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#1 Nov 12 2012 at 11:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Or something along those lines. We're apparently on track to be "energy independent" here in a few years here. Environmental concerns aside (can we ever do that even if we pretend for a minute?) it sounds good on paper at least. Count me as one of those who are genuinely surprised at our new-found ability to get large quantities gas out of rocks buried deep underground.

Thoughts?

You mean you want to hear mine first? Okay...

1) I never thought we'd actually reach break-even that fast.

2) Does this mean that the Democrats will quite possibly claim credit for killing Bin Laden, reducing the size of government (hello fiscal cliff, wave everyone), and setting us on the path for energy independence? Because I could see that happening with a little politicking and spin...

3) Drill baby drill?

4) Halloween is bad for my sugar-eating habit.

5) Staple removers: why even use them if you're only going to mangle the paper anyway?
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#2 Nov 12 2012 at 11:37 AM Rating: Excellent
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I don't believe it. I mean, I believe the report exists but I'm skeptical that it's not taking some overly pollyanna assumptions.
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#3 Nov 12 2012 at 11:39 AM Rating: Excellent
Maybe it's counting Canadian oil as not being dependent.
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#4 Nov 12 2012 at 11:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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Speaking of which, whatever happened with that oil sand stuff, and the pipeline though the plains states?
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#5 Nov 12 2012 at 11:42 AM Rating: Good
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
Maybe it's counting Canadian oil as not being dependent.
I think the new buzz is about "North American Energy Independence". They could even be including Mexico, though I'm not personally sure how much Mexico has in the way of natural energy resources.
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#6 Nov 12 2012 at 12:34 PM Rating: Good
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Just saw the trailer for that fracking movie. Matt Damon's propaganda is going to kill our dreams for energy independence.

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#7 Nov 12 2012 at 12:52 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
=someproteinguy

5) Staple removers: why even use them if you're only going to mangle the paper anyway?
Use this kind. Doesn't mangle the paper AND it collects the staples rather than letting them fall to the floor/desktop.

Edited, Nov 12th 2012 7:52pm by Elinda
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#8 Nov 12 2012 at 1:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Those shale oil sands in Montana have always been accessable, it just historically has cost more per barrel to touch them than building a standard well. Now that the prices are so wonky its finally cost effective to start extracting them. That and the fracking process which really does need better regulation given what chemicals they are using to do the process if nothing else. But essentially the U.S. is sitting on the worlds largest reserves of natural gas. The problem is that until very recently it wasn't really good for much aside from small scale power generation and heating homes. our oil production has increased dramatically due to offshore drilling in wells we now have the technology to access due to deep sea ROV's (can access, doesn't mean should access). Many of those permits were approved in the Bush era, though most of them didn't start prodicing until well after Obama was in office.

We're also using less. Road construction nationwide typically consumes a fairly large fraction of our crude oil output. Newer asphalt mix tecnologies allow us to greatly reduce that amount by reprocessing the old asphalt and using a denser rock mixture that wears longer. Most of the cars on the road now also have at least the 1986 grade emisisons controls and fuel efficiency measures, which has reduced the amount of gas per vehicle needed across the board from the 1970's. At the same time reducing the amount of gas tax allocated for road repairs and doubling the miles traveled wear and tear, but thats another story entirely.

Cotton tree biofuel as a supplement also looks like it will be viable and coming online in large quantities by 2020. There is also the massive wind turbine farms springing up all over the west coast, solar plants in the midwest, possibility of new Nuclear reactors (come on, someone build a damned thorium reactor already!) and the national ignition laboratory has a laser theoretically capable of igniting a fusion reactor for the first time in history. We are even starting to see improvements in storage technology finally (carbon nonotube elctrode impregnated lithium polymer batteries, etc) and deep cycle storage (thin cell molten salt storage turbines for wind farms that actually work). All that coupled with increasing vehicle efficiency, decreasing number of vehicles on the road due to economic craptitude, drastically improving electrical device efficiencies, the fall of the CRT monitor, and better grid control technologies and improvements are leading to a fairly large electrical and chemical energy surplus. Once electrical vehicles reach practical "miles per gallon" storage efficiencies to accomodate 300 mile single charge driving radius and 5-10 minute recharge times expect a huge shift away from all gas vehicles to at least hybrids or electrical cars. When that happens our production surplus will grow considerably. Despite several disasterously bad choices in the solar energy backing arena, we are starting to see production solar cells literally printed from glorified inkjet printers at a price per watt point that makes them actually affordable. There are several roof systems under test right now that essentially consist of solar ink impregneted roof shingles on a conductive matrix. Expect to see them available for purchase around 2020 - 2025

More and more manufacturers are also beginning to use bioplastics. Polyvinyl chlorate and urathane based plastics will continue to make up a large amount of our oil use for the forseeable future, but many of the esther based plastics can now be produced from algae or plant residue in usable quantities, and nationwide recycling initiatives and enhancements in separation plant designs are leading to more reuse of the other types of plastic than has been historically feasable.

