The Greening Continues – A Column Intro (May 23, 2010)

Posted: May 23, 2010 by docbabad in Environmental Posts, The Greening Continues, by Harry {doc} Babad
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By Harry Babad © Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.

With A Chip on My Shoulder — I avoid greening sites that equate a demonstration of a concept (e.g., a lab or small scale pilot scale test) to having an industrially viable commercial solution that an instant cure all for our environmental and energy woes. My paradigm, government subsidies don’t make things commercial — all governments have the proven habit of bowing to either lobbyists or homo populous <the loudest voice.> Governments, one and all, according to my Googling, have, Internationally, been shown to pick losers. [E.g., Corn Ethanol vs Food]

The best and real, role for governments is supporting R&D, and funding large scale demos – wonderful – that covers risk that the commercial sector cant or will not accept.[e.g., Nuclear power with its large up-front capital costs, large scale energy storage, biofuel demonstrations, carbon dioxide storage.] Subsidizing industry to use its favorites… no way.

Okay, now my biases —

  • I favor nuclear power for handling baseload while shutting down coal-fired plants. Make nuclear technicians out of coal-miners — it pays more and is less hazardous.
  • I know, based on personal knowledge and personal experience that all nuclear wastes can be safely stored [350-500 years] or disposed for up to 10,000 years. Radiophobia sucks, but so does hunger and disease – let’s treat it and get on with our lives./
  • Unless a process can handle a base load capacity, rain or shine, calm or wind, and can deliver power where it’s needed; it’s a hope and a wish, not a solution.
  • • Real Costs are all that counts — The fifth or sixth law of technology… if you don’t check the whole life cycle of a new process or energy solution; you’re going to fail — 100% bomb out.

Sources & Credits:

Most of these items were found in the newsletter NewsBridge of ‘articles of interest’ to the libraries technical and regulatory agency users. It is electronically published by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, in Richland WA.  I then followed the provided link to the source of the information and edited the content (abstracted) the information for our readers.

The remaining material I share in the articles that follow comes from the various weekly science and environmental newsletters to which I subscribe. Their selection (my article – my choice} are obviously and intentionally biased by my training, experience and at times my emotional and philosophical views. The resulting column contains a mini-summary with links to articles I found interesting. I also get technology feeds from the New York Times, Time Magazine, The Economist, Business Week, Discover Magazine, various international advocacy groups, and the American Nuclear Society. This all started while writing two textbooks on things nuclear for high school students and their teachers, and turned out as a good way to keep up with a rapidly changing world – who would have thought a few weeks ago that off shore oil might not be the main route to energy independence?

I’ll be posting articles for you comfort and anger in the next few weeks. I never respond to flaming, but will take time to provide evidence in the form of references for those who ask. However, most of you can reach out and Google such information for your selves.

Remember, conditions, both technical and geopolitical change – So if you’ve made up your mind about either the best way to go, or about its all a conspiracy, move on to the next article in our blog.

Harry {doc} Babad

Author & Consultant

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