all of the worlds water system through some sort of extractor then fantastic , but the whole thing is just a nightmare. If someone could find a practical way to even extract 5 grams of uranium from the ocean - with a positive ROEI*, I would be impressed.

This has been a classic scam for some time, with con men getting investors to spend on top seekrut means of extracting gold/uranium and so on from sea water.

elipson
2nd April 08, 12:50 PM
Was just pointing it out because the article stated something to the opposite. I'm not really suggesting its a good option, but it is an option.

HappyOldGuy
2nd April 08, 12:57 PM
You don't need to extract from sea water. You just need to reprocess and use breeders. Yeah, so much for nuclear non-proliferation, but omelettes, eggs and tasty breakfasts and all that jazz.

lant3rn
2nd April 08, 04:34 PM
What's the time line for running out of oil, 30 -60 years at current consumption?

Anyway i thank you for posting this. It is one of the best alternate energy designs that have been thought up so far.

elipson
2nd April 08, 04:51 PM
I actually really like this idea as well.

But in the interest of defending my comment,
http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2006/uranium_resources.html


Based on the 2004 nuclear electricity generation rate of demand the amount is sufficient for 85 years, the study states. Fast reactor technology would lengthen this period to over 2500 years.

So ya, fuck you guys I win.
:P

lant3rn
2nd April 08, 04:59 PM
I actually really like this idea as well.

But in the interest of defending my comment,
http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/News/2006/uranium_resources.html



So ya, fuck you guys I win.
:P

yah but dont they still produce radioactive waste, what will that be used for?

I don't want my childrens limbs to start falling off when they go for swim in the lake. (i know i'm exagerating)

elipson
2nd April 08, 06:10 PM
ah but dont they still produce radioactive waste, what will that be used for?

Poisoning muslims. Where the hell have you been for the past decade?

Eric
2nd April 08, 06:24 PM
I posted this in the other energy thread, but it seems more relevant here. Apparently thorium fueled nuclear power (http://www.thoriumpower.com/) is viable and produces less waste and weapons-grade material. Discussed in Wired here. (http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2005/07/68045)

lant3rn
2nd April 08, 06:29 PM
Poisoning muslims. Where the hell have you been for the past decade?

So increased reliance on newclear power = more war on terror

lol i understand

Dark Helmet
2nd April 08, 06:29 PM
yah but dont they still produce radioactive waste, what will that be used for?

I don't want my childrens limbs to start falling off when they go for swim in the lake. (i know i'm exagerating)The french have actually found a solution to this.They actually recycle nuclear waste into.......get this.....more usable nuclear materials.Thats right.They go right back into nuclear power plants in their country.

Dark Helmet
2nd April 08, 07:16 PM
60 Minutes: Vive Les Nukes (Part One)

R_GNt6MGLfE

60 Minutes: Vive Les Nukes (Part Two)

c5iVCgMUlKE

Arhetton
3rd April 08, 12:50 AM
In regards to nuclear - I think it is a safe alternative to coal (from an environmental perspective).

Sorry to assume you were talking about the oceans.

I think there is some speculation about just how long the (known) reserves are going to last, and the 2500 year reserves is a little how shall I say, optimistic. It is true that the supply could last 100's of years if managed wisely. Could it power the entire world with increasing energy demands? If so, great! My assumption is that nuclear will not be a lasting renewable resource.

The 85 years on current technology (assuming no reactor efficiency increases) in the article posted was current electrical demand - demand is surely to increase. The other major issue with this problem of electricity generation, is resource dependance - if uranium or thorium is a valuable commodity, then the world will still be stuck with its saudi arabia's and its iraq's. Australia would be in a difficult diplomatic situation since it has almost 1/4 of all known uranium reserves (if nuclear was the international choice of power). Which diplomatic ties are more important - U.S, China, Europe? One of the very positive allures of solar thermal technology is that it decentralizes energy dependance on foreign soil. Very few countries will not have the space/land area to generate enough solar.

Nuclear power plants require high tech specialists and industry to start up, maintain and improve. Solar thermal is a relatively low tech solution for comparison (suitable for developed and developing nations).

Personally I think the solar thermal is a more attractive option - less conflict, renewable source of energy, existing technology, already economical, no wasteful products.

In regards to the video, particularly the comments by the french lady in the second half:

I have my own personal opinion about how solar energy should be captured/stored/invested in case of long periods of poor solar output.

Some ideas include heating oil (or some other medium) up and storing the heat energy in some other medium - I think that is highly inefficient.

My idea is to combine solar thermal generated electricity with a hydroelectric dam.

Any excess electricity is used to pump water up into an elevated reservoir, which could be stored in different reservoirs for daily, weekly or monthly electricity demands.

When the energy is needed (at night or during a cloudy day) then the water in the reservoir is released and generates hydroelectric power. Using methods already in use, 75-80% of the electricity generation is conserved (that is a fucking hugely efficient storage of power) - and that is for an exposed supply of water that evaporates.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/57/Hydroelectric_dam.svg/575px-Hydroelectric_dam.svg.png

In fact, hydroelectric dams do this already to conserve and smooth out power demands.

It is storing the electrical energy as gravitational potential energy (raising a weight to a height then letting the falling weight do work).

Arhetton
3rd April 08, 01:02 AM
hmmmm I just re-read my OP and I can see how clearly I fucked up the point about plutonium (should have been uranium for one thing).

A more concise point is that uranium reserves are finite, just like fossil fuels, and depending on electricity demand and reactor efficiency, eventually those reserves will run out.

The point is that we need a clean, economical technology to transition us to proper nuclear fusion, at which point energy will be virtually free. I suppose solar thermal and nuclear are both competitive.

Photovoltaics are definately not currently viable, but its important that people learn about solar thermal and the difference between PV and ST.

elipson
3rd April 08, 02:52 AM
New breeds of reactors require 1/300th the amount of Uranium that older reactors do. That's why the article believes uranium can last several thousand yeras.

Arhetton
3rd April 08, 05:08 AM
are any in existance? is the research finished or ongoing? How long do they take to build? 5-10 years?

elipson
3rd April 08, 06:22 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_breeder_reactor

I'm not exactly a big fan of nuclear power, but I don't think it should be tossed out the window either.

Nuclear energy is a BIG asset that shouldn't be ignored, even though I don't prefer it. Many new technologies are coming up with ways of avoiding unpleasant bi-products, and are finding ways of re-using DU.

Arhetton
3rd April 08, 06:58 AM
I agree, and nuclear waste is quite containable - that is a place where regulations are important and strict monitoring should be implemented. The video about frances nuclear industry is quite a success story.

I think solar thermal is a beautiful solution though - clean, cost effective, readily available, decentralized etc. And the criticisms of the technology (such as the day night cycle) are also easily solved. I think it emphasizes a harmony between design, nature and human needs.

Plus I think this just looks really beautiful:

http://www.energiaspain.com/energy_explained/solar_thermal_clip_image005.jpg

Imagine being able to show your kids that, point to a glowing tower and explain where the power for our civilization comes from

P1_0iEc8a0g

elipson
3rd April 08, 10:28 AM
The solar thermal option would be really cool.

I personally believe that as prices for private household wind turbines come down, that these should start to be incorporated into housing designs where its applicable. With a backwards running meter this would make storage irrelevant, and while it wouldn't provide base load, it could potentially lesson reliance on older sources by a great deal. I also think hyrdo-electric is under utilized (or connected with other fucked up issues like water diversion in the US), and I actually do believe ethanol will be a big deal, particularly non-corn based ethanol. For the simple reason that it cannot be exhausted and can be constantly replaced each season. We have not properly put to use the arable land on earth, due to politics, economics, and lack of capital. Once we start doing this, ethanol could make up a good portion of our energy useage (notice I didn't say all). Also, there is the coming boon to developing countries that will benefit from the developing markets for ethanol. This is constantly overlooked, but ethanol is going aleave a lot of poverty in thrid world countries as it, and its primary components, become a vital export commodities. It will likely be more expensive than gas simply due to supply and demand, but maybe some ppl need to accept the fact that they won't be able to afford to drive!! It sucks, but get over it. Basic human rights don't garaunty that you will be driving all your life.