The point of all of that? our population is remaining fairly stable, which means our domestic needs aren't really rising all that much. At the same time what our existing population requires is decreasing, and what we are able to extract is increasing. So yeah, I don't think it's too much of a stretch. The problem for years to come is going to be China, which hasn't really figured out that whole energy efficiency thing yet.
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#9 Nov 12 2012 at 1:37 PM Rating: Good
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
The problem is that until very recently it wasn't really good for much aside from small scale power generation and heating homes.
The trucking industry is starting to convert pretty heavily to LNG.

We're permitting our first LNG fueling station. I believe it's available for trucks up and down most of the east coast.


Edited, Nov 12th 2012 8:38pm by Elinda
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#10 Nov 12 2012 at 6:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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I want salt towers. Just saying... we have deserts... let's use 'em?

Edited, Nov 12th 2012 7:25pm by LockeColeMA
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#11 Nov 13 2012 at 8:38 AM Rating: Decent
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Imagine...solar towers all across the west and we could un-dam the Colorado River!
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#12 Nov 13 2012 at 8:41 AM Rating: Excellent
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LockeColeMA wrote:
Just saying... we have deserts... let's use 'em?
Well, the inbred hillbillies might get angry.
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#13 Nov 13 2012 at 9:07 AM Rating: Excellent
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Desert hillbillies?
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#14 Nov 13 2012 at 10:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
LockeColeMA wrote:
Just saying... we have deserts... let's use 'em?
Well, the inbred hillbillies might get angry.


Precisely, we must protect them and the fragile ecosystem they depend on.
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#15 Nov 13 2012 at 11:21 AM Rating: Excellent
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Eh, just give em some monster trucks and they'll be happy.
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#16 Nov 13 2012 at 12:02 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:

Dessert hillbillies (yum)
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#17 Nov 13 2012 at 12:35 PM Rating: Decent
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Imagine...solar towers all across the west and

We could power Vegas for 3 hours a day! Solar doesn't work given the current state of technology. When there's a newspaper thin durable film that costs so little as to be disposable, let me know. At the moment, we subsidize the idea of solar power hoping to get to the point where it's viable. We aren't very close. Works well for calculators, though.
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#18 Nov 13 2012 at 12:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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I remember there was this one town in the Pokemon games that ran completely on solar power; besides having the standard towers they used reinforced solar panels as roads. Do you think that would be possible with our level of development?
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#19 Nov 13 2012 at 12:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Works well for calculators, though.


Remote road signs and other minor thingies as well.

I thought power storage was still a major problem (think overnight hours) as well as the U.S. grid not being able to handle such a variable load (or is that more just for wind?).
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#20 Nov 13 2012 at 12:52 PM Rating: Decent
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I thought power storage was still a major problem (think overnight hours) as well as the U.S. grid not being able to handle such a variable load

Part of it is that, part of it is operating conditions. Solar works fantastically well...in space. On Earth it's a little more challenging. There are various issues of scale, as well, but that aside, the real world realities don't mesh well with the promises from solar manufacturers. Also maintenance becomes cumbersome. Good for solar panels? Lots of cloudless sunlight. Bad for solar panels? Dust. Guess what most places with lots of cloudless sunlight have....

You get the idea.

Hasn't stopped people from trying, and obviously not a zero sum game, but it's further from viable than most people understand. Even very smart people.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Innovation/Latest-News-Wires/2011/1126/Solar-power-Google-pulls-the-plug

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#21 Nov 13 2012 at 12:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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I would think any "solar road" would either be hellishly smooth to drive on or else give up a lot of its ability to capture light due to a textured surface.

I once took a solar cell off a calculator and attached it to a Stomper truck. I felt pretty boss when it worked.
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#22 Nov 13 2012 at 12:59 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
I would think any "solar road" would either be hellishly smooth to drive

Driving is old-school. You'd glide on solar roads.
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#23 Nov 13 2012 at 1:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
I would think any "solar road" would either be hellishly smooth to drive

Driving is old-school. You'd careen about in uncontrolled terror on solar roads.
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#24 Nov 13 2012 at 1:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
I would think any "solar road" would either be hellishly smooth to drive

Driving is old-school. You'd careen about in uncontrolled terror on solar roads.


