1. Subscribersonhouse
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    25 Feb '09 05:021 edit
    If we see the way weather patterns happen, sucking energy out of that system by solar, wind, wave, hydro, etc., wouldn't there come a point where the very extraction of energy by those methods change the world's climate? Of course right now we only drain off a tiny portion of the energy involved but how much can we get before we start adding to the climate problem from another angle?
    Suppose we determine we can get off the oil standard by adding thousands of square miles of solar energy panel's, will that in itself change the climate balance by diverting solar energy that used to be involved in the reflection, turning into IR energy and keeping the place warmer. Could using too much solar energy make the planet colder?
  2. Cape Town
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    25 Feb '09 05:25
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    If we see the way weather patterns happen, sucking energy out of that system by solar, wind, wave, hydro, etc., wouldn't there come a point where the very extraction of energy by those methods change the world's climate? Of course right now we only drain off a tiny portion of the energy involved but how much can we get before we start adding to the climate ...[text shortened]... nergy and keeping the place warmer. Could using too much solar energy make the planet colder?
    The vast majority of wind energy is fairly high up and would not be affected. I am sure that we could affect surface winds using wind turbines, but not significantly enough to affect the weather, and certainly not nearly as significantly as we already do by changing land features with windbreaks, sky scrapers, chopping down forests etc etc etc.
    If anything surface vegetation slowing down wind is beneficial in desert areas.

    Similarly it is likely that the largest solar panel plants would be placed in deserts and again might be beneficial.

    Hydro electric power tends to cause changes to the water table, seismology and the whole river system - and that is nothing new, but it must be noted that not all dams are for hydroelectric power - though in southern africa most of the biggest ones are.

    Using energy from the tides should in theory affect the earths rotation but I am not sure whether that will speed it up or slow it down but it wouldn't be significant enough to matter.
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    25 Feb '09 05:40
    What about the energy islands and the sea? Could they affect the
    conditions in the sea, by blocking out sunlight and having kilometer long
    thingies dipped into the deep?

    http://tinyurl.com/bofdys

    Probably not, uh? Considering the sheer size of the sea and all.
  4. Subscribersonhouse
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    25 Feb '09 06:07
    Originally posted by Jigtie
    What about the energy islands and the sea? Could they affect the
    conditions in the sea, by blocking out sunlight and having kilometer long
    thingies dipped into the deep?

    http://tinyurl.com/bofdys

    Probably not, uh? Considering the sheer size of the sea and all.
    Yeah, of course now all that is a tiny percentage of the total area, but is there a limit, obviously if you had a thousand square KM of the things in the ocean, say 50 KmX50 Km totally filled with those things, shipping routes at least would have to be altered but what is the limit to such things?
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    25 Feb '09 09:30
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Yeah, of course now all that is a tiny percentage of the total area, but is there a limit, ...
    Yes there is a limit, but the finansial limit is lower.
    I mean, that we cannot afford building so many solar panels, wind tubines, or wave stations to affect the weather.
    The greatest risque is to build hydroelectrical dams, and we are not near any problems, yet.

    The biggest problem we have is not burning oil, the biggest problem is not to produce nor consume energy (at our level), the biggest problem currently is to inject to much CO2 into the atmosphere.
  6. Cape Town
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    25 Feb '09 10:02
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    The greatest risque is to build hydroelectrical dams, and we are not near any problems, yet.
    Hydroelectric dams cause all sorts of problems many of them quite significant, though I don't think that they significantly affect world weather. As with everything man does it comes down to whether or not the problems outweigh the benefits.
    In Zambia, lake Kariba produced a number of side benefits in addition to electricity. It is a major source of protein in the form of fish (Kapenta) for a fairly large proportion of the population. It also generates income from tourism.
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    25 Feb '09 10:20
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Hydroelectric dams cause all sorts of problems many of them quite significant, though I don't think that they significantly affect world weather. As with everything man does it comes down to whether or not the problems outweigh the benefits.
    In Zambia, lake Kariba produced a number of side benefits in addition to electricity. It is a major source of prot ...[text shortened]... apenta) for a fairly large proportion of the population. It also generates income from tourism.
    Well, dam projects can cause a lot of local problems, I know, but I was thinking in terms of climate.

    The chinese dam in Yellow River has caused a lot of problems for the locals. It's a damn project.
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    25 Feb '09 10:201 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Yes there is a limit, but the finansial limit is lower.
    I mean, that we cannot afford building so many solar panels, wind tubines, or wave stations to affect the weather.
    The greatest risque is to build hydroelectrical dams, and we are not near any problems, yet.