HappyOldGuy
3rd April 08, 10:52 AM
are any in existance? is the research finished or ongoing? How long do they take to build? 5-10 years?

As noted in Elipsons link. This is actually extremely old technology, and it absolutaly extends our fuel reserves well into the thousands of years. The big problem with it (that I mentioned earlier) is that these reactors are a huge leap forwards towards weapons technology for any country that has one.

Scrapper
3rd April 08, 03:32 PM
Big problem with Solar Thermal;

Peak Demand.

While theoretically possible to get energy in some quantity in the way you describe, this method does not account for peak demand. basically the difference between a kWh and a kW.

Over a whole year this plant may produce enough kWh to handle a given area, but will it be able to handle the spike at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon in the first week of August in LA? Not even close. Of course, large banks of batteries and capacitors might help, but now you are looking at serious environmental impact again.

God forbid you have a rainy week, or even month. These things work if you look at the averages over time, but it's in the nitty-gritty that they fail. I think that Solar-thermal, geo-thermal, and fuel-cell tech are definitely the wave of the future, but unless we as a species learn to control our demand (yeah right) we will always need a high-output energy source.

Just because a thing is POSSIBLE does not mean it is PLAUSIBLE. The issue has always been demand, not supply.

lant3rn
3rd April 08, 03:43 PM
Big problem with Solar Thermal;

Peak Demand.

While theoretically possible to get energy in some quantity in the way you describe, this method does not account for peak demand. basically the difference between a kWh and a kW.

Over a whole year this plant may produce enough kWh to handle a given area, but will it be able to handle the spike at 5 pm on a Friday afternoon in the first week of August in LA? Not even close. Of course, large banks of batteries and capacitors might help, but now you are looking at serious environmental impact again.

God forbid you have a rainy week, or even month. These things work if you look at the averages over time, but it's in the nitty-gritty that they fail. I think that Solar-thermal, geo-thermal, and fuel-cell tech are definitely the wave of the future, but unless we as a species learn to control our demand (yeah right) we will always need a high-output energy source.

Just because a thing is POSSIBLE does not mean it is PLAUSIBLE. The issue has always been demand, not supply.

Actually the issue is the environment, the cause is demand. But you do bring up
a good point and there are solutions to the problem of peak demand that are environmentaly friendly.

Scrapper
3rd April 08, 03:45 PM
Just asked my father about this (Owner/founder Canterbury Energy engineering Associates { www.Canterburyenergy.com } author of "Simple Solutions to Energy Calculations" in it's 5th edition).

He likes 'em, but he feels that the projected maintenance costs in a lot of the articles are moronically optimistic, and that the capital costs are very prohibitive. Maintaining all those motors and mirrors is a huge undertaking, and purchasing 10 square miles of land is expensive.

Furthermore, anybody who thinks they can get around the problem of rainy days, cloudy days, and shorter days is selling snake oil.

But the "free fuel" selling point makes this technology very promising. Just needs to work out the logistical kinks.

Arhetton
3rd April 08, 06:53 PM
Didn't you read my point about hydroelectric storage of the power?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity

Scrapper
4th April 08, 07:19 AM
Yes, but the prevailing wisdom is that under those conditions you are lucky to get 20% output. And generally the supply only holds out for a few hours under any real load.

It's a diminishing return. you get a larger supply of available rewserve power by either pumping the water higher, or pumping more into storage. This takes power away from the grid, and under any real load, no plant will allocate much for this. Basically you will pump to reserves when demand is low. However, considering the demand limitations of this type of system, that is less often than you'd think. So while you will have SOME reserve for low-production conditions. If these conditions occur at a a bad time, then there is no way you could pump enough water to hold out for more than a few hours. Under ideal conditions, you might get 6 hours from the units currently operating.

It's not bad tech, it just needs work.

The sales literature on Solar thermal is a little misleading about that.

Goldenmane
4th April 08, 07:51 AM
I still like solar satellites in geo-stationary orbits beaming power down to receiving stations by microwave laser. No weather problems, for one thing.

Still have to be able to store the energy, though.

Goddamit, it's 2008. Where are our safe micro-fusion piles and shit?

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
4th April 08, 07:52 AM
the jetsons didn't have these problems

Antifa
5th April 08, 09:38 AM
Okay guys... nuclear energy is made out of fail.

It takes more fossil fuel energy to make a Nuclear Plant and mine and refine the uranium that the plant will produce over its lifetime.

Energy loss.

Not viable.

Waste Problems. Security problems (you gotta guard all that stuff), accounting problems (my WMDs are where in Iraq?)....

total fail. quit wanking. give it up.

Cullion
5th April 08, 09:43 AM
Okay guys... nuclear energy is made out of fail.

It takes more fossil fuel energy to make a Nuclear Plant and mine and refine the uranium that the plant will produce over its lifetime.

Really? do you have a source for that?

krazy kaju
5th April 08, 10:02 AM
Is this really practical at all?

Wouldn't the cost and unreliability of solar-thermal power exceed the cost of hydro-electric power, nuclear power, etc?

We still have pretty huge reserves of coal, natural gases, and oil.

I don't see how this could be "the energy of the future."

elipson
5th April 08, 12:51 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_new_nuclear_power_plants

Feel free to do the math Antifa.

Cullion
5th April 08, 01:03 PM
I still like solar satellites in geo-stationary orbits beaming power down to receiving stations by microwave laser. No weather problems, for one thing.

Not so great when the beam is slightly misaligned and fries a town.

SpringHeeledJack
5th April 08, 01:50 PM
Not so great when the beam is slightly misaligned and fries a town.That depends on which town gets fried.

Arhetton
5th April 08, 04:21 PM
Is this really practical at all?

Wouldn't the cost and unreliability of solar-thermal power exceed the cost of hydro-electric power, nuclear power, etc?

We still have pretty huge reserves of coal, natural gases, and oil.

I don't see how this could be "the energy of the future."

Did you even read the OP? No offense but this is the most practical form of solar power available - it is cheap, economical, can be scaled to a global level (doesn't require rare earth metals for example) and is really just a matter of land allocation (ie. have the government free up a patch of desert).

krazy kaju
5th April 08, 04:48 PM
Did you even read the OP? No offense but this is the most practical form of solar power available - it is cheap, economical, can be scaled to a global level (doesn't require rare earth metals for example) and is really just a matter of land allocation (ie. have the government free up a patch of desert).

Yes, I did read the OP.

However, you failed to show how solar thermal power is cheaper and/or more efficient than current methods of using natural gas, oil, coal, uranium, wind, and water as energy.

You compared it to conventional solar power, but not to other ways of gathering power.

bob
5th April 08, 05:37 PM
Hydro power is about as good as it gets as far as renewable energy. Unfortunately there are only a limited number of potential sites and most of those in the West have already been developed. There's still some potential in the third world but those projects are frequently fucked up to the detriment of all parties.

krazy kaju
5th April 08, 05:52 PM
What about giant wind turbines, tidal power, wave power, geothermal power,and breeder reactors?

bob
5th April 08, 06:00 PM
None of those currently come even close to hydro for efficiency from memory.

krazy kaju
5th April 08, 06:46 PM
Breeder reactors supposedly create more fuels than they use.

But they cost a shitload to build and maintain, but my best guess would be breeders for the future.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
5th April 08, 07:36 PM
Yes, I did read the OP.

However, you failed to show how solar thermal power is cheaper and/or more efficient than current methods of using natural gas, oil, coal, uranium, wind, and water as energy.

You compared it to conventional solar power, but not to other ways of gathering power.

Are you remembering to factor in the opportunity costs of pumping carbon, lead, and mercury into the air?

krazy kaju
5th April 08, 08:45 PM
Are you remembering to factor in the opportunity costs of pumping carbon, lead, and mercury into the air?

Since when do nuclear power plants, wind turbines, dams, and geothermal plants "pump" carbon, lead, and mercury into the air?

It is not my job to prove jack shit. Arhetton made the original claims of solar thermal power being superior to everything else, so I'm expecting him to actually prove it and not have a mind jack off over the idea of cheap "clean" energy.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
5th April 08, 09:13 PM
Since when do nuclear power plants, wind turbines, dams, and geothermal plants "pump" carbon, lead, and mercury into the air?