Screenshot


Where we're going, we don't need traction.
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#25 Nov 13 2012 at 1:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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Printable solar cells
All carbon solar cell
Commercially available thin cell molten salt battery

Stuff is still expensive, but it is moving forward somewhat. If they can produce a stable carbon based nanocrystal that should get the printable cell price point low enough eventually.
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#26 Nov 13 2012 at 1:12 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
I would think any "solar road" would either be hellishly smooth to drive

Driving is old-school. You'd careen about in uncontrolled terror on solar roads.

The car would drive itself while you're napping. You'd just wake up in the hospital and file a lawsuit against google.
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#27 Nov 13 2012 at 1:15 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
The car would drive itself while you're napping.
Oh boy, Johnnycabs. I can't wait.
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#28 Nov 13 2012 at 1:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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You know what I bet would work: some sort of cylindrical solar cell. Almost "solyndrical", if you will...
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#29 Nov 13 2012 at 1:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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What's the efficiency of Rainbow Roads?
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#30 Nov 13 2012 at 2:22 PM Rating: Excellent
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Eske Esquire wrote:
What's the efficiency of Rainbow Roads?


Unless you're LGBT, poor.
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#31 Nov 13 2012 at 2:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Smasharoo wrote:
Imagine...solar towers all across the west and

We could power Vegas for 3 hours a day! Solar doesn't work given the current state of technology. When there's a newspaper thin durable film that costs so little as to be disposable, let me know. At the moment, we subsidize the idea of solar power hoping to get to the point where it's viable. We aren't very close. Works well for calculators, though.

But when it does we can let the mighty Colorado run free again! Right?
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#32 Nov 13 2012 at 2:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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And let all those brown people south of the border have our water?!

I think not. Smiley: disappointed
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#33 Nov 13 2012 at 3:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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We should dam the Colorado with a giant solar cell. Win-Win!
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#34 Nov 13 2012 at 3:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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Illinois can't come up with a road pavement that survives a single winter season, a solar road would be laughable.

In the meantime, while energy production is being improved, we could also continue to increase mandates on efficient energy use. We use more electricity for lighting than anything else. Unfortunately, LED light bulbs aren't quite a great replacement for incandescent/CFL bulbs yet, but the technology has been advancing fairly quickly.
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#35 Nov 13 2012 at 5:13 PM Rating: Excellent
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We should put our transport system up in the stratosphere. Unlimited solar energy, shorter distances (up and over versus traveling along the surface of a big ol sphere), uninterrupted habitats down below, etc. The scientist's just need to nail that dam space elevator.

Trying to make an energy source like sun-power conform to our outdated and combustion based infrastructure is never going to be terribly effective.

I think electricity generation needs to get away from the whole grid system at some point.
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#36 Nov 14 2012 at 7:40 AM Rating: Good
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We use more electricity for lighting

Oh, dyslexia, my bosom companion. Read this as "lightning" about 11 times.
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To make a long story short, I don't take any responsibility for anything I post here. It's not news, it's not truth, it's not serious. It's parody. It's satire. It's bitter. It's angsty. Your mother's a whore. You like to jack off dogs. That's right, you heard me. You like to grab that dog by the bone and rub it like a ski pole. Your dad? Gay. Your priest? Straight. **** off and let me post. It's not true, it's all in good fun. Now go away.

#37 Nov 14 2012 at 7:48 AM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
We use more electricity for lighting

Oh, dyslexia, my bosom companion. Read this as "lightning" about 11 times.
...only in Vegas.

Seriously though, we should be well on our way to harnessing energy from lightning, yet we're still chasing it around like a dog after a squirrel.
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#38 Nov 14 2012 at 7:49 AM Rating: Excellent
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It takes 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to get a decent bolt of lightning going.
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#39 Nov 14 2012 at 8:55 AM Rating: Good
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That is heavy.
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#40 Nov 16 2012 at 12:05 AM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
It takes 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to get a decent bolt of lightning going.


Going through Flea's 'toy' box again?
#41 Nov 16 2012 at 11:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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MentalFrog wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
It takes 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to get a decent bolt of lightning going.


Going through Flea's 'toy' box again?

According to a reliable source, that level of power is unsafe for any kind of fun except time travel.
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#42 Nov 16 2012 at 12:15 PM Rating: Good
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Timelordwho wrote:
MentalFrog wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
It takes 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to get a decent bolt of lightning going.


Going through Flea's 'toy' box again?

According to a reliable source, that level of power is unsafe for any kind of fun except time travel.
Do it again!
Do it again!
Do it again!
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#43 Nov 17 2012 at 5:36 AM Rating: Excellent
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Timelordwho wrote:
MentalFrog wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
It takes 1.21 gigawatts of electricity to get a decent bolt of lightning going.


Going through Flea's 'toy' box again?

According to a reliable source, that level of power is unsafe for any kind of fun except time travel.

Great Scott!
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