I’ve been engaging in a discussion with several commenters who strongly disagree with my assertion that atomic fission is the ONLY technology that has the technical potential to beat hydrocarbon combustion in the market. It can provide cheaper, cleaner and more reliable heat that can be converted into useful power in almost exactly the same ways that we have invented to turn combustion heat into power.
Some of that conversation is interesting enough to promote to the front page of the blog so that it is not buried deep in comment threads that few people have time to read. This post continues the conversation that I published yesterday in response to the State of the Union Address.
Commenter EL wrote:
Rod Adams wrote: “@EL, Pretend I am from Missouri. Stop pointing to academic studies and models created by “many fine people.”
I gave my rebuttal to these comments on “academic studies and models” that you so effortlessly dismiss and discount in the other thread. For those who might be interested, it’s probably worth reading the whole thread (and see if you are in agreement on the merits or deficits of new and advanced technologies, assessment of investment and regulatory risk, timing in current and future global markets, basic common ground … or whether there are some obstacles that are just too great to overcome and that engineering and markets cannot solve on a practical or cost-effective basis).
I argue my points, I think, objectively and forcefully (while I also keep an open mind). It’s my hope others will do the same (otherwise, there is little hope that any further debate will yield any positive fruit or rose petals, in honor of the upcoming holiday, and we better all hunker down and get very used to a long and bumpy ride on the non-renewable oil, coal, and natural gas crazy train).
The following response is a combination of several of my comments joined together and slightly edited to produce a more coherent, stand alone piece that is not so dependent on the context of other people’s comments.
Humans have known that there was energy that was free for the taking in the wind and in the sun for as long as we have been aware beings. Windmills and sails have been used for power for thousands of years. They were used to produce electrical power almost as soon as electricity was discovered. People have been collecting and using solar energy for tasks like salt making, curing, and drying leaves for thousands of years. The photovoltaic effect was discovered at least 110 years ago.
Don’t give me this anti technology mumbo jumbo that we have only just begun to try to figure out ways to collect useful energy from these well known sources. Don’t try to tell me that human beings have always found that hydrocarbons were just too cheap to beat; massive fortunes have been made by controlling supplies of those products and pricing them at levels that were painful for many customers.
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