Coal and oil plants do.


It is not my job to prove jack shit. Arhetton made the original claims of solar thermal power being superior to everything else, so I'm expecting him to actually prove it and not have a mind jack off over the idea of cheap "clean" energy.

Would you say it's important to protect the environment, even if it comes at some expense to your capitalist wet dream?

krazy kaju
5th April 08, 09:41 PM
Coal and oil plants do.

Again, the burden of proof falls on Arhetton.

He made the claim that solar thermal power is the "power for the next century"


Would you say it's important to protect the environment, even if it comes at some expense to your capitalist wet dream?

I'm pretty sure we already went over this.

Pollution would be solved more thoroughly by following old school common law property rights.

As for global warming and related bullshit, Bangladesh won't sink by 2050. That's an unscientific misconception brought about by Gore. When the UN went about getting the world's best unbiased geologists, climatologists, and meteorlogists at the IPCC, they issued a report that by 2100 the sea levels will rise, at most, one and a half feet. That's pretty much the same as the last century's one foot.

A free market actually deals more efficiently with pollution, once we take an immediate global flood out of the equation. With stricter property rights, we wouldn't have to worry about pollution of air, land, or seas. Especially when you consider how our modern energy market is held back by the gov'ts of the world, we'd be seeing some pretty innovative research in the field if we just privatized energy.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
6th April 08, 11:09 AM
Again, the burden of proof falls on Arhetton.

He made the claim that solar thermal power is the "power for the next century"

You're missing the point. Solar thermal power always has one huge advantage over fossil fuels - I don't have to get lung cancer from it.


I'm pretty sure we already went over this.

Pollution would be solved more thoroughly by following old school common law property rights.

Private citizens do not own the air above factories or power plants. If they do own the air above their house and can sue factory owners, then you're far more extreme than I am.
If it's cheaper for the corporations to buy some land and throw all their shit on it than disposing of it properly, they'll do it.
According to you, private citizens used to have greater freedom to sue companies for environmental damage than they do now. But pollution levels were higher back then! You're going to have to explain that one to me.


A free market actually deals more efficiently with pollution, once we take an immediate global flood out of the equation. With stricter property rights, we wouldn't have to worry about pollution of air, land, or seas. Especially when you consider how our modern energy market is held back by the gov'ts of the world, we'd be seeing some pretty innovative research in the field if we just privatized energy.

If you could take Adam Smith's dick out of your mouth for a second and look at the history of environmental regulation you'd realize that firms aren't responsible enough to protect the environment on their own.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
6th April 08, 11:16 AM
As for global warming and related bullshit, Bangladesh won't sink by 2050. That's an unscientific misconception brought about by Gore. When the UN went about getting the world's best unbiased geologists, climatologists, and meteorlogists at the IPCC, they issued a report that by 2100 the sea levels will rise, at most, one and a half feet. That's pretty much the same as the last century's one foot.

And another thing, why is this important? Is this your excuse for being soft on polluters?

krazy kaju
6th April 08, 01:43 PM
You're missing the point. Solar thermal power always has one huge advantage over fossil fuels - I don't have to get lung cancer from it.
Have you missed the point about geothermal, wind, tide, wave, hydro, fusion, and breeder electricity?

I never said we'll be using fossil fuels indefinitely. We're on the verge of discovering cleaner and cheaper renewable energy.


Private citizens do not own the air above factories or power plants. If they do own the air above their house and can sue factory owners, then you're far more extreme than I am.
No shit, you really think I'm far more extreme than you are?

I don't think you realize that airspace is owned by the government, as are the bodies of water inside a country's borders.


If it's cheaper for the corporations to buy some land and throw all their shit on it than disposing of it properly, they'll do it.
Yes they will do that.

That's what we call a garbage dump.

However, dumping chemicals in rivers or into the land (where it can reach the water table) would get them sued, unless they own the entire river, all the bodies of water that those empty out into (which would eventually lead to the ocean), and all the areas of land near those rivers.

That in itself is an impossibility.

If they pollute someone's land, that person has a right to sue them for damaging their personal property. If their pollution causes health problems to someone, then that someone has a right to sue the business. It all really depends on how far juries are willing to recognize what is and what is not violating personal property rights.


According to you, private citizens used to have greater freedom to sue companies for environmental damage than they do now. But pollution levels were higher back then! You're going to have to explain that one to me.
Essentially, these tort laws came from English common law, giving you the right to sue those who pollute your property for damages, but governments sided with large businesses and began tort reform.

Now the pendulum has swung back towards us a bit, but there are still restrictive laws. Actually, I believe there are some laws that restrict suing corporations here in Michigan.

Anyways, here's a useful link (http://uspolitics.about.com/library/bl_tort_reform_state_table.htm).


If you could take Adam Smith's dick out of your mouth for a second and look at the history of environmental regulation you'd realize that firms aren't responsible enough to protect the environment on their own.
Where have I ever said that they are?

A dedication to property rights and common law deals with these problems, and you can't have capitalism without private property rights. Hence, a free market solves the issue more efficiently.


And another thing, why is this important? Is this your excuse for being soft on polluters?

No, I'm just pointing out that anything noticeable will sink in the next couple hundred years. We won't have 20 feet of sea level rise, like Al Gore "predicted."

elipson
6th April 08, 01:47 PM
for the first time in my life I find myself agreeing with MJS.


A free market actually deals more efficiently with pollution, once we take an immediate global flood out of the equation. With stricter property rights, we wouldn't have to worry about pollution of air, land, or seas. Especially when you consider how our modern energy market is held back by the gov'ts of the world, we'd be seeing some pretty innovative research in the field if we just privatized energy.

I'm sorry but without being more specific, this statement is fail.

Free markets do not award costs to the relevant parties. Externalities are paid by non-related individuals. It is only when governments force polluters to pay for their externalities do we see anything that is even remotely fair. Having the government define stricht property rights is NOT a free market. You are getting yourself confused.

By ENFORCING a market for polluters, ei: by forcing them to pay for what they use and/or damage, then you get major reductions in pollution.

elipson
6th April 08, 01:50 PM
The reply you just posted answered some of my points, but you are using the term "free market" wrong.

Well defined property rights DO reduce pollution. However, calling well defined property rights a free market is incorrect.

krazy kaju
6th April 08, 01:50 PM
for the first time in my life I find myself agreeing with MJS.



I'm sorry but without being more specific, this statement is fail.

Free markets do not award costs to the relevant parties. Externalities are paid by non-related individuals. It is only when governments force polluters to pay for their externalities do we see anything that is even remotely fair. Having the government define stricht property rights is NOT a free market. You are getting yourself confused.

By ENFORCING a market for polluters, ei: by forcing them to pay for what they use and/or damage, then you get major reductions in pollution.
The anarchist version:

1. Common law.

2. Communities based on social contracts hold the businesses responsible and enforce the common law.

The minarchist version:

1. Common law.

2. Gov't enforcement of common law.


Don't think that generations of economists and philosophers are wrong. Your post was the epic fail.

krazy kaju
6th April 08, 01:51 PM
The reply you just posted answered some of my points, but you are using the term "free market" wrong.

Well defined property rights DO reduce pollution. However, calling well defined property rights a free market is incorrect.

So you're saying that private property is not a prerequisite for free market capitalism?

Right.

Also, see what I just posted.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
6th April 08, 02:08 PM
In Krazy Kaju's world there are no restrictive legal fees to prevent people from suing large corporations, nor do these firms have the advantage of the most talented lawyers in the industry.

Or perhaps his system if so efficient that everyone can afford lawyers and all lawyers have to be equally fantastic to compete in their market.

krazy kaju
6th April 08, 02:55 PM
In Krazy Kaju's world there are no restrictive legal fees to prevent people from suing large corporations, nor do these firms have the advantage of the most talented lawyers in the industry.

Or perhaps his system if so efficient that everyone can afford lawyers and all lawyers have to be equally fantastic to compete in their market.

More straw men?