    The biggest problem we have is not burning oil, the biggest problem is not to produce no ...[text shortened]... rgy (at our level), the biggest problem currently is to inject to much CO2 into the atmosphere.
    For that to work, there would have to be strict limits on how much driving you can do, like I drive 32 Km to work one way, so 65 Km/day X5 325 Km/wk, 16000 km/yr. So even if I got 20Km/liter (47 MPG) =800 liters/year just for transport for one person. Now if we were forced to carpool, say then 200 L/yr/person for that car then suppose in the US there are 100,000,000 workers doing the same then we would use 20 BILLION (20,000 million) liters/year just for transport.
    Now I used a pretty low petrol using vehicle with 4 people per car. That would be the same as if everyone using a separate car was getting 80 Km/liter of petrol or 300 miles per gallon. Sounds like a very low estimate of the amount needed just to get to work, assuming everyone drove 64 Km/day, which is probably not accurate, I would guess the average at more like 20 Km/day 10Km one way average, but even if so, that would still be 7 billion liters per year just for 100,000,000 people, so multiply that times ten, 1 billion drivers, you get 70 billion liters/year or 7 TRILLION liters/century. That's just for driving to work. So we would use that much even if we managed to use zero amount of fossil fuel for homes and that does not count industry.
    So how do we get out of that bind? It would seem to me we would have to have a vast amount of chemical industry making H2 somehow, maybe using catalyst and solar combined and some form of adsorbing solid that would give us a way to store enough for say, 400 Km of driving. So we better get together and come up with SOMETHING or we are cooked. In our own juice! I did see a new technology that absorbs CO2 directly using nanotech and solar energy so maybe all is not lost. If we could come up with 70% efficient solar cells (my dream is solar cell paint, paint the car with it and the whole car absorbs sunlight to generate power when parked all day in the sun, maybe that alone could get you back and forth to work at least)
    then depending on the cost of the cells, that's another thing: With all this talk of hyper stimulus from Pres. Obama, why not put 500 billion into solar cells, even present day things, the best ones we can make with present day technology, I bet that would go a long way to making us energy independent from fossil fuel. Haven't run #'s on that though. Well I did a search and there are at least two companies in the US now manufacturing solar cells for less than a dollar a watt. I assume that means 2 bucks a watt out the door, still half the regular price, but if a half trillion bucks was pumped into it I bet they would come way down from there, maybe 50cents a watt out the door, which would mean 500 gigabucks would give you a TERAwatt of energy. That is about 10% of the consumption of energy per year in the US. So at that rate, 5 trillion US bucks would take us totally off fossil fuels. The only question then would be is there enough raw materials to make that many solar cells, I think they are some kind of thin cell made of copper/indium/gallium something like that, so there may be a limit to the # of such cells you could manufacture due to lack of resources on the planet.
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    25 Feb '09 12:26
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    For that to work, there would have to be strict limits on how much driving you can do, like I drive 32 Km to work one way, so 65 Km/day X5 325 Km/wk, 16000 km/yr. So even if I got 20Km/liter (47 MPG) =800 liters/year just for transport for one person. Now if we were forced to carpool, say then 200 L/yr/person for that car then suppose in the US there are 10 ...[text shortened]... a limit to the # of such cells you could manufacture due to lack of resources on the planet.
    Driving doesn't destroy the climate. Excessive emisions of CO2 does.
  10. Standard memberPalynka
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    25 Feb '09 14:23
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    The greatest risque is to build hydroelectrical dams, and we are not near any problems, yet.
    What do you mean?
  11. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    25 Feb '09 21:081 edit
    Originally posted by FabianFnas
    Driving doesn't destroy the climate. Excessive emisions of CO2 does.
    If you want to get nitpicky, I would certainly suspect that driving alone affects the climate... Think of the all the interstates around the world that are constantly pushing air masses around with the traffic?

    Just the fact that we are born effects the climate, so I dont think it is practical to try to to negate our existence, we are the very nature of change
  12. Standard memberDeepThought
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    26 Feb '09 04:47
    Originally posted by sonhouse

    Suppose we determine we can get off the oil standard by adding thousands of square miles of solar energy panel's, will that in itself change the climate balance by diverting solar energy that used to be involved in the reflection, turning into IR energy and keeping the place warmer. Could using too much solar energy make the planet colder?
    Energy cannot be created or destroyed. This means that when you turn on your solar powered kettle the energy you collect from the sun gets released as heat. So using solar power should be thermodynamically neutral, except that the energy wouldn´t be reflected back into space, but I doubt that´s a significant effect.

    There is no known way of generating power that has no environmental impact. Making solar cells is a polluting process, like any other chemical process. Nuclear power has all the well known problems as well as the less well known problem that more CO_2 is released in the mining and purification and transport of fuel grade uranium than generating the equivalent amount of energy by burning coal. Hydro-electric and tidal power also have problems as described by other posters. Wind power is a disaster for birds as they get cut to pieces. Turning the lights out and other energy saving measures work every time.
  13. Subscribersonhouse
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    26 Feb '09 05:44
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    Energy cannot be created or destroyed. This means that when you turn on your solar powered kettle the energy you collect from the sun gets released as heat. So using solar power should be thermodynamically neutral, except that the energy wouldn´t be reflected back into space, but I doubt that´s a significant effect.

    There is no known way of generati ...[text shortened]... hey get cut to pieces. Turning the lights out and other energy saving measures work every time.
    It has to be deeper than just turning off lights, that would get us maybe a 10% reduction in energy use. The root problem is our very civilization and the fact that there is in fact no intelligent life on earth. We are due for a correction factor in a few years that will take care of the issue, which wouldn't happen if we were in fact actually intelligent.
  14. Standard memberDeepThought
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    26 Feb '09 06:55
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    It has to be deeper than just turning off lights, that would get us maybe a 10% reduction in energy use. The root problem is our very civilization and the fact that there is in fact no intelligent life on earth. We are due for a correction factor in a few years that will take care of the issue, which wouldn't happen if we were in fact actually intelligent.
    Oh yes, and banning private ownership of cars. Which will save copious numbers of lives each year as a fringe benefit.
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    26 Feb '09 10:09
    Originally posted by joe shmo
    If you want to get nitpicky, I would certainly suspect that driving alone affects the climate... Think of the all the interstates around the world that are constantly pushing air masses around with the traffic?

    Just the fact that we are born effects the climate, so I dont think it is practical to try to to negate our existence, we are the very nature of change
    I have no intention to be nitpicky, sorry if I gave that impression.

    There is a myth spreading that transportation of people and gods is causing climate changes. Not so. It's the emision of CO2.

    Another myth is that if we switch over to electrical cars the problems is solved. Not so. Then we have only moved the emision from the car to the electrical power plants. If they convert coal to electricity, the problem is still there. The problem still remains how to produce CO2-free energy.

    But moving cars around doesn't change the climate much.
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