"Fantastic lawyers" are usually able to twist minor things around that make an otherwise "bad" action legal. In other words, "fantastic lawyers" can seek out some kind of legal loophole that exists.

In a system based around common law, this wouldn't happen, since there wouldn't be any legal loopholes by definition. Common law is based on what the jury decides is right and wrong.

Besides, if there would be some kind of major pollution, then communities would be inclined to sue the offender jointly.

This is how it has historically worked before governments began to centralize and demand more power.

elipson
6th April 08, 03:02 PM
"Free market" means free from government interference.

Having a government dictated market for pollution is NOT a free market.

Having well defined property rights that puts the responsibility on polluters, and having a government monitor, enforce, and update those laws is a VERY effective way of reducing pollution.

But its NOT a free market. It's a government defined and enforced market.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/free%20market

Don't get mad at me because you're using the fucken terms wrong.

krazy kaju
6th April 08, 03:22 PM
"Free market" means free from government interference.

Having a government dictated market for pollution is NOT a free market.

Having well defined property rights that puts the responsibility on polluters, and having a government monitor, enforce, and update those laws is a VERY effective way of reducing pollution.

But its NOT a free market. It's a government defined and enforced market.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/free%20market

Don't get mad at me because you're using the fucken terms wrong.

So you're assuming that an absolute free market requires no government at all?

Then please reread this (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1303403&postcount=56) post.

In a free market anarchist or anarcho-capitalist society, communities would have to form based on social contracts. These communities would be able to enforce property rights.

If you just take "free market" to mean "no intervention whatsoever," you are incorrect. Economists and philosophers realize that such a society is not possible simply because people would naturally congregate to form communities with their own sets of guiding rules.

On the other hand, minarchism is also compatible with a free market. The only difference between minarchism and true anarchism (not that leftist abomination of "anarchism") is that there is a government that holds a monopoly over law enforcement and security in a minarchist society as opposed to law being handed over to communities and security to private companies.

The real "great debate" between minarchists and anarchists in the libertarian camp is whether or not a minarchist government is sustainable and whether or not the poor/weak would be exploited by private security companies in an anarchist society.

krazy kaju
6th April 08, 03:26 PM
Also, according to Fred E. Foldvary:


But, contrary to what Consumer Reports says, theft is not part of a pure market. The pure free market consists of voluntary action. Force and fraud violate property rights and therefore are violations of free-market ethics. If government allows this, then government is imposing costs and providing subsidies. This is no free market. This is command-and control intervention. This is, yes, regulation.

EDIT: Here's the link: http://www.progress.org/archive/fold253.htm. It's an interesting read dispelling many statist myths about the free market.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
6th April 08, 04:04 PM
More straw men?

Accusing me of a strawman in this instance just shows that you're not bright enough to grasp the point. Considering that you think common law is, apparently, infallible, reinforces this.

krazy kaju
6th April 08, 04:20 PM
Accusing me of a strawman in this instance just shows that you're not bright enough to grasp the point. Considering that you think common law is, apparently, infallible, reinforces this.

Now more ad hominem attacks to hide your impotence.

Your straw man and combined ad hominem was: you indirectly saying that I am a utopian who believes everyone will have funds to sue each other.

My response was, essentially: I never said that. First off, legal loopholes would not exist so corporations would not be able to use excellent lawyers as efficiently to get them out of legal tight spots. The issue of poor individuals not being able to take on corporations is naturally solved by communities taking on corporations together, since pollution would most likely affect an entire community, unless you were rich and owned large swaths of land (in which case you could afford to hire lawyers yourself).

Your response (more ad hominems and straw men): Your stupid for thinking common law actually works and that it is infallible.

Where exactly did I state that common law is infallible? I only implied that it is superior to our current legal system which favors the rich for being able to use legal loopholes.

You've lost every single debate so far. Now please back up your statement and show how common law fails. Common law has worked successfully before governments decided to centralize power and begin favoring corporations with tort reform and by paying to clean the mess that they made.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
6th April 08, 04:45 PM
Your straw man and combined ad hominem was: you indirectly saying that I am a utopian who believes everyone will have funds to sue each other.


My response was, essentially: I never said that. First off, legal loopholes would not exist[...]


Where exactly did I state that common law is infallible?

Arhetton
6th April 08, 08:45 PM
oh yeah by the way the return on energy (manufacture) of these systems is about 4 months and they run for... 30 - 40 years.

source:

http://www.solel.com/faq/

jubei33
6th April 08, 08:56 PM
dude, take your market issues to your own thread. This is about solar thermal, unless you have something to contribute.

Arhetton
6th April 08, 09:20 PM
the reason that solar thermal is more viable than the following:

geothermal: Not enough appropriate locations to provide all of the neccessary electricity

wind: wind power is caused by solar energy, therefore it is < solar and the maximum output is much lower than solar thermal.

Hydro: much the same point as geothermal

wave power: same category as wind (this is a secondary solar source of power anyway), although I like wave power generation alot (I did an assignment on this area and its really cool). Wave power is also an issue for landlocked countries/areas.

Biofuels might make a nice way to capture energy and use it later, but it would not be a good way to provide electricity (diesel electric generation) IMO. For one thing, it would be a lot more complicated to allocate the land (since you have to wait for a yield), there are potential issues with whether or not the crop fails versus using inorganic mirrors to reflect the light - I'm not talking about lack of light, its things like soil quality, pests, rainfall etc - complications that do not arise with solar thermal, and all of those issues have hidden costs.

And scrapper, I'm going to check with some of my professors about the energy return of hydro storage.

krazy kaju
7th April 08, 04:09 PM
MJS: Where did I state that common law is infallible? Juries can still make stupid decisions, me stating that common law does not have legal loopholes does not make it infallible, just superior to our current system.

Arhetton: Thanks for the extra info, I'll mull over it later.


dude, take your market issues to your own thread. This is about solar thermal, unless you have something to contribute.

MJS brought it up, don't blame me.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
7th April 08, 05:14 PM
You're acting as if the hyperbole was the crux of my post.

jvjim
8th April 08, 12:33 AM
You're acting as if the hyperbole was the crux of my post. Hyperbole is the crux of your existence. EDIT: That tower is badass.

Sirc
8th April 08, 02:30 AM
I like that Riddeck firmly believes the only thing depleted uranium is good for is for killing people.

Frenzal
8th April 08, 05:21 AM
How does common law deal with the gradual build up of pollution in an area over many years and from many differant sources?

This would be difficult to deal woth retroactively.

Would it be easy to sue preventively?

elipson
8th April 08, 06:08 AM
I think what Kaju is trying to explain, but failing because of his inaccurate use of the terminology, is the use of property rights and laws pertaining to common usage.

This is how it works.

If there are no property rights (enacted and enforced by the GOVERNMENT) then companies are free to pollute however they want because there is no definition as to what they are liable for. They will not be forced to pay the costs of pollution, which will be paid by seperate third parties.

Now enter property rights. Say for instance a farm is located downstream of a major power plant releasing pollution into the stream. Property rights can lay the responsibility on the polluter, or not. If the law states that it is the polluters responsibility to provide compensation for its use of common resources, then that power plant will have to either clean up its pollution releases, or compensate ppl downstream with money. If the property rights say the power plant does NOT have an obligation to clean this up, then the costs/damages will fall entirely on the landowner. Property rights force polluters to take responsibility for the costs associated with their production, but for which they would not otherwise pay.

Now enter the market. With strong property rights, there exists a market for these kinds of things. How much money is the plant willing to spend in compensation/clean up? How much will effected landowners demand in return for the pollution of the stream? A market for this kind of pollution (NOT a free market, because it is working within government defined parameters) should in theory gaurantee a positive outcome. As the production becomes more and more profitable, the company will become more willing to pay compensation. If the product is not valuable, the plant will shut down and move somewhere more accepting.

Also, the more or less damage done to landowners, and their willingness to accept it, will determine the expense of compensation. Someone using the water for irrigation or livestock will require more compensation than someone who just likes to live next to a river.

Now in a market for this kind of thing, you will have polluters finding viable locations for polluting, based on that locations acceptance of polluting, but also based on the companies expected return on what they are producing. This will ensure that the victims of pollution are compensated enough so that they donīt mind the pollution (how much would you accept? Think about it, there is a price tag on it), or that the company will move to a location where they can afford compensation.

Everyones happy.


The gradual build up of pollutants could be countered by continually paying compensation (perhaps by way of taxes that go the community like a carbon tax, or in direct settlements). Eventually compensation would get so expensive that it would be cheaper to use less polluting means of production.

The reality is that settlement will require years of legal battling. But once precident is set, further compensation becomes much easier to obtain. Once this has been set, companies would know not to pollute in areas they canīt afford to compensate, so they either change locations, or pollute less.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
8th April 08, 09:24 AM
It's not like all that land that no one owns or that the corporation owns is worth protecting anyway.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
8th April 08, 09:26 AM
since no one really owned the dodo birds, it's no one's fault that they're all dead right?

Arhetton
8th April 08, 10:53 AM
this pollution topic is totally irrelevant to solar thermal - apart from a small industrial level of pollution to build the plant material (which can largely be recycled since it is glass, metals and plastics that build most of the facility), there is no pollution from this form of energy supply - no hazardous waste either.

according to the faq of the site I listed before, solar thermal even uses less land than a coal burning plant (consider the coal mine) and less land than a hydroelectric plant (consider the size of the water behind the dam).

This really is a win-win technology.

Frenzal
8th April 08, 04:44 PM
Elipson, thanks for the reply.
Sorry if this is derailing the thread a bit, but i have to ask. What if the water way has and does serve as a sewer for years and years by a large number of buisnesses and people many of whom are dead, have moved away, have changed name or closed up shop?
How is a jury supposed to apportion blame for something like that?
And things become even more complicated when there's a multitude of claimants down stream with differant pollution vs renumeration expectations.
Would settng precedents take decades?

Frenzal
8th April 08, 04:44 PM
DifferEnt.

Two posts in a row, geez.

elipson
8th April 08, 05:10 PM
Would settng precedents take decades?

It already has. This stuff has been going on for decades.

For large numbers of effected ppl, you get a class action lawsuit.

This starts getting into business law, which i dont know a whole lot about. Basically people who move away and aren't aware of the lawsuit are shit out of luck.

If the system has served as a sewer way for many years, then it's interesting. I was asking myself that question. Me thinks it would fall to local EPA type agencies to initiate new laws and restrictions for the matter. As for being retroactive, I think that will depend on the individual cases. They would likely consider if the polluter knew the potential damage they were causing, if they were just ignorant, or if they defied local environmental laws.

If the company was not defying local laws, was not hiding pollution from regulators, and was not lying about the harmful affects of what they were doing, then I don't think they would be held liable retroactively. But this is getting really specific.

This is why its important for governments to set strict property rights for this kind of thing. Problem is, there is such a history of pollution that demanding immediate obediance is very expensive and less than effective. There are a lot of different schemes for changing things. Emissions trading has so far been one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing pollution. Carbon taxes are also very recommended (but i dont personaly like them). Command-and-control methods have proven really ineffective actually, such as directly dictating how much pollution a company can release.

Water quality has actually been a terrible area of pollution reduction. Not much has been done, and not much is being done.

krazy kaju
8th April 08, 06:31 PM
Elipson, thanks for taking up the void while I wasn't here and doing a better job explaining what I mean by the adherence to property rights.

Just two problems:

Property rights and common law can exist without government intervention to create property rights. Medieval England and Poland-Lithuania along with modern day Somalia are just three examples of common law and property rights existing with minimal to none government intervention.
Most die-hard "property rights" libertarians are pro-government (i.e. Ayn Rand, Ludwig von Mises). There are only a few modern free market anarchists that I know of (like Murray Rothbard and Walter Block). A government, a free market, and property rights do not really contrast at all. Minarchists (pro-gov't libertarians) argue that without the government offering protection of your property rights, a free market cannot exist at all.



It's not like all that land that no one owns or that the corporation owns is worth protecting anyway.

I already dealt with this.

You lose at debating, reread my previous posts.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
8th April 08, 07:15 PM
The best you could offer was that if their dumping affected other people's land and if they discovered the damage, sued the firm, and were successful, then the firm would be punished.

No, that idea is retarded.

elipson
9th April 08, 03:05 AM
modern day Somalia


Oh you gotta back that shit up. This would make for an interesting read.

And FWIW, I consider a town or community making laws and enforcing them a form of government.

The way I see it, free market with government regulation is like an animal living on a big farm. Sure you're free to run around and go wherever you want, but you'll always have some guy with a rifle shooting the wolves. It's a good situation, far better than a true classical free market, but i dont like calling it free.

bob
9th April 08, 07:27 AM
Yo, Arhetton, seen this?http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/town-so-hot-its-first-on-the-solar-block/2007/11/04/1194117879767.htmlHell, you've probably already posted it somewhere but you know how good I am at reading threads.

bob
9th April 08, 07:30 AM
Man I gotta get this account fixed.

Scrapper
9th April 08, 09:37 AM
OK. Lets break it down.

Solar thermal power-
Pro's-
*Limitless free fuel.
*Construction payback is reasonable.
*100% clean
*uses easily available existing tech.

Con's-
*No demand response capability.
*Low production days are unavoidable.
*Life Cycle Costs (repair, maintenance) are significant (this lengthens payback period).
*Needs a ton of space

The biggest hurdle right now for STP is demand response. As a society, we expect shit to go on when we throw the switch. STP cannot accommodate spikes in the grid. Peak output for STP will happen in early afternoon. Peak demand in the US is at 6 PM. You can store some of the STP energy, and even do a heat recovery loop to maintain return water temperatures in the boiler through the peak load, but the returns diminish rapidly. If you have two rainy days in a row, and then a hot blistering friday afternoon right after; you're fucked.


Geothermal-
Pros-
*Free heat sink/thermal mass.
*100% clean
*insanely high efficiency (by current standards).

Cons-
*Payback period for residential units is 10-15 years.
* you need either a deep hole, or a big loop.
*Still needs electricity for the pumps

Honestly, once the cost factor is out of the way, these things are going to be everywhere. It's a no-brainer. With the exception of the prohibitive cost, ground source heat pumps and geothermal loops are simply too perfect to not use them.

Fuel Cells-
Pros-
*Cheap, mostly clean electricity.
*take up little space
*turns the average person into a generator, not a consumer.
*you can co-generate (get heat and electricity at the same time).

Cons-
*First cost is super-high
*Some of the chemicals involved are not environmentally kind.
*Platinum plates need to be replaced every 3-7 years. HUGELY EXPENSIVE.

For industrial, high-demand applications these things work. Mohegan Sun Casino in CT has (2) 2-megawatt cells operating right now. Since their base-load is so ridiculously huge, the cells have paid for themselves in less than 5 years (with a government grant). Waste heat is used to pre-heat heating hot water and provide steam for the kitchens. On low-usage days, they sell power pack to the grid, as well. It's a nice system.

For mainstream, residential use, they have a long way to go. These things require monitoring, and qualified personnel to keep them running cleanly and safely. The reactor plates are very expensive and will need replacement every few years.

Hydro-
Pro's-
*Free fuel
*clean
*simple tech

Cons-
*anybody got a waterfall I can borrow?

Hydro has been around forever. It's great, if you got it.

Wind power-
Pros-
*Free
*Clean
*simple tech

Cons-
*nobody wants the damn turbines in their backyard
*miserably low cost/production ratio
*no demand response capability without capacitors or batteries
*low production days

Wind power is best used as the cherry on top of an alternative fuel sundae. Once you have employed all the better options out there, go ahead and throw a wind farm or two in for the simple reason that the fuel is free. That is the most compelling argument for wind. Same with water turbines. They do best as a supplement, not as a primary source.

Photo-voltaic cells
pros-
*unlimited fuel

Cons-
*Output is stupidly low
*Cells get dusty and output goes down even more.
*cells aren't durable
*cells require a lot of space
*no demand response
*low production days

Unless a huge breakthrough occurs in PV tech, you are going to see them fade from fashion fairly soon. They are a nightmare. In 20 years in business, my company has never once recommended PV to a customer. It simply does not pay back. They are a fashion accessory to the "green" elite; put on mostly for show. In many cases a consumer would reduce their energy costs by 10 times what a PV rig could get them, simply by puttining in a condensing boiler. But boilers can't be seen from the outside...



-HERE IS MY OFFICIAL STANCE ON THIS COUNTRY'S ENERGY CRISIS-

The problem is demand. We use too much energy. If we used less, than many alternative solutions would become more viable. We use coal, diesel, and nuke power because they can respond to demand instantly.

Spike on the grid? Add more fuel and the problem is solved. That is how we like it. Energy companies are responding to our needs as customers. They are also exploiting us through it. The US government will subsidize and pay down on virtually ANY energy conservation method you want to try. The incentives are everywhere. But until it starts to really hurt financially, most people are not interested in night setback, demand-response ventilation, occupancy sensors, and even old-fashioned "turn the goddamn thermostat down/up to save a buck" thinking.

The problem is US.

Zendetta
9th April 08, 12:34 PM
^^^ Fuckin' Commie.





Seriously, great post.

elipson
9th April 08, 01:20 PM
Cons-
*anybody got a waterfall I can borrow?

Move to BC, we have lots :D

You're dead on about heat pumps. I worked for a pool store for two years, and we use them for both heating and cooling. They are massively expensive to buy, but they cost almost nothing to run!

Scrapper what do you think about making flourescent light bulbs mandatory?

Cullion
9th April 08, 01:45 PM
Scrapper, why is the cost/production ratio so bad for wind power? I've heard this before and don't get it. Do the windmills have huge maintenance costs or something?

Scrapper
9th April 08, 01:48 PM
It should be mandatory the way internet is mandatory. Not useless, unenforceable ordinances.

Besides, incandescent lights have advantages in certain applications. Making them illegal is silly. They are inefficient, but of all the lighting types, they are the closest to natural sunlight*. Museums, studios, and many manufacturing processes require accurate color rendering. Only incandescent light matches the sun for this.

*(Incandescent means "light form heat." 90% of an incandescent lamps energy actually makes heat, not light! That is why they suck from an energy standpoint. however, the sun makes light from heat too...)

Scrapper
9th April 08, 01:50 PM
Scrapper, why is the cost/production ratio so bad for wind power? I've heard this before and don't get it. Do the windmills have huge maintenance costs or something?


They are enormous machines that require safety and mechanical staff to keep them operating. They also are subject to HUGE stresses as their natural operating condition.

And they just don't produce much power. It is a low-speed wind-powered generator. you just cant get that much out of it.

Zendetta
9th April 08, 01:53 PM
^^^ THey are pretty awesome when they blow the fuck up though!

krazy kaju
10th April 08, 03:58 PM
The best you could offer was that if their dumping affected other people's land and if they discovered the damage, sued the firm, and were successful, then the firm would be punished.

No, that idea is retarded.
Because you rather deny the reality that this has already worked before than stop going over things we've gone over already.


Oh you gotta back that shit up. This would make for an interesting read.
Yeah, most Somalis have been living under their traditional law since the collapse of their government:
Link 1 (http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/September-October-2005/scene_lombard_sepoct05.msp)
Link 2 (http://www.mises.org/story/2701)
Link 3 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchy_in_Somalia)

The problem is obviously that Somalia was backwards to begin with, but overall, living standards seem to have improved since the government collapsed.


And FWIW, I consider a town or community making laws and enforcing them a form of government.
Yeah, that is a good point. A community existing under a social contract is pretty much the same as a government.


The way I see it, free market with government regulation is like an animal living on a big farm. Sure you're free to run around and go wherever you want, but you'll always have some guy with a rifle shooting the wolves. It's a good situation, far better than a true classical free market, but i dont like calling it free.
What I described is the Austrian definition of the free market.

The Austrian school is a school of classical economics.

Austrian minarchists believe that it is the role of the gov't to make sure that coercion occurs between people involved in an act (i.e. Ayn Rand). Austrian anarchists believe that people should be free of government (a coercive monopolistic organization) and be able to form communities under social contract and to arm themselves and hire security companies.

Murray Rothbard, an Austrian economist and anarchist, has some material about anarchist "law and order" somewhere on the Mises website.

elipson
11th April 08, 07:46 AM
I really don't agree with the whole idea that "oh we don't have a state, we just have people who tell us what to do, but they are local".

To me its a matter of degree. Most anarchist readings I've seen emphasize a local small scale government. And there is nothing wrong with that, it may work very well, but I consider it a matter of degree. I think its foolish to say they have no government or state, its just a very small one. But I'm arguing semantics here.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
11th April 08, 10:12 AM
Because you rather deny the reality that this has already worked before than stop going over things we've gone over already.

How do we solve massive deforestation of woodeed land owned by the company doing all the logging?

elipson
11th April 08, 11:02 AM
Make it profitable for him to preserve some of those woods for future harvesting, while re-planting the areas already harvested so that in the long run you get a zero sum loss of forest area.

Cullion
12th April 08, 11:56 AM
How do we solve massive deforestation of woodeed land owned by the company doing all the logging?

We would expect the company would have every financial incentive to plant more trees rather than just buy another forest and strip that too. You see, if it's not in a company's own profit interest to do something shitty, they won't generelly choose the shittier but less profitable option.

In the case where for some reason it was more expensive to replant the land you already had than to just keep acquiring more land, we'd need to examine the cost structure of replanting before coming up with a solution.

I haven't looked at the detailed figures, but I would expect that the latter case occurs most often in 'unsettled' areas like the deep Amazon, because the land's so cheap. Part of the fix would be for the goverment to uphold the property rights of indigienous people so that the land couldn't just be grabbed for cheap/free by a ravenous logging enterprise. An awful lot of stuff that 'capitalism' is blamed for is actually the result of crooked governments not upholding less powerful and wealthy people's common law property rights.

You could still be left with the case where it was cheaper for the loggers to buy the land from the indians and send them on their way than to replant on the land they already had.

At this point you have to study the impact of deforesting the area. Not all deforestation is automatically bad.

When that happened it would be time to look at government intervention. But you shouldn't bring it out as the first resort, because it usually fucks something up.

elipson
12th April 08, 01:35 PM
Deforestation in third world countries is more about grazzing land than it it about forestry products. They need to basically zone the area and require reforestation before they can log an area. Of course this requires a government that isn't broke and doesn't suck, so that may be a long way off.

Just look at BC Canada. We log the fuck out of everything, but we still have our forests. We do it quite well actually.

krazy kaju
12th April 08, 04:48 PM
I really don't agree with the whole idea that "oh we don't have a state, we just have people who tell us what to do, but they are local".

To me its a matter of degree. Most anarchist readings I've seen emphasize a local small scale government. And there is nothing wrong with that, it may work very well, but I consider it a matter of degree. I think its foolish to say they have no government or state, its just a very small one. But I'm arguing semantics here.

Yeah, you have a good point here.

Individualist and free market anarchists are really more like small-state minarchists if you will.

I think the main difference between anarchists and minarchists is that anarchists more firmly believe in natural rights and social contracts as an ethical system than do minarchists.

Then there's the anarcho-syndicalists, anarcho-communists, libertarian socialists, and other left wing anarchists (not Rothbard's left anarchism though)... but their beliefs are entirely different and could dominate a whole other discussion.


How do we solve massive deforestation of woodeed land owned by the company doing all the logging?

What Cullion said + ecotourism.

Ecotourism is pretty profitable in some parts of the world. There are also a host of other reasons why we wouldn't have massive deforestation. For example, cities near coastlines, rivers, and other areas might find it profitable to replant trees to prevent mudslides and absorb hurricanes better.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
12th April 08, 08:50 PM
How does reforestation and (of all the retarded suggestions) planting new growth near cities ease the burden on old growth forests (which are far more valuable and not exactly replaced just by planting a bunch of trees)?

krazy kaju
12th April 08, 09:31 PM
How does reforestation and (of all the retarded suggestions) planting new growth near cities ease the burden on old growth forests (which are far more valuable and not exactly replaced just by planting a bunch of trees)?
Ecotourism was already mentioned. Privatizing a place like Yosemite or the jungles in Indonesia or the Amazon would be very profitable. There are also other activities that make wooded areas profitable, such as having one of those hunting and gaming parks (forget what they're really called, sorry). Also, not all privatized woodland would be cut down, just as not all privatized woodland is cut down right now.

Also, there could even be "wood farms," areas where fast-growing trees are planted specifically to be cut down.

And Cullion already mentioned the homesteading principle regarding the native Amazonians. Currently, a lot of the deforestation/cattle farming is happening in the Amazon because of a lack of respect for private property.

You're also ignoring the possibility of old trees already existing near cities, so there's a possibility they won't be cut down to protect from hurricanes, mudslides, etc. as already mentioned.

But generally speaking I'm not too good at this entire futurism aspect of figuring out how exactly the free market will work when most everything is privatized. You might want to drop a question about it on the Mises forum at mises.com.

EDIT: Actually, I'm going to ask the question on the Mises forum myself.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
12th April 08, 10:02 PM
Be sure to specify the protection of old-growth forests and actual eco-systems instead of their replacement by otherwise uninhabited tracks of new forest.

Arhetton
12th April 08, 10:44 PM
^ I used to trek through a planned forest, the lack of life and the grid of trees (in perfect rows) is unsettling. I'm not sure I would like native forests to dissappear just for that. We have plenty of arable land without destroying those natural places.

elipson
13th April 08, 06:52 AM
Certain old growth forests have to be protected by law. That's just reality. In Canada, all logging is done on govermment land, so that makes it easy to control what areas do and do not get cut.

And MJS you had better do some reading on all those saving the forest ideas you're throwing around. Go read up on the pine beatle in BC.

Long story short, we've gotten so good at fighting forest fires that the forests are becoming TOTALLY overgrown, which not only creates a MASSIVE risk of huge fires in the future (thanks global warming), but also contributes to the spread of pests and disease as old trees become sick, die and rot.

Logging is an artificial way of countering this. But as in all things, it can be done beneficially or harmfully.

There are certain areas that need to be defined as off limits, and then there are also areas that can be logged in a manner so as NOT to destroy the eco system. It all comes down to the management and the government controlling it.

lant3rn
13th April 08, 01:55 PM
Certain old growth forests have to be protected by law. That's just reality. In Canada, all logging is done on govermment land, so that makes it easy to control what areas do and do not get cut.

And MJS you had better do some reading on all those saving the forest ideas you're throwing around. Go read up on the pine beatle in BC.

Long story short, we've gotten so good at fighting forest fires that the forests are becoming TOTALLY overgrown, which not only creates a MASSIVE risk of huge fires in the future (thanks global warming), but also contributes to the spread of pests and disease as old trees become sick, die and rot.

Logging is an artificial way of countering this. But as in all things, it can be done beneficially or harmfully.

There are certain areas that need to be defined as off limits, and then there are also areas that can be logged in a manner so as NOT to destroy the eco system. It all comes down to the management and the government controlling it.
You bring up good points concerning the question and concerns about adaptation and natural change and the conections ecosystems have made around the world. It seems more and more that the idea of ecological conservation takes the "conservative" part to seriously. i mean, it's almost like we want to perserve a part of the world in a time capsule. If we want to stop turning our planet into a hostile environment to life. We have to start thinking about the bigger connections, like how deforestation in Guatamalaa can effect forests here in Canada.

And some people need to accept the fact that life will naturally die off but will replenish itself aswell, if givin the chance. The problem arises when we medle with both sides of that equation because we do not understand all the formulas at work.

Cullion
13th April 08, 02:14 PM
The time capsule point is a good one. There's an inbuilt assumption that a new ecosystem will somehow be more detrimental to human existance than the prior one. That isn't necessarily the case, but it requires careful study on an individual basis.

lant3rn
13th April 08, 02:33 PM
The time capsule point is a good one. There's an inbuilt assumption that a new ecosystem will somehow be more detrimental to human existance than the prior one. That isn't necessarily the case, but it requires careful study on an individual basis.
Yah exactly, History shows us that life will find a way to adapt and survive. We just do not understand the connections and our effects enough, that we can influence that adaptation to our desired outcome.

krazy kaju
15th April 08, 02:57 PM
MJS, besides the free market solutions to deforestation that Cullion and me brought up, you can view the Mises discussion thread I started here (http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/2046.aspx?PageIndex=1).

And to elipson, who stated that forests should be nationalized: you do realize that that just makes the logging companies less responsible? If it isn't their land, they really don't give two shits about what happens to the trees. If it is their land, they at least have an incentive not to cut everything down at once and to keep replanting healthy trees in a healthy ecosystem so that they can have a sustainable source of income.

elipson
15th April 08, 03:54 PM
I understand that position. It's an offshoot of the property rights discussion. And it's a valid argument.

My counter argument would be that in Canada, (practically) all forests are nationalized and it works great. Strict standards and penalties are enforced, which ensure that logging companies pay their respects, otherwise they don't get to log anymore.

I would also say that forests are a natural resource, and should be held for the common good. Markets can have very bad consequences when they are unrestricted. And as alluded to earlier in this thread, nationalizing a forest allows public debate and control as to whether or not an area should be logged, how extensively it should be logged, and what methods of environmental protection (in addition to the basic requirements of simply regrowing the asset for future harvesting) will take place on the given area.

And with such vast areas of natural forests (BC, you can't imagine if you've never seen it), there is the very real possibility of companies taking what they get right now, and leaving all the mess behind them because there is such an overabundance of resource that planning future regrowth is not as attractive as simply logging somewhere else.

krazy kaju
15th April 08, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the response elipson.

Logging companies that "would take what they can get now" would be following a very bad business plan and would be in danger of going bankrupt as soon as they use up their source of income (the trees).

This holds true even if a single company holds vast areas of land. Overfishing, overhunting, overlogging, etc. all happen because nobody actually owns the fish, game, trees, etc. If a commodity is not privatized, it is open to abuse.

People don't care about "the public's" fish, whales, game, trees, gold, coal, etc. In the case where a commodity is public, it is in your interest to abuse it, ravage it, and "leave it a mess."

On the other hand, leaving your own source of income a mess will only get you bankrupt and drive you out of the market.

Now, you're essentially stating that you want quotas of sorts on logging. Basically, public oversight of what happens to the forests.

Although this looks good on the outside, I find several problems with it.

First of all, corruption. Government has a tendency to be easily corrupted. Since government has the de facto monopoly over forests, it could pick and choose among logging companies and give them artificially high pay and those logging companies could sell their goods for an artificially high price (due to a gov't enforced monopoly/oligopoly). Remember the Halliburton fiasco in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina?

My second objection is that nationalizing the forests limits competition, hurting consumers (everyone) and workers (the lumberjacks). With only government choosing who can log and who cannot, only a limited amount of companies would be able to log. With this small pool of competitors, there'd be less innovation and less, well, competition (obvious, I know).

With less competition, prices may be artificially high, which is what happens in many such situations (i.e. aviation costs before the CAB was disbanded).

My third objection is quite simple. How can government or the people at large have the right to restrict a completely voluntary trade? Granted this is an argument based more on a natural rights basis than on a utilitarian one, but government should not have the right to stop a trade that all parties involved agree to. If a person wants to sell his/her area of forest to a logging company, he/she should have all the right to do so. If that company wants to log its own land, it should have the right to do so whatever way it sees fit (unless it encroaches on others' rights).

Fourthly, I'd like to reemphasize my belief that forests could be just as prosperous, if not more prosperous, if they were privately owned. Planned forests aren't necessarily the best for harvesting high quality products. You need a rich ecosystem to exist around the trees in order for them to grow into high quality trees that then can be cut and sold for a higher price.

Fifthly, the nationalized forests simply limit the amount of good that can become out of the resources found in that forest. A pure capitalist system would have the advantage of efficiently receiving the maximal value that one can from a forest, meaning that trees would be cut, regrown, etc., in a manner far more efficient than any government could oversee (as we have seen from past experience) and this would benefit the public through lower prices.

Lastly, there are other methods of sustaining privatized forests, like ecotourism (i.e. Sequioa National Park in the USA) and gaming.

Cullion
15th April 08, 05:16 PM
Natural resources held for the common good?

Well, what makes trees special? Why not mineral reserves, or the land itself?

Why let people selfishly hoard their own property when a government planned housing system of homes rented from the government which owns the land in the public trust so that housing is fair and sustainable?

You tree facists who won't give alumunium miners and people who want a house for free a chance at the goodies make me sick.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
15th April 08, 05:20 PM
MJS, besides the free market solutions to deforestation that Cullion and me brought up, you can view the Mises discussion thread I started here (http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/2046.aspx?PageIndex=1).

All I saw was "companies probably wouldn't chop down all the trees... but maybe they would. But fuck the government!"

Is it that you just don't trust the government? You can be honest.

krazy kaju
15th April 08, 05:21 PM
All I saw was "companies probably wouldn't chop down all the trees... but maybe they would. But fuck the government!"

Is it that you just don't trust the government? You can be honest.

You clearly didn't read what was posted.

In any case, I redirect you here (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1305420&postcount=110).

elipson
15th April 08, 05:32 PM
OK, I don't think I have fully explained the Canadian system.

It is possible to log on private land. My folks did this on our small chunk of land. And basically all the property rights points you brought up apply perfectly.

In Canada, basically, its like the government is a giant land-owner, and smaller companies sub contract out the rights to log the land. The only real restrictions are that they pay stumpage fees per tree (deciding this fee is another matter all together), and that they comply with regulations about proper forest practices and replanting.

Basic ideas about competition still apply, and the "choice" of which logging companies doesn't actually exist, because there is no arbitrary choice in the matter. Blocks of logging are put up and purchased by individual companies.

And you REALLY don't understand how much forest there is in British Columbia,or the rest of Canada for that matter.

We're twice the size of California, and we have maybe 4.5 million people. The amount of forests strech so far that its impossible to describe. Much of it is totally virgin environments, and there has been no efforts to purchase such huge tracks of land, because why would there be?

There is such a huge area of land that dividing it up and selling it wouldn't be very efficient.

elipson
15th April 08, 05:35 PM
god damnit im failing at this and I'm too burned out due to writing essays that I can't properly address this issue.

MEGA JESUS-SAMA
15th April 08, 05:46 PM
You clearly didn't read what was posted.

In any case, I redirect you here (http://www.sociocide.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1305420&postcount=110).

Yes, I did. The gist was that corporations would, for some reason, be responsible with forested land because it would be in their best interests, while government would be totally irresponsible because they could just go chop down some other forest.

It's not like that's entirely contrary to historical precedent - that the government continually has to step in to prevent overlogging by corporations who never stop on their own.

Do you see why I detect a slight slant at that website?

Cullion
15th April 08, 05:52 PM
Yes, I did. The gist was that corporations would, for some reason, be responsible with forested land because it would be in their best interests, while government would be totally irresponsible because they could just go chop down some other forest.

The 'for some reason' part would be when they don't want to run out of trees to sell.
Like a carrot farmer, y'know, replants carrots without the gummermint telling him to do it.

Dark Helmet
15th April 08, 06:01 PM
god damnit im failing at this and I'm too burned out due to writing essays that I can't properly address this issue.
Don't worry about it.You're doing a fine job.

elipson
16th April 08, 07:39 PM
Second try.

In Canada, its like the Crown is a giant land owner, and logging companies are renters. Canada has the incentive to maintain the environment and regrowth, and will hold its loggers to those standards. It's really not expensive, because stumpage fees pay for the costs of management, and are still cheaper than buying the land.

All the aspects of competitiveness still apply to the industry, as different companies are all trying to be more efficient than everyone else. It's not like a state driven industry. I think I may have given that impressions earlier, but that is not how it is.

The real difference is short versus long term costs of the industry. Why would a logging company buy huge tracks of land when they can just purchase the lumber off the land? Its much cheaper in the short term to do so, and doesn't require massive amounts of start up capital that would be required to make the initial purchases, in addition to the long term financing that such a purchase would require. Its like the "renting vs buying a house" thread.


Things are a little different in the US. I think its really a path dependant situation, where because the US land is already privatized, that the private system there makes more sense. With such huge areas of land in Canada that are nowhere near civilization, its simpler just to maintain them as crown land. I don't think there has ever been serious attempts to purchase huge areas of land in Canada for logging purposes, because its just easier to log off the public land. And with the purchasing of large areas of land, problems of credit and interest rates comes into the industry, moreso than they would otherwise be. The crown behaves as if it already owns the land outright, and so therefore would not be susceptable to changes in interest rates which could effect the costs of the industry. Stumpage fees will likely not change due to credit crunchs, but purchases or transfers of private logging lands would be.


And to go onto a different topic quickly here, I have very little faith in eco-tourism being a practical replacement for a logging industry. Eco-tourism would require a customer base based on large urban populations that want to go to these environments. The farther away these populations are, the less likely they will come and spend money. And ironically, the closer you are to a mountain, the less special it is. Also, logging effects a huge part of local economies, and is dispersed over a very large area. The benefits of eco-tourism would be more localized, as it would be focused in areas that have substantial infrastructure to support it. Relatively small areas of land can support vast amounts of eco-tourist customers, thereby eliminating any need for eco-tourism to spread over the vast areas of land (and the populations employed) that are utilized in a logging industry.

So in essense, eco-tourism is cool, but it can't economically replace logging.

krazy kaju
3rd May 08, 12:07 PM
Sorry for the late response, I totally forgot about this thread.

First off, I never suggested that ecotourism would be able to replace logging completely, but in conjunction with "farm" or "harvest logging" and other ventures. Farming trees would obviously be much more profitable, and as already mentioned, it would be in the interest of businesses to keep the forest life and ecosystem rich.

Secondly, if the system you're talking about would be the most profitable, then we'd see this happening in free market economies. A business can own land and rent it to logging companies. Same difference.

In any case, privatized logging is just as good if not better than nationalized logging, as it has an even greater incentive to not destroy forests, as already discussed in this thread.

elipson
5th May 08, 12:09 AM
In any case, privatized logging is just as good if not better than nationalized logging, as it has an even greater incentive to not destroy forests, as already discussed in this thread.

Except the standards that are enforced in a private system are only to encourage regrowth of trees for reharvest. What impetus is there to encourage ecological protection to a point beyond the least amount of effort required to keep the land producing?

As well, in a national system, there exists a kind of safety net that is lacking in private systems. What happens when there is a massive forest fire or a serious pest problem in private lands? The losses could be enormous. In a public systyem, that risk is spread out over the entire industry. Lost trees are replanted without being the responsibility of a sinlge company, and companies aren't bound to long term tracts of land that have gone up in smoke.

krazy kaju
5th May 08, 01:28 PM
Healthy trees = good wood = good money.

That's the motivation to keep the forest running, because without the rest of the ecosystem, you won't have healthy trees.

Obviously, there are motives to keep your forests from being set aflame or eaten away by pests, just as there are motives to prevent the same from happening to your crops, or to your house, etc. Now companies that fail to do so would inevitably fail and be replaced with businesses that can protect their trees.

You're also basing your arguments on the assumption that the state is inherently wise and will has the ability to balance profit and tree safety. Looking at how every other centrally planned effort has failed, we can't have high hopes for nationalized forests.

Cullion
5th May 08, 05:42 PM
Except the standards that are enforced in a private system are only to encourage regrowth of trees for reharvest. What impetus is there to encourage ecological protection to a point beyond the least amount of effort required to keep the land producing?

Define said ecological protection. Please, please, start with copypasta about 'biodiversity'. I dare you. I double dare you.

elipson
5th May 08, 09:58 PM
Obviously, there are motives to keep your forests from being set aflame or eaten away by pests, just as there are motives to prevent the same from happening to your crops, or to your house, etc. Now companies that fail to do so would inevitably fail and be replaced with businesses that can protect their trees.
Except that those two factors, fire and pests, have more to do with regional weather than it does with any man-made factor.

krazy kaju
16th May 08, 04:31 PM
Except that those two factors, fire and pests, have more to do with regional weather than it does with any man-made factor.

And this justifies forest socialism over privatization